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- 10/09/17--20:11: _Authorities tried t...
- 10/10/17--04:09: _Mentorship program ...
- 10/10/17--04:00: _Proposal to hand ov...
- 10/09/17--20:51: _Electric Leafs win ...
- 10/10/17--03:00: _Exhibit tells the s...
- 10/10/17--03:00: _Justice of the peac...
- 10/09/17--16:00: _A raging house fire...
- 10/10/17--15:14: _Student mental heal...
- 10/10/17--17:19: _Tory’s Smarttrack p...
- 10/10/17--16:25: _Toronto District Sc...
- 10/10/17--16:45: _Suspect in gas-and-...
- 10/11/17--03:00: _Toronto looks to ex...
- 10/10/17--20:22: _Faculty at Ontario ...
- 10/10/17--17:12: _Crosby, Penguins en...
- 10/10/17--16:15: _Utah officer who ha...
- 10/10/17--15:22: _Donald Trump’s ‘out...
- 10/11/17--03:00: _Harvey Weinstein be...
- 10/10/17--09:45: _Sears Canada going ...
- 10/10/17--18:39: _Trudeau talks gende...
- 10/11/17--03:00: _Ontario pledges $1M...
- 10/10/17--04:09: Mentorship program sees Muslim professionals mentor Muslim students
- 10/09/17--20:51: Electric Leafs win ‘first real game’ of young season: Feschuk
- 10/10/17--15:14: Student mental health needs growing, Ontario colleges say
- 10/10/17--17:19: Tory’s Smarttrack plan heads off for public input
- 10/10/17--16:25: Toronto District School Board phases out ‘chief’ titles
- 10/10/17--16:45: Suspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murder
- 10/11/17--03:00: Toronto looks to expand tree planting on private properties
- 10/10/17--20:22: Faculty at Ontario colleges could go on strike on Monday
- A “sunset clause” that would automatically terminate the deal in five years absent a new endorsement from all sides.
- A rule requiring a hefty portion of automobiles to be made in the U.S. itself, not just in the NAFTA zone.
- A “Buy American” rule saying Canadian and Mexican firms could not receive government contracts worth more than the government contracts secured by American firms in the other two countries, which are much smaller.
- 10/10/17--09:45: Sears Canada going out of business, laying off 12,000
- 10/11/17--03:00: Ontario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dust
NEW YORK—When Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, then an 18-year-old from Mississauga, was arrested in May 2016, he was secretly detained in New York by federal authorities who hoped to arrest others in a supposed plot to detonate bombs in Times Square and in the subways.
Although federal authorities did eventually arrest two other men, El Bahnasawy’s time in custody did not go exactly to plan.
Shortly after his arrest, jail officials mistakenly moved him into the general population of a federal detention centre in Manhattan, instead of holding him in isolation. That lasted one day — long enough for him to have money stolen from his commissary account.
Several months later, after being allowed to move into the general population, El Bahnasawy was given drugs by another inmate, leading to more complications.
Those details were disclosed in newly unsealed court papers that showed how sensitive prosecutors were to keeping El Bahnasawy’s arrest secret to not tip off a suspect who was believed to be preparing to enter the United States. But they also raised questions about how jail officials handled someone the government viewed as an important defendant.
On Friday, the authorities disclosed that the FBI and New York City Police Department had broken up the plot, which was to be carried out in support of Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and to have taken place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2016, which began that June.
The authorities said El Bahnasawy was arrested in New Jersey after he entered the United States from Canada. The government said it had also arrested two other plotters overseas, including Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen living in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, 37, of the Philippines.
The government said the men had also planned to open fire at concert venues in New York, and that their plot had been detailed in communications with an undercover FBI agent, who had posed as a Daesh supporter and convinced them he would work with them.
“We need a really strong bomb,” El Bahnasawy wrote in one message, referring to the Times Square plot, the authorities said.
Shortly after his arrest, El Bahnasawy became the victim of identity theft after he was inadvertently moved from an isolation unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center into the general population, Adam Johnson, a lawyer at the centre, testified in June 2016, a transcript shows.
Another prisoner apparently used his personal access code to move money from his commissary account to an outside source, Johnson said.
“All signs are pointing toward this person essentially having robbed him electronically,” Johnson testified. A spokesman for the detention centre had no immediate comment on Monday.
It was in September 2016, after El Bahnasawy was allowed to move into the general population, that he obtained Suboxone, a prescription medication used to treat drug addiction, according to a letter from his federal public defenders to the judge. El Bahnasawy — whose lawyers wrote that he had a long history of drug use, treatment and relapse — took the drug and relapsed, according to the letter.
As punishment, jail authorities cut off his family visits for 18 months, leading to objections from his lawyers and a sharp response from a Manhattan judge, Richard M. Berman of U.S. District Court, who said the disciplinary measure “defies common sense.”
The judge’s comments came during a closed hearing in May but were cited in the lawyers’ letter, which was among the newly released filings.
The lawyers’ letter said El Bahnasawy tried unsuccessfully to challenge the loss-of-visitation privileges within the jail system, before raising it with Berman. According to the letter, the judge told Johnson to convey his view to the Bureau of Prisons that the sanction was inappropriate, saying, “I’ve never done this in any case before.”
El Bahnasawy’s visitation privileges were ultimately restored, the filings show.
After initially consenting to having the case remain secret for a short period, El Bahnasawy’s lawyers argued that the continued secrecy violated his right to a public trial, the filings show. It was not until Friday, when the government announced the charges, that the case became public.
El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty in October 2016 to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other charges. Sabrina Shroff, his lawyer, and James M. Margolin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, each declined to comment.
Authorities tried to keep Mississauga teen’s terror arrest secret, court documents reveal
Noor Javed Staff Reporter
In one of the first jobs she had, Sabeen Saeed was told she would be the only woman on a team of 10 men and “asked if she could handle it.”
After a decade in the male-dominated field of finance, she says she has gotten used to being the only woman at the table. But Saeed, who identifies as Muslim, admits it’s been a challenge being a minority within a minority in the fast-paced industry.
“This isn’t a field where you see many women from diverse backgrounds,” said Saeed, who now works in a Toronto investment firm.
“When I started out, I didn’t really have access to any role models or mentors that I could relate to,” she said. “I think if I had women to talk to who had dealt with the same challenges I had faced, it would have been helpful.”
That’s why she was eager to give her time to a newly launched mentoring initiative called MAX Mentors — which aims to connect students and young professionals with established Muslim professionals in Toronto.
Saeed was recently paired up with Sara Raza, a first-year student at the Richard Ivey School of Business, who was quick to notice she stood out in her class.
“I recognized right away that there is a serious lack of representation in this field,” said Raza, a visible Muslim who wears the hijab.
She welcomes the knowledge Saeed has to share: “To get this insight as to how it is to be a woman in the business space is invaluable,” Raza said.
MAX mentors is the latest initiative of MAX (Muslim Awards for Excellence), an organization that made its debut last year with a flashy awards dinner, with the feel of a Muslim Oscars, to celebrate and encourage achievement in the Canadian Muslim community. It was established at a time of rising anti-Muslim sentiment locally and abroad.
The organization is the brainchild of Aazar Zafar, who says he launched MAX in 2015, in an effort to change the narrative around the Canadian Muslim community and show a counterpoint to the misconceptions that exist about Muslims, their faith and their contributions to Canada.
“This narrative of violence and terrorism is not the Islam the vast majority of Muslims have grown up with,” said Zafar, a portfolio manager for a pension fund. “Education and service are tenets of Islam, and are also central Canadian values. MAX honours that, and as proud Canadians, we aim to recognize and motivate high achievement in the country.”
The aim of the event is simple, and admittedly in part, a bit of a public relations push to “elevate the brand of Muslims in Canada.
In its first year, as its mandate suggested, MAX aimed high. The event took place at the glitzy Ritz-Carlton and was attended by Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto Mayor John Tory. The keynote speakers included Ryerson University president Mohamed Lachemi, and City of Toronto Film Commissioner and actor Zaib Shaikh.
This year, the dinner and awards ceremony takes place at Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 14. They plan to present 14 awards to community members, including women of the year, and 21 scholarships to students — worth around $84,000.
