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Morning Brew: May election polls reveal many undecided voters, Torontonians want TTC board reform, DVP to become "Route of Heroes," no luck for the "Fixer," First Canadian Place losing its marbles, and an unhappy ending in Oakville

Posted by Derek Flack / June 5, 2010

Toronto StormAn Environics poll conducted throughout May suggests that voters are far from decided on who will be Toronto's next mayor. Although George Smitherman is still reported to have the lead at 34 per cent, of the 485 participants, 44 per cent remain undecided. Following Smitherman are Rob Ford (27 per cent), Sarah Thomson (14 per cent), Rocco Rossi (13 per cent), Joe Pantalone (9 per cent), and Giorgio Mammoliti (4 per cent). Perhaps most notable about the new ranking of the candidates is the surge by Thomson, who was at 7% of the decided vote in a Toronto Star-Angus Reid poll conducted last month.

Also interesting are the responses to questions on some of the policies that have been bandied about over the course of the campaign. Some of the highlights: 69 per cent of those interviewed are in favour of TTC reform that would see the board populated with private members as opposed to politicians, 44 per cent would ban the building of bike lanes on major routes moving forward, and 45 per cent like the idea of putting a $5 toll on the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway during rush hour(s) so as to fund subway extension.

Speaking of the DVP, it's about to receive the additional designation "Route of Heroes." Although Mayor David Miller was against the idea of completely renaming the parkway when it was proposed by veteran groups three years ago, he's on board with the new "dual-name" system. Along with this additional designation, the DVP will also be dotted with "Lest We Forget" signs and pictures of poppies on exit ramps. The change comes as part of a plan to raise public awareness of the sacrifices made by our armed forces and will also feature the placement of poppy signs on approximately 100 other city streets.

Meanwhile, the Star is trying to address the early removal of garbage bins from Queens Quay as part of G20 security measures. The bins, many of which were taken away on May 26, have been replaced with plastic bags affixed to hydro and utility poles. Unfortunately, I think this is one situation in which the "Fixer" is in over his head.

As many have likely noticed from the scaffolding that surrounds it, First Canadian Place is getting a makeover. Far from just cosmetic, however, the work on the exterior of the building has much to do with protecting city-dwellers from falling pieces of marble. The Globe has a lengthy feature on the undertaking and how it will modernize the building, which is in fact only 35-years-old.

Is Oakville the GTA's very own Amsterdam, complete with a red-light district? Well, not quite. But, three women have been charged after a massage parlour -- the aptly but crassly named Sapid Sweets -- was determined to be a common bawdy house earlier this week. I guess that's not much of a happy ending for the accused or their clients.

Photo: "storm i" by Soluta, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.



humanoid / June 5, 2010 at 09:11 am
They aren't heroes, their suckers who've been duped by propaganda to fight a war that another class profits from. Same old same old.

And I don't know that 'adverbs are the sign of a weak mind', but the expression 'moving forward' is: how about, 'in future'?
Derek replying to a comment from humanoid / June 5, 2010 at 09:26 am
Substitute your suggestion in and read the sentence out loud. Doesn't sound so good, does it? Not only is it missing an article, but even if "the" was added, it would sound a touch formal for the MB.

And, while we're giving advice, punctuation goes within quotation marks, which I might add, should also be of the double kind in your comment.
416er / June 5, 2010 at 09:27 am
I do not support the actions of the Canadian Armed Forces. Rename a highway in Barrie, not Toronto.

Can't wait till the Moss Park armory is turned into condos.
Fig / June 5, 2010 at 09:46 am
I love a good grammar lesson!
I'm not opposed to the dual naming of the DVP. My office overlooks the DVP and I've witnessed many of the moving and sombre military processions south to the Coroner's office. On each sad occasion, the bridges are filled with others who want to pay their respects.
Mark Dowling / June 5, 2010 at 09:50 am
416er - a highway in Barrie does not form part of the route from CFB Trenton to the Toronto Coroner's Office.

I don't disagree however that there is a case to relocate Moss Park Armoury to keep up the momentum of redevelopment east of Yonge.
jo / June 5, 2010 at 09:53 am
Completely agree with humanoid about the 'Route of Heroes,' these kind of campaigns always end up glorifying war more than condemning it.

