Toronto trains

Morning Brew: Councillors divided over paid duty policing, Torontonians dealing with gas hike crisis, TTC has new summer customer service program, and Hume likes the ROM Crystal

The city's budget chief, Mike Del Grande, wants to slash paid-duty policing costs--even if that means butting heads with right-wing allies--most particularly, councillor Doug Ford. According to an audit from 2009, the city spent $29-million in hiring off-duty police officers to guard construction sites and special events. Del Grande believes paid duty has gotten "out of hand" and that it should be "the exception, not the norm." Ford, on the other hand, disagrees and argued, "It just seems like we're pounding away on the police here when there's so many other inefficiencies in the city."

When it comes to the rising price of gas in the city, it looks like some people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Torontonians are now considering downsizing to a fuel-efficient vehicle or zipping around the city in scooter, while others are going across the border to get their gas. The gas hike has even brought the return of Dan "Captain Gas" McTeague who is ready to criticize rising gas and oil prices like never before. Of course, people could just walk and bike too.

Now they want to stay. Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan have confirmed they are in talks to buy TD Capital Group's stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment after they announced they were exploring the option of selling their own stake in MLSE back in March. But they've got serious competition: Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Telus all are vying for the stake too.

The TTC is announcing a new customer service program this morning that launches today and will end around Labour Day. As part of the new program, select subway stations will have information kiosks and summer student "station ambassadors" to help guide tourists. I wonder if they get to wear a special outfit. We'll find out in the next little bit when we pay a visit to a kiosk.

Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Chris Hume's pick for number three for his top five most beautiful buildings in the city is the ROM's Crystal. Discuss.


Photo by Jefferson Photography in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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