- RSS Channel Showcase 7070693
- RSS Channel Showcase 5481762
- RSS Channel Showcase 5999137
- RSS Channel Showcase 7152637
Articles on this Page
- 07/27/17--10:46: _Two dead in Highway...
- 07/27/17--04:12: _Boy, 15, shot by po...
- 07/27/17--11:10: _Corporate manslaugh...
- 07/27/17--13:31: _Burlington native w...
- 07/27/17--14:38: _Starbucks to shutte...
- 07/27/17--08:13: _Court orders owner ...
- 07/27/17--14:46: _Family of mentally ...
- 07/27/17--11:46: _Trump, Republicans ...
- 07/27/17--15:01: _New clinics in Toro...
- 07/27/17--14:49: _Cathedraltown cow j...
- 07/27/17--11:09: _Waterloo police wil...
- 07/27/17--15:36: _In profane rant, Tr...
- 07/28/17--08:43: _North Korea’s lates...
- 07/28/17--07:14: _Pearson airport gro...
- 07/28/17--11:15: _Dozens of GO Transi...
- 07/28/17--10:35: _‘Dedicated team’ to...
- 07/28/17--08:57: _Indigenous man live...
- 07/28/17--10:29: _Former B.C. premier...
- 07/28/17--09:45: _Bike route improvem...
- 07/28/17--10:36: _Charlie Gard, 11-mo...
- 07/27/17--10:46: Two dead in Highway 48 crash
- 07/27/17--04:12: Boy, 15, shot by police in Mississauga
- 07/27/17--13:31: Burlington native wins Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award
- 07/27/17--14:38: Starbucks to shutter all Teavana stores as sales disappoint
- 07/27/17--08:13: Court orders owner to demolish unfinished monster home in Brampton
- 07/27/17--11:46: Trump, Republicans kill border tax plan
- 07/28/17--07:14: Pearson airport ground crew workers on strike
- 07/28/17--11:15: Dozens of GO Transit stations slated for upgrades
- 07/28/17--08:57: Indigenous man live-streams altercation with Canadian Tire employee
- 07/28/17--10:29: Former B.C. premier Christy Clark to resign as Liberal party leader
- 07/28/17--09:45: Bike route improvements coming to Bathurst and Adelaide intersection
Two people are dead and two injured including a child following a five-vehicle collision in Georgina on Thursday.
The crash happened a few minutes before noon on Highway 48, north of Old Homestead Rd.
Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the collision involved three transport trucks, a commercial vehicle and a passenger vehicle.
York Region communications supervisor Kylie-Anne Doerner said two people were found without vital signs and pronounced dead at the scene.
Schmidt said one of the victims was in the passenger vehicle and the other victim was in the commercial vehicle.
ORNGE communications officer Rachel Scott said they have airlifted a child with serious injuries to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Scott said another patient who was trapped in a vehicle has been airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
All lanes are closed on Hwy. 48 between Old Homestead Rd. and High St.
Janet Wade-Hunt says she was sitting in her car outside a Pizza Pizza in Mississauga, using the restaurant’s Wi-Fi while listening to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in the early morning hours, when a stranger opened the passenger door.
Terrified, Wade-Hunt scared the teen off, falsely telling him she had a boyfriend inside the restaurant, and then called 911. Moments later, Peel police shot the 15-year-old, who is now in hospital in serious but stable condition.
“I just wanted them to arrest him,” she told reporters at the scene about eight hours later. “I just wish he wasn’t shot.”
The Special investigations Unit, the province’s police watchdog, was called in following the shooting at the Credit Valley Town Plaza, near Britannia and Creditview Rds. at 1:50 a.m. Thursday.
Wade-Hunt said the boy had a gun, and that officers at the scene told her he’d pointed it at them. SIU spokesman Jason Gennaro said he couldn’t confirm if the 15-year-old was armed.
Gennaro said a Peel Region police officer shot the boy while responding to a call for a robbery at a gas station in the plaza.
Peel police were told three males were involved in the robbery, but two fled in a grey vehicle, Gennaro added.
The third male attempted to rob another business, Gennaro said, then unsuccessfully tried to get into three occupied vehicles in the plaza.
“Peel police officers arrived at the scene, there was an interaction with the man and one Peel police officer discharged a firearm,” Gennaro said. “At least one shot was fired.”
He said the “interaction” took place near a bank in the plaza.
After the boy left Wade-Hunt’s car, she said she pulled out and drove a short distance away, though she wasn’t wearing a seat belt or her glasses. She also said she saw the teen tap on the window of another vehicle using a gun.
Wade-Hunt said she wasn’t sure if the boy fired a weapon, but she heard six or seven gunshots and later saw the teen on the ground.
“I saw his leg move,” she said. “I kept asking if he’s OK.”
Wade-Hunt said she then called 911 again for an ambulance.
Paramedics said the boy was rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Police are searching for the two males who left the scene, but did not have any information to identify them, Gennaro said.
“We are currently appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the area at the time who may have captured the incident or video or who have seen anything to contact our lead investigator,” he said.
A large section of the plaza was cordoned off with yellow police tape Thursday morning, along with the entire block of Creditview Rd.What appeared to be a bullet casing could also be seen on the ground next to a police cruiser on Creditview Rd.
Investigators were spotted dropping yellow evidence markers in front of the BMO bank on the west end of the plaza. A single black and red running shoe with a white sole could also be seen at the bank entrance.
Many businesses in the plaza were closed while the SIU completed the investigation.
No charges have been laid in relation to the robbery, Peel police said.
The re-opened section of the parking lot was mostly filled with customers of the other stores in the plaza, many of whom paused to snap photos of the police cruisers and crime scene tape.
Six SIU investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.
The SIU investigates cases involving police that result in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
With files from Alina Bykova and Bryann Aguilar
With files from Alina Bykova and Bryann Aguilar
LONDON—British police said Thursday they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect that local authorities may have committed corporate manslaughter in a deadly high-rise fire in London.
The Metropolitan Police force said it has officially informed the Royal Borough of Kensington and Cshelsea, which owns the Grenfell Tower public housing block, and the management group the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association that they are under suspicion.
The news came in a letter from police sent to residents of the building. The letter said a senior representative of each body will be interviewed about the fire as part of the police investigation.
The police force confirmed to The Associated Press that the letter is genuine, but stressed it does not mean a decision has been made on whether to charge any individual or organization.
Police have said for weeks that their investigation will consider whether anyone should be charged with a crime. The force said Thursday it was “considering the full range of offences, from corporate manslaughter to regulatory breaches.”
At least 80 people died June 14 when an early morning fire ripped through the west London high-rise. It was the deadliest fire in Britain in more than a century.
Huge investigations by police, fire officials and others are underway to determine how a blaze that started with a refrigerator in one apartment got out of control so quickly in the 24-story building.
