vespa rider

Morning Brew: Strike Savings, Highway Robbery, City Council Hiatus, and a Flying Pig

Photo: "Riding in Style" by Gabi~, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

A fight that was caught on surveillance video near Yonge-Dundas Square on June 20th (and resulted in a man nearly dying and being knocked into a coma for over a week) also shows a number of witnesses who haven't come forward to help police identify the suspect. One witness even appears to be recording the incident on video on her cell phone. Hopefully she isn't saving the video for her friends' amusement or for a yet-to-be created Toronto Cell Phone Fights YouTube account.

A massive fire that gutted a Mississauga townhouse complex that was still under construction, causing over $10-million in damage, appears to have been arson. Surveillance video shows a figure dressed head to toe in black, lurking around the site before the fire began. The problem is that the still images from the video show nothing more than a figure dressed in black... not much to go on, unless witnesses with a better description can be found.

When an accident results in a radio station's helium-filled mascot flying away, and that mascot happens to be a pig, it makes you wonder if it was an accident or a clever publicity stunt. The media love telling stories that start with cheesy lines like "we all know pigs don't fly, but yesterday in Barrie..." There's a $1000 reward offered for the person that finds the runaway balloon.

With some 30,000 city workers on strike and not collecting their pay from city coffers, does the City of Toronto stand to save money? While it's difficult to evaluate the expenses incurred by the city during strike (paying overtime to non-unionized workers, contracting out services, etc.) and lost revenue caused by the strike, it is possible that when it's all said and done, taxpayers' money is being saved. What happens to that money? Hopefully a break on taxes!

Toronto city councillors are going to get an extra dose of summertime slack after having called off their scheduled July 6-7 meetings, citing the city union strike as the reason. Staff are needed to run the meeting, apparently. Because without someone to refill the coffee pots, someone to figure out how to run the projector, someone to pass out photocopied materials, and someone to open and close the doors to the room, city council can't take on the many issues facing the city.

An apparent hijacking of a truck full of electronics led to snarled traffic on the 401 yesterday afternoon. The driver had been gagged and bound and tossed into the trailer, but somewhere along the road the assailant decided to ditch the truck and flee. It's unclear if the suspect managed to get away with any of the loot.

And a strike at the Globe and Mail was averted late last night, when the union and management agreed to a tentative contract that sees employees getting revisions to their pension plans and wage increases in the future.

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