Morning Brew: Pro-Life Hero Plaque Removed from Nativity Scene, Bollywood Coming to Toronto, HST Fully Approved, Public Toilets Delayed, Miller in Copenhagen

Photo: "the.wall" by jonathancastellino, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

The City issued an order to the donors of a nativity scene in front of Old City Hall to remove the plaque that adorned it. Apparently it's not offensive to display scenes from the New Testament (thereby risking offending those of other religious beliefs), but it is inappropriate to label said scene in honour of a pro-life/anti-abortion advocate (thereby risking offending those with different moral and political foundations).

Bollywood is coming to Toronto in 2011. We've been selected as the host city for the first Bollywood Awards Gala to be held in North America. The awards ceremony travels the world and we will be joining the ranks of London, Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Dubai, Bangkok, and Macao - all previous host cities.

The controversial and much contested Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) was passed by the province and feds and will come into effect in July of 2010. Interestingly, Dalton McGuinty, and George Smitherman were absent for the vote, and Christine Elliott (spouse of federal finance Jim Flaherty) abstained (see below embedded CityNews video).

The roll-out of self-cleaning, pay-per-use, public toilets (part of Astral Media's street furniture contract with the City) will be delayed, and bureaucratic red tape and the summer municipal workers' strike are being blamed. It's been a while since we've blamed anything on the dreaded summer strike, but adding the ability to easily find a quick and legal place to piss at Queens Quay and Rees Street is now on the list.

And Mayor David Miller, who is the chair of the C40 group of world mayors aiming to curb climate change, is off to Copenhagen. The Globe and Mail has an interesting Q&A with Miller that reveals how mayors of urban areas worldwide are taking action to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (and how mayors often speak like ideologues).


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