By The Canadian Press - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 0 Comments
HAMILTON – Police are readying search warrants and say they are entering “critical hours”…
HAMILTON – Police are readying search warrants and say they are entering “critical hours” after the arrest of a suspect in connection with the disappearance of a southwestern Ontario man who went missing after taking two men for a test drive of his truck.
Hamilton police Supt. Dan Kinsella said that a massive search involving more than 150 police officers has not located Tim Bosma as of Saturday afternoon. Bosma, 32, vanished Monday night after leaving his Hamilton home with a pair of men who responded to an online ad for his black 2007 Dodge Ram pickup.
Kinsella said Saturday that one of two male suspects sought in the case was arrested without incident while driving in Mississauga, west of Toronto. The second suspect has not been identified and did not say whether the arrested man is co-operating with police, Kinsella said.
By Michael Friscolanti - Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM - 0 Comments
The timing of charges against engineer Robert Wood are just as troubling as the allegations
Two months and three dozen witnesses later, the Elliot Lake public inquiry is still in its early days. But as lawyers continue to sift through the wreckage of last summer’s deadly shopping mall collapse—an absolutely preventable disaster that killed two women and injured 20 others—the evidence is now appallingly clear: so many people made so many mistakes over so many years that it’s amazing the Algo Centre stayed up so long.
The rooftop parking lot (a ridiculous idea to begin with) was poorly designed and defectively waterproofed. Owner after owner used cheap, Band-Aid solutions to patch the ensuing leaks. The city failed to enforce its own bylaws, ensuring that buildings are watertight and structurally stable. And nearly every engineer who inspected the doomed mall failed to recognize that decades’ worth of salty slush and rain had dangerously corroded the steel beams holding the roof deck in place.
Like the warning signs that appeared so obvious, there is plenty of blame to go around.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:12 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario’s minority Liberal government will be keeping a close eye on how…
TORONTO – Ontario’s minority Liberal government will be keeping a close eye on how the New Democrats react to today’s provincial budget.
The Liberals have gone out of their way to secure NDP support for the budget, knowing the Progressive Conservatives vowed to vote against it even without seeing the fiscal plan.
The Canadian Press has learned the budget will reduce the number of large companies eligible for an exemption from the employer health tax, one of the NDP’s key demands.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa also plans to delay tax breaks for big businesses set to take effect in 2015, and has written to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to request a three-year extension.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8:33 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario’s minority Liberals will tick off more items on the New Democrats’…
TORONTO – Ontario’s minority Liberals will tick off more items on the New Democrats’ long list of demands in Thursday’s budget in an effort to stave off an election, The Canadian Press has learned.
The red-ink budget will address two of the corporate tax loopholes the NDP say must be closed if the Liberals want their support, a source said.
To help fight the $13.3-billion deficit it’s facing this year, Finance Minister Charles Sousa plans to delay tax breaks for big businesses that would allow companies with $10 million or more in sales to claim certain expenditures such as meals, drinks and entertainment starting in 2015.
The NDP wanted the breaks cancelled, but Sousa has written to his federal counterpart Jim Flaherty to request a three-year extension, so the tax breaks don’t take effect until 2018, when Ontario is expected to re-balance its books.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Two Ontario ministers are heading to cottage country today for a first-hand…
TORONTO – Two Ontario ministers are heading to cottage country today for a first-hand view of several communities hit by flooding.
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Madeleine Meilleur and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Linda Jeffrey will be going to several areas to see the extent of the damage and offer government support.
Meilleur will tour Markstay-Warren and South Algonquin and Jeffrey will tour Bracebridge and Huntsville.
They’ll be accompanied by experts from their ministries as well as local mayors.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Executives from Ontario’s energy agencies are at the top of the list…
TORONTO – Executives from Ontario’s energy agencies are at the top of the list of public sector employees being paid more than $100,000 last year.
Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation, is the highest paid at $1.7 million, down slightly from 2011, followed by Hydro One CEO Laura Formusa at $1.04 million.
The so-called sunshine list of workers earning at least $100,000, which includes doctors, nurses, teachers, police and firefighters in addition to civil servants, increased 11 per cent last year to 88,412.
However, the government says the average salary on the list deceased by $2,000 to $125,566.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 6:49 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says it’s time to talk about raising the $100,000…
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says it’s time to talk about raising the $100,000 income threshold for Ontario’s so-called sunshine list of public sector workers, which will be released today.