Zafar says the mentorship program was initiated by a student who was awarded one of the 11 scholarships given out last year. So far, 100 people have signed up to be part of the program, and 35 pairs have been matched, including many of those outside the traditional realms of law and medicine.
It was this non-traditional outlook that drew entrepreneur Ibrahim Hyder to the program. “It was really unique to be connected with someone who has directly related to what I’m doing,” said Hyder, who runs a business called TruWood, which sells wooden watches online.
He was paired up with Saad Uddin, founder of Native Touch, a mobile advertising company, who says he got involved because he could have benefited from a similar initiative when he was starting out.
“I always thought it would be good to have a mentor who is going through building a business, but could understand some of our priorities and goals that take our faith into consideration as well.”
The mentorship program, which has had three events so far, has already ventured into topics not normally discussed in workplace settings — such as resiliency, and mental health. The hope is to expand the program beyond the GTA, in Ontario, and eventually across the country.
Saeed says for many professionals like herself, MAX is finally giving the Muslim community a platform to challenge stereotypes that exist.
“I think in the world we live in, it’s increasingly important to show Canadian Muslims who are giving back and contributing,” said Saeed. “I think in the past, we haven’t done the greatest job of highlighting our successes and achievements as a community … I think MAX brings something to the table that was sorely lacking.”
Mentorship program sees Muslim professionals mentor Muslim studentsMentorship program sees Muslim professionals mentor Muslim students
Sometimes you have to wonder about Toronto. Has the city ever been so poorly run, so deeply confused and conflicted, or so badly led that it is now its own worst enemy?
The most recent example is the travesty currently unfolding down at the Port Lands. In case you’ve forgotten, the 880-acre (356-hectare) site, most of it unused, unserviced and certainly unloved, is slated for revitalization. That’s not going to happen tomorrow; Toronto’s waterfront, which runs from Etobicoke to Scarborough, encompasses a lot of real estate.
Still, the process has began. Just last June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory gathered on the shore of Lake Ontario to kick-start the remake with a pledge of $1.25 billion. Even by today’s standards that’s a whack of cash. It was put aside to renaturalize the mouth of the Don River and flood-proof the area at the west side of the Port Lands that ends up underwater when the Don overflows.
The mammoth undertaking is a precondition to transforming these lands into a fully mixed-use neighbourhood. It was conceived — naively perhaps — as the place where Toronto would enter the 21st century. Though there’s not much to see now, the ingredients for urban excellence are all there — the lake, the Shipping Channel, the Keating Channel and enough space to do things properly.
No wonder the late Tony Coombes, the late planner who worked on waterfronts around the world, used to argue that the site — intelligently redeveloped — could become the most desirable neighbourhood in Toronto.
Alas, at Toronto City Hall intelligence is conspicuous in its absence. At the risk of undermining plans that have evolved through nearly two decades of work by the tripartite agency that reports to all three levels of government, Waterfront Toronto, the city is now considering a plan that would hand over a significant chunk of the Port Lands to the film industry. Its scheme would give much of the site for massive movie studios, sound facilities and backlots. This would amount to building an industrial park on some of the most potentially valuable land in the city.
The mind boggles at the short-sightedness, the blinkered vision, the lack of ambition and imagination and the sheer thoughtlessness of such a plan. Sadly, Toronto has been trapped in a downward spiral of self-imposed littleness for a couple of decades now. How many cities in the world would happily hand over a major asset such as the Port Lands to an industry that could operate almost anywhere?
If the city didn’t have such a long and frankly embarrassing history on the waterfront going back to David Miller’s mayoralty, one might be shocked at the possibility of yet another outburst of civic willfulness. Before this there was Doug Ford with his ferris wheel, Porter Airlines and its delusions of Toronto Island airport grandeur and — who could forget? — TEDCO (the now defunct Toronto Economic Development Corporation), which sought to establish a parallel waterfront revitalization plan.
And let’s not overlook the Toronto Port Authority, the federal agency that has historically viewed the harbour as its own corporate fiefdom. Adding insult to injury, our current chief magistrate appointed Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) as the city’s representative to the board of Waterfront Toronto.
No wonder the agency has grown weary, wary and withdrawn. Still, its efforts have changed the way we think about the city south of the Gardiner Expressway. Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, Corktown Common, the new George Brown building, the West Don Lands; these are the new highlights of Toronto’s waterfront.
The idea goes before Toronto’s Planning and Growth Management Committee on Thursday. That’s when a city-commissioned report, A Port Lands Framework Plan, will be discussed. That’s why so much rests on the outcome of the meeting.
As Toronto’s internationally respected planner Ken Greenberg makes clear, “This would be a throwback to something completely unsatisfactory. It’s frustrating and hard to understand. The centre is not holding. We need to reassert the primacy of Waterfront Toronto.”
John Wilson, co-founder of Waterfront for All, agrees. “We were promised a spectacular mixed-use waterfront,” he says. “But this goes completely against the plan. To privilege a single industry and develop the Port Land around its needs is not why we spent $1.25 billion.”
Christopher Hume’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com
Proposal to hand over chunk over Port Lands to movie industry is short-sighted: Hume
They didn’t officially win it until Auston Matthews unfurled that highlight-reel cannon of a shot — a bullet wrister over the shoulder of Anton Forsberg that gave the Maple Leafs their third straight win of the three-game-old season, a 4-3 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
But make no mistake about Toronto’s performance Monday night against Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and the vestigial core of a team that has won three Stanley Cups since 2010. From the launch of the second period until Matthews lifted the Air Canada Centre crowd to its feet by placing the exclamation point on another in a line of memorable performances, the Maple Leafs didn’t just get the better of the play. The Leafs utterly dominated the game. They commanded possession, as measured by the percentage of total shot attempts, to the tune of 86 per cent after the first intermission. They ruled the shots-on-goal counter by more than double, 43-21.
A year ago around this time coach Mike Babcock raised eyebrows by comparing his rookie-laden team to the Blackhawks team of a decade ago that won a championship in the third year of the Toews-Kane era. On Monday night, after the Leafs fell behind 2-0 in a less-than-inspired first period, they looked ridiculously superior to what’s left of the Toews-Kane team.
“They were better than us early, obviously. Better sticks, better defensively, worked harder, were quicker than us — we were too slow early — but I thought we got engaged,” said Babcock after it was over. “We’ve got a pretty deep group so we were able to come at them pretty good.”
Frederik Andersen, the Leafs goaltender, called Monday’s win “the first real game” of the season, this after the Leafs scored a combined 15 goals in their opening two victories. If Toronto’s power play had been better than its 1-for-5 night, Monday’s squeaker of a win might have been a more resounding Toronto victory. Consider that Matthews led the game in puck possession with an 87 per cent mark, and that the star of the line against whom he was most consistently matched, Kane, was the game’s worst possession player at 14 per cent. Consider that Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner combined for 16 shots on goal while Toews and Kane combined for four.
And call it what it was: another indication that the Maple Leafs have arrived as a here-and-now force, and not simply a team with a bright future. It’s early, as the saying goes. But given the Blackhawks came into Monday’s game having scored 15 combined goals in their opening pair of wins — well, Monday amounted to a measuring stick worth considerable attention. One game, yes. But given the stature of the opponent and the one-sidedness of the final 40 minutes-plus, a milestone of sorts.
“I think the feeling in our room beforehand is — before the other team was coming in and you were hoping. Now you think you’ve got a chance. That’s just a different feel,” Babcock said after it was over.
Said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, speaking of the Leafs: “They’re good. They’re really good. They’ve got some amazing players.”
The game was barely eight minutes old before Andersen and his team found themselves down 2-0 on a couple of goals that were hardly glaring errors on the part of the man in the crease — the first Chicago goal bouncing off the tough-luck stick of teammate Mitch Marner, the second on a Toews snapper from point-blank range with Andersen’s goal stick lost behind the net.
And perhaps a younger version of Andersen — or last season’s assemblage of Leafs — would have been rattled by the ill fortune.
