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Morning Brew: Board of Health is against a casino, term limits for council, racist letter is a hoax, Cabbagetown on coyote watch, and bird strike building owners acquitted

Toronto's board of health has come out unanimously against a downtown casino by endorsing a staff report that says a major gambling facility in the city would cause more harm than good. The findings showed a casino would be unlikely to change the unemployment rate and would disproportionately rely on revenue from low-income families, among other things.

Term limits for city councillors are on the agenda over at the Star. Columnist Royson James says it's time council placed restrictions on how long elected officials can remain in office in Toronto. Currently, a councillor can stay indefinitely provided they have the votes. Would you like to see term limits or would that restrict the will of electorate?

A letter that purportedly told Richview CI students in Etobicoke to avoid eye contact with their African American classmates is a fake. The text of the letter, which seems to appear on the school's letterhead, is similar to another hoax that circulated online in 2011.

A Toronto cardinal will be part of the group that elects a new pope. Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, will make his decision in Rome when high-ranking members of the Catholic church gather to choose a new leader. It's thought Marc Ouellet, from Quebec, is a leading contender to take over. If that were to happen Ouellet would become the first non-European pope in history.

Cabbagetown residents are on coyote watch after one of the wild canines was spotted near Sackville and Carlton streets. The animals are native to the Toronto area and packs are known to still live in the Don Valley. Animal services says the city's coyotes may be more active than normal for this time of year and are telling local residents to supervise young children and pets.

Speaking of wildlife, a judge has acquitted the owners of a Yonge Street building that allegedly poses a risk to birds. Justice Melvyn Green agreed that more than 800 birds had struck the reflective windows of Cadillac Fairview corporate centre in North Toronto in 2010 but decided the company had done its due diligence to prevent the deaths. The case could establish a precedent that building owners are responsible for the wellbeing of birds.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: "Across The Don Valley" by Dominic Bugatto/blogTO Flickr pool.

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