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TOPSTORIES

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    Two people have been pronounced dead at the scene of a multi-vehicle collision in the York Region after they were found without vital signs.

    York Regional Police responded to the crash in the area of Ravenshoe Rd. and Woodbine Ave. in the town of Georgina shortly after 2 p.m. and found six vehicles in various stages of wreckage.

    Emergency medical services confirmed that there are at least seven patients, including the two people who were killed and one person who was transported to a trauma centre.

    York EMS said that they had to send five ambulances, three support units, and one multi-patient unit, which is a bus-like vehicle to support emergency medical procedures on several patients at once.

    An ORNGE air ambulance was requested as well, but all of its helicopters were unavailable.

    A collision reconstruction unit is on scene to attempt to piece together the cause of the collision, and officials expect the area to be closed for a while due to the extent of the crash.


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    The City of Toronto is considering pouring $1.64 million into a drain.

    But not just any drain.

    The city’s historic central drain from 1831 is one of many archaeological discoveries made during the St. Lawrence north market’s renovation near Front and Jarvis Streets.

    The proposal for a glass “viewing portal” looking onto the drain under the new north market redevelopment would be visible “through a glass covered interpretation area,” the report to committee says.

    The drain feature would cost $1.96 million and the existing redevelopment budget could fund it but construction would require an additional $1.64 million.

    The government management committee will consider the proposal on Sept. 25, followed by city council on Oct. 2.

    The current north market redevelopment budget is $91.5 million and includes 250 underground parking spaces, a five-storey atrium, a market hall and mezzanine, court services and courtrooms.

    Four markets have sat on the current north market site. Drainage systems, walls, storage cellars and support columns have been uncovered from the 1820, 1831, 1851 and 1904 periods.

    Heritage Preservation Services hoped to create a comprehensive glass floor over the 1831 drain, but the original $5.3 million plan fell through.

    The glass floor plan was not feasible because of the technical requirements for a floor that would bear traffic, while remaining see-through and not slippery.

    Suzanne Kavanagh, president of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, called the project a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Toronto’s heritage.

    “We’ve got some naysayers walking around saying, you want to celebrate a pipe?” she said. “But there is a story to go with it.”

    Kavanagh said the total cost of the redevelopment puts the viewing portal’s $1.96 million cost into perspective, especially since preservation requirements increase costs.

    Larry Wayne Richards, who spent nine years on the board of the Ontario Heritage Trust and is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, called the notion of preserving Toronto’s early history “a wonderful idea.”

    Richards called the archeological discoveries amazing — but said he wishes it was more comprehensively integrated into planning.

    “My concern is that it’s going to become a kind of after-the-fact footnote, costing a couple million dollars, and it’s not even the original structure,” he said.

    Still, some consider the project money down the drain.

    Richard J. Anobile, who sits on the board of directors for the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, would rather see the funds redirected to policing in the area.

    “We’re crying out for lack of funds and here we are, wanting to spend $1.64 million dollars on exposing a storm drain,” Anobile said.

    “I appreciate what one wants to do historically, but sometimes the present, I think, has to take a little bit more of a dominance over the past, especially for the people living in the area.”


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    WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump issued an extraordinary threat during a nationalistic and aggressive first address to the United Nations, warning that the U.S. might “totally destroy” North Korea if dictator Kim Jong Un, whom he belittlingly called “Rocket Man,” strikes against the U.S. or its allies.

    The threat was the most important moment of a speech that veered between an emphasis on respect for the “sovereignty” of individual countries and a demand that “rogue” countries North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba change their behaviour or face consequences from the international community.

    “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” Trump said.

    Trump merely hinted that he might withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and he did not specify what action he might take against Venezuela. On “depraved” North Korea, however, he offered his most explicit and most bellicose words about any international matter to date — threatening not merely to demolish the regime but the entire country.

    “No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”

    The threat represented the latest escalation in a roller-coaster of Trump rhetoric toward the Kim regime. Trump has both threatened nuclear annihilation — promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if Kim so much as continued to threaten to the U.S. — and spoken more softly, suggesting that negotiations might be possible and that military action was not imminent.

    The new threat came during a period of heightened tension over Kim’s weapons programs. North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Friday. On Monday, the U.S. flew bombers and stealth jets over the Korean peninsula.

    Trump’s UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, issued a similar threat of destruction the day before his speech. But Trump’s words were remarkable for a formal presidential address to the world body. So was his use of a disparaging nickname for Kim. “Rocket Man” had debuted on his Twitter feed two days prior.

    Ned Price, a former special assistant to Barack Obama and National Security Council spokesperson, said it was “especially frightening” that Trump’s speech, which involved “asinine name-calling” and “fundamentally dangerous policy positions,” was a scripted and vetted official address.

    “It’s one thing to have a president who’s bombastic and prone to publicly go off the rails on issues as delicate and important as foreign policy. But it’s quite another to have an administration that is comfortable with that unhinged rhetoric,” Price told the Star.

    North Korea’s ambassador walked out of the room before Trump began speaking.

    Like Trump’s inaugural address, much of this one seemed to be aimed at Trump’s own political base more than a broader global audience.

    Striking some of the themes he favours at campaign rallies, Trump criticized “uncontrolled migration,” multilateral trade agreements and “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase he has avoided, at the urging of some of his top security officials, in most of his recent speeches.

    And he referred 21 times to “sovereignty,” or a variation of that word, saying countries have a right to govern themselves without international meddling. The concept is favoured by the nationalist and anti-war segments of his base, among many others — including authoritarian regimes who want the UN to stop criticizing them.

    But Trump made clear that sovereignty was not an all-encompassing doctrine for him. He also demanded “fundamental reforms” from the “corrupt and destabilizing regime in Cuba,” a return to democracy in “destroyed” Venezuela, and a retreat from oppression and terror by the “corrupt dictatorship” of Iran.

    Trump has a long history of deriding the UN for everything from its alleged incompetence to the “cheap” wall behind the General Assembly podium. He was gentler this time, saying he hoped the UN could become “much more accountable and effective.” And unlike some Republicans, he expressed optimism that the UN could play a helpful role in world affairs.

    “Major portions of the world are in conflict. And some, in fact, are going to hell,” Trump said. “But the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems.”

    The speech was applauded by current and former Republican leaders, including former Trump critic Mitt Romney, and by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said on Twitter, “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.”

    Other leaders sat stone-faced, offering only occasional and muted applause.

    “It was the wrong speech at the wrong time to the wrong audience,” Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom told the BBC.

    And some policy experts were aghast at Trump’s language on North Korea, warning that he was increasing the risk of war and making it more difficult to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear ambitions.

    “What an idiot,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, wrote on Twitter.

    Trump indirectly criticized Russia and China on sovereignty grounds, saying, “We must reject threats to sovereignty from Ukraine to the South China Sea.” But he did not single them out for criticism, and he thanked them for joining in a vote to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

    He was far more direct in slamming Venezuela and Iran. Venezuela, he said, has failed not because it has poorly implemented socialism but because of socialism itself.

    “We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule,” he said.

    Trump described the Iran deal as “an embarrassment,” suggesting it might “provide cover” for Iran to eventually produce a nuclear weapon, and he added: “I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”

    Read more:

    Trump, in UN debut, urges world body to focus ‘more on people and less on bureaucracy’

    Trudeau to receive global citizenship award, address UN General Assembly in New York

    As Trump mocks Kim Jong Un as ‘Rocket Man,’ U.S. advisers warn North Korea to end weapons program or face attack


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    When it comes to resale condos, some of the city’s key downtown intersections appear to be cornering the market with prices up to 23 per cent higher than the citywide average, according to a Tuesday report from TheRedPin.

    The real estate company looked at 25 key intersections in the core. It found two-bedroom condos at Bay and King Sts., and Bay and Bloor Sts. fetched some of the highest prices in Toronto between January and Aug. 31 — averaging above $1.5 million.

