Morning Brew: January 20th, 2009

Photo: "captured city" by Reza Vaziri, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

1960s American activist Bill Ayers was supposed to give a lecture in Toronto this week but was turned away by border officers upon arrival in Canada. What gives? The guy has clearly demonstrated that he's not a threat to anyone... I mean, you try to bomb several high profile political targets and not kill anyone in the process. It's not easy to be that successful. (if you haven't seen the documentary "The Weather Underground", I suggest you run to your local video store!).

Things got very wowzers in the Omar Khadr case yesterday when an FBI agent testified that Khadr had previously identified by name Canadian Maher Arar and claimed to have previously seen Arar at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. This is the same Maher Arar that was tortured in Syria and has since been cleared of any wrongdoing and given a $10.5million settlement by Canada. So who's lying? Khadr, Arar, or the FBI agent?

After video of a TTC subway running with doors wide open made headline news, the TTC has responded by suggesting that a criminal investigation may result. If the doors were tampered with intentionally, by someone with knowledge of the mechanics, does that mean that a disgruntled TTC employee is responsible? Or are the doors simply too easily sabotaged by any Tom, Dick, or Harry that feels like causing a stir? Either way, it's got to be fixed.

The next time you walk past "Hooker Harvey's", you may see more than hookers. Another risque ad campaign for talk radio CFRB is making the news. The first time around they had homeless people toting ads, and now they've solicited the help of prostitutes to advertise the radio station on street corners. CFRB execs should take some of this over-the-top creative juice and share it with the folks running their brutally crappy Twitter account, which is a shining example of how NOT to use Twitter for promotional efforts.

And writer and indie filmmaker David Bezmozgis' film Victoria Day, which chronicles the life of an immigrant teen growing up in the Toronto suburbs in the 1980s, will be one of 12 Canadian films showing at the 2009 Sundance film festival. This is one that I'm going to have to seek out since it was shot in our beloved burbs (where I also grew up in the '80s)!

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