Toronto Diary
1 min

Sign Tax Passes — but no love for the arts

City Council finally wrapped up debate on the sign bylaw and tax yesterday, putting the new law on the books. Unfortunately, one of the contentious parts of the tax — that revenues would be directed to city beautification/arts projects — was left out of the law. Instead, the tax will go to general revenues and be divied up during the regular budgeting process. Some councillors and activists are stating that the money will most likely end up in the arts anyway, but given council’s looming $500-million shortfall, that doesn’t sound very likely to me.

Meanwhile, my colleague Scott Dagostino has already reported that next year’s founding G20 summit will take place in Toronto, and not in Huntsville, June 26-27, 2010. Just to clarify, while the Pride festival will be ongoing, Pride already moved the major events like the Parade and Dyke March to the following weekend specifically to avoid G20 conflicts. Quite a prescient move on their part, actually. Still up in the air is whether or not Toronto will get the millions in bribery infrastructure money that was poured into Huntsville and surrounding municipalities as part of efforts to shore up industry minister Tony Clement’s vote haul prepare the region the host the most powerful leaders in the world. Still, this is the perfect opportunity to make Pride political again by using the first weekend of the festival to lobby the governments of some less-than-queer-friendly G20 members who’ll be in town at the time. I’m looking at you, Saudi Arabia. Mexico. India. Indonesia. Turkey. USA… 

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