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Toronto gets new "hospitals in the sky," former Ontario Associate Chief Justice appointed to review G20 police tactics, Bussin booed, GTA foodbanks tapped, TTC worker hailed hero

Fancy new air ambulances have descended upon Toronto. The new AgustaWestland Aw139 helicopters, dubbed "hospitals in the sky," are capable of flying through rough, stormy weather and travel further than the old fleet. Decked out with the latest medical equipment, the helicopters touched down at Toronto's island airport yesterday as a crowd of hundreds of spectators gathered to gape at the new machines. Officials say that the new helicopters can provide the same level of care as a hospital's critical care unit, which is great news for rural communities in Ontario.

Former Ontario Associate Chief Justice John Morden has been appointed to oversee the independent civilian review of police tactics during the G20 summit. Morden, who now works as a lawyer for Heenan Blaikie, will examine "oversight, governance, accountability, transparency and the communications and supervision issues," with regards to police action during the G20 summit in Toronto. He was appointed by the Toronto Police Services Board for the review, which will be in addition to the force's own internal review, the Ontario Ombudsman's investigation, the province's Special Investigation Unit report and two other independent reviews. If anyone has extra time, a little look into those exorbitant bug spray costs may be a good idea.

Local councillor Sandra Bussin reportedly had a rough time at a Beaches-East York debate last night. Bussin was treated to some boos by the crowd, as was Rob Ford who wasn't even there but whose name elicited booing anyhow. Bussin has come under fire for her support of Tuggs Inc. exclusive beaches deal with the city. When she tried to defend the owners last night, the audience yelled "Baloney!" and "Sit down! Sit down!" Ouch. Lucky for Bussin, though, advance polls show that challengers may still have a tough time taking her down.

A new report shows that GTA food bank users are still feeling pressure from the effects of the 2008 global recession. The Daily Bread Food Bank data shows client visits to food banks across the GTA jumped by 15 per cent from the 2008-2009 to the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The report also looked at client living conditions and found that 46 per cent had lost their jobs and 13 per cent are living on life savings. The Daily Food Bank hopes to raise 500,000 pounds of non-perishable food and $500,000 during its fall drive to compensate for the depleted stock.

And some sort of positive news from the TTC (yes, that's right). A TTC worker was hailed a hero last night after he risked his life to break up a knife fight at subway stop. Two men were struggling on the westbound platform of Lansdowne station at around 7:30 p.m. when one held a knife to the other's throat. A TTC worker jumped in front of the man with the knife, stopping the attack. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Photo by Jen Tse in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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