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Morning Brew: Parks committee asks the City to spend over a million dollars on a beetle, Holyday wants taxpayers to pay for his legal fees, the St. Clair ROW saga continues, Yorkville says no to hot dog vendors, and it's budget day in Ontario

This may be the most expensive insect ever. The parks and environment committee is asking the city to put aside $1.139-million to deal with a pesky bug: the emerald ash borer, a beetle, who has the potential to take down 8.4 percent of Toronto's trees and cost the city in return, $570-million. The beetle's main targets are in the north-central and eastern parts of the city. Toronto councillor Paul Ainslie called it an "environmental calamity" and says, "the worst part is there is nothing we can do to stop it." Does anyone else think this would make a pretty scary B movie?

Chalk this one up for irony. Back in 2008, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday personally sued the city to challenge a contentious council decision to use taxpayers' money to cover the campaign-related legal fees of two councillors. Holyday said he was willing to take the financial repercussions to stand up for an "important principle". Well, he ended up winning but now he's asking council to use taxpayers' money to pay for his own legal fees. Some "principle."

The St. Clair Right of Way saga picks up steam again this week as the case heads into court, and lawyers for the city and TTC seek to strike a $100-million lawsuit brought against them by merchants and landowners on the avenue. Around this time last year, a class-action suit was launched and accused the TTC of gross negligence in the construction and delivery of the streetcar project, and the city of public abuse of authority.

Looks like hot dogs just aren't haute or even dawg enough. Yorkville won't be welcoming back its hot dog vendors after its $20-million make-over. Despite bigger sidewalks along Bloor Street, the renovations squeezed out eight hot dog vendors. The Bloor-Yorkville BIA says the old carts just don't fit into the new street. Briar de Lange, executive director of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA, said, "Essentially the whole premise of vending on the street is not something that our BIA has been all that much in favour of." Maybe if the wieners were made from Kobe beef and sprinkled with gold.


Photo by simon.carr in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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