“When you’re younger, you think you’re going to play a 1-0 game every game. In reality, it’s not going to happen,” Andersen said. “It’s a matter of, not getting used to getting scored on, but getting used to processing it and moving on. That’s really what you’ve got to get good at.”
Before the Leafs found their legs, Andersen stopped Patrick Sharp on a first-period breakaway that could have made it 3-0. Still, for all their dominance of the puck — and thanks to the stellar play of Forsberg, Chicago’s backup to Corey Crawford — the Leafs were down 3-1 early in the third period before Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk scored the goals that pulled them even.
Not that Chicago didn’t have its post-game gripes. Quenneville complained about the officials who ejected Toews from the faceoff circle on multiple occasions. And there was plenty of grumbling from both sides about the eight minor penalties doled out for slashing — four a side — as part of a league-mandated crackdown meant to facilitate more offence. But nobody on the home team lingered long on the topic of officiating.
“I thought as the game went on we got better and better and that’s the way we want to play,” said Matthews. “We were up against a pretty good hockey team, they’re a team that knows how to win, they’ve won before, so when you get in these tight games it’s a matter of inches. Definitely a big win for us as far as confidence goes and we just want to keep that momentum going.”
Indeed, it was an odd characteristic of last season’s Leafs that they owned a 3-22-2 record in games they trailed after two periods. Given their explosive offence, their inability to come from behind never made a lot of sense. So consider Monday night’s comeback victory a step in a resilient direction, not to mention a reminder that Matthews remains a shoot-first centreman of big-moment repute.
“I think that (game-winning) puck is still sitting back up there (buried in the opposing team’s net),” quipped Andersen. “Not a lot of guys can stop that puck in this league.”
Electric Leafs win ‘first real game’ of young season: Feschuk
Long before diversity became part of Canada’s identity, the Ward in downtown Toronto, near today’s city hall, was already a place where people from different cultural backgrounds lived and worked together.
From the 1830s until the mid-19th century when the land was gradually expropriated, the neighbourhood was the first settlement destination for many newcomers to the city, including previously enslaved Black Americans, Eastern European Jews, Italians, the Irish and the Chinese.
Although the neighbourhood — bounded by College St., Queen St. W., Yonge St. and University Ave. — gave way to new developments such as Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, the memories have stayed with many original residents and their descendants in photo albums and artifacts in basements.
Now those memories are part of a multimedia exhibition by a group of storytellers who share the early-day immigrant experiences in the Ward. Called Block by Block, the project has been launched online with stories, audio interviews and personal photos of the storytellers and their families.
“There were lots of families. The street was filled with Jews, Italians, Blacks, Chinese down at the bottom of Elizabeth (St.). All around there,” said George Carter, who was born in 1921 in Toronto, near Queen and Spadina Ave., and graduated from Harbord Collegiate Institute in 1941 before being appointed to become the first Canadian-born Black judge in 1979.
John Ackerman was born the same year as Carter. His parents, Jacob and Mindel, ran a small grocery store at Dundas and Elizabeth Sts. A graduate of Jarvis Collegiate, Ackerman enrolled in University of Toronto’s dentistry school and opened his own practice above the Royal Bank at the same intersection where his parents’ store was.
“My dad grew up very poor, and yet he never talked about it as something that was negative or bad. He ended up living in the Ward his whole life,” said his youngest son, David Ackerman.
“He grew up there, and then his dentist office was down there. So he was very comfortable in that place. There were a lot of different groups but everyone seemed to get along.”
Funded by Canada 150, Ontario 150, 6 Degrees and Artscape Toronto, the national project focuses on three historic immigrant neighbourhoods: Côte-des-Neiges in Montreal, the Ward in Toronto and Strathcona in Vancouver.
“The project brought together diverse people and perspectives into conversation around the role that neighbourhoods play in settlement, as well as engaging folks in a critical dialogue around how neighbourhoods can or cannot be welcoming places for newcomers,” Gracia Dyer Jalea of The Ward Museum, the project’s Toronto partner.
“How can newcomers continue to advocate for their interests and rights particularly in areas close to the downtown core, as the Ward once was? What has history taught us and what are strategies that we can borrow and adopt to fight current development plans that do not act in the best interest of these communities and seek to displace folks from their homes and communities?”
Meet the storytellers
George Carter attended the old Hester How Public School and Harbord Collegiate before getting his undergrad degree from Trinity College. He served in the infantry during the Second World War before studying law at Osgoode Hall and becoming one of Canada’s first Black lawyers.
Arlene Chan’s mother, Jean Lumb (1919-2002) was raised in Nanaimo, B.C. before she moved to Toronto to work at age 16. Lumb and her husband, Doyle, had six children and they opened Kwong Chow, a popular Chinese-Canadian restaurant in the Ward in 1959. After most of Toronto’s first Chinatown was demolished for the new city hall, she led the Save Chinatown committee to fight further demolition of the community.
Joseph, John and Paul Piccininni were the children of Viola DeFrancesco Piccininni (1922-2012), who was born in Toronto to Italian immigrant parents. She grew up in the ward, living first on Chesnut St. and then Elm St. She attended Hester How Public School and later went to Central Technical School, studying sewing and dressmaking. She married Joseph Piccininni, who went on to become a Toronto city councillor. After having three kids, she went back to school to be a teacher and taught at her alma mater, Central Tech, before retiring in 1980s.
David Ackerman is one of three children of John Ackerman (1921-2008), a lifelong resident of the Ward. The family’s story in the neighbourhood began with David’s grandparents, Jacob and Mindel, who ran a small grocery store at Dundas and Elizabeth Sts. Besides being an accomplished dentist, John was an avid photographer who had collections documenting his family life, Toronto and his military involvement. He retired in the mid-1990s and died in 2008.
Exhibit tells the story of Toronto's Ward neighbourhood — where ‘everyone seemed to get along’
A Kenora justice of the peace is the subject of at least two formal complaints to Ontario’s JP oversight body for remarks he made to a lawyer in court that have been called “culturally insensitive” and “racist,” the Star has learned.
The remarks in question were made in bail court in August. Justice of the Peace Robert McNally was presiding, and Shannon McDunnough, who is Mi’kmaq, was attending as duty counsel — a legal aid-funded lawyer who can appear for accused persons who have not yet retained their own lawyers.
According to a court transcript, McNally said at one point: “Sometimes I think we’re in the middle of a Benny Hill set here. Nobody knows who Benny Hill is,” referring to the late British comedian.
When McDunnough told him that she knew who Benny Hill was, McNally replied: “Your ancestors probably scalped him or something.”
Those remarks are now the subject of formal complaints filed with the Justices of the Peace Review Council, the independent body tasked with investigating and disciplining JPs.
One is a joint complaint from Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services, McDunnough’s employer, and the Grand Council Treaty No. 3, while the other is from the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.
McNally’s comment used “obnoxious and racist language against an Indigenous female lawyer appearing before him that was a direct insult to her, to Mi’kmaq persons and to Indigenous persons in general,” reads the joint complaint.
“The nature of the comment is such that the only appropriate remedy is his removal from judicial office.”
The joint complaint also says that Kenora bail court “deals predominantly with Indigenous persons who are incarcerated at an astonishing rate in that district,” and that at any given time, 90 to 95 per cent of men remanded into custody in the northwestern Ontario city’s jail are Indigenous.
The Criminal Lawyers’ Association, which didn’t specify any particular punishment it is seeking in its complaint, said that it became aware of the remarks from a third party.
“It is our position that the above comment is culturally insensitive, racist, and entirely inappropriate,” association president Anthony Moustacalis wrote in the complaint letter.
“It is shocking that this comment was made on the record in a courtroom by a judicial official in Canada. It is also deeply troubling that this comment was made in Kenora, a community with a significant First Nations population.
“JP McNally’s comment is inexcusable no matter what his intention.”
McDunnough declined to comment to the Star. McNally also declined to comment. A spokesperson with the Ontario Court of Justice would not confirm if he is still presiding over cases.
“Given that you indicate that a complaint has been filed with the Justices of the Peace Review Council, it would be inappropriate for the court to comment about matters before the council,” said Kate Andrew. “It is important to respect the council’s independent due process.”
