King Street West

Morning Brew: Use those Cell Phones While you Can, Strike Saves Money, Smitherman to Stay Put?, Cat Police too Powerful?, Sundin Retires and Body Worlds Returns

Photo: "King Street West, One Headlight" by Toronto Creative, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Be sure, while driving, to use those cell phones and other hands-on electronic devices while you can. Toronto Police have been advised to expect the new law banning their use while behind the wheel to kick in between late October and late November. It's the classic seat belt debate all over: should you stop using your phone because it's safer (then stop now!), or because it's the law (it's fine 'til November!)?

The so-called garbage strike seems like a long time ago, but the city figured out they saved $33.2 million on garbage - $36.1 million overall - giving councillors some money to argue about how to use. Most suggest the money should roll into next year's operating budget but Councillor Doug Holyday wants a rebate to all residents. By my math residents would get a max of about $14, which hardly seems worth it to me. He's probably just annoyed the city wants to raise garbage fees by a few bucks per household.

Well is he or isn't he? Premier McGuinty assured us yesterday that the mighty Minister Smitherman is "not going anywhere," something somewhat confirmed by Smitherman himself who says he's busy running two big government ministries. Somehow all this has just amplified speculation that the provincial heavyweight will be running for mayor in Toronto next year. Expect an announcement in January, and endless speculation about Smitherman's motives until then.

Telemarketers are ignoring the do-not-call list and thumbing their noses at the CRTC, ignoring the fines sent their way. Yet the CRTC bends over to protect the telemarketers' names. We're to expect four more names of violators this week, but really, how hard would it be to go public right away and really enforce a rule? Does the CRTC really think the public say, "oh no, really, I want all the calls! Please don't hurt these telemarketers!"

Mats Sundin is hanging up the skates for good, according to Swedish reports announcing his retirement. Sundin's accomplishments include 4 gold medals - one Olympic, 3 Word Championship - but no Stanley Cup (go Leafs!). But we'll see if he's really just channeling Brett Favre and decides to start playing in month or two.

The Star's very own Joe Fiorito has two cats not in the window (and apparently trained to stay away from doors), but the 'cat police' found him out anyway and he's none too pleased that they may have been peeping in his windows to do it.

The mind-boggling and amazing Body Worlds exhibit returns to the Science Centre in just over a week. Last time around, in 2005, the Centre anticipated mass demonstrations about real bodies being on display, but instead got mass attendance. All I know is that the Body Worlds exhibit I saw is among the most incredible things I've ever seen.


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