Canada Newswatch

The CKA Canada Newswatch is a companion to our in-house Canada News system.
The Newswatch is a collection of various Canadian news feeds in one convenient location.


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Daily Canada Newswatch

Submit News to CKA News Flash flood forces evacuation of some Kamloops homes
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:38:55 Z
Torrential rains falling during a late-afternoon thunderstorm in Kamloops have led to flooding and forced the evacuation of at least 17 people from a trailer park.
Submit News to CKA News Central B.C. runs risk of more forest fires with thunderstorm watch
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:38:30 Z
Central British Columbia is running the risk of more forest fires overnight Tuesday with a thunderstorm watch in the area.
Submit News to CKA News Shooting, near-fatal stabbing mark night of violence in Surrey
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:21:52 Z
Surrey RCMP is investigating another shooting and a near-fatal stabbing in which the victim is refusing to cooperate with police.
Submit News to CKA News CTV News' Dr. Marla Shapiro named to Order of Canada
Wed, 1 Jul 2015 01:10:33 -0400
Dr. Marla Shapiro has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions as a family physician and trusted source of health information.
Submit News to CKA News Eurozone ministers to weigh Greece's latest bid for aid
Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:45:49 -0400
Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday, hours after the country's international bailout expired without a deal, cutting it off from vital financing and deepening fears over whether it will be able to remain in the eurozone.
Submit News to CKA News Annual Order of Canada honours actors, authors and electronic pioneer - CTV News
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:32:00 GMT

CTV News

Annual Order of Canada honours actors, authors and electronic pioneer
CTV News
OTTAWA - The man who helped create the BlackBerry, the female CEOs of two provincial public broadcasters, a noted First Nations actor and a former Olympic medallist are among the Canadians being appointed to the Order of Canada. Rideau Hall's ...
List of appointees to Order of CanadaMetroNews Canada

all 10 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Annual Order of Canada honours actors, authors and electronic pioneer
Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:32:00 -0400
The man who helped create the BlackBerry, the female CEOs of two provincial public broadcasters, a noted First Nations actor and a former Olympic medallist are among the Canadians being appointed to the Order of Canada.
Submit News to CKA News Authorities investigate fourth threat to Canadian flight in a week - Toronto Sun
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:13:35 GMT

Toronto Sun

Authorities investigate fourth threat to Canadian flight in a week
Toronto Sun
WestJet has received another threat just as police were trying to determine if three previous threats to Canadian flights in one week were related. The airline said late Tuesday that it had received a bomb threat for Flight WS323 from Toronto to Saskatoon.
Bomb threat reported on Saskatoon-bound WestJet flightCBC.ca
Third WestJet flight diverted due to bomb threat, lands in SaskatoonCTV News
Another WestJet flight receives a bomb threat, lands in SaskatoonThe Globe and Mail
Toronto Star -Globalnews.ca -iNews880.com
all 38 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Speaking with some of the 2015 Order of Canada honourees
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400
Wayne Chiu, Lawrence Hill, Bonnie Schmidt and Donna Soble Kaufman discuss their biggest achievements and the goals still ahead
Submit News to CKA News Order of Canada: Full list of 2015 promotions and additions
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400
Here is a list of the latest additions and promotions in the Order of Canada
Submit News to CKA News Doctor who opposed thalidomide in U.S. named to Order of Canada
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400
Frances Oldham Kelsey refused to approve the drug for use in the United States more than 50 years ago. Now, the Canadian doctor will be lauded at home
Submit News to CKA News Barb Turnbull named to Order of Canada
Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:00:00 EDT

An achingly sad notation distinguishes her name from all others on the list of 87 newly minted Order of Canada members announced Wednesday:

Barbara Turnbull C.M. (deceased).

Though she did not know it, Turnbull received her appointment to the country’s highest accolade just two days before her death May 10 from complications due to pneumonia. She was 50.

The long-time Toronto Star reporter and tireless advocate for spinal cord research was an immensely proud Canadian who would have been humbled by the honour, her sister Lynn Turnbull says.

Turnbull was left a quadriplegic at 18 after she was shot in the neck during a 1983 convenience store robbery in Mississauga — a cowardly crime that still haunts many in that city and the wider GTA.

But she always shunned the ample praise and adulation she received for the brave and graceful way she coped with her injuries, her sister says.

“She hated it when people called her courageous because she didn’t think that she had a choice about living with a disability. She had to live,” Lynn Turnbull says.

“So she wouldn’t have wanted any external validation for being disabled, but I think that she would have been really honoured — really honoured —because it (the appointment) wasn’t about what happened to her but more about the work she did as a Canadian.”

That work included the establishment of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund studies into neurological injuries and ailments.

Since 2001, the foundation has, among other things, given out an annual award of $50,000 to top international researchers to help advance their groundbreaking work in the field.

Turnbull was also a vocal and prolific advocate for organ donations and accessibility for the disabled.

“And I think she would have felt just fine for being (honoured) for all of that because she just felt so strongly about giving back,” her sister says.

Dr. Charles Tator, the Toronto neurosurgeon who operated on Turnbull after she was shot, called her “the bravest person” he’d ever known.

And her efforts for spinal cord research made her fully deserving of this country’s premier accolade, says Tator, who became a close friend and helped nominate Turnbull for the Order recognition several years ago.

“She contributed enormously to Canada and now Canada is returning the favor,” Tator says.

“And I said in my letter of nomination that I can’t think of anyone who would be more worthy than Barbara Turnbull to be recognized by the country.”

In all, Governor General David Johnson announced 100 new Order appointments, including two elevations to Companion status and 11 new Officers.

Among the new Companions is former Ontario premier Bob Rae, who was cited for his contributions to public life and for strengthening ties between native and non-native Canadians.

Other Toronto recipients include:

Companions of the Order of Canada

Janet Rossant

Officers of the Order of Canada

Sandra Black

Stephen Cook

Daniel J. Drucker

Mary Gospodarowicz Evans

Allen Linden

James Thomas Rutka

Stephen Toope

Members of the Order of Canada

Aubie Angel

Pat Capponi

Lisa de Wilde

Jacques Israelievitch

Donna Soble Kaufman

Jay Keystone

Douglas Knight

Julia Koschitzky

Johann Olav Koss

Judy Loman

Lynn McDonald

John Wilson Morden

Fiona Nelson

Vivian Morris Rakoff

John Carman Ricker

Fran Rider

Marla Shapiro

Don Tapscott

Morley Torgov

V. Prem Watsa

Martin Yaffe

Phyllis Yaffe

Submit News to CKA News Authorities investigate fourth threat to Canadian flight in a week
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:39:34 -0400

SASKATOON -- Another bomb threat has been made against a WestJet flight.
Submit News to CKA News Another WestJet flight receives threat, forced to land in Saskatoon
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:25:55 -0400
Another WestJet flight was diverted Monday night due to an unspecified threat
Submit News to CKA News Flash flood forces evacuations in Kamloops - CTV News
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:57:17 GMT

CTV News

Flash flood forces evacuations in Kamloops
CTV News
Severe rainfall triggered flash flooding in Kamloops Tuesday afternoon, forcing residents of a local trailer park out of their homes. The rain, which was falling so hard at one point it was setting off car alarms, flooded streets and left up to three ...
Flash flooding in Kamloops forces evacuation of 60 homesCBC.ca
Flash flood forces evacuation of some Kamloops homesVancouver Sun
Flash flood forces evacuation of Kamloops homes; reception centre openedThe Province
KamloopsBCNow -Times Colonist -InfoTel News Ltd
all 16 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News June a deadly month on Ontario?s highways, OPP says
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:54:20 EDT

More than one person was killed every day last month on Ontario Provincial Police patrolled highways, making it one of the deadliest Junes in years.

Deputy commissioner Brad Blair, provincial commander for the OPP’s Traffic Safety and Operational Support, said 38 people — 26 men and 12 women — were killed, compared to 17 in May. He said the numbers are both shocking and tragic.

“That is the largest month over month jump since June-July 2010,” he told the Star Tuesday.

Almost all were either 19 years and under, or 55 and older, and a majority had speed and inattentive driving as a contributing factor.

Blair said what is particularly alarming is the number of multiple fatalities, adding he couldn’t even find a comparison month.

“There were two triples and four doubles . . . in six collisions you’ve got 14 killed,” he said, noting these accidents happened in Dufferin and Lanark counties and Midland area.

For the most part, Blair said they were crossover head-on collisions and motorists losing control after hitting the shoulder and over correcting, “which both speak to inattentive driving from our perspective and speed is also a factor in these collisions.”

Of the multiple fatalities many were families. One was a mother and two sons, while another was a husband and wife.

“This has huge impact on families . . . it is heartbreaking. I have seen the collision scene photos and I can say that I haven’t seen anything so horrific as those recently,” the deputy commissioner said.

Blair prays the carnage does not continue — given that it is only the start of the summer — and urges motorists to slow down and watch the road.

“We are hoping that by people paying attention to this reality . . . that this trend stops. It is in their control in terms of their driving behaviour. This isn’t just about looking after themselves, this is about looking after everyone else who is sharing the roadway,” he said.

Even with the spike in June, Blair said, the death toll so far this year compared to the same period last year is 130. Deadly crashes on provincial highways have gone down steadily since the early 2000s, when there were 450 and more killed in one year.

Blair says his message to motorists is that when they see dangerous or reckless driving that they call the OPP.

“Just call in because not only could you be saving that person’s life, you could be saving the lives of innocent people,” he said.

Submit News to CKA News Executive committee gives a thumbs-up to expanded Woodbine gaming
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:54:00 EDT

In a late evening decision, the city’s executive committee has voted 10-3 to back a staff report recommending expanded gambling at Woodbine Racetrack, as long as the right conditions are met.

“I am confident that this is going to serve as a catalyst to bring jobs” to northwest Toronto, Mayor John Tory (open John Tory's policard) said earlier in the day at city hall.

The move to approve more gambling in Rexdale has come with much less controversy than the downtown casino debate of two years ago. However, the proposal will garner much stiffer opposition when it comes to full city council for the next stage of approval.

Also Tuesday, the committee unanimously passed an interim poverty reduction strategy report and a report calling for the merger of three city-owned theatres, the Sony Centre, St. Lawrence Centre and Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Submit News to CKA News Vancouver activist Mira Oreck to seek NDP nomination in Vancouver Granville
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:40:49 Z
Longtime Vancouver activist Mira Oreck announced Tuesday that she will seek the NDP nomination in the new Vancouver Granville riding.
Submit News to CKA News Thomas Mulcair just one of many recent federal politicians to have switched political allegiances
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:39:33 Z
Here are some other prominent politicians who’ve switched their political colours over time for what they argued were philosophical reasons
Submit News to CKA News Thomas Mulcair just one of many recent federal politicians to have switched political allegiances
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:39:32 +0000
Here are some other prominent politicians who?ve switched their political colours over time for what they argued were philosophical reasons
Submit News to CKA News Biker's GoPro catches him weaving through Delta traffic at 200 km/hr (with video)
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:36:32 Z
Video of a reckless motorcycle ride that exceeded 200 km/hr on the Pacific Highway has been released by Delta Police.
Submit News to CKA News Marco Estrada roughed up as Red Sox edge Blue Jays: Griffin
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:25:06 EDT

This was not exactly the follow-up performance Marco Estrada had been dreaming of as he returned to the Rogers Centre following two brilliant starts in which he carried consecutive no-hitters into the eighth inning.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled with command and control on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox in a 4-3 loss. It was the Blue Jays’ second defeat in a row against Boston.

