poster staples

Morning Brew: Humidex is Back, Public Dissent and Panic Over City and LCBO Strikes, School Pools on Death Row

Photo: "Staples" by andyscamera, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Summer heat has finally arrived! Don't complain, folks. The return of the Humidex is what we've been waiting for... for what, 9 months or so? Enjoy it. Get sweaty with the one you love. Make sangria using Ontario wine. Breathe through your mouth and imagine that the mounting piles of garbage are dolphins playing in the ocean.

The LCBO (the government-mandated and union-staffed retail monopoly, and the only place to legally buy liquor in Ontario) have extended their strike deadline indefinitely as negotiations between the union and management continue. Yesterday shelves were stripped bare by concerned independent restaurant and bar owners, and those who really need/like their drink. If/when the union does strike (I'm thinking they'll come to a settlement quickly enough), there are some very limited alternatives to the LCBO retail stores. Smaller Ontario wineries may stand to benefit from the strike, but licensees (restaurant and bar owners) and wine importing agencies are basically held hostage.

Garbage continues to pile up in the city as the city union workers continue their strike. Things are getting messy on the streets and at the few transfer stations, where by-law officers are ticketing people that bring their garbage there but give up on waiting in line and drop their waste near the entrance. Public opinion on the issue is quickly becoming landslide condemnation.

School trustees are set to vote on the fate of liquid candy vending machines in our schools. Will they put the long-term health of our children ahead of a short-term financial deal with Pepsi? It's sad that this is even something that has to be pondered, but it's the reality of a cash-strapped province.

Several public school swimming pools in Toronto are facing closure, and a bunch more are on what looks like their last lap unless alternative sources of funding can be secured. Seven are slated for immediate draining, while another 17 may remain active until the end of August.

And TIFF has made a major announcement, unveiling a number of feature films that will be screened at this year's film festival. A look at how cities around the world are evolving is emphasized. Can't wait!


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