Attention has focused the building’s new aluminum cladding, installed during a recent renovation, and authorities want answers fast because thousands of other buildings in the country could be affected.
Angry residents want to know how building regulations that were meant to be among the world’s best could have failed so catastrophically. Many accuse officials in Kensington and Chelsea, one of London’s richest boroughs, of ignoring their safety concerns because the building was home to a largely immigrant and working-class population.
While volunteering at Kenya’s overcrowded Dadaab refugee camp in 2011, Gavin Armstrong found himself wondering how to create long-term solutions to the world’s problems.
He said he saw 700,000 people in a camp designed for 100,000, witnessing malnutrition and human suffering on such a large scale that it “galvanized him,” and gave him the courage to start his company, Lucky Iron Fish.
“We must address longer term issues to create change, so that’s where I got really energized around social enterprise,” he said.
So far, the company has helped 500,000 people with iron deficiency around the world since it was launched in 2012.
Armstrong’s fish is a reusable cast-iron gadget that can be boiled in water for 10 minutes a day to give the user a low dose of iron. It can be used for up to five years and can benefit entire families.
This year, the 29-year-old Burlington native was named one of the “Six Core Principle” recipients of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, given annually to six humanitarians under the age of 30. Armstrong was also named one of Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 in the social entrepreneur category, and won the EOY Social Entrepreneur special citation award.
“Iron deficiency is the world’s largest nutritional challenge,” said Armstrong, who works out of his office in Guelph. “It impacts two billion people, one-third of the world suffers from it.”
About 20 per cent of Canadians have iron deficiency, which is fairly low. But in some countries, like India, 80 per cent of the population suffers from it. Low iron can lead to fatigue, hair loss and brittle nails, but it can also cause limited cognitive development, lowered kidney and liver function, and death.
Kristen Desautels has been using the fish for about three years, since she got pregnant with her daughter to improve her low energy levels.
“Once I learned about it I thought it seemed like a great natural way of getting some increased iron instead of getting supplements,” said Desautels, who now sells the gadget at her Guelph restaurant.
So far, Armstrong estimates that more than 100,000 iron fish have been sold around the world.
Currently, the company is working on several projects, including a partnership with the Sahara Foundation to help people with HIV in India.
People living with HIV can’t take iron supplements, Armstrong said, because they clash with their medication. By using the Lucky Iron Fish instead, they are exposed to a lower and “more gentle dose” of iron which he says is manageable.
Last year, they started a program to send the fish to Indigenous communities in Canada, because Indigenous people have rates of iron deficiency two or three times higher than the average Canadian. So far, 5,000 fish have been sent through a buy-one-get-one initiative.
“For every fish we sell we commit to donate one fish for free to a family around the world,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong is also hopeful that they will soon be able to partner with a United Nations agency to run a pilot project.
“This is really a women’s health issue,” he said, because impoverished women of reproductive age are more likely to be affected.
Armstrong believes that companies engaged in social enterprise, like Lucky Iron Fish, are the future of business.
“I feel that there’s sometimes a sense that having an impact organization is an added cost or an added burden and I don’t believe that,” he said. “I’d like to use Lucky Iron Fish as an example that not only being a social business is not an added cost, it’s a revenue opportunity. I think customers buy our product because they like what we're doing and believe in our mission.”
NEW YORK—Starbucks plans to shutter all its Teavana stores as it seeks to improve sales at its namesake coffee stores.
The company said Thursday it will close all 379 Teavana locations over the coming year. It had acquired the mall-based chain in late 2012, with then-CEO Howard Schultz noting the huge potential for the tea market. Then this past April, the company said it was reviewing its options for the struggling chain. On Thursday, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson noted declining foot traffic at malls.
“We felt it was an appropriate time to take the decision and begin shutting down those stores,” he said.
According to Teavana’s website, there are 16 Teavana locations in the GTA, including stores in high-profile locations such as the Eaton Centre and Vaughan Mills.
The announcement came as Starbucks said global sales rose 4 per cent at established locations for the quarter ended July 2, fuelled by higher average spending per visit. But the frequency of customer visits was flat from a year ago.
In the U.S., sales rose 5 per cent at established locations, also driven mostly by higher spending. The Seattle-based company cited “ongoing macro pressures impacting the retail and restaurant sectors” that have made it more cautious going into the next quarter.
Competition in the U.S. restaurant industry has intensified, and Dunkin’ Donuts said earlier in the day that customer traffic fell again at its established U.S. locations. McDonald’s, meanwhile, has been promoting $1 sodas and $2 McCafé drinks in the U.S., a strategy the burger chain says helped bring in customers during the second quarter.
Johnson said that promotion didn’t affect Starbucks, because the “value players” are competing in a different segment.
In its Asia unit, Starbucks’ sales rose just 1 per cent at established locations during the three-month period. Starbucks has announced plans to acquire the remaining 50-per-cent stake of its East China joint venture that it does not already own, making it the operator of all Starbucks stores in mainland China.
For the quarter, Starbucks Corp. earned $691.6 million (U.S.), or 47 cents per share. Excluding one-time items, it earned 55 cents per share, in line with Wall Street expectations. Total revenue was $5.66 billion, less than the $5.76 billion expected.
Starbucks shares fell $1.25 to $58.25 in extended trading.
Ontario Superior Court has ordered the owner of an unfinished 6,600 square-foot monster home in Brampton to destroy it within 120 days, after a legal battle that stretches back almost five years when the city mistakenly issued a building permit.
Should Ahmed Elbasiouni refuse to comply, the city can demolish the house with the homeowner paying the cost.
The court edict issued Tuesday also prohibits Elbasiouni from building any thing on-site until, and unless, he has received a new building permit.
“The next step and positive new story for the city is that anything we redevelop on the site will have to adhere to our new policies of a mature neighbourhood and zoning provisions in place,” said Rob Elliot, the city’s commissioner of planning.
Elbasiouni took the city to the court, maintaining the specifications of the home are as per the drawings he submitted and approved by the city in 2012. The original plans for the monster home included some eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
When the error came to light, the city tried to revoke its approval, but with little success.
The recent developments in the case signal a major victory for the city that sought a demolition order, but the five-year legal saga still has some loose threads.
In an earlier decision, the courts ordered Elbasiouni to pay the city $51,000 in costs as a penalty for submitting a fraudulent document. The city said he has not done so.
In a joint statement, wards 1 and 5 regional councillors Elaine Moore and Grant Gibson called the court’s decision an “important milestone” for residents of the neighbourhood.
“In addition to guaranteeing the demolition of the house by the end of November, this order also guarantees that whatever is built on this property in the future will be something that adds value to this community,” they wrote in a news release. “This area is designated as a ‘mature neighbourhood,’ which means the city has additional rules in place to ensure any new development is designed to maintain and preserve the character of the neighbourhood.”
