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Morning Brew: Christie Pits Pizza Night in Jeopardy, Proposed Road Repair Fees, College Staff Strike Narrowly Averted, Jerry Agar on Newstalk 1010, Handgun Thefts

Photo: "Foreshadowing" by sdeborja, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

The chair of the city's recreation program is likely dealing with a flurry of emotional emails from Christie Pits community members who want nothing more than to continue enjoying their park together on Friday nights. Community "pizza nights," employing an oven made by the hands of volunteers, have been deemed to be irregular recreation activity, and due to a city crackdown on such rogue events, the group has been told that it needs to get a permit every Friday and pay city recreation staff to work the oven. Something is truly wrong with our system if community spirit driven by honest volunteerism is killed by overzealous rules and unmanageable costs.

When gas, cable, and water utility companies are forced to dig up city streets to do work, the city foots the bill (about $43million annually). But a proposed new fee aims to partially mitigate those costs by putting a portion of those costs (about $4million annually) into the bank books of the companies doing the cutting. I wonder if Rogers will aim to mitigate the new costs they'd incur by increasing their service fees.

It was a very slim margin, but the majority rules. After a careful tally, it's been confirmed that Ontario college staff have accepted the colleges' final contract offer. A labour strike has been averted, which means the 200,000 students who have been waiting for weeks to learn the fate of their school year can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Jerry Agar, the newest radio show host at Newstalk 1010 has been given a rather cold welcome to Toronto's mostly liberal airwaves. It's not surprising though, given his heavy right-leaning tendencies. That said, I do agree that there's room for a strong righty - balance of opinion is good, and the far-leaning types usually do a pretty good job of revealing themselves as such.

And Toronto police are concerned that 30 handguns that were stolen during an apartment break-in are going to end up in bad hands. The news has prompted mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone to renew calls for a national handgun ban, but really the authorities need look no further for weapons than on bus shelters all around the city of Toronto.


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