Good morning. This is the Wednesday, April 12 edition of First Up, the Star’s daily morning digest. Sign up to get it earlier each day, in your inbox.
Here’s the latest on the 2026 World Cup, one man’s story of medically assisted dying and cell service on the TTC.
Inside Toronto’s “sweetheart deal” with MLSE to host the 2026 World Cup
The 2026 World Cup will be held jointly by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. In Toronto, it’s going to be up to the municipal government and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) to host the event. But while both entities will be entitled to millions of dollars in revenue, it’s the city that will take on all the costs, according to a letter of intent outlining the partnership. Ben Spurr breaks down what taxpayers will be covering and the role MLSE is expected to play.
- Why it matters: “I see it as a private enterprise very typically asking government to take all the risk, and at the same time asking for a share of the profits, and that worries me,” said Coun. Gord Perks, adding the city shouldn’t spend public dollars on a sporting event when it’s facing a budget crisis and an affordability crunch.
- Another angle: An associate professor of sport management at Brock University said MLSE’s experience in staging and marketing sporting events in Toronto is unparalleled, and it’s not usual for municipalities — which lack in-house expertise on delivering major tournaments — to partner with private companies.
She filmed her father’s last days. His story is fuelling debate about medical assistance in dying
When Ondi Timoner began recording her father towards the end of his life, she simply intended to capture his voice. But the film grapples with much more — his rise in the business world, his downfall brought on by discrimination after a devastating injury, and his decision to end his life under California’s medically assisted dying law. At a time when few U.S. states allow assistance in dying and Canada’s laws are surrounded by debate, “Last Flight Home” aims to start conversations about the procedure. Moira Welsh reports on the deeply personal documentary.
- On the home front: The Canadian government faced widespread condemnation after announcing plans to expand “medical assistance in dying” (MAID) in March of 2023 to offer assisted dying to those suffering solely from mental illness. It delayed those plans until March 2024.
- Across the border: In the U.S., roughly 10 states offer some form of assisted dying. That’s where Timoner said the film is raising awareness and challenging ideas about the right to choose when to end one’s life.
What does Rogers’ TTC cellphone deal mean for commuters using Bell or Telus?
With Rogers announcing Monday it will soon have exclusive rights to the TTC’s cellular infrastructure, its customers should have cell service on portions of the subway system by early next year. But it’s unclear when users of other carriers will be able to access service — and competitors are not happy. Lex Harvey and David Rider report on Bell’s criticism of the move and what else we know about the deal so far.
- Context: Global communications firm BAI has owned the TTC’s cellular infrastructure since 2012. Only Freedom Mobile has signed on to use it, while Rogers, Bell and Telus previously cited BAI’s outdated infrastructure as a reason for not signing on.
- Watch for: Rogers said it expects to have acquired BAI Canada in the next two weeks, and aims to have its 5G network throughout the entire TTC in two years.
With a flood of high-achieving applicants, University of Waterloo engineering uses a controversial admissions tool. Here’s what it reveals about high school grades.
ROGERS CENTRE: The Blue Jays’ new centre-fielder Kevin Kiermaier leaps and makes an over-the-wall catch, robbing Detroit’s Kerry Carpenter of a home run. Plus, other key moments from the home opener you should know about.
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