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Morning Brew: Matt Galloway to Host Metro Morning, TTC Boss Admonishes Staff, TTC Staff Fight Back, Racism at Ryerson, "Curious George" Opens Office, It's the Budget Stupid, Oprah Pitches In, Argos Ownership to Change, Raptors Keep Winning

Photo: "Lights" by jamonation, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

TTC chief general manager Gary Webster adds his voice to the continual damage control efforts of the beleaguered transit agency with a sharply worded message to staff over the weekend. But with a steady stream of "gotcha" photos - distributed widely by the media - TTC staff have responded by creating a mostly private Facebook page, "Toronto Transit Operators against public harassment." The page's purpose is to "fight back" against the "harassment" and to post photos of riders breaking the rules. Is a "work to rule" effort to be expected? With everybody pointing the finger another direction, will the TTC experience finally improve? Inquiring minds want to know.

Matt Galloway has been tapped to take the helm of Metro Morning, starting March 1st. The question of who would fill the host's chair after 15 years under Andy Barrie's watch has been a popular topic since Barrie announced he would retire from the top rated morning show. Galloway got a few minutes of practice after 8:15 this morning, but he's an old hand in the time slot, having filled in many times and serving as the Friday host for months now. No doubt Galloway was the favourite of armchair oddsmakers, but I wondered if the 39 year old who often talks about mornings with his children wanted to commit to 4am wake-ups. This, of course, opens up the question of who will take over Here and Now, the afternoon show often considered synonymous with Matt Galloway. Is Kevin Sylvester ready to switch from CBC utility man and jack of all trades to full time host?

Egads! Racism at Ryerson! A new 118 page report finds a diverse student body with many people from minority groups feeling harassed or otherwise excluded. Senior staff are to undergo special training, more courses on diversity are to be offered and progress will be tracked. I find it hard to believe a university - and a university in downtown Toronto - wouldn't be on the cutting edge of accepting and embracing diversity.

Now dubbing himself "curious George," mayoral candidate George Smitherman opened his campaign headquarters with a rousing speech and attacks on fellow candidate Adam Giambrone. Sounds like we can expect to meet George in a neighbourhood near us. Maybe then we'll get some details on his plans as mayor.

In other mayoral news, a message to candidates: expect budget chaos. OK, that sounds like old news. But a new study also points out that it's not just a matter of trying to balance the budget, but that with increasing debt it will get harder - and more expensive - for the city to borrow money. So candidates will have to take a stance on this question: Are Torontonians under-taxed or over-serviced?

Oprah Winfrey interrupted a taping of her show to usher Toronto resident Lori McCrindle to an ambulance when McCrindle's water broke. Baby Justin - born premature but healthy, it seems - will be happy to know his mom will still get to watch an Oprah taping, with the talk show megastar flying her into town whenever she wants.

Toronto's sports news isn't exactly getting us to dance in the streets (gotta be a New Orleans fan for that), but:


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