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Morning Brew: January 14, 2009

Photo: "Icicle" by ~EvidencE~, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Not that this breaking news or anything, but, uh, it's very cold (and GO Transit is having big troubles). And just in case you haven't heard, it's not getting better soon.

Not too long ago dogs were getting poisoned in High Park and now just a click or two away dogs are getting electrocuted on a Keele Street sidewalk, near Annette. Hydro teams have made it a high priority to find the cause of the problem, which is good, since paramedics won't have 20 minutes to try to resuscitate a dog every day.

Get this. A Scarborough Grand Union Steinberg's Miracle Food Mart Dominion Metro store is the newest nominee for heritage property status. Apparently the store is a "rare example of a late 20th century commercial building."

Bad news for Nortel. With a loan repayment due later this week and the company stock trading under 50 cents (down well over 90%), it looks like Canada's previously-richest company is about to file for bankruptcy. Investors won't like this, but if Nortel does file for bankruptcy common shares would be worthless. Of course, at yesterday's close at 38 cents per share, they pretty much already are worthless.

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Want to build green? Transport Minister John Baird says that means you should be able to build fast. He wants to eliminate federal environmental assessments from green projects. I like his intention of helping get environmentally-friendly projects off the ground. But doesn't it seem awfully ironic that the enviro-friendly projects would bypass the environmental assessment?

"Our computers ate the data" will no longer be a valid excuse for Toronto municipal agencies in withholding information. The Star is claiming victory after winning a lawsuit that requires city agencies to comply with all Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests, even if it means writing new software. The court determined that the city, believe it or not, is also a part of the "information age" the rest of us live in.

It may not have been the superstar himself, but Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe was on hand at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. He shared insight into potential Canada-U.S. relations under Obama and how to run effective campaigns in the internet world. I hear several Liberals were taking extensive notes.


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