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Morning Brew: Homeless Shifting West, Rocco Who?, Payday Loan Limits, Doc Halladay to Philly?, Remembering David Pecaut

Photo: untitled by mishiko, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

A recent study shows that homeless youth in Toronto are abandoning glossy Yonge street as their domain, shifting toward more westerly parts of the city (between Dufferin and Spadina, and south of Bloor) with better vibe, and less rules. Unfortunately, they're also be moving away from established community outreach programs and shelters, which begs the question: should the city be seeking to create more of these in the west end?

Ever feel reluctant to give money to a homeless person who claims to be starving, in fear that they'll use your donation to cure their drug or alcohol fix instead of curbing their hunger? Volunteers from 6 St. Joseph House, which offers free meals to the needy, will be out and about on Thursday, trading meal coupons for donations. After buying coupons, people can then pass them on to the homeless and feel confident that their donation is going to feeding the needy and not feeding addiction. Is this a good concept, or is it demeaning?

So who is this Rocco Rossi fellow, who comes off as really confident and... odd? Starting his press conference and announcing his intentions to run for mayor of Toronto in 2010, Rossi used jokes about not needing to have good hair to be mayor. I assume he was referring to Miller's uncontrollable quaff? (Smitherman doesn't exactly qualify.) He then went on in multiple languages, gave radio and TV stations soundbites about being fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and uttered his own name in the form of pointed questions that we all would love to hear the answers to: Rocco what? Rocco when? Rocco how?

How is allowing payday loan companies to gouge $21 for every $100 loaned protecting consumers? Sure, this newly announced maximum is less than in other provinces, and sure, it's almost on par with what credit card companies are applying, but it seems like a perfect setup for enhancing the rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer problem we face.

It looks like it's bye bye for Toronto Blue Jays Roy Halladay. But it's not such a bad move. Giving away older, veteran talent for young prospects is good for building the future. Fans are likely crossing their fingers in hopes that one or more of the incoming youngsters ends up being decent.

And Toronto also says a heartfelt goodbye to David Pecaut, the 'Greatest mayor Toronto never had' and a man whose life and hard work made the city a better place.


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