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Morning Brew: December 30, 2008

Photo: "Dreaming away my time in the greenhouse." by gardinergirl, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Toronto's $2 million video surveillance camera project wraps up tomorrow night. I'm torn on cameras... I don't want Toronto to be Big Brother, but I also don't want crime to escalate. Given their usefulness in cases like the March 14 shooting death of 18-year-old Abdikarim Ahmed Abdikarim, where two cameras caught it all on tape and led to the arrest of suspects, I tend to give cameras the benefit of the doubt. Anyhow, an outside review "over the next couple months" to decide if cameras should be retained sounds an awful lot like Toronto code for "where ideas go to die." No word if that death will be caught on tape.

Not a good day for kids - or parents - yesterday. Thomas Chung Tam, a 36 year old babysitter, has been accused of sexually assaulting a child he has been babysitting for 2 years, and it is believed there are other victims. Elsewhere, a 3 year old girl was found face down and unconscious in a bathtub and is now recovering in hospital. I'll be a parent in April... never going out (or letting my child out of my sight) is starting to sound better and better. Well, that and not hiring 36 year old single men to babysit.

He'll be taking a break to host a New Years Party, but David Miller has big plans for 2009. The Globe and Mail had a year-end sit down with the Mayor to re-cap the year that was and what's on tap. I'm sure it will be a shock to hear that the economy is top of mind for 2009. What's more interesting to me is viewing everything through the lens of the Mayor positioning himself for a Novemember 2010 re-election bid. Methinks he better start showing some true leadership, and fast. Oh yeah, and get that transit plan going.

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Firefighters collecting debris from a just-extinguished fire in a construction site near York & Front Streets found a body. I wonder if firefighters ever think in those cases, "whew... not my job," as the police then get busy investigating. Last I heard on the radio is that it was probably a homeless man who started the fire to keep warm and then somehow plunged to his death. I don't want to speculate too much on where the breakdown was in having proper shelter for this guy, but Toronto has a better system than starting fires in construction sites.

CBC Radio 2 is collecting suggestions for their list of 49 Songs from North of the 49th Parallel to "define Canada to President-Elect Obama." Official selection will begin January 5th, and there's no word on whether Obama will actually listen to the music, but any effort to make sure the US notices its neighbour to the north seems like a fine idea to me. Neil Young's Living with War should be on the list as a reminder of Obama's promise to leave Iraq.


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