With files from Peter Criscione
With files from Peter Criscione
More than seven months after the death of his brother, Soleiman, Yusuf Faqiri and his family are still waiting for an answer to as to why he died.
A coroner’s report, released to the family earlier this month, showed that Soleiman, 30, suffered over 50 injuries before dying in a segregation cell at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario, on Dec. 15, 2016—after an almost three-hour long confrontation with prison officers.
According to the report, Soleiman had a bruised laceration on his forehead and multiple bruises and abrasions on his face, torso, and limbs—all the result of blunt impact trauma.
The report also details the final moments of Soleiman’s life. Diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2005, Soleiman had been placed in a segregated cell while he waited for a bed at a mental health facility. The afternoon of his death, he was taken to the shower where he stayed for just under two hours. He resisted the efforts of guards to remove him by spraying them with water and throwing shampoo bottles.
At 3 p.m., after he calmed down, guards escorted him back to his cell, his wrists and ankles cuffed. He spat on a guard and was hit in return. When he resisted going into his cell, guards used pepper spray on him, twice, and forced him to the ground. An alarm was called to get assistance, after which a large number of correctional officers entered Soleiman’s cell, according to the report.
The prison guards took shifts and described the ordeal as exhausting. When witnesses saw that Soleiman wasn’t moving, medical personnel were called. Soleiman died at 3.45 p.m, 11 days after he was taken into custody in Lindsay, the report says.
Some of the incident was recorded on video, which the coroner had access to but neither the family nor their lawyers have seen. Digital images of the scene after his death show several discarded items outside his cell, including a mattress, book, white and orange sheets, and garbage.
The coroners report did not determine a cause of death, calling it “unascertained.”
“The fact that the report doesn’t conclude what exactly, from a medical perspective, caused his body to stop functioning, doesn’t diminish the fact that…there was no other event prior to his death that could have been material,” said Edward Marrocco, the Faqiri family’s lawyer. “The only thing that happened to him before he became unresponsive was this beating.”
“My brother was alive before this altercation,” said Faqiri. “He’s dead after.”
Faqiri and his family met with the coroner to discuss the report, a common procedure, according to Dr. David Eden, Regional Supervising Coroner of inquests. “[Unascertained deaths] are not common, but there are times when it is the best finding to make,” said Eden. In this case, it was “based on the best information [they] have at the moment.”
This was the second time the Faqiri family had any contact with the government. The first was a letter sent to them four months after Soleiman’s death, by Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The letter offered “heartfelt” and “sincere” condolences, adding that the Ministry “takes the responsibility of individuals in our care very seriously.”
“It is disgraceful the way my family has been treated,” said Faqiri, “To this day we have no explanation.”
Because Soleiman’s death is still part of an ongoing police investigation, neither Eden nor the Ministry could provide comment. When asked if there would be an inquest Eden answered “certainly,” but only after consultation with the family and the conclusion of the investigation.
According to the Ministry of the Attorney General, in Ontario, the investigation and laying of criminal charges is a function of the police.
However, Marrocco says that, based on what he’s been told by police, the investigation by the Kawartha police has concluded and they have reached out to a Crown Attorney’s office “for an opinion on whether and which criminal charges to put forward.”
Both Marrocco and Faqiri expect criminal charges to be laid, saying that the post-mortem report gives reasonable grounds for this. Kawartha Police said that they could not comment at this time.
The Faqiri family were refugees from Afghanistan who moved to Canada in the early 1990s, when Soleiman was six years old. They have lived in the Ajax-Pickering area since 1998, where Soleiman is now buried. Yusuf said family was very important to Soleiman and he had a special relationship with everyone, spoke three languages and was pursuing an engineering degree.
“We’re in 2017, and as Canadians, we have to really really be alarmed at what happened to Soleiman,” said Yusuf.
WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have agreed to kill an import-tax proposal that was strongly opposed by the Canadian government.
“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell jointly announced in a news release on Thursday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland hailed the death of the tax.
“Canada is pleased to see the border tax proposal dropped by the U.S. We know our people and economies prosper together,” she said on Twitter.
The Conservatives’ Canada-U.S. relations critic, Randy Hoback, said they were “pleased” with the decision, having told U.S. lawmakers that the tax would have “damaging effects.”
The tax, known as a border-adjustment tax, was pushed by Ryan but faced major resistance in the Senate, where it was thought to be dead on arrival had it been pursued. Trump had sent mixed signals, at one point claiming it would create jobs and at another saying it was “too complicated.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke against the tax while addressing energy executives in Houston in March.
“Recognizing, of course, how much the Canadian economy depends on close collaboration and integration with the American economy, anything that creates impediments at the border — extra tariffs or new taxes — is something we’re concerned with,” Trudeau said.
At the World Economic Forum in New York in April, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada believes the tax would create “an initial negative for both economies — and that the negative may be worse for the United States economy.”
In broad terms, the tax would have been applied to imports — perhaps at a rate of 20 per cent — but not to exports. Retailers and other businesses reliant on imported goods had argued that the tax would increase costs for U.S. consumers.
The announcement comes less than a month before the formal opening of negotiations on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The talks begin in Washington on Aug. 16.
Ontarians who need life-saving stem cell transplants for leukemia and other blood cancers will get them faster when new clinics in Toronto and London come into service, says Health Minister Eric Hoskins.
The facilities at Princess Margaret Hospital and London Health Sciences centre will boost capacity by 440 transplants annually, 45 per cent more than the 958 transplants conducted last year.
“We needed to do more,” Hoskins told a news conference at Princess Margaret on Thursday where doctors spoke of a “crisis” in getting bone marrow transplants done quickly enough.
Frances Hillier, whose 18-year-old daughter Laura died while waiting for a transplant last year, spoke of the heartbreak of enduring additional chemotherapy treatments until her turn came for a transplant.
“No patient must ever wait for this urgent treatment,” Hillier said, fighting back tears.
That experience, chronicled in the Star, was the catalyst for action, Hoskins told reporters later.
“It’s devastating,” added Hoskins, a physician. “That led me to action. That convinced me that we needed to aggressively address the challenge of capacity and the wait times that were, frankly, too long, at that time.”
The waiting list has been cut in half to six weeks in the last year, which is within the target timeframe, ministry officials said.
No dates have been set for the expansion at Princess Margaret and London, but planning and design work has begun. An expansion of stem cell transplants at Sunnybrook hospital, announced previously, is also in the works.
Stem cell transplants are becoming more common thanks to advances in research, which make more people eligible, which, in turn, means demand is increasing.
The procedure rebuilds a patient’s immune system using donated stem cells.
“It can be effective for more and more people,” Hoskins said.
