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Morning Brew: Smitherman against the sale of Toronto Hydro, York University professor loses human rights case, Tim Hudak takes a few shots at Mayor Miller, the benefits of bike lanes on University Ave., Rob Ford profiled, DVP closed

Mayoral candidate George Smitherman has vowed he will not sell Toronto Hydro if elected. In an almost direct reference to fellow candidate Rocco Rossi, he said such a move would be "reckless, short-sighted and wrong" at the Green Living show yesterday. For his part, Rossi responded by saying, "It's clear to me that I'm seen as driving the policy agenda...I'm delighted that he feels the need to have an entire press conference aimed at my platform." Meanwhile both Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone claim that Smitherman's vow represents a conversion to their way of thinking.

David Noble, a York University professor who's been vocal and critical of the school's alleged pro-Israel stance, has lost a case against the school for what he thought was punishment for challenging its (former) policy of cancelling classes on Jewish holidays. Noble contends that he was assigned dreaded Friday afternoon teaching slots as retribution for his public criticism of the university. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, however, could find no evidence to support such a claim and thus dismissed the charges.

Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario PCs, took a few digs at Mayor Miller in a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade yesterday. According to a report in the National Post, he received the loudest applause when he expressed hope that the next mayor would "spend a little less time plotting how many car lanes to take out of Jarvis, University or any other major thoroughfare." What does he want instead of bike lanes? It's so predictable a quotation is hardly necessary, but here goes: "I'm looking for a mayor who will keep my taxes low [and] deliver value for the dollars I pay through services like reliable transit and pothole-free roads." I don't think cyclists like potholes either.

For a completely different view on building bike lanes on major thoroughfares, the Star's Royson James has an editorial that highlights the many benefits to be reaped from the University Ave. pilot project. Citing greater pedestrian accessibility to the mostly unused gardens in the centre, the increased number of two-wheeled commuting in the city and the already good traffic flow along the street, James believes there's much to gain and little to lose.

In Brief:

The TTC is looking for volunteers to help them at public events, such as handing out flyers and helping with crowd management at events like Doors Open Toronto. Somehow I think this is going to be a tough sell...

Having already devoted some space to municipal politics, I'll save the editorializing and merely point out that the Star has a lengthy piece on Rob Ford and his complicated personality and past.

And, don't forget, the DVP is closed this weekend, so there will be a little extra congestion, and you'll need to find alternative routes.

Photo: "Quantex" by Metrix X, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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