City's Executive Committee Looks to Spend Extra Tax Revenue on Social Programs

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 1/10/2013 9:28:00 PM

With a flush of extra tax money the mayor wants to spend it on paramedics, fire fighters and arts and culture.

During Thursday's executive committee meeting Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said tax revenue was much higher than projections in November. 

$ 7 million extra in building taxes.

With that money, Ford says he would like to spend that on hiring 20 new firefighters, 40 new paramedics and reinstate curbside leaf collection in Etobicoke and Scarborough. 

The executive committee plan will also boost money for school nutrition programs, boosting library collections and money to stop charging adults at priority recreation centres.

The budget also earmarks $6 Million for arts and culture funding from billboard taxes.

The budget will be going to general council for approval next week.

Man Dies After Collision with TTC Bus

Posted By: David Woodard · 1/10/2013 8:46:00 PM

An elderly man has died after a collision invloving a TTC bus Thursday evening.

It happened just before 7 o'clock near Morningside and Old Finch Road.

It's not clear how the incident happened, or whether the TTC driver is facing charges.

Investigators remain on scene to try to figure out what happened.

Computer Crash at Peason Causing Significant Delays

Posted By: David Woodard · 1/10/2013 7:10:00 PM

If you are expecting a flight out of Pearson Thursday evening, expect a lengthy delay.

A computer problem is being blamed on delays heading out of the airport.

We're hearing that a flight planning computer has crashed meaning they have to go back to a paper strip method causing significant delays for departing flights.

Delays are any where from 1 to 3 hours long so check ahead if you are flying out tonight.

TDSB Director of Education Chris Spence resigns

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 3:13:00 PM

Chris Spence has stepped down as Director of Education with the Toronto District School Board.

His resignation comes after it was revealed he had passed off others' words as his own in an op-ed piece published last week in the Toronto Star.  The National Post alleges it has happened other times too.

Spence's resignation is effective immediately.  Board Chair Chris Bolton says the TDSB is "taking steps to appoint an interim Director to ensure stability across the system".

Spence has been Director of Education for the country's largest school board since 2009.

Spence writes that he quits with "a profoundly heavy heart".  He goes on to say that "more than anything else, I regret that I have not set a good or proper example for the many thousands of young people I've been privileged to meet and know."

Spence vows to carry on with self-imposed punishments for plagiarism, including having ...

Celeb chef Jonathan Gushue found

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 2:42:00 PM

Ontario celebrity Chef Jonathan Gushue has been found

Waterloo Regional Police say the chef of Cambridge's Langdon Hall has been tracked down outside of the province.  Olaf Heinzel with WRP says the family has asked that his exact whereabouts not be shared.

Police say they are no longer concerned for his well being.

Heinzel says Gushue didn't reach out to friends or family, he was found through police investigation.

Gushue stayed at the Toronto's Park Hyatt from December 29th-31st but never showed up for dinner service at Langdon Hall on New Year's Eve.

Gushue hadn't been in contact with his wife or 3 young kids since December 29th.

Gushue has disappeared for days at a time before & has been known to use the alias Jonathan Herder.

Ikea Monkey: The Game

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 2:00:00 PM

Darwin, the now infamous Ikea Monkey has spawned his on online game.

In it, players have to navigate Darwin, dressed in his double-breasted shearling coat through an Ikea parking lot.

The goal is to collect boards, screws, pegs & Allen keys to build a Billy bookcase.  But Darwin has to dodge shoppers, carts & cars along the way.  The little monkey can also collect banana peels & throw poo to keep shoppers back.

You can play the game here.

Gov Gen Johnston Will Meet With Spence

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 1/10/2013 12:55:00 PM

Governor General David Johnston has agreed to a request from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to host a ceremonial meeting with First Nations leaders at Rideau Hall following their working meetings on Friday.

Some native leaders have insisted that the Governor General should be at the actual meetings and this development offers a possible compromise.

It is unclear, however, whether the meeting with Johnston will salvage the process.

Manitoba chiefs say they won't attend the working sessions without the Governor General.

Their comments today echoed Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence who said Wednesday she would boycott the meetings in Johnston's absence.

It was Spence's month-long protest which triggered the idea of a meeting between aboriginal leaders and the federal government in the first place.

Stay Clear of Ice as Temperatures Warm

Posted By: Amber Gero · 1/10/2013 11:44:00 AM

A low pressure system coming up from Texas is expected to head towards the great lakes Thursday night and Friday bring very mild and moist air into most of Southern Ontario.  With temperatures expected to rise to the double-digits on Saturday, the OPP is warning snowmobilers, anglers and the like to stay clear of the ice.

“The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) remind
snowmobilers that no ice can be considered to be 100 percent safe to ride on a snowmobile. This is especially true in early winter when ice is newly forming, during any prolonged period of thaw or rain, and late in the season after ice begins deteriorating from milder temperatures.”states a news release from the OPP.   It continues, “To avoid unnecessary risks, the OPP and OFSC recommend that snowmobilers stick to available, land-based OFSC trails whenever possible.”