The government has been sending urgent cases to the United States for transplants. Fifty-seven cases were approved last year, up from 24 the previous year.
That course of action is still available, but the goal, with the expansions of treatment at Ontario hospitals, is to enable people to stay closer to home, Hoskins said.
“No one wants to have to travel long distances to unfamiliar locations, to a foreign healthcare system.”
Deli restaurant owner Zane Caplansky has a message for Markham residents upset about the massive cow statue the city installed in their front yards: I’ll take it!
“If you’ve got a beef with that statue, you’ve got a beef with me, because I’m all about beef,” he said Thursday, less than 48 hours after Charity Crescent homeowners met with Councillor Alan Ho to express distaste over the cow their street is named after.
But the donor of the statue, Helen Roman-Barber, who is developing Markham’s Cathedraltown neighbourhood in honour of her family’s deep history in the area, has different plans.
“Good luck, guy. Good luck, guy,” she said.
Her father Stephen Roman’s Romandale Farm, the land on top of which Cathedraltown now rests, bought the famed cow named Brookview Tony Charity from a farm in Port Perry for a then-record $1.45 million in 1985.
Charity was a nine-time all-Canadian or All-American show cow. Never defeated in her class, she was said to be the most productive milking cow in the world in the 1980s.
Inside Roman-Barber’s office on King St. hang photos of Charity — and other family heirlooms.
The tables are covered in magazines from her ancestors’ lineage in Slovakia.
They’re filled with sticky tags that denote the inspiration for everything found in her Markham development from its massive Cathedral of the Transfiguration to its bells, splash pads, cafés, arboretum, heritage apple orchard and ancient tress.
Roman-Barber plans to build Cathedraltown a traditional town square, too.
Many of the streets are named after bulls and cows Roman owned. She glows about the calves her father gave to the Pope’s farm in Italy’s Castel Gonfolo.
“This is not a normal piece of suburb,” she said, proudly.
“The people who bought the original houses in Cathedraltown were all aware of all this history, because it was in the sales centre: the history of Romandale Farm, the street names, my dad. But people who have bought recently don’t have any of that.”
She says residents don’t understand the planning that went into Charity’s statue.
“When people cite safety concerns, that’s been gone into so in depth; there are no safety concerns,” Roman-Barber said. “The city also had to approve what we did to prove it was safe. It was a double tier of approvals.”
Roman-Barber commissioned artist Ron Baird to recreate Charity in stainless steel in honour of her father.
Even the direction the statue is facing was designed so that the cow would overlook the 30-year-old trees Roman-Barber had planted in the parquet (instead of planting new trees) to the dome of the Slovak Catholic cathedral.
Residents have asked Ho to look to move Charity to a nearby pond, where she could still face the cathedral.
He says council couldn’t persuade Roman-Barber to put the piece elsewhere during the planning process.
Caplansky won’t give up hope. On Thursday, he met with Luke Robertson, one of Mayor John Tory’s staff, to make clear his interest in the statue for his Yorkville location.
He says it could be a beacon for beef lovers and an attraction the city would fall in love with.
“Are you kidding? It’s beautiful. I think the cow, itself, is stunning,” he said.
Bob Forhan, Roman-Barber’s land-use planning consultant, says Caplansky and residents shouldn’t get their hopes up; Charity isn’t moving.
“Charity was planned to be in her crescent. It’s called Charity Crescent, and that was 20 years ago,” he said. “There’s no way she’s going to go anywhere else, because she’s in her crescent where she belongs. That was where she was farmed.”
“To us, history is important, the most important,” Roman-Barber said.
Waterloo Regional Police has been called in by Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assault of Black Whitby teen Dafonte Miller after an off-duty Toronto Police officer was charged.
That request by Saunders, announced at a police board meeting on Thursday, comes amid criticism of both Toronto and Durham Police for not reporting Miller’s injuries to the police watchdog responsible for investigating cases of serious injury when police officers are involved.
That criticism caused the meeting to be temporarily halted when journalist and Black liberation activist Desmond Cole demanded to speak to the case publicly before being escorted out of the building, fined and warned not to return.
“As chief of police, it is my responsibility to ensure that transparency and trust are at the foremost of everything we do as a service,” Saunders said at the start of a public meeting, saying Waterloo Chief Bryan Larkin has agreed to take carriage of the report.
Last week, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) charged Toronto police Const. Michael Theriault and his brother, civilian Christian Theriault, with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and public mischief in Miller’s beating last December.
Miller was punched, kicked and hit repeatedly in the face with a metal pipe, says his lawyer, Julian Falconer. One of Miller’s eyes will have to be surgically removed, Falconer added. When Durham Police arrived on scene, it was Miller who was arrested. (All charges have since been dropped.)
The SIU learned of the incident only when Falconer contacted the panel in April.
“This case is complicated and there have been serious allegations made, which everyone is taking extremely seriously, especially members of the Toronto Police Services Board,” board chair Andy Pringle said Thursday. He added that the board supports the chief’s decision to seek an outside force to conduct a followup investigation.
“The chief has advised the board that due to the fact that there are two very different versions of this case in the public domain, it is important to take this opportunity to have another agency that is independent and separate to conduct the Section 11 investigation.”
An internal report by a police service to the police board investigating matters arising from an SIU investigation — referred to as a Section 11 for the provincial law it that requires it — will look at “procedures, policies and conduct in the handling of this case,” Pringle said.
Saunders said members of his professional standards unit determined that the case did not meet the threshold to report to the SIU with the information they had “at that time.”
“Many months later, a very different version of the events of Dec. 28 was presented to the SIU,” Saunders said.
The SIU’s website states that in the case of an off-duty officer, it typically don’t investigate unless the officer identified themselves, or displayed police equipment during an incident.
Saunders’ defence of why the incident was not reported to the SIU is contradicted by the account detailed to the Star by Miller’s lawyer, who said Michael Theriault twice identified himself as an officer — to Miller and his friends as they encountered him outside the Whitby home and on a 911 call.
The Theriaults’ father, John Theriault, is a longtime detective in the Toronto police professional standards unit, Falconer said.
Durham Police and its board have said very little publicly about the case.
Roger Anderson, chair of the Durham Police Services Board, was not available to comment on the case Thursday, his staff told the Star.
Durham police did not respond to multiple requests for an interview with Durham Police Chief Paul Martin on Thursday. All questions were referred to spokesperson David Selby, who did not respond to the Star’s numerous attempts to contact him Thursday.
When reached by the Star last week, Selby said that multiple Durham officers were at the scene of Miller’s alleged beating.
“We conducted an investigation and interviewed multiple people. Our investigation resulted in only one person being charged — the injured male party,” Selby said in an email.
It is the responsibility of the police service that employs the officer involved in an incident to contact the SIU, Selby added.