The sunshine list provides the names and salaries of public sector workers — including politicians, civil servants, doctors, nurses and police — who are paid at least $100,000.
There were nearly 79,000 names on last year’s list, prompting talk of raising the income threshold which was first set almost 20 years ago.
Wynne knows not everyone would agree with raising the limit, admitting there would be resistance because many people still believe $100,000 is a lot of money.
She says what’s important is that the system is transparent so people know how much public sector workers are earning and what they’re doing for that money.
Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation, is usually near the top of the sunshine list, collecting $1.8 million last year, followed by Clifford Nordal, CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, whose pay package topped $1.45 million.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1:37 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A man who killed a Toronto police officer with a snow plow…
TORONTO – A man who killed a Toronto police officer with a snow plow has been found not criminally responsible.
The verdict means the jury believed Richard Kachkar, 46, couldn’t appreciate what he was doing when he hit and killed 35-year-old Sgt. Ryan Russell because he was mentally ill.
The judge had told the jury there was “no doubt” Kachkar was driving the stolen snow plow on Jan. 12, 2011, but what the jury had to consider was his mental state.
The jury started deliberating Monday afternoon.
The trial heard from dozens of witnesses over six weeks, including three psychiatrists who testified that they believed Kachkar was psychotic at the time he killed Russell.
People who are found not criminally responsible are sent to mental health facilities for an indeterminate period of time and can be released only when a review board finds they aren’t a significant threat to public safety.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Taxpayers may have to fork out more to pay for badly needed…
TORONTO – Taxpayers may have to fork out more to pay for badly needed repairs to bridges and roads, even in rural and northern Ontario.
Premier Kathleen Wynne has talked about the need for what she calls new revenue tools _ road tolls or some kind of tax _ to pay for upgrading public transit and easing road congestion in southern Ontario.
But Wynne said today that municipalities in other parts of the province can’t afford to modernize their aging infrastructure, and warns there will also have be some way to help them pay the bills.
She says the government will have to find a way to create “dedicated revenue streams” just for roads and bridges.
Wynne says the Liberals have to be cognizant of the need for more infrastructure revenue right across the province.
She says in the Toronto-Hamilton area that will translate largely into transit funding, but in the rest of Ontario it is about funding for the broader transportation network.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 3:40 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she’ll be looking into an online game…
TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she’ll be looking into an online game partially paid for and promoted by a taxpayer-funded broadcaster that shows the bombing of a gas pipeline.
A blog post supporting the game appeared on the website of TV Ontario. It also provides a link to the game, called “Pipe Trouble,” and offers a free trial.
But questions were raised Thursday about the game’s introductory video, which appears to show activists protesting before a pipeline blows up.
The TVO blog describes “Pipe Trouble” as a “companion ethical game” to a documentary that deals with local opposition to pipelines and the bombing of pipelines in Peace River, B.C.
TVO says the game uses “over-the-top satire to cleverly explore the two sides of the energy extraction debate.” Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath didn’t have much to say about whether…
TORONTO – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath didn’t have much to say about whether the province will be headed for the polls this spring after her 20-minute meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Horwath says she talked to Wynne about her demands for the budget, including a 15 per cent cut to auto insurance premiums.
But she didn’t say if Wynne gave her any indication that she’s willing to compromise to pass the budget.
Horwath repeated that if her party doesn’t get what she wants in the budget, the NDP will vote against it, which would trigger an election.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he had a meeting with Wynne too.
But he says there needs to be a change in government to fix Ontario’s financial problems.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Police in eastern Ontario have seized a huge stockpile of weapons —…
TORONTO – Police in eastern Ontario have seized a huge stockpile of weapons — including assault rifles, land mines and a small cannon — hidden in the walls and garage of one home.
Two people, including a retired RCMP officer who was under a lifetime weapons ban, were arrested and charged after police searched the house in Bancroft, Ont., on March 7.
Provincial police and Durham Regional police officers say they found 67 weapons including machine guns, assault rifles, smoke grenades, prohibited crossbows and a 32-inch cannon along with “thousands and thousands” of rounds of ammunition.
The Department of National Defence was brought in to help remove the land mines, grenades, detonator cords and blasting caps.
Police say they found machining equipment in the garage along with illegal, converted and altered weapons, silencers, prohibited magazines, homemade manufactured assault rifles and pistols with no serial numbers.