Duties of justices of the peace, who earn about $130,000 a year, include conducting bail hearings, signing off on search warrants and presiding over provincial offences matters, which do not lead to a criminal record.
McNally was appointed by the NDP provincial government in 1993. According to a news release at the time, he moved to Minaki, Ont., from Alberta in the 1970s, and was the owner of the Beaver House fishing lodge.
“He has played key volunteer roles in Minaki business development groups such as the Atikokan-Minaki Waterway Corp. in Fort Frances, and the Minaki Economic Resource Area Committee,” said the news release.
“In 1990, he received funding from the Ontario Heritage Foundation to help record the history and beliefs of the Islington people in Whitedog.”
The Justices of the Peace Review Council’s policy is that it will not confirm or deny that a particular complaint has been made to it, unless a complaints committee determines that there will be a discipline hearing, which is public, the council’s registrar told the Star.
“The council considers that in accordance with the statutory framework set out in the Justices of the Peace Act, the complaints process is confidential,” said registrar Marilyn King.
She said a complaint received by the council is assigned to a complaints committee made up of a judge, a justice of the peace, and a lawyer or community member.
Outcomes available to the committee include dismissing the complaint, referring it to the chief justice, or sending it to a public discipline hearing.
In the interim, the complaints committee can recommend to the regional senior justice that the JP not be assigned work, King said, but legislation requires that the JP still be paid.
If the outcome is anything other than a public discipline hearing, King pointed out that a summary of the complaint is included in the council’s annual report, which becomes public after being tabled in the legislature.
Those summaries do not include the name of the JP or any other identifying information. As previously reported by the Star, the Ministry of the Attorney General has repeatedly failed to promptly table the annual reports after receiving them from the review council.
For example, the JP review council’s 2014 annual report was made public only in February this year, despite the council delivering it to the ministry in November 2015.
Justice of the peace subject of complaints after remarks called 'culturally insensitive' and 'racist'
In the space of three days, a family of Syrian refugees who lost everything in a house fire has ridden an emotional roller-coaster, experiencing everything from frightening tragedy to overwhelming gratitude for the kindness of strangers.
On Sunday morning, Khaled Alawad did not know where to turn. “I have lost myself,” he said in an interview as he surveyed the scorched remains of his Mississauga townhome.
On Sunday night, local businessman Alex Haditaghi heard about Alawad’s plight. Deeply moved, Haditaghi, who came to Canada as a refugee from Iran in 1988, called the Star to say he would offer the family of five an apartment, rent-free for a year, in one of his North York buildings.
On Monday morning, Alawad, his wife and three children met their benefactor for the first time outside an apartment building on Sheppard Ave.
Haditaghi greeted the family, who were dressed in clothes donated by a friend, shaking their hands as he listed the reasons North York is a great place to live — it’s a family-oriented and multicultural area, close to schools and shopping, and close to the subway — before leading them indoors to choose an apartment.
He showed Alawad and his family a couple of options before they decided on a two-bedroom, second-floor unit with a balcony. While the apartment is small for a family of five and in need of some repairs, Haditaghi promised to have it cleaned, painted and furnished within a week. He’s also arranged for the family to have a free membership to the local YMCA.
While their parents beamed happily, the Alawad children rhymed off the apartment’s most enticing features.
“The balcony … outside, the environment is really nice,” said Odai, 11. “And there are a lot of plugs, so I could charge my stuff.”
Nine-year-old Marina said, “I like to live in buildings better than townhouses because like I hate stairs.
Mera, 4, didn’t say much, but seemed to enjoy running in circles around the living room.
The family will move in as soon as the unit is ready — by the end of this week, Haditaghi hopes.
He said he decided to reach out to them after reading in the Star about the family’s ordeal: the Saturday morning fire that claimed their home, all their belongings and documents, and the unsettling incident that preceded it.
Alawad initially suspected his family had been targeted after a man came to his home on Friday and argued with him about a bike that he said was his. The man then allegedly tried to break into the home. A man has been arrested in that incident, although police stress they are making no connection between that and the fire the next day.
The blaze is being investigated by the fire marshal’s office, police said Monday. In the meantime the family is staying with a friend.
“I know what it feels like not to have anything,” Haditaghi said. “My family was refugees and I know what it feels like to be a refugee and be homeless.”
Haditaghi, who once donated 1,400 turkeys to the Scott Mission, said he sees it as his duty to “help other humans.”
“I promise, these young kids … someday they’re going to do it for the next generation,” he said.
Haditaghi was 12 — just a year older than Alawad’s son, Odai, is now — when he came to Canada with his family in 1988.
He said his family spent the first three months living in a shelter. When they finally got a place of their own, they had no money for furniture.
“People were good to us,” he said, as he assured the Alawads: “You’ll be OK.”
Sure enough, people have stepped up to help the Syrian family as well. A GoFundMe page launched on Saturday, asking for help to rebuild their lives after the fire, had already surpassed its goal of $20,000 as of Monday.
Alawad is hopeful that his new home, closer to the city centre, will make it easier to find work. A petroleum engineer, he has 13 years of experience working in Abu Dhabi and Syria. While he’s had interviews since moving to Canada, he hasn’t found a job yet, and has been told it’s because he doesn’t have any Canadian experience.
Haditaghi has heard similar tales about the challenges refugees face finding work in their fields. His own mother was a teacher who wound up cleaning windows. Today, he knows a doctor from Syria who drives an Uber.
But he remains optimistic that things will work out for the Alawads.
“I believe in karma and good things will happen to good people,” he said.
A raging house fire left a Syrian family with nothing. One day later, a stranger gave them a home rent-free for one yearA raging house fire left a Syrian family with nothing. One day later, a stranger gave them a home rent-free for one yearA raging house fire left a Syrian family with nothing. One day later, a stranger gave them a home rent-free for one year
Ontario colleges are spending $160 million more than they receive from the government to provide mental health services and supports for students — a need that continues to grow and must be addressed, says a new report.
The report, released Tuesday, “is highlighting that we are seeing the acceleration of these challenges beyond what we might have expected to see,” said Linda Franklin, president of Colleges Ontario, which represents the province’s 24 public institutions.
At a time when general overall funding per student has been declining, colleges are “currently diverting significant funds from general operations and academic programming to provide student at-risk support programs and services,” says the report from Deloitte.
“This approach is not sustainable. As a result, colleges have pursued a number of innovations aimed at doing more with less.”
Including, it adds, “more proactive and holistic student support to address problems before a crisis occurs, expanding faculty and staff involvement, adopting new technological solutions, and building community partnerships that share resources and knowledge.”
The report also urges the provincial government to make sure that high school students are better prepared for the academic rigours of post-secondary life, “by encouraging the Ministry of Education to modify high school programs to better meet college requirements.”
Colleges Ontario first looked into the issue of student mental health five years ago, but felt an update was necessary because “over the intervening years, leaders in the college system, student leaders and faculty were saying to us that they were experiencing increasing levels of students coming to them with mental health (needs),” said Franklin.
Some students can’t find the supports they need in their local community, so they turn to the colleges, which provide services to those studying full- or part-time.
Franklin said colleges are looking for more funds, new pilot projects, as well as partnerships with the government and community agencies to better co-ordinate services.
A three-year, $720,000 pilot out of Humber College that began in 2012 provided “Mental Health First-Aid” training to college staff across the province, who then returned to their institutions to train others. About 3,000 in total took part, said Meg Houghton, associate dean of student wellness and equity at Humber.
“It’s helping people to understand what to ask, how to support someone experiencing distress… and referring and getting support,” and how to distinguish moderate distress and crisis situations, she said.
The report notes that half a million students attend colleges in this province, and “over time, this student population has become increasingly populated by non-traditional students at risk of not completing post-secondary education,” in particular students with learning and mental health disabilities, mature students, and those who are the first in their family to go beyond high school studies.
Deb Matthews, the provincial minister of advanced education and skills development, said she has heard “loud and clear at every campus” about the “need to better support mental health on campus.”
“There is no disputing that this is a huge issue on campus, right across our province,” she said in a statement to the Star.
Matthews noted that the government has worked with colleges and universities on a number of programs, and continues to boost funding.