    Two-bedroom apartments in the tony Yorkville neighbourhood at Bloor St. and Avenue Rd. sold for $1.3 million on average. But one-bedroom condos near that corner were more expensive than the Bay St. intersections — costing $753,735, compared to $494,591 at Bay and King, and $626,989 near the corner of Bay and Bloor.

    Read more:

    Sales of $4 million-plus Toronto homes poised to rebound

    Toronto home prices sink further in August

    Drop in GTA home prices prompts new warning: seller beware

    The average one-bedroom unit in Toronto sold for about $545,000 during the same period and a two-bedroom condo cost about $925,000 on average.

    “At the busy traffic intersections things can be 20 per cent or more valuable,” said Enzo Ceniti, TheRedPin director of sales training.

    “If you're an investor and looking for areas to buy then you probably want to target areas like that. If you're someone who wants to be close to a particular intersection because you grew up around there or you work near there and you want to be within walking distance, you might need to pay a little bit more,” he said.

    Fifty-six per cent of condos at the 25 intersections were one-bedroom units and 30 per cent were two-bedrooms. The remainder would be studios and some larger apartments.

    “At these intersections you can see the resale value will be very, very good. Conversely the rent in those areas can be just as high,” Ceniti said.

    A similar study by TheRedPin last year showed that condos along the Bay St. corridor sold for more than Yonge St.-area apartments.

    This year’s report averaged prices within a 250-metre radius of each corner — about a three-minute walk. It is an overview, says TheRedPin. Given the confined areas of the study a couple of high or low sales can dramatically alter the average at a particular corner.

    TheRedPin reports that the least expensive one-bedroom condos were at the corner of Queen and Yonge Sts., with an average price of $371,444. There were no two-bedroom sales at that intersection.

    The lowest sale prices for two-bedroom units were at Yonge and Dundas Sts. where the average was $658,234.

    Pre-construction condos where consumers have to visualize what a floor-plan will look like before the building actually exists, offer good value but the reward is more immediate in the resale market, Ceniti said.

    “When you're purchasing resale you can step into that unit and look around. I can see amenities, I can see exactly where my parking spot is. If you're more visually inclined, resale is the way to go — instant gratification really,” he said.

    Condo prices appreciated 24.8 per cent year over year in the first eight months of 2017, compared to single-family homes that went up 19.8 per cent in the same period.

    Condos outside the downtown tend to cost less. A one bedroom at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. averaged $424,698 during the study period. Two-bedrooms cost $583,014 on average.

    Apartments at Ellesmere and McCowan Aves. sold for $356,227 on average for a one-bedroom and $500,800 for two.

    The distinction between the house and the condo market has been shrinking as apartments are increasingly the entry-level home for Toronto-area consumers, he said.

    For years there was a sense that ground-level housing would appreciate more year over year, Ceniti said.

    “Now, as the study shows, condo prices have really increased,” he said. “Part of that is just that condos are just much more accessible so a lot of people would prefer to buy them for a low overall cost. As a result it does actually get a little bit competitive. When it gets competitive, prices go up.”


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    Peter Munk said his donation to a Toronto heart hospital is a “debt to repay” to Canada for taking in his family after the Second World War.

    On Tuesday, $100 million was contributed to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, said to be the largest contribution to a Canadian hospital in history.

    In a long, impassioned speech, Munk, founder and former chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation, extolled Canadian graciousness he experienced when he emigrated here in the late 1940s.

    “When you thank me for what I’ve done for Toronto, and you thank me for what I can do for this community, it doesn’t begin to express my immense gratitude for what this country has done for me and my family,” said Munk, who was born in Hungary. “You opened the door. You gave us everything,” he added, referring to Canada as “paradise.”

    Munk said he wants Toronto to be a beacon of innovative health care.

    “It’s critical to make the hospital a point of excellence for Canada and we have a chance to do so,” he said.

    The historic gift will be invested in efforts to optimize the quality of care and improve health outcomes for those struggling with cardiovascular diseases, both domestically and abroad.

    Read more:

    Peter Munk continues philanthropic legacy

    CEO of Toronto builder donates $10 million to St. Joseph’s hospital

    Holding the platform together is artificial intelligence, technology that could pre-emptively save lives.

    “We could monitor a patient’s heart beat every second of the day,” said Dr. Barry Rubin, medical director of the cardiac centre. “That system, using an AI-based protocol, could do things that no human could do, which is identify problems that may be on the horizon.”

    Someone at risk of a lethal heart attack, for example, would be treated “before that catastrophic event ever happened.

    “When people around the world think of artificial intelligence and cardiovascular health care delivery, they will, and should, think of Toronto,” Rubin said.

    AI is better equipped to manage, trace and detect problems, he said. And further, information like clinical notes, blood tests and X-rays, will be consolidated into one location, he added.

    Ontario Health and Long-Term Care Minister Eric Hoskins called Munk’s gift “unprecedented.”

    “Simply put, it is going to change lives,” he said. “This is going to allow the Munk Centre to leap forward beyond its peers around the world.”

    The research and talent at the hospital wouldn’t have been possible without Munk’s commitment over the past 20 years, he added.

    Since 1993, the Munk family has provided over $175 million to the cardiac centre and the University Health Network, a multidisciplinary research organization that has four Toronto hospitals under its umbrella. The cardiac centre, which is based out of Toronto General and Western Hospitals, opened in 1997.

    About 163,000 patients circulate through the hospital every year, Rubin said.

    “Mr. Munk was the world’s leading gold miner and he expects we will be world’s leading heart centre, and that’s the mission I will deliver,” he said. “Anybody can cut a cheque, but they (the Munk family) do philanthropy with a deep purpose. You can hear it in the way he speaks about Canada.”


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    In an area of Toronto starved for outdoor skating rinks, McCowan District Park was supposed to be a major attraction by now. Its hockey rink and its winding, landscaped leisure-skating path have appeared to be complete and ready for residents to lace up and glide for a long time. It was scheduled to open in January 2017 after nine months of construction, when it would have become Scarborough’s second outdoor skating facility.

    Instead, the entire $600,000 facility on McCowan Rd. just south of Eglinton Ave. E., remains behind construction fences, its brand-new concrete already veined with cracks and surgically excavated in places to expose the piping underneath. It will not be ready for action until at least December 2018, almost two years behind schedule.

    The city quietly announced this week in an update on the parks website that a problem with the refrigeration piping installed in the facility has damaged the brand-new concrete surface upon which ice is supposed to be made.

    “This was outside the control of the city, and staff are working with the designer and construction company to determine the reason for the failure and an appropriate solution,” city spokesperson Jane Arbour wrote in an email this week.

    Arbour says the reconstruction necessary will be done at no additional costs to the city, and that staff members are working with the contractor both to expedite the reconstruction and diagnose what caused the need for it. “It has been determined that the refrigeration piping embedded in the concrete slabs failed. Investigation has found that the piping blistered, expanded, fractured and broke in some locations, however, the exact reason for the failure of the piping hasn’t been determined,” Arbour says by email. She says the problem became evident in January when the contractor who built the facility started up the system to prepare for its opening.

    Local Councillor Gary Crawford, who has been so proudly anticipating the new ice park that he included it in his 2014 election campaign materials, says the result is that the entire thing will need to be ripped out — all the concrete, all the refrigeration piping — and built again. And so another year of skating will be lost. “I’m completely frustrated,” Crawford says. “When I first found out about this I had a very intense meeting with city staff to find out what went wrong.”

    Ripping out and rebuilding the path and rink will take five months, Arbour says, and work cannot begin until “weather permits” — presumably in spring 2018.

    It’s hard to overstate how anticipated this rink and path are for some residents of Scarborough. In a country, and a city, where outdoor skating — both shinny hockey and family fun — are the stuff of myth and literature, until recently even depicted on the five dollar bill, the former municipality in the east end has long felt left out when it gets cold.

    A decision by the City of Scarborough decades back to cover all of its ice rinks to make them more usable as indoor arenas left it only one outdoor ice surface, at the former Scarborough city hall in Albert Campbell Square. Meanwhile, in other parts of the city, shinny pads in parks where people can wander up with their skates are common. (I, for instance, live less than a 10-minute drive from at least three.) There are 52 in the city in total.