The Jays hung around for the final six innings and scared the Red Sox, who still must remember the 8-1 lead they surrendered to Toronto back at Fenway Park. But a two-run blast by Jose Reyes in the seventh only narrowed the deficit to one-run. Reyes batted right-handed against lefty Tommy Layne. It was his first homer against a left-hander since July 8, 2014, off Tyler Skaggs.

Estrada trailed 2-0 in the first without allowing a hit. Second baseman Devon Travis booted a grounder to his right by Mookie Betts, then Estrada issued four walk — two with the bases-loaded — surrounding two deep fly balls. The wildness scored a pair of unearned runs, but runs nonetheless. He was already 38 pitches into the contest entering the second when Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a homer to right. David Ortiz then homered leading off the third and two batters later, Estrada was gone.

Somewhere in between results lies the truth about Estrada’s capabilities as a starting pitcher.

“As soon as the game started, I just wasn’t making pitches, that’s all,” Estrada said. “I know these things are going to happen, but I still have to battle through it. Unfortunately I didn’t give the team a chance to win. I left early, something no starter ever wants to do. I wish I just could have given them some innings, but I struggled, couldn’t locate anything. It’s just a bad day.”

In the meantime, the Jays have a decision to make regarding the immediate future of the injured Aaron Sanchez. He throws his first side session from a mound on Wednesday and is slated for a second bullpen on Saturday, both at Dunedin. The decision that needs to be made is whether to bring him back sooner rather than later, return him as a reliever rather than a starter, try him in a role he filled so well last year or the role he was emerging into as a star this year before pulling a right side lat.

Those are questions regarding Sanchez’s immediate — not long-term — role that can only be answered in the next 31 days by GM Alex Anthopoulos between now and the trade deadline. If the Jays obtain a starter, then manager John Gibbons believes Sanchez can be a key bullpen pitcher.

“Definitely,” Gibbons said. “I say that now because of the injuries he’s got. I really loved what he was doing when he was starting. He was picking up steam. He was moving in the right direction. He was turning into a dominating pitcher.

“But this little setback, now we’ve got to build him up. And, you know, we’ve looked at the ’pen. So you know we’ve got to make it stronger. We like the way it’s starting to shape up, but you can always make it stronger. And he’s a guy we definitely think can do that.”

At the moment, Roberto Osuna is the Jays’ de facto closer, filling virtually the same role Sanchez did over the final two months of 2014 after being called up in late July. Gibbons is not reluctant to use Osuna for more than three outs in save situations, then will give him a game off to recuperate. Right now, the second man in the ninth is Steve Delabar. Sanchez would be an upgrade.

“That would make us that much stronger down there,” Gibbons suggested. “You can move back everybody down and I think it would help us if somebody needs a breather that night, you’d still have a lot of guys you could go to. That’s where (bullpen) depth out there is so important.”

The Jays’ bullpen is in a better place than it has been all season — except in those gap games in which Osuna is not available. With Sanchez and Osuna serving in the ninth, it would give the Jays a choice of Delabar, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Liam Hendriks and the surprising Bo Schultz.

“You get on a stretch and you’re playing a lot of tight games, the bullpen gets used a lot. Then some nights they can’t pitch. Okay, and you’re running in one of those tight games again, you still want some guys to be able to come through for you,” Gibbons said. “If you’re winning games, and hopefully we can from where we’re at, if a team’s winning in the big leagues, bullpens get used. When you’re not winning it’s different. You can rest those guys more, but good teams, winning teams, those guys get used a lot.”

But for any of this to happen, for Sanchez to be a reliever, Anthopoulos has to go out and find another starter before the deadline. That is likely the plan and likely why he told MLB Radio 10 days ago that at this point, his priority was starting pitching.

Gibbons doesn’t believe it has to be a rent-an-ace situation. He suggests there aren’t that many out there anyway. The GM needs to find a starter to go out every fifth day deep into games and keep the Jays in games. They have Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison and Estrada.

“Whoever it might be, if you get him and he makes us better, you get him,” the manager said. “Then you adjust off that, whether it’s the ’pen, rotation or vice-versa. But every team’s looking at that. I agree. Everybody’s got to improve, really. If you think you’re in the thing, you always try to improve.”

The Jays host the Red Sox in a matinee on Canada Day, with super-patriot and hockey icon Don Cherry throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Submit News to CKA News Ottawa councillor charged taxpayers $300 for protein powder
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:20:36 -0400

Just because you can do something, it doesn't always mean you should.
Submit News to CKA News Amateur historian fights in vain to correct the record on historic Macdonald home
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:41:38 -0400
Bernard Dionne is trying to correct the 74-year-old plaque before it?s replaced with a new plaque next month ? likely to repeat the same thing for another 70 years
Submit News to CKA News Why Canada matters and why we love it - Toronto Sun
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:38:35 GMT

Toronto Sun

Why Canada matters and why we love it
Toronto Sun
For all our problems, it still comes down to this: Is there any country you'd rather live in on this, Canada's 148th birthday? Indeed, that's one of the great things about our country compared to so much of the world, where freedom has died. If you don ...
With Canada PM job now in reach, 'Angry Tom' reins in temperDAWN.com
Front-runner Mulcair is now the target of scrutinyThe Globe and Mail
A look at politicians who've changed their ideological allegiances over time580 CFRA Radio

all 176 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News More evacuations in Saskatchewan as wildfires continue to burn
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:36:00 -0400
Heavy smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan forced hundreds more people from their communities and it?s unclear when they will be able to return home.
Submit News to CKA News More evacuations in Saskatchewan as wildfires continue to burn - CTV News
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:36:00 GMT

CTV News

More evacuations in Saskatchewan as wildfires continue to burn
CTV News
Heavy smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan forced hundreds more people from their communities and it's unclear when they will be able to return home. Officials said about 20 of the more than 100 fires burning in the province on Monday had been ...
Fire guts La Ronge department storeSaskatoon StarPhoenix
UPDATED: Communities see progress as smoke hinders wildfire growthPrince Albert Daily Herald
6 hours ago Saskatchewan fires force over 3000 from homesdurhamregion.com

all 105 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News ?Salary never came into play': Mulcair denies report that he turned down Tories over pay
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:35:13 Z
After the now-New Democrat left the provincial Quebec Liberals, the report says he considered working directly for Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Submit News to CKA News ?Salary never came into play': Mulcair denies report that he turned down Tories over pay
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:35:13 +0000
After the now-New Democrat left the provincial Quebec Liberals, the report says he considered working directly for Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Submit News to CKA News Ex-drug courier tells court he used explosives to blow up beaver dams - Toronto Sun
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:41:50 GMT

Toronto Sun

Ex-drug courier tells court he used explosives to blow up beaver dams
Toronto Sun
WINNIPEG ? A former drug courier for the Manitoba Hells Angels has been spared jail time after he was busted with 100 lbs. of explosives stored in dozens of plastic bottles which he claimed to use to obliterate beaver dams. The plea bargain allowed ...
Former drug courier busted with 100 lbs. of explosivesWinnipeg Sun
Biker claims explosives were for blowing up beaver dams ? not for ...The Carillon

all 3 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Canadian Forces conclude Ebola mission in Sierra Leone
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:25:01 -0400
Government says it is still monitoring virus in West Africa, but there are no plans to send more troops
Submit News to CKA News Giants to hire Lorne Molleken as new head coach
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:21:44 Z
The Vancouver Giants announced Monday they have hired long-time WHL coach and onetime NHL bench boss Lorne Molleken as their new head coach.
Submit News to CKA News Lightning strikes lighting up B.C. forests earlier than usual: fire official
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:15:48 Z
British Columbia’s Wildfire Service says lightning strikes have sparked the majority of forest fires across the province.
Submit News to CKA News Wage theft puts woman at "rock bottom" ? and she?s not alone
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:58:59 EDT

It was December 2012, and desperation was beginning to creep into Chelsea Phelan-Tran’s politely worded emails.

“I have three months of bills with interest piling up,” the expectant mother wrote her former boss. “It also doesn’t help that Christmas is around the corner and taking every extra penny I have.”

Phelan-Tran ended the message with a smiley face, sending her best wishes to the woman who owed her $3,500 in wages. She never heard back.

Two-and-a-half years later, she is still waiting, even after the Ministry of Labour ruled she was legally owed the money. But the ministry still hasn’t managed to collect it, and appears to no longer be trying.

“It’s money that I deserve, it’s money I worked hard for,” says Phelan-Tran. “It’s heartbreaking that this how our government is treating us.”

Last year, 63 per cent of all orders to pay issued to employers by the Ministry of Labour went uncollected, according to figures requested by the Star.

Critics say that indicates a weak enforcement system that lets wage-owing employers off the hook while giving up on out-of-pocket workers.

“Because it happens so often, some of the workers will tell me they’re just not going to bother to file a claim next time,” says lawyer Avvy Go, of the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. “They have so little faith in the system. They see the government as failing them.”

That is how Phelan-Tran sees it. In June 2012, she landed her dream job at Toronto-based book publisher McArthur & Company, run by award-winning entrepreneur Kim McArthur. Phelan-Tran, who owed $38,000 in student loans, was thrilled.

But by September, she was no longer being paid. For two months she worked for nothing, hoping things would turn around at the increasingly beleaguered business.

But loyalty didn’t pay the bills. She says she and her husband went $10,000 into debt that fall trying to stay afloat on one income, even as they were expecting their first child.

“We were at rock bottom,” she says.

Phelan-Tran felt she had no other option than to approach the ministry. But rather than resolve the issue, that sparked a further round of waiting and worrying.

According to ministry documents, McArthur “could not be located,” and it took until Aug. 22, 2013, to hold a fact-finding meeting on Phelan-Tran’s file. McArthur did not attend.

By that time, the publishing company had closed. But the ministry ruled that Phelan-Tran was still owed $3,500 and issued an order for McArthur to pay. The matter was sent to a private collection agency, and for a year, Phelan-Tran heard nothing.

Losing patience, she called the agency herself. The collection agent said she too had failed to locate the employer, at which point Phelan-Tran provided McArthur’s phone number and home address herself.

“She was like, 'Oh, you have that?” Phelan-Tran recalls.

Last month, having received no update, she called the ministry and was told the collection agency had been unsuccessful. The file had been returned to the ministry. Although there are no time limits on collections, and employers remain liable for unpaid wages, files returned from the collection agency are essentially dead in the water.

“If new information on the employer/director comes to the Ministry of Labour’s attention, the file may be sent back to the collector to pursue collections,” said a statement to the Star.

