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- 10/08/17--17:19: _Trump demands borde...
- 10/09/17--04:00: _Pariahs to power br...
- 10/09/17--08:31: _Trump administratio...
- 10/09/17--10:39: _Two murder suspects...
- 10/09/17--10:24: _‘Puzzling’ Toronto ...
- 10/09/17--11:08: _What’s in an Ugg? C...
- 10/09/17--12:57: _TTC worker dies of ...
- 10/09/17--13:05: _Alleged fentanyl de...
- 10/09/17--12:54: _‘We want to see cha...
- 10/09/17--12:45: _‘An inferno like yo...
- 10/09/17--13:26: _Convicted in Gallow...
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- 10/09/17--16:10: _Washington State su...
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- 10/10/17--04:35: _Man arrested after ...
- 10/08/17--17:19: Trump demands border wall funds, immigration changes
- 10/09/17--10:39: Two murder suspects in Etobicoke shooting turn themselves in
- 10/09/17--11:08: What’s in an Ugg? Court battle brews over boots brand name
- 10/09/17--12:57: TTC worker dies of injuries after McCowan accident
- 10/10/17--04:35: Man arrested after Toronto man shot and killed in Belize
WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump demanded that Congress deliver funding for his border wall and make dramatic changes to immigration policy in exchange for letting young people brought illegally to the U.S. as children stay in the country.
The administration’s proposal, outlined in a briefing by U.S. officials and sent to lawmakers on Sunday night, was swiftly rejected by top Democrats in Congress, who charged that the president had reneged on an agreement last month to allow about 800,000 so-called Dreamers to remain in the U.S.
Trump’s plan calls for fully funding his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, money to hire thousands of additional immigration agents and revamping the asylum system. Its principles are meant as the framework for a legislative reworking of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump terminated in September with a six-month sunset to allow for congressional action.
“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients,” Trump said in a letter to Congressional leaders. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”
Administration officials who briefed reporters on Sunday night described Trump’s principles — including an end to so-called chain migration, in which permanent residents and citizens can sponsor relatives for entry to the U.S. — as neither a veto threat against a DACA bill lacking the provisions nor an opening bid.
The move threatens to blow up prospects for a deal on immigration at a time when any policy change would require 60 votes in the Senate, where Republicans hold just 52 seats.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dined with Trump last month and said afterward that they had reached a tentative accord with the president to advance legislation to replace DACA and protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. On Sunday, the Democrats responded swiftly to Trump’s proposal.
“We told the president at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement. “This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”
One of the administration officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said Congress should include all of the provisions in legislation that codifies DACA, but declined to say if Trump would accept a bill that includes only some. The official declined to say which proposals were most critical, only asserting that the various policies worked in tandem.
White House legislative director Marc Short said a review of U.S. immigration laws ordered by Trump identified shortcomings in three major areas: the ability to promptly remove undocumented immigrants at the border; the enforcement of immigration standards inside the U.S., including visa overstays; and ending chain migration, which he described as unfair to taxpayers and citizens.
“The agencies’ bottom-up review identified several legislative priorities to fix these problems and modernize our immigration system,” Short said. “That includes fully funding and completing construction of the border wall and closing legal loopholes that prevent removals and swell the court backlog.”
The White House also outlined policies that would dramatically change the legal immigration system, including reducing the number of people allowed to settle in the U.S. each year. That’s expected to be part of the conversation with members of Congress, the officials said.
Trump met last week with a small group of conservative Republican lawmakers to discuss DACA legislation.
Some participants in the meeting, including Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, said Trump was willing to alter the agreement with Pelosi and Schumer by including changes to the legal immigration system. Perdue and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who also participated in the White House meeting, have written legislation to revamp U.S. immigration priorities and create what they call a “merit-based” system that would move away from chain migration and halve legal immigration over a decade.
The bill has attracted no other cosponsors, and its principles are opposed not only by Democrats but also many Republicans. But the two senators have sympathizers among Trump’s aides, and possibly in the president himself, for whom immigration was a major campaign issue.
Trump demands border wall funds, immigration changes
Of the three historic milestones that Jagmeet Singh represents — the first non-white, first South Asian and first Sikh to become leader of a national party — it is his faith, to which he so visibly and proudly belongs, that is of the utmost symbolic and substantive significance.
A century after facing raw racism on their arrival in British Columbia, Sikhs have emerged a bigger political force than any other visible minority group. Theirs has been a long and arduous journey that, at long last, constitutes a great Canadian story.
In electing Singh as leader, the New Democratic Party atones for the sins of its precursor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which demonized the Sikhs from India — often mislabeled as Hindus — landing on the west coast in the early 1900s. CCF leader J.S. Woodsworth proclaimed that they were “decidedly grotesque” and “sadly out of place in Canada.”
Echoing him was the labour movement, the other founding pillar of the future NDP. In 1907, the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council passed a motion of “emphatic protest” against the “Hindoo laborers.” The Trades and Labour Council of Canada urged exclusion of “races that cannot be assimilated.”
Reflecting prevailing prejudices, the Vancouver press portrayed the new arrivals as a danger to chaste “white women.”
The B.C. legislature in 1907 disenfranchised all “natives of India not of Anglo-Saxon parents,” and barred them from logging on Crown lands as well as entering the legal and medical professions.
Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier wrote: “The situation with regard to the Hindoos is serious ... and, to speak frankly, I see no solution for it except quietly checking the exodus from India.” His labour minister and future prime minister, Mackenzie King, said, “the Hindu is not suited to the climate of this country.”
In 1908, Ottawa enacted the infamous “continuous journey” law. Those from India would have to travel non-stop to Canada. Except that no shipping line offered direct passage. Which was the point. Other rules disallowed those not speaking a European language, and barred the re-entry of those who had gone home to visit wives and family.
By 1911, the mostly Sikh Indian population in Canada was reduced by half to 2,342.
The first real challenge to these racist policies came from an unexpected quarter. On May 23, 1914, Komagata Maru, a Japanese freighter chartered by Gurdit Singh, an enterprising Sikh from Malaya, anchored in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. It carried 376 citizens of the British Raj, 340 of them Sikhs.
“Hindu invaders now in the city harbour on Komagata Maru,” screamed a Vancouver newspaper.
The passengers were not allowed to disembark for two months. Prime Minister Robert Borden had the ship escorted out to the Pacific Ocean.
It was not until 72 years later, in May last year, that Ottawa issued a formal apology. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons: “No words can fully erase the suffering of the Komagata Maru victims. Today, we apologize and commit to doing better.” Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp, featuring the ship and Gurdit Singh. This year, Stratford Festival mounted a new adaptation of the 1976 Sharon Pollock play, The Komagata Maru Incident. Peel Art Gallery and Museum mounted an exhibition in Brampton, where Punjabi is now the second-most spoken language and which Jagmeet Singh has represented in the Ontario Legislature since 2011.
Contemporary influx of Sikhs to Canada began in the 1970s, along with other groups from Asia under liberalized immigration.
That was the time when Sikhs in India were agitating for a separate homeland, Khalistan, the land of the pure. From a relatively peaceful, political protest movement it evolved into a militant campaign, with its leader and armed followers taking refuge in the Golden Temple, the Sikh’s holiest shrine, in Amritsar, in 1982. In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian army in.
A reported 1,500 were killed in that military operation. In retaliation, Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards as she came out of her residence in Delhi. That triggered retaliatory attacks on Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere, killing an estimated 3,000.
In 1985, an Air India flight out of Toronto was blown up by an on-board bomb, off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 people — the worst terrorist incident in Canadian history. Suspicion fell on a group of West Coast Sikhs, but only one, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was convicted (and paroled last year). All the facts were never established due to a prolonged, botched RCMP investigation and despite two federal inquiries.
All this has remained a sore point with India — and also many Canadian Hindus. Both tend to see Sikh critics of India as radical “Khalistanis.”
In 1987, on a foggy July morning, 174 Sikhs were found standing on a highway in Shelburne County, N.S. They had been let off near the shore by a boat. One asked where he could find a taxi to Toronto. Eventually, they were accepted as refugees, as were thousands of other Sikhs.