    The lack of ice in Scarborough became a flashpoint in the city during the Rob Ford years, pointing to the area’s perceived have-not status also represented by poor public transit service. Local politicians and residents at public meetings called for the immediate construction of four or five new ice rinks to address the gap. McCowan District Park’s facility was planned in 2014 to at last give Scarborough another place to skate.

    And a beautiful one: in addition to a traditional hockey rink surrounded by boards and bleachers, the park is to have an ice path winding hundreds of metres through trees and tall grasses. Similar paths have opened over the past few years at Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke and Greenwood Park in east Toronto and have become immediately popular destinations for families during the winter.

    Crawford says the same popularity is expected at McCowan Park. “This is very anticipated by residents,” he says. The city recently installed a new crosswalk to the park in anticipation of heavy foot traffic by skaters. Crawford has been getting “a lot” of response about the delay, even before the newest announcement went out. People, he says, can see the fencing up and the lack of any apparent work being done.

    Crawford says he hopes his office and city staff will be able to figure out a temporary solution this year — to have some kind of artificial ice on the site for people to use, even if it can’t and won’t be the full path and hockey rink that are planned.

    John Tory’s office reports similar frustration at city hall. “Mayor Tory is extremely disappointed this project isn’t finished,” says Don Peat, the mayor’s communications director. “The mayor agrees with parks staff that the rink and skating path should be rebuilt at no additional cost to the city.”

    No additional money cost, of course. As Crawford points out, the “inconvenience” is a cost born by Scarborough residents, who will go another winter without the skating facility we’ve already paid for. Another lost season when local kids could be learning to skate, passing the hours, having fun. Another winter felling left out in the cold.

    Edward Keenan writes on city issues ekeenan@thestar.ca . Follow: @thekeenanwire


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    Metrolinx has pushed back the opening date for the oft-delayed Finch West LRT again, and says this time its troubled vehicle order from Bombardier is to blame.

    According to Metrolinx, the provincial agency in charge of co-ordinating transit in the GTHA, the $1.2-billion,11-kilometre light rail line now won’t open until 2022 at the earliest, instead of 2021.

    Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins wrote in an email that the one-year delay was caused by “uncertainty with the Bombardier vehicle supply,” which forced the agency to pause the procurement process for Finch last year.

    She said Metrolinx restarted the procurement in May when it announced that it had signed a sole-source deal with Alstom, a Bombardier competitor, to supply a fleet of 17 vehicles for Finch.

    The Alstom deal “provides certainty that we will have the vehicles required to operate the service,” Aikins said.

    She said the new opening date of 2022 is only an estimate. “We will have a firm construction schedule once the contract for Finch West LRT is awarded in the spring of 2018.”

    A spokesperson for Bombardier denied that the company was at fault for the delay. “Any pretention to that effect does not stand the test of facts,” wrote Marc-André Lefebvre in an email.

    He asserted that Bombardier was “ready, able, and willing” to deliver the vehicles on time for Finch’s opening.

    The 18-stop Finch LRT would connect the TTC’s future Finch West subway station to Humber College’s North Campus in Etobicoke. It has repeatedly been postponed since mayor David Miller unveiled it in 2007 as part of his Transit City plan.

    When the provincial government announced in 2009 that it would fund the project, it predicted that construction could be completed by 2013.

    Subsequent setbacks, including mayor Rob Ford’s attempt to cancel Transit City upon taking office in 2010, caused the opening date to be pushed to 2019, and then 2021.

    Councillor Anthony Perruzza, who represents one of the wards through which the LRT would pass, said he was “saddened” by the latest delay.

    Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) said the LRT is badly needed because the Finch bus line “is very much at capacity.” The line carries 44,000 riders a day and is the TTC’s second-busiest bus route.

    He said the buses frequently bunch up and “are always crowded. You’re just shoulder to shoulder.”

    Last fall, Metrolinx issued a notice of intent to terminate its $770-million order with Bombardier, which the agency placed in 2010 for 182 vehicles to run on the Finch, the Eglinton Crosstown, and other Toronto-area light rail lines. The agency said that the company still hadn’t delivered the first pilot vehicles, which were supposed to arrive in the spring of 2015, and had defaulted.

    Bombardier countered that it would still be able to deliver the fleet before the lines opened, and took Metrolinx to court to block the agency from cancelling the deal. In April a judge sided with the company, and the fate of the purchase is now tied up in a dispute resolution process.

    In a separate development, a different legal battle between Metrolinx and Bombardier was quietly resolved last week.

    In August, Bombardier filed an application for a judicial review of Metrolinx’s decision to lock the company out of a bid to operate the agency’s passenger service.

    Bombardier currently holds contracts to operate GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express, both of which are overseen by Metrolinx. But the agency plans to issue another contract in 2023, by which time it hopes to have dramatically increased GO Transit service under its regional express rail expansion plan.

    Metrolinx initially said Bombardier couldn’t bid on the new deal because it would involve reviewing its existing passenger operations, which the agency claimed would pose a conflict of interest.

    However, Metrolinx said this week that after consulting with the industry it decided to package the procurement for rail operations with the bid for the design and construction of express rail infrastructure.

    That should allow Bombardier to take part in the procurement as part of consortium bidding to design, build, and operate the express network. Bombardier’s litigation was adjourned on Sept. 13.

    Lefebvre, the Bombardier spokesperson, said that the company “acknowledges and welcomes” Metrolinx’s intention to amend the procurement.


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    OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending controversial changes meant to restrict how small business owners can reduce their tax hit even as he faces questions about taxes on what he called his “family fortune.”

    Trudeau stood by the proposed reforms Tuesday, saying they are an integral part of Liberal government’s efforts to make the tax system fairer.

    “The issue here is that the current system we have benefits wealthy Canadians and doesn’t give a fair shake to the middle class, and that is one of the things that Canadians asked us to change,” the prime minister told a news conference.

    A new poll shows that Canadians agree that the rich and big business should pay more taxes, but opinions are split on the measures proposed by the Liberals.

    Indeed, half of all Canadians are in the dark about the changes, leaving ample opportunity for both critics and proponents to win people to their side of the issue, said Eli Yufest, chief executive officer of Campaign Research.

    “There’s an opportunity for both sides to sway opinion and galvanize the public,” Yufest said.

    Read more:

    Plan to rein in ‘income sprinkling’ a welcome tax reform: Wells

    Trudeau, Scheer spar over Liberals’ small business tax proposal as Parliament returns

    Why Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan is politically necessary: Walkom

    The measures, unveiled during the summer, would limit the ability of business owners to engage in so-called “income sprinkling,” paying part of their income to family members — named as employees — to reduce their tax exposure.

    Ottawa also wants to crack down on passive income from investments parked within a private corporation — money that can be shielded from the higher personal income tax rate.

    Finally, the finance department wants to limit the ability of private corporations to convert portions of income into capital-gains earnings, which are subject to a lower tax rate.

    Recent polling by Campaign Research found that support for each of the measures ranged from 36 per cent to 41 per cent. About one-third of those surveyed opposed the changes.

    Opinion was split whether the changes would make the tax system fairer, with 34 per cent saying it would mean more fairness, 33 per cent saying it would be less fair and 33 per cent saying they didn’t know.

    But the proposed changes have stirred outrage among some small business owners who say they will be unfairly hit in the pocketbook.

    Trudeau said Tuesday that his government has heard the concerns, “some legitimate, some less so.”

    He said the worries raised by small business owners, opposition MPs, even members of his own caucus could result in modifications to the planned reforms.

    “We will ensure that we’re doing it the right way, so that hard-working, middle-class small businesses, hard-working, middle-class farmers do not get penalized by a measure that is aimed at wealthy Canadians,” Trudeau said.

    “We are moving forward to make the tax system fairer . . . but how we exactly move forward, what measures are in the legislation going forward is directly impacted and affected by the questions people ask, the concerns brought up,” he said.