“Colleges serve as an important ‘point of entry’ and resource for students who are seeking help with their mental health, often far from their home community or family supports,” said Matthews. “We will continue to work with colleges in the effort to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health supports for students.”
Student mental health needs growing, Ontario colleges say
With his SmartTrack plan going to public consultations this week, Mayor John Tory says his signature transit project has reached a major milestone.
But key questions about the plan remained unanswered Tuesday, including how many people are expected to use the service and how much it will cost them to do so.
At a news conference in Scarborough ahead of the first of three public meetings planned for this week, Tory predicted SmartTrack will bring “new and improved service where it is needed the most in our city.”
“Over the last year, city staff have been working hard at studying SmartTrack station locations and station designs …. City staff are now ready to take it to the public,” the mayor said, declaring it “an important day.”
The city is holding the consultations in three affected neighbourhoods, with the goal of getting feedback on the plan’s six proposed new stops.
Although they would be labelled SmartTrack stations, the stops would be added to GO Transit’s existing Kitchener and Stouffville/Lakeshore East lines. They would be operated as part of a wider expansion and electrification of GO Transit service known as regional express rail, which is being spearheaded by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency for the GTHA.
City staff are hoping to get input on the design of the stops, including station entrances, accessibility for people with mobility issues, and land use around the sites.
However, James Perttula, director of transit and transportation planning for the city, confirmed at a media briefing that the city doesn’t yet have solid numbers for how many people are expected to use SmartTrack stations once they’re built.
Although previous reports have estimated that the stations could attract as many as 9 million new riders to the GO Transit network each year, key factors that will influence ridership are still being worked out.
According to the city’s public consultation materials, trains will stop at SmartTrack stations at frequencies of every six to 10 minutes during peak periods, and every 15 minutes outside of that. But Perttula told reporters details aren’t yet finalized. “Metrolinx is still working through their service model, and we have not been given updated service plans,” he said.
And though Tory has pledged that transit users will pay a “TTC fare” to board at SmartTrack stations, Perttula said he was “not sure” what the fares will be. How much it will cost will likely be subject to the outcome of Metrolinx’s efforts to integrate the fare systems of transit agencies across the GTHA.
Perttula also said he had “no answer” for whether trains servicing SmartTrack stations will be capable of “through service” at Union Station. If not, trains on the eastern and western arms of the SmartTrack “U” would turn back at Union, which would leave no direct link between stops on the two halves of the city and likely depress ridership.
Perttula said that despite the unknowns, it is still worthwhile to consult the public about the proposed stations because many questions about design “apply to a station regardless of the specific ridership.”
He said the city expects to release a report in the spring about “how the various elements of SmartTrack are shaping up” and may “need to update some of our analysis depending on how these other pieces of puzzle come together.”
Last month Metrolinx placed one of the proposed new SmartTrack stations, Lawrence East, as well as the proposed Kirby GO station in Vaughan, under review. The move followed a Star investigation that revealed the ministry of transportation pressured the agency into approving both stops despite internal reports that recommended they not be built.
Metrolinx has said that if the review doesn’t determine the stations are warranted they won’t go ahead. The provincial auditor general is also investigating whether the stations provide good value for money.
The version of SmartTrack going to consultation this week is significantly less ambitious than the plan Tory made the central plank of his successful 2014 campaign.
He originally promised 13 new stations and a total of 22 stops, instead of six new stations and a total of 14 stops. His proposal to build a heavy rail link to the airport has since been replaced with a planned extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. He also pledged on the campaign trail to complete the project within seven years, but said Tuesday it would be done by the “early 2020s.”
Councillor Gord Perks said that the current plan was not what the mayor promised.
“It’s a little rich to refer to a handful of stations as ‘SmartTrack.’ The mayor promised 22 stations in seven years, with subway frequencies at TTC prices, and we’re not getting any of that,” said Perks, who is a frequent critic of the mayor.
Last November, council agreed to be responsible for all the costs of the six proposed SmartTrack stops. The price tag is estimated at about $1.3 billion.
Tory’s Smarttrack plan heads off for public input
The Toronto District School Board is completing a phase out of the word ‘chief’ from job titles, out of respect for Indigenous people.
Titles such as chief financial officer, chief academic officer and chief communications officer will see the word ‘chief’ removed and replaced with ‘manager’ or something similar. The changes include 12 chief positions in the professional support services department where the word manager is now used.
The work began a few years ago and is now concluding, TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said.
Dr. Duke Redbird, curator of Indigenous art and culture at the TDSB, said the change “fits with building a student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect — and that’s a quote from the Truth and Reconciliation (Commission) recommendations.” The commission was set up to examine the abuse suffered by aboriginal children in Canada’s former residential school system. Its final report made 94 recommendations.
Redbird said the TDSB move solves two problems. First, job titles will more clearly describe what the job actually entails.
Secondly, it respects the importance and recognizes the historical significance of the role of chief in Indigenous communities.
“And it helps in our own community, that these designated titles … are recognized for what they actually are — which are earned titles that you get through a democratic process of an election.”
The title of chief is earned and respected in the Indigenous community, Redbird said.
“The word has a lot of meaning to our people,” he said. “Whenever we talk about a person who is a chief, it’s an incredibly important position. One of the things that we have found in the past is that the word chief was used as a slang, pejorative word, describing anyone who happened to be of Indigenous background.”
When asked if he’d like to see the word chief switched out across the board, Redbird said the term is an English one.
“It belongs to the English language. It belongs to the settlers. We do not have a problem with their use of their word for what they want to describe in their communities. We are only grateful to the Toronto District School Board, that they saw that it could be used in a derogatory term against our students.”
Damien Lee, an assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, could not comment on the TDSB’s use of the word chief, but said the term carries “baggage.”
“It has been used as a pejorative,” Lee said. “Some people will use it in a kind of demeaning way.”
The term chief was not used by Indigenous peoples prior to colonization, he said.
It appears in the Indian Act, a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1876 meant “to get rid of Indigenous People,” Lee said.
Under the Indian Act, the term chief carries the weight of “being forced to adopt an alien form of governance.”
The Indian Act mandates that First Nations have a chief and council — a municipal style of government.
“Indigenous communities do have, and always have had and continue to have their own inherent governance systems that don’t really look like a municipal government,” Lee said.
Toronto District School Board phases out ‘chief’ titles
A Toronto man has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a gas attendant in North York in 2012.
Max Edwin Tutiven pleaded not guilty, but admitted at trial that he hit and dragged Jayesh Prajapati, 44, with his SUV after stealing $112.85 worth of gas from the North York Shell station Sept. 15, 2012. Tutiven said he never saw the gas attendant near his vehicle, and did not realize he had hit a person until a couple of days later.
Prajapati, 44, died in the hospital after Tutiven’s SUV dragged him down Roselawn Ave. for 78 metres. Prajapati’s body was then dislodged and Tutiven drove away.
Jurors heard closing arguments Friday and then deliberated for six hours Tuesday before reaching a guilty verdict.
“We are obviously very satisfied with the verdict the jury came back with,” said Toronto Homicide Det. Robert North outside the courthouse. “I thought we presented a very strong case against Mr. Tutiven. I am not overly surprised (of the verdict).”
Tutiven was charged with second-degree murder in Montreal in 2015. A second-degree murder charge indicates a killing is intended but not planned.
In his closing arguments, Tutiven’s defence lawyer Edward Sapiano urged the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter, not murder, indicating Tutivan had no intent to kill Prajapati.
Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan said in his closing argument that Tutiven’s testimony had been a “false narrative” — he saw Prajapati, felt the impact of hitting him and heard people yelling at him to stop.
Resident of a nearby apartment building, Trevor Bell, testified he could hear the sound of Prajapati being dragged in the wheels of the SUV from his 18th-floor unit.
Prajapati was a father and husband. A year after his death, his wife Vaishali Prajapati told the Star he was a caring man, who bathed and dressed her for a week when she broke her arm, played chess with their 12-year-old son every Sunday and worked six days a week.
Regulars from the public housing building across the street said he’d let them pay later for a jug of milk or loaf of bread if they were short cash.
