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Morning Brew: Sick Leave Payout Discrepancy, Rogers Shuffles Wireless Fees, 14-Year Old Murder Suspect, TTC Map Oopsies, Welcome to Autumn

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

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

Did Mayor Miller know and deliberately hide the truth... that the contentious sick leave payout (which was at the heart of the civic worker strike this summer) was a whopping $450-million (rather than the reported and repeated $250-million)? Kelly McParland at the National Post has an opinion: "The Mayor, it is pretty clear, misled the people of Toronto, and it's hard not to conclude he did it deliberately."

After years of paying it, we now get to moan and whine because new Rogers wireless customers don't have to pay it - that contentious "system access fee." But at the same time that Rogers eliminates the fee (for new subscribers only), they also plan to implement a new "government regulatory recovery fee." If only we could all simply make up fees whenever we wanted to boost our earnings...

A 14-year old girl is being charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of a 61-year old transient man on September 12th. This makes her the youngest person in the GTA's recently recorded history to be charged with the offense, and a candidate to be exhibit A in the greater "we're doomed as a species" case. Her alleged accomplice, a 26-year old man, is still on the lam.

New TTC subway area maps are going up in subway stations, but clearly didn't get a second set of attentive eyes prior to being printed and hung. The one at St. Andrew station, for example, doesn't show the City Hall, the CN Tower or the dome, spells Gardiner Expressway wrong, and incorrectly labels the Eaton Centre as "Eaton's Centre." TTC Chair Adam Giambrone says the maps containing errors will be fixed and replaced by late October.

The projected costs to build the two new TTC subway stations on the Spadina extention (to York University) are on the rise. Unexpected engineering complications, rising construction costs, and city-imposed green standards for new buildings are all being cited as reasons for the hikes far above initial cost estimates.

And happy last day of the summer that never came! Autumn officially arrives at 5:18pm today, on what is shaping up to be a fairly hot and humid day.


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