Morning Brew: Toronto Star Planning Major Restructuring, John Tory Polling Well, Lottery Con Dupes Senior, 2010 Capital Budget gets Transit Focus, David Chen's Kidnapping Charge Dropped
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
Toronto's capital budget for 2010 will focus largely on transit initiatives including spending $217.6 million on new subway cars (nice, but crucial?), dedicating $72 million for new buses (much needed, in my opinion), and injecting $22.6 million for new bike lanes (which will make cycling advocates happy and drivers unhappy) . We're also likely to see a TTC fare hike in the New Year.
Given that the 2010 race for mayor is still a long ways away, it's not surprising that an early poll (PDF) shows almost half of Torontonians undecided on which would-be candidate they'd support. It's also not surprising that John Tory leads in polling, given that he's able to campaign daily on the radio.
Police in Etobicoke are warning residents about a con involving a couple of "non-citizens" who claim that they're unable to collect lottery winnings due to their status. I know most astute people wouldn't take strangers they just met in a bus shelter to an ATM and give them $18,000... but it did happen to one very unfortunate senior.
The Toronto Star is planning a massive restructuring with aims to dramatically lower operating costs, including offering voluntary departure with severance and contracting out copy editing and pagination jobs. Expanding the plan by doing the same with editorial production also a possibility. I can't help but feel that the quality of reporting will be greatly affected by such drastic staff and workflow changes.
It happens every year - the first sign of any winter-like weather, and we see significant and numerous road accidents. Drivers are unprepared to adjust their driving to the conditions and the result on the 400 north of Barrie were disastrous yesterday.
And Chinatown grocer David Chen saw the indictable kidnapping charge against him dropped, but still faces assault and forcible confinement charges. Instead of being tried by jury, his fate will now be sealed by a judge, 8 months from now.
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