    Still, the opposition Conservatives have jumped on the changes, making it the focus of their time in question period as Parliament resumed sitting this week after the summer recess.

    “Why is the prime minister putting the future of Canadian job creators at risk with this increased tax hike?” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked.

    “We are talking about the farmer who employs five people or the family-run sporting goods store employing 20 people,” Scheer told the Commons Tuesday. “I know the Liberals might like to look down on these kinds of jobs, but these are the job creators who provide opportunities in our neighbourhoods.”

    The Conservative leader used a visit to a small Ottawa brewery on Tuesday to launch a campaign titled “Save Local Business,” an effort to step up public pressure on the Liberals on the issue.

    The prime minister himself faced questions Tuesday about whether he has been on the receiving end of beneficial tax interpretations around the trust fund left by his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, and a Laurentian property that produces revenue.

    Trudeau said his personal financial dealings have been in a blind trust since he became party leader.

    “I no longer have dealings with the way our family fortune is managed, and I have been open and transparent about that,” he said.

    “I have been entirely consistent in my desire to not be perceived as bending or breaking any rules. Obviously, we follow all the rules, and I’m assured that the folks who are managing my personal finances are following all the rules,” he said.

    Conservative MP Lisa Raitt took to Twitter to highlight Trudeau’s comment about his own wealth. “Here’s a tip — if you want to be seen as a man of the people try not to refer to your assets as ‘my family fortune.’ ”

    The Campaign Research poll of 1,770 respondents was conducted online between Sept. 8 and 11. It has a margin of error plus or minus 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    With files from Alex Ballingall


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    Immediately before Toronto police Const. Gregory Browne took a 15-year-old into a North York police station for booking on a November 2011 night, the teen — who had just been arrested for assaulting another police officer — asked if he could tell Browne something.

    “I don’t know what happened . . . I learned from a lawyer program how to talk to police,” Browne recalled the young boy said, in testimony Tuesday at the Toronto police tribunal.

    The ongoing misconduct hearing of two Toronto police officers in the so-called Neptune Four case resumed with an account from Browne, the officer who transported one of the teens to the police station after the four boys were stopped then arrested.

    Const. Adam Lourenco and his partner Const. Scharnil Pais are accused under Ontario’s Police Services Act of unlawfully arresting the main complainant in the case, his twin brother, and two of their friends — boys all 16 or under at the time.

    Lourenco also faces two other charges of disorderly conduct for allegedly using unreasonable force, one for punching the main complainant and another for pointing his gun at three of the teens.

    The officers pleaded not guilty, and none of the allegations against them have been proven at the tribunal.

    Because the teens faced criminal charges under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Star is not identifying them.

    Read more:

    Lawyer contradicts teen’s testimony in ‘Neptune Four’ case

    Teen tells police tribunal he looked to other officers for help — and no one stepped up

    Teen allegedly punched by cop in ‘Neptune Four’ case finally gets to tell his tale: DiManno

    The hearing stems from a 2011 incident when four boys were on their way to an after-school learning program in a Lawrence Heights public housing complex on Neptune Dr. The group was stopped by Lourenco and Pais, both with the now-disbanded Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) unit.

    According to police records, the officers were at the Neptune Dr. buildings to enforce the Trespass to Property Act on behalf of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

    When they were approached by police, one of the boys attempted to exercise his constitutional right to walk away.

    Last month, the tribunal heard from that boy — now the main complainant — who alleged he was punched and had a gun pointed at him after he attempted to stand up for his rights to walk away.

    The young man then testified that Lourenco handcuffed him and violently placed him into the car of another unit called for backup. Once inside the car, he tried to explain what happened to a Black officer who had not witnessed the original interaction.

    “He was Black and I was trying to appeal to him,’” the witness said of the officer, identified Tuesday as Browne.

    The witness went on to say that the officer was respectful but told him to “forget about the rights stuff,” in reference to defending his constitutional right to walk away from police under certain circumstances.

    “He said . . . basically don’t use it. It’s not going to work in real life,” the witness said last month.

    But Browne testified Tuesday that while he did give the teen some advice, it was only after the teen told Browne he understood that he didn’t have to speak to police under any circumstances.

    Browne told the tribunal he’d gotten the impression that the teen had told Lourenco and Pais to “f--- off immediately on contact.” The officer then gave the teen advice, saying “I don’t think that’s a good idea anywhere in life.”

    While Browne had made some notes about the conversation — which took place outside of North York’s 32 division, according to Browne — he hadn’t written down that the teen or anyone else in the group had told the officers to “f--- off.”

    When asked why he hadn’t made a note of that, Browne said that he was inexperienced at the time — he’d only been with TAVIS for a month — and had felt “some stupid reason” that he could not write curse words in his notes.

    Browne also maintained that he would not forget someone stating that they’d told an officer to “f--- off,” so he didn’t need to make a note of it.

    The four teens were charged with assaulting police, and the young man who did not want to answer police questions was charged with threatening death and assault with intent to resist arrest. All of the charges were later withdrawn.

    The charges against Lourenco and Pais came after an investigation by Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director, spurred by the four teens complaining to the watchdog. One of the four teens has since withdrawn his complaint and is not participating in the hearing.

    With Star files


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    Jonah and Emily live on a leafy street dotted with stout detached brick homes in midtown Toronto. They live with their sons, aged 18 and 21. Both sons attend university full time.

    Jonah works out of his home, having incorporated a consulting business a decade ago that markets his expertise in time management to Canadian corporations. Emily does not work.

    The business — Be the Best You Can Be!! — earned $220,000 in 2016 before tax. BBB!! paid Jonah $100,000 in salary and “sprinkled” the remaining after-tax profits to Emily and the couples’ sons as dividends. (Emily and the boys paid $1 each for their shares in BBB!!)

    The contribution made by the two sons to the enterprise consists of mocking Jonah at the dinner table for his inappropriate acronymic social media terminology. The offspring have no meaningful involvement in the company, though Jonah sees them as “media advisers.” Jonah consults his sons when his computer misbehaves. The sons have been deployed from time to time to distribute BBB!! flyers, which Jonah refers to as “administrative assistance.”

    After all this shimmying, I mean sprinkling, the total tax paid on the $220,000 was about $44,000.

    Susan lives next door to Jonah, Emily and the two man-boys. Susan pulls down $220,000 a year as vice-president of human resources for a mid-sized company. On this, Susan pays income tax of $79,000.

    Susan is aware of the presence of BBB!! next door (Jonah keeps leaving fridge magnets in her mailbox, hoping for a corporate referral). She’s not aware that Jonah’s diligent income sprinkling translates into a tax burden that is $35,000 lighter than her own.

    The above example, slightly embroidered by me, is taken from the government’s July call for comment on its proposed tax changes. Is this not a case, as the government insists, of a high income earner gaining an unfair tax advantage?

    Yes it is.

    And it is an example of the ways in which the greatest tax benefits can accrue to the wealthiest.

    It’s well worth noting that the dividends earned by offspring skew toward family members in the 18 to 21 age bracket — in other words, when the children are young and likely penniless. (Men account for more than 70 per cent of high income earners who have adopted an income sprinkling strategy.)

    Even past attempts to stanch the flow of income to minors haven’t been altogether successful. Some high income taxpayers cottoned on to a circumvention strategy by sprinkling tax-deductible interest payments to minors.

    The message from the Liberal government is clear: income sprinkling allows fellows like Jonah to “opt out” of the progressivity of the income tax system. To quote from the July paper: “This is fundamentally unfair, and erodes the tax base and the integrity of the tax system.”

    I have not described the sum of the government’s initiatives. Holding a passive investment portfolio inside a private corporation and converting a corporation’s income into lower-taxed capital gains are the other two.

    Read more:

    Trudeau, Scheer spar over Liberals’ small business tax proposal as Parliament returns

    Why Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan is politically necessary: Walkom

    Dissenting doctors write open letter in support of federal tax reforms

    Critics have attempted to blow off the targetting of income sprinkling as financially of little consequence — the government forecasts that it will draw additional revenue of $250 million annually once new measures are implemented. And fear that the negative impact will land where it should not — the family-run business that relies on the steady contribution of offspring.

