Toronto Harbour

Morning Brew: Leaf Trade Commentary, Cellphone Ban Gets Teeth, Giambrone Set to Announce Mayoral Bid, College Negotiations at a Stalemate, TTC Buses Being Idled Overnight

Photo: "Polson Pier" by ronnie.yip, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

After a major shake-up yesterday, the commentary is coming in on the two major trades the Toronto Maple Leafs completed with Calgary and Anaheim. The general consensus is that Brian Burke was the big winner in both deals, having acquired a former Norris trophy finalist and Conn Smythe winner in Phaneuf and Giguere respectively. Whatever your opinion is on the deals, it's tough to argue with the notion that these multi-player moves are exciting.

Although the legislation has been in effect for three months now, starting today, police will actually be handing out fines for those using hand-held devices while driving. The set fine is $155 and considering that pedestrians continue to be hit on Toronto streets, there's plenty of incentive to go hands or phone free in the car.

Don't forget, YouTube sensation Adam Giambrone is set to announce his entry into Toronto's mayoral race later today. After he files the official papers, a celebration is planned at Revival on College. Not to be a spoilsport, but I've heard a number of people speculate that tonight's celebration will be the only one affiliated with his bid.

Despite time spent at the bargaining table after Ontario college instructors voted in favour of a possible strike just over two weeks ago, talks have once again broken down between colleges and The Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU). The union is being urged to vote on the new deal, but has thus far refused because it would be "highly unusual" to do so on an offer that it believes doesn't represent change in key areas.

The bad press just keeps coming for the TTC. The Sun is reporting that along with sleeping fare collectors and streetcar drivers doing their banking mid-route, the recent cold-snap has forced the TTC to idle hundreds of buses due to problems with a system designed to keep them warm leading up to the morning rush. Known as the UWE, the anti-freeze system has been plagued with problems since its inception in 2003.

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