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Morning Brew: mandatory Metropasses for new condo buyers, city councillor severance, immigration judge guilty of sex bribery, low Lake Ontario levels affects boaters, TTC compliments skyrocket

Starting next week, developers building and selling new condos in high-transit use areas will be required to provide TTC Metropasses to new buyers for one year. It's an effort to enhance and promote transit use, but my suspicion is that it won't achieve the desired effect. People who need or want a Metropass would buy one themselves (it's not like people aren't aware of them), and a good number of these passes aren't likely to see full use... even though the full cost will be incorporated into the condo purchase and/or maintenance fees.

Did you know that for every year that a city councillor works, he/she is entitled to one month's pay when he/she leaves municipal politics - which for some amounts to about a full year's pay upon exit. Who knew that quitting on your own volition could prove to be so sweet? This year alone, taxpayers are poised to dole out over $1-million in severance pay to city councillors who have chosen to leave politics or run for mayor and relinquish their seats on council.

An immigration judge has been found guilty of bribery and breach of trust after he offered to approve a refugee claimant's application in exchange for bow-chica-chica-bow-bow. After Steve Ellis' multiple attempts to seduce a woman half his age and in a vulnerable state, he learned a hard lesson: some people aren't willing to give up their dignity and sleep with a dirty old man to get into the country, but they are willing to take said man to task for his unjust actions.

Lake Ontario is at its lowest level in a decade, due to an unusually low amount of winter and spring precipitation. As a result, some yacht owners are not yet able to launch their boats from Bluffer's Park in Scarborough, and are calling for the City to do some major dredging of the area (moving silt and sand about to make the lake deeper). But the question has to be asked: is spending boatloads of money and putting marine wildlife at risk -- ultimately to serve the desires of recreational boaters -- a wise decision?

And following on the heels of a scathing report on TTC customer service complaints, the Star has run a story today highlighting the huge spike in customer service kudos this year over last year. It's not clear to me that the spike is due to vast improvements in service, increased efforts by satisfied riders to counteract the spate of negativity, or quite simply the growing popularity of Twitter.

Photo: "_MG_9934_flickr" by xSilentRob, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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