It is not clear what “new information” is needed to galvanize the process. The ministry does not appear to have deployed any of the collection tools at its disposal, including filing a copy of the order to pay in court and seizing bank accounts and other assets. Its only action has been to add a $350 fine to the uncollected wages.

The Star located McArthur’s phone number, email and home address. She did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and did not answer the door of her Brantford house — where her 2001 Canadian Women Entrepeneur of the Year award leaned against the front window.

According to a June 2014 Facebook post, McArthur has a new publishing outfit called McArthur McKim. Meanwhile, Phelan-Tran and her husband are delaying a second baby while they rebalance their finances.

The ordeal has left the 31-year-old Ajax mother shocked at the lack of support from those meant to work on her behalf.

“It’s a criminal act that she committed. She broke the law,” says Phelan-Tran. “She could just do it again and get away with it.”

-

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Here’s how the province could ensure more workers get the wages they’re owed:

  • Establish a wage protection fund
  • The province used to maintain a $175-million wage protection fund. Employees could apply to receive up to $5,000 in unpaid wages when their bosses went bankrupt. That was scrapped by former premier Mike Harris's Conservative government. Lawyer Avvy Go says reviving it would provide at least one additional protection for workers, who are too often forced to “eat the loss.”

  • Greater liability
  • Go has acted in several high-profile cases where businesses declare bankruptcy, refuse to pay workers’ wages, and then set up an almost identical company. The Employment Standards Act is fuzzy on so-called “related employer” provisions and should be strengthened to hold bosses accountable.

    “It doesn’t matter what the name of the company (is). If they know it’s the same guy doing the same thing, then (they) should be able to go after them," says Go.

  • Better inspections
  • The Ontario Ministry of Labour should focus on deterring wage theft through more unannounced inspections and heftier penalties for violations. That, says Go, could help finance a wage protection fund.

    “You have to attach more severe consequences to the breaches and use more (investigative) kind of powers.”

    Submit News to CKA News Canada Day: How and where to celebrate
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:57:24 Z
    Canada Day Kickoff Concert: Canadian country music stars, Emerson Drive, will launch the Fraser Valley’s Canada Day festivities.
    Submit News to CKA News North Delta woman who fatally stabbed husband gets less than a year in jail
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:52:00 Z
    A North Delta woman convicted of manslaughter for stabbing her common-law husband to death during a domestic fight has been sentenced to one year in jail minus time served.
    Submit News to CKA News Alberta NDP inherited more than $1B from outgoing PCs: Docs
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:50:41 -0400

    Alberta's new NDP government inherited a "positive" surplus of over $1 billion from the former Progressive Conservative administration, according to figures released Tuesday.
    Submit News to CKA News Greece defaults on IMF payment
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:47:19 EDT

    As Athenians rallied underneath thunderclouds to show their support for keeping Greece in the eurozone of single currency nations, their broke government defaulted on a $2.2-billion payment to the International Monetary Fund.

    At midnight on Tuesday, Greece joined Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe as countries in arrears to the IMF.

    Also at midnight, the bailout assistance package that began in February 2012 formally expired, leaving Greece without access to any emergency finances.

    In Washington, the IMF acknowledged that Greece had failed to meet its financial obligations on time and that no further financing would be sent until the arrears were cleared.

    Gerry Rice, the IMF’s director of communications, confirmed the IMF received a request on Tuesday from Greece for an extension on their “repayment obligation that fell due today” and that it would go to the IMF’s board in due course. No other details were given.

    Greece could enter this new phase of its history by turning back the clocks — a national referendum on Sunday could result in the eventual return of the drachma.

    Meanwhile, Greek banks and stock exchanges are closed. Most Greeks can access their accounts only via ATMs and they are limited to daily withdrawals of $84, but there are reports banks may open for pensioners on a limited basis.

    Hours before the missed deadline and the expiry of the bailout package, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made another unexpected move.

    On Tuesday morning, Tsipras urgently asked the Eurogroup of 18 finance ministers for a two-year, nearly $42-billion loan to help pay its forthcoming debts and restructure.

    European finance ministers, in a hastily called teleconference call, refused. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup, said another call would be held among finance ministers on Wednesday to “discuss the state of play” concerning Greece.

    “The old program will expire tonight . . . . The political stance of the Greek government hasn’t changed,” Dijsselbloem told CNN.

    He warned any new agreement with Greece would come with conditions adjusted to the reality that the Greek financial crisis has gotten even worse after the IMF default.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel also reacted negatively to Tsipras’s last-minute attempt after five months of arduous negotiations. Tsipras walked away from the latest round on Friday. Merkel appeared to suggest Germany would not discuss any new proposals until after the national referendum on Sunday.

    European leaders have signalled to the Greeks that the upcoming July 5 referendum (on the terms of a now-expired bailout package) is really a vote on whether to remain with the euro or return to the drachma.

    If a Yes vote is achieved, it is expected the anti-austerity Syriza government could fall and snap elections could be held.

    Whatever happens on Sunday, the cold reality is Greece has an even larger bill to pay on July 20 and it simply does not have the money. Greece owes the European Central Bank $4.5 billion.

    Greece’s fall into bankruptcy will probably not trigger a global financial crisis, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank based in Chicago.

    The size of Greece’s economy should be put into perspective.

    “Greece’s economy contributes less than 2 per cent of European GDP (gross domestic product) and it is so tiny that its output is equal to that of Pakistan,” Ablin said.

    “This really is a political risk. For us in North America, it would be in our best interest to let the eurozone forgive the debt, let them stay in the euro and live happily ever after,” he added.

    Regardless of the referendum outcome, if Tsipras’s Syriza party loses power there will be a political void that could possibly open the door to fringe groups like the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party gaining ground, he said.

    Instability in Greece could lead to further engagement with Russia or China and that would drive a wedge between Greece and Europe. That could ultimately lead to Greece leaving the European Union and possibly even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Tsipras on not being truthful to the Greek people about what was being negotiated. Juncker said he felt betrayed. For the last five months, he said the EU had extended the $340-billion bailout program while negotiations to reach a more acceptable deal continued.

    Euclid Tsakalotos, co-ordinator of the Greek negotiating team, shot back at Juncker on Tuesday, saying any breakdown in negotiations is unlikely to have one cause.

    It is difficult to believe the proposal of the IMF and European lenders would have put aside, once and for all, the question of the “Grexit” or the Greek exit from the eurozone, he said.

    “It would have merely pushed it back till the moment that a new program, and the debt, were negotiated. In this context, it is difficult to believe that the pent up demand in Greece would have been released: that consumers would have increased their consumption, that citizens would have returned their money, from abroad or from under the mattress, back to Greek banks; that investors would have invested.

    “It is difficult to believe, in other words, that the economy would have turned around, that we would have been able to keep our promises on fiscal surpluses,” Tsakalotos said in a statement.

    He added he looks forward to “greater flexibility” in the days to come.

    Submit News to CKA News West Vancouver man missing in Osoyoos Lake
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:45:35 Z
    Osoyoos RCMP are searching for a West Vancouver man who fell from a Sea-Doo in Osoyoos lake and did not surface on Sunday evening.
    Submit News to CKA News Saanich cop in hot water over workout video apologizes to fellow officers
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:45:06 Z
    The Saanich police sergeant under investigation for a workout video on YouTube that identifies an officer from the Emergency Response Team has stepped aside as president of the union representing Saanich officers.
    Submit News to CKA News York U student files human rights complaint over poor support following sex assault
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:39:21 EDT

    A York University student who has made a human rights complaint against her school is alleging she was unsupported and discriminated against after she reported a sexual assault.

    “York University discriminated against (Mandi) Gray as a woman and as a sexual assault survivor,” by failing to have clear policies and protocols outlining what a student can expect from the university if they are sexually assaulted by a classmate or staff, according to a complaint filed to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on Monday.

    Gray alleges she was assaulted by a fellow graduate student and teaching assistant early this year. When she tried to get help, according to the claim, the school’s response left her feeling “unsafe,” “unprotected” and “retraumatized.”

    “This is not simply a York University issue, this is happening on every single campus in Canada,” said Gray, a PhD student in sociology, during a news conference at York’s Vari Hall on Tuesday.

    York introduced its sexual assault policy in February, and the school’s sexual violence working group is expected to produce recommendations on the new protocols in early fall.

    Rhonda Lenton, vice-president academic and provost, told the Star on Tuesday that York has yet to receive a copy of the complaint, and because of privacy concerns cannot discuss specific details about the students involved.

    Lenton said the university makes every effort to work with and communicate with survivors of sexual violence and is deeply committed to incorporating any complaints or concerns into continuing policy discussions. Gray and her supporters have been invited to meet with the research group, Lenton said.

    This fall, Premier Kathleen Wynne is expected to introduce legislation that will require Ontario universities to adopt clear sexual assault policies and protocols.

    In November, the Star reported that just nine of 78 public universities surveyed across Canada had a special sexual violence policy and protocol. In Ontario, at the time, just three of 20 public universities and no public colleges had special policies.

    Ottawa University professor Elizabeth Sheehy said the basis for Gray’s claim is that “it’s a form of prohibitive sex discrimination to fail to have a policy, a practice and the resources specifically for sexual assault.”

    Gray, said Sheehy, is “arguing that York is in violation of the human rights code for failing to put in place these kinds of practices, structures and policies, and she’s also saying her individual rights were breached in how they handled her complaint of rape.”

    In the claim, Gray alleges that on Jan. 31, 2015 she was sexually assaulted by a fellow graduate student, and then struggled to find support.

    “Gray was forced to review multiple York University policies, pamphlets, and website pages ... She did not find answers to her questions,” it states.

    She met with school staff to discuss a security plan, but the solutions offered, the claim states, put her in the position of having to avoid the man she said sexually assaulted her, or endure having an escort rather than regulating his movement on campus. The school also failed to warn fellow students about the alleged attack, according to the claim.

    At the conference, Gray said she had to discuss her assault with at least 15 people, from student groups and multiple levels of staff to campus security, and could not get a clear answer on what to expect.

    Many meetings took place after her alleged assailant was arrested and charged with sexual assault, according to the complaint. A criminal trial is scheduled for February, said Gray. His lawyer declined to comment.

    The claim states that the “trauma, anxiety, stress and burden of having to engage in self advocacy,” coupled with not knowing if she would have to see her alleged attacker, resulted in her taking a leave.

    Submit News to CKA News Serial killer?s brother needs to be sent a message by the jury: lawyer
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:39:09 Z
    A lawyer for a woman who is accusing serial killer Robert Pickton’s brother of sexual assault and threats says a jury must send him a message that his alleged actions were wrong.
    Submit News to CKA News U.S., Cuba to announce plan to reopen embassies, source says
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:28:31 EDT

    WASHINGTON—U.S. President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba have finalized an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in ending hostilities between the Cold War foes, a senior administration official said.

    The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following the historic December announcement that they would move to restore ties after a half-century of animosity.

    For Obama, ending the U.S. freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency. Obama has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the U.S. embargo on the communist island just 145 kilometres south of Florida was ineffective.