There are already reports ...

VIDEO: Murray Drops Out of Liberal Leadership Race, Throws Support Behind Wynne

Posted By: Suzette Francis · 1/10/2013 10:40:00 AM

Former education minister Kathleen Wynne's campaign to replace Dalton McGuinty as Ontario's next premier got a big boost today when Glen Murray dropped out of the race to endorse her.
Murray's decision, which comes just days before Liberal delegates are selected for the leadership convention, leaves six candidates in the race.
Murray, the former mayor of Winnipeg, joked about his inability to drum up financial and delegate support during Wednesday night's final debate among the leadership candidates.
He admitted he didn't have a lot of money, had "tapped out every friend'' and could barley afford another campaign pamphlet.
Murray, who was fist elected in a 2010 byelection in Toronto-Centre, had virtually no support among his fellow Liberal caucus members and little among would-be delegates to the leadership convention in Toronto Jan. 25-26.
The 55-year-old Murray had held two portfolios in ...

Porter Airlines fuel staff on strike

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 1/10/2013 5:18:00 AM

Porter Airways says it will be business as usual on Thursday despite a planned strike by workers who fuel its planes at Toronto`s Billy Bishop Airport.

The airline says on its website that ``all flights are scheduled to operate normally`` but also encourages passengers to check flight status.

Twenty-two workers represented by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union were set to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

The union said talks broke down prior to the deadline after Porter sought a one-day extension after not moving on wage issues. Health benefits and safety concerns are also considered key issues.

Although Porter says it has other employees to fuel the aircraft, the union expressed concern as to whether they can perform the job properly.

(The Canadian Press)

Province to ask Labour Relations Board to stop teachers' protest

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 1/10/2013 7:50:00 AM

Lawyers for the Ontario Government go to the Ontario Labour Relations Board at University and Dundas Thursday afternoon, with the goal of trying to headoff Friday's planned one-day protest by the Elementary Teachers Federation.  

The Ministry of Education will also ask for a cease and desist order against the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation which is planning a day of protest, province-wide, next Wednesday.

While the unions are calling this a day of protest, the government view is these would constitute illegal strike action because new contracts were put in place by Queen's Park a week ago and it's a violation of the Labour Relations Act to strike or lockout while a contract is in effect.

Many public school boards in Ontario (including all of the public boards in the Greater Toronto Area) have said the elementary schools would be closed to students on Friday if the teachers don't ...

Oscar nominations to be announced Thursday

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 1/10/2013 5:25:00 AM

It's the most coveted prize in Hollywood and we'll find out which actors and films are a step closer to picking up an Oscar on Thursday morning.

Best picture favourites for the 2013 Academy Awards include the history-based ``Lincoln,'' ''Zero Dark Thirty,`` ''Les Miserables`` and ''Argo.`` Among other prospects are ''Django Unchained`` and ''Life of Pi.``

Two past Oscar ceremony hosts have strong shots at nominations for ``Les Miserables'': Hugh Jackman for best actor as Victor Hugo's tragic hero Jean Valjean and Anne Hathaway for supporting actress as a doomed single mother forced into prostitution.

Other acting possibilities include Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro for the oddball romance ``Silver Linings Playbook; Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz for ''Django Unchained``; Affleck and Alan Arkin for ''Argo``; John
Hawkes and Helen Hunt for the sex-surrogate story ''The Sessions``; Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams for ...

TDSB skilled trades people vow to fight back

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 2:26:00 AM

The group behind that infamous $143 pencil sharpener installation at a Toronto school, says they're ready for a fight.

Jimmy Hazel is head of the Maintenance & Construction Skilled Trades Council.  They represent 900 plumbers, electricians, carpenters, groundskeepers, labourers, painters & plumbers.

Speaking after a meeting of the Toronto District School Board Wednesday night, Hazel vowed the group would be speaking up now & they'd be telling the truth.

Board Chair Chris Bolton has blasted the government's extension of the TDSB's contract with the council because a new one hadn't been negotiated by December 31st.  Bolton called the move "political" because members of the Skilled Trades Council donate to the Liberals.

But Hazel says the board showed no sign of good-faith bargaining & wouldn't entertain his plan that would've saved $3-million.

Hazel added that the council waon't take having their contracting rights taken away lying down & that they intend to fight.  He didn't ...

TDSB to meet with provincial team Thursday

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 1:16:00 AM

Executives with the Toronto District School Board will have their 1st formal meeting Thursday with a team, meant to help the board with their finances.

Chair Chris Bolton says he along with the TDSB's Vice-Chair & Director of Education would be hooking up with the "special assistance team", offered up by the Education Ministry.

The team will give the board advice on how to implement recommendations of a Pricewaterhouse Coopers report on righting the TDSB's financial ship.  That report includes closing up to 15 schools & the layoff of some 700 board staff.

Director of Education Chris Spence hopes welcoming the team will put the board closer to un-freezing funding for capital projects.

