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Morning Brew: John Tory still on the fence, Pakistani mango smuggling, Enbridge billing fiasco, Toronto Hydro customers might pay lawsuit settlement, police take down the wrong man, rubber bullet flip-flop

It could be a headline from last last year, or from a few months ago. And it's once again a headline. John Tory is reportedly considering entering the mayoral race. Somehow he continues to spur speculation despite having officially bowed out back in January. With many Torontonians displeased with the current front-running candidates, and with the backing of former (oh, so beloved) Premier Mike Harris, he has a good chance of making headway with those adamant to see an end to spending problems at City Hall.

Pakistani mangoes are so different from other, more common types mangoes that people are willing to go to great lengths to savour their sweetness -- including travelling to Toronto from the US to get a taste, and putting themselves at risk of criminality by trying to smuggle crates back with them. Banned in the US pending adherence to agricultural pest control standards (which may happen in the fall), the fruit is more readily available now in our fine city's ethnic stores and fruit stands.

Are you an Enbridge Gas customer? Have you gotten your July bill? Picked your jaw up off the floor yet? Last year they made errors by setting monthly rates too low for many of their customers, and they've had to make adjustments to their July 2010 instalment invoices to make up for the underpayments. As a result, many customers have a massive instalment to pay this month. In some cases, customers are going to have to pay the equivalent of an entire year's worth of service (i.e. more than 10 times their usual monthly instalment).

Toronto Hydro is also making the news headlines today. Years ago, a lawsuit filed against energy providers concerning the illegal collection of excessive late payment fees was settled. Now Toronto Hydro is looking to pay the $8-million cost of settling the lawsuit not from its own pocket, but by charging each of its 690,000 customers a small fee. Is it justifiable to have the very people wronged be forced to pay for the wrongdoers wrongs? Probably not. Will they gain approval to pull it off? Quite possibly.

Police thought they had their homicide suspect, and swooped in for an assertive and swift arrest. Unfortunately they had the wrong Sharmake Abdi. He was quickly released once they verified his birth date, but Abdi claims that he sustained both physical and emotional injuries as a result of the what he feels was an excessively violent arrest. Police are not apologetic, and urge him to file complaints via official channels if he felt he was mistreated.

On Monday, public statements by officials indicated that Toronto Police didn't fire rubber bullets at protesters outside the temporary detention centre on the G20 weekend. On Tuesday, public statements by officials indicated that Toronto Police did fire rubber bullets at protesters outside the temporary detention centre on the G20 weekend. On Wednesday, the citizens of Toronto will continue to argue severely polarized viewpoints; that the dirty hippie protesters deserved to get shot because they shouldn't have been there after violence broke out the day before, and that our country is moving towards a fascist police state where civil liberties and rights to peaceful protest are being compromised for the sake of perceived security. Regardless, police do need to get their ducks in a row on this one. Making erroneous public statements is not going to do them any good in winning back the publics' trust.

Photo: "Birthday sky through her purple glasses" by PJMixer, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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