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    A 15-year-old boy has been identified as the victim of a fatal stabbing in Stan Wadlow Park over the weekend.

    Isaiah Witt was found by officers after they were called to the playground at the East York park, near Cosburn and Woodbine Aves, at around 9 p.m. Saturday.

    Witt was rushed to hospital without vital signs. He later died of a stab wound, police said. A second unnamed teenager was also stabbed and suffered serious injuries.

    In a statement sent to parents and guardians, Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts principal Tom Lazarou described Witt as a very well-liked student who will be sorely missed by students and staff.

    “He had a passion for fitness training and enjoyed playing the guitar. His peers describe him as outgoing, kind, caring and adorable. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Lazarou said in the statement.

    Police said four people were arrested. Two men — an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old — have been charged with second degree murder.

    The names of the accused have not been released.

    Detectives are looking to speak with anyone who was in Stan Wadlow Park around the time of the stabbing.

    With files from Annie Arnone


    15-year-old boy stabbed to death in East York park15-year-old boy stabbed to death in East York park

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    “Major Reinvention in Progress” says a sign in bold, capital letters, hanging above the entrance to a newly renovated Sears in Erin Mills Town Centre.

    The irony wasn’t lost on customers heading in and out of Canada’s failing department store on Tuesday afternoon, hours after Sears Canada announced its plans to close down all operations, putting its 12,000 store employees out of work. The news comes after Sears already closed 59 stores and announced the closure of another 11, including stores at Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre.

    “Reinvention for who?” said Carolyn Hitchinson, a longtime Erin Mills resident, on her way into Sears. “That sign really irritates me. It is a misrepresentation of what they’re doing, getting ready to sell before Christmas and letting all those poor people go.”

    Liquidation sales at stores, including at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, are scheduled to begin Oct. 19 and would take 10 to 14 weeks to complete, pending court approval.

    As a watch repair licensee for Sears for the past three years, Shaukat Hussain was holding out hope that the department store would secure a buyer. However, as of Tuesday, Sears had been unsuccessful.

    Now, Hussain says his livelihood is in jeopardy. The 67-year-old isn’t sure he’ll be able to find a place to rent that’s as affordable or draws in as many customers as the small area off of Sears’ main lobby here.

    “There’s a tradition for customers of going to Sears to have their watches fixed and (the brand) Sears gives them extra trust and confidence in my service,” said Hussain who repairs as many as 50 watches a day.

    “It’s sad what’s happening. My customers say, ‘What will we do without Sears?’”

    Read more:

    Sears Canada pensioners still fighting for payout

    Sears pulls funding from student drama festival

    Laid off Sears Canada workers include Mike Myers' brother who starred in ad

    That’s a question Irene Ranieri, 87, doesn’t have an answer for on her way to pick up presents for a dozen grand- and great-grandchildren.

    She worked at the Square One Sears for 25 years, from the 1970s to mid-1990s. She said she “thoroughly enjoyed” working in the catalogue division, assisting customers who were picking up their ordered items.

    “At one time it was a thriving industry,” Ranieri, 87, said. “I’m very, very disappointed.”

    Shoppers Margaret and Jack Leishman both grew up in small Quebec towns and, as children, waited eagerly for the Sears catalogue to arrive. As a young married couple, they’d drop off their orders and pick up their purchases at the Sears office in Lachute. When they and their two daughters made the move to Mississauga 27 years ago, Sears was the first place where they shopped. In the first years of his retirement, Jack, 80, said he would wander over to browse “everything” — appliances, clothing, tools.

    “We’re devastated,” said Margaret, 75. “Really, honestly devastated.”

    The Sears catalogue is what defined Christmastime for Hitchinson when she grew up in the 1960s.

    “It was a big thing,” she said. “I’d wait for the catalogue and then cut, cut, cut and lay out all the things I wanted for Christmas.”


    Customers ‘devastated’ as Sears Canada announces plan to shutter all operationsCustomers ‘devastated’ as Sears Canada announces plan to shutter all operations

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    SALT LAKE CITY—A Utah police officer who was caught on video roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw was fired Tuesday in a case that became a flashpoint in the ongoing national conversation about police use of force.

    Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown made the decision after an internal investigation found evidence Detective Jeff Payne violated department policies when he arrested nurse Alex Wubbels and dragged her out of the hospital as she screamed on July 26, said Sgt. Brandon Shearer, a spokesperson for the department.

    Attorney Greg Skordas has said Payne served the department well for nearly three decades and questioned whether his behaviour warranted termination. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Read more:

    Salt Lake City nurse’s arrest for refusing to take blood from patient broke policies, mayor says

    Utah police officer caught on video roughly arresting nurse fired from part-time medic job

    Utah hospital apologizes after nurse arrested for refusing to draw blood from unconscious patient

    Payne’s supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, was also demoted to officer. His lawyer, Ed Brass, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

    The case received widespread attention after the body-camera video was released by Wubbels and her lawyer in late August. Her lawyer didn’t have immediate comment on the decision to fire Payne.

    It showed her explaining that hospital policy required a warrant or formal consent to draw blood from the patient who had been injured in a car crash.

    The patient wasn’t suspected of wrongdoing. He was an off-duty reserve Idaho police officer driving a semi-trailer when he was hit by a man fleeing police in a pickup truck.

    Payne nevertheless insisted, saying the evidence would protect the man. Payne told Wubbels his supervisor said he should arrest her if she didn’t allow the blood draw. Tracy arrived on scene after the arrest and forcefully told a handcuffed Wubbels that she should have allowed the blood draw. She was later released without charge.

    Both officers came under investigation and were placed on paid administrative leave after the video became public. Salt Lake City police also apologized and changed their policies in line with Wubbels’ position.

    Prosecutors, meanwhile, opened a criminal investigation into the arrest and asked the FBI to probe for possible civil rights violations.

    Payne was also fired from a part-time job as a paramedic after he was caught on camera saying he’d take transient patients to the University of Utah hospital where Wubbels worked and take the “good patients” elsewhere as retribution.

    Payne had previously been disciplined in 2013 after internal-affairs investigators confirmed that he sexually harassed a female co-worker in a “persistent and severe” way.

    His tenure has also brought commendations for solving burglary cases as recently as 2011 and a being shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop in 1998.

    Tracy, meanwhile, has risen to through the ranks since he was hired in 1995, earning commendations for drug and burglary investigations. He was reprimanded in 1997 for moving two handcuffed people from one location to another a few miles away and releasing them without documenting the incident.


