Six in the Morning

1. NO FREE, PUBLIC MAYORAL DEBATE: The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a mayoral candidates forum tomorrow. But it's happening first thing in the morning and will cost $45 to non-members. Thinking this isn't really a public debate, the Cathedral Area Community Association last week started organizing a free-to-attend mayoral forum. They'd booked the Legion for October 26. They got word that the two challengers would be willing to attend. But yesterday, after several days of cajoling, the CACA got word that the incumbent, Mayor Pat Fiacco, would absolutely not be attending because of "prior engagements." Jim Elliott responded saying (I'm paraphrasing here) he shuffled his schedule around to accomodate the CoC debate so why can't the mayor do the same for a public one? (Leader Post)

Now, confession time: I'm a CACA board member (a rec committee chair is me) so I've been in on the organizing emails for this event. And, do I want a public mayoral forum? Heck yes. I can't make the CoC event because it's expensive (I could probably get in free as press, but there's a principle at stake here) and 7:30 am on a Thursday is unworkable for me, as it is for most people with jobs (no, city hall reporter for the prairie dog is not my main gig). So, yes, I'm disappointed there won't be a debate. But at the same time, I'm also a little relieved I won't be volunteering to clean coffee cups or something. And, I should also note I'm in a position to know the space for the debate is still booked.

In other election news, mayoral candidates Jim Elliott and Pat Fiacco have websites (www.myspace.com/jimelliottformayor, www.fiacco4mayor.com) on which there is contact info like phone numbers and email addresses. I'm just saying....

2. PROVINCE TO INTRODUCE WAIT-TIME TARGETS: The new session of the legislature starts today and in the throne speech the Sask Party will be announcing wait-time targets for healthcare. This comes amid hints from Brad Wall that his government is not averse to private surgical facilities. (Leader Post)

3. TUITION GAP WIDENS: Stats Can notes annual tuition in Ontario has hit $6,000, double what the kids are paying in cheaper provinces like Newfoundland and Quebec. Meanwhile, the Walrus does a forensic accounting of why Canadian education funding is lagging behind other developed nations and how education defunding has been the worst in Ontario. (Globe and Mail, Walrus)

4. LIMBAUGH WANTS NYTIMES REPORTER DEAD: The infamous talkradio host calls NY Times environmental columnist, Andy Rivkin, a jihadi and a terrorist then suggests he should kill himself. (Guardian)

5. OIL PRICES CLIMB AS GROUP WARNS OF SUPPLY CRUNCH: The price for US light crude has hit $79 a barrel -- more than double its low point from the spring, but still about half of the high it hit last summer. At the same time, the group Global Witness warns that the world could soon be facing a serious oil shortage. (Guardian)

6. BC STOMPS ON OLYMPICS HATERS: British Columbia government is contemplating a law to allow municipal authorities to enter homes and seize anti-Olympics signs and then fine the perps up to $10,000 a day. (rabble.ca)

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