Morning Brew: October 28th, 2008

Photo: "oh Canada, oh brother..." by Lyndsay Jobe, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA:

Should the Yonge St subway line go all the way up to Highway 7? Vaughan city councillors say yes. With that affirmation in hand, I'm sure nothing at all could derail the plan that involves getting nearly $18 billion from provincial and federal coffers.

Oh, right, except for the economy. Bay street banker's heads are spinning and it's not vertigo in the tops of those towers. Nope, that nausea comes from the latest TSX freefall, this time down 756 points to the lowest closing price in over 4 years. Looking to capitalize on the latest thrill ride, I hear Canada's Wonderland has decided to sponsor the TSX this winter.

Of course with all the economic turmoil, one effect nobody seems to be complaining about is gas prices. If the mighty prognosticator of pump prices Dan McTeague is right, you should be able to fill up for about 93 cents/litre today. I'm glad I held off filling 'er up last night. I honestly thought sub-$1 prices were a thing of the past, you know, since way back in, well, last year.

Looks like Ontario will take a step closer to banning cell phones while driving - and texting, emailing and GPS - today. If you're like me, you forgot McGuinty & Co. were looking into a widespread ban on driving distractions. Makes sense to revisit it now, though, when there's not much else to debate in parliament.

If online petitions are any judge, there seems to be renewed momentum to declare the TTC an essential service. More pressing, and perhaps even more essential, is to deal with the crappy hybrid busses now in operation. And as long as I'm piling it on, apparently new TTC signs are confusing to visitors. Something tells me we'll be hearing from Adam Giambone later telling us the TTC is great, this is just normal business operation. I gotta believe there's a Better Way...

Charles Dubin passed away yesterday, which for most 89 year olds with pneumonia would be unremarkable. But it was Dubin, in the wake of Ben Johnson's gold medal disgrace, who headed the 1989 "Dubin inquiry", which exposed a culture of doping that was until then a secret. Nothing funny here; Dubin was a good man and good citizen and deserves the posthumous recognition he is is receiving. Nearly 20 years later and doping is still rampant in sports at the elite level, and track and field still hasn't really recovered.

Toronto-based playwright Daniel MacIvor won the $100k Siminovitch prize last night. His theatre company, da da kamera, started by MacIvor right of George Brown, went dark for good last year and this money will go a long way to getting MacIvor financially stable again. I don't know his work (or maybe I just don't know that I know his work, you know?), but good for him.

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