    Utah officer who handcuffed nurse in video after she refused to draw blood is firedUtah officer who handcuffed nurse in video after she refused to draw blood is fired

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    WASHINGTON—U. S. President Donald Trump’s administration is making such unrealistic North American Free Trade Agreement demands that the negotiation is at risk of implosion, trade experts and the top American business lobby group are warning.

    As Canadian and Mexican negotiators join Trump’s team near Washington on Wednesday to begin a critical fourth round of talks, their work is surrounded by growing transcontinental pessimism about the chances of reaching a revised deal.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to emphasize the importance of the bilateral economic relationship, and the benefits of the trilateral agreement, when he meets with Trump at the White House on Wednesday. Trump, though, has greeted him with another threat, telling Forbes magazine that “NAFTA will have to be terminated if we’re going to make it good.”

    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland declined Tuesday to speculate on the future of NAFTA or discuss Trump directly. But asked at a Washington event about a Republican senator’s claim that Trump’s recklessness threatens “World War III,” Freeland said: “I think that this is probably the most uncertain moment in international relations since the end of the Second World War.”

    Canadian officials have brushed off Trump’s rhetoric as negotiating bluster. Experts, however, say his professed disdain for the deal is being reflected in his negotiators’ actions to far — delaying the introduction of important proposals, then putting forth proposals obviously untenable to Canada and Mexico.

    The most important American complaint to date came Tuesday from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Republican-leaning business lobby. Speaking in Mexico City, president Thomas Donohue said he had no choice but to “ring the alarm bells” about “unnecessary and unacceptable” proposals from the U.S. side.

    “Heading into the negotiations, you could say that our strategy has been to speak softly and give the administration every opportunity, all the support, and just enough pressure to do the right thing. We’ve done that. We’ve been patient, cool-headed, and constructive. But let me be forceful and direct. There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal,” Donohue said.

    The proposals Donohue mentioned are among the ones that have caused consternation in the Canadian and Mexican governments. They include:

    • A rule requiring a hefty portion of automobiles to be made in the U.S. itself, not just in the NAFTA zone.

    • A “Buy American” rule saying Canadian and Mexican firms could not receive government contracts worth more than the government contracts secured by American firms in the other two countries, which are much smaller.

    Some of the U.S. proposals have not yet been put on the negotiating table. Trump’s team is expected to use this round, which runs Wednesday to Sunday at a hotel in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va., to offer its first official ideas on contentious topics like the “rules of origin” for cars.

    Lawrence Herman, a trade lawyer in Canada, said “most of the people I talk to are expecting that we may be very close to the precipice this week.” The problem, he said, is the posture expected to be taken by Trump’s team in service of his campaign promise to radically transform the agreement.

    Trump ran on an “America First” platform of economic nationalism and protectionism. As recently as August, he described NAFTA as the “worst trade deal ever made.” Herman said Trump’s public comments make it politically impossible for him to proclaim victory without being able to hold up major changes.

    “He basically wants Canada and Mexico to cave in on all his outrageous demands. And that is not going to happen,” Herman said.

    Bob Fisher, a U.S. negotiator for the original NAFTA talks and now managing director of Washington trade consulting firm Hills and Co., said he too is hearing increased negativity in the trade community. He put the chances of success at “50-50.”

    A key question, Fisher said, is whether rumoured hard-line U.S. proposals are actual “red lines” or mere opening positions that are subject to negotiation.

    “I think it’s very clear that there are some people in the administration who would like to terminate the deal. I think there are some people who might view beginning the process of termination as one of several negotiating tactics they might use,” he said.

    Laura Dawson, a longtime trade analyst and director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, said there are effectively two separate NAFTA negotiations happening: one going well, one “characterized by differences so irreconcilable that they threaten to derail the negotiations.”

    The smooth part, she said, is about “modernization” — things like harmonizing regulations and adding provisions for the digital era. The part that is going poorly, she said, is about various factions pushing “instruments of protectionism.”

    Trudeau is scheduled to meet Wednesday not only with Trump but with the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. The committee would play a significant role in the event that a new agreement was indeed reached and had to be ratified by Congress — or, alternately, in the event that Trump actually announced his intention to withdraw from the current agreement.

    If Trump settles on withdrawal, there would be a mandatory six-month waiting period. Beyond that, there is no consensus on what would happen. Some experts believe Trump could act unilaterally, but others believe Congress would have to pass a law to rescind an agreement Congress approved in 1993.

    As he hinted to Forbes magazine in the interview published Tuesday, Trump could try to initiate the withdrawal process to increase pressure on the other two countries. Mexico, however, has said it will leave the negotiating table rather than talk under such conditions.


    Donald Trump’s ‘outrageous’ demands put NAFTA negotiations at risk of collapse as talks resume Wednesday, experts sayDonald Trump’s ‘outrageous’ demands put NAFTA negotiations at risk of collapse as talks resume Wednesday, experts say

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    With his SmartTrack plan going to public consultations this week, Mayor John Tory says his signature transit project has reached a major milestone.

    But key questions about the plan remained unanswered Tuesday, including how many people are expected to use the service and how much it will cost them to do so.

    At a news conference in Scarborough ahead of the first of three public meetings planned for this week, Tory predicted SmartTrack will bring “new and improved service where it is needed the most in our city.”

    “Over the last year, city staff have been working hard at studying SmartTrack station locations and station designs …. City staff are now ready to take it to the public,” the mayor said, declaring it “an important day.”

    The city is holding the consultations in three affected neighbourhoods, with the goal of getting feedback on the plan’s six proposed new stops.

    Although they would be labelled SmartTrack stations, the stops would be added to GO Transit’s existing Kitchener and Stouffville/Lakeshore East lines. They would be operated as part of a wider expansion and electrification of GO Transit service known as regional express rail, which is being spearheaded by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency for the GTHA.

    City staff are hoping to get input on the design of the stops, including station entrances, accessibility for people with mobility issues, and land use around the sites.

    However, James Perttula, director of transit and transportation planning for the city, confirmed at a media briefing that the city doesn’t yet have solid numbers for how many people are expected to use SmartTrack stations once they’re built.

    Although previous reports have estimated that the stations could attract as many as 9 million new riders to the GO Transit network each year, key factors that will influence ridership are still being worked out.

    According to the city’s public consultation materials, trains will stop at SmartTrack stations at frequencies of every six to 10 minutes during peak periods, and every 15 minutes outside of that. But Perttula told reporters details aren’t yet finalized. “Metrolinx is still working through their service model, and we have not been given updated service plans,” he said.

    And though Tory has pledged that transit users will pay a “TTC fare” to board at SmartTrack stations, Perttula said he was “not sure” what the fares will be. How much it will cost will likely be subject to the outcome of Metrolinx’s efforts to integrate the fare systems of transit agencies across the GTHA.