2 leaders of the special assistance team were introduced to TDSB trustees at a meeting Wednesday night.  Bill Hogarth & Ralph Benson are both ex-senior staffers with the York Region District School Board.

VIDEO: Teachers picket outside Liberal leadship debate

Posted By: James Moore · 1/10/2013 12:52:00 AM

On Wednesday evening, about 200 angry teachers greeted Ontario Liberals attending the fifth and final Ontario Liberal Leadership debate.  They picketed and chanted slogans outside The Old Mill Inn in Etobicoke, as party members filed into the building.  Union members from Ontario's high school and elementary teachers attended the demonstration, along with representatives from CUPE and the Ontario Federation of Labour. 

Union leaders, leading chants of "Hey hey, ho ho, lying Liberals have to go,'' vowed to defeat the Liberals in the next election for using Bill 115, which also imposed a two-year wage freeze on most teachers. 

Teachers at the rally told NEWSTALK 1010 that the protest is important to let the 7 would-be Premiers participating in the debate know that Ontario's educators are still seeing red over the legislation that forced a new, 2-year contract on them.  Elementary school teachers are set to walk off the job for ...

Chris Spence safe as TDSB Director of Education for now

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 1/10/2013 5:27:00 AM

Chris Spence is staying on as Director of Education with the Toronto District School Board--for now.

His future will be decided at a special meeting of the board in the coming days.  A date for that meeting could be announced as soon as Thursday.

Spence is on thin ice after it was revealed he'd passed off others' words as his own in an op-ed piece published last week.

While board chair Chris Bolton says they "take this situation very seriously", he insisted it couldn't be discussed at another special meeting of the TDSB Wednesday night.  Bolton explained the rules around special meetings don't allow room for anything to be added to the agenda.  Wednesday's was called to dive into the effects of the province forcing contracts on teachers & other groups last week.

Before the meeting, Chris Spence spoke to the media for the first time since issuing a written ...

UPDATE: Rogers customers have internet access restored

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 1/10/2013 5:20:00 AM

A number of Rogers customers in southern Ontario who lost access to their wireless data and home Internet services Wednesday night were all back online by early Thursday.

A company representative reached by telephone told The Canadian Press that ``everything has been restored ... everything is up and running'' but did not comment on the nature of the problem. Rogers had earlier acknowledged the problem on its official
Twitter account, saying it was working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Some customers in New Brunswick said their Rogers Internet services were down as well, although those outages weren't confirmed by the company.

While waiting for service to be restored, many customers took to social media to vent their frustration and the company was even trending on Twitter under the hashtag  rogers late Wednesday night. ``Internet is not working and  Rogers tech support lines aren't working .. nice ... ...

AUDIO: OSSTF to Engage in Day of Protest January 16th

Posted By: David Woodard · 1/10/2013 5:30:00 AM

A letter from the OSSTF to its members says they will hold a day of protest of their own on January 16th.

According to the letter, acquired by News Talk 1010,  the local bargaining unit presidents met in Toronto today to determine what form of protest they would take to show their displeasure in having a contract forced on them by the provincial government.

It goes on to say that members should continue to refuse to engage in voluntary and extracurricular activities, as well as voted in favour of a day of action in protest.

The letter doesn't say whether the protest will occur during the school day, after, or before.

OSSTF officials tell NEWSTALK 1010 that the union has not yet decided whether the protest will include the cancellation of classes. 

A timeline on that decision is not clear.

Toronto District School Board spokesperson Ryan Bird says officials are keeping close tabs ...

Premier says teacher protest would be illegal

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 1/10/2013 5:00:00 AM

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says elementary school teachers who have announced a one-day protest Friday will be taking
part in an illegal strike.
McGuinty says the teachers are no longer in a legal strike position now that the province has imposed new collective agreements.
Tens of thousands of Ontario elementary teachers and education workers are set to participate in a one-day political protest Friday over the government's decision to impose the contracts. The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says it's following through on what the majority of its 76,000 members said they wanted should contracts be forced on them.
Education Minister Laurel Broten urged union leaders today not to ask teachers to break the law.
The minister wouldn't say what kind of penalties striking teachers may face, saying it's up to the Ontario Labour Relations
(The Canadian Press)


Schools to close Friday: ...

UPDATE: Schools to close Friday: Public elementary teachers walking off the job

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 1/10/2013 5:44:00 PM

The district school boards in Toronto, York Region, Durham Region and Peel have announced that public elementary schools will be closed on Friday, January 11th as long as teachers walk off the job as currently planned.

ETFO union president Sam Hammond announced Wednesday that teachers will hold a one-day protest.

Teachers in Toronto plan to picket starting at 10 a.m Friday outside of schools, school board offices, the ministry of education, and office of local Liberal leadership candidates. The formal pickets are expected to last until 12:30 p.m.

 Picket lines in York region will form outside of school board and political offices from 8:30 a.m until 1 p.m.

Officials at the TDSB say 474 elementary and junior schools will close as well as the daycares that they house because the board can't promise adequate supervision. The board is asking parents to make alternate plans.

The TDSB says its teachers will be paid ...

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