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Morning Brew: November 3rd, 2008

Photo: "Box Man 1" by Pollock_Marshall, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA:

Only in Canada does someone get charged with driving under the influence... after their lacklustre ice clearing skills tip off observers. Driving a Zamboni with a mickey of vodka in your belly may keep you warm, but can also land you in serious trouble by putting your driver's license on ice.

Despite delays and confusion in rolling it out, the City launches its new fee-based grey bin pay-as-you-throw garbage collection service this week. If you haven't received your bin and/or bag tags, or if you're wondering about oversized items, how you'll be billed, etc. the Star has a decent summary of FAQs on the new garbage collection system.

Would you support a grassroots campaign to fight gentrification in Leslieville by not shopping at certain stores and by smashing windows and spray painting graffiti? That's the message being conveyed on a series of posters popping up in the Leslieville neighbourhood. It's not certain who is behind the signs, but clearly, someone isn't happy about the changes occurring.

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It's a small but symbolic victory for bike lane advocates. A short stretch of Annette St. will be getting a bike lane, despite opposition from business owners who value car parking spots over cycling safety. Now if only we could see the rest of the many kms worth of promised lanes come to reality.

The Toronto Sun appears to have falsely interpreted a leaked internal TTC memo as evidence of a looming series of significant cuts to bus service. Giambrone has since downplayed the significance of the memo, claiming that every year around this time employees are reminded that the system can save money by being more selective about paying out overtime. It'll be a little more crowded on a few routes here and there.

If we can't be guaranteed safety, then we'll have to be compensated. That's the position being taken by unions representing GTA Transit workers, who are following in the footsteps of the TTC and taking their struggle with assaults on drivers to the media. Have we become ten times more violent in just a few years, or have the definition and reporting of assaults changed? (in Mississauga in 2003 there were 4 reported assaults, and in 2007 there were over 40)


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