Morning Brew: Toronto may get shorter parking permits, G20 questions persist, tenants of 200 Wellesley say they're not getting proper help from TCHC, and a look at city councillor spending

How does shorter overnight parking permits sound? That's what city councillor, Paula Fletcher, will propose next week at Toronto's public works and infrastructure committee meeting. The proposed new permits are dubbed "the weekender" and "the overnighter." Right now, the city offers only a seven-day-permit. "There are many situations which call for a short-term permit," Fletcher wrote to the city. "Spur of the moment decisions to stay overnight, either for romantic or 'too much merriment' reasons.." Isn't it comforting to know someone in the city is looking out for our social life?

I also wondered about this. As people are still demanding for a public inquiry into the police actions at last summer's G20 summit, questions remain about those abandoned, burning police cruisers. Mostly, why were they left there to burn and without a hint of emergency personnel around? The Crown revealed last summer at a public bail hearing that undercover police officers were photographing the burning vehicles. The Canadian Civil Liberties Associations says the police decision to abandon the cruisers, whether it was the Toronto Police Service or the G20's Integrated Security Unit who made the call, needs to be explained through an inquiry.

Talk about stealing someone's thunder. Tenants of 200 Wellesley Street E. are saying the recent TCHC spending scandal is distracting the housing agency from helping them resettle after last fall's devastating fire. Some of the building's 1,200 residents struggle with mental health issues and other problems, including hoarding--which is believed what sparked the building's fire. But TCHC spokesperson Jeff Ferrier said adjusters are meeting with residents to discuss compensation and helping them get resettled in their units.

City councillors spending habits are in the news, and there's sure to be a few grunts and groans about their having spent taxpayers' money on everything from a Barbie doll to an iPad to office renovations. Councillor Ron Moeser spent the most, using up all but a few hundred dollars from his $50,445 annual office budget. Who spent the least? Mayor Rob Ford, of course.

This week's EYE looks at those who are affected by the new user fees implemented at Toronto's Priority Centres. Despite the city's claims that the effects on community access will be minimal, even a small fee can be impossible for low-income residents.


Photo by dan cronin.jpg in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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