News

Sled Dog Killer Sentenced to 3 Years Probation

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 11/22/2012 9:17:00 PM

A man who pleaded guilty to the slaughter of dozens of sled dogs will not spend time in prison.

Instead, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has sentenced Robert Fawcett to three years of probation for causing unnecessary pain and suffering to nine sled dogs that died in the cull near Whistler after business slumped following the Vancouver Olympics.

Court heard wrenching evidence at Fawcett's sentencing hearing today about how he felt pushed to kill the dogs.

His lawyer, Greg Diamond, read a statement from Fawcett saying a part of him died along with the animals he viewed as pets.

The Crown and the defence agreed probation was an appropriate punishment, with Crown lawyer Nicole Gregoire noting Fawcett received death threats, saw his wife and young children forced into hiding, and had a mental break down.

The horrific incident became public in January 2011 after a worker's compensation claim for post-traumatic ...

Toronto Argo Chad Owens Wins CFL Most Outstanding Player Award

Posted By: David Woodard · 11/22/2012 9:11:00 PM

Former Hawaii receiver Chad Owens was honoured as the Canadian Football League's outstanding player Thursday night, three days before he leads the Toronto Argonauts against Calgary in the Grey Cup.

The 30-year-old Owens led the CFL in receiving with 94 catches for 1,328 yards and six touchdowns, also topped the league in return yards with 2,510 and had a record 3,863 all-purpose yards.

Owens edged Calgary running back Jon Cornish in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and the eight CFL coaches.

Cornish became the first Canadian to lead the league in rushing since Orville Lee in 1988 with Ottawa, finishing with 1,457 yards to break Norm Kwong's 56-year-old record for Canadians. Cornish played at Kansas.

(Canadian Press)

Last-minute entry in Ontario Liberal leadership race

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 11/22/2012 8:22:00 PM

Just under the wire, Harinder Takhar is last to join the race to lead Ontario's Liberal Party.

Friday is the deadline to take a run at replacing Dalton McGuinty.

Takhar has resigned his post as Minister of Government Services, Dwight Duncan taking over his portfolio.

The Mississauga-Erindale MPP says he's heard from Ontarians that they are worried about their ability to provide opportunities for their families in times of economic uncertainty.  In a release, Takhar says "I look forward to sharing my vision of how we can achieve this together".

Takhar will formally kick off his campaign in Mississauga Saturday.

He joins 6 other leadership hopefuls-- Eric Hoskins, Gerard Kennedy Glen Murray, Sandra Pupatello, Charles Sousa & Kathleen Wynne.

Ontario Liberals will choose their next leader at the end of January 2013.

New Meeting Between TDSB and Province Scheduled

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/22/2012 5:51:00 PM

The meeting between Toronto District School Board (TDSB) staff and ministry of education officials has wrapped up the day after the  board voted down it's capital plan.

Officials tell Newstalk 1010 it all started with the ministry underlining the TDSB has to eliminate its capital deficit by the end of the next fiscal year. The province also made it clear the board will have new capital money frozen until it can prove the cost overruns of new projects won't happen, pointing to the overspending at Nelson Mandela School on Shuter St.

The two sides also spoke about priority capital projects, especially those related to full-day kindergarten.

A new meeting between both sides is set for next week to discuss the next steps thoroughly, such as getting an update on the boards capital plan and ways it can get out of the red.

The province says there will be another meeting ...

Vaughan Mom Withdraws Bid to Have Trees Moved

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 11/22/2012 5:11:00 PM

The woman who was leading a crusade to have oak trees moved on the property of a Woodbridge school, is dropping her bid.

Donna Giustizia said she's been the target of cyber bullying after making the friendly request to the city of Vaughan.

At that time, she suggested that the acorns that fall from the tree could be a health risk to those who are allergic to tree nuts.

She never suggested the trees be cut down, but wanted to investigate moving them away from the playground area.

When Giustizia made the request, councilors were concerned about setting precedent, and asked staff to come back with a report.

Now that the request has been dropped, the report will be scrapped.

Giustizia is the chairwoman of the Allergy Awareness Committee at the school.

Anti-Fraud Task Force Releases Recommenations

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/22/2012 3:57:00 PM

The province is trying to eliminate car insurance fraud and an expert panel set up by Ontario's finance minister has unveiled 38 recommendations to set things straight.

The panel estimates 83 per cent of all car insurance fraud takes place in the GTA and it cost up to  $1.5 billion in 2010. That's raising your average premium between $116 and $236 dollars here in Ontario.

Some of the recommendations are to develop a website that would explain how to make an auto insurance claim and what happens afterwards, bring in legislation to protect people who rat out a suspected fraudster and implement a province-wide licensing scheme for tow truck drivers.