In Canada, Sikhs continued battling numerous challenges to their right to wear the turban and kirpan, the ceremonial dagger. In 1989, more than 90,000 Canadians signed a petition opposing turbans in the RCMP. The Reform Party, led by Preston Manning, fully backed that campaign. It was not until 1990 that Baltej Singh Dhillon became the first turbaned Mountie.
Buffeted by overseas and domestic developments, Sikhs started organizing the community. They were soon contesting federal and provincial nominations with vigour. That prompted right-wing media and pundits to repeatedly raise the spectre of “ethnic politics,” with nary a mention of why it has always been laudable for other Canadians to recruit friends, fellow farmers, bankers or any other like-minded group for a political cause but not for the Sikhs.
The 1993 federal election turned out to be a mini-milestone — Sikhs had more seats in the Commons than the Conservatives, three to two.
Gurbax Singh Malhi of Malton became the first turbaned Sikh member of Parliament — in fact, the first in the Western world. During question period in the Commons, he was seated in camera range right behind Jean Chrétien his blazing red turban announcing the emerging new Canada.
Non-turbaned Sikhs also gained national prominence — among them, Herbance Singh (Herb) Dhaliwal, a federal minister, and Ujjal Singh Dosanjh, NDP premier of B.C. who later became a Liberal and was named to the federal cabinet.
Sikh success in Canadian politics and the public sphere since has been remarkable.
Their annual community event, the Khalsa Day is celebrated in every major city. It has become de rigueur for political leaders from the Prime Minister on down to be present. Politicians of all parties routinely visit gurdwaras, Sikh temples, where they take off their shoes, cover their heads as per custom and sit on the floor in separate men’s and women’s sections, and later volunteer at the langar, the dining hall where people take turns serving free food to one and all.
Today, of the 41 elected South Asian members of Parliament and the provincial legislatures, 30 are Sikhs. And last year, Sabi Marwah, the first turbaned Sikh vice-chairman and chief operating officer of the Bank of Nova Scotia, was appointed to the Senate.
When Justin Trudeau named four Sikhs to his cabinet — Navdeep Bains, Bardish Chagger, Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi — the prime minister boasted that he had more Sikh ministers than the federal cabinet in India.
That ill-advised remark rankled New Delhi, which has also kept a wary eye on several Canadian Sikhs, including Jagmeet Singh. He has been a vocal critic of India’s handling of the 1984 Sikh killings. He has said that the euphemism “riots” is “a misnomer for what happened. These were not riots between the two (communities — Hindus and Sikhs). It was a state-sponsored massacre.”
In 2014, he was denied a visa to India, with Indian spokesmen accusing him of “fomenting contempt” against India. He responded that India “continues to use visa denial as a form of silencing its critics.”
In April this year, he voted for a motion passed at the Ontario Legislature describing the 1984 killings as “genocide.”
Singh’s rise to the leadership of the NDP clearly changes the Canadian political calculus.
Sikhs used to vote overwhelmingly for the Liberals. The Conservatives have made inroads in recent years. The NDP less so, partly because Sikhs tend to be socially conservative, as seen in their objections to the changes in sex education curriculum in Ontario schools, something that Singh initially opposed.
But with his new national status, “there’ll be much interest in the NDP among the Sikhs, in a big way, especially in Brampton and Mississauga, and out west in Surrey and Delta in B.C., and in Edmonton,” says Harinder Takhar, MPP for Mississauga-Erindale.
Takhar ran for the leadership of provincial Liberal party in 2013, losing to Kathleen Wynne. To delegates at that convention, he made a poignant personal observation: one of his greatest regrets was to have cut his hair and beard in the 1970s to get a job — “I ended up losing a part of myself.”
He sees the rise of Jagmeet Singh, the unapologetic observant Sikh, as “a great leap forward in multicultural Canada.”
In an interview, Takhar said that Singh’s ascendance has “serious ramifications for all parties at both the federal and provincial level” — beyond the voting patterns in the Sikh community, now estimated at 750,000 across Canada.
“His greater impact would be on policy,” given his social justice agenda.
Singh, a frequent victim of racial profiling — he says he has been pulled over 11 times by police — has long campaigned against carding.
In the post-9/11 period, he has felt the lash of being mistaken as a Muslim. He has been firm in defending the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab and the niqab, even if the latter stance has rankled some Quebecers. Lately, he has tried to finesse the issue by saying that he respects Quebec’s jurisdiction but that he thinks the courts would overturn a ban on the niqab, anyway.
His bigger hope is to convince Quebecers to consider what’s in his head, not what’s on it.
It remains to be seen whether he’d be allowed to enter the Quebec National Assembly with his turban and dagger. And whether India would deny him entry to the land of his parents’ and his people’s birth.
Jagmeet Singh’s success closes some chapters of Canada’s checkered history in dealing with diversity. And it opens several others, with national and international implications.
Alok Mukherjee, former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, and Haroon Siddiqui, former columnist and editorial page editor emeritus of the Toronto Star, are distinguished visiting professors at Ryerson University.
Pariahs to power brokers: Sikhs have become a major political force in Canada
HAZARD, KY.—The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
“The war on coal is over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky.
For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop president Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions.
Closely tied to the oil and gas industry in his home state, Pruitt rejects the consensus of scientists that man-man emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global climate change. U.S. President Donald Trump, who appointed Pruitt and shares his skepticism of established climate science, promised to kill the Clean Power Plan during the 2016 campaign as part of his broader pledge to revive the nation’s struggling coal mines.
In his order Tuesday, Pruitt is expected to declare that the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.
Appearing at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said, “The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy.”
Obama’s plan was designed to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states based on power-plant emissions and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.
The Supreme Court put the plan on hold last year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states.
Even so, the plan helped drive a recent wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which also are being squeezed by lower costs for natural gas and renewable power, as well as state mandates promoting energy conservation.
The withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of moves by Trump and Pruitt to dismantle Obama’s legacy on fighting climate change, including the delay or roll back of rules limiting levels of toxic pollution in smokestack emissions and wastewater discharges from coal-burning power plants.
The president announced earlier this year that he will pull the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement. Nearly 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Trump administration to abandon Obama-era clean power plan, EPA chief says
Two Toronto men who surrendered to police on Sunday night have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Abdulkadir Bihi.
Yahya Abdirahman Jama, 20, turned himself in at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Toronto Police Service. Zayd Q. Chaudhry, 19, surrendered about three hours later.
Toronto Police Det. Steve Henkel had previously told reporters that the two men “are considered to be armed and dangerous.”
Bihi was found inside a car that had crashed near Dixon Rd. and Islington Ave. W. in Etobicoke just before 3 p.m. on Thursday. He’d been shot several times.
Paramedics rushed him to hospital in critical condition, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
With files from Annie Arnone
Two murder suspects in Etobicoke shooting turn themselves in
OTTAWA—Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has been under pressure to rein in runaway home prices, but a study by the national housing agency suggests the prime minister will struggle to exert control over the real estate market in Canada’s largest city.
Conventional economic factors including population, incomes and borrowing costs accounted for less than half of the 40-per-cent surge in Toronto home prices between 2010 and 2016, according to a Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. (CMHC) study obtained by Bloomberg through a freedom of information request.
Supply constraints, and to a lesser extent speculation and investment, accounted for most of the rest of the gains, although a lack of high-quality data about the availability of land made firm conclusions hard to draw.
The report details the “puzzling” dynamics of the Toronto market and suggests factors other than demand are driving prices higher, leaving Trudeau few options to ease the affordability crisis. It may also mean more needs to be done to promote supply and curb speculation, issues more readily dealt with at the municipal level.
“While price increases in Vancouver have largely been supported by economic fundamentals, a more puzzling result points to the state of the Toronto market, where fundamentals haven’t been as strong,” CMHC analysts said in the 134-page study prepared for Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
Duclos commissioned the review in June 2016 and has sought further updates for a final version expected soon that will help shape a new national housing strategy, his spokesperson Mathieu Filion said by email. “This is an important report as Minister Duclos has said on many occasions that we are missing important data on housing and all good policies need to be developed with valid data,” Filion said.