    The Liberals were clear in their election run-up and more so in their first budget in the spring of 2016 that they were moving in on high-net-worth individuals who use private corporations to reduce or defer tax. And surely it’s reasonable to expect that a family member’s contribution to a private corporation must be of measurable value.

    The deadline for comment on these changes, set for Oct. 2, fast approaches.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t approach quickly enough. With all the howling and screaming in the House one would think that the Liberals are off message, or have pulled a fast one.

    Canadian-Controlled Private Corporations (CCPC) have been a mounting issue for years. The Department of Finance notes that the number of CCPCs grew by 600,000 to 1.8 million between 2001 and 2014. It’s long past time for the government of the day to address when they are appropriately used, and when they are not.

    jenwells@thestar.ca


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    That wasn’t a U.S. president at the UN General Assembly threatening to rain nuclear destruction on the planet, it was a failed preacher with long yellow hair from Nutbucket, Fla., threatening to rain nuclear destruction on the planet, same difference.

    Either way, the odds of tens of millions of people dying by the time this enraged addled man leaves office are ballooning. Take it to the limit, Donald Trump! He won’t be able to resist that white mushroom cloud, that final glorious statement.

    And what better place to announce it than the UN, where, as he sees it, funny-coloured foreigners soak up American money. Trump gave not a speech, but a sermon. It was so bad it was unholy.

    Read more: At UN, Donald Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

    Donald Trump’s 6 false claims about Asia bring total to 588

    One hesitates to deride Trump on a cheesy social scale — is that not what made Americans elect him? — but here’s what he had to say about the UN in better times, specifically on Twitter on Oct. 3, 2012. “ “The cheap 12” sq. marble tiles behind speaker at UN always bothered me. I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me.”

    And here he stands now, President Kitchen Backsplash.

    It is difficult to sum up the speech, despite having taken notes while watching on three screens, because the whammos, the bone chips and viscera, came at us faster than they could be wiped away.

    He threatened to totally destroy North Korea, I got that bit, but at one point, I stopped and asked my companion, “Sorry, who is going to hell? Did I hear that?”

    Apparently I did, and the answer is some portions of the world.

    Trump’s cowboy world view is Black Hats vs. White Hats. “If the righteous many don’t confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” he said. This was pretty formless but then the list of people and things that he finds objectionable grew long as a serpent’s tail.

    It included North Korea and a certain leader he didn’t name, certain countries who don’t pay their UN membership fees — oh, they know who they are — “loser terrorists,” economic migrants, certain countries on the UN Human Rights Council, Cuba, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, Bashar Assad of Syria, Iran and everyone who sails in and with her, international trade tribunals, bureaucracy, and many more. Saudi Arabia’s great, though.

    This is only a shopping list, of course. Huge accretions of grievance lie beneath the mention of trade tribunals, nuclear treaties, and red tape.

    And then there was the weird reference to sweet little Japanese girls being kidnapped to work as translators. Apparently someone had told Trump that personalization really grabs an audience. But it’s an American thing. It strikes a false note.

    Just as we have never seen Trump laugh, we have never seen him express genuine affection for another human. He shakes his wife’s hand; it’s nice of her to take it.

    Trump’s fake personal angle gives Americans the impression they’re going to war over that religion student Otto Warmbier.

    There are many matters no one had the courage to explain to Trump, who is not an idiot, he is a box of idiots. For instance, that 2013 Iran treaty was both multilateral and a genuine triumph if the sole aim was to prevent Iran having nuclear weapons.

    And then there are minor things. Rocket Man was not a ridiculous Slim Pickens riding an H-bomb to vaporization in Dr. Strangelove, he was a depressed astronaut who missed his wife and kids.

    Did no one tell Trump that threats and inaccurate ridicule are the wrong way to approach a madman? On the same day in Danzig in 1939, Hitler told Britain, “One does not send ultimatums to the Germany of today — may London take note!”

    This is why you never threaten to spit in your kid’s milk, because you’re going to have to deliver. So now what, Donald? The U.S. will no longer promote democracy, the world is black and white (mostly black) and you’ve basically promised a nuclear war. For the next three years you and the world will not be on speaking terms.

    And this is why you will need the UN, as a note passer. UN, tell Canada we can grow our own softwood. Also hardwood. Yeah, tell them that.

    I see “parade” circled in my notes. Yes, Trump is planning a huge military parade in front of the White House for next July 4.

    What a Kremlinesque year lies ahead.

    hmallick@thestar.ca


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    MEXICO CITY—A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 120 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly.

    The quake is the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 quake on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful quake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south.

    Mexico City’s mayor said at least 30 died in the capital, and officials in Morelos state, just to the south, said 54 died there.

    At least 26 others died in Puebla state, state disaster prevention chief Carlos Valdes said. Gov. Alfredo del Mazo said at least nine died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital.

    Mancera said 50 to 60 people were rescued alive by citizens and emergency workers in Mexico City.

    The federal interior minister, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, said authorities had reports of people possibly still being trapped in collapsed buildings. He said search efforts were slow because of the fragility of rubble.

    “It has to be done very carefully,” he said. And “time is against us.”

    Read more: Mexico mourns 66 dead after twin punch of earthquake, hurricane

    At one site, reporters saw onlookers cheer as a woman was pulled from the rubble. Rescuers immediately called for silence so they could listen for others who might be trapped.

    Mariana Morales, a 26-year-old nutritionist, was one many who spontaneously participated in rescue efforts.

    She wore a paper face mask and her hands were still dusty from having joined a rescue brigade to clear rubble from a building that fell in a cloud of dust before her eyes, about 15 minutes after the quake.

    Morales said she was in a taxi when the quake struck, and she out and sat on a sidewalk to try to recover from the scare. Then, just a few yards away, the three-story building collapsed.

    A dust-covered Carlos Mendoza, 30, said that he and other volunteers had been able to pull two people alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building three hours of effort.

    “We saw this and came to help,” he said. “It’s ugly, very ugly.”

    Alma Gonzalez was in her fourth floor apartment in the Roma neighbourhood when the quake collapsed the ground floor of her building, leaving her no way out — until neighbours set up a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.

    Gala Dluzhynska said she was taking a class with 11 other women on the second floor of a building on the trendy Alvaro Obregon street when the quake struck and window and ceiling panels fell as the building began to tear apart.

    She said she fell in the stairs and people began to walk over her, before someone finally pulled her up.

    “There were no stairs anymore. There were rocks,” she said.

    They reached the bottom only to find it barred. A security final came and unlocked it.

    The quake sent people throughout the city fleeing from homes and offices, and many people remained in the streets for hours, fearful of returning to the structures.

    Alarms blared and traffic stopped around the Angel of Independence monument on the iconic Reforma Avenue.

    Electricity and cellphone service was interrupted in many areas and traffic was snarled as signal lights went dark.

    The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.1 hit at 1:14 p.m. local time and it was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 123 kilometres southeast of Mexico City.

    Puebla Gov. Tony Gali tweeted that there had been damaged buildings in the city of Cholula including collapsed church steeples.

    Earlier in the day workplaces across the city held readiness drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake, a magnitude 8.0 shake, which killed thousands of people and devastated large parts of Mexico City.

    In that tragedy, too, ordinary citizens played a crucial role in rescue efforts that overwhelmed officials.

    Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, said she was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother.

    Local media broadcast video of whitecap waves churning the city’s normally placid canals of Xochimilco as boats bobbed up and down.

    Mexico City’s international airport suspended operations and was checking facilities for any damage.

    Much of Mexico City is built on former lake bed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centred hundreds of kilometres away.

    The new quake appeared to be unrelated to the magnitude 8.1 temblor that hit Sept. 7 off Mexico’s southern coast and which also was felt strongly in the capital.

    U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle noted that the epicentres of the two quakes are 650 kilometres apart and most aftershocks are within 100 kilometres.

    There have been 19 earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or larger within 250 kilometres of Tuesday’s quake in the past century, Earle said.

