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Morning Brew: More on the Gulf oil spill, McCallion pleads ignorance, RCMP disagrees with use of "sound cannons," protesters shouldn't expect quality medical care at the G20, calorie counts coming to fast food menus?

The Star takes a page from blogTO this morning (but also its own Map of the Week blog) in picking up on what the Gulf oil spill would look like if it was located in and around the GTA. In addition to what our story covered, theirs reveals that 250,000 people have used Paul Radmacher's Google Earth map/tool. With it having gone viral and considering the international breadth of the story, I would have guessed more.

At a judicial inquiry in Mississauga yesterday, Mayor Hazel McCallion was resolute that she had not been aware of changes to a shareholder agreement that awarded a pension fund the ability to veto decisions involving the City's hydro utility. Blaming the oversight on City manager David O'Brien who testified earlier that it was "very probable" that he told her about the veto, McCallion claimed that had she known about it, she would have called a council meeting. But, of course, there are no written records of such a briefing, so for now this remains a he said/she said scenario.

In your daily G20 update, it appears the RCMP does not support the use of sound cannons to control crowds. Citing the concern that such devices can cause long-term ear damage, the mounties only use them for marine operations -- or, in other words, not in densely populated urban areas. But, of course, Toronto Chief of Police, Bill Blair, disagrees with those who are concerned. He calls LRADs (long-range acoustic devices) "multipurpose devices" that need not be used at the alarm setting at all times.

Criticism has also been directed toward the decision to use a 10-foot-by-30-foot trailer with no plumbing to treat those protesters who will inevitably be injured during the summit. As Sarah Reaburn, a nurse and volunteer medic at the G20, wonders, "What do they plan to treat in a trailer with barely running water? What kind of quality of care is that?"

And although it's a provincial issue more than a city of Toronto one, NDP health critic France Gelinas introduced a private member's bill yesterday calling for menu calorie counts in chain restaurants, which looks like it might have some legs. Unlike those often inconspicuously placed nutritional breakdowns that one might see at a McDonald's or a Wendy's, Gelinas bill would force popular fast foods chains to post calorie counts directly on menus. If people were forced to face the reality that a Triple whopper at Burger King is 1230 calories, they might reconsider -- or at least so the logic goes.

Photo: untitled by Mr. J. Smith, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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