    Perttula also said he had “no answer” for whether trains servicing SmartTrack stations will be capable of “through service” at Union Station. If not, trains on the eastern and western arms of the SmartTrack “U” would turn back at Union, which would leave no direct link between stops on the two halves of the city and likely depress ridership.

    Perttula said that despite the unknowns, it is still worthwhile to consult the public about the proposed stations because many questions about design “apply to a station regardless of the specific ridership.”

    He said the city expects to release a report in the spring about “how the various elements of SmartTrack are shaping up” and may “need to update some of our analysis depending on how these other pieces of puzzle come together.”

    Last month Metrolinx placed one of the proposed new SmartTrack stations, Lawrence East, as well as the proposed Kirby GO station in Vaughan, under review. The move followed a Star investigation that revealed the ministry of transportation pressured the agency into approving both stops despite internal reports that recommended they not be built.

    Metrolinx has said that if the review doesn’t determine the stations are warranted they won’t go ahead. The provincial auditor general is also investigating whether the stations provide good value for money.

    The version of SmartTrack going to consultation this week is significantly less ambitious than the plan Tory made the central plank of his successful 2014 campaign.

    He originally promised 13 new stations and a total of 22 stops, instead of six new stations and a total of 14 stops. His proposal to build a heavy rail link to the airport has since been replaced with a planned extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. He also pledged on the campaign trail to complete the project within seven years, but said Tuesday it would be done by the “early 2020s.”

    Councillor Gord Perks said that the current plan was not what the mayor promised.

    “It’s a little rich to refer to a handful of stations as ‘SmartTrack.’ The mayor promised 22 stations in seven years, with subway frequencies at TTC prices, and we’re not getting any of that,” said Perks, who is a frequent critic of the mayor.

    Last November, council agreed to be responsible for all the costs of the six proposed SmartTrack stops. The price tag is estimated at about $1.3 billion.


    Tory’s Smarttrack plan heads off for public inputTory’s Smarttrack plan heads off for public input

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    The Toronto District School Board is completing a phase out of the word ‘chief’ from job titles, out of respect for Indigenous people.

    Titles such as chief financial officer, chief academic officer and chief communications officer will see the word ‘chief’ removed and replaced with ‘manager’ or something similar. The changes include 12 chief positions in the professional support services department where the word manager is now used.

    The work began a few years ago and is now concluding, TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said.

    Dr. Duke Redbird, curator of Indigenous art and culture at the TDSB, said the change “fits with building a student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect — and that’s a quote from the Truth and Reconciliation (Commission) recommendations.” The commission was set up to examine the abuse suffered by aboriginal children in Canada’s former residential school system. Its final report made 94 recommendations.

    Redbird said the TDSB move solves two problems. First, job titles will more clearly describe what the job actually entails.

    Secondly, it respects the importance and recognizes the historical significance of the role of chief in Indigenous communities.

    “And it helps in our own community, that these designated titles … are recognized for what they actually are — which are earned titles that you get through a democratic process of an election.”

    The title of chief is earned and respected in the Indigenous community, Redbird said.

    “The word has a lot of meaning to our people,” he said. “Whenever we talk about a person who is a chief, it’s an incredibly important position. One of the things that we have found in the past is that the word chief was used as a slang, pejorative word, describing anyone who happened to be of Indigenous background.”

    When asked if he’d like to see the word chief switched out across the board, Redbird said the term is an English one.

    “It belongs to the English language. It belongs to the settlers. We do not have a problem with their use of their word for what they want to describe in their communities. We are only grateful to the Toronto District School Board, that they saw that it could be used in a derogatory term against our students.”

    Damien Lee, an assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, could not comment on the TDSB’s use of the word chief, but said the term carries “baggage.”

    “It has been used as a pejorative,” Lee said. “Some people will use it in a kind of demeaning way.”

    The term chief was not used by Indigenous peoples prior to colonization, he said.

    It appears in the Indian Act, a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1876 meant “to get rid of Indigenous People,” Lee said.

    Under the Indian Act, the term chief carries the weight of “being forced to adopt an alien form of governance.”

    The Indian Act mandates that First Nations have a chief and council — a municipal style of government.

    “Indigenous communities do have, and always have had and continue to have their own inherent governance systems that don’t really look like a municipal government,” Lee said.


    Toronto District School Board phases out ‘chief’ titlesToronto District School Board phases out ‘chief’ titles

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    A Toronto man has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a gas attendant in North York in 2012.

    Max Edwin Tutiven pleaded not guilty, but admitted at trial that he hit and dragged Jayesh Prajapati, 44, with his SUV after stealing $112.85 worth of gas from the North York Shell station Sept. 15, 2012. Tutiven said he never saw the gas attendant near his vehicle, and did not realize he had hit a person until a couple of days later.

    Prajapati, 44, died in the hospital after Tutiven’s SUV dragged him down Roselawn Ave. for 78 metres. Prajapati’s body was then dislodged and Tutiven drove away.

    Jurors heard closing arguments Friday and then deliberated for six hours Tuesday before reaching a guilty verdict.

    “We are obviously very satisfied with the verdict the jury came back with,” said Toronto Homicide Det. Robert North outside the courthouse. “I thought we presented a very strong case against Mr. Tutiven. I am not overly surprised (of the verdict).”

    Tutiven was charged with second-degree murder in Montreal in 2015. A second-degree murder charge indicates a killing is intended but not planned.

    In his closing arguments, Tutiven’s defence lawyer Edward Sapiano urged the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter, not murder, indicating Tutivan had no intent to kill Prajapati.

    Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan said in his closing argument that Tutiven’s testimony had been a “false narrative” — he saw Prajapati, felt the impact of hitting him and heard people yelling at him to stop.

    Resident of a nearby apartment building, Trevor Bell, testified he could hear the sound of Prajapati being dragged in the wheels of the SUV from his 18th-floor unit.

    Prajapati was a father and husband. A year after his death, his wife Vaishali Prajapati told the Star he was a caring man, who bathed and dressed her for a week when she broke her arm, played chess with their 12-year-old son every Sunday and worked six days a week.

    Regulars from the public housing building across the street said he’d let them pay later for a jug of milk or loaf of bread if they were short cash.

    Originally from India, he’d obtained his Canadian citizenship not long before he died.

    Tutiven will be sentenced Nov. 1.

    With files from Peter Goffin, Alyshah Hasham, Bryann Aguilar and Rosie DiManno.


    Suspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murderSuspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murder

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    Toronto is eyeing private property in its quest to increase the urban tree canopy.

    A report heading to the city's parks and environment committee next week will detail a possible expansion of the partnership between the city and Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), offering more free trees on private property. Funding would be submitted to future budget planning as part of the city's Tree Planting Strategy.

    The non-profit has operated in the GTA for 20 years, helping municipalities, school boards and private individuals plant and take care of trees. But it was only last year that council approved a partial grant of $50,000 for LEAF to help with private property plantings, tree maintenance and educational outreach programs. The grant was increased to $100,000 in 2017.

    “We've been running this program through small grants patched from here and there, so I'm really excited that there's the will on council to support efforts on private property for tree canopy,” said LEAF's executive director Janet McKay.

    “Most municipalities are finding that private property offers the most potential in terms of new planting space,” she said, noting Toronto has done “a great job” of planting on public spaces through its street tree-planting programs.

    Private properties such as backyards and greenspace at multi-unit residential buildings offer significant advantages, said McKay: There's more soil, fewer stresses from utilities overhead and underground and a lower chance of vandalism.

    The city's goal is to achieve 40 per cent tree canopy, but the city's coverage currently stands at about 27 per cent.

    In addition to providing free trees, McKay said a big part of the expansion would focus on caring for the existing tree population by providing residents with skills and information.

    “We don't want to compromise quality for quantity,” she said. “We have a long way to go, but I think that protecting what we have is very important. We have an amazing amount of canopy already, and if we're losing that we won't necessarily be able to make it up with new planting.”


    Toronto looks to expand tree planting on private propertiesToronto looks to expand tree planting on private properties

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    A 53-year-old man is facing multiple charges including two counts of attempted murder after an alleged assault on two children, a boy and a girl, in a North York home Saturday afternoon.

    Toronto police said they rushed to the area of Jane St. and Steeles Ave. W. just after 3 p.m. for reports of an assault. It is alleged the suspect was at home with the children, both under 10.

    Police said he allegedly struck the children on the head with a hammer, then choked them. Both children were taken to Sick Kids Hospital in life-threatening condition. They are expected to make a full recovery.

    The man has also been charged with two counts of assault with weapon, two counts of overcoming resistance by choking or suffocation, possession of a weapon, and two counts of uttering threats.

    The suspect’s identity was not released to protect the identity of the children, police said.

    He will appear in court at 1000 Finch Ave. W. on Thursday at 10 a.m.


    Man charged with attempted murder after two children injured in assaultMan charged with attempted murder after two children injured in assault

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    TORONTO—The union representing faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16.

    The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said in a news release late Tuesday that the date was set after the College Employer Council walked away from the bargaining table.

    J.P. Hornick, the chairman of the OPSEU bargaining team, says the employer again refused to consider key issues in the ongoing dispute.

    He says the goal of setting a strike deadline “is to get negotiations moving before it’s too late.”

    OPSEU, which represents more than 12,000 employees in the college system, has said the key issues include giving faculty and students more of a voice in academic decisions and what it calls the “ongoing exploitation of contract faculty.”

    Hornick says the employer “is not moving forward on the issues faculty care about most — even in the case of no-cost items like academic freedom or longer contracts for contract faculty.”


    Faculty at Ontario colleges could go on strike on MondayFaculty at Ontario colleges could go on strike on Monday

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    Sidney Crosby is a lucky guy. On Monday, the Stanley Cup champion told the CBC that he “grew up under the assumption” that politics “wasn’t something really bred into sports.” From his side of things, he told the broadcaster, “there’s absolutely no politics involved.” And why would there be? He quite literally has no skin in the game.

    Like any white person who shares Crosby’s “side of things” and whose government does not devalue his life on account of the colour of his skin, he has the luxury of regarding politics as a force too far away to complicate his day to day.

    It was this luxury, presumably, that led the NHL captain to visit Donald Trump’s White House for a photo op on Tuesday alongside his teammates: the Stanley Cup championship-winning Pittsburgh Penguins. It was this luxury that enabled him to smile and shake hands with a U.S. president who recently asserted that “very fine people” existed on both sides of the summertime march in Charlottesville, Va., where neo-Nazis walked unmasked and triumphant down a city street and a 32-year-old woman died at the hands of one of them. (Very fine people indeed.)

    Read more:

    Trump welcomes Penguins to White House, calls team ‘incredible patriots’

    Pittsburgh mayor to skip Penguins’ White House visit amid backlash

    Crosby’s Penguins on wrong side of history: Cox

    It’s this luxury that allows clueless white people to frame political indifference as a virtue akin to modesty. But not everyone has the luxury of standing guilt-free, quiet and “virtuous” behind this president. Among them, Black and brown athletes who are not, contrary to alt-right belief, rendered immune to racism because they are rich. LeBron James (a vocal critic of the president) may live in a mansion, but as he put it to the media shortly after that mansion was defaced with a racist slur in June, “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being Black in America is tough.”

    Being Black was tough too for the more than 400 hockey players who comprised the Coloured Hockey League in Crosby’s home province of Nova Scotia from 1895 to 1930. CHL players did not have the privilege of political indifference when their league disbanded due to a number of factors, racism included. Later the government would demolish Africville, the African-Canadian village in Halifax, in which many of the league’s members lived and played.

    Apathetic white people who groan when athletes of colour get political, or who suggest as Crosby did that politics and sports do not mix, are in need of a reminder that for most, political activism isn’t a choice or a hobby. People don’t usually consider it fun or interesting to put their jobs on the line to speak out against a bigger power. The marginalized do not go looking for politics. It seeks them out. In this context, it sought them out when the President of the United States openly flirted with a racist ideology that would very much like to destroy them.

    There is an argument, quite popular among Sidney Crosby fans at the moment, which alleges that Crosby had no business rejecting an invitation to visit the White House because like many of his teammates, he is Canadian. These fans ask: Why should a Canadian kneel in protest of a foreign leader or refuse to extend a hand to one? But to suggest that the actions of the President of the United States, in this case a volatile president who appears to possess both the maturity of an 8-year-old (he recently challenged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ test) and access to nuclear weapons, has no bearing on the life of a Canadian or anybody who lives on this planet is absurd. Trump’s presidency will have bearing on all of us. Therefore the responsibility to speak out against it falls to all of us.

    And history will not look kindly on the hockey players who shirked that responsibility when they strolled into the White House on Tuesday in their Sunday best, and grinned behind the 45th president of the United States.

    “Everybody wanted to be here today,” Trump said about the Pittsburgh Penguins when the press conference began. Whether or not this is true, they were there. And that’s a shame.