The responsibility to contact the SIU should lie with whichever police force is first notified of an incident, said former SIU director Howard Morton.
“They might decide to contact the police service that the officer is a member of, to have them contact the SIU, but I was always of the view that, because (police) have to contact us right away, then it’s whatever police service is (initially) notified,” Morton added.
Mayor John Tory said the report from Waterloo Police will be made public.
“I think what we have to do is let the Waterloo Police Service do their job. There’s been no suggestion that anybody associated with that police service had any involvement in this or has any prejudice going in,” Tory told reporters. “I trust they will do their job as police officers do, in an honest and thorough manner.”
After briefly moving on to other business, the meeting was disrupted by Cole, who demanded a forum to speak to the Miller case, noting it was not made part of the public agenda.
Pringle earlier warned no disruptions would be tolerated, alluding to previous meetings where Cole and members of Black Lives Matter question the board on their oversight of police shootings and racial profiling.
As Cole continued to speak, board members, including Tory, walked out of the room.
Cole was eventually escorted outside by a group of officers, with one on each arm, and charged under the Trespass to Property Act for failing to leave when directed. The provincial offence comes with a $65 fine.
Speaking to reporters outside, Cole said the way Miller was treated “is emblematic to us as Black people about how the system always turns us into the perpetrator even when we are the victim.”
“As a Black person who knows that this can happen to us and then knows that after it’s revealed that it happened that they will continue to cover it up, I’m terrified,” Cole said. “And I have to act the way that I’m acting now because sitting here calmly and quietly is not going to save my life and it’s not going to save the lives of Black people.”
We now have a better idea about why.
Scaramucci, the incoming White House communications director, insulted two of his senior administration colleagues in a shockingly vulgar Wednesday phone call to a journalist from the New Yorker magazine.
Of Reince Priebus, the embattled chief of staff he is trying to embarrass into resigning, Scaramucci said: “Reince is a f---ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
Of Steve Bannon, the chief strategist, Scaramucci said: “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c--k.”
He also accused Priebus of having “c--k-blocked” him from the administration for months, said he wanted to “f---ing kill all the leakers” disclosing information to journalists, and said he had to end the call to try to inflame Priebus via Twitter.
“Gotta start tweeting some s--- to make this guy crazy,” he told the journalist, Ryan Lizza.
Trump’s team of political novices is known for its vicious infighting, but its battles are usually conducted behind the scenes and via anonymous quotes. There is no precedent for the president’s chief communicator lambasting his colleagues on the record.
“Did you read that story? This guy’s f---ing out of his mind,” said Rick Tyler, former communications chief for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and now an MSNBC analyst.
Scaramucci is a well-dressed, well-coiffed Wall Street financier with no experience in government but a Trump-impressing proficiency in combat on cable-television. His good-natured public debut on Friday was appraised by numerous U.S. reporters as “smooth” and “slick.”
Since then, however, he has so frequently raised questions about his basic competence that a media writer for the Washington Post described him as a “walking, talking, leak-busting disaster.”
Scaramucci promised Thursday to tone down his vocabulary, but he offered no apologies.
“I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda,” he said on Twitter.
He had a bizarre 24 hours even before the New Yorker published its account of the interview on Thursday afternoon. After he told Lizza he was going on Twitter to make Priebus “crazy,” he tweeted that he was going to contact the FBI “in light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony.”
In fact, no leak had occurred; the disclosure form was public information available upon request. But Scaramucci told the New Yorker that he had indeed “called the FBI and the Department of Justice,” a remarkable breach of the traditional separation between the White House and justice officials.
He also tagged Priebus in the tweet — clearly suggesting he thought Priebus was the leaker. But when journalists correctly reported that this was the suggestion, he deleted the tweet and said their inference was wrong.
Then, on Thursday morning, he called in to a live CNN program to offer a third story. It went as follows: he was not suggesting Priebus was the leaker, but since journalists assumed he was suggesting this, Priebus probably was a leaker.
“So if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” he said.
It is theoretically possible that Scaramucci did not expect his comments to the New Yorker to be published. A reporter for the Daily Beast said he is known to be confused about conversational conventions like “on background” and “off the record.”
This was not even the first strange phone conversation of Scaramucci’s six-day-old tenure. On Tuesday, he told Politico that he was firing assistant press secretary Michael Short, a Priebus ally he had not personally informed.
Then, when Short told reporters that he hadn’t heard anything, Scaramucci falsely complained to reporters that the news had been leaked.
“The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic. I should have the opportunity if I have to let somebody go to let the person go in a very humane, dignified way,” he said. “Because he probably has a family, right?”
Christina Reynolds, former director of media affairs for Barack Obama’s White House and now senior vice-president at the Global Strategy Group, said administrations are “most effective when the staff is driving the president’s message, not nursing petty grudges and attacking each other.”
“This rant doesn’t help them get a health care bill or focus on American heroes — so it’s a counterproductive start,” she said in an email.
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA—North Korea on Friday test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile, which flew longer and higher than the first according to its wary neighbours, leading analysts to conclude that a wide swath of the U.S. including Los Angeles and Chicago is now within range of Pyongyang’s weapons.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the missile, launched late Friday night, flew for about 45 minutes — about five minutes longer than the ICBM North Korea test-fired on July 4.
“We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in Washington.
The missile was launched on very high trajectory, which limited the distance it travelled, and landed west of Japan’s island of Hokkaido.
Analysts had estimated that the missile tested July 4 could have reached Alaska, and said Friday that the latest missile appeared to extend that range significantly.
David Wright, a physicist and co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in Washington that if reports of the missile’s maximum altitude and flight time are correct, it would have a theoretical range of at least 10,400 kilometres. That means it could have reached Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago, depending on variables such as the size and weight of the warhead that would be carried atop such a missile in an actual attack.
Bruce Klingner, a Korean and Japanese affairs specialist at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington, said, “It now appears that a significant portion of the continental United States is within range” of North Korean missiles. Klingner recently met with North Korean officials to discuss denuclearization, the think-tank said.
Washington and its allies have watched with growing concern as Pyongyang has made significant progress toward its goal of having all of the U.S. within range of its missiles to counter what it labels as U.S. aggression. The progress it has made toward producing nuclear warheads to fit on those missiles is less clear.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not allow North Korea to obtain an ICBM that can deliver a nuclear warhead.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch a “serious and real threat” to the country’s security.
Suga, the Japanese spokesman, said Japan has lodged a strong protest with North Korea.
“North Korea’s repeated provocative acts absolutely cannot be accepted,” he said.
A spokesman for Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that Dunford met at the Pentagon with the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, to discuss U.S. military options in light of North Korea’s missile test.
The spokesman, Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, said Dunford and Harris placed a phone call to Dunford’s South Korean counterpart, Gen. Lee Sun Jin. Dunford and Harris “expressed the ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance,” Hicks said, referring to the U.S. defence treaty that obliges the U.S. to defend South Korea.
