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Morning Brew: George Smitherman Mayoral Run, Emergency Non-Essential Services, Suspected Prowler Nabbed, World Pride Bid, New Unnamed Park, National Literacy Levels

Photo: "Shockwave of Light" by Daifuku Sensei, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

14 months from now we'll be having a municipal election that may or may not see us elect a new mayor. George Smitherman (Ontario's Energy Minister) is hinting that he may be running for the top job, while polls are showing that David Miller has reason to start his re-election campaigning right away.

Declaring emergency services like ambulances essential services is not in the cards. Instead, in the event of a worker strike, these services will be required to continue running at 75% staffing levels. But if they can run with 25% of staff picketing, without posing danger to the public, what does that say about the need for those employees and/or their workload?

Residents in the Spadina & College and Dundas & McCaul areas might be sleeping a little more soundly now, given that police have made a long-anticipated arrest. A suspect is in custody and is charged with various prowling, voyeurism, and public indecency offences.

Pride Toronto event organizers announced yesterday that they'll be vying for the 2014 World Pride event. This is one international event that I think we have a shot at winning, and actually benefiting from (unlike our many failed sporting event bids).

A new, yet-to-be-named park will celebrate its opening today, in the CityPlace condo-boomed area just west of the SkyDome. The park touts a hill that's higher than the Gardiner (and perhaps has toboggan-potential), contours designed by Douglas Coupland, and a giant red canoe.

And our national literacy skills are alarmingly low. An interactive online map (which doesn't reveal data for Toronto, unfortunately) shows Southern Ontario being relatively green (good) and Atlantic Canada and Quebec relatively red (bad). Draw your own conclusions.


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