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Saturday Brew: Strike Ultimatum, Ambulance Increase Request, Union Station Facelift, Waterfront Revitalization, iPhone Thefts, and the Power of Cleavage

Photo: "Untitled" by A.K.L.M, member of the blogTo Flickr pool.

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

In a move that may help to end the ongoing municipal workers strike or potentially drive the two sides even further apart, CUPE 416 has set a deadline on negotiations for midnight tomorrow. Mayor Miller remains optimistic in choosing to highlight the urgency this will bring to the bargaining table, but if a deal isn't hammered out this weekend, the city might have to start thinking about using Nathan Phillips Square as a Temporary Dumpsite!

Also related to the strike is the city's request to the Labour Relations Board for an increase in the number of ambulances. Citing a 53 second increase to response time -- rather than Jim Hearst's recent and tragic death -- the city is challenging the 2002 "essential services" agreement that stipulates (only) 75% of EMS workers must remain on the job during strikes.

More encouraging news comes in the form of the announcement that the federal and provincial governments will provide 305 million dollars to refurbish Union Station. Also receiving money from these two governments (and from the city) is Sherbourne Park, the latest project in Waterfront revitalization plans in and around Jarvis and Queen's Quay. Despite the enthusiasm of the politicians involved, I've seen a lot of these groundbreaking ceremonies but not a whole lot of redevelopment over the years.

Those looking to buy an iPhone would do well to avoid doing so through Craigslist, at least for the time being. Police are investigating three robberies in which would-be buyers were relieved of $400 to $600 worth of cash.

And, as if any more proof was needed, a "scientific study" has been conducted on the power of cleavage. Exposing various levels of her breasts, Bianca Merbaum asked males to sign a fictitious petition in an attempt to gauge whether signatures would increase in lockstep with the amount of her cleavage on display. What a surprise, they did.


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