    Earth usually has about 15 to 20 earthquakes this size or larger each year, Earle said.

    Initial calculations show that more than 30 million people would have felt moderate shaking from Tuesday’s quake. The U.S. Geological Survey predicts “significant casualty and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread.”


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    He’s ringing up a sale at the cash register. He’s looking out the window. He’s streaking out from behind the counter. He’s bursting through the door. He’s raising his arms.

    As if to say: STOP!

    But there’s no audio on the surveillance footage.

    And the last we see of Jayesh Prajapati is a blur of red and yellow — his Shell gas uniform jacket — disappearing out of the frame, at the front passenger edge of what we know is an older model silver Isuzu Rodeo SUV as it peels off in stop-frame slow motion.

    From the witness stand, Det. Robert North explains what’s barely visible immediately after, just a speck of red protruding for a split second: “This is what I believe to be Mr. Prajapati starting to go underneath the vehicle.”

    Later, almost 78 metres from that Shell station at 850 Roselawn Ave., police would discover Prajapati’s shoes; one over here, one over there.

    Just beyond, finally dislodged from the undercarriage of the SUV as it crossed a set of unused railway tracks, the 44-year-old’s lifeless body, death caused by multiple blunt and crushing injuries.

    A husband and father, a good man, well-liked by residents in the area for whom that gas station provided a handy convenience store. “I’ll honour you for next time,” he’d say to regulars from the public housing building across the street, if they happened to be cash-short for a jug of milk, a loaf of bread.

    Read more:Gas station attendant was dragged along Roselawn Ave., murder trial hears

    A man who, as recalled outside court Tuesday by Liberal MP Mike Colle — this is his riding, the gas station he frequented, Prajapati someone he knew — would travel two hours by TTC every day, getting to his job from the family home in Etobicoke.

    A hard-working immigrant from India who, said Colle, had obtained his Canadian citizenship not long before that night, Sept. 15, 2012.

    A dreadful loss of a human life. Over $112.85.

    That amount, Crown attorney Jenny Rodopoulos told a jury Tuesday, is what the driver of the SUV hadn’t paid after gassing up, after filling two jerry cans with gasoline as well, shoving them in the back seat of the vehicle.

    The SUV just took off into the night, dragging Prajapati away, wedged beneath.

    Max Tutiven was arrested in Montreal three years later. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

    “The Crown’s theory is that either Mr. Tutiven saw Mr. Prajapati in the path of his travel and intentionally drove at and struck Mr. Prajapati with his vehicle and, rather than stopping, chose to keep driving,” Rodopoulos told jurors in her opening address. “Or, even if Mr. Tutiven did not intentionally drive at Mr. Prajapati, after striking Mr. Prajapati with his vehicle, Mr. Tutiven chose not to stop and chose to continue driving, knowing that he was dragging Mr. Prajapati underneath his vehicle.”

    On the first day of the trial, the jury was shown scores of still images taken from surveillance tape captured by several different cameras at and around the station. They also watched moving segments of those tapes.

    But none of the cameras actually caught the point of impact.

    There are, however, said Rodopoulos, eyewitnesses present and who will testify about what they saw. Those witnesses, court was told, include two men who were at the cash register just before Prajapati apparently spotted the SUV driver getting into his vehicle after replacing the gas nozzle without paying.

    Another witness, from his 18th floor apartment across the street, heard someone yelling, “followed by a sickening sound of dragging and squealing tires,” said Rodopoulos. “When he heard a voice shout ‘Someone call 911!’ he went on the balcony and saw an SUV fleeing along Roselawn, in the area of Marlee Ave. north of Eglinton Ave.”

    A further witness, said Rodopoulos, will testify about both hearing and seeing the dragging of Prajapati from her balcony.

    On the video snippets played Tuesday — Prajapati’s widow, Vaishali, in the courtroom — the SUV driver is clearly visible going about his business, looking this way and that, but never removing a wallet from his pocket.

    In coming days, jurors will also watch security video, Rodopoulos said in her “road map” introduction, of six earlier gas thefts that had occurred at different stations around Toronto between Nov. 10, 2011 and Aug. 24, 2012. “All of the videos show a male suspect — who the Crown alleges was Mr. Tutiven — driving an older model silver Isuzu Rodeo, attending the Esso and Shell gas stations, pumping gas into the vehicle and into some red canisters, and then driving away without paying for the gas. These videos show the same suspect using the same vehicle and stealing gas in the same fashion as the male who killed Mr. Prajapati.”

    Same guy as the man now sitting in the courtroom next to his defence lawyer, she said.

    It will be for the judge to explain the relevance of similar fact evidence.

    A gas-and-dash crime, as alleged.

    Except this one ended with a dead employee, a widowed wife and a fatherless son.

    “What Mr. Prajapati didn’t know when he went to work that evening was that he would never finish his shift.”

    The trial continues.

    Mea Culpa:Sherry Brydson, heiress, is the granddaughter of newspaper proprietor Roy Thomson and niece to Ken Thomson, late owner of the Globe and Mail. Information that appeared in this column space Monday was incorrect.

    Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.


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    The City of Toronto is considering pouring $1.64 million into a drain.

    But not just any drain.

    The city’s historic central drain from 1831 is one of many archaeological discoveries made during the St. Lawrence north market’s renovation near Front and Jarvis Streets.

    The proposal for a glass “viewing portal” looking onto the drain under the new north market redevelopment would be visible “through a glass covered interpretation area,” the report to committee says.

    The drain feature would cost $1.96 million and the existing redevelopment budget could fund it but construction would require an additional $1.64 million.

    The government management committee will consider the proposal on Sept. 25, followed by city council on Oct. 2.

    The current north market redevelopment budget is $91.5 million and includes 250 underground parking spaces, a five-storey atrium, a market hall and mezzanine, court services and courtrooms.

    Four markets have sat on the current north market site. Drainage systems, walls, storage cellars and support columns have been uncovered from the 1820, 1831, 1851 and 1904 periods.

    Heritage Preservation Services hoped to create a comprehensive glass floor over the 1831 drain, but the original $5.3 million plan fell through.

    The glass floor plan was not feasible because of the technical requirements for a floor that would bear traffic, while remaining see-through and not slippery.

    Suzanne Kavanagh, president of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, called the project a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Toronto’s heritage.

    “We’ve got some naysayers walking around saying, you want to celebrate a pipe?” she said. “But there is a story to go with it.”

    Kavanagh said the total cost of the redevelopment puts the viewing portal’s $1.96 million cost into perspective, especially since preservation requirements increase costs.

    Larry Wayne Richards, who spent nine years on the board of the Ontario Heritage Trust and is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, called the notion of preserving Toronto’s early history “a wonderful idea.”

    Richards called the archeological discoveries amazing — but said he wishes it was more comprehensively integrated into planning.

    “My concern is that it’s going to become a kind of after-the-fact footnote, costing a couple million dollars, and it’s not even the original structure,” he said.

    Still, some consider the project money down the drain.

    Richard J. Anobile, who sits on the board of directors for the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, would rather see the funds redirected to policing in the area.

    “We’re crying out for lack of funds and here we are, wanting to spend $1.64 million dollars on exposing a storm drain,” Anobile said.

    “I appreciate what one wants to do historically, but sometimes the present, I think, has to take a little bit more of a dominance over the past, especially for the people living in the area.”


    Toronto considers glass viewing feature at St. Lawrence Market reno for historic drainToronto considers glass viewing feature at St. Lawrence Market reno for historic drainToronto considers glass viewing feature at St. Lawrence Market reno for historic drainToronto considers glass viewing feature at St. Lawrence Market reno for historic drain

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    The union representing Bombardier’s production workers says employees at the company’s aerospace plant in Toronto will walk out Wednesday — a move meant to pressure Boeing to drop a trade complaint against Bombardier.

    Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in a statement that the rally is intended to give workers a voice during the ongoing dispute between the two companies.

    He said Bombardier workers “are well aware that Boeing has no case, and that workers will end up paying the price as corporations fight this out.”