David Kift, 55, is facing several weapons offences and has been remanded into custody, while Marion Kift, 53, facing similar charges, has been released on bail.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – The Speaker of Ontario’s legislature has ruled Liberal cabinet ministers were not…
TORONTO – The Speaker of Ontario’s legislature has ruled Liberal cabinet ministers were not in contempt and did not intentionally mislead the house about the release of documents on cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
Speaker Dave Levac says it’s clear then-energy minister Chris Bentley and other Liberals were wrong last September to insist all gas plant documents had been released when another 20,000 turned up in October, and more last month.
However, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, Levac says he must assume the Liberals were being honest and believed their statements to be true at the time.
He says there was no attempt to mislead the legislature, so there was “no prima facie case of contempt” by the government.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne moved Thursday to defuse a contempt of parliament motion…
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne moved Thursday to defuse a contempt of parliament motion against her Liberal government over the release of documents on two cancelled gas plants by promising to give the opposition more of the information they’ve been demanding.
On the day the justice committee finally began hearings into the contempt motion, Wynne announced she would expand its mandate “to look at the tendering, planning, commissioning, cancellation, and relocation of the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants.”
The committee’s hearings had been delayed four months by Dalton McGuinty’s move last Oct. 15 to prorogue the legislature and resign as premier.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:47 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A legislative committee begins hearings today into a contempt motion against the…
TORONTO – A legislative committee begins hearings today into a contempt motion against the Liberal government over the release of documents on cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats have been waiting months to ask Liberals exactly who tried to block the release of the documents on the cancellation of the gas plants, which cost taxpayers at least $230 million.
The Liberals eventually released over 56,000 pages of documents — including 600 last week — but twice had to admit they’d found more after insisting all had the data been released.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A new report finds Ontario’s First Nations face a justice and jury…
TORONTO – A new report finds Ontario’s First Nations face a justice and jury system “in a state of crisis.”
Former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci says the problem is particularly acute in the north.
His report makes 17 recommendations aimed at ensuring the cultural values and ideologies of First Nations are better reflected in the justice system.
The province asked Iacobucci to look into the issue in 2011, after criminal trials and inquests ground to a halt over lack of aboriginal representation on juries.
The study finds the problem goes beyond juries to a broader conflict between First Nations and a justice system they say fails them.
Iacobucci says he hopes the report will serve as a wake-up call.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 4:42 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A former Supreme Court of Canada justice delivers a report today on…
TORONTO – A former Supreme Court of Canada justice delivers a report today on whether on-reserve aboriginals have been systematically excluded from Ontario’s juries.
The report by Frank Iacobucci comes more than 18 months after Ontario asked him to delve into the festering issue that at one point paralyzed jury proceedings — criminal, civil and inquest.
The years-long lack of aboriginals first came to light at coroner’s inquests in northern Ontario into the 2007 deaths of Jacy Pierre, who died in police custody, and teenager Reggie Bushie, who drowned.
In an affidavit in 2008, a court-operations supervisor said only 44 natives were being considered for jury selection in the Kenora district.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government is dismissing opposition calls for a judicial inquiry into…
TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government is dismissing opposition calls for a judicial inquiry into cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
The Progressive Conservatives don’t support the NDP’s call for a public inquiry into the cancelled energy projects, and say they want a judge who cannot be influenced by government to head any probe.
Premier Kathleen Wynne didn’t address the Tories’ demand directly, but she rejected the idea of a public inquiry into the cancellation of the gas plants, which the Liberals say cost taxpayers $230 million.
Wynne says all the answers the opposition parties are looking for will come from either a legislative committee or an auditor general’s investigation.
The Conservatives say they’ll call a judicial inquiry if they win the next election because they can’t force the minority government to agree to one.
Wynne also dismissed accusations that she misled the public by saying all the documents on cancelled gas plants were released months ago, when another 600 pages turned up last week.
Wynne says they were basing their statements on information they had at the time.
But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath accuses Wynne of deliberately misleading the public and the legislature.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Word late Friday that public high school teachers can resume after class…
TORONTO – Word late Friday that public high school teachers can resume after class sports and clubs was exactly the news newly-minted Ontario Premier Kathleen needed after a disastrous first week in the legislature dominated by a controversy over gas plants.