Originally from India, he’d obtained his Canadian citizenship not long before he died.
Tutiven will be sentenced Nov. 1.
With files from Peter Goffin, Alyshah Hasham, Bryann Aguilar and Rosie DiManno.
Suspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murder
Toronto is eyeing private property in its quest to increase the urban tree canopy.
A report heading to the city's parks and environment committee next week will detail a possible expansion of the partnership between the city and Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), offering more free trees on private property. Funding would be submitted to future budget planning as part of the city's Tree Planting Strategy.
The non-profit has operated in the GTA for 20 years, helping municipalities, school boards and private individuals plant and take care of trees. But it was only last year that council approved a partial grant of $50,000 for LEAF to help with private property plantings, tree maintenance and educational outreach programs. The grant was increased to $100,000 in 2017.
“We've been running this program through small grants patched from here and there, so I'm really excited that there's the will on council to support efforts on private property for tree canopy,” said LEAF's executive director Janet McKay.
“Most municipalities are finding that private property offers the most potential in terms of new planting space,” she said, noting Toronto has done “a great job” of planting on public spaces through its street tree-planting programs.
Private properties such as backyards and greenspace at multi-unit residential buildings offer significant advantages, said McKay: There's more soil, fewer stresses from utilities overhead and underground and a lower chance of vandalism.
The city's goal is to achieve 40 per cent tree canopy, but the city's coverage currently stands at about 27 per cent.
In addition to providing free trees, McKay said a big part of the expansion would focus on caring for the existing tree population by providing residents with skills and information.
“We don't want to compromise quality for quantity,” she said. “We have a long way to go, but I think that protecting what we have is very important. We have an amazing amount of canopy already, and if we're losing that we won't necessarily be able to make it up with new planting.”
Toronto looks to expand tree planting on private properties
TORONTO—The union representing faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said in a news release late Tuesday that the date was set after the College Employer Council walked away from the bargaining table.
J.P. Hornick, the chairman of the OPSEU bargaining team, says the employer again refused to consider key issues in the ongoing dispute.
He says the goal of setting a strike deadline “is to get negotiations moving before it’s too late.”
OPSEU, which represents more than 12,000 employees in the college system, has said the key issues include giving faculty and students more of a voice in academic decisions and what it calls the “ongoing exploitation of contract faculty.”
Hornick says the employer “is not moving forward on the issues faculty care about most — even in the case of no-cost items like academic freedom or longer contracts for contract faculty.”
Faculty at Ontario colleges could go on strike on Monday
Sidney Crosby is a lucky guy. On Monday, the Stanley Cup champion told the CBC that he “grew up under the assumption” that politics “wasn’t something really bred into sports.” From his side of things, he told the broadcaster, “there’s absolutely no politics involved.” And why would there be? He quite literally has no skin in the game.
Like any white person who shares Crosby’s “side of things” and whose government does not devalue his life on account of the colour of his skin, he has the luxury of regarding politics as a force too far away to complicate his day to day.
It was this luxury, presumably, that led the NHL captain to visit Donald Trump’s White House for a photo op on Tuesday alongside his teammates: the Stanley Cup championship-winning Pittsburgh Penguins. It was this luxury that enabled him to smile and shake hands with a U.S. president who recently asserted that “very fine people” existed on both sides of the summertime march in Charlottesville, Va., where neo-Nazis walked unmasked and triumphant down a city street and a 32-year-old woman died at the hands of one of them. (Very fine people indeed.)
It’s this luxury that allows clueless white people to frame political indifference as a virtue akin to modesty. But not everyone has the luxury of standing guilt-free, quiet and “virtuous” behind this president. Among them, Black and brown athletes who are not, contrary to alt-right belief, rendered immune to racism because they are rich. LeBron James (a vocal critic of the president) may live in a mansion, but as he put it to the media shortly after that mansion was defaced with a racist slur in June, “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being Black in America is tough.”
Being Black was tough too for the more than 400 hockey players who comprised the Coloured Hockey League in Crosby’s home province of Nova Scotia from 1895 to 1930. CHL players did not have the privilege of political indifference when their league disbanded due to a number of factors, racism included. Later the government would demolish Africville, the African-Canadian village in Halifax, in which many of the league’s members lived and played.
Apathetic white people who groan when athletes of colour get political, or who suggest as Crosby did that politics and sports do not mix, are in need of a reminder that for most, political activism isn’t a choice or a hobby. People don’t usually consider it fun or interesting to put their jobs on the line to speak out against a bigger power. The marginalized do not go looking for politics. It seeks them out. In this context, it sought them out when the President of the United States openly flirted with a racist ideology that would very much like to destroy them.
There is an argument, quite popular among Sidney Crosby fans at the moment, which alleges that Crosby had no business rejecting an invitation to visit the White House because like many of his teammates, he is Canadian. These fans ask: Why should a Canadian kneel in protest of a foreign leader or refuse to extend a hand to one? But to suggest that the actions of the President of the United States, in this case a volatile president who appears to possess both the maturity of an 8-year-old (he recently challenged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ test) and access to nuclear weapons, has no bearing on the life of a Canadian or anybody who lives on this planet is absurd. Trump’s presidency will have bearing on all of us. Therefore the responsibility to speak out against it falls to all of us.
And history will not look kindly on the hockey players who shirked that responsibility when they strolled into the White House on Tuesday in their Sunday best, and grinned behind the 45th president of the United States.
“Everybody wanted to be here today,” Trump said about the Pittsburgh Penguins when the press conference began. Whether or not this is true, they were there. And that’s a shame.
Emma Teitel is a national affairs columnist.
Crosby, Penguins enjoy luxury of political indifference at White House: Teitel
SALT LAKE CITY—A Utah police officer was fired Tuesday after being seen on video roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw in an incident that became a flashpoint in the national conversation about use of force.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown made the decision to fire Detective Jeff Payne after an internal investigation found he violated department policies when he arrested nurse Alex Wubbels and dragged her screaming from the hospital, department spokesperson Sgt. Brandon Shearer said.
Brown said in a disciplinary letter that he was “deeply troubled” by Payne’s conduct, which he described as “inappropriate, unreasonable, unwarranted, discourteous, disrespectful” and said brought “significant disrepute” on the department.
“You demonstrated extremely poor professional judgment (especially for an officer with 27 years of experience), which calls into question your ability to effectively serve the public and the department,” Brown wrote.
Attorney Greg Skordas, who represents Payne, said his client plans to appeal a firing he considers unfair and over the top. Skordas said Payne would still be employed if the body camera footage hadn’t generated so much attention and blown the events out of proportion.
Payne’s supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, was demoted to officer. His lawyer, Ed Brass, couldn’t immediately be reached.
Tracy made an impulsive decision in ordering Payne to arrest Wubbels without first taking time to understand the facts of the situation and the law, Brown wrote in his disciplinary letter.
He said the order created chaos and unnecessarily escalated the situation.
“Your lack of judgment and leadership in this matter is unacceptable, and as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the department,” Brown said.
The letter said Wubbels told investigators that Tracy minimized her concerns, intimidated and lectured her, and made her feel like she was to blame for the events.
The Associated Press obtained the disciplinary letters for Payne and Tracy through a public records request.
Wubbels’ attorney, Karra Porter, said they are pleased that Brown took action and recognized that the officers made crucial mistakes that have eroded public trust. Porter said she hopes the events are a catalyst to more public conversations about appropriate police behaviour.
The case shows the vital importance of officers wearing body cameras and making those videos available to the public, Porter said.
“Without the body camera footage, it would have been a she-said, they-said,” Porter said. “Alex feels very strongly that her story would have never been told if it weren’t for the body camera footage.”
Asked about a potential lawsuit, Porter said she expects to meet soon with city officials to discuss next steps that could include settlement talks.
The officers have five business days to appeal the decisions by the chief.
The case received widespread attention after police body-camera video was released by Wubbels and her lawyer in late August.
The video showed her explaining that hospital policy required a warrant or formal consent to draw blood from the patient who had been injured in a car crash.
The patient wasn’t suspected of wrongdoing. He was an off-duty reserve Idaho police officer driving a semi-trailer when he was hit by a man fleeing police in a pickup truck.