    The official insisted on anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter ahead of the president.

    The White House said Obama will deliver a statement on Cuba from the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Vienna for nuclear negotiations with Iran, is also expected to speak about the embassy openings.

    Since the late 1970s, the United States and Cuba have operated diplomatic missions called interests sections in each other’s capitals. The missions are technically under the protection of Switzerland, and do not enjoy the same status as full embassies.

    While the opening of embassies marks a major milestone in the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba, significant issues remain as the countries look to normalize relations. Among them: talks on human rights; demands for compensation for confiscated American properties in Havana and damages to Cuba from the embargo; and possible co-operation on law enforcement, including the touchy topic of U.S. fugitives sheltering in Havana.

    Obama also wants Congress to repeal the economic embargo on Cuba, though he faces resistance from Republicans and some Democrats. Those opposed to normalizing relations with Cuba say Obama is prematurely rewarding a regime that engages in serious human rights abuses.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), said in a statement that opening a U.S. embassy in Cuba “will do nothing to help the Cuban people and is just another trivial attempt for President Obama to go legacy shopping.”

    Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the opening of embassies was part of the administration’s “common sense approach to Cuba.” However, he called for Cuba to recognize that it is out of step with the international community on human rights.

    “Arrests and detentions of dissidents must cease and genuine political pluralism is long overdue,” Cardin said in a statement.

    Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in April during a regional summit, marking the first time U.S. and Cuban leaders have met in person since 1958.

    Submit News to CKA News Access denied: Immigration statistics will cost you $1600 per hour
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:23:58 Z
    This is an update to my earlier blog post on Citizenship and Immigration Canada withholding information about the countries our immigrants come from.
    Submit News to CKA News On Parliament Hill, the most exclusive graffiti in Canada
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:53:50 +0000

    Hundreds of lucky Canadians have marked their visit to the top of the Peace Tower by signing their names. Why that shouldn't make you freak out.

    The post On Parliament Hill, the most exclusive graffiti in Canada appeared first on Macleans.ca.

    Submit News to CKA News New video and photos show suspect in Vaughan café shooting one day before the attack
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:53:00 EDT

    New photos and video have been released by York Regional Police of a suspect in the Moka Espresso Bar shooting that left two dead and two seriously injured Wednesday.

    Surveillance footage was previously released from the day of the shooting, which showed a suspect getting out of a black Nissan Versa, with the licence plate number BVLW273. He was wearing a grey hoodie and a mask, which disguised his face.

    But in the new footage, the man is seen exiting the same vehicle, which police say is a stolen car, without a mask or hoodie — his face plainly visible to the camera under a blue ballcap.

    Const. Laura Nicolle said the footage was taken from the same plaza that houses the Moka Espresso Bar the day before the shooting. Investigators believe the suspect was there to inspect the area and plan the next day’s attack.

    “We can’t generally speak to motive, but he is driving the stolen vehicle and then the very next day committed that offence at that location,” Nicolle said.

    Police are still looking for the Versa, Nicolle said, which may still be in the suspect’s possession.

    “Unfortunately, it hasn’t led us to the person,” she said. “But we do believe he may still have that vehicle, despite all the coverage, because it hasn’t been recovered.”

    The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, and citizens are cautioned not to approach. If you see him, contact police immediately.

    The shooting took place the morning of June 24, in the café, previously known as the Doppio Espresso Bar. It sits wedged between a Pizza Pizza and a convenience store, just south of Highway 7 and Islington Ave.

    Police have called the incident a “targeted” attack. Two people died at the scene: Maria Voci, a 47-year-old mother of three and employee at the café, and Christopher De Simone, a 24-year-old Vaughan native. Funerals for both were held Monday.

    Two other men were seriously injured, one critically, and taken to hospital. They are both expected to survive. Among the two other victims was Rocco Di Paola, a candidate in last fall’s mayoral election in Toronto.

    A gofundme.com crowdfunding campaign has been launched by a friend of Voci’s son Antonio, in hopes of lightening the family’s load. Justin Salgado met the young man at a bar in Woodbridge several years ago.

    “No amount of money can take this pain away,” Salgado previously told the Star by phone from British Columbia. “But at least it can take the financial burden away from the family.” The campaign has raised more than $32,000 to date.

    Anyone who can identify the suspect from the video, or has information as to the location of the stolen Versa, should contact the York Regional Police Homicide Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 2411, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

    With files from Peter Edwards

    Submit News to CKA News West Vancouver?s Park Royal aims to flourish as a cultural landmark
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:51:21 Z
    VANCOUVER — Peter Simons has lost count of the compliments his family received for donating the Fontaine de Tourny monument to help Quebec City celebrate its 400th birthday in 2007. That multimillion-dollar gift, which now beams in front of the parliament building, has become a tourist landmark and source of civic pride.
    Submit News to CKA News Suspect in double murder at Woodbridge café ?clearly visible? in new surveillance images
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:46:30 +0000
    How long can the identity of the suspected gunman in last week?s Moka café double slaying remain hidden in light of strikingly clear surveillance images released Tuesday?
    Submit News to CKA News Would-be citizens disappointed as new criteria kick in sooner than expected - Toronto Star
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:43:03 GMT

    Toronto Star

    Would-be citizens disappointed as new criteria kick in sooner than expected
    Toronto Star
    Antje Splettstoesser was counting down the days to June 6 when she would meet the residency requirement to apply for Canadian citizenship. Anticipating looming changes of the law by Ottawa, the German native had religiously checked with the government ...
    Access denied: Immigration statistics will cost you $1600 per hourVancouver Sun (blog)
    Quiz: Could you pass the Canadian Citizenship Test?CTV News
    Stephen Fuhr: Stephen Harper's hostile greeting for new CanadiansStraight.com
    Canada Immigration News -Voiceonline.com
    all 20 news articles »
    Submit News to CKA News Would-be citizens disappointed as new criteria kick in sooner than expected
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:41:00 EDT

    Antje Splettstoesser was counting down the days to June 6 when she would meet the residency requirement to apply for Canadian citizenship.

    Anticipating looming changes of the law by Ottawa, the German native had religiously checked with the government call centre for the exact date when applicants would be required to be present in Canada for four years out of six — rather than three out of four — to qualify.

    So eager was Splettstoesser, 35, to get her citizenship that she would not even take a vacation, to ensure she accumulated enough days in Canada to beat the new residency requirement.

    “Every time I called, I was told the new law would take effect on June 19,” said Splettstoesser, a Toronto-based marketing and sales director of the German National Tourist Office, who first came to Canada on a work visa in 2009 and became a permanent resident three years ago.

    “Then on June 5, Citizenship and Immigration Canada posted on its website that the new provision would be implemented on June 11.”

    On June 6, she sent her application package to the immigration department’s processing centre in Sydney, N.S., via Canada Post priority service.

    On June 25, Splettstoesser opened her mailbox and saw her returned citizenship application with the note: “You have submitted an outdated version of the citizenship application. Please resend your application using the current version of the application form.”

    Splettstoesser will now be assessed under the higher residency threshold and must wait for at least another year to be eligible — and that means she won’t be able to spend a single day outside of Canada.

    “I cannot tell you how frustrating this experience is to someone who really wants — officially and by law — to finally be a part of this society. I travel a lot for work, and who knows when they are going to change the law again? It’s an issue of security for immigrants,” said Splettstoesser, who will be refunded the $630 application fee.

    “The lack of transparency in this process is truly a shame. Even if you call the call centre, they can confirm that they were not aware of the June 11 date either, and that it was a last-minute decision. It is one thing to change a law and another to properly put it in place.”

    Immigration officials could not provide the number of citizenship applications returned to date. But they maintain the reforms help deter those who would become citizens only for the sake of having a Canadian passport to access taxpayer-funded benefits.

    “Our reforms ensure new citizens are better prepared for full participation in Canada’s economy and Canadian society. This is a win for newcomers and a win for Canada,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in a news release.

    Among other citizenship changes that came into force this month are: mandatory language requirements for applicants between 14 and 64 years old (changed from the previous 18 to 54 range); applicants’ declaration to reside in Canada; and a maximum $100,000 fine and five-year jail term for those convicted of fraud and misrepresentation in their applications.

    Frances Rutherford said her husband, Felix Carpio, who immigrated here from Dominican Republic more than 30 years ago, turned 55 on May 28 and could have been exempt from the new language proficiency requirement if they had known the changes were to come into effect June 11.

    Rutherford said Ottawa made the announcement on a Friday afternoon and allowed applicants just three office days to apply. A friend of the couple who is a lawyer helped Carpio compile his application and mail it June 8, but immigration officials said it arrived June 11 and sent it back to them.

    “We were so looking forward to this big event for him. We are just angry and disappointed,” said Rutherford, who was born in Scotland and came here with her family when she was 2.

    “Wouldn’t it be fair and appropriate to give people perhaps a three-month warning of the change? This just feels so underhanded. This can’t be Canada.”

    Carpio, a house painter, can enroll in an English course and pay $300 to write and pass a standard test, or wait 10 years until he turns 65 and is exempt from the language proficiency requirement — assuming the law hasn’t changed again.

    Canadian Editorial/Opinion Newswatch

    Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (Undeclared entity error at line 61, column 54) in D:\Hosted Sites\canadaka.net\www\includes\rss_fetch\rss_fetch.inc on line 238 Submit News to CKA News Barb Turnbull named to Order of Canada
    Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:00:00 EDT

    An achingly sad notation distinguishes her name from all others on the list of 87 newly minted Order of Canada members announced Wednesday:

    Barbara Turnbull C.M. (deceased).

    Though she did not know it, Turnbull received her appointment to the country’s highest accolade just two days before her death May 10 from complications due to pneumonia. She was 50.

    The long-time Toronto Star reporter and tireless advocate for spinal cord research was an immensely proud Canadian who would have been humbled by the honour, her sister Lynn Turnbull says.

    Turnbull was left a quadriplegic at 18 after she was shot in the neck during a 1983 convenience store robbery in Mississauga — a cowardly crime that still haunts many in that city and the wider GTA.

    But she always shunned the ample praise and adulation she received for the brave and graceful way she coped with her injuries, her sister says.

    “She hated it when people called her courageous because she didn’t think that she had a choice about living with a disability. She had to live,” Lynn Turnbull says.

    “So she wouldn’t have wanted any external validation for being disabled, but I think that she would have been really honoured — really honoured —because it (the appointment) wasn’t about what happened to her but more about the work she did as a Canadian.”

    That work included the establishment of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund studies into neurological injuries and ailments.

    Since 2001, the foundation has, among other things, given out an annual award of $50,000 to top international researchers to help advance their groundbreaking work in the field.

    Turnbull was also a vocal and prolific advocate for organ donations and accessibility for the disabled.

    “And I think she would have felt just fine for being (honoured) for all of that because she just felt so strongly about giving back,” her sister says.

    Dr. Charles Tator, the Toronto neurosurgeon who operated on Turnbull after she was shot, called her “the bravest person” he’d ever known.