    Emma Teitel is a national affairs columnist.


    Crosby, Penguins enjoy luxury of political indifference at White House: TeitelCrosby, Penguins enjoy luxury of political indifference at White House: Teitel

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    Things are looking up for Harvey Weinstein.

    You could say the slew of sexual harassment accusations against him reported in the New York Times last week had placed this blindingly high wattage Hollywood producer on the path to qualifying for the United States presidency.

    On Tuesday morning, he moved a few notches up on the predato-meter — from Donald Trump to Bill Cosby, after the New Yorker magazine published its own bombshell 10-month investigation revealing three allegations of rape among the 13 accusations of sexual misconduct, allegations that a representative for Weinstein denied.

    Oh, he was better than Cosby, though. Or so he thought. In the New Yorker, Weinstein’s temporary front-desk assistant Emily Nestor says that on her second day at work, after she rejected his advances, Weinstein told her he’d “never had to do anything like Bill Cosby” by which “she assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman” to coerce them, setting a strangely low bar for consent.

    As the floodgates opened, by Tuesday, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were among those who alleged misconduct.

    Yet the now growing condemnation of Weinstein has been shamefully slow to arrive. The New York Times investigation was released Oct. 5. Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company Oct. 8. It was only by Oct. 9 — a.k.a. a lifetime in a Hollywood news cycle — that major stars began their condemnation; presumably they had now deemed it safe enough to do so.

    The man who, a survey found, was thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches more frequently than God, must be puzzled by the A-listers distancing themselves from him, by the company that sacked him when he was doing exactly what he had always done. There’s nothing particularly novel about the casting couch phenomenon.

    “We’ve normalized this bad behaviour and we rationalize it because ‘look at the great contributions these guys are making,’” author Mark Lipton told the Los Angeles Times. He interviewed several of Weinstein’s employees for his book, Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man.

    Read more:

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    So let’s be clear here. Weinstein hasn’t lost out because he did wrong. He is being shunned because he was found out.

    Being somewhat discreet gave others licence to fete him as a genius. Exposed, he became a liability.

    His alleged behaviour may have flourished in an era when few dared to speak out, but it continued to be endured even as societal intolerance of sexual misconduct grew. Witness the reaction that followed Trump’s crassness caught on tape, or the outrage that followed sexual misconduct allegations at Fox News that felled CEO Roger Ailes and anchor-in-chief Bill O’Reilly.

    I shudder to think how many more such toxic power dynamics continue to flourish.

    On Monday, Meryl Streep called Weinstein’s behaviour “inexcusable,” but that “not everybody knew.”

    “If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it,” she told HuffPost.

    Yet, French actress Emma de Caunes told the New Yorker, “I know that everybody — I mean everybody — in Hollywood knows that it’s happening.”

    And the New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow wrote, “previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few women were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories.”

    George Clooney said he had heard rumours but thought they “seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumours with a grain of salt,” he told the Daily Beast.

    Jessica Chastain said on Twitter, “I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again.”

    Men can have the privilege of distance. They can treat sexual misconduct rumours as gossip, innocuous word play, a sideshow with minimal impact on their lives or careers. For women, particularly those just launching their careers, it’s about the risk of bodily harm, emotional trauma and risk to financial freedom.

    Whom can they turn to for support? The Weinstein Company’s human resources? Dear HR boss: I need you to tell off the man whose money pays your mortgage and feeds your family.

    Paltrow — raised in a Hollywood family — was lucky to be able to turn to Brad Pitt for support after rejecting Weinstein’s advances. (Pitt asked Weinstein to lay off, the New York Times reported Tuesday.) If the film industry was truly a family as Hollywood types refer to it, vulnerable young women asked to trade sex for work, too, would be able to lean on established veterans such as, say, a Streep or Clooney.

    That doesn’t appear to be happening.

    It’s time for Hollywood to support an independent arms-length professional body with specialists in sexual harassment — and journalists. Yes, journalists.

    While the agency would offer free counsel for women reporting sexual misbehaviour, their reports would be investigated by the journalists. Those that pass the journalistic sniff test — they are defensible against libel — would be published on the agency’s website.

    I first came across this journalistic aspect to justice in an opinion piece in the New York Times last summer about bringing rapists to justice.

    In it the writer says, “It is time to accept that the criminal justice system may never be capable of providing justice for the vast majority of sexual assaults.”

    Given recent developments, it’s also time to accept that film industry networks are inadequate to the task of protecting women’s workplace rights in Hollywood.

    The show must go on, but without systemic supports in place, it can only be a diminished one.

    Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar


    Harvey Weinstein being shunned not for wrongdoing, but for getting caught: ParadkarHarvey Weinstein being shunned not for wrongdoing, but for getting caught: Paradkar

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    Once a titan of Canadian retail, Sears Canada announced Tuesday that it is going out of business, putting 12,000 people out of work and shuttering all operations nationwide.

    Among the first to lose their jobs will be most of the 800 people at head office near Dundas Square, who will be let go next week. Liquidation sales at stores are scheduled to begin Oct. 19 and to take 10 to 14 weeks.

    More on Sears Canada

    The chain was forced into closure after a bid by executive chairman Brandon Stranzl to save the company was unsuccessful.

    “Following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction for the company to continue as a going concern was received,” according to a press release from the company issued Tuesday.

    “The Company deeply regrets this pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures.”

    Stranzl was not available for comment on Tuesday.

    The shutdown will not affect parts of the business that have been approved for sale since Sears sought creditor protection on June 22: SLH Transports, a standalone trucking and logistics company that services Sears Canada, will continue under new ownership, as will Corbeil Electrique and certain of the Sears Canada Home Improvement brands.

    Sears Canada has already closed 59 stores and announced the closure of another 11, including stores at Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre, since obtaining protection from creditors in June. It will be seeking court approval on Friday to liquidate all its remaining assets.

    According to an insider, the Stranzl deal would have saved thousands of jobs and offered relief to landlords, suppliers and consumers holding warranties. It also had financial backing.

    About three-quarters of the 12,000 employees are part-time.

    Employees were informed prior to the press release being issued, according to an insider.


    Sears Canada going out of business, laying off 12,000Sears Canada going out of business, laying off 12,000

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    WASHINGTON—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked politely about U.S. President Donald Trump and talked up gender equality at the first event of his second official trip to Trump’s Washington.

    Interviewed onstage Tuesday night at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Trudeau stuck to his usual script for discussing the president he will meet with on Wednesday: avoid controversy, emphasize common ground.