    Boeing has filed a trade complaint accusing Bombardier of selling its C-Series passenger jets to a U.S. airline at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies.

    The U.S. International Trade Commission will release the preliminary results of its investigation next week, and a finding against Bombardier could result in fines or tariffs.

    Last week, Dias and Boeing officials met in Washington, D.C., where Dias encouraged Boeing to drop the complaint and seek a resolution with Bombardier.

    Read more:

    Trudeau urges Canadian aerospace companies to put pressure on Boeing

    Canada won’t do business with Boeing while it’s ‘busy trying to sue us,’ Trudeau says

    Boeing walked away from talks with Trudeau government: ambassador


    Bombardier workers to stage walk out rally in Toronto over Boeing dispute, union saysBombardier workers to stage walk out rally in Toronto over Boeing dispute, union says

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    Immediately before Toronto police Const. Gregory Browne took a 15-year-old into a North York police station for booking on a November 2011 night, the teen — who had just been arrested for assaulting another police officer — asked if he could tell Browne something.

    “I don’t know what happened . . . I learned from a lawyer program how to talk to police,” Browne recalled the young boy said, in testimony Tuesday at the Toronto police tribunal.

    The ongoing misconduct hearing of two Toronto police officers in the so-called Neptune Four case resumed with an account from Browne, the officer who transported one of the teens to the police station after the four boys were stopped then arrested.

    Const. Adam Lourenco and his partner Const. Scharnil Pais are accused under Ontario’s Police Services Act of unlawfully arresting the main complainant in the case, his twin brother, and two of their friends — boys all 16 or under at the time.

    Lourenco also faces two other charges of disorderly conduct for allegedly using unreasonable force, one for punching the main complainant and another for pointing his gun at three of the teens.

    The officers pleaded not guilty, and none of the allegations against them have been proven at the tribunal.

    Because the teens faced criminal charges under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Star is not identifying them.

    Read more:

    Lawyer contradicts teen’s testimony in ‘Neptune Four’ case

    Teen tells police tribunal he looked to other officers for help — and no one stepped up

    Teen allegedly punched by cop in ‘Neptune Four’ case finally gets to tell his tale: DiManno

    The hearing stems from a 2011 incident when four boys were on their way to an after-school learning program in a Lawrence Heights public housing complex on Neptune Dr. The group was stopped by Lourenco and Pais, both with the now-disbanded Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) unit.

    According to police records, the officers were at the Neptune Dr. buildings to enforce the Trespass to Property Act on behalf of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

    When they were approached by police, one of the boys attempted to exercise his constitutional right to walk away.

    Last month, the tribunal heard from that boy — now the main complainant — who alleged he was punched and had a gun pointed at him after he attempted to stand up for his rights to walk away.

    The young man then testified that Lourenco handcuffed him and violently placed him into the car of another unit called for backup. Once inside the car, he tried to explain what happened to a Black officer who had not witnessed the original interaction.

    “He was Black and I was trying to appeal to him,’” the witness said of the officer, identified Tuesday as Browne.

    The witness went on to say that the officer was respectful but told him to “forget about the rights stuff,” in reference to defending his constitutional right to walk away from police under certain circumstances.

    “He said . . . basically don’t use it. It’s not going to work in real life,” the witness said last month.

    But Browne testified Tuesday that while he did give the teen some advice, it was only after the teen told Browne he understood that he didn’t have to speak to police under any circumstances.

    Browne told the tribunal he’d gotten the impression that the teen had told Lourenco and Pais to “f--- off immediately on contact.” The officer then gave the teen advice, saying “I don’t think that’s a good idea anywhere in life.”

    While Browne had made some notes about the conversation — which took place outside of North York’s 32 division, according to Browne — he hadn’t written down that the teen or anyone else in the group had told the officers to “f--- off.”

    When asked why he hadn’t made a note of that, Browne said that he was inexperienced at the time — he’d only been with TAVIS for a month — and had felt “some stupid reason” that he could not write curse words in his notes.

    Browne also maintained that he would not forget someone stating that they’d told an officer to “f--- off,” so he didn’t need to make a note of it.

    The four teens were charged with assaulting police, and the young man who did not want to answer police questions was charged with threatening death and assault with intent to resist arrest. All of the charges were later withdrawn.

    The charges against Lourenco and Pais came after an investigation by Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director, spurred by the four teens complaining to the watchdog. One of the four teens has since withdrawn his complaint and is not participating in the hearing.

    With Star files


    Police tribunal puts spotlight on Black teen’s interaction with officer in cruiserPolice tribunal puts spotlight on Black teen’s interaction with officer in cruiser

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    OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending controversial changes meant to restrict how small business owners can reduce their tax hit even as he faces questions about taxes on what he called his “family fortune.”

    Trudeau stood by the proposed reforms Tuesday, saying they are an integral part of Liberal government’s efforts to make the tax system fairer.

    “The issue here is that the current system we have benefits wealthy Canadians and doesn’t give a fair shake to the middle class, and that is one of the things that Canadians asked us to change,” the prime minister told a news conference.

    A new poll shows that Canadians agree that the rich and big business should pay more taxes, but opinions are split on the measures proposed by the Liberals.

    Indeed, half of all Canadians are in the dark about the changes, leaving ample opportunity for both critics and proponents to win people to their side of the issue, said Eli Yufest, chief executive officer of Campaign Research.

    “There’s an opportunity for both sides to sway opinion and galvanize the public,” Yufest said.

    Read more:

    Plan to rein in ‘income sprinkling’ a welcome tax reform: Wells

    Trudeau, Scheer spar over Liberals’ small business tax proposal as Parliament returns

    Why Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan is politically necessary: Walkom

    The measures, unveiled during the summer, would limit the ability of business owners to engage in so-called “income sprinkling,” paying part of their income to family members — named as employees — to reduce their tax exposure.

    Ottawa also wants to crack down on passive income from investments parked within a private corporation — money that can be shielded from the higher personal income tax rate.

    Finally, the finance department wants to limit the ability of private corporations to convert portions of income into capital-gains earnings, which are subject to a lower tax rate.

    Recent polling by Campaign Research found that support for each of the measures ranged from 36 per cent to 41 per cent. About one-third of those surveyed opposed the changes.

    Opinion was split whether the changes would make the tax system fairer, with 34 per cent saying it would mean more fairness, 33 per cent saying it would be less fair and 33 per cent saying they didn’t know.

    But the proposed changes have stirred outrage among some small business owners who say they will be unfairly hit in the pocketbook.

    Trudeau said Tuesday that his government has heard the concerns, “some legitimate, some less so.”

    He said the worries raised by small business owners, opposition MPs, even members of his own caucus could result in modifications to the planned reforms.

    “We will ensure that we’re doing it the right way, so that hard-working, middle-class small businesses, hard-working, middle-class farmers do not get penalized by a measure that is aimed at wealthy Canadians,” Trudeau said.

    “We are moving forward to make the tax system fairer . . . but how we exactly move forward, what measures are in the legislation going forward is directly impacted and affected by the questions people ask, the concerns brought up,” he said.

    Still, the opposition Conservatives have jumped on the changes, making it the focus of their time in question period as Parliament resumed sitting this week after the summer recess.

    “Why is the prime minister putting the future of Canadian job creators at risk with this increased tax hike?” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked.

    “We are talking about the farmer who employs five people or the family-run sporting goods store employing 20 people,” Scheer told the Commons Tuesday. “I know the Liberals might like to look down on these kinds of jobs, but these are the job creators who provide opportunities in our neighbourhoods.”

    The Conservative leader used a visit to a small Ottawa brewery on Tuesday to launch a campaign titled “Save Local Business,” an effort to step up public pressure on the Liberals on the issue.

    The prime minister himself faced questions Tuesday about whether he has been on the receiving end of beneficial tax interpretations around the trust fund left by his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, and a Laurentian property that produces revenue.

    Trudeau said his personal financial dealings have been in a blind trust since he became party leader.

    “I no longer have dealings with the way our family fortune is managed, and I have been open and transparent about that,” he said.

