Morning Brew: Budget committee approves $9.4 billion spending plan, teacher's strike is unlawful, Gardiner by numbers, Jack Layton Way, and an Ikea monkey game
Toronto's budget committee has approved an $9.4 billion operating budget for 2013 that includes money for new firefighters, paramedics, and curbside leaf collection in Etobicoke and Scarborough. The team also approved $6 million of arts funding using cash from the city's billboard tax coffers. "We're working as a team today," Rob Ford told reporters. The spending plan still needs to be approved by council. Are you in favour of the budget councillor Josh Colle is calling "a really positive step"?
There's confusion this morning as parents with school-age kids try to decide whether to send them to school. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled a planned walkout by elementary school teachers is illegal around 4 am this morning, causing some schools to reverse decisions to stay closed. Most bus services, however, remain cancelled.
The Grid has a useful primer on the protracted saga of the Gardiner Expressway that details the amount of cash spent keeping the elevated roadway standing and the various replacement methods pitched and tossed over the years. So far the city has spent more than $313 million on the highway, excluding a whopping $505 million in repairs needed to overcome the problem of falling concrete being kicked around city hall. How best can we solve this issue?
A street in the new Bridgepoint Health complex could be named for late NDP leader Jack Layton. If city council approves, a portion of what is now the Don Jail Roadway would be renamed Jack Layton Way in honour of the former city councillor who died of cancer in 2011.
A hot dog stand at the Air Canada Centre has become an odd victim of the change in leadership at the Maple Leafs. Burkie's Dog House is now, simply, The Dog House following arrival of new GM Dave Nonis. Should MLSE rename the high-end wiener stand for another member of the team?
If, when you heard about Ikea Monkey, you wondered what it would like to run through a furniture store parking lot in nothing but a shearling coat and a diaper, read on. A team of animation students at Seneca College have put together a Frogger-meets-Mario Bros. platform game that allows players to take an excursion as Toronto's most famous primate, with the addition of poo. Enjoy.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Photo: "Open All Night" by cookedphotos from the blogTO Flickr pool.
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