And agree about 'moving forward,' I did a double-take when I read that. 'In the future' is definitely better.
KL / June 5, 2010 at 10:01 am
Well, obviously we're undecided. These candidates are the political equivalent of deciding between a Filet O' Fish and a six pack of McNuggets. Either way, there will be gutrot.
movingforward / June 5, 2010 at 10:10 am
"moving forward" isn't too bad. But if I had to change it, I would make it "44 per cent would ban the future construction of bike lanes on major routes."
Anonymous / June 5, 2010 at 10:20 am
Granted, the reasons for this war may not be entirely justified, but when they are, be glad we have men like this to do the job. If everyone thought the way you people do, then we'd have absolutely NO ONE to go to war, where would Canada be then?

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Don't bash the soldier, his patriotism and pride allowed him the courage to put his life on the line for his country, which is a lot more than I can say about you people. Hidden away in your own little bubble of a world, protesting and crying.
BM / June 5, 2010 at 02:03 pm
I hope whoever is voted in as the next mayor does a better job of controlling the city spending.

Also, the toll fees for our highways would be fine idea as it doesn't all go towards administration cost and takes in to the account the extra fees Toronto residents pay for vehicle plate renewals.

Richard Head / June 5, 2010 at 02:32 pm
Call the police if Smitherman wins - he stole $1Billion when health minister.
S / June 5, 2010 at 05:51 pm
It's a shame Trenton doesn't have a coroner.

BH / June 5, 2010 at 08:33 pm
There sure are some dim bulbs out there. The poppy and the name signify the heroism and sacrifice of the soldiers themselves, not the generals and politicans who do their thing.

It's not some glorification of the battles themselves--it's not going to be called "The Highway in Memory of the Glorious Defense of Khandar" like some North Korean fantasy, fer chrissakes.

Soldiers are too easily forgotten as it is--the children of the Netherlands know more about Canadian sacrifice then those in Canada, and that's not right.
Poor Politician replying to a comment from BH / June 6, 2010 at 12:29 am
"Soldiers are too easily forgotten as it is--the children of the Netherlands know more about Canadian sacrifice then those in Canada".

How did you figure that one?
mo / June 6, 2010 at 01:13 am
Highway of Heroes, Route of Heroes, Street of Heroes, Cul-de-sac of Heroes, Sidewalk of Heroes, Traffic Light of Heroes...
Daniel / June 6, 2010 at 07:48 am
It makes no sense nor does the whole G20 thing and no matter what we say they don't give a damn, and they want everyone to be sheep and just put up with it.
Even when the garbage cans are there, I have a problem with them because they want us to push the lever to open them instead of having an open top so I don't have to touch the garbage can. What's with the seal, and how does a person in a wheel chair open the latch to the garbage cans when they are there?
They are only creating angst from the public long before the G20 rather than settle people down.

Daniel .. Toronto
Shaorn replying to a comment from jo / June 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm
I don't think honouring soldiers who have died overseas is glorifying war at all. I don't support the actions in Afghanistan, but I do support the troops who are sent there by the politicians in Ottawa. Remember, the initial purpose of sending troops over there was to help the Afghani people rebuild their country. It has taken on a life of it's own and unfortunately become an armed conflict which results in casualties. This is who we are honouring, not the war itself.
James / June 6, 2010 at 03:50 pm
The so-called "Highway of Heroes" has become something politically incorrect to criticize. But I ask you, is it really a good idea to hold a demonstration on highway overpasses during rush hour on the busiest freeway in North America? I've seen way to many near misses. Someone is going to get killed.

This has gone beyond honouring the death of a soldier - most of whom I think really represent good qualities of this country and honest intentions. But the ritual is based on a bit of military bureaucratic procedure. The participants are making a political statement over the bodies of dead soldiers and I don't like it. Have your ritual somewhere appropriate, like a cenotaph, or an armoury, or the soldier's home town. Having it on the highway is disrespectful. Finally, if you want to live in a country where militarism rules, move south.
BH replying to a comment from Poor Politician / June 6, 2010 at 06:16 pm

“Holland and Canada – no two countries have such a strong bond,” says Gerry van’t Holt, who remembers being a five-year-old awed by the sight of Canadian tanks rolling into his town, Hardenburg, and watching a soldier, who seemed giant, reach down to hand him his first piece of chocolate. Now, Dutch children are taught about the Canadian war effort, and every Christmas Eve at Holten they place a candle on each grave."

Except for the once a year Remembrance Day ceremony (watered down in some schools) Canadian children of a similar age learn little about the heroism and sacrifice of Canadian veterans. And you won't see them anywhere near a cenotaph let alone an actual military cemetery.
elliot / June 6, 2010 at 07:15 pm
regardless on your stance about what our armed forces are doing, our Canadian soldiers who give their lives in the service of our country deserve recognition, and you're a heartless idiot if you say otherwise
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