“I’m very happy that teachers and support staff and students across the province at public secondary schools will once again be able to enjoy the extracurricular activities and programs,” a beaming Wynne told a supper-hour news conference.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation agreed to “suspend political action” _ code for its withdrawal of extracurricular activities _ which was sparked by the Liberals’ move to impose contracts that froze the wages of most teachers.
The union didn’t offer any guarantees that things would immediately return to normal at high schools.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, February 22, 2013 at 4:53 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A hearing on mandatory minimum sentencing before a five-judge panel of Ontario’s…
TORONTO – A hearing on mandatory minimum sentencing before a five-judge panel of Ontario’s highest court is slated to wrap up today in Toronto.
The Appeal Court justices are hearing a joint set of six appeals, each of which involves mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes.
The arguments focus on the three-year mandatory minimum sentence for possessing a loaded prohibited gun — a law enacted in 2008 as part of the federal Conservatives`omnibus crime bill.
The mandatory minimums were struck down in one case and upheld in the rest and hearing all of them at the same time gives the court the opportunity to send a uniform message.
Justice David Doherty — one of the judges hearing the appeals — has suggested he considers a law that sends first offenders to prison for three years on a gun possession crime a “bad law.”
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 4:40 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario’s governing Liberals promised Wednesday to keep a close eye on corporate…
TORONTO – Ontario’s governing Liberals promised Wednesday to keep a close eye on corporate taxes, work with public sector workers on wage talks and give local residents more say in whether they get a wind farm, gas plant or casino.
The speech from the throne, which laid out the government’s agenda and marks the start of the legislative session, also promised to work collaboratively with the opposition parties to make the minority parliament work.
The province needs all three parties to work together “in a spirit of renewed co-operation” to get things done, Lt. Gov. David Onley said in reading the speech.
“Your new government sees a great province that brings together disparate elements and bonds them together as one,” he said.
“And your government believes that the legislature should work the same way.”
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 5:28 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne will reach out to the opposition parties in Tuesday’s…
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne will reach out to the opposition parties in Tuesday’s throne speech, meeting some key elements on the Conservative and New Democrat agendas as the legislature gets back to business, The Canadian Press has learned.
Making the minority parliament work is one of three key priorities that will be laid out in the speech, which outlines the government’s agenda in the new session.
“The people of this province expect all members of the Ontario Legislative Assembly to work together,” says the speech, which will be read by Lt. Gov. David Onley.
“It is what they want and what they deserve.”
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 5:24 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Ontario’s highest court begins hearing a number of landmark cases today on…
TORONTO – Ontario’s highest court begins hearing a number of landmark cases today on mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes.
A special five-judge panel of the Court of Appeal for Ontario will hear six different cases raising similar issues the rest of this week.
The panel will consider the constitutionality of minimum sentences for several gun-crime laws.
Critics in the legal community say mandatory minimums don’t reduce crime and do more harm than good.
Both the federal and provincial governments will be arguing in support of the harsher sentences, which they say were enacted in response to an increase in illegal handguns.
It’s likely that arguments will centre around the case of Leroy Smickle.
The judge in his case declared a three-year minimum sentence for illegal possession of a loaded handgun unconstitutional.
Smickle was alone in his boxers in his cousin’s apartment posing with the gun while taking pictures of himself to post on Facebook when police burst in, looking for his cousin.
By The Canadian Press - Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 11:14 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – There will be something in next week’s throne speech for both opposition…
TORONTO – There will be something in next week’s throne speech for both opposition parties, but it’s up to them to decide if they want to work with the minority Liberals, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Friday.
Her talks with Opposition Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath have been “positive” and “productive,” but that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing, she acknowledged.
“I know that there will be issues that we’re going to have to deal with, and I know that there will be points of friction,” Wynne said.
“But I also know that the people of Ontario want this government to work, and so I’m going to do everything in my power — we’re going to do everything in our power — to make that the reality.”
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:59 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne threw a bone to the opposition parties Thursday, offering…
TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne threw a bone to the opposition parties Thursday, offering to create a special committee dedicated solely to examining the controversy over the costly cancellation of two gas plants.
“Where mistakes were made, they must be addressed and prevented from happening again,” she wrote in a letter to Opposition Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
The move is a win for the Tories, who asked for greater scrutiny of the decisions that will cost taxpayers at least $230 million. The New Democrats wanted a full public inquiry.
Both have accused the governing Liberals of cancelling the plants in Oakville and Mississauga to save Liberal seats amid fierce local opposition to the projects.