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Morning Brew: Secret parking ticket exemptions book, electronics recycling failures, teachers taking up Catholicism to find work, bankers working from home to avoid G20, major sewer pipe bypass underway

Did you know that there's a secret 25-page booklet that the City of Toronto has been using for decades, that details special exemptions from parking tickets for select people and places? Apparently it's costing us millions of dollars and includes nuggets that would make us, the tax- and fine-paying public, flabbergasted to learn. Is this something that we can get at with a Freedom of Information request, or can the City keep this from our prying eyes?

Ontario's aims to divert old electronics like TVs and computers from landfill into recycling are largely failing to meet goals. According to data obtained by the Toronto Star, just one third of the "42,000 tonnes of toxin-laced equipment" is being recycled according to plan. One probable reason for the huge shortcomings is that the program is flawed in that recyclers can make five times more money by shipping these items abroad.

With an oversupply of qualified teachers in the province (in 2009 there were 12,200 new teachers but only 5,000 positions available), those desperately looking for work are willing to take greater strides... like "taking up" Catholicism to get a job at the Catholic school boards. Teachers who are secular or even atheist have been going through the hoops simply to get required documents so they can apply for jobs.

Bay Street bankers may be getting a bit of a break during the G20 meetings. Some of the big banks are poised to have some of their staff work from off-site locations (including their homes) during the high-security and protest-laden global leaders' meet. This may have a small but positive effect on commuter traffic, which will probably still be a nightmare regardless.

It's like major bypass heart surgery, but on a much larger pipe that carries massive amounts of nasty sewage, rather than blood. Construction is underway on a huge section of sewer pipe in the east end (near Coxwell and O'Connor). The bypass is a crucial repair, given that if the existing damaged 50-year old pipe were to break, it would spell catastrophe for the Don River.

And when we weren't giving our mothers all the love they deserve, here's what blogTO was up to this weekend:

Photo: "Sometimes I Feel So Small" by dave_in_t_o, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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