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Morning Brew: Budget committee approves $9.4 billion spending plan, teacher's strike is unlawful, Gardiner by numbers, Jack Layton Way, and an Ikea monkey game

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 11, 2013

toronto food standToronto's budget committee has approved an $9.4 billion operating budget for 2013 that includes money for new firefighters, paramedics, and curbside leaf collection in Etobicoke and Scarborough. The team also approved $6 million of arts funding using cash from the city's billboard tax coffers. "We're working as a team today," Rob Ford told reporters. The spending plan still needs to be approved by council. Are you in favour of the budget councillor Josh Colle is calling "a really positive step"?

There's confusion this morning as parents with school-age kids try to decide whether to send them to school. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled a planned walkout by elementary school teachers is illegal around 4 am this morning, causing some schools to reverse decisions to stay closed. Most bus services, however, remain cancelled.

The Grid has a useful primer on the protracted saga of the Gardiner Expressway that details the amount of cash spent keeping the elevated roadway standing and the various replacement methods pitched and tossed over the years. So far the city has spent more than $313 million on the highway, excluding a whopping $505 million in repairs needed to overcome the problem of falling concrete being kicked around city hall. How best can we solve this issue?

A street in the new Bridgepoint Health complex could be named for late NDP leader Jack Layton. If city council approves, a portion of what is now the Don Jail Roadway would be renamed Jack Layton Way in honour of the former city councillor who died of cancer in 2011.

A hot dog stand at the Air Canada Centre has become an odd victim of the change in leadership at the Maple Leafs. Burkie's Dog House is now, simply, The Dog House following arrival of new GM Dave Nonis. Should MLSE rename the high-end wiener stand for another member of the team?

If, when you heard about Ikea Monkey, you wondered what it would like to run through a furniture store parking lot in nothing but a shearling coat and a diaper, read on. A team of animation students at Seneca College have put together a Frogger-meets-Mario Bros. platform game that allows players to take an excursion as Toronto's most famous primate, with the addition of poo. Enjoy.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "Open All Night" by cookedphotos from the blogTO Flickr pool.



Apple / January 11, 2013 at 08:52 am
Just when you thought things couldn't get more bungled the teachers and the government figure out a brand new way to piss everybody off with this morning's school's off school's on shit show.
Rich / January 11, 2013 at 08:55 am
Bravo ETF & OSSFT. Lots of happy parents today because of your antics. You guys are totally winning the PR war.
Ford4ever / January 11, 2013 at 09:39 am
I'm curious. Why do all the renamed streets follow the "Firstname Lastname Way" naming protocol?

"Jack Layton Way" is a bit of a mouthful. Why not "Layton Street?"
Alex / January 11, 2013 at 09:43 am
If the Leafs miraculously win the cup this year, does it still really count? They usually only do good half the year, and they tend to alternate between sucking at the beginning and the end, so if this half season is the good half, they stand a chance. Would the management have to apologize to Burke since it would be with all his players?
Maple Leaves replying to a comment from Alex / January 11, 2013 at 09:53 am
I say this with no irony whatsoever: This will be the year the Leafs finally win, and obvious jokes and controversy will ensue.

Rest assured haters, they'll go back to sucking next year.
jack / January 11, 2013 at 10:02 am
Shouldn't Layton's street lead to a rub and tug?
Notahipster / January 11, 2013 at 10:07 am
I am very happy that the teacher strike are now illegal and our kids can have some stability in school now. I dropped my kids off to school on time, and they are happy to be there.
Tony / January 11, 2013 at 10:57 am
Teachers should put to a vote, how many really want to be part of a union. They are taking the teachers down the river with them, bullying at its best. They have no voice at all! How do they feel surrending their workplace rights to their union??? Have they asked themselves that question instead of being puppets to the union masters. 2014 will bring major changes to education this is just the beginning!!
the lemur replying to a comment from Ford4ever / January 11, 2013 at 11:02 am
The full name thing is probably because in following the 'Last Name Street' pattern in the past, the significance of the naming tended to get lost. It would be nice, though, if the city could add something to the street signs to explain the dedication, as is done in other cities, but that's probably too much to ask.

It's not always 'Way': there's Oscar Romero Place, Victor Jara Lane, Bishop Tutu Blvd, etc. But 'Way' does tend to be used when it involves renaming a section of an existing street (Ed Mirvish Way, Blue Jays Way).
Haha / January 11, 2013 at 11:20 am
So, Jack Layton Way. Left turns only I assume?
Jay / January 11, 2013 at 01:43 pm
While I have never been a fan of Layton's politics I think the street naming is an appropriate tribute to someone who devoted his time to public service an the city. This "should" be a no brainier for council.
phuong / January 11, 2013 at 01:50 pm
great photo here!
Tommy replying to a comment from Tony / January 11, 2013 at 01:52 pm
I'm not quite sure you understand what a union is...
Me replying to a comment from Tommy / January 11, 2013 at 03:00 pm
I think he understands it perfectly. You either go along with what the Union says or be ostracised/punished for it.
CanoeDave / January 11, 2013 at 05:02 pm
The Teachers Charter claim will be squashed by the Courts just as their vacuous arguments at the Labour Board were thrown out. Too many people have bought the absurd message that this is not about money, sick days and power and the story of a vindictive union leadership fighting a government that they thought they had bought with copious amounts of third party election spending only to discover that the public bank was empty. In many ways it is all about the failure of corruption.
JB replying to a comment from jack / January 11, 2013 at 05:13 pm
I don't think they want to rename the street your mom lives on.
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