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Morning Brew: More Pedestrian Fatalities, Toronto Housing Not Affordable, ChemTRAC Bylaw Underway, Con Man Preying on the Elderly, Changes to EMS "Staging" Policy

Photo: "Warning" by mandrs, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

The disturbing trend continues. The GTA has seen 14 pedestrian deaths due to accidents involving vehicles already in 2010. By comparison, Toronto has had just three homicides so far this year, making us more than four times more likely to get run over by a car than have our lives ended by a murderer.

In not-so-breaking news, Toronto housing has been declared not-so-affordable by a study The Demographia International. Creating demand for cheap housing on the fringe of the city, which encourages sprawl, is part of the problem.

ChemTRAC, the nation's first municipally mandated chemical tracking and reporting bylaw, is being introduced in Toronto and will be phased in over the next couple of years. The idea is to force companies to log and report on chemical use in hopes that reduction and more environmentally-friendly alternatives might be pursued. Seems easy enough for a beer producer to hop on board, but I'm not so sure that industries that work with harsh chemicals will be as enthusiastic about the new supply and waste logging requirements.

A disgusting creep of a man has been on a country-wide tour, preying upon the elderly along the way and conning them for their pension money after gaining their trust. It's rare that I would advocate for vigilante justice, but I would love to see a follow-up story that involves a Chuck Norris style nose break followed by a take down and duct tape tie up of the assailant while police are summoned.

Apparently when you're tried in courts in the US, you get a stiffer sentence than you do here in the Great White North. Two Toronto-based men got 25 year prison sentences for attempting to purchase missiles for the Tamil Tigers to fight in the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka. Plotting to blow up government and public institutions here in Toronto landed some conspirators in the "Toronto 18" with lesser sentences.

Changes are coming to "staging" policies when Emergency Medical Services arrive on the scene of a 911 call. An inquiry into the death of Jim Hearst back in the summer has resulted in one particularly crucial change - before deciding to stage (i.e. wait nearby until any threat to their safety is deemed eliminated), responding paramedics must see the threat themselves.

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