Prime Minister Abe said Japan would co-operate closely with the U.S., South Korea and other nations to step up pressure on North Korea to halt its missile programs. Repeated rounds of sanctions from the UN Security Council, however, have yet to deter the North.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile reached an estimated height of 3,700 kilometres before landing at sea about 1,000 kilometres away. It appeared to be more advanced than the ICBM North Korea previously launched, it said.
The “Hwasong 14” ICBM test-fired earlier this month was also launched at a very steep angle, a technique called lofting, and reached a height of more than 2,500 kilometres before splashing down in the ocean 930 kilometres away. Analysts said that missile could be capable of reaching most of Alaska or possibly Hawaii if fired in an attacking trajectory.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched from North Korea’s northern Jagang province near the border with China. President Moon Jae-in presided over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, which called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and stronger sanctions on North Korea.
There was no immediate confirmation of the launch by North Korea. The day’s broadcast on state-run television had already ended when the news broke at around midnight Pyongyang time.
July 27 is a major national holiday in North Korea called Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War Day, marking the day when the armistice was signed ending the 1950-53 Korean War. That armistice is yet to be replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula technically in a state of war.
North Korea generally waits hours or sometimes a day or more before announcing launches, often with a raft of photos in the ruling party newspaper or on the television news. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is usually shown at the site to observe and supervise major launches.
Late night launches are rare. North Korea usually conducts its missile and underground nuclear tests in the morning. It’s likely the North launched the missile at night and from the remote province of Jagang to demonstrate its operational versatility. To have a real deterrent, it’s important for North Korea to prove it can launch whenever and wherever it chooses, making it harder for foreign military observers trying to detect their activities ahead of time.
Operations at Pearson airport appeared to be running smoothly Friday despite a strike by ground crew workers.
More than 30 striking members of Teamster Local Union 419 were marching up and down the departures area of Terminal 3, after walking off the job Thursday night.
Wearing their green and white union shirts, the workers were holding up strike signs and chanting “419” as people come into the airport.
The workers handle baggage and cargo, tow planes, clean cabins, and perform flight operations tasks for more than 30 airlines, including British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Sunwing and Air Transat.
Air Canada said it won’t be affected by the strike as it operates its own baggage handling, and WestJet won’t, because it uses a different company.
Major U.S. airlines, Delta, United and American, are not on the list of companies Swissport serves.
Swissport officials said operations at the airport in the morning ran smoothly.
“So far, it is business as usual and we will be keeping a close watch to ensure that it remains this way,” said Swissport Canada’s vice-president of operations Pierre Payette.
A few passengers said there has been no significant delays and services continue to run smoothly.
Justin Edwards, a Canadian pro basketball player who plays in the Hungarian league, said it was “actually pretty quick.”
More than 700 crew members employed by Swissport went on strike Friday after rejecting the company’s offer. Their last collective agreement expired Sunday.
“We’ve been in negotiations with Swissport since March, both parties are very far apart on a lot of key issues, monetary and non-monetary.” said vice-president of Teamster Local Union 419 Harjinder Badial.
“We want to get back to the table and hammer things out, but we’ll be here as long as it takes.”
Payette said the company is shocked that the workers rejected their offer. He said the proposal presented was well above what their direct competitors at Pearson provide their employees.
“It included compensation increases for all employees; equal pay for equal seniority; faster access to competitive group insurance benefits; and provisions to promote a better work life balance,” Payette said in a statement.
Badial said passengers should expect to deal with lost luggage, significant delays and flight cancellations during the strike.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority said it has a contingency plan in place to deal with labour disruptions.
“That plan deals with public safety in airport facilities, working to ensure that roadways, parking garages and terminals are operation as smoothly as possible for airport passengers,” said GTAA spokeswoman Natalie Moncur.
According to the union, Swissport is trying to impose a three-year wage freeze on most of the workers. It said the company also wants staff to work a minimum of 30 hours a week to get full benefits, and the right to change schedules with 96 hours’ notice.
Jay Nariyan, a crew member for 16 years, said the Swissport workers are striking because they are not being respected.
“They're cutting our benefits, they want full control of our scheduling, which means one day you could work mornings, next day you could work nights, next day you’re working overnights,” Nariyan said. “They want to have the power to change our schedule with 96 hours notice.”
Nariyan said the workers don’t want to inconvenience the public but the strike is the only way to get their voices heard.
The union has also taken issue with the company’s decision to hire 250 temporary workers last May.
“We’re shocked at how Swissport is willing to sacrifice airport safety and jeopardize travel plans to gain an upper hand at the barraging table,” said Badial.
According to the union, crew members are required to train for three to four weeks. It said temporary workers only received three to four days of training that led to several accidents, cases of lost luggage, and even damage to a plane.
“Definitely not (up to par), even when we were working with them. We had no choice, we had to work with them, they’re causing damage to aircrafts, some of them are getting injured,” said Nariyan.
However, Payette denies the allegations of temporary workers being undertrained, cases of luggage lost, and damages on a plane.
“All of our workers — employees and agency workers — receive the training that is appropriate for their roles,” he said. “All workers go through the same process that is mandated by Transport Canada and managed by the GTAA.”
Airport officials are asking for passengers to check with their airlines on the status of their flights before heading to Pearson.
The provincial government is planning to upgrade more than 40 GO Transit stations across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area as it moves forward with a program to dramatically increase service on the region’s rail network.
At a news conference Friday at Union Station, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced that the government issued a request for qualifications for the work earlier this week. Construction is expected to begin at some stations next year.
“We believe the commuter experience can be enhanced, not just here at Union Station, but right across the GO network,” said Del Duca.
The upgrades will support the provincial Liberals’ $13.5-billion regional express rail plan, which will electrify service on GO rail lines and quadruple the number of weekly train trips from 1,500 to nearly 6,000 by 2025.
Forty-three stations in nine municipalities, including 10 in Toronto, are scheduled to get upgrades that include enhancements to platform edges, digital signage that will display service information, new fare devices, modifications to improve station access, and elevator improvements.
Secure bicycle parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations are also part of the plans, which Del Duca said would contribute toward creating a “modern, integrated, and sustainable transportation network.”
“We know almost 1.5 million Ontarians hop on their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer, and fall, and frankly many cycle year-round,” the minister said.
“Cycling is a great way to commute and the new GO bike parking will make it easier than ever for cyclists to use GO Transit to travel across the GTHA.”
Del Duca said that it was too early to put a price tag on the station work, but a spokesperson for Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, estimated the upgrades would cost in the tens of millions of dollars.
The minister also announced the next steps in the renovation of Union Station. Infrastructure Ontario has narrowed down the shortlist of bidders to complete improvements that include the construction of a new wider platform, a below-ground concourse, and an emergency power system.