Trudeau, who has repeatedly pointed to an affordability crisis in Toronto and Vancouver, gave Duclos marching orders to look into how to fix the problem. The minister’s role will include “undertaking a review of escalating home prices in high-priced housing markets and considering all policy tools that could keep home ownership within reach for more Canadians,” according to Duclos’ mandate letter from the prime minister.
The report backs up Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’s view that interest rates aren’t the best tool for dealing with potential housing bubbles. CMHC found about three-quarters of Vancouver’s price gains were tied to fundamentals, versus 40 per cent in Toronto, suggesting the latter city is an isolated trouble spot, another argument against using monetary policy, which has widespread effects, to bring prices down.
Wealth and income inequality are likely important drivers for the large price moves in higher-priced detached homes, the report said, because industries that cluster in big cities and offer high-paying jobs can feed the prices for the more expensive properties.
The supply side also offered important clues. The stock of housing in Toronto and Vancouver was much less responsive, or what economists call elastic, to rising prices, the report said. “Supply challenges including land supply and zoning regulation emerge as factors that contribute particularly to high priced markets.’’
There are also few signs that builders are in a genuine struggle to keep pace with rising demand, which would typically lead to a surge in provincial construction wage rates.
Another possible driver of rising single-family home prices may be that geographical constraints have driven up land prices, encouraging builders to switch development to higher-density options such as condominiums.
CMHC cautioned against making firm conclusions in some of these areas because of a lack of reliable data around trends such as foreign ownership. Most of the report’s conclusions and recommendations were redacted under provisions in the access to information law that exempts advice to ministers. However, the end result is that governments are left with uncomfortable choices, the agency found.
The early draft sent to Duclos in December was released for an academic peer review that’s still underway, CMHC spokesperson Jonathan Rotondo said by phone. The Ottawa-based agency insured $496 billion of residential loans as of June 30.
Toronto home prices are already declining by the most since 2000 after the provincial government introduced a foreign buyer tax in April. Benchmark prices are down 8 per cent since May. Even with that slide, they’ve doubled since 2009.
The International Monetary Fund and UBS Group AG, among others, have warned about the risks posed by Toronto’s overvalued real estate market and the dangers of speculation.
“No one simple measure emerges as an obvious candidate for addressing the challenges posed by high-priced markets,” CMHC said in the report.
‘Puzzling’ Toronto real estate market could frustrate push for price fix, CMHC says
LIDCOMBE, AUSTRALIA—Three decades before Oprah Winfrey ignited a fashion firestorm by promoting the fleecy footwear known as Uggs, a surfer named Corky Carroll packed a pair of something very similar for what would turn out to be a fateful journey.
Carroll, a famous surfer in the 1960s and ’70s, discovered the boots while hitting the waves in Australia, where locals used them to keep their feet warm on cold days at the beach. Carroll brought a pair back with him to California, he said, then asked a friend to send him a hundred to sell on consignment after other surfers began admiring them.
“I have always loved them, very comfortable and warm,” Carroll, who still owns a pair, said in an email from his home in Mexico. “Also easy to get on and off.”
Carroll’s account is now part of a court dispute that is raising hackles in Australia over footwear that has sometimes been derided as unflattering and just plain ugly. Though Australian by pedigree, the Uggs brand name in the United States is owned by a company based in California — and that firm is suing an Australian shoemaker for using it.
Australians — up to and including Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister — say Uggs should simply be uggs. In a letter dated in July, Turnbull said he had asked the Australian Embassy in Washington to get information from the U.S. government about the dispute and to “reiterate Australia’s view that ‘ugg’ is a generic term.”
The argument may be tough to make in the United States, legal experts say. While uggs may be generic in Australia, Uggs are not in the United States.
“Trademark law tends to be very parochial when it comes to this sort of thing,” Barton Beebe, a professor of intellectual property law at New York University, said in an email. “It only cares about the perception of the relevant consumer population, and in the U.S., the relevant population was not likely and probably still isn’t likely influenced by Australian English.”
Uggs — the generic kind — might seem like an odd place for Australia to plant its cultural flag. But it comes as some in Australia fume about people outside the country appropriating Australian names and ideas. Winfrey, Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker may have helped make the footwear famous around the world, but many Australians want to call Uggs their own.
“If the French can protect ‘Champagne’, the Portuguese ‘Port’, the Spanish ‘Sherry’ and the Greeks ‘Feta’,” Nick Xenophon, an Australian senator, said in a recent statement, alluding to the brand protections that some famous names enjoy, “then surely Australia can protect the word ‘Ugg.’ ” (Xenophon on Friday said he would resign as a senator.)
Uggs came and went from public view in the United States since they were trademarked there, but they won a big boost from Winfrey, the talk-show host, who came out as a fan in the early 2000s. Their roots are more humble. According to Australian trademark officials, they appeared as early as the 1970s in phone directory ads as ug, ugg, ugh boots, among many other variations.
“In Australian slang, ‘ughs’ are sheepskin booties, designed by surfers in the 1960s to coddle feet weary after ‘shooting the curl,’ ” The New York Times said in 1994.
The brand’s U.S. owner, the Deckers Outdoor Corp., argues that in the 1990s, it bought the U.S. registered name from an Australian entrepreneur, Brian Smith, fair and square. Australians violate the company’s intellectual property rights, it said, when they sell Ugg-like footwear in the United States.
Last year, it sued an Australian shoemaker owned by Eddie Oygur in a Chicago federal court, saying he sold ersatz Uggs in the United States. Oygur sold about $2,000 (U.S.) worth of lowercase ugg boots in the United States over a five-year period, his lawyer said, and believed he had every right to.
“I want to let the American people know what corporate bullies they are and what they’re trying to do — deplete my resources, ruin my business and the whole ugg boot industry,” Oygur said in his factory in Lidcombe, a Sydney suburb.
Oygur, 56, plans to take his argument to the court of American public opinion. On Sunday, he said, he plans to join Xenophon to drive a herd of sheep to Deckers’ headquarters, in Goleta, Calif.
Uggs is not the only Australian name to spur protective feelings — and, potentially, limit the international expansion of Australian companies.
Bondi Wash, a Sydney company that makes natural baby lotions, soaps and dog rinses, groused that it was denied a U.S. trademark because of a similar name held by Abercrombie & Fitch. Bondi, a long crescent of white sand in Sydney, is one of Australia’s most famous beaches.
“They didn’t really care that Bondi was actually quite a well-known place in Australia and they’d awarded it to a big U.S. company,” said Belinda Everingham, founder of Bondi Wash, referring to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Uluru, the name of an immense rock formation in central Australia, is trademarked in the United States by a California carpet company. Kakadu, the name of a national park, is claimed by a number of U.S. companies.
“Certain words really belong in the public domain,” said Matthew Rimmer, an intellectual property and innovation professor at Queensland University of Technology’s law school. “There’s a certain Australian pride in the ugg boot, and a belief that it is a common article of clothing in Australia and resentment over it being claimed by a United States trademark holder.”
Oygur’s company, Australian Leather, hopes to undercut Deckers’ argument by saying Uggs were once uggs in the United States too, before they were improperly registered as a trademark. To bolster its argument, it tapped Carroll and another famous surfer, John Arnold, who said he exported large volumes of ugg boots to the United States beginning in the late 1960s.
“My honest opinion is that the term ‘Ugg boot’ is not something that should be owned as it is a description,” said Carroll, who said he believed the name first came from Australian surfers who thought they were ugly.
“A boot that was ugly,” he said. “That is different from a brand name.”
What’s in an Ugg? Court battle brews over boots brand name
A 50-year-old TTC worker has died of his injuries after he was pinned by a workcar at the McCowan Yard last Sunday.
Tom Dedes, a subway track maintenance worker, was off-loading equipment from a TTC pickup truck onto a workcar at around 2 a.m. on Oct. 1, according to a statement from the TTC.
After a locomotive began tugging the workcar, the tail end of it swung and pinned Dedes to the wall, the TTC said. He suffered “significant internal injuries” and was rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital.
“On behalf of the entire TTC family, I send my deepest condolences to Tom’s parents and his partner, Gina, at this difficult time,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford in the statement.
Both the Ministry of Labour and the TTC are conducting separate investigations into what happened.
Dedes had been a TTC employee for 18 years.
