Cameron House Toronto

Morning Brew: Giambrone told to pay up or lose free Metropass, City wants to overhaul taxi system, Gas prices down (a little), and the Jays win again

I guess there's no love lost here. The TTC is still after its former chairman (and one-time mayoral candidate) Adam Giambrone for the $3,300 he overspent on his office budget or else...his free Metropass will be suspended for three whole years! Vince Rondo, the TTC's general secretary, said they had sent out a letter to Giambrone asking for the refund to which his response was simply: "Thank you." Rondo concedes that he doesn't believe the former chairman intends to repay the money. The TTC had considered sending a collections agency after him or even going to small claims court, but ultimately decided those options would be too costly. An uninterested Commissioner John Parker had another idea for his colleagues seeking retribution: a voodoo doll.

City councillor Cesar Palacio is seeking to completely overhaul Toronto's taxi licensing system, a decade-long sore point for cabbies. The two-tier system deems some licenses' worth as much as $350,000 while others are considered worthless. Palacio hopes to put an end to the Ambassador program that gives out those valueless licenses. The program was introduced in 1998 to ensure the owner of the car was driving the cab and therefore put the customer's safety first. However Ambassador drivers have half the earning potential of Standard-license drivers, better known as "rent a drivers." Would this mean cab fares could go down too?

Gas is on everyone's mind lately. Whether it was that awful smell yesterday morning or at the pumps. Well, Federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement is going to hold a press conference this morning about it--the fluctuating price of gas, that is. But the good news today is that gas prices did go down a whopping six cents. Whoohoo!

Chris Hume's number two pick in his countdown of the five most beautiful buildings in Toronto is Maple Leaf Square. Hume says the area is a good example of when "urban planning meets social phenomena" and then takes a shot at the Leafs' chances of winning the Stanley Cup.


Photo by Ian Muttoo in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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