While Toronto police say they’re not linking the disappearance of two men near the Church and Wellesley area, they announced Friday a “dedicated team” to focus on solving both cases.
Andrew Kinsman, 49, was last seen June 26, and Selim Esen, 44, was last seen April 14.
Police are treating both cases as suspicious and say their disappearances are out of character.
There’s currently no evidence that the cases are connected or that foul play was involved, police said. However, officers will be running “parallel investigations” so that they can share information. Officers assigned to these investigations will be taken off their other caseloads.
“It allows the investigators to dedicate their time and resources to solving these cases,” said police spokesperson Meaghan Gray, who said they “can’t exclude the possibility” the cases might be connected.
Gray said officers are also working with a homicide investigator to review information.
Three men linked to the Church and Wellesley community were also reported missing between 2010 and 2012, and never found. Police said they haven’t found a connection to these older cases, but are not ruling out that possibility.
A community town hall has been planned for Tuesday to discuss “growing concerns over Toronto’s missing 2LGBTQA* individuals.” Police from the team will be attending the meeting next week.
A statement attributed to Detective Sgt. Michael Richmond was posted this week on the “Find Andrew Kinsman” Facebook page,
addressing community concerns that Kinsman’s disappearance is linked to 11 other missing men.
Richmond said that connecting the disappearances is “not factually correct” and is “misleading,” as five of the men were found alive and a sixth has died. He noted that police have not ruled out a possible connection to the three men who went missing between 2010 and 2012.
Esen was last seen near Bloor and Yonge Sts. He was “quite familiar” with the Church and Wellesley area, police said, and frequents the Ted Rogers Way area.
Police described Esen as being 5’10” and 150 lbs, with brown eyes, brown hair and a full beard. Police said he was “often in possession of a silver suitcase with wheels.”
Kinsman was last seen at 71 Winchester St. where he’s superintendant of the building near Wellesley and Parliament Sts.
Kinsman is described as 6’4” and 220 lbs, with brown hair and a full beard. Police say he has a tattoo on his right arm with the word “Queer” and another tattoo “with an expletive on the right side of his chest.”
Police say both men were active on dating apps.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
Police in Regina are investigating and Canadian Tire has apologized after an Indigenous man live-streamed an altercation between him and one of its store employees.
On Wednesday, Kamao Cappo posted a live video to Facebook that shows a Canadian Tire employee grabbing Cappo in an attempt to lead him out of the store and then pushing him up against a shelf.
Cappo told the Star he was at the store to buy a chainsaw, which he was about to purchase along with a can of oil, but wasn’t sure of the necessary fuel mix ratio for the machine.
After opening the chainsaw case to find out, he said he placed the oil inside, took it to customer service and went to look at other chainsaws.
He said a store employee then approached him and accused him of trying to steal.
In the video posted to Facebook, Cappo tells viewers the employee was refusing to sell him a saw, and was kicking him out of the store. The video shows Cappo asking the employee his name, and the employee grabbing for the camera.
“You can’t take a picture of me. It’s against the law to take a picture of me. You better delete the picture off the phone,” the employee says in the video. “I’m not giving you my name, you’re leaving the store. Get out. It’s private property, get out.”
After Cappo refused to leave, the employee pushed him up against a shelf.
Capp says he believes he was targeted because he is Indigenous.
“Indigenous people experience this a lot,” he said. “I knew that if I allowed him to do this, if I just comply and say I’m going, basically I’m saying ‘what you’re doing is right, this is fine’ and he will do this to somebody else again.”
Regina Police Staff Sgt. Shawn Fenwick said police have viewed the video in question and are investigating.
Fenwick said it’s unclear if Cappo’s race played a role.
“I don’t know the answer. I suppose it’s possible,” he said. “It is under investigation right now but I don’t have a lot of other information. It’s a priority for us right now.”
Police have not laid any charges.
In a statement, Canadian Tire said it regretted the incident.
“We sincerely apologize for the experience that occurred in our store and we are actively reviewing all of the facts surrounding this matter,” the statement read. “We are communicating with Mr. Cappo directly, and we hope to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”
Cappo said he has not heard from Canadian Tire since the incident and that the company has not called him to offer an apology. He says he wants Canadian Tire to train its employees to be more racially sensitive in the future.
“I want to send a message to all store owners that this is not acceptable,” he said.
VANCOUVER—Former British Columbia premier Christy Clark will resign as leader of the provincial Liberal party and give up her seat in Kelowna.
Clark made her intentions known in a brief statement on Friday.
She said she informed her caucus colleagues about her decision to leave as leader effective Aug. 4.
Clark said in the statement that she is proud of everything she has accomplished, including working to make B.C. the leader in Canada’s economy and creating more than 200,000 jobs.
“I am certain that British Columbia’s best days lie ahead,” she said in the statement.
She also called the her government’s protection of the Great Bear Rainforest “British Columbia’s gift to the world.”
Clark, 51, led a come-from-behind victory in 2013, sweeping her party to a surprise win over the New Democrats.
But she couldn’t pull off a majority government in the election this May, winning just 43 of the 87 seats in the legislature for a minority government. The Liberals had been in power for 16 years.
The party lost a confidence vote in the legislature at the end of June.
Clark said that when she offered her resignation to Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon she tried to convince Guichon to call an election. Instead, the lieutenant-governor asked New Democrat Leader John Horgan to form government.
The New Democrats, with 41 seats, formed a minority government with the support of the Greens, who won three seats. Horgan and his cabinet were sworn in last week.
Former B.C. Liberal MLA Bill Bennett described Clark’s resignation as a loss for both the party and the province, strongly dismissing any suggestion that the party forced her out.
“I’m shocked, and I think it’s sad that B.C. doesn’t get to have the benefit of Christy Clark for another few more years,” he said, speaking by phone from Cranbrook.
“I’m not happy about the decision. I wish she had hung on, but I understand why she thinks it’s better for the party to have fresh leadership.”
Green party Leader Andrew Weaver issued a statement thanking Clark for her service, calling her a fierce advocate for the province both at home and abroad.
“A highlight of my time in the legislature was working directly with Christy Clark to implement sexualized violence policy legislation for B.C.’s post-secondary institutions,” he said in a statement.
“Her leadership and willingness to work across party lines on this vital issue has made universities and colleges across this province safer for our students, and for this I am grateful.”
Clark was first elected to the legislature in 1996 and became deputy premier and education minister after the Liberals’ landslide victory in 2001. She left government in 2005 to spend more time with her family.
She won the B.C. Liberal leadership in 2011 and became the first woman in the province to lead a party to victory two years later.
Clark faced the prospect of sitting on the Opposition benches, but she had baggage from her time as education minister when she was at loggerheads with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.
