Morning Brew: Balsillie's Bid Back on Table for Coyotes, Union Station to Get Major Facelift, TTC Plants a Green Roof
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
The garbage strike and now the garbage cleanup just keep making the news. After hearing that no overtime would be authorized (although that was said with caveats), now we learn that striking workers have already been able to recoup 21% of lost wages via weekend cleanup overtime, with more to come this week. With unlimited refuse amounts being allowed at the curb, 20% more trucks are being used and workdays are roughly 20% longer. Some say it's necessary to rid the city of stinking trash piles. Others say it's an incentive to strike. I say all I know is that my block never smelled worse than it did yesterday after the collection truck came through.
He may still be skating on thin ice, but billionaire Balsillie is back bidding on the Coyotes. An Arizona judge decided that "any and all" bidders should be able to have a go at the financially-troubled hockey club on September 10th.
The NHL Gary Bettman may not like Balsillie, but really, nobody will bid more for the team and nobody seems as likely to commit to putting a winner on the ice - and fill the seats each and every night.
The western Premiers may be facing an uphill battle to change EI qualifying rules the way they want. According to a federal analysis, the Premiers' plan to impose unified standards to qualify for EI across the country would backfire, with nearly half of Canadians receiving fewer benefits than they get now while 35% see more. Of course the Conservatives' plan may backfire too if they can't find common ground with the Liberals; if the last two weeks are a strong indication, Canadians can expect to go to the polls (again) this fall. Silly me, I didn't realize my Thanksgiving turkey was supposed to come with a side of election.
Will Union Station be a destination for tourists and Torontonians - not just a place to pass through on the way to or from a train - by 2015? That seems to be the goal, as the city overwhelmingly approved leasing out the operation of high end retail space to be created in the major facelift for the historic building. Some councillors aren't convinced it's the way to go, but I don't mind. The overall plan for Union Station is a grand one, something big enough to stir interest, take pride in and make a statement about our city, right downtown. Sometimes letting somebody else manage something - while they pay you to do it - is a good thing.
Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb - of Livent and Fraud fame - were sentenced to seven and six years in prison, respectively. The sentence amounts to a slap on the wrist - they'll appeal, it'll be reduced, then they'll be out in no time on good behaviour - plus they're already out on bail. They must surrender their passports and not be the director of any company, but all of this must make them feel awfully good about being fraudsters outside the jurisdiction of the U.S.of A, where their defrauding colleague Bernie Madoff received 150 years.
The Red Rocket is trying to go Green. The TTC has blanketed it's Eglinton West station with an 835 square metre green roof, mostly planting sedums. Rocket Riders may not notice the change, but passing motorists will have a greener view, and the benefits of the green roof include reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality and an extension of the station's life (thanks to reduced weathering). I think that's what is known as a Triple Win.