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Morning Brew: Flat Fee at U of T, Outdoor Workers Authorize Strike, Tutti Matti Wins Hearts

Photo: "The Arch" by mike|barwick, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Students taking less than a full load of courses at U of T will be paying more this fall after a flat rate fee was approved last night. The change will be phased in, with a $1,000 increase hitting students with 4 courses next year and students enrolled in 3 courses getting an increase the following year. Unsurprising to hear is that the move is controversial, and students don't like it.

Our city's outdoor workers, represented through CUPE LOcal 416, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate. Union leaders don't, apparently, think it'll happen anytime soon, but negotiations with the city haven't gotten very far. Summer would not be when I want the garbage piling up, roads going unrepaired or paramedics not on duty.

Bad news out of Woodstock. After arresting two suspects police confirmed they are looking for Victoria Stafford's body and that she was murdered. There must be a mountain of details behind closed doors that the media - and most anybody who half paid attention to this case - are just itching to hear. Not sure if that's more innate curiosity or a societal desire to make sense of this senseless tragedy.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair's contract is up next year, but he'll be getting a renewal today, making him the first top cop in this city to get re-upped. Does that sort of job security have a trickle down effect?

It's not exactly the headline maker it was a short while ago, but Ontario health officials are reporting 85 new cases of H1N1 (aka swine flu), 37 of them here in Toronto. That brings Ontario's total to 272. I guess the near 30 degree weather and mild sunburn from Tuesday have faded flu memories from my mind.

Tutti Matti is a well-regarded Toronto restaurant, but the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino came over to award the Leccio d'Oro 2009 to chef and proprietor Alida Solomon. Shinan Govani was on hand and was downright smitten with Solomon, described as "equal parts pugilist and hedonist."

The times, they are a changin'. The Globe and Mail website has a new look designed to better take advantage of the way people use the web, and at first glance it does seem to do a better job of presenting all the ways to get information about a story (article, pics, video, etc). But more interesting is that instead of writing an article about the new look the editor-in-chief made a video.

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