    Asked how he thinks about talking to Trump versus other world leaders, Trudeau said his method is “always consistent” — “look for areas of agreement.” He said he and Trump differ on some issues but were elected on similar promises to make life better for the middle class.

    “I have conversations with the president every few weeks on any number of things,” he said.

    Read more:

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    Trudeau did make a joke about his desire to avoid talking about the president in public. Asked, as usual, about his creative socks, he crowed that he had just “used up” five seconds of a Trump conversation.

    One of Trudeau’s answers underscored the vast personality gulf between the two leaders. Asked what he had learned from his father, late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, he said, “To trust people.” One of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr., has said that Trump repeatedly told him as a child, “Never trust anybody.”

    Trudeau promoted his government’s proposal to include a chapter on gender in a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. When interviewer Pattie Sellers asked what such a chapter would mean, he said, “It means recognizing that trade has different impacts on women that it does on men.”

    He spoke of the importance of retaining, not merely recruiting, female politicians. Asked about advice for the female high school students from Washington who were in attendance, he encouraged them to persevere even though they will have to fight battles their male classmates do not.

    After the interview, Trudeau spoke to each of the 30-odd students seated at a centre table in the National Portrait Gallery courtyard, getting down on one knee to talk to many of them as they sat. Some of the students appeared overcome with emotion.

    “It’s overwhelming. But he makes it real comfortable, so it’s easy to talk to him,” said Akhayla Reynolds, 16.

    Trudeau’s talk at the event was the original reason for his Washington visit, his office said. His meeting with Trump was added later.

    “I was in town for this, just so you know,” he said, to laughter and applause, when Sellers first asked about the meeting.

    Trudeau is also scheduled to participate Wednesday morning in a discussion on gender equality. He will be joined by his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

    He will then speak to the members of the powerful House of Representatives ways and means committee, which has significant influence over trade, before meeting with Trump at the White House around 2 p.m.


    Trudeau talks gender equality (and a little about Trump) at Washington summitTrudeau talks gender equality (and a little about Trump) at Washington summit

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    The Ontario government will commit $1 million in funding to assist Ontario miners who believe years of exposure to toxic aluminum dust left them with debilitating neurological diseases, the Star has learned

    The Ministry of Labour is expected to announce Wednesday that it will finance the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to assess miners exposed to the substance known as McIntyre Powder establish whether their health conditions are linked to its use, and make compensation claims for work-related illnesses where possible.

    But miners who already made claims under previous guidelines will not be eligible to have their cases reopened.

    As previously reported by the Star, thousands of miners across northern Ontario’s gold and uranium mines were routinely forced to inhale the powder, which was sold as a miracle antidote to lung disease. Historical documents suggest it was created by industry-sponsored Canadian scientists bent on slashing compensation costs caused by illnesses like silicosis.

    Read more:

    Help on way for ailing miners exposed to 'miracle' dust

    In human experiment, Ontario miners say they paid devastating price

    Do right by injured miners: Editorial

    Some workers have since claimed they were treated as “guinea pigs” in a human experiment aimed at cutting company costs.

    “When you tell people in today’s context and the workplace protections that we now have, it seems pretty unbelievable that this happened,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in an interview with the Star.

    “What workers didn’t have before is somebody to help them through the system and that’s where the approval of the funding (comes in).”

    The issue has been championed by Janice Martell, whose own father, a former miner exposed to the dust, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He died from the disease in May.

    Martell said she is pleased about the $1 million in new funding, although it is half what was originally requested by OHCOW.

    “It’s been frustrating the length of time it took to get here, and we’ve lost so many miners in between, but I’m grateful it’s finally here,” she told the Star.

    Until recently, potential victims were unable to make successful claims at the province’s worker compensation board because of a policy formed in 1993 that said insufficient evidence existed linking aluminum exposure to neurological disease.

    Martell said she is “livid” that the board has told her it will not reconsider compensation claims lodged before the policy was rescinded — including her own father’s claim.

    Martell said she has spent more than $10,000 of her own money to research and raise awareness about McIntyre Powder.

    “Why should it fall on us? I changed my whole life around. I quit my job to fight for this,” she said.

    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board spokesperson Christine Arnott said its focus is on “finding answers for people.”

    “That’s why we have commissioned scientific research to look specifically at McIntyre Powder and any connection to neurological disease,” she said. “Unfortunately, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to date.”

    Of the 397 former miners who have contacted Martell, around one-third suffered from a neurological disorder — and she says 14 have developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative and incurable condition, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that slowly kills the ability to swallow, speak and breathe.

    In Ontario, the prevalence of motor neuron disease, which includes ALS, is estimated at less than one in a thousand people.

    Research conducted in the United Kingdom found “strong evidence” linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease when absorbed into the blood stream.

    In August, the WSIB announced it would rescind its policy and commission an independent study to assess the development of neurological conditions resulting from exposure to McIntyre Powder, which was used extensively between 1943 and 1980.

    Now that the policy has been reversed, the new funding will help workers build the necessary evidence to back up potential claims.

    “We’re obviously very pleased with this opportunity to intensify our efforts on behalf of the exposed miners,” said Dave Wilken, OHCOW’s chief operating officer. “We will do whatever we can to ensure that they get the answers they deserve.”

    Flynn said OHCOW would provide vital support for workers who were exposed to potentially harmful substances for years, often without their knowledge.

    “It’s not just statistics, it’s not just chemistry,” said Flynn. “It’s real people who have real lives.”

    Martell says that’s why she hopes to see more robust measures to prevent and address occupational illness in Ontario.

    “McIntyre Powder was swept under the carpet for years and years,” she said.

    “I’m grateful my father allowed himself to be shown in a vulnerable light so that other people could benefit from the brutal realities of occupational disease.”


    Ontario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dust

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    “Major Reinvention in Progress” says a sign in bold, capital letters, hanging above the entrance to a newly renovated Sears in Erin Mills Town Centre.

    The irony wasn’t lost on customers heading in and out of Canada’s failing department store on Tuesday afternoon, hours after Sears Canada announced its plans to close down all operations, putting its 12,000 store employees out of work. The news comes after Sears already closed 59 stores and announced the closure of another 11, including stores at Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre.

    “Reinvention for who?” said Carolyn Hitchinson, a longtime Erin Mills resident, on her way into Sears. “That sign really irritates me. It is a misrepresentation of what they’re doing, getting ready to sell before Christmas and letting all those poor people go.”

    Liquidation sales at stores, including at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, are scheduled to begin Oct. 19 and would take 10 to 14 weeks to complete, pending court approval.

    As a watch repair licensee for Sears for the past three years, Shaukat Hussain was holding out hope that the department store would secure a buyer. However, as of Tuesday, Sears had been unsuccessful.