TTC worker dies of injuries after McCowan accident
Denise Lane searches her mind for fond memories of her son, but she has trouble retrieving them. No Christmases, no birthdays. It’s hard to remember the good times.
Instead, her mind turns again and again to the memory of her son at their home one morning in April. He was slouched over on the side of his bed, one leg tucked under the other, his head dropped down on his chest.
Even here, her memory is spotty: screaming for her daughter, hugging her 23-year-old boy, feeling his cold skin. She remembers trying to lay him down to perform CPR, but she couldn’t get him flat. She remembers kicking as officers pulled her away. She remembers demanding to see her son one last time as he lay in a body bag in her kitchen.
Shawn Kelly Jr. died of a fentanyl overdose that morning in Innisfil, Ont., about an hour’s drive north of Toronto.
South Simcoe police began investigating immediately. Within a few days they arrested one man for trafficking. A few weeks later they arrested another for the same offence.
In late August they lowered the boom, laying manslaughter charges against the pair for Kelly’s death.
Lane recalls feeling happy when she learned of the development.
“My son didn’t deserve to die, he didn’t deserve for these people to sell him this shit and for me to wake up in the morning to find him dead,” she says. “Shawny may have held a gun to his own head, but the people that sold it to him are the ones that pulled the trigger.”
Several forces and prosecutors across the country are now laying manslaughter charges against those who allegedly supplied fentanyl to people who overdosed and died.
For South Simcoe police, laying such charges is partly about sending a message to dealers of the powerful opioid.
“We’re trying to show that when we have the information, we’re going to pursue the people providing this because it’s causing death in our communities,” says Det. Sgt. Brad Reynolds, who oversaw the investigation into Kelly’s death.
Once tests came back from the coroner saying Kelly died of a fentanyl overdose, prosecutors suggested police lay the manslaughter charges, he says.
The case is still in it’s early stages. A lawyer for one of the accused said his client maintains his innocence, while a lawyer for the other accused noted that the details of the case are allegations at this point.
Reynolds says evidence will show Kelly asked specifically for fentanyl that was allegedly provided by the two accused. It wasn’t a case of another drug, like cocaine, being tainted by fentanyl, he notes.
“We think it’s a fairly well known fact that the ingestion of fentanyl can cause death. They are supplying something they know could cause death to the person purchasing it,” Reynolds says. “That’s where manslaughter comes in.”
Multiple Ontario forces have reached out to discuss similar cases since South Simcoe police laid the charges, Reynolds says.
In some ways, the approach is a fresh take on an old tactic.
Manslaughter charges against drug dealers came to prominence in the early 1980s when actor John Belushi died in California of a drug overdose. Canadian Cathy Smith was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a plea deal after being prosecuted for second-degree murder. She injected Belushi with speedballs — heroin and cocaine — and it was the heroin that killed him.
Experts say the tactic to charge drug suppliers with manslaughter is not a stretch legally.
In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a manslaughter conviction against Marc Creighton who provided and injected cocaine into a woman’s arm with her consent. She began convulsing, went into cardiac arrest and choked to death on her own vomit.
“The law is clear that you do incur a liability for death resulting from your distribution of a drug,” says Alan Young, a York University law professor. “That’s because the mental state fault requirement for manslaughter is very low — the objective foreseeability of bodily harm, not even death.”
Kent Roach, a law professor at the University of Toronto agreed.
“Given that it’s pretty notorious what fentanyl does to people, it seems to me like a logical progression,” he says.
Several police forces are trying the tactic.
Ontario Provincial Police have laid two charges against alleged fentanyl traffickers and are investigating three others. A spokeswoman says the force anticipates more such charges as fentanyl deaths rise.
In Edmonton, police have laid manslaughter charges against two alleged fentanyl suppliers in two separate cases in the past year.
“When a person knowingly distributes a drug that is so lethal, and it results in a person’s death, all efforts will be exhausted to identify and hold that person accountable,” says spokeswoman Noreen Remtulla.
Early in September, Brantford, Ont., police charged a 34-year-old man with manslaughter after alleging he sold powdered fentanyl and cocaine to a 46-year-old man who died of an overdose. In late September, RCMP charged a 32-year-old man with manslaughter after a man died by an overdose of carfentanil, an opioid that is 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
But there’s a different approach in Vancouver, a city mired in a fentanyl crisis, where police haven’t laid any manslaughter charges against alleged fentanyl dealers.
“This is a complex issue that our investigators have considered at length,” says Const. Jason Doucette, noting that officers investigate every sudden death in the city and go where the evidence leads them.
“I believe charges and convictions in this area are fairly rare, and are usually only successful when a unique set of circumstances and evidence exist for that particular case.”
At least 2,816 Canadians died from opioid-related causes in 2016 and the country’s chief public health officer predicts that number will surpass 3,000 this year.
Back in Innisfil, Kelly’s mother says her son — himself a father of two — told his parents last March that he was addicted to oxycodone. But he didn’t want to kill himself, she says.
“He was going to work the next day, he had two little boys to live for. He was on the right path,” she said. “My son turned to the wrong people and he’s no longer here.”
Alleged fentanyl dealers across Canada increasingly facing manslaughter charges
The family of a teenager who killed herself in a remote Indigenous community on James Bay is calling for a coroner’s inquest into her death two years ago, which sparked a crisis that garnered international attention and political promises of change.
In a letter to the regional coroner in northwestern Ontario, Stephanie Hookimaw said relatives in Attawapiskat are still struggling to come to grips with what drove her daughter Sheridan Hookimaw, 13, to her self-inflicted death and what might be done to prevent further such suicides.
“It seems that nothing has changed in the community — it is business as usual,” Hookimaw wrote in a letter obtained by The Canadian Press. “The family and I think, however, that this death could have been prevented.”
The letter to Dr. Michael Wilson warns that other young people in Attawapiskat and in Indigenous communities elsewhere are suicidal. It also cites Health Institute statistics that First Nations girls kill themselves at an alarming rate — seven times higher than their non-Indigenous counterparts.
A coroner’s inquest, Hookimaw said, would help get at the systemic causes of the suicides.
“An inquiry could help prevent more deaths,” Hookimaw said. “Sheridan’s tragic death should not be in vain. We want to see changes in the institutions that are supposed to nourish, protect and care for our children.”
The family said it had not heard from Wilson to the letter sent two weeks ago, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sheridan’s death in October 2015 sent shock waves through her community of about 2,100 and sparked a rash of suicide attempts and threats among her peers. The community’s declaration of a state of emergency over the issue in April 2016 led to an influx of politicians promising more mental health and other resources for the strapped town.
A similar tragic cycle has played out time and again in other remote Indigenous communities.
One politician who visited Attawapiskat at the time, New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, said Sheridan’s family has asked him to help get an inquest.
“There is ample scientific evidence of the need to establish intervention protocols in the wake of a youth suicide to prevent the appearance of ‘echo’ clusters among affected peers,” said Angus, a long-time activist on behalf of his Indigenous constituents.
At the same time, he said, the federal government has failed to put in place the “most basic resources” to prevent these clusters.
Sheridan’s family knows she was bullied, was a sickly girl with asthma and diabetes that required leaving Attawapiskat for treatment, and had no hope for the future. The issue now, they say, is that other youths in the community are dealing with similar problems and also seem to have lost hope.
Jackie Hookimaw Witt, Sheridan’s aunt, said she knows similar inquests have been held in the past but said that shouldn’t be a deterrent to holding another one — a way to draw attention to the wider issues of poverty and lack of resources plaguing her community and others like it.
“We have to use the official system that’s there to keep telling our stories, our pain,” Hookimaw Witt said in an interview from Attawapiskat. “We have to keep telling our stories and make people understand what we’re going through.”
‘We want to see changes’: Family of Attawapiskat teen who died by suicide urges coroner’s inquest
SONOMA, CALIF.—More than a dozen wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through California wine country Monday, destroying at least 1,500 homes and businesses and sending an estimated 20,000 people on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames.
One person was killed in a fire further north, in Mendocino County.
The state’s fire chief called the damage estimates for the fire in the wine country conservative and said the fires were burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
Numerous people had been hurt and some were missing, although no estimates were immediately available, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott. Later he said there were likely fatalities.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered after the blazes broke out late Sunday. Long lines formed at gas stations when many families heeded a middle-of-the-night call to get out. A spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric said 114,000 customers were without power.