Payne nevertheless insisted on the blood draw, saying the evidence would protect the man.
Payne told Wubbels his supervisor said he should arrest her if she didn’t allow the draw. Wubbels was later freed from the handcuffs and has not been charged.
Both officers were investigated and placed on paid administrative leave after the video became public. Salt Lake City police apologized and changed their policies.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, opened a criminal investigation into the arrest and asked the FBI to determine if there were any civil rights violations.
Payne was also fired from a part-time job as a paramedic after he was caught on camera saying he’d take transient patients to the University of Utah hospital where Wubbels worked and transport “good patients” elsewhere.
Payne had previously been disciplined in 2013 after internal-affairs investigators confirmed that he sexually harassed a female co-worker in a “persistent and severe” way.
His tenure also brought commendations for solving burglary cases and being shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop in 1998.
Tracy, meanwhile, earned commendations for drug and burglary investigations.
Utah officer who handcuffed nurse in video after she refused to draw blood is fired
WASHINGTON—U. S. President Donald Trump’s administration is making such unrealistic North American Free Trade Agreement demands that the negotiation is at risk of implosion, trade experts and the top American business lobby group are warning.
As Canadian and Mexican negotiators join Trump’s team near Washington on Wednesday to begin a critical fourth round of talks, their work is surrounded by growing transcontinental pessimism about the chances of reaching a revised deal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to emphasize the importance of the bilateral economic relationship, and the benefits of the trilateral agreement, when he meets with Trump at the White House on Wednesday. Trump, though, has greeted him with another threat, telling Forbes magazine that “NAFTA will have to be terminated if we’re going to make it good.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland declined Tuesday to speculate on the future of NAFTA or discuss Trump directly. But asked at a Washington event about a Republican senator’s claim that Trump’s recklessness threatens “World War III,” Freeland said: “I think that this is probably the most uncertain moment in international relations since the end of the Second World War.”
Canadian officials have brushed off Trump’s rhetoric as negotiating bluster. Experts, however, say his professed disdain for the deal is being reflected in his negotiators’ actions to far — delaying the introduction of important proposals, then putting forth proposals obviously untenable to Canada and Mexico.
The most important American complaint to date came Tuesday from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Republican-leaning business lobby. Speaking in Mexico City, president Thomas Donohue said he had no choice but to “ring the alarm bells” about “unnecessary and unacceptable” proposals from the U.S. side.
“Heading into the negotiations, you could say that our strategy has been to speak softly and give the administration every opportunity, all the support, and just enough pressure to do the right thing. We’ve done that. We’ve been patient, cool-headed, and constructive. But let me be forceful and direct. There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal,” Donohue said.
The proposals Donohue mentioned are among the ones that have caused consternation in the Canadian and Mexican governments. They include:
Some of the U.S. proposals have not yet been put on the negotiating table. Trump’s team is expected to use this round — which runs Wednesday to next Tuesday (prolonged from the originally scheduled five days) at a hotel in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va. — to offer its first official ideas on contentious topics like the “rules of origin” for cars.
Lawrence Herman, a trade lawyer in Canada, said “most of the people I talk to are expecting that we may be very close to the precipice this week.” The problem, he said, is the posture expected to be taken by Trump’s team in service of his campaign promise to radically transform the agreement.
Trump ran on an “America First” platform of economic nationalism and protectionism. As recently as August, he described NAFTA as the “worst trade deal ever made.” Herman said Trump’s public comments make it politically impossible for him to proclaim victory without being able to hold up major changes.
“He basically wants Canada and Mexico to cave in on all his outrageous demands. And that is not going to happen,” Herman said.
Bob Fisher, a U.S. negotiator for the original NAFTA talks and now managing director of Washington trade consulting firm Hills and Co., put the chances of success at “50-50.”
A key question, Fisher said, is whether rumoured hard-line U.S. proposals are actual “red lines” or mere opening positions that are subject to negotiation.
“I think it’s very clear that there are some people in the administration who would like to terminate the deal. I think there are some people who might view beginning the process of termination as one of several negotiating tactics they might use,” he said.
Trudeau is scheduled to meet Wednesday not only with Trump but with the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. The committee would play a significant role in the event that a new agreement was indeed reached and had to be ratified by Congress — or, alternately, in the event that Trump actually announced his intention to withdraw from the current agreement.
If Trump settles on withdrawal, there would be a mandatory six-month waiting period. Beyond that, there is no consensus on what would happen. Some experts believe Trump could act unilaterally, but others believe Congress would have to pass a law to rescind an agreement Congress approved in 1993.
As he hinted to Forbes magazine in the interview published Tuesday, Trump could try to initiate the withdrawal process to increase pressure on the other two countries. Mexico, however, has said it will leave the negotiating table rather than talk under such conditions.
Donald Trump’s ‘outrageous’ demands put NAFTA negotiations at risk of collapse, experts say
Things are looking up for Harvey Weinstein.
You could say the slew of sexual harassment accusations against him reported in the New York Times last week had placed this blindingly high wattage Hollywood producer on the path to qualifying for the United States presidency.
On Tuesday morning, he moved a few notches up on the predato-meter — from Donald Trump to Bill Cosby, after the New Yorker magazine published its own bombshell 10-month investigation revealing three allegations of rape among the 13 accusations of sexual misconduct, allegations that a representative for Weinstein denied.
Oh, he was better than Cosby, though. Or so he thought. In the New Yorker, Weinstein’s temporary front-desk assistant Emily Nestor says that on her second day at work, after she rejected his advances, Weinstein told her he’d “never had to do anything like Bill Cosby” by which “she assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman” to coerce them, setting a strangely low bar for consent.
As the floodgates opened, by Tuesday, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were among those who alleged misconduct.
Yet the now growing condemnation of Weinstein has been shamefully slow to arrive. The New York Times investigation was released Oct. 5. Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company Oct. 8. It was only by Oct. 9 — a.k.a. a lifetime in a Hollywood news cycle — that major stars began their condemnation; presumably they had now deemed it safe enough to do so.
The man who, a survey found, was thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches more frequently than God, must be puzzled by the A-listers distancing themselves from him, by the company that sacked him when he was doing exactly what he had always done. There’s nothing particularly novel about the casting couch phenomenon.
“We’ve normalized this bad behaviour and we rationalize it because ‘look at the great contributions these guys are making,’” author Mark Lipton told the Los Angeles Times. He interviewed several of Weinstein’s employees for his book, Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man.
So let’s be clear here. Weinstein hasn’t lost out because he did wrong. He is being shunned because he was found out.
Being somewhat discreet gave others licence to fete him as a genius. Exposed, he became a liability.
His alleged behaviour may have flourished in an era when few dared to speak out, but it continued to be endured even as societal intolerance of sexual misconduct grew. Witness the reaction that followed Trump’s crassness caught on tape, or the outrage that followed sexual misconduct allegations at Fox News that felled CEO Roger Ailes and anchor-in-chief Bill O’Reilly.
I shudder to think how many more such toxic power dynamics continue to flourish.
On Monday, Meryl Streep called Weinstein’s behaviour “inexcusable,” but that “not everybody knew.”
“If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it,” she told HuffPost.
Yet, French actress Emma de Caunes told the New Yorker, “I know that everybody — I mean everybody — in Hollywood knows that it’s happening.”
And the New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow wrote, “previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few women were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories.”
George Clooney said he had heard rumours but thought they “seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumours with a grain of salt,” he told the Daily Beast.
Jessica Chastain said on Twitter, “I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again.”
Men can have the privilege of distance. They can treat sexual misconduct rumours as gossip, innocuous word play, a sideshow with minimal impact on their lives or careers. For women, particularly those just launching their careers, it’s about the risk of bodily harm, emotional trauma and risk to financial freedom.
Whom can they turn to for support? The Weinstein Company’s human resources? Dear HR boss: I need you to tell off the man whose money pays your mortgage and feeds your family.