    Now, Hussain says his livelihood is in jeopardy. The 67-year-old isn’t sure he’ll be able to find a place to rent that’s as affordable or draws in as many customers as the small area off of Sears’ main lobby here.

    “There’s a tradition for customers of going to Sears to have their watches fixed and (the brand) Sears gives them extra trust and confidence in my service,” said Hussain who repairs as many as 50 watches a day.

    “It’s sad what’s happening. My customers say, ‘What will we do without Sears?’”

    Read more:

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    Laid off Sears Canada workers include Mike Myers' brother who starred in ad

    That’s a question Irene Ranieri, 87, doesn’t have an answer for on her way to pick up presents for a dozen grand- and great-grandchildren.

    She worked at the Square One Sears for 25 years, from the 1970s to mid-1990s. She said she “thoroughly enjoyed” working in the catalogue division, assisting customers who were picking up their ordered items.

    “At one time it was a thriving industry,” Ranieri, 87, said. “I’m very, very disappointed.”

    Shoppers Margaret and Jack Leishman both grew up in small Quebec towns and, as children, waited eagerly for the Sears catalogue to arrive. As a young married couple, they’d drop off their orders and pick up their purchases at the Sears office in Lachute. When they and their two daughters made the move to Mississauga 27 years ago, Sears was the first place where they shopped. In the first years of his retirement, Jack, 80, said he would wander over to browse “everything” — appliances, clothing, tools.

    “We’re devastated,” said Margaret, 75. “Really, honestly devastated.”

    The Sears catalogue is what defined Christmastime for Hitchinson when she grew up in the 1960s.

    “It was a big thing,” she said. “I’d wait for the catalogue and then cut, cut, cut and lay out all the things I wanted for Christmas.”


    Customers ‘devastated’ as Sears Canada announces plan to shutter all operationsCustomers ‘devastated’ as Sears Canada announces plan to shutter all operations

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    A maintenance worker said Wednesday he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside Mandalay Bay before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance.

    The revised timeline has renewed questions about whether better communication might have allowed police to respond more quickly and take out the gunman before he committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

    Worker Stephen Schuck told NBC News that he was checking out a report of a jammed fire door on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay when he heard gunshots and a hotel security guard, who had been shot in the leg, peeked out from an alcove and told him to take cover.

    “As soon as I started to go to a door to my left the rounds started coming down the hallway,” Schuck said. “I could feel them pass right behind my head.

    “It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on,” he said. “As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again.”

    Police said Monday they believe gunman Stephen Paddock shot a hotel security guard through the door of his suite six minutes before he unleashed a barrage of bullets into the crowd of concert-goers, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

    The injured guard used his radio and possibly a hallway phone to call for help.

    That account differs dramatically from the one police gave last week when they said Paddock fired through the door of his room and injured the unarmed guard after shooting into the crowd.

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    The company that owns Mandalay Bay has questioned the new timeline.

    “We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline,” said Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International. “We believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”

    Las Vegas police did not respond Tuesday night to questions about the hotel’s statement.

    “Our officers got there as fast as they possibly could and they did what they were trained to do,” Las Vegas assistant sheriff Todd Fasulo said earlier Tuesday.

    Gunshots can be heard in the background as Schuck reported the shooting on his radio, telling a dispatcher: “Call the police, someone’s firing a gun up here. Someone’s firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway.”

    It was unclear if the hotel relayed the information to Las Vegas police, who did not respond to questions from The Associated Press about whether hotel security or anyone else in the hotel called 911 to report the gunfire.

    Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York City police sergeant, said the new timeline “changes everything.”

    “There absolutely was an opportunity in that timeframe that some of this could’ve been mitigated,” he said.

    Nicole Rapp, whose mother was knocked to the ground and trampled at the country music concert said she’s “having a hard time wrapping my head around” why police changed the timeline of the shooting.

    “It’s very confusing to me that they are just discovering this a week later,” she said. “How did we not know this before? It’s traumatic for the victims and their families not to be sure of what happened.”

    The six minutes that passed between the hallway shooting and the start of the shooting into the crowd wouldn’t have been enough time for officers to stop the attack, said Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who has worked on SWAT teams. Rather than rush in without a game plan, police would have been formulating the best response to the barricaded gunman, he said.

    “Maybe that’s enough time to get the first patrolman onto the floor but the first patrolman is not going to go knock on that customer’s door and say ‘What’s going on with 200 holes in the door?’” Hosko said.

    Undersheriff Kevin McMahill defended the hotel and said the encounter that night between Paddock and the security guard and maintenance man disrupted the gunman’s plans. Paddock fired more than 1,000 bullets and had more than 1,000 rounds left in his room, the undersheriff said.

    “I can tell you I’m confident that he was not able to fully execute his heinous plan and it certainly had everything to do with being disrupted,” McMahill said. He added: “I don’t think the hotel dropped the ball.”


    Mandalay Bay worker says he warned of shooter before Las Vegas massacreMandalay Bay worker says he warned of shooter before Las Vegas massacre

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    MONTREAL—Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately, it won’t be forced to pay the 300-per-cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department.

    “We will not pay those tariffs and that is very clear,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.

    He said the U.S. government’s decision is disappointing and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that it’s still early in the process that is triggering a lot of political debate.

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    “We intend to take the aircraft,” he told analysts. “I can’t tell you how this is going to eventually work out. There may be a delay in us taking the aircraft as we work through the issues with Bombardier, who is being a great partner in this.”

    Bastian added that he thinks the CSeries needs to come to market in the United States.

    “We believe it will come to market and we believe Delta will get it at the agreed contractual price,” he added.

    Delta signed a deal for up to 125 CS100s in 2016. The firm order for 75 aircraft had a list price of $5.6 billion (U.S.), although large orders typically secure steep discounts. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in the spring.

    “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk, so there should not be any concerns on our investors’ minds in that regard.”

    The comments from the largest CSeries customer come a day after U.S. aerospace giant Boeing launched a public-relations campaign to remind Canadians of its economic contribution to the country.

    The Chicago-based company said its multimedia efforts, which got underway on Tuesday, include traditional and digital media including television, radio and other digital platforms.

    Boeing Canada managing director Kim Westenskow said the company contributes about $4 billion annually to Canada’s economic growth and development. That represents almost 14 per cent of Canada’s entire aerospace economic impact.

    “What we accomplish together benefits Canada and the entire global aerospace industry. It is a compelling story that is overdue to be told,” she said in a news release.