“It was an inferno like you’ve never seen before,” said Marian Williams, who caravanned with neighbours before dawn as one of the wildfires reached the vineyards and ridges at her small Sonoma County town of Kenwood.
Williams could feel the heat of her fire through the car as she fled. “Trees were on fire like torches,” she said.
With downed trees or flames blocking routes, Sonoma County residents struggled to figure out what roads to take.
Fires also burned just to the east in the Napa County as well as in Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties — all north of the state capital. Many of the fires spread suddenly overnight, whipped by furious winds.
Santa Rosa, the largest city in the fire area with a population of about 175,000, was hit hard. The city lost a Kmart and unknown numbers of other businesses and homes, as the blaze shut down its schools and forced patients at two city hospitals to evacuate. A Hilton Hotel was smouldering and in ruins.
“Imagine a wind-whipped fire burning at explosive rates. This is 50 miles per hour. Literally it’s burning into the city of Santa Rosa ... burning box stores,” Pimlott said. “This is traditionally California’s worst time for fires, California’s most damaging times for fires have occurred in October.”
More than 200 people were hurriedly evacuated from Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital and Santa Rosa Medical Center, where the blaze could be seen raging nearby.
Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said the fires had burned more than 176 sq. kilometres. Crews had not yet been able to contain a fire heading toward downtown Napa.
“Right now, with these conditions, we can’t get ahead of this fire and do anything about the forward progress,” Biermann said.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
Smoke was thick in San Francisco, 96 kilometres south of the Sonoma County fire.
John Dean was driving to his Sonoma County home early Monday when he saw a house on fire along the road. Soon he saw more houses engulfed in flames.
“I mean blazing, falling down on fire,” he said.
Dean sped to his home in Kenwood, alerted neighbours and fled to the town of Sonoma. He was one of hundreds of evacuees who streamed into a 24-hour Safeway market overnight, while authorities set up an official evacuation centre.
Maureen McGowan was house-sitting for her brother near Kenwood, and said both of the homes on his property were on fire when she left. At the Safeway, she pointed to her feet, still in slippers. She had fled so fast that she hadn’t put on her shoes.
Belia Ramos, chairwoman of the Napa County Board of Supervisors, said “tremendous” wind gusts were making the fire unpredictable. “It’s something that we’re having to be very cautious about.”
“We’re focusing on making evacuations and trying to keep people safe. We are not prepared to start counting,” she said shortly after sunrise.
Ann Dubay, a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center, said the area where the largest fire started was relatively rural but the flames “went through many, many neighbourhoods,” and authorities did not know how many structures were gone.
Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke, prompting officials to ask that the public “only use 911 if they see actual unattended flames, or are having another emergency.”
Business owner Andy Lahiji stood before a burned-out warehouse where he said he had lost his inventory of furniture and other property. He said it took fire trucks ages to arrive Monday morning.
“They said, ‘We have so many other places to go, you have to wait.’ And then when they came, they had only a couple of guys,” he told the station. “I feel very sad. I’m glad nobody got hurt. Hopefully insurance takes care of it.”
The National Weather Service said widespread wind gusts between 56 km/h and 80 km/h were observed in the north San Francisco Bay region and isolated spots hit 112 km/h. The winds were expected to subside at midday.
Community centres, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and other local centres were opened for evacuees.
‘An inferno like you’ve never seen’ — wildfires sweep through California wine country
Jason Wisdom believes a Toronto jury found him guilty of first degree murder based on evidence he was in a gang, sold drugs and kept “bad company,” not because the Crown proved he was one of the triggermen who shot two innocent men, killing one of them, as they sat in a car stopped at a Scarborough intersection during the evening rush hour on March 3, 2004.
“There's three large black guys there (in the prisoners' box) — better just to say guilty then let a murderer out free, that's the last thing the public wants.”
Wisdom said this last week, sitting in the mid-town Toronto office of James Lockyer, the defence lawyer who argued the appeal that led to the 32-year-old, a day earlier, leaving court a free man after serving 13 years and four days in custody.
“It's still surreal. It's like waking up from a nightmare into another dream — a more pleasant dream, but it's still a dream,” Wisdom said of his whirlwind 24 hours that included a reunion with family.
After leaving the court, “It still didn't hit me, I was walking, I think on York St., everything just moving so fast ... the city's different now, right?”
Eight summers ago, Wisdom, and co-accused Tyshan Riley and Philip Atkins yelled and pounded the plexiglass dividers separating them after jurors found them guilty of murder, attempted murder and murder to benefit a criminal organization, a band of hardscrabble youth known as the Galloway Boys.
It had been the largest street gang prosecution in Canadian history.
The Crown's theory was that the drive-by shooting was a case of mistaken identity, that Riley — the gang's leader — his close associate Atkins and Wisdom ambushed the vehicle believing the occupants were rival gang members from Malvern, a neighbourhood in the northeast part of the city.
Riley and Atkins did not testify.
But Wisdom did, and admitted getting involved in “criminal activity” after dropping out of high school — preferring the more lucrative dollars that came from selling drugs to the money earned washing dishes at a local restaurant.
When it came to the double shooting, Wisdom addressed the jury directly. He was not one of the shooters who killed Brenton Charlton, or seriously wounded his friend Leonard Bell, as the two men waited for the light to turn green. Wisdom said he was at home watching TV at the time, backed by his mother's testimony but ripped apart by the Crown as unreliable.
Bell, a general contractor shot multiple times on March 3, 2004, said his initial reaction to Wisdom's release was “disgust.”
“I was satisfied with the police investigation that led to the convictions,” Bell told the Star over the Thanksgiving weekend.
But Bell added “no one who is innocent should be in prison.”
Riley, Atkins and Wisdomeach received life sentences with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
Back in Lockyer's office last week, Wisdom repeated the denial he made in 2009.
“Leonard's got to know I didn't shoot at him,” Wisdom said turning to look into the lens of a videocamera — similar to his direct appeal to the jury. “I got through pen time better knowing that I was innocent.” He added later: “I wasn't a gun guy. I sold drugs, smoked some weed with the guys. I wasn't ... shooting — that's a different step.” Before his arrest for murder when he was 19, Wisdom had a couple of driving offences and one drug-trafficking conviction.
The reason for Wisdom's release relates to some of the evidence presented during the trial. In August, the province's highest court ruled details about Wisdom's participation in a botched attempt to steal $100,000 from a cheque-cashing outlet should not have been allowed and had a “significant prejudicial effect” on jurors.
“Given the relative weakness of the Crown's case against Wisdom, it is not possible to conclude the admission of that evidence did not result in a miscarriage of justice,” the Court of Appeal decision said. The court rejected the grounds of appeal for Atkins and Riley.
A new trial for Wisdom was ordered.
But last week, the Crown announced it would instead stay the charges.
“After the Court of Appeal ruled that some of the evidence called at the first trial was inadmissible, the Crown carefully examined all aspects of the remaining evidence in this case,” Emilie Smith, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Attorney General, wrote in email.
“After completing that review, and giving the matter very careful consideration, the Crown concluded that with the evidence that remained there was no reasonable prospect of conviction and stayed the charges,” Smith said.
The Crown could still prosecute Wisdom within a year. Lockyer said he will be asking instead that the charges be withdrawn. The ministry would not comment on his request.
During the trial, there were no witnesses, no fingerprints, no DNA, no guns nor wiretapped confessions.
The Crown based much of its case on two witnesses. The defence branded them unsavoury liars.
The prosecution used the witnesses’ corroborative testimony to help prove its case against Riley and Atkins. Not so with Wisdom.
One of the witnesses, Roland Ellis, implicated Wisdom in a sworn statement, which led police to charge him, in April 2005, with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting of Charlton and Bell.
Wisdom said last week “that's where I think the mistake started from and it just spiralled.”
The ministry spokesperson did not respond to the Star's request asking if an attempt had been made to locate Ellis, who was under police guard while testifying back in 2009.
“I believe if they found him, it wouldn't matter to me much,” Wisdom said last week.
