Skyline Toronto

Morning Brew: Ontario to loosen its liquor laws, Ford to go after bag tax (eventually), Opitz confirmed as winner in Etobicoke Centre, and Toronto slow to embrace JUMP

No more beer tents? Looks that way. Thanks to "overwhelming public support" (no surprise there) for Ontario to loosen its liquor laws, the province is on track to do just that, says Attorney General Chris Bentley. Under the new proposed regulations, festival-goers will be free to wander around with a drink in hand--but within a confined space. Liquor hours for weddings and charity events will be extended until 2 a.m. as well. No date has been set for the new changes yet, but they should be implemented by this summer.

It's only a nickel but this bag tax has had people up in arms for a while and Mayor Rob Ford is fed up with it too, so that's why he's trying to get rid of it. Obviously he's got "more important things to do" first (like that garbage collection hoopla), but he's pretty sure he'll "get around to it" by the end of the year. Ford concedes the tax is better for the environment and people are using less plastic bags because of it...but still, somehow, there has to be a better way to spend five cents on the environment.

According to a recount, Conservative Ted Opitz is the winner in the Etobicoke Centre riding, beating Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj by just 26 votes. The recount was confirmed Sunday after teams recounted 52,000 votes by logging in 14-hour days. Wrzesnewskyj was understandably disappointed and said he thinks hand-counting is "outdated" and would like to see votes cast over the internet instead because it's faster.

A battle of the e-books is shaping up as Toronto-based Kobo Inc. has launched its latest e-reader that's priced to compete with the Amazon's Kindle. The new Kobo will be in stores in June and will have faster page-turning speed and low-power consumption. I don't know but I still like the old-fashioned way when you turn your own pages and your book doesn't ever, you know, die.

Even though it started as an after-school tutoring program in Christie Pits, Toronto schools have been slow to get a jump on, well, JUMP. JUMP math is a back-to-basics approach where students reduce a problem to its component parts and then build it back up again and it's proven to increase their mathematical achievement. School boards have embraced it in Northern Ontario, British Columbia and the U.K. but so far only private schools in Toronto have adopted the method. The Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board say they have to look more closely at it.


Photo by Proletar1at in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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