Paltrow — raised in a Hollywood family — was lucky to be able to turn to Brad Pitt for support after rejecting Weinstein’s advances. (Pitt asked Weinstein to lay off, the New York Times reported Tuesday.) If the film industry was truly a family as Hollywood types refer to it, vulnerable young women asked to trade sex for work, too, would be able to lean on established veterans such as, say, a Streep or Clooney.
That doesn’t appear to be happening.
It’s time for Hollywood to support an independent arms-length professional body with specialists in sexual harassment — and journalists. Yes, journalists.
While the agency would offer free counsel for women reporting sexual misbehaviour, their reports would be investigated by the journalists. Those that pass the journalistic sniff test — they are defensible against libel — would be published on the agency’s website.
I first came across this journalistic aspect to justice in an opinion piece in the New York Times last summer about bringing rapists to justice.
In it the writer says, “It is time to accept that the criminal justice system may never be capable of providing justice for the vast majority of sexual assaults.”
Given recent developments, it’s also time to accept that film industry networks are inadequate to the task of protecting women’s workplace rights in Hollywood.
The show must go on, but without systemic supports in place, it can only be a diminished one.
Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar
Harvey Weinstein being shunned not for wrongdoing, but for getting caught: Paradkar
Once a titan of Canadian retail, Sears Canada announced Tuesday that it is going out of business, putting 12,000 people out of work and shuttering all operations nationwide.
Among the first to lose their jobs will be most of the 800 people at head office near Dundas Square, who will be let go next week. Liquidation sales at stores are scheduled to begin Oct. 19 and to take 10 to 14 weeks.
The chain was forced into closure after a bid by executive chairman Brandon Stranzl to save the company was unsuccessful.
“Following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction for the company to continue as a going concern was received,” according to a press release from the company issued Tuesday.
“The Company deeply regrets this pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures.”
Stranzl was not available for comment on Tuesday.
The shutdown will not affect parts of the business that have been approved for sale since Sears sought creditor protection on June 22: SLH Transports, a standalone trucking and logistics company that services Sears Canada, will continue under new ownership, as will Corbeil Electrique and certain of the Sears Canada Home Improvement brands.
Sears Canada has already closed 59 stores and announced the closure of another 11, including stores at Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre, since obtaining protection from creditors in June. It will be seeking court approval on Friday to liquidate all its remaining assets.
According to an insider, the Stranzl deal would have saved thousands of jobs and offered relief to landlords, suppliers and consumers holding warranties. It also had financial backing.
About three-quarters of the 12,000 employees are part-time.
Employees were informed prior to the press release being issued, according to an insider.
Sears Canada going out of business, laying off 12,000
WASHINGTON—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked politely about U.S. President Donald Trump and talked up gender equality at the first event of his second official trip to Trump’s Washington.
Interviewed onstage Tuesday night at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Trudeau stuck to his usual script for discussing the president he will meet with on Wednesday: avoid controversy, emphasize common ground.
Asked how he thinks about talking to Trump versus other world leaders, Trudeau said his method is “always consistent” — “look for areas of agreement.” He said he and Trump differ on some issues but were elected on similar promises to make life better for the middle class.
“I have conversations with the president every few weeks on any number of things,” he said.
Trudeau did make a joke about his desire to avoid talking about the president in public. Asked, as usual, about his creative socks, he crowed that he had just “used up” five seconds of a Trump conversation.
One of Trudeau’s answers underscored the vast personality gulf between the two leaders. Asked what he had learned from his father, late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, he said, “To trust people.” One of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr., has said that Trump repeatedly told him as a child, “Never trust anybody.”
Trudeau promoted his government’s proposal to include a chapter on gender in a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. When interviewer Pattie Sellers asked what such a chapter would mean, he said, “It means recognizing that trade has different impacts on women that it does on men.”
He spoke of the importance of retaining, not merely recruiting, female politicians. Asked about advice for the female high school students from Washington who were in attendance, he encouraged them to persevere even though they will have to fight battles their male classmates do not.
After the interview, Trudeau spoke to each of the 30-odd students seated at a centre table in the National Portrait Gallery courtyard, getting down on one knee to talk to many of them as they sat. Some of the students appeared overcome with emotion.
“It’s overwhelming. But he makes it real comfortable, so it’s easy to talk to him,” said Akhayla Reynolds, 16.
Trudeau’s talk at the event was the original reason for his Washington visit, his office said. His meeting with Trump was added later.
“I was in town for this, just so you know,” he said, to laughter and applause, when Sellers first asked about the meeting.
Trudeau is also scheduled to participate Wednesday morning in a discussion on gender equality. He will be joined by his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
He will then speak to the members of the powerful House of Representatives ways and means committee, which has significant influence over trade, before meeting with Trump at the White House around 2 p.m.
Trudeau talks gender equality (and a little about Trump) at Washington summit
The Ontario government will commit $1 million in funding to assist Ontario miners who believe years of exposure to toxic aluminum dust left them with debilitating neurological diseases, the Star has learned
The Ministry of Labour is expected to announce Wednesday that it will finance the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to assess miners exposed to the substance known as McIntyre Powder establish whether their health conditions are linked to its use, and make compensation claims for work-related illnesses where possible.
But miners who already made claims under previous guidelines will not be eligible to have their cases reopened.
As previously reported by the Star, thousands of miners across northern Ontario’s gold and uranium mines were routinely forced to inhale the powder, which was sold as a miracle antidote to lung disease. Historical documents suggest it was created by industry-sponsored Canadian scientists bent on slashing compensation costs caused by illnesses like silicosis.
Some workers have since claimed they were treated as “guinea pigs” in a human experiment aimed at cutting company costs.
“When you tell people in today’s context and the workplace protections that we now have, it seems pretty unbelievable that this happened,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in an interview with the Star.
“What workers didn’t have before is somebody to help them through the system and that’s where the approval of the funding (comes in).”
The issue has been championed by Janice Martell, whose own father, a former miner exposed to the dust, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He died from the disease in May.
Martell said she is pleased about the $1 million in new funding, although it is half what was originally requested by OHCOW.
“It’s been frustrating the length of time it took to get here, and we’ve lost so many miners in between, but I’m grateful it’s finally here,” she told the Star.
Until recently, potential victims were unable to make successful claims at the province’s worker compensation board because of a policy formed in 1993 that said insufficient evidence existed linking aluminum exposure to neurological disease.
Martell said she is “livid” that the board has told her it will not reconsider compensation claims lodged before the policy was rescinded — including her own father’s claim.
Martell said she has spent more than $10,000 of her own money to research and raise awareness about McIntyre Powder.
“Why should it fall on us? I changed my whole life around. I quit my job to fight for this,” she said.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board spokesperson Christine Arnott said its focus is on “finding answers for people.”
“That’s why we have commissioned scientific research to look specifically at McIntyre Powder and any connection to neurological disease,” she said. “Unfortunately, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to date.”
Of the 397 former miners who have contacted Martell, around one-third suffered from a neurological disorder — and she says 14 have developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative and incurable condition, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that slowly kills the ability to swallow, speak and breathe.
In Ontario, the prevalence of motor neuron disease, which includes ALS, is estimated at less than one in a thousand people.
Research conducted in the United Kingdom found “strong evidence” linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease when absorbed into the blood stream.
In August, the WSIB announced it would rescind its policy and commission an independent study to assess the development of neurological conditions resulting from exposure to McIntyre Powder, which was used extensively between 1943 and 1980.
Now that the policy has been reversed, the new funding will help workers build the necessary evidence to back up potential claims.
“We’re obviously very pleased with this opportunity to intensify our efforts on behalf of the exposed miners,” said Dave Wilken, OHCOW’s chief operating officer. “We will do whatever we can to ensure that they get the answers they deserve.”
Flynn said OHCOW would provide vital support for workers who were exposed to potentially harmful substances for years, often without their knowledge.
“It’s not just statistics, it’s not just chemistry,” said Flynn. “It’s real people who have real lives.”
Martell says that’s why she hopes to see more robust measures to prevent and address occupational illness in Ontario.
“McIntyre Powder was swept under the carpet for years and years,” she said.
“I’m grateful my father allowed himself to be shown in a vulnerable light so that other people could benefit from the brutal realities of occupational disease.”
Ontario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dust