    And her efforts for spinal cord research made her fully deserving of this country’s premier accolade, says Tator, who became a close friend and helped nominate Turnbull for the Order recognition several years ago.

    “She contributed enormously to Canada and now Canada is returning the favor,” Tator says.

    “And I said in my letter of nomination that I can’t think of anyone who would be more worthy than Barbara Turnbull to be recognized by the country.”

    In all, Governor General David Johnson announced 100 new Order appointments, including two elevations to Companion status and 11 new Officers.

    Among the new Companions is former Ontario premier Bob Rae, who was cited for his contributions to public life and for strengthening ties between native and non-native Canadians.

    Other Toronto recipients include:

    Companions of the Order of Canada

    Janet Rossant

    Officers of the Order of Canada

    Sandra Black

    Stephen Cook

    Daniel J. Drucker

    Mary Gospodarowicz Evans

    Allen Linden

    James Thomas Rutka

    Stephen Toope

    Members of the Order of Canada

    Aubie Angel

    Pat Capponi

    Lisa de Wilde

    Jacques Israelievitch

    Donna Soble Kaufman

    Jay Keystone

    Douglas Knight

    Julia Koschitzky

    Johann Olav Koss

    Judy Loman

    Lynn McDonald

    John Wilson Morden

    Fiona Nelson

    Vivian Morris Rakoff

    John Carman Ricker

    Fran Rider

    Marla Shapiro

    Don Tapscott

    Morley Torgov

    V. Prem Watsa

    Martin Yaffe

    Phyllis Yaffe

    Submit News to CKA News June a deadly month on Ontario?s highways, OPP says
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:54:20 EDT

    More than one person was killed every day last month on Ontario Provincial Police patrolled highways, making it one of the deadliest Junes in years.

    Deputy commissioner Brad Blair, provincial commander for the OPP’s Traffic Safety and Operational Support, said 38 people — 26 men and 12 women — were killed, compared to 17 in May. He said the numbers are both shocking and tragic.

    “That is the largest month over month jump since June-July 2010,” he told the Star Tuesday.

    Almost all were either 19 years and under, or 55 and older, and a majority had speed and inattentive driving as a contributing factor.

    Blair said what is particularly alarming is the number of multiple fatalities, adding he couldn’t even find a comparison month.

    “There were two triples and four doubles . . . in six collisions you’ve got 14 killed,” he said, noting these accidents happened in Dufferin and Lanark counties and Midland area.

    For the most part, Blair said they were crossover head-on collisions and motorists losing control after hitting the shoulder and over correcting, “which both speak to inattentive driving from our perspective and speed is also a factor in these collisions.”

    Of the multiple fatalities many were families. One was a mother and two sons, while another was a husband and wife.

    “This has huge impact on families . . . it is heartbreaking. I have seen the collision scene photos and I can say that I haven’t seen anything so horrific as those recently,” the deputy commissioner said.

    Blair prays the carnage does not continue — given that it is only the start of the summer — and urges motorists to slow down and watch the road.

    “We are hoping that by people paying attention to this reality . . . that this trend stops. It is in their control in terms of their driving behaviour. This isn’t just about looking after themselves, this is about looking after everyone else who is sharing the roadway,” he said.

    Even with the spike in June, Blair said, the death toll so far this year compared to the same period last year is 130. Deadly crashes on provincial highways have gone down steadily since the early 2000s, when there were 450 and more killed in one year.

    Blair says his message to motorists is that when they see dangerous or reckless driving that they call the OPP.

    “Just call in because not only could you be saving that person’s life, you could be saving the lives of innocent people,” he said.

    Submit News to CKA News Executive committee gives a thumbs-up to expanded Woodbine gaming
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:54:00 EDT

    In a late evening decision, the city’s executive committee has voted 10-3 to back a staff report recommending expanded gambling at Woodbine Racetrack, as long as the right conditions are met.

    “I am confident that this is going to serve as a catalyst to bring jobs” to northwest Toronto, Mayor John Tory (open John Tory's policard) said earlier in the day at city hall.

    The move to approve more gambling in Rexdale has come with much less controversy than the downtown casino debate of two years ago. However, the proposal will garner much stiffer opposition when it comes to full city council for the next stage of approval.

    Also Tuesday, the committee unanimously passed an interim poverty reduction strategy report and a report calling for the merger of three city-owned theatres, the Sony Centre, St. Lawrence Centre and Toronto Centre for the Arts.

    Submit News to CKA News Marco Estrada roughed up as Red Sox edge Blue Jays: Griffin
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:25:06 EDT

    This was not exactly the follow-up performance Marco Estrada had been dreaming of as he returned to the Rogers Centre following two brilliant starts in which he carried consecutive no-hitters into the eighth inning.

    The 31-year-old right-hander struggled with command and control on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox in a 4-3 loss. It was the Blue Jays’ second defeat in a row against Boston.

    The Jays hung around for the final six innings and scared the Red Sox, who still must remember the 8-1 lead they surrendered to Toronto back at Fenway Park. But a two-run blast by Jose Reyes in the seventh only narrowed the deficit to one-run. Reyes batted right-handed against lefty Tommy Layne. It was his first homer against a left-hander since July 8, 2014, off Tyler Skaggs.

    Estrada trailed 2-0 in the first without allowing a hit. Second baseman Devon Travis booted a grounder to his right by Mookie Betts, then Estrada issued four walk — two with the bases-loaded — surrounding two deep fly balls. The wildness scored a pair of unearned runs, but runs nonetheless. He was already 38 pitches into the contest entering the second when Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a homer to right. David Ortiz then homered leading off the third and two batters later, Estrada was gone.

    Somewhere in between results lies the truth about Estrada’s capabilities as a starting pitcher.

    “As soon as the game started, I just wasn’t making pitches, that’s all,” Estrada said. “I know these things are going to happen, but I still have to battle through it. Unfortunately I didn’t give the team a chance to win. I left early, something no starter ever wants to do. I wish I just could have given them some innings, but I struggled, couldn’t locate anything. It’s just a bad day.”

    In the meantime, the Jays have a decision to make regarding the immediate future of the injured Aaron Sanchez. He throws his first side session from a mound on Wednesday and is slated for a second bullpen on Saturday, both at Dunedin. The decision that needs to be made is whether to bring him back sooner rather than later, return him as a reliever rather than a starter, try him in a role he filled so well last year or the role he was emerging into as a star this year before pulling a right side lat.

    Those are questions regarding Sanchez’s immediate — not long-term — role that can only be answered in the next 31 days by GM Alex Anthopoulos between now and the trade deadline. If the Jays obtain a starter, then manager John Gibbons believes Sanchez can be a key bullpen pitcher.

    “Definitely,” Gibbons said. “I say that now because of the injuries he’s got. I really loved what he was doing when he was starting. He was picking up steam. He was moving in the right direction. He was turning into a dominating pitcher.

    “But this little setback, now we’ve got to build him up. And, you know, we’ve looked at the ’pen. So you know we’ve got to make it stronger. We like the way it’s starting to shape up, but you can always make it stronger. And he’s a guy we definitely think can do that.”

    At the moment, Roberto Osuna is the Jays’ de facto closer, filling virtually the same role Sanchez did over the final two months of 2014 after being called up in late July. Gibbons is not reluctant to use Osuna for more than three outs in save situations, then will give him a game off to recuperate. Right now, the second man in the ninth is Steve Delabar. Sanchez would be an upgrade.

    “That would make us that much stronger down there,” Gibbons suggested. “You can move back everybody down and I think it would help us if somebody needs a breather that night, you’d still have a lot of guys you could go to. That’s where (bullpen) depth out there is so important.”

    The Jays’ bullpen is in a better place than it has been all season — except in those gap games in which Osuna is not available. With Sanchez and Osuna serving in the ninth, it would give the Jays a choice of Delabar, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Liam Hendriks and the surprising Bo Schultz.

    “You get on a stretch and you’re playing a lot of tight games, the bullpen gets used a lot. Then some nights they can’t pitch. Okay, and you’re running in one of those tight games again, you still want some guys to be able to come through for you,” Gibbons said. “If you’re winning games, and hopefully we can from where we’re at, if a team’s winning in the big leagues, bullpens get used. When you’re not winning it’s different. You can rest those guys more, but good teams, winning teams, those guys get used a lot.”

    But for any of this to happen, for Sanchez to be a reliever, Anthopoulos has to go out and find another starter before the deadline. That is likely the plan and likely why he told MLB Radio 10 days ago that at this point, his priority was starting pitching.

    Gibbons doesn’t believe it has to be a rent-an-ace situation. He suggests there aren’t that many out there anyway. The GM needs to find a starter to go out every fifth day deep into games and keep the Jays in games. They have Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison and Estrada.

    “Whoever it might be, if you get him and he makes us better, you get him,” the manager said. “Then you adjust off that, whether it’s the ’pen, rotation or vice-versa. But every team’s looking at that. I agree. Everybody’s got to improve, really. If you think you’re in the thing, you always try to improve.”

    The Jays host the Red Sox in a matinee on Canada Day, with super-patriot and hockey icon Don Cherry throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson.

    Submit News to CKA News Wage theft puts woman at "rock bottom" ? and she?s not alone
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:58:59 EDT

    It was December 2012, and desperation was beginning to creep into Chelsea Phelan-Tran’s politely worded emails.

    “I have three months of bills with interest piling up,” the expectant mother wrote her former boss. “It also doesn’t help that Christmas is around the corner and taking every extra penny I have.”

    Phelan-Tran ended the message with a smiley face, sending her best wishes to the woman who owed her $3,500 in wages. She never heard back.

    Two-and-a-half years later, she is still waiting, even after the Ministry of Labour ruled she was legally owed the money. But the ministry still hasn’t managed to collect it, and appears to no longer be trying.

    “It’s money that I deserve, it’s money I worked hard for,” says Phelan-Tran. “It’s heartbreaking that this how our government is treating us.”

    Last year, 63 per cent of all orders to pay issued to employers by the Ministry of Labour went uncollected, according to figures requested by the Star.

    Critics say that indicates a weak enforcement system that lets wage-owing employers off the hook while giving up on out-of-pocket workers.

    “Because it happens so often, some of the workers will tell me they’re just not going to bother to file a claim next time,” says lawyer Avvy Go, of the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. “They have so little faith in the system. They see the government as failing them.”

    That is how Phelan-Tran sees it. In June 2012, she landed her dream job at Toronto-based book publisher McArthur & Company, run by award-winning entrepreneur Kim McArthur. Phelan-Tran, who owed $38,000 in student loans, was thrilled.

    But by September, she was no longer being paid. For two months she worked for nothing, hoping things would turn around at the increasingly beleaguered business.

    But loyalty didn’t pay the bills. She says she and her husband went $10,000 into debt that fall trying to stay afloat on one income, even as they were expecting their first child.

    “We were at rock bottom,” she says.

    Phelan-Tran felt she had no other option than to approach the ministry. But rather than resolve the issue, that sparked a further round of waiting and worrying.

    According to ministry documents, McArthur “could not be located,” and it took until Aug. 22, 2013, to hold a fact-finding meeting on Phelan-Tran’s file. McArthur did not attend.

