TTC march

Morning Brew: Hundreds of union members protest Mayor Ford's policies, hot dog vendors worried about new street food plans, Year of India in Canada brings big events to Toronto, Parkdale to hold candlelight vigil honouring victims, and Raptors win

Hundreds of people, including TTC union boss Bob Kinnear, marched to city hall on Saturday to protest Mayor Rob Ford's policies. Many of the protesters said they were concerned with Ford's cuts to public services and criticized the plan to privatize community housing. Not surprisingly, Kinnear told the crowd he was there to protest Ford's "two-fold attack" on transit. Kinnear wasn't alone — other union leaders criticized the mayor, including Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan, who said in a statement: "Mayor Ford may have been elected, but he isn't a czar."

Hot dog vendors might not be happy, but plans to change existing regulations to make it easier for on-street food vendors to offer wider menus has been a long time coming for Toronto. City officials have been promising new street food since 2007 but it's been slow going amid concerns about food safety, nutrition, and keeping out conglomerates. Hot dog vendors complain that they already pay too much for their expenses and question the possible arrival of "healthy food" options. Mehran Agha Bermah, a hot dog vendor at Old City Hall, said: "It's just wrong. Who wants to stand in the cold weather eating healthy food? This is street meat."

2011 is the Year of India in Canada, which will serve as the occasion for two major events coming in June: the largest meeting of Indian expatriates in North America and a prestigious film award show featuring Bollywood's biggest stars. The Globe and Mail spoke to Indian Consul General Preeti Saran about the Year of India in Canada and what it means for both countries, as well as second and third-generation Indian Canadians.

The Parkdale community is holding a candlelight vigil on Wednesday April 13 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Parkdale Community Recreation Centre to honour the victims of the recent violent assaults in the area, including the death of George Wass, who succumbed to injuries from his attack.


Photo by shutt3r_bug in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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