The Liberal government stripped class-size limits from teachers’ contracts in 2002 when Clark was the education minister, leading to a lengthy legal battle that ended with a Supreme Court of Canada victory for teachers in November 2016.
The government agreed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce class sizes and rehire laid-off specialist teachers including librarians, guidance counsellors, special-needs teachers and teaching assistants.
NDP Premier John Horgan’s first speech as premier last week had him highlighting education as a top priority for a party.
Every morning, they start arriving by the dozens from points south, north, and west — cyclists converging on the intersection of Bathurst and Adelaide Sts.
The t-shaped intersection, which is at the entrance of the popular separated bike lane on Adelaide, is a two-wheeled frenzy during the morning rush.
The bike lane attracts more than 500riders during morning rush hour, according to city counts, and as many as 50 riders can pass through the intersection on a single green light.
But the intersection wasn’t designed with bike traffic in mind, which means riders improvise. Cyclists coming from the north cross diagonally through the middle of the intersection to access the eastbound bike lane, while those coming from the southwest negotiate the Adelaide dogleg west of Bathurst by crowding the sidewalk in front of St. Mary’s Church as they wait for the light to change.
“It can be a safety and operational concern because there’s conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, and…it’s not clear from a motorist perspective where cyclists are going to be coming from,” said Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, the city’s acting director of transportation infrastructure management.
That’s why the city is about to embark on a project to bring order to junction, and turn it into what cycling advocates say could be the most bike-friendly intersection in the city.
The $550,000 project, which is scheduled to begin construction July 31, will include a short physically-separated bike lane on the west side of the intersection that will curve north from Adelaide. For cyclists coming from the north, the city will install a curb-separated lay-by on the western side of the intersection.
Both measures will provide a protected space for cyclists to wait to cross the intersection.
The intersection’s lights are also being reconfigured to include traffic signals specifically for riders, which will be activated by a push-button in the lay-by.
Pavement markings will also be applied to guide cyclists into the bike lane, and to better mark pedestrian space.
The Bathurst-Adelaide project is the first major revamp of an intersection to accommodate cyclists in Toronto, and Gulati said that over the next two years the city is hoping to replicate it in at least two other locations — Queen St. West and Peter St., and O’Connor Dr. and Woodbine Ave.
Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto, said the high volume of riders at the Bathurst intersection shows that the eastbound Adelaide separated bike lane, as well as its westbound partner on Richmond St., has been a “booming” success. One year after the lanes’ installation in 2014, cycling volumes on the two streets tripled. As many as 7,000 riders now use the routes on weekdays.
“When this city is building high-quality protected infrastructure, people are flocking to use it. And I think that really speaks to the latent demand,” Kolb said.
He applauded the city for responding to the increased cycling traffic at the intersection with improved infrastructure.
Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), whose ward includes the Richmond and Adelaide bike lanes, said the fact that the city is starting to remake intersections to connect popular cycling routes marks a significant policy “evolution.”
“Step one in our city has been creating a bike grid. Step two is making the links work,” he said.
“It’s not as easy as putting down paint and dropping in a few bollards.”
Cressy predicted that the reconfiguration of the Bathurst intersection bodes well for the future of the Richmond and Adelaide bike lanes, which were installed on a pilot project basis and are still technically temporary.
A report on whether to make them permanent is expected from city transportation staff this fall.
“Every project’s technically a pilot project” in Toronto, Cressy said with a laugh.
“Richmond and Adelaide have been an overwhelming success. Frankly, they are permanent.”
LONDON—Charlie Gard, the terminally ill British baby at the centre of a legal and ethical battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, died Friday. He was one week shy of his first birthday.
Charlie suffered from a rare genetic disease, mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which left him brain damaged and unable to move his limbs or breathe unaided.
A family spokeswoman, Alison Smith-Squire, confirmed Charlie’s death on Friday, a day after a judge ordered that he be taken to a hospice for his final hours.
“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we’re so proud of him,” his mother Connie Yates said in a statement.
His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised more than £1.3 million pounds ($2.1 million) to take him to the United States for experimental therapy they believed could prolong his life. But Charlie’s doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital objected, saying the treatment wouldn’t help and might cause him to suffer. The dispute ended up in court.
Charlie’s case became a flashpoint for debates on the rights of both children and parents, on health-care funding, medical interventions, the responsibilities of hospitals and medical workers and the role of the state.
After months of legal battles, High Court judge Nicholas Francis ruled Thursday that Charlie should be transferred to a hospice and taken off life support after his parents and the hospital failed to agree on an end-of-life care plan for the infant.
Under British law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take primacy over the parents’ right to decide what’s best for their offspring. The principle applies even in cases where parents have an alternative point of view, such as when religious beliefs prohibit blood transfusions.
The case made it all the way to Britain’s Supreme Court as Charlie’s parents refused to accept decisions by a series of judges who backed Great Ormond Street. But the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts, saying it was in Charlie’s best interests that he be allowed to die.
Offers of help for Charlie came from Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurology expert at New York’s Columbia Medical Center and from the Vatican’s Babino Gesu pediatric hospital. Both said an experimental treatment known as nucleoside therapy had a chance of helping Charlie.
Great Ormond Street Hospital disagreed. It said the proposed treatment had never been tried on a human with Charlie’s condition and no tests had ever been done on mice to see whether it would work on a patient like Charlie.
The case caught the attention of Trump and the pope after the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene. The two leaders sent tweets of support for Charlie and his parents, triggering a surge of grassroots action, including a number of U.S. right-to-life activists who flew to London to support Charlie’s parents.
The hospital, Britain’s premier children’s hospital, reported that its doctors and nurses were receiving serious threats over Charlie’s case. London police were investigating.
On Friday night, the hospital offered its condolences to Charlie’s family.
“Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie’s parents and loved-ones at this very sad time,” the hospital said in a statement.
Following news of Charlie’s death, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence posted on Facebook: “Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this difficult time.”
The intervention of two of the world’s most powerful men made the case a talking point for the planet. Images of Charlie hooked to a tube while dozing peacefully in a star-flecked navy blue onesie graced websites, newspapers and television news programs.
Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan said the Charlie Gard case shows how the medical profession is struggling to adjust to the age of social media, which puts the general public in the middle of decisions that in the past would have been private issues for doctors and the family.
“I do think that in an era of social media, it is possible to rally huge numbers of people to your cause,” said Caplan, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “The medical ethics have not caught up.”
The heated commentary prompted Judge Francis to criticize the effects of social media and those “who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions.”
In the end, the increased attention did little for Charlie.
His parents gave up their legal battle on Monday after scans showed that Charlie’s muscles had deteriorated so much that the damage was irreversible.
“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you,” his parents wrote when they announced their decision. “We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance.
“Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight, our beautiful little boy.”