    By that time, the publishing company had closed. But the ministry ruled that Phelan-Tran was still owed $3,500 and issued an order for McArthur to pay. The matter was sent to a private collection agency, and for a year, Phelan-Tran heard nothing.

    Losing patience, she called the agency herself. The collection agent said she too had failed to locate the employer, at which point Phelan-Tran provided McArthur’s phone number and home address herself.

    “She was like, 'Oh, you have that?” Phelan-Tran recalls.

    Last month, having received no update, she called the ministry and was told the collection agency had been unsuccessful. The file had been returned to the ministry. Although there are no time limits on collections, and employers remain liable for unpaid wages, files returned from the collection agency are essentially dead in the water.

    “If new information on the employer/director comes to the Ministry of Labour’s attention, the file may be sent back to the collector to pursue collections,” said a statement to the Star.

    It is not clear what “new information” is needed to galvanize the process. The ministry does not appear to have deployed any of the collection tools at its disposal, including filing a copy of the order to pay in court and seizing bank accounts and other assets. Its only action has been to add a $350 fine to the uncollected wages.

    The Star located McArthur’s phone number, email and home address. She did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and did not answer the door of her Brantford house — where her 2001 Canadian Women Entrepeneur of the Year award leaned against the front window.

    According to a June 2014 Facebook post, McArthur has a new publishing outfit called McArthur McKim. Meanwhile, Phelan-Tran and her husband are delaying a second baby while they rebalance their finances.

    The ordeal has left the 31-year-old Ajax mother shocked at the lack of support from those meant to work on her behalf.

    “It’s a criminal act that she committed. She broke the law,” says Phelan-Tran. “She could just do it again and get away with it.”

    -

    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    Here’s how the province could ensure more workers get the wages they’re owed:

  • Establish a wage protection fund
  • The province used to maintain a $175-million wage protection fund. Employees could apply to receive up to $5,000 in unpaid wages when their bosses went bankrupt. That was scrapped by former premier Mike Harris's Conservative government. Lawyer Avvy Go says reviving it would provide at least one additional protection for workers, who are too often forced to “eat the loss.”

  • Greater liability
  • Go has acted in several high-profile cases where businesses declare bankruptcy, refuse to pay workers’ wages, and then set up an almost identical company. The Employment Standards Act is fuzzy on so-called “related employer” provisions and should be strengthened to hold bosses accountable.

    “It doesn’t matter what the name of the company (is). If they know it’s the same guy doing the same thing, then (they) should be able to go after them," says Go.

  • Better inspections
  • The Ontario Ministry of Labour should focus on deterring wage theft through more unannounced inspections and heftier penalties for violations. That, says Go, could help finance a wage protection fund.

    “You have to attach more severe consequences to the breaches and use more (investigative) kind of powers.”

    Submit News to CKA News Greece defaults on IMF payment
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:47:19 EDT

    As Athenians rallied underneath thunderclouds to show their support for keeping Greece in the eurozone of single currency nations, their broke government defaulted on a $2.2-billion payment to the International Monetary Fund.

    At midnight on Tuesday, Greece joined Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe as countries in arrears to the IMF.

    Also at midnight, the bailout assistance package that began in February 2012 formally expired, leaving Greece without access to any emergency finances.

    In Washington, the IMF acknowledged that Greece had failed to meet its financial obligations on time and that no further financing would be sent until the arrears were cleared.

    Gerry Rice, the IMF’s director of communications, confirmed the IMF received a request on Tuesday from Greece for an extension on their “repayment obligation that fell due today” and that it would go to the IMF’s board in due course. No other details were given.

    Greece could enter this new phase of its history by turning back the clocks — a national referendum on Sunday could result in the eventual return of the drachma.

    Meanwhile, Greek banks and stock exchanges are closed. Most Greeks can access their accounts only via ATMs and they are limited to daily withdrawals of $84, but there are reports banks may open for pensioners on a limited basis.

    Hours before the missed deadline and the expiry of the bailout package, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made another unexpected move.

    On Tuesday morning, Tsipras urgently asked the Eurogroup of 18 finance ministers for a two-year, nearly $42-billion loan to help pay its forthcoming debts and restructure.

    European finance ministers, in a hastily called teleconference call, refused. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup, said another call would be held among finance ministers on Wednesday to “discuss the state of play” concerning Greece.

    “The old program will expire tonight . . . . The political stance of the Greek government hasn’t changed,” Dijsselbloem told CNN.

    He warned any new agreement with Greece would come with conditions adjusted to the reality that the Greek financial crisis has gotten even worse after the IMF default.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel also reacted negatively to Tsipras’s last-minute attempt after five months of arduous negotiations. Tsipras walked away from the latest round on Friday. Merkel appeared to suggest Germany would not discuss any new proposals until after the national referendum on Sunday.

    European leaders have signalled to the Greeks that the upcoming July 5 referendum (on the terms of a now-expired bailout package) is really a vote on whether to remain with the euro or return to the drachma.

    If a Yes vote is achieved, it is expected the anti-austerity Syriza government could fall and snap elections could be held.

    Whatever happens on Sunday, the cold reality is Greece has an even larger bill to pay on July 20 and it simply does not have the money. Greece owes the European Central Bank $4.5 billion.

    Greece’s fall into bankruptcy will probably not trigger a global financial crisis, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank based in Chicago.

    The size of Greece’s economy should be put into perspective.

    “Greece’s economy contributes less than 2 per cent of European GDP (gross domestic product) and it is so tiny that its output is equal to that of Pakistan,” Ablin said.

    “This really is a political risk. For us in North America, it would be in our best interest to let the eurozone forgive the debt, let them stay in the euro and live happily ever after,” he added.

    Regardless of the referendum outcome, if Tsipras’s Syriza party loses power there will be a political void that could possibly open the door to fringe groups like the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party gaining ground, he said.

    Instability in Greece could lead to further engagement with Russia or China and that would drive a wedge between Greece and Europe. That could ultimately lead to Greece leaving the European Union and possibly even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Tsipras on not being truthful to the Greek people about what was being negotiated. Juncker said he felt betrayed. For the last five months, he said the EU had extended the $340-billion bailout program while negotiations to reach a more acceptable deal continued.

    Euclid Tsakalotos, co-ordinator of the Greek negotiating team, shot back at Juncker on Tuesday, saying any breakdown in negotiations is unlikely to have one cause.

    It is difficult to believe the proposal of the IMF and European lenders would have put aside, once and for all, the question of the “Grexit” or the Greek exit from the eurozone, he said.

    “It would have merely pushed it back till the moment that a new program, and the debt, were negotiated. In this context, it is difficult to believe that the pent up demand in Greece would have been released: that consumers would have increased their consumption, that citizens would have returned their money, from abroad or from under the mattress, back to Greek banks; that investors would have invested.

    “It is difficult to believe, in other words, that the economy would have turned around, that we would have been able to keep our promises on fiscal surpluses,” Tsakalotos said in a statement.

    He added he looks forward to “greater flexibility” in the days to come.

    Submit News to CKA News York U student files human rights complaint over poor support following sex assault
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:39:21 EDT

    A York University student who has made a human rights complaint against her school is alleging she was unsupported and discriminated against after she reported a sexual assault.

    “York University discriminated against (Mandi) Gray as a woman and as a sexual assault survivor,” by failing to have clear policies and protocols outlining what a student can expect from the university if they are sexually assaulted by a classmate or staff, according to a complaint filed to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on Monday.

    Gray alleges she was assaulted by a fellow graduate student and teaching assistant early this year. When she tried to get help, according to the claim, the school’s response left her feeling “unsafe,” “unprotected” and “retraumatized.”

    “This is not simply a York University issue, this is happening on every single campus in Canada,” said Gray, a PhD student in sociology, during a news conference at York’s Vari Hall on Tuesday.

    York introduced its sexual assault policy in February, and the school’s sexual violence working group is expected to produce recommendations on the new protocols in early fall.

    Rhonda Lenton, vice-president academic and provost, told the Star on Tuesday that York has yet to receive a copy of the complaint, and because of privacy concerns cannot discuss specific details about the students involved.

    Lenton said the university makes every effort to work with and communicate with survivors of sexual violence and is deeply committed to incorporating any complaints or concerns into continuing policy discussions. Gray and her supporters have been invited to meet with the research group, Lenton said.

    This fall, Premier Kathleen Wynne is expected to introduce legislation that will require Ontario universities to adopt clear sexual assault policies and protocols.

    In November, the Star reported that just nine of 78 public universities surveyed across Canada had a special sexual violence policy and protocol. In Ontario, at the time, just three of 20 public universities and no public colleges had special policies.

    Ottawa University professor Elizabeth Sheehy said the basis for Gray’s claim is that “it’s a form of prohibitive sex discrimination to fail to have a policy, a practice and the resources specifically for sexual assault.”

    Gray, said Sheehy, is “arguing that York is in violation of the human rights code for failing to put in place these kinds of practices, structures and policies, and she’s also saying her individual rights were breached in how they handled her complaint of rape.”

    In the claim, Gray alleges that on Jan. 31, 2015 she was sexually assaulted by a fellow graduate student, and then struggled to find support.

    “Gray was forced to review multiple York University policies, pamphlets, and website pages ... She did not find answers to her questions,” it states.

    She met with school staff to discuss a security plan, but the solutions offered, the claim states, put her in the position of having to avoid the man she said sexually assaulted her, or endure having an escort rather than regulating his movement on campus. The school also failed to warn fellow students about the alleged attack, according to the claim.

    At the conference, Gray said she had to discuss her assault with at least 15 people, from student groups and multiple levels of staff to campus security, and could not get a clear answer on what to expect.

    Many meetings took place after her alleged assailant was arrested and charged with sexual assault, according to the complaint. A criminal trial is scheduled for February, said Gray. His lawyer declined to comment.

    The claim states that the “trauma, anxiety, stress and burden of having to engage in self advocacy,” coupled with not knowing if she would have to see her alleged attacker, resulted in her taking a leave.

    Submit News to CKA News U.S., Cuba to announce plan to reopen embassies, source says
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:28:31 EDT

    WASHINGTON—U.S. President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba have finalized an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in ending hostilities between the Cold War foes, a senior administration official said.

    The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following the historic December announcement that they would move to restore ties after a half-century of animosity.

    For Obama, ending the U.S. freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency. Obama has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the U.S. embargo on the communist island just 145 kilometres south of Florida was ineffective.

    The official insisted on anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter ahead of the president.

    The White House said Obama will deliver a statement on Cuba from the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Vienna for nuclear negotiations with Iran, is also expected to speak about the embassy openings.

    Since the late 1970s, the United States and Cuba have operated diplomatic missions called interests sections in each other’s capitals. The missions are technically under the protection of Switzerland, and do not enjoy the same status as full embassies.

    While the opening of embassies marks a major milestone in the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba, significant issues remain as the countries look to normalize relations. Among them: talks on human rights; demands for compensation for confiscated American properties in Havana and damages to Cuba from the embargo; and possible co-operation on law enforcement, including the touchy topic of U.S. fugitives sheltering in Havana.

