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Morning Brew: July 11th, 2008

Photo: "DSC_0948" by Louis Tam, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

Your Toronto morning news roundup for Friday July 11th, 2008:

Toronto city councillors are so confused by the "bullshit baffles brains" approach the City takes in reporting its financial statements, that even those who are qualified chartered accountants don't understand them. Perhaps if they dropped the jargon, the people who make decisions about how we spend might actually know how to make decisions about spending.

New young drivers may see stricter rules imposed soon. A cell phone ban, and extending the zero alcohol limit for drivers to the age of 21 (up from 19) are proposed changes to the Ontario graduated and standard licensing policies. McGuinty loves making rules, but once again, I fail to understand how his rules will be effectively enforced. Perhaps we can force drivers to display a sign in their windows, declaring their age - this could bode well for the singles/dating scene in Ontario too.

The TTC's fuel budget is going to skyrocket in January 2009, when the deal they currently have that locked cost at $0.87/L expires. What will this mean for riders? I don't think we need to gaze too deeply into a crystal ball to see a fare hike in the new year.

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Despite soaring fuel costs, tourists are still flocking to Toronto en masse in 2008. Yes, they're flocking. The only differences between Toronto tourists and Toronto birds is that tourists don't fly into skyscrapers at night, and birds take better photos.

The obvious: the Don Valley Parkway is not for pedestrians and cyclists. If you try to walk your bike across a highway, you may end up hit by (and lodged in) a car, and lucky to be alive.

In part 2 of the CityNews local commercial series, we get the background story of the Lastman's Badboy furniture store chain. I don't think it's a surprise to learn that it was Blayne Lastman's idea to put his own face in the ads. Noooobody at an ad agency would have backed that decision.

And rather than point you to a news item from the Globe and Mail today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to express my disdain for their being co-opted by real estate agencies. These linked "articles" appear as news items, dispersed within real articles on the main page of the Ontario section, and when I surf for Morning Brew items, I often get tricked by them. It's deceptive and annoying on so many levels.


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