waiting for subway

Morning Brew: Drivetest Employee Strike Threatened, Toronto Economic Report is Scary, Project Isis Nets Bling, Concern Over Fake Amber Alerts

Photo: "In the light" by eudaimon, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

The summer of strike threats continues, and this time its the workers at Ontario's Drivetest examination centres are poised to walk out. Their 2am contract negotiation deadline was extended this morning, which I suppose is a good sign. But if they don't reach an agreement by 2am Friday, all scheduled written and road tests will be canceled.

A sobering City report on our fiscal state is confirming what most of us in Toronto have been aware of for quite some time. Unemployment and welfare caseload are skyrocketing, and building permits and retail sales are on sharp declines. And while one of the nation's most important economic and cultural centers bleeds profusely, what is our federal government doing to help?

Some people aren't feeling the pinch of the recession and can still manage to live in high-end condos and drive luxury cars despite being unemployed. A raid following a long-term police operation called Project Isis in Durham netted a bunch of suspected drug dealers, along with all kinds of goods including guns, real estate, snazzy vehicles, and loads of narcotics and cash.

Howard Moscoe is looking to revisit and revamp a city by-law that aims to prevent for-profit used clothing companies from being mistaken for charitable organizations. The current by-law, which is supposed to force the companies to get licenses for boxes and clearly indicate on they that they are for-profit, clearly isn't working or being enforced at all.

It's hard to have much faith in humanity when people do completely scummy things like issue fake amber alerts that go viral and waste resources and put people who really are in need in further danger. Apparently the advent of online social networking tools is making this kind of problem worse, unfortunately.

And a TTC bus driver was left unharmed but shaken after being threatened with a knife last night. While protective plastic dividers have been installed on some buses, they're not on all yet, but there's no telling how effective they'll be or how they'll influence this kind of crazy passenger behaviour.

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