    Obama also wants Congress to repeal the economic embargo on Cuba, though he faces resistance from Republicans and some Democrats. Those opposed to normalizing relations with Cuba say Obama is prematurely rewarding a regime that engages in serious human rights abuses.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), said in a statement that opening a U.S. embassy in Cuba “will do nothing to help the Cuban people and is just another trivial attempt for President Obama to go legacy shopping.”

    Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the opening of embassies was part of the administration’s “common sense approach to Cuba.” However, he called for Cuba to recognize that it is out of step with the international community on human rights.

    “Arrests and detentions of dissidents must cease and genuine political pluralism is long overdue,” Cardin said in a statement.

    Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in April during a regional summit, marking the first time U.S. and Cuban leaders have met in person since 1958.

    Submit News to CKA News New video and photos show suspect in Vaughan café shooting one day before the attack
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:53:00 EDT

    New photos and video have been released by York Regional Police of a suspect in the Moka Espresso Bar shooting that left two dead and two seriously injured Wednesday.

    Surveillance footage was previously released from the day of the shooting, which showed a suspect getting out of a black Nissan Versa, with the licence plate number BVLW273. He was wearing a grey hoodie and a mask, which disguised his face.

    But in the new footage, the man is seen exiting the same vehicle, which police say is a stolen car, without a mask or hoodie — his face plainly visible to the camera under a blue ballcap.

    Const. Laura Nicolle said the footage was taken from the same plaza that houses the Moka Espresso Bar the day before the shooting. Investigators believe the suspect was there to inspect the area and plan the next day’s attack.

    “We can’t generally speak to motive, but he is driving the stolen vehicle and then the very next day committed that offence at that location,” Nicolle said.

    Police are still looking for the Versa, Nicolle said, which may still be in the suspect’s possession.

    “Unfortunately, it hasn’t led us to the person,” she said. “But we do believe he may still have that vehicle, despite all the coverage, because it hasn’t been recovered.”

    The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, and citizens are cautioned not to approach. If you see him, contact police immediately.

    The shooting took place the morning of June 24, in the café, previously known as the Doppio Espresso Bar. It sits wedged between a Pizza Pizza and a convenience store, just south of Highway 7 and Islington Ave.

    Police have called the incident a “targeted” attack. Two people died at the scene: Maria Voci, a 47-year-old mother of three and employee at the café, and Christopher De Simone, a 24-year-old Vaughan native. Funerals for both were held Monday.

    Two other men were seriously injured, one critically, and taken to hospital. They are both expected to survive. Among the two other victims was Rocco Di Paola, a candidate in last fall’s mayoral election in Toronto.

    A gofundme.com crowdfunding campaign has been launched by a friend of Voci’s son Antonio, in hopes of lightening the family’s load. Justin Salgado met the young man at a bar in Woodbridge several years ago.

    “No amount of money can take this pain away,” Salgado previously told the Star by phone from British Columbia. “But at least it can take the financial burden away from the family.” The campaign has raised more than $32,000 to date.

    Anyone who can identify the suspect from the video, or has information as to the location of the stolen Versa, should contact the York Regional Police Homicide Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 2411, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

    With files from Peter Edwards

    Submit News to CKA News Would-be citizens disappointed as new criteria kick in sooner than expected
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:41:00 EDT

    Antje Splettstoesser was counting down the days to June 6 when she would meet the residency requirement to apply for Canadian citizenship.

    Anticipating looming changes of the law by Ottawa, the German native had religiously checked with the government call centre for the exact date when applicants would be required to be present in Canada for four years out of six — rather than three out of four — to qualify.

    So eager was Splettstoesser, 35, to get her citizenship that she would not even take a vacation, to ensure she accumulated enough days in Canada to beat the new residency requirement.

    “Every time I called, I was told the new law would take effect on June 19,” said Splettstoesser, a Toronto-based marketing and sales director of the German National Tourist Office, who first came to Canada on a work visa in 2009 and became a permanent resident three years ago.

    “Then on June 5, Citizenship and Immigration Canada posted on its website that the new provision would be implemented on June 11.”

    On June 6, she sent her application package to the immigration department’s processing centre in Sydney, N.S., via Canada Post priority service.

    On June 25, Splettstoesser opened her mailbox and saw her returned citizenship application with the note: “You have submitted an outdated version of the citizenship application. Please resend your application using the current version of the application form.”

    Splettstoesser will now be assessed under the higher residency threshold and must wait for at least another year to be eligible — and that means she won’t be able to spend a single day outside of Canada.

    “I cannot tell you how frustrating this experience is to someone who really wants — officially and by law — to finally be a part of this society. I travel a lot for work, and who knows when they are going to change the law again? It’s an issue of security for immigrants,” said Splettstoesser, who will be refunded the $630 application fee.

    “The lack of transparency in this process is truly a shame. Even if you call the call centre, they can confirm that they were not aware of the June 11 date either, and that it was a last-minute decision. It is one thing to change a law and another to properly put it in place.”

    Immigration officials could not provide the number of citizenship applications returned to date. But they maintain the reforms help deter those who would become citizens only for the sake of having a Canadian passport to access taxpayer-funded benefits.

    “Our reforms ensure new citizens are better prepared for full participation in Canada’s economy and Canadian society. This is a win for newcomers and a win for Canada,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in a news release.

    Among other citizenship changes that came into force this month are: mandatory language requirements for applicants between 14 and 64 years old (changed from the previous 18 to 54 range); applicants’ declaration to reside in Canada; and a maximum $100,000 fine and five-year jail term for those convicted of fraud and misrepresentation in their applications.

    Frances Rutherford said her husband, Felix Carpio, who immigrated here from Dominican Republic more than 30 years ago, turned 55 on May 28 and could have been exempt from the new language proficiency requirement if they had known the changes were to come into effect June 11.

    Rutherford said Ottawa made the announcement on a Friday afternoon and allowed applicants just three office days to apply. A friend of the couple who is a lawyer helped Carpio compile his application and mail it June 8, but immigration officials said it arrived June 11 and sent it back to them.

    “We were so looking forward to this big event for him. We are just angry and disappointed,” said Rutherford, who was born in Scotland and came here with her family when she was 2.

    “Wouldn’t it be fair and appropriate to give people perhaps a three-month warning of the change? This just feels so underhanded. This can’t be Canada.”

    Carpio, a house painter, can enroll in an English course and pay $300 to write and pass a standard test, or wait 10 years until he turns 65 and is exempt from the language proficiency requirement — assuming the law hasn’t changed again.

    Submit News to CKA News Lawyer accused of mishandling settlement funds of residential school survivors
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:27:00 EDT

    A Kenora, Ont., lawyer is facing professional misconduct charges over alleged mishandling of settlement funds for more than a dozen residential school survivors.

    The Law Society of Upper Canada’s allegations against Douglas Jack Keshen, who has been retained for decades to represent First Nations, concern more than $100,000 of settlement money paid out to at least 17 victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at residential schools.

    “It’s disappointing — a betrayal. He’s one guy we knew all our time here as a band lawyer. We were familiar with him,” says Fred Thomas, 66, a member of the Lac Seul First Nation, who alleges he is one of Keshen’s victims. “I felt re-victimized, that I shouldn’t trust anyone else.”

    Keshen’s lawyer, Daniel Naymark, said his client will defend against the misconduct allegations. He described Keshen as a “respected lawyer” who “has devoted his nearly 40-year career to working with First Nations in Northwestern Ontario.”

    “He is one of the few lawyers championing the interests of these vulnerable under-represented communities,” Naymark said, adding that the law society “has not alleged that Mr. Keshen acted in bad faith or attempted to take advantage of his clients.”

    None of the allegations against Keshen outlined in the Toronto-based law society’s notice of application have been proven. They include:

  • Transferring roughly $45,000 of their settlement funds of 17 clients from his trust account to the firm’s general account “without any legal entitlement to the monies.”
  • Transferring more than $21,000 of settlement funds from three separate clients to himself to pay legal fees which “were neither fair nor reasonable.”
  • Making personal advances to 17 clients and facilitating high-interest loans to nine clients against anticipated settlement funds, in violation of the Indian Residential School Agreement.
  • Keshen is also accused of failing to conduct proper interviews with clients or review their applications for compensation. In a case involving a “vulnerable client,” he is accused of transferring nearly $120,000 from a settlement fund to individuals appointed under power of attorney “when it was apparent that all of the monies transferred were not for the benefit of (the client).” Keshen allegedly prepared power of attorney documents for the client “without ensuring that (the client) was capable,” the law society claims.

    The law society allegations are based on an investigation by the regulator. Cases are typically decided following a public proceeding before a law society disciplinary tribunal.

    Keshen was investigated last year by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, local media reported. That followed complaints from four clients to the secretariat, which was created to manage the distribution of settlement funds won in 2005 in a major class-action lawsuit against the Canadian government.

    The investigation was later transferred to the court monitor, which is overseeing implementation of the settlement and did not respond to questions from the Star on Tuesday. The court monitor has yet to release its report on the matter, Naymark said.

    When news of the secretariat’s investigation surfaced last year, Keshen told the CBC that he did not receive any financial benefit for negotiating loans for his clients, and that he provided advances on monies he anticipated they would get through their claims.

    “I believed that this would ease their stress and anger and frustration at the process, for having to wait so long for their award of compensation,” he said, adding he was “unaware” of any rules prohibiting the activity.

    In September, Lac Seul First Nation’s continued affiliation with Keshen’s firm, despite the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat’s probe, prompted band member Garnet Angeconeb, an advocate for fellow residential school survivors, to launch a hunger strike.

    Angeconeb, who is not among Keshen’s alleged victims, ended the hunger strike after five days. He says the chief agreed to sever the band’s ties with Keshen but continued its relationship with the lawyer’s firm, Keshen & Major.

    “I would like, very simply, to see justice being done,” said Angeconeb, 59.

    Keshen, who was called to the bar in 1978, is the latest in a series of lawyers to face allegations regarding the mishandling of settlement funds owed to residential school survivors. Last year in Calgary, lawyer David Blott was disbarred for mishandling residential school claims. And in 2012, Winnipeg lawyer Howard Lorne Tennenhouse lost his licence for taking more than $950,000 from dozens of residential school survivors.

    The law society’s allegations against Keshen were addressed in a brief proceeding in Toronto on Tuesday. The next step is a pre-hearing conference, which will take place behind closed doors in early August.

    With files from Metro News

    Rachel Mendleson can be reached at 416-869-4059 or rmendleson@thestar.ca .

    Submit News to CKA News Raptors GM Masai Ujiri needs to move quick once NBA free agency begins
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:54:45 EDT

    Masai Ujiri has spent months, no, years, assembling the kind of assets he needs to make the changes he deems necessary to the Raptors roster.

    The team’s president and general is going to have about two weeks to use them or a large part of the work will have been for naught.

    Now armed with potentially even more cap space than he had on Monday, Ujiri has to hit the ground running in the NBA free agency season or risk being left with a pile of money and no way to intelligently spend it.