He prefers to think about what lies ahead. Lockyer, his lawyer, points to his client’s “remarkable” record behind bars.
After Toronto police advised Fenbrook Institution, the medium-security prison near Gravenhurst, that he was no longer an “active member of the Galloway Boys,” Wisdom was elected vice-chair of the inmate committee three years in a row.
Wisdom said he also spent his prison time reading — he often had a book with him during the trial — and taking business management courses, playing basketball and working out.
“I just can't wait to live a pro-social life, no crime, no jaywalking, none of that stuff,” he said.
“I was a young man and made bad choices, I'm sure a lot of young men do, and that 13 years, boy, straightened me out...I didn't deserve it but I learned a lot.”
Convicted in Galloway Boys shooting, Jason Wisdom is released from prison after his murder conviction is stayed
MIAMI—Two women who lived at a Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing to 14 the number of fatalities linked to the home.
Cecilia Franco, 90, and Francesca Andrade, 95, died from ailments suffered when the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power Sept. 10 during the hurricane’s passage, Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman told The Associated Press on Monday.
On Sept. 13, eight residents died and other residents were evacuated from the sweltering facility after the electric transformer that powered the facility’s air conditioning was damaged during the storm. Grossman didn’t say exactly when the women died, but said police are treating the deaths as part of the criminal investigation.
The Miami Herald reports Franco’s husband Miguel Antonio Franco, who also had lived at the home, died Sept. 13.
Even though the most recent deaths come nearly a month after the facility was evacuated, attorney Bill Dean, who is representing several of the surviving patients, said a good attorney will argue that the conditions immediately after the storm, as well as the evacuation, led to the deaths. He said the nursing home should be held responsible for any other deaths in the near future.
“I think it’s tragic, I think it’s sad,” Dean said. “All of this was preventable by the nursing home.”
No one has been charged, and police and prosecutors won’t say how long the wait could be if any criminal charges are brought.
Some experts said they believe it would be difficult to prove anyone was criminally negligent, even though patients and their families may have solid civil cases.
Dean said he’s concerned the patients might see little money in civil cases. He added that he’s worried that even if the 145 patients or their family members were to win lawsuits against the facility, there wouldn’t be enough money to pay the damages.
“Ultimately those cases would be worth pennies on the dollar,” Dean said.
The state suspended the home’s license almost immediately after the evacuation, and company officials later announced they were closing permanently. Last week, the facility let go of 245 workers, including doctors, nurses, therapists and others.
A telephone message left with nursing home’s public relations company wasn’t immediately returned.
Two more die from Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma
SEATTLE—Washington state said it is suing President Donald Trump over his decision to let more employers claiming religious or moral objections opt-out of providing no-cost birth control to women.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who successfully sued to block Trump’s initial travel ban early this year, announced his latest lawsuit on Monday, just three days after the new rules were issued.
Trump’s policy is designed to roll back parts of former president Barack Obama’s health care law, which required that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost.
Ferguson says the administration’s actions violate the First Amendment, because it requires individuals to bear the burden of religions to which they don’t belong, and the equal protection requirements of the Fifth Amendment, because it applies to women but not men.
Washington State sues Trump administration over new birth-control rules
Lawyers for two Liberals accused of bribery in a 2015 Sudbury byelection — including Premier Kathleen Wynne’s former deputy chief of staff — will be back in the northern Ontario city Tuesday to argue the case should be dropped.
The unusual push for a directed verdict of not guilty by Judge Howard Borenstein comes two weeks after Crown attorneys finished laying out the prosecution and before any defence witnesses have been called.
Defence counsel for Patricia Sorbara, also a key architect of Wynne’s 2014 election victory, and Sudbury Liberal organizer Gerry Lougheed say there’s no basis for the Election Act charges against the pair, who have pleaded not guilty.
They are accused of offering jobs or posts to a would-be Liberal candidate to clear the way for Wynne’s preferred choice, defecting New Democrat MP Glenn Thibeault, now her energy minister.
But the Election Act does not apply to the “private” internal process of nominating candidates for any political party — only to candidates in an election, lawyers Michael Lacy, Brian Greenspan and Erin Dann argue in a 44-page application to the Ontario Court of Justice.
“Courts should not lightly direct verdicts of acquittal,” they acknowledged. “At the same time, trial judges have a gatekeeper function separate and apart from the state’s discretion to lay a charge.”
Evidence shows Thibeault had already agreed to be the Liberal candidate before Lougheed and Sorbara were taped in conversations with offers to the would-be candidate, mortgage broker Andrew Olivier, the application says.
Sorbara and Lougheed “could not have said anything that induced Mr. Olivier in respect of an event that was not going to happen.”
Olivier had been the party’s Sudbury candidate in the 2014 provincial election but lost the riding — held for almost two decades by veteran Liberal MPP and cabinet minister Rick Bartolucci — to New Democrat city councillor Joe Cimino as Wynne gained a narrow majority across the province.
The byelection was called after Cimino unexpectedly quit five months into his term for family reasons.
“The premier appointed Mr. Thibeault. No nomination meeting was held. Neither Mr. Olivier, nor anyone else, was permitted to seek the OLP (Ontario Liberal Party) candidacy,” the defence team writes.
“Mr. Olivier’s ‘wishful thinking’ that he would be able to persuade the premier to change her mind was a product of his own self-induced misconception.”
Wynne testified at the trial that Olivier was “not as strong a candidate as I had thought” and that offers were made simply to keep him involved in the party.
In its opening statement last month, the Crown maintained that the conversations recorded by Olivier with Sorbara and Lougheed on Dec. 11 and 12 of 2014 prove he was offered jobs and appointments to exit the nomination race.
Wynne “did not think Andrew Olivier would win,” Crown attorney David McKercher said, suggesting the party was eager to nudge Olivier out smoothly to avoid any embarrassing public spectacle.
The defence lawyers note in their application that Olivier subsequently ran in the byelection as an independent candidate. He lost, placing third behind Thibeault and an NDP challenger.
Sorbara faces a second charge of bribing Thibeault to become the candidate by offering paid campaign jobs to two of his NDP office staff.
Greenspan, representing Sorbara, said Thibeault testified she made no promise to provide paid positions “until after he decided to become the candidate.”
“To put it bluntly, the idea that Ms. Sorbara induced Mr. Thibeault to leave his role as a federal MP by promising modest one-time stipends for two staffers, totalling less than $5,000, is fanciful.”
Defence lawyers will make oral arguments in Sudbury on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Crown. Crown attorney Rick Visca declined to release the prosecution’s written response to the defence application.
It’s not known how long the judge will take to make a decision. If he rejects the application for a directed verdict of not guilty, the case will proceed with the defence calling its witnesses later this month.
Political observers are watching the trial closely with a provincial election looming next June 7.
If convicted, Sorbara and Lougheed could be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to maximum jail sentences of two years less a day. The charges under the Election Act are in a lesser category than the Criminal Code.
Defence lawyers for Liberals in Sudbury byelection trial ask judge to drop case
LAS VEGAS—The gunman who killed 58 people in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history targeted aviation fuel tanks, stockpiled his car with explosives and had personal protection gear as part of an escape plan, the Clark County sheriff said Monday.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news conference that they still have not pinpointed the shooter’s motive behind his decision to fire on a concert crowd of 22,000 in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino.
There’s still no evidence Stephen Craig Paddock was motivated by ideology, and there’s no evidence there was another shooter, he said. Investigators have found 200 incidents of Paddock moving through the city, and at no time was he with anyone else, Lombardo said.
They haven’t found any one particular event in Paddock’s life that triggered the shooting, he said. They didn’t find any note in his room, only a paper with numbers, he said.
Lombardo also confirmed investigators are talking with Paddock’s brother Eric Paddock, who travelled to Las Vegas, and continue to speak with the shooter’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, to get insight.
Lombardo declined to reveal what they’ve said, but stated, “Every piece of information we get is one more piece of the puzzle.”
Friends and relatives of the victims and other concertgoers who survived returned Monday to reclaim baby strollers, shoes, phones, backpacks and purses left behind in the panic as they fled.
The interviews with Paddock’s brother Saturday and Sunday were part of an exhaustive search through the 64-year-old’s life in search of clues about why he unleashed gunfire from broken windows in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino.
