4 in the Afternoon1 BIG DAY AT CITY HALL Following this weekend’s stadium announcement, the city’s executive committee is reviewing a proposal which, among other things, proposes to hike property taxes around 5 per cent over ten years to help fund the new stadium. The executive committee is also addressing the results of the downtown transportation study, with results possibly opening the plaza to some traffic.

2 LOSING GRIP Assad’s forces came today following a bombing in at a high profile security meeting in Damascus. Three members of his inner circle, including his brother-in-law, a former defence minister, and his current Minister of Defence, were killed in a bomb believed to have been worn by a security guard.

3 SELL OFF Premier Wall has been on a ‘clean energy’ rampage this week, working his tail off trying to clean up the good name of Canadian oilsands. On Monday in the keynote address of the four day Pacific Northwest Economic Region meeting in Saskatoon, Wall took an explicit stance on the issue. Americans need Canadian oil.  Colin Robertson, former Canadian diplomat and international relations specialist suggest that Wall was using a more blunt and “direct” approach, more appropriate when dealing with Americans. Blunt like evoking the imagery of fallen American soldiers fighting in overseas wars? Hey, tarsands are bad, but at least it’s not WAR. Bravo.

4 JUNK WEATHER, BAD CROPS Numerous agricultural woes have sprung up across North America following a summer of unpredictable weather in most regions. Eastern provinces and Ontario are reporting unusually dry summer conditions which are expected to affect prices by the end of the summer. Similar reports from south of the border suggest the same thing. Consumers should expect to see some short term price changes, but also long term price hikes with corn – currently climbing in price – being central to many types of food production.