Morning Brew: Subway vote could kill Sheppard LRT, GO trains get a new look, cop posed as flood victim, a storm water fee, and the Honest Ed's sign can't be saved
After a marathon and sometimes confused session of city council yesterday, the Scarborough subway debate will continue later this morning. Since last night, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has confirmed that $333 million in federal funds currently earmarked for the Sheppard LRT could be moved to the Scarborough subway at the expense of the proposed light rail line if council desires.
That news may play against Ford and the subway as many councillors are keen not to sacrifice other projects for Scarborough. Ford also seemed unclear about how the LRT to Scarborough Centre would work, claiming it would remove traffic lanes (it won't.) A vote is expected today. Does a subway still make sense if it derails other projects?
GO trains and buses are getting a new look starting this summer. All new and refurbished cars will be painted using two shades of green: one to match federal road signs, another to match Presto cards. Inside, the passenger cars will feature ergonomic seats and sound-absorbing carpet. The famous, 47-year-old GO logo is also being tweaked so it's clearer when displayed digitally.
In other news, the Presto card also has a new site.
A Toronto police officer is in hot water after posing as a flood victim in a television interview. Wrapped in a blanket, Nickolas Dorazio praised EMS teams after reportedly being plucked from the flooded GO train on 8 July - trouble is, Dorazio was a plain-clothes cop with the Major Crimes Unit called to help with the rescue. He's been disciplined, removed from the unit, and put on patrol duty for the prank.
Toronto Water is considering charging customers a fee on top of their existing water bill to cover the cost of upgrading and updating sewer infrastructure. Problems with much of the city's stormwater system were laid bare last week during unprecedented rainfall. The idea is still in the assessment stage and hasn't been presented to council. Is it a good plan?
Finally, more bad news for lovers of Honest Ed's. The famous sign that wraps around the building from Bathurst to Bloor is too damaged to save, according to the store's longtime general manager. Russell Lazar says the sign was only designed to last 10 years when it was installed in the late 80s. Rust and wiring damage are widespread, he says.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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