Eric Paddock declined to say what he was asked, but he said he’s co-operating with investigators, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He declined interview requests from The Associated Press.
“I’m trying to get them to understand Steve’s mindset,” Eric Paddock told the newspaper. “I don’t want them to chase bad leads.”
In a newly revealed court document obtained by CNN, Stephen Paddock described himself as a nocturnal creature who bet up to $1 million each night while gambling at Las Vegas casinos in flip-flops and sweat pants, catching sleep in the day. The description of his lifestyle comes from a deposition filed as part of a civil lawsuit he filed against Cosmopolitan Hotel, where he slipped and fell in 2011.
Personal effects being recovered were strewn across the massive grassy concert venue where 22,000 country music fans attended the Route 91 Harvest festival have become sentimental memories of loved ones for some, and haunting reminders of the night of terror for others.
People left behind thousands of lawn chairs, hats, wallets, souvenirs, cellphones, purses, boots and several other items, Clark County Emergency Manager John Steinbeck said.
People are being allowed to come retrieve their things in groups based on where they were seated, with authorities expanding the offer Monday to include people who were seated west of the stage, he said. As of Monday morning, 99 people who were seated east of the stage or in a VIP tent had sought to recover their belongings.
Authorities are powering up cellphones and asking people to text their full names to the phones to ensure they are returned to the correct owners.
Some of the victims have already been returned home and been memorialized at funerals while many others were in route on Monday ahead of services planned for later dates.
More than 800 people packed into a California church on Saturday to honour the life of Jack Beaton, who died shielding his wife from gunfire. A white hearse carrying the casket of Christopher Roybal, a veteran who served combat during four tours in the Middle East, was led by a procession of motorcycles to McCarran International Airport for a short flight to Southern California.
Eric Paddock said he came to Las Vegas to retrieve his brother’s body in hopes of sending the cremated ashes to their 89-year-old mother in Orlando.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Monday he could not discuss the results of an autopsy done on Stephen Paddock, who police said shot himself dead before officers arrived at the Las Vegas Strip hotel suite from which he rained gunfire on a concert crowd below.
The coroner didn’t say when Paddock’s body would be released to his family or how long it will be before autopsy results are made public.
Eric Paddock told the Review-Journal that he plans to put his brother’s assets in a trust that would benefit the shooting victims. He has described his brother as a multimillionaire who considered himself a professional gambler and owned real estate.
The family of one of the victims, 56-year-old John Phippen of Santa Clarita, California, has already asked a Nevada judge to appoint a special administrator to take control of the gunman’s assets. The attorneys said that’s a necessary step to allow lawsuits to be brought against Paddock’s estate.
Late Sunday night, when exactly a week has passed since the shooting, casino marquees and other lights on the Las Vegas Strip went dark for about 10 minutes to pay tribute to the victims who spent that much time under fire.
Meanwhile, the makeshift SWAT team of police officers who made it to Paddock’s door at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino 12 minutes after the first shots were fired described how they got there and the “gun store” they found inside his room in an appearance on the CBS television program “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.
Officer Dave Newton said they found “so many guns. So many magazines. Stacks and stacks of magazines everywhere. Just in suitcases all neatly stacked against pillars, around the room, all stacked up, rifles placed all throughout. All kinds of monitors and electrical equipment he had in there. It just looked like almost a gun store.”
Also on Sunday, federal investigators returned to do another search of Paddock’s three-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. The home was first searched Monday by Las Vegas police, who said they found 19 guns and several pounds of potentially explosive materials at the house that Paddock bought in early 2015.
Las Vegas gunman aimed at fuel tanks, had protective gear as part of escape plan, sheriff says
LUBBOCK, TEXAS—Police apprehended a 19-year-old student accused of fatally shooting a Texas Tech University police officer at the campus police station Monday night.
University officials issued an alert saying the suspect was arrested and that the campus lockdown order had been lifted.
In an earlier statement, the university identified the suspect as Hollis Daniels.
University spokesperson Chris Cook said that campus police made a student welfare check Monday evening and — upon entering the room — found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Officers then brought the suspect to the police station for standard debriefing.
While at the station, Cook said the suspect pulled out a gun and shot an officer in the head, killing him. The suspect then fled on foot before being apprehended a short time later.
Texas Tech officials initially issued a lockdown alert to students on social media, urging those on campus “to take shelter in a safe location.”
Additional information was not immediately available.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement about the shooting late Monday, saying “hearts go out to the family of the police officer killed.” Abbott also said he had mobilized state law enforcement resources to aid in the investigation.
Campus police officer shot and killed at Texas Tech University; suspect caught
NEW YORK—When Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, then an 18-year-old from Mississauga, was arrested in May 2016, he was secretly detained in New York by federal authorities who hoped to arrest others in a supposed plot to detonate bombs in Times Square and in the subways.
Although federal authorities did eventually arrest two other men, El Bahnasawy’s time in custody did not go exactly to plan.
Shortly after his arrest, jail officials mistakenly moved him into the general population of a federal detention centre in Manhattan, instead of holding him in isolation. That lasted one day — long enough for him to have money stolen from his commissary account.
Several months later, after being allowed to move into the general population, El Bahnasawy was given drugs by another inmate, leading to more complications.
Those details were disclosed in newly unsealed court papers that showed how sensitive prosecutors were to keeping El Bahnasawy’s arrest secret to not tip off a suspect who was believed to be preparing to enter the United States. But they also raised questions about how jail officials handled someone the government viewed as an important defendant.
On Friday, the authorities disclosed that the FBI and New York City Police Department had broken up the plot, which was to be carried out in support of Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and to have taken place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2016, which began that June.
The authorities said El Bahnasawy was arrested in New Jersey after he entered the United States from Canada. The government said it had also arrested two other plotters overseas, including Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen living in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, 37, of the Philippines.
The government said the men had also planned to open fire at concert venues in New York, and that their plot had been detailed in communications with an undercover FBI agent, who had posed as a Daesh supporter and convinced them he would work with them.
“We need a really strong bomb,” El Bahnasawy wrote in one message, referring to the Times Square plot, the authorities said.
Shortly after his arrest, El Bahnasawy became the victim of identity theft after he was inadvertently moved from an isolation unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center into the general population, Adam Johnson, a lawyer at the centre, testified in June 2016, a transcript shows.
Another prisoner apparently used his personal access code to move money from his commissary account to an outside source, Johnson said.
“All signs are pointing toward this person essentially having robbed him electronically,” Johnson testified. A spokesman for the detention centre had no immediate comment on Monday.
It was in September 2016, after El Bahnasawy was allowed to move into the general population, that he obtained Suboxone, a prescription medication used to treat drug addiction, according to a letter from his federal public defenders to the judge. El Bahnasawy — whose lawyers wrote that he had a long history of drug use, treatment and relapse — took the drug and relapsed, according to the letter.
As punishment, jail authorities cut off his family visits for 18 months, leading to objections from his lawyers and a sharp response from a Manhattan judge, Richard M. Berman of U.S. District Court, who said the disciplinary measure “defies common sense.”
The judge’s comments came during a closed hearing in May but were cited in the lawyers’ letter, which was among the newly released filings.
The lawyers’ letter said El Bahnasawy tried unsuccessfully to challenge the loss-of-visitation privileges within the jail system, before raising it with Berman. According to the letter, the judge told Johnson to convey his view to the Bureau of Prisons that the sanction was inappropriate, saying, “I’ve never done this in any case before.”
El Bahnasawy’s visitation privileges were ultimately restored, the filings show.
After initially consenting to having the case remain secret for a short period, El Bahnasawy’s lawyers argued that the continued secrecy violated his right to a public trial, the filings show. It was not until Friday, when the government announced the charges, that the case became public.
El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty in October 2016 to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other charges. Sabrina Shroff, his lawyer, and James M. Margolin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, each declined to comment.
Authorities tried to keep Mississauga teen’s terror arrest secret, court documents reveal
Long before diversity became part of Canada’s identity, the Ward in downtown Toronto, near today’s city hall, was already a place where people from different cultural backgrounds lived and worked together.
