Morning Brew: Deputations at City Hall finish at 4 a.m., TTC hands out pink slips, Horwath asks Toronto to delay transit cuts, city residents to foot bill for ash tree removal, and the SIU had a busy day yesterday

What a night. Speakers finally finished at four this morning at the marathon executive committee meeting. Like July's previous session, there were a few quirky standouts, like the woman who dressed up as Santa Claus and declared "Christmas is not gravy," but otherwise, each deputation was shorter and the mood more subdued in general. Stay tuned fro a dedicated post on what the executive committee did and didn't recommend for cuts.

Since it was revealed that a TTC worker made over $66,000 in overtime and lieu time, maybe it doesn't come as much of a surprise that some TTC workers received a pink slip yesterday as part of efforts to reduce a $101-million budgetary shortfall. But, of course, chances are that particular worker wasn't one of them.

Speaking of the TTC and cuts, provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath was on the campaign trail yesterday asking that Mayor Rob Ford delay any decisions about cuts to the transit provider until after the October 6th election, at which time a "new partnership" between the winning party and the municipal government might be possible. Horwath has pledged that if elected her party would cover 50 per cent of Ontario's various municipalities' transit costs, including the TTC's, as long as local governments freeze fares for a four year period. That's a pretty big catch, isn't it?

That ash borer beetle sure is a bug. Not only is it destroying the city's urban canopy by feasting on ash trees, but now the city is telling residents that it's their responsibility to replant the trees that are destroyed. Seeing that two-thirds of ash trees are on private property, it looks like we'll be paying out a lot of money to get rid of the infestation.

The SIU had a busy day yesterday. First, they were called into investigate a situation that involved the tasering of a suspect, which sent him falling over a balcony. Then they were on the scene at Victoria and Shuter Streets in the afternoon after a police officer shot a man, who might have been wielding a knife.


Photo by Goran Vuksan in the blogTO Flickr pool

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