Morning Brew: Transit City funding yanked, public sector salary freezes, 1300 on police force "Sunshine List," hate crimes spike in Mississauga and Brampton, Jordan Manners trial jury can't reach verdict
Mayor Miller's Transit City plan took a serious blow yesterday, when the provincial government's budget was released and half of the funding for the ambitious and costly Light Rail Transit projects was yanked. Projects likely to see funding retained include the Union-Pearson-Georgetown GO Transit link, the Sheppard LRT line and the York University line... but the rest are not likely to proceed at this time, and Miller is super pissed off.
Also revealed in the budget is a proposed salary freeze for over a million public sector workers. Two-year freezes will start with elected politicians, and with then extend to non-unionized workers, followed by freezes for unionized workers (to kick in once current contracts expire). More detail on the budget and its implications are summarized nicely in the CityNews video (embedded below).
More than 1300 workers in Toronto's police force are making six figure incomes - a number that rises year after year. Making a good wage should definitely come with the territory, it being a really dangerous line of work. But apparently you can make a killer salary without being face-to-face with much danger. Become a "breathalyzer technician" (one earned $168,928 in 2009) or get hurt while operating telephones in an office and settle for $173,543.
A report on hate crimes suggests that they are spiking in Mississauga and Brampton, although specifics have not yet been made clear (but some clarity is expected after the report goes before the Police Services Board today). Vandalism and graffiti make up a large chunk of the reported crimes.
After three days of deliberation, the jury in the Jordan Manners trial are still deadlocked and can't come up with consensus on a verdict. It probably doesn't help that a bunch of thugs wearing gang colours have been hanging out in the lobby of the court.
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