ttc idling buses

Morning Brew: cell phone jammers during G20, condo owners cash in on G20, vehicle idling bylaw gets stricter and TTC claims it can't comply, immigrants face worsening employment and financial challenges, child porn isn't art

City council has voted in favour of amending City of Toronto bylaws pertaining to idling of vehicles. The maximum idling time allowed has been reduced from three minutes down to one minute, and hot or cold weather isn't going to be an excuse to ignore the law. Also worth noting is that TTC buses are not going to be exempt from the revised bylaw. The transit commission has already responded to the change by declaring that they won't be able to comply because turning on and off the ignition on TTC buses several times daily creates the risk of damaging the vehicles.

Be prepared for potential minor cell phone reception and call connection stability issues during the G20 meeting. Authorities will likely be employing site-specific cell signal jamming strategies and creating moving bubbles of cell signal jamming around motorcades.

Not everyone is doing nothing but griping over the insanities and inconveniences that are coupled with the G20 meetings in Toronto. Some residents in the vicinity of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have been cashing in on the opportunity, by renting out their condos at exceptionally high rates. Some area hotels have also more than doubled their rates, which indirectly means that taxpayers are being gouged (are the RCMP and OPP paying standard rates for all of the rooms they'll be occupying?). Capitalistic supply and demand, baby.

Toronto has for a long time relied heavily on the immigration of skilled people for the growth of our labour force. But a new report by the Board of Trade suggests that recently arriving skilled immigrants are facing less opportunities and lower income relative to those that made Canada their home in past decades. In 1980, immigrant males were making 85% of the wage Canadian-born males made, but now that figure has dropped to 63%. Female immigrants are faring even worse overall. The report pushes for the candidates in the mayoral race to consider this issue high priority enough to be included in their campaign platforms.

Toronto photographer Robert Katigbak was acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008, after he successful defended his vast collection of images and video clips of children and babies being sexually assaulted -- on the basis that they were for a massive "art project." Yesterday, the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal, replacing it with a conviction, and making it crystal clear that freedom of expression is not absolute. Sentencing is forthcoming.

Photo: "deadbus" by jentse, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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