Ashbridges Bay Pumping Station

Saturday Brew: Carp Paranoia, Former Terrorist Won't Practice Law in GTA, Criminal Charges Unlikely Against Elderly Driver, Denser Cities = Less Fat People, Appealing 407 Bills

Photo: "Eastern in the Round" by Oh Lenna, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Apparently bighead carp are invading Ontario's waterways, and may eradicate native fish populations. They might even eat small children! Or not. I hate to be a grump on a Saturday morning, but a Star article has dialled up the fear-mongering after a grocery store was fined $3,500 for selling live invasive fish. Although these carp do eat like maniacs and reproduce so rapidly that they can endanger other fish populations, the Scarborough grocery stores where they've been found are clearly selling them for consumptive purposes -- not so that customers can throw them back into the water.

In an update to a story I summarized a while back, a Toronto law student formerly convicted on highjacking charges in Pakistan has been denied the right to practice law in the GTA. Parminder Singh Saini, who also attempted to enter Canada with a false passport, failed to convince the Law Society of Upper Canada of his "good character" argument.

There are unlikely to be criminal charges pressed against Edith Lucille Jones, the elderly women who struck and killed a mother pushing a stroller on Tuesday. Although the driver will face careless driving charges, in the absence of intent, her act cannot be deemed criminal -- by the letter of the law, anyway.

The Globe's Marcus Gee makes a decent argument for addressing the rise in Canadian obesity by increasing the density of urban centres. Citing our collective over-dependence on cars, the thinking is that higher levels of physical activity result when people can walk or bike to work and their other daily activities.

Drivers who've had difficulty renewing their licence plate due to unpaid 407 tolls can appeal to an independent arbitrator, but apparently it's a Kafkaesque process. Not only does the 407 often refuse to provide photographic proof corroborating their invoices, but just finding the information that independent arbitration is an option is like a hunt for lost treasure. And with 26.82% interest on unpaid bills, there's quite reward to be "found" should one eventually win his/her case.

And with the Ontario government set to donate $1 million to relief in Haiti and the Federal government matching public donations, here's a list of ways to donate to the effort.


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