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Morning Brew: March 12th, 2009

Photo: "Pushing the TTC Around" by ariehsinger, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Unionized GM workers voted overwhelmingly in support of proposed cost-cutting measures that include a wage freeze (average pay remains at $34/hr), reduction in paid time off (from 80h down to 40h), and saying bye-bye to special bonuses. I'm thinking it's not nearly enough. In related news, Chrysler is talking tough and threatening to pull out of Canada entirely if the government doesn't come up with a massive bailout and workers agree to major wage cuts. I'm thinking it's too much.

Once every few years we get to observe to an act of lunacy at Niagara Falls. While yesterday's rescue of a man who went over the falls and survived pales in comparison to the 1995 fatal attempt that involved a Jet Ski, this one did have a rather cool helicopter finish.

Governments are scrambling a bit, trying to figure out if and how to regulate the newest in smoking technology. The Star has an interesting piece on tobacco-free "electronic cigarettes", a plastic tube gadget that emulates smoking and delivers nicotine without the smoke and tar.

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A major operation targeting crack houses and drug dens on Queen East between Leslievile and the Beaches has netted a whack of crack and meth and guns, and has resulted in a bunch of arrests. The Post looks at the reactions of residents and local business owners to the cleanup effort by police.

The Toronto District School Board has voted in favour of cutting staff as a means of dealing with a projected budget shortfall for 2009-2010. About 150 positions (mostly educational assistants, librarians, and a few regular teaching positions) may be on the chopping block.

Ads depicting scenes from a violent video game are being yanked a week early from bus shelters across the city after concerned teachers and parents in Scarborough and Regent Park filed complaints. Sony has stated that they didn't have precise control over where the ads ended up, and that they're sensitive to community concerns.


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