ttc streetcar

Morning Brew: Union Threats, Reactionary Photoshoppery, Juror Racial Bias

Photo: "The Real Jerk..." by chewie2008~, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Remember how stinky things got in 2002, when a strike by unionized city workers lasted several weeks and garbage piled up on our streets? Certain parts of the city were essentially unvisitable. If that's not leverage for having demands met, I don't know what is. Hopefully reasonable contractual agreements can be made this time, avoiding a possible June 22nd strike, and the hoarding of clothespins within city limits.

When news got out on Wednesday that the city had digitally altered the front cover of the Summer Fun Guide, by creating a more ethnically diverse picture (by quite poorly swapping out a white man for a black man using Photoshop), the people responded. With hilarious Photoshops of their own.

Should non-citizens be allowed to vote in municipal elections, or should that privilege be reserved for those that are dedicated enough to have pursued the process of becoming a Canadian citizen? It's a tough one. In many cases, non-citizens (i.e. permanent residents that haven't obtained citizenship) contribute to the same or more extent than many citizens do, by being engaged in their communities, paying taxes, etc. And the issue is on Mayor David Miller's radar as he hopes to be re-elected.

Ever wonder how easy or how difficult it is to drive a TTC bus? I have. And this afternoon, I'll get to learn first-hand, when I actually drive an Orion VII! The TTC is hosting the 38th annual "Bus and Maintenance Roadeo", where the best drivers on staff take on obstacles and vie for top driver status. I've been invited to try my hands and feet and eyes behind the wheel, and I'll be sure to let you know what it's like.

A Toronto judge wants to change the wording in juror questioning regarding racial bias. As it stands, potential jurors are asked if their ability to arrive at an impartial verdict may "be affected by the fact the accused is black." Instead, something along the lines of "be affected by the race of the accused" would be far more 2009 racist and less 1960 racist. All sarcasm aside, and sadly, I think it's a reasonable move because people of all races have the potential to be biased against all other races.

And local Jewish groups are mad at gay rights activists for allowing an outspoken Muslim who is against Palestine apartheid to marshal the Pride Parade. Or something like that. My head is spinning after reading the Sun article.

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