    “Today, Boeing is the largest non-Canadian aerospace manufacturer in Canada,” Westenskow added, pointing to both commercial and military activities.

    Bombardier says its direct contribution to Canada’s GDP in 2014 was an estimated $8.3 billion, while it exported products worth $9.1 billion in the same year.

    The company said in an email Wednesday that it spent $2.1 billion last year across some 1,270 suppliers in Canada — and directly employed more than 21,000 workers in the country as of December 2016, including more than 17,000 in the aerospace sector.

    “It is quite ironic that Boeing is suddenly talking about its ‘commitment’ to Canada,” said Bombardier spokesman Simon Letendre, “while moving forward with an unjustified attack against the 4,000 direct Canadian jobs and the more than 200 Canadian suppliers that the CSeries program alone supports.

    “If Boeing really cares about its relationship with Canada, it should simply withdraw its complaint.”

    In response to the trade challenge to Bombardier, the federal government has threatened to cancel the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets to temporarily augment Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.

    Bombardier Inc. last week accused the Trump administration of overreach by siding with Boeing in its bid to shut the CSeries commercial jet out of the world’s largest airline market by effectively quadrupling the price of any of the planes sold in the United States.

    The U.S. Commerce Department added 79.82 per cent in preliminary anti-dumping duties to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.

    Boeing said it welcomed the decision affirming its view that Bombardier sold the CSeries to Delta at prices below production cost to illegally grab market share in the single-aisle airplane market.

    Bombardier has repeatedly stressed that Americans will be hurt by the tariffs because more than half the content on the 100- to 150-seat CSeries is sourced by U.S. suppliers, including Pratt & Whitney engines. The program is expected to generate more than US$30 billion in business over its life and support more than 22,700 American jobs in 19 states.

    Meanwhile, WestJet Airlines said Wednesday it has become the first commercial carrier in Canada to take delivery of the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, one of 50 scheduled for delivery in the next four years.

    The 174-seat aircraft is expected to officially enter service on Nov. 9 with a flight from Calgary to Toronto.

    Air Canada has also placed orders for 33 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 28 of the larger MAX 9s, with deliveries starting this year.

    With files from Michael Lewis


    Delta CEO says ‘We will not pay those tariffs’ on Bombardier CSeries orderDelta CEO says ‘We will not pay those tariffs’ on Bombardier CSeries order

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    OTTAWA—The federal government appears to be doing away with a controversial tax policy interpretation that would have seen employees taxed for discounts they get at work.

    Amid a growing controversy, a spokesperson for National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said Wednesday that the government will pull the new wording at the heart of the debate from the Canada Revenue Agency website.

    Spokesperson John Power said the CRA made the original decision to change the wording, not Lebouthillier.

    “This document was not approved by the minister and we are deeply disappointed that the agency posted something that has been misinterpreted like this,” he said in an emailed statement.

    The CRA will hold an internal review on the wording change, which will be followed by a consultation on the issue with industry groups, Power added.

    The former wording in the employer’s guide on the issue of employee benefits was to be reinstated as early as Wednesday afternoon.

    The decision to restore the old wording came after strong objections from business associations that warned the change would lead to new taxes on retail workers, many of whom earn modest wages.

    The industry groups said the new wording would have created significant administrative burdens for employers, who would be required to track employee benefits.

    Political opponents also attacked the Trudeau government over the issue.

    The controversial update to the CRA documents first appeared in a tax folio and was later added to the agency’s employer’s guide.

    The change stated that when an employee receives a discount on merchandise because of their employment, “the value of the discount is generally included in the employee’s income.”

    It also said the value of the benefit is “equal to the fair-market value of the merchandise purchased, less the amount paid by the employee.”

    However, the updated document noted that no amount will be included in the employee’s income if the discount is also available to the general public or to specific public groups.

    “The agency issued a guidance document that does not reflect our government’s intentions and the minister of national revenue has instructed officials to clarify the wording,” Power said.

    Lebouthillier insisted in a statement Tuesday that Ottawa was not targeting retail-sector workers.

    Karl Littler, vice-president of public affairs for the Retail Council of Canada, welcomed the government’s decision to remove the change.

    “Obviously, that’s a pretty positive development from our perspective,” Littler said in an interview.

    “It does seem to us that there’s some kind of assertion of political oversight over the file at this point at the ministerial level.

    “It doesn’t end the issue because we’ve got to have the consultation process, but it certainly changes things from where they were, which (was) extreme level of uncertainty.”


    Employee discounts will not be taxed, revenue minister saysEmployee discounts will not be taxed, revenue minister says

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    Toronto police have found the car used in a fatal hit-and-run last week and are now searching for its owner, investigators said Wednesday.

    A 63-year-old woman walking on a sidewalk was killed when a gray 2014 Nissan Rogue mounted a curb on York Mills Rd., west of Don Mills Rd. just after 11 p.m. on Oct. 4.

    “She was a resident of New Brunswick, and was having dinner with a work colleague,” Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe said of the victim, via email.

    “When they left the restaurant on the south side of York Mills, the victim was discussing the pedestrian fatalities as a result of mid-block crossings.”

    Stibbe said the victim and her friend reached the intersection of York Mills and Don Mills, where the countdown timer had already begun.

    “The victim wanted to wait until the next walk signal to cross safely,” he said.

    The pair crossed the road and started walking west. Then the victim was hit.

    The driver fled the scene, police said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Police previously said the car was blue.

    Investigators found the Nissan at an auto shop in Toronto on Friday, police said.

    It’s registered to 28-year-old Erin Wright of Toronto and has the Ontario licence plate BVVH 900, police said in a news release Wednesday. Wright is a person of interest, Stibbe said.

    “She has failed to report the collision as required under law, and she has not furnished any information in regards to the collision or who was operating the vehicle at the time,” he said.

    Stibbe said he doesn’t have any information about whether the car may have been stolen or driven by someone else, or if there are any other people of interest.

    The car has damage to its right front headlight, fog light area and right fender, said police.

    Investigators are now asking for the public’s help in tracking the car between 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 1:30 a.m. the next day. They’re also trying to figure out the whereabouts of the driver and any other possible occupants of the Nissan.

    Police say they’re also asking residents of certain streets in the York Mills area to contact police if they have surveillance footage of the area from the same time period. Those streets include Birchwood Ave., Fenn Ave., Gordon Rd., Munro Blvd., Old Yonge St., Owen Blvd., Upper Highland Cres. and York Mills Rd.


    Police locate car used in fatal hit-and-run that left 63-year-old dead on a Toronto sidewalkPolice locate car used in fatal hit-and-run that left 63-year-old dead on a Toronto sidewalk

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