Morning Brew: City councillors vote to freeze their wages, changes for U of T and York U, businesses have yet to be compensated for G20 damage, TMX and London Stock Exchange merge and UFC tickets go on sale Saturday

Yesterday, Toronto city councillors voted to freeze their own wages for the sake of the city's budget. Members voted 39 to 3 in favour Tuesday of rejecting the automatic 2011 increase to their $99,619 salaries."It's [time to] stand up and be counted. That's what it boils down to," said budget chief Mike Del Grande. "We do have structural deficits here at the city and that is never going to be corrected until we make some hard decisions ... and they have to start with us first." Mr. Del Grande said he moved the motion to send a message of restraint to unionized employees as the city prepares for contract negotiations.

Remember that 42-storey College Street residence U of T proposed in the summer? Well more details have emerged about who exactly the building will accommodate. The idea is to create a for-profit residence that houses wealthy international students. The cost of a room could be as high as $15,000 a year (or $1250 a month). If approved, the residence will be built by a private developer who would set the room rates.

Speaking of Toronto universities, fed up with prank bomb scares and fire alarms disrupting exams, York University has decided to rent the Rexall Centre complex, located at the northwest end of campus and home to the Rogers Cup, so that students can continue to take their exams without the "fear" of being evacuated. I don't know tennis very well, but I believe that's a match point.

Businesses are still waiting for compensation from all that G20 damage. There have been 371 applications for ex-gratia payments to the Summit Management Office that total $10,656,869 from Toronto business owners who lost profits due to the G20 shutdown and subsequent riots. As of Jan. 5, 44 claims had been rejected, according to documents tabled last week in response to written questions from NDP MP Olivia Chow. But the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association said none of its members had received funding yet.

Toronto's getting ready to rumble--or whatever people say at UFC events. Anyway. As you've all probably heard by now, Toronto hosts its first UFC event on April 30.UFC President Dana White came to town Tuesday to announce tickets to historic UFC 129 will go on sale Saturday. Surrounded by some of the biggest names in the sport, he also revealed some of the match-ups. Since the first ever event in Ontario is so important, there's going to be two main events--both with titles on the line. But you better get those tickets ASAP when they go on sale--it's expected to sell-out super fast.


Photo by MrDanMofo in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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