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Morning Brew: Batteries and metal found in passenger's shoes at Pearson Airport, Bills to compete with Argos, gun at Yonge-Dundas Square pot rally, politicians talk road tolls, city councillor pay assessment

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / April 21, 2010

tfcThere's a pretty wacky story coming out of Pearson Airport. Yesterday a man was detained for several hours before being released unconditionally after suspicious materials -- including batteries and metal -- were found in his shoes during security screening. It turns out the guy wasn't planning to blow anything up; he just wanted to appear to be taller for superficial reasons. It seems that this guy is not only height-challenged -- he's also short a few screws in the coconut. Who puts batteries in their shoes to enhance their height, and walks through airport security?

"Buffalo Bills to go head-to-head against Argonauts" is a misleading headline that might make you think the NFL team is slated to play (and in all likelihood completely destroy) our CFL team. This is not the case, though. For the first time ever, the Buffalo Bills will be playing an NFL regular-season game here in Toronto during the CFL season on November 7th (on the same day the Argos play in Montreal).

The Toronto Hash Mob's peaceful pot protest at Yonge-Dundas Square took a very unexpected turn to bloody violence yesterday when some punk reportedly pulled a gun just minutes before the scheduled mass joint light up. One man was treated in hospital after allegedly being pistol whipped, and a suspect is in custody after bystanders in the crowd jumped in to apprehend and restrain him until police arrived. Plenty of media and photographers were around at the time (see CityNews video embedded below) and some captured the scene - including the crowd scatter when the gun made its cameo.

Are road tolls in Toronto an inevitable reality that politicians are poised to accept and debate but residents and visitors not yet willing to embrace? It would appear so. Imagine how horrific traffic on the 401 would become across the top of the city if road tolls were implemented on the Gardiner. It's almost inconceivable, given how horrific things already are!

We're used to hearing about them during periods of major freeze and/or thaw, but yesterday a broken water main closed Front Street East had to be closed between George Street and Lower Sherbourne. A sink hole in the road caused a rupture and a significant amount of water gushed onto and flooded the street. We've been warned that our road and water infrastructure are in really bad shape, so I suspect we'll see more of this throughout the summer.

City Hall has hired consultants (at a fee of $50,000) to conduct an "Elected Officials Compensation Review" to determine whether or not our 44 city councillors should be given another pay raise. It's head spinning stuff for some people, and quite interesting to see how the mayoral candidates are responding.


Photo: "Win You Must" by lipsofcrimson, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.



geg / April 21, 2010 at 09:08 am
The video isn't loading for me
Christopher / April 21, 2010 at 09:26 am
Once again, those silly folks down at Toronto City Hall are showing just how responsible they are with City of Toronto monies.
How about just asking Torontonians to make the decision for them in the upcoming election?
Rob / April 21, 2010 at 09:48 am
Ah, nothing like a pot rally to bring out all the upstanding citizens of Toronto....
Joel / April 21, 2010 at 10:18 am
Road tolls are complicated, and can be costly to implement. A municipal gas tax would accomplish the same thing without the negative side effects of road tolls. Montreal and Vancouver already have one. However, it will not act as a very visible encouragement to seeking transportation alternatives,as it will just be added into the cost of a litre of gasoline. Food for thought.
David / April 21, 2010 at 10:21 am
Love the picture at the top.
Rob replying to a comment from Joel / April 21, 2010 at 10:38 am
There is a gas tax. It was first implemented to fight the deficit in the late 80s-early 90s. Then under the Martin gov't some of it was shifted to cities as a yearly transfer. So it exists but it's now just seen as a tax on a tax, because you still pay GST on gasoline. It goes into general coffers. If taxes like this were specifically directed towards transit initiatives, that would be an improvement.
Mike replying to a comment from Rob / April 21, 2010 at 11:01 am
Number of people who had to call in sick to work to attend that rally: 0
Lori / April 21, 2010 at 02:33 pm
Okay, I get that every 420 people gather at Queens Park but why Yonge-Dundas Square all the sudden. I understand they still gathered at Queens Park but still, why? It was a lovely day and probably no businesses in the vicinity of that could take advantage and have their doors open.
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