    In whirlwind world of the NBA, Ujiri needs to find a couple of forwards and at least one guard between now and the middle of July to turn his team from promising to more complete.

    He isn’t waiting around. The Raptors have a meeting scheduled with free agent big man LaMarcus Aldridge, they have a privately expressed interest in Wesley Matthews and either will close a gaping hole in the roster.

    And with Aldridge seemingly bent on a quick resolution to his situation — reports suggest he’ll meet immediately with four or five teams besides Toronto — it’s unlikely he’ll be free too long after July 9 when the NBA’s moratorium on signings is lifted.

    Mathews is a bit different since the Portland swingman is still rehabbing a torn Achilles but there is enough interest elsewhere — Dallas is reportedly a suitor, Portland would love to have him back — to expect that situation will be resolved quickly.

    History would suggest the top-flight free agents — and those are the guys Ujiri is targeting — like to their business taken care of quickly which puts an onus on the general manager to act with alacrity.

    While there may be bargains to be had as the summer drones on, they are rarely impact players; Ujiri may be able to wait to find a backup point guard in mid-July but the front-of-the-line forwards he so badly needs will be gone.

    He did make life a bit easier Tuesday when he shipped off 2012 second-round draft pick Tomislav Zubcic to Oklahoma City for a bit of cash and Luke Ridnour, the 34-year-old point guard who was traded for the fourth time in a week.

    The benefit to having Ridnour is that his contract worth about $2.75 million is not guaranteed if he’s waived before July 10, a move that would give Ujiri even more money to spend.

    But the other side of the equation — and one that at least one NBA source held out as distinctly possible — is that Ridour and his deal would look nice in a trade package, indicating that some think it’s just a precursor to a bigger move before July 10.

    Toronto also took care of some minor business Tuesday, finally getting around to agreeing with former star swingman Jerry Stackhouse to join Dwane Casey’s staff as an assistant coach.

    Stackhouse had a series of meetings and interviews with Toronto going back to before the early-June start of the NBA final and sources said he should be formally named to Casey’s staff later this week.

    Submit News to CKA News Contention grows around LRT route in Brampton
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:59:17 EDT

    With the future of mass transit in Brampton about to be decided, one burning issue has divided council, residents and businesses: What route should a provincially-funded regional LRT take?

    It’s an issue that could define much of the city’s future.

    The question is particularly pertinent in Brampton, where the planned route takes the LRT north along Main St., including a 2-kilometre section lined with heritage homes that date back as far as the 1850s, before looping back down from the city’s central GO Train station.

    The schism has put Mayor Linda Jeffrey, a former Liberal cabinet minister and MPP, at the centre of the debate, as she tries to lobby council and the public to get behind the route and plan backed by the Liberal government. Brampton council will vote on the LRT’s future at a special meeting July 8.

    “I will be voting in support of the (Metrolinx) alignment and route, as it will serve the needs of our community both today and long into the future,” Jeffrey wrote in an email Monday. “The H-M LRT will potentially be a game changing initiative that will revitalize our downtown and our city's future.”

    That’s not how her critics see things.

    Since the province agreed two months ago to fully fund the core capital cost for the Hurontario-Main LRT, to run north-south through Mississauga and part of Brampton, the $1.6-billion transit windfall has left many unsure about the specifics.

    The previous city council rejected the plan put forward by Metrolinx in a 10-1 vote. That plan calls for the LRT to travel up Hurontario St., crossing the city border at Steeles Ave., and continuing on Main St. in Brampton.

    Some councillors and residents have taken entrenched positions that the LRT would harm the Main St. area’s character. They also question what some believe was a “made in Mississauga” solution that former Mayor Hazel McCallion aggressively lobbied to get for her city. The plan gives Mississauga about three-quarters of the stops and the overall distance.

    Councillors have raised concerns that there isn’t enough demand along the more sparsely-travelled corridor north of Steeles. Some have suggested alternative routes, and even raised the possibility of instead going with an east-west LRT along Queen St., the city’s growth corridor. City staff said alternative routes would be too expensive and would add travel time.

    Others say the heritage argument isn’t valid, with LRTs around the world running through neighbourhoods much more historic than Brampton. They argue the city’s downtown area desperately needs high-order transit.

    “People move from city to city for different reasons, including to go to work, to shop, or to meet with friends. The Metrolinx LRT project is not a ‘Mississauga’ LRT, any more than Hurontario-Main is Mississauga’s road,” says a statement from Kevin Montgomery, co-founder of the group Fight Gridlock in Brampton.

    Jeffrey added: “Transit has the power to transform communities. The H-M LRT will also give Brampton the necessary edge to compete in our bid to ensure that Brampton is a serious contender for a future University site.”

    Montgomery and his group say the LRT is crucial to revitalizing Brampton’s aging downtown.

    “Downtown Brampton is not seeing the kind of foot traffic that it needs to be truly successful. Raising those numbers will not happen by adding more capacity for cars, increasing the problem of congestion,” they say in their statement. “Allocating the already congested space for LRTs instead of single-occupant motor vehicles is a better use of the road allowance. It will move more people into the inner core.”

    Submit News to CKA News Who?s your friend? Drivers get creative to bypass HOV lane restrictions
    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:11:16 EDT

    Torontonians are finding creative ways to access the Pan Am Games high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes that came into effect Monday.

    Salesman Shai Azoulay, 28, from North York, has had an unusually high 17 inquiries about his $40/month mannequins since posting an ad on Kijiji Monday morning.

    “It’s not cool or fair to Toronto to promote something like that, but people have mentioned the HOV lanes to me when they’re enquiring, and I’m happy selling them,” Azoulay said.

    The new regulations have caused traffic chaos, with HOV lanes lightly used while vehicles with fewer than three occupants suffer the congestion of regular lanes.

    “I’ve heard of that (people using mannequins) in the past, but not so far this year,” said Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Sergeant Kerry Schmidt.

    In June 2011, a 51-year-old Burlington man was charged with two offences relating to improper use of HOV lanes after driving with a clothed inflatable mannequin in the passenger’s seat of his black SUV on the eastbound QEW near Dorval Dr. in Oakville.

    A 39-year-old Aurora woman was the first in Ontario to be caught using a decoy to drive in the carpool lane, in March 2006. The “child” in her carseat turned out to be a stuffed winter coat.

    Drivers who break the temporary HOV rules on provincial highways face fines of up to $110 and three demerit points. There is no extra fine for trying to fool the police with mannequins, Schmidt said.

    Some more mainstream social media users, however, are searching for car-pool partners rather than store-display dolls to trick police.

    Two young Georgetown residents are offering their services to peeved drivers. For $55 per hour-long journey, Michael Burton and Kris Chaput say they will ride along in your vehicle.

    Their humorous online ad, which drew more than 500 visits overnight, says they are “great conversationalists and are willing to discuss current events, politics and the increasing income gap that will one day plague the world.”

    As their work is in high demand, they also ask to be allowed to snack and “have a say in exactly 50 per cent of the playlist” while driving.

    The Kijiji ad might look like on online joke, but the two friends say their offer is sincere.

    “I would totally do it. I’m down for a really good story,” said Burton, 26, editor-in-chief of the York University newspaper, Excalibur. “It’s a funny story to tell friends, and I’ll try anything once.

    “We’ll maybe have to drop the price down. People might think it’s not legitimate, ” he said.

    “Just wait until the Games start. The people of Toronto will think of the faces of Kris and I, and give us a shout.”

    Chaput, also 26, who works full-time in Mississauga, added that he and Burton had been in “a lot of funny situations before” and “it would be worth it, even if it was a negative experience.”

    From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day until July 27, the Pan Am HOV lanes are reserved for media, athletes, Games-accredited vehicles, emergency vehicles, public transit, electric vehicles with green licence plates, airport limos (on highways), licensed taxis and vehicles carrying at least three people.

    Between July 28 and Aug. 18, during the Parapan Games, vehicles with just two occupants will also be able to use HOV lanes.

    Submit News to CKA News Canada?s wild digital frontier needs policing
    Wed, 09 Feb 2011 03:08:26 Z
    John Ivison: The copyright bill has a number of provisions that are far less favourable to Canada’s performers and creators, who are about to see take a big hit to their pocket-books
    Submit News to CKA News Election buzz, stale rhetoric ? Parliament has deja vu all over again
    Tue, 01 Feb 2011 11:42:28 Z
    John Ivison: If you missed Question Period Monday, don’t worry — you have a golden opportunity to miss it again Tuesday
    Submit News to CKA News Death of Personal Responsibility: Think outside the lunchbox
    Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:50:39 Z
    Neil Seeman: So what should the role of the state be in combating obesity? It’s time to think outside of the lunchbox, and try a whole new idea: healthy living vouchers, or HLVs
    Submit News to CKA News Don?t give Quebec a nickel
    Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:57:55 Z
    Jonathan Kay: If Harper says no to the Bloc's demands, he will be going to the voters as a man of principle who stood his ground on a subject far more important to this country than corporate tax rates
    Submit News to CKA News Stelmach more than a victim of changing attitudes
    Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:38:13 Z
    Kevin Libin: Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach bet the fortune of his party’s unparalleled political dynasty on a leadership strategy that failed to pan out
    Submit News to CKA News Dave Taylor a mixed blessing for fledgling Alberta Party
    Tue, 25 Jan 2011 02:34:30 Z
    Kevin Libin: The addition of former Liberal MLA Dave Taylor to the Alberta party gives it a legitimacy boost, but does the outspoken former radio personality fit with the party's post-partisan dreams?
    Submit News to CKA News Playing by China's rules
    Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:21:17 Z
    Rex Murphy: China has reached an agreement with the Newfoundland government to begin the importation of seal and seal products into its potentially vast market. This is both very good and rare news for Newfoundland sealers
    Submit News to CKA News Canada: Nanny AND wimpy state?
    Thu, 20 Jan 2011 20:08:14 Z
    Before, there actually had to be a violent protest before public institutions caved in and cancelled controversial events. Now, a group of unhinged zealots make a couple of angry phone calls and – poof! – they silence free speech and free assembly
    Submit News to CKA News Executives probably not swayed by Liberal tax plan
    Tue, 18 Jan 2011 23:54:00 Z
    Scott Stinson: It’s a safe bet that Mr. Ignatieff did not win many converts with his tax-increase sales pitch to Canadian executives on Tuesday. This is not a great surprise
    Submit News to CKA News Conservatives missed the call for more civilized debate
    Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:58:11 Z
    Kelly McParland: The federal Conservatives’ brain trust must have been somewhere else when President Barack Obama delivered his speech in Arizona last week, calling for greater civility in political debate.
    Submit News to CKA News Harper's five years: Canadians better off, even if they don't feel it
    Sat, 15 Jan 2011 13:21:36 Z
    John Ivison: Jan. 23 marks the fifth anniversary of Stephen Harper’s 2006 election victory and in early February, he will pass Lester B. Pearson’s time in office to become Canada’s 11th longest-serving Prime Minister

    Sources:

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