From the 1830s until the mid-19th century when the land was gradually expropriated, the neighbourhood was the first settlement destination for many newcomers to the city, including previously enslaved Black Americans, Eastern European Jews, Italians, the Irish and the Chinese.
Although the neighbourhood — bounded by College St., Queen St. W., Yonge St. and University Ave. — gave way to new developments such as Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, the memories have stayed with many original residents and their descendants in photo albums and artifacts in basements.
Now those memories are part of a multimedia exhibition by a group of storytellers who share the early-day immigrant experiences in the Ward. Called Block by Block, the project has been launched online with stories, audio interviews and personal photos of the storytellers and their families.
“There were lots of families. The street was filled with Jews, Italians, Blacks, Chinese down at the bottom of Elizabeth (St.). All around there,” said George Carter, who was born in 1921 in Toronto, near Queen and Spadina Ave., and graduated from Harbord Collegiate Institute in 1941 before being appointed to become the first Canadian-born Black judge in 1979.
John Ackerman was born the same year as Carter. His parents, Jacob and Mindel, ran a small grocery store at Dundas and Elizabeth Sts. A graduate of Jarvis Collegiate, Ackerman enrolled in University of Toronto’s dentistry school and opened his own practice above the Royal Bank at the same intersection where his parents’ store was.
“My dad grew up very poor, and yet he never talked about it as something that was negative or bad. He ended up living in the Ward his whole life,” said his youngest son, David Ackerman.
“He grew up there, and then his dentist office was down there. So he was very comfortable in that place. There were a lot of different groups but everyone seemed to get along.”
Funded by Canada 150, Ontario 150, 6 Degrees and Artscape Toronto, the national project focuses on three historic immigrant neighbourhoods: Côte-des-Neiges in Montreal, the Ward in Toronto and Strathcona in Vancouver.
“The project brought together diverse people and perspectives into conversation around the role that neighbourhoods play in settlement, as well as engaging folks in a critical dialogue around how neighbourhoods can or cannot be welcoming places for newcomers,” Gracia Dyer Jalea of The Ward Museum, the project’s Toronto partner.
“How can newcomers continue to advocate for their interests and rights particularly in areas close to the downtown core, as the Ward once was? What has history taught us and what are strategies that we can borrow and adopt to fight current development plans that do not act in the best interest of these communities and seek to displace folks from their homes and communities?”
Meet the storytellers
George Carter attended the old Hester How Public School and Harbord Collegiate before getting his undergrad degree from Trinity College. He served in the infantry during the Second World War before studying law at Osgoode Hall and becoming one of Canada’s first Black lawyers.
Arlene Chan’s mother, Jean Lumb (1919-2002) was raised in Nanaimo, B.C. before she moved to Toronto to work at age 16. Lumb and her husband, Doyle, had six children and they opened Kwong Chow, a popular Chinese-Canadian restaurant in the Ward in 1959. After most of Toronto’s first Chinatown was demolished for the new city hall, she led the Save Chinatown committee to fight further demolition of the community.
Joseph, John and Paul Piccininni were the children of Viola DeFrancesco Piccininni (1922-2012), who was born in Toronto to Italian immigrant parents. She grew up in the ward, living first on Chesnut St. and then Elm St. She attended Hester How Public School and later went to Central Technical School, studying sewing and dressmaking. She married Joseph Piccininni, who went on to become a Toronto city councillor. After having three kids, she went back to school to be a teacher and taught at her alma mater, Central Tech, before retiring in 1980s.
David Ackerman is one of three children of John Ackerman (1921-2008), a lifelong resident of the Ward. The family’s story in the neighbourhood began with David’s grandparents, Jacob and Mindel, who ran a small grocery store at Dundas and Elizabeth Sts. Besides being an accomplished dentist, John was an avid photographer who had collections documenting his family life, Toronto and his military involvement. He retired in the mid-1990s and died in 2008.
Exhibit tells the story of Toronto's Ward neighbourhood — where ‘everyone seemed to get along’
Sometimes you have to wonder about Toronto. Has the city ever been so poorly run, so deeply confused and conflicted, or so badly led that it is now its own worst enemy?
The most recent example is the travesty currently unfolding down at the Port Lands. In case you’ve forgotten, the 880-acre (356-hectare) site, most of it unused, unserviced and certainly unloved, is slated for revitalization. That’s not going to happen tomorrow; Toronto’s waterfront, which runs from Etobicoke to Scarborough, encompasses a lot of real estate.
Still, the process has began. Just last June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory gathered on the shore of Lake Ontario to kick-start the remake with a pledge of $1.25 billion. Even by today’s standards that’s a whack of cash. It was put aside to renaturalize the mouth of the Don River and flood-proof the area at the west side of the Port Lands that ends up underwater when the Don overflows.
The mammoth undertaking is a precondition to transforming these lands into a fully mixed-use neighbourhood. It was conceived — naively perhaps — as the place where Toronto would enter the 21st century. Though there’s not much to see now, the ingredients for urban excellence are all there — the lake, the Shipping Channel, the Keating Channel and enough space to do things properly.
No wonder the late Tony Coombes, the late planner who worked on waterfronts around the world, used to argue that the site — intelligently redeveloped — could become the most desirable neighbourhood in Toronto.
Alas, at Toronto City Hall intelligence is conspicuous in its absence. At the risk of undermining plans that have evolved through nearly two decades of work by the tripartite agency that reports to all three levels of government, Waterfront Toronto, the city is now considering a plan that would hand over a significant chunk of the Port Lands to the film industry. Its scheme would give much of the site for massive movie studios, sound facilities and backlots. This would amount to building an industrial park on some of the most potentially valuable land in the city.
The mind boggles at the short-sightedness, the blinkered vision, the lack of ambition and imagination and the sheer thoughtlessness of such a plan. Sadly, Toronto has been trapped in a downward spiral of self-imposed littleness for a couple of decades now. How many cities in the world would happily hand over a major asset such as the Port Lands to an industry that could operate almost anywhere?
If the city didn’t have such a long and frankly embarrassing history on the waterfront going back to David Miller’s mayoralty, one might be shocked at the possibility of yet another outburst of civic willfulness. Before this there was Doug Ford with his ferris wheel, Porter Airlines and its delusions of Toronto Island airport grandeur and — who could forget? — TEDCO (the now defunct Toronto Economic Development Corporation), which sought to establish a parallel waterfront revitalization plan.
And let’s not overlook the Toronto Port Authority, the federal agency that has historically viewed the harbour as its own corporate fiefdom. Adding insult to injury, our current chief magistrate appointed Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) as the city’s representative to the board of Waterfront Toronto.
No wonder the agency has grown weary, wary and withdrawn. Still, its efforts have changed the way we think about the city south of the Gardiner Expressway. Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, Corktown Common, the new George Brown building, the West Don Lands; these are the new highlights of Toronto’s waterfront.
The idea goes before Toronto’s Planning and Growth Management Committee on Thursday. That’s when a city-commissioned report, A Port Lands Framework Plan, will be discussed. That’s why so much rests on the outcome of the meeting.
As Toronto’s internationally respected planner Ken Greenberg makes clear, “This would be a throwback to something completely unsatisfactory. It’s frustrating and hard to understand. The centre is not holding. We need to reassert the primacy of Waterfront Toronto.”
John Wilson, co-founder of Waterfront for All, agrees. “We were promised a spectacular mixed-use waterfront,” he says. “But this goes completely against the plan. To privilege a single industry and develop the Port Land around its needs is not why we spent $1.25 billion.”
Christopher Hume’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposal to hand over chunk over Port Lands to movie industry is short-sighted: Hume
One man has been arrested after the death of a Toronto man in Corozal, Belize last week.
A 52-year-old Belize man was arrested on Oct. 6 and will appear in court Tuesday morning, according to Corozal police.
Thirty-eight-year-old Toronto man Gabriel Bochnia was shot and killed on Oct. 4 when he and his wife and three children were returning to their home in Chula Vista, which is about 135 km north of Belize City.
Bochnia died in hospital.
Hi wife, 27-year-old Jeshanah Maritza Zetina, and the children were not injured.
His sister Kate Bochnia said his body is on its way to Toronto and a visitation and funeral is planned for this weekend.
With files from Alex McKeen
Man arrested after Toronto man shot and killed in Belize