Mel Lastman Mayor

Morning Brew: Mel Lastman also received death threats as mayor, private garbage collection might happen sooner than expected, Ontario Medical Association wants new drivers to be tested on cycling safety, Wendy Babcock dies, and Lawrie hits grand slam

Mel Lastman wants us to know Rob Ford's not the only outlandish Toronto mayor who's received death threats. Lastman, who served as mayor from 1997-2003, said he received several death threats as mayor and that it's "part of the job." Lastman didn't say whether any threats stemmed from his unfortunate comments concerning the city's 2008 Olympic bid (which is quite possible). David Miller wouldn't comment if he also received any death threats.

Looks like private garbage collection is happening sooner than initially expected. A new timeline puts the city six months ahead of schedule, meaning private garbage collectors could be replacing municipal workers as early as next summer. The city issued a call for bids and is asking for the low price of no more than about $26-million over seven years. With the tweaked schedule, the anticipated $6-million savings from the new deal would kick in earlier, supposedly yielding $3-million this year.

The Ontario Medical Association is advising the province to add a car-bicycle section to their driving training manual, as well as to create a wide-ranging biking policy. With more than 26,000 cycling-related injuries in the Ontario emergency rooms in 2009, doctors think the province should make cycling safety a priority. No argument about that, but is this the most effective way to do so?

This is sad. Wendy Babcock, a former homeless teenage prostitute who became a prominent activist for sex workers and then a law student at York University, was found dead at her home on Tuesday. She was 32. Police have ruled out foul play. Babcock, who had struggled with mental heath issues, had attempted to commit suicide before.


Photo by PJMixer in the blogTO Flickr pool

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