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Morning Brew: beware the toxic Giant Hogweed, cemetery sexual assault, nerds rule, former police services board members skeptical about G20 review's scope, security cameras to go into storage, not all fences are created equal

A toxic weed is invading Ontario and even parts of Toronto (gasp!). The sap of Giant Hogweed, when exposed to sunlight, can cause blindness, burns, and severe skin problems that you really don't want to become familiar with. Before you abandon your house and run for the hills, check out what it looks like and if you have any doubts abut what's in your yard, call the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for advice.

Pine Hills Cemetery in Scarborough was once again the scene of a horrific crime. A 61-year old woman arrived to visit the grave of her mother and instead was sexually assaulted and violently beaten into unconsciousness in broad daylight. Several hours later she came to, and was able to seek help. A vague suspect description is published. This same 163-acre cemetery was the scene of a homicide last fall.

Make fun of them all you want. But when down the road they're your boss or leagues more successful than you in life, remember -- nerds rule. Getting 100% in all eight of your grade 12 classes is an incredible achievement. Toronto's top high school students get serious high fives and a finger pushing up of the eyeglasses from me.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal awarded $20,000 in damages and lost pay to a woman after she was fired by her employers when they learned that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The employer is also required to learn about the code.

Sick and tired of anything and everything G20? You may choose to stop reading this opinion-filled news roundup at this point. Otherwise, continue reading because lots is still going on. In post-G20 news:

Toronto Police will be releasing a "10 most wanted" list in an attempt to identify and apprehend those who are accused of violence against police and vandalism of property, including the three police cruisers that were destroyed on the Saturday of the G10 summit. Watch for the list, and be sure to help if and where you can.

Former members of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) are suggesting that the planned review of G20 security by the current TPSB "will be inadequate or incomplete without other civilian [oversight] bodies coming forward." The reason? The civilian board has no power to compel testimony beyond their Toronto jurisdiction (i.e. from the provincial and federal agencies that were part of the summit's Integrated Security Unit). I have similar concerns about the Ontario Ombudman's review of the ISU's interpretation, implementation, and communication of the Public Works Act regulations. When I asked Ombudsman Andre Marin the pointed question "if your findings suggest involvement of organizations beyond provincial scope, will you recommended a full pub inquiry?," his response was "Not likely. But it's still early. Let's see where this brings us."

At the same time, activists groups are reaching out to the public and attempting to gather photo and video evidence for their own grassroots investigation. I'm not sure how much this will accomplish ((i.e. it's not likely to be given much credence because hippie protesters deserve everything they got for trying to voice their incoherent causes).

Hundreds of university professors and other educators who put stock in civic duty and democratic processes are certainly displeased that the G20 summit "taught anyone watching clear lessons in fear and apathy: Stay home."

Police have every intention of taking down all of the temporary G20 security cameras that were installed in the downtown core, and storing them in a safe place -- until the next time we hold an event that demands surveillance of this type and magnitude.

And the Globe and Mail tries to convince us that apples can be compared to oranges and takes a hard but fluffy look at the similarities and differences between the G20 security fence and the Honda Indy race fence.

Photo: "IMG_1712" by ybg3, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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