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Morning Brew: subway pervert sought, no break on liquor prices, parents urged to find alternative daycares during G20, major hard drug bust tied to Iran, job site safety blitz reveals widespread problems, mentally ill man beaten by police

He's long eluded identification and arrest, and is wanted for a series of sexual assaults on women riding the subway -- apparently ongoing and dating back to 2007. The subway pervert has a preference for women with slim to average body types and long, dark hair, and is most active at Queen and Dundas stations in the morning, and Eglinton and Davisville stations in the evenings. Hopefully the grainy photo released by authorities is good enough for him to be recognized and have his filthy habit halted.

With a 4% tax drop on alcoholic beverage in sight (due to the introduction of the HST), Ontarians appeared to be poised for a break on booze prices at the LCBO -- but it's not going to happen. Legislators have instructed the provincially-run liquor monopoly to raise their markup to keep shelf prices near unchanged. Unfortunately, a break on taxes for alcohol would represent a huge drop in tax money funneled back to the province (i.e. it has little to do with "social responsibility").

What's the latest headache-inducing disruption related to the G20 summit in Toronto? Daycares. Parents who take their kids to one of several child care facilities in the area of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre are being advised to find alternatives for the days leading up to the leaders' weekend meeting. Putting Toronto on the "world stage" clearly has its costs, and security in the area has already been ramped up to heightened levels. Be careful, or you'll get arrested (see embedded video below).

Toronto Police, border security, and the RCMP joined forces on an investigation dubbed Project Ovizeri, a sting that has resulted in seizure of large quantities of hard drugs. Opium, heroin, and ecstasy were found hidden in electrical motors and hydraulic pistons that came to Toronto by air, and have been traced to connections in Iran.

The results of a 90-day safety blitz on active construction and job sites in Ontario are reason for concern. Following a fatal scaffolding accident on Christmas Eve, the Ontario Ministry of Labour visited more than 2,800 job sites and immediately ordered one on four to cease operations and over 3,400 violation orders were issued. Problems are many, but insufficient worker training and incident reporting seem to be areas we can expect to see changes made.

And in a case that pits the word of a mentally ill man versus the word of police, the courts may have to come into play. An encounter a schizophrenic man had with plain-clothed officers in a secluded alley in the Spadina & College area resulted in charges against him (prowl by night, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest) and he also allegedly was "beaten to a bloody pulp," receiving stitches, black eyes, and major swelling in his face.

Photo: "May 2010 / last days / Wychwood Park" by Magdalena O!, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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