    “I have been entirely consistent in my desire to not be perceived as bending or breaking any rules. Obviously, we follow all the rules, and I’m assured that the folks who are managing my personal finances are following all the rules,” he said.

    Conservative MP Lisa Raitt took to Twitter to highlight Trudeau’s comment about his own wealth. “Here’s a tip — if you want to be seen as a man of the people try not to refer to your assets as ‘my family fortune.’ ”

    The Campaign Research poll of 1,770 respondents was conducted online between Sept. 8 and 11. It has a margin of error plus or minus 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    With files from Alex Ballingall


    Justin Trudeau defends tax reforms aimed at small businessesJustin Trudeau defends tax reforms aimed at small businesses

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    It’s got the greenhouse, the curriculum and the necessary approvals.

    Now all that’s needed are up to 25 students keen on becoming the first crop of students to earn a postsecondary certificate in growing pot.

    Niagara College, located in the heart of Ontario wine country, announced Tuesday it will establish a one-year post-grad program in commercial cannabis production, which it says is the first of its kind in Canada.

    The first students, who must have earned a diploma or degree in horticulture, agricultural sciences or related fields to qualify for the program, will be part of Niagara’s “class of 2019.”

    The program will combine the finer points of plant pathology and how to grow a healthy crop with courses on the complex regulations, standards and legal requirements for licensed producers, says Al Unwin, associate dean of environmental and horticultural studies.

    Unwin said in an interview that consultations with licensed producers identified a growing demand for trained workers in the emerging industry, which currently includes 59 producers in Canada, of which 32 are in Ontario.

    That demand is expected to continue, driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad.

    “There’s a huge need for highly-skilled well-trained workers who are not only knowledgeable about the crop itself, but the legal requirements governed by Health Canada,” he said.

    Niagara currently has a two-year greenhouse technician program “so this seemed like a logical fit,” he added. Some of those students are likely to become candidates for the new certificate, which begins in the fall of 2018.

    The program, delivered in 10 courses over two semesters at the college’s campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development over the summer.

    It will include practical experience working in facilities of commercial producers.

    Curriculum is based on current legislation, which limits commercial production to cannabis used to make medical marijuana, hemp fibre and hemp seed.

    As regulations change “we’ll certainly be consulting with licensed producers,” Unwin said.

    The federal government has said it will legalize recreational marijuana next summer, though rules around distribution, licensing and retail sales will be left to the provinces.

    Earlier this month, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that after legalization, sales of recreational marijuana in the province will be restricted to its 150 LCBO-run stores, that will operate separately from liquor stores.

    Last year, a French-language college in New Brunswick announced plans for a cannabis technician program, while other organizations offer online courses.

    But Unwin said the Niagara College program is unique and reflects its strategy of being “pre-emptive” when it comes to training workers in new fields.

    Earlier this year, it created a similar buzz when it launched a commercial beekeeping program.


    Niagara College launches program in cannabis productionNiagara College launches program in cannabis production

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    There is nothing more collegiate than taking up smoking. When I entered university in the late 2000s this was the first thing I observed on campus among my teenage peers, all of us on our own for the first time in a leafy quadrangle, pretending to be adults. Suddenly we claimed to require a cup of coffee and a cigarette every morning in order to function even though, mysteriously, only a month prior, we required neither (a cup of O.J. and a slice of toast seemed to suffice).

    This caffeine/nicotine ritual took place, conveniently, not in some designated smoking section, but always in the quad, so that others could behold our new-found adult sophistication (otherwise, what was the point?).

    But this was a long time ago where campus life is concerned, before safe spaces regularly made the national news, before it was customary for university administrations to talk passionately about the importance of “health and wellness” on campus (health and wellness: I still for the life of me can’t figure out the difference between the two).

    If you’re a smoker in today’s campus climate, at McMaster University in Hamilton, where healthy living is central to that institution’s philosophy, you can say farewell to your morning ritual of a coffee and cigarette in the quad. Come Jan. 1, 2018, you will have to find another, less toxic, means of looking cool because this week McMaster announced in an official statement it will attempt to snuff out smoking on campus once and for all in the new year, effectively establishing itself as “Ontario’s first 100% tobacco and smoke-free campus.”

    According to a CBC story, the school’s smoke-free policy doesn’t just apply to campus grounds — it applies to cars parked on campus too. Under the new rule, smokers won’t even be permitted to take refuge in their vehicles in cold temperatures; they will have to drive off campus to light up.

    Why is this so? In the words of the school’s president and vice-chancellor, Patrick Deane, in a statement made by the university this week, “McMaster is globally recognized for its commitment to innovation and advancing health and societal well-being through our research, teaching and community service. A tobacco and smoke-free campus is the next important step towards fulfilling our responsibilities as educators, health-care professionals and to the communities we serve.”

    It’s also an ingenious method for preventing young people from taking up smoking. For a lot of new smokers who aren’t longtime addicts, i.e. “social smokers” (those who smoke when drunk at a party or surrounded by friends) tobacco loses its appeal away from a crowd, absent social cachet.

    However, those who choose to brave the cold to have a smoke in the quad next January shouldn’t worry about strict punitive measures, at least not yet. According to Michelle Donovan, a media rep for McMaster, the school isn’t interested in punishing students for smoking at this juncture. “The emphasis over the course of the first year,” Donovan wrote to the Star in an email, “will be on education and communication. We recognize that this is a time of change and so enforcement will be phased in. The goal here isn’t to penalize and we are still finalizing our enforcement protocols.”

    So no, McMaster security won’t be walking around confiscating packs of cigarettes come January or handing out steep fines. But with the best of intentions, the school is doing something a little bit insidious in its war on the dart.

    By forcing smokers to light up off campus in the name of “health and societal well-being” the university is showing favouritism to students and faculty members who make healthy choices. This sounds like a lovely idea in theory. And I know: nobody has much sympathy for cigarette smokers in the year 2017. “They are a drain on health care! They smell! They litter!” Etc., etc. But take McMaster’s policy to its logical conclusion and it’s easy to imagine a campus culture where cigarette smoking isn’t the only unhealthy habit on the chopping block. What about eating processed foods? Drinking alcohol? Binge watching TV? (The latter habit, one recent study suggests, may even eventually kill you!) If a school is so concerned with the health of its student body should it not prohibit these vices too?

    The recent fixation with health and wellness on university campuses is in a sense an offshoot of safe space culture one could call safe body culture. Its ethos being that not only should individuals in an institution be able to walk around without encountering ideas that may disturb their mental health, they should be equally protected from anything that might disturb their physical health — no matter how insignificant that threat may be.

    Take smoking on campus: We’re not talking about a restaurant patio, where in most cases, a smoker’s lit cigarette can interfere with the enjoyment and the health of the non-smoking patrons around him. We’re talking rather about wide-open spaces and fields, where it’s very easy to avoid the occasional plume of cigarette smoke. We’re talking, in other words, about the great outdoors. If you don’t like smelling tobacco smoke when you’re out and about, I have a very simple solution to your problem that doesn’t involve the prohibition of anything or anyone: plug your nose and walk away.


    McMaster’s well-intentioned plan to ban smoking on campus will be a drag: TeitelMcMaster’s well-intentioned plan to ban smoking on campus will be a drag: Teitel

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    A portion of the eastbound highway 401 in Mississauga is blocked following a two-vehicle collision Wednesday morning.

    The incident happened around 5 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 east of Mississauga Rd. Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a transport truck rear ended another transport truck causing the truck containing dyes and liquid products to roll over on its side.

    The driver of the truck has been taken to hospital with minor injuries.

    The closure, which reduced the traffic to two left lanes, has caused heavy delays in the area. A third lane reopened just before 7:30 a.m. Schmidt said the cleanup could three more hours, affecting morning rush hour.

    The northbound Mississauga Rd. ramp to the eastbound Highway 401 is also closed due to the collision.


    Highway 401 crash causing delays eastbound in MississaugaHighway 401 crash causing delays eastbound in Mississauga

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