Quick Six Allowed Into Grey Cup

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 11/22/2012 3:35:00 PM

If the Grey Cup were a PR game, The Calgary Stampeders would be walking away with the win.

Already their fans rallied to allow a horse into the Royal York Hotel, and now, it looks like their beloved touchdown horse Quick Six will be allowed on the sidelines at the big game on Sunday.

The horse runs up and down the sidelines every time the Stampeders score a touchdown.

But earlier this week, organizers said there was no room on the field for the horse saying it would be a safety concern.

The league released a statement on Thursday:

"The Calgary Stampeders' touchdown horse will attend the 100th Grey Cup championship game this Sunday. Officials from the CFL, the Stampeders and Rogers Centre, the site of the game, have worked together to find a place for rider Karyn Drake and her horse. The horse will be allowed to stand in ...

Grey Cup Road Closures

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 11/22/2012 3:00:00 PM

Grey Cup Roads

With the festivities surrounding the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto already well underway, Toronto Police are warning there will be more road closures to deal with from now through the weekend.

The following roads will be closed down in stages or fully:

Full closure: Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 12:01 a.m. to Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 6 a.m.
- Front Street West, University Avenue to John Street
- John Street, Wellington Street West to Front Street West

Partial closure: Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 12:01 a.m. to Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 6 a.m.
- Front Street West, John Street to Blue Jays Way (local traffic only)

Partial closure: Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 6 a.m. to Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 10 a.m.
- Front Street West, University Avenue to Blue Jays Way (northside lanes, two-way for local traffic only; southside lanes closed)

Full closure: ...

Province Launches Tuition Grant Ad Campaign

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/22/2012 2:44:00 PM

The province is pumping $4.8 million into an ad campaign to remind students about its tuition grant for college and university students.

Last year, the province announced the 30 per cent grant last year and only applies to a certain number of students.

Both ads show students watching movies with students getting math and football scholarships. The kids on the coach then laugh at the idea of having free tuition.

The Premier's office says this has nothing to do with the leadership campaign or what the next premier's views on the grant are. Staff underline the province just wants to make sure students know some are eligible to save some money.

The ads begin running Thursday night on television. They will run on the radio starting in January.

TDSB and Provincial Officials Meet

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/22/2012 2:41:00 PM

Staff from both the ministry of education and the TDSB are speaking at Queen's Park about the board's decision to vote down it's capital plan last night.

Provincial officials say this meeting is to take a look how to move forward.

Earlier this year, Education Minister Laurel Broten mused on sending in a supervisor to oversee the board's finances after problems at Nelson Mandela School downtown.

However, the Ministry now says the call to put a provincial supervisor in charge of the TDSB is quite a ways away. In fact, it reveals there would have to be a provincial investigation on how the board manages its finances first.

This meeting between staff was planned before the board's decision on its capital plan.

It's a situation NDP MPP, former Waterloo board trustee and former president of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association Catherine Fife is familiar with. She says for the ...

More charges in Danzig St shooting

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 11/22/2012 2:35:00 PM

Toronto Police have laid more murder charges in the Danzig St shooting.

19-year-old Nahom Tsegazab is charged with 2 counts of 2nd degree murder, 1 count of attempted murder & 22 counts of aggravated assaulted.  Tsegazab had already been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm in the case.

He goes by the street name "Gifted" & is an associate of the Galloway Boys gang.

2 weeks ago, police charged 18-year-old Shaquan "Bam Bam" Mesquito, with 2 counts of 1st degree murder, attempted murder & 23 counts of aggravated assault.

Toronto Police Staff Inspector Greg McLane says they believe there are at least 1 or 2 more Danzig shooters out there.  He's confident they'll make more arrests & lay more charges, possibly murder charges.

McLane renewed his appeal to the people of Toronto for help.  He says police know there are people with information about what happened at that Danzig street party that haven't piped ...

Toronto Ombudsman Targets Parking

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 11/22/2012 2:02:00 PM

In her latest report, Toronto Ombudsman Fiona Crean takes aim at parking tickets in the city.

She says the current way of doing things makes it easier to pay the fines, rather than fight them.

Her investigation started back in December after her office received complaints about how hard it is to fight the tickets, and how long it took for cases to get to trial.

There was also complaints about service at parking ticket offices. It was labelled as 'poor'.

But Crean outlined 5 ways to fix the system.

She says they could give better information on how to fight the tickets, both on the city's website and on the ticket itself.

She also says staff at ticket offices could have more power to dismiss disputes that don't need to go to court.

Crean also suggested the city develop a courrier parking permit, which would also ease the burden ...

London Mayor Not Stepping Down

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 11/22/2012 1:18:00 PM

London Ontario Mayor Joe Fontana spoke at a news conference today, and says he will not step down as mayor while fighting charges against him.

Those charges were laid by the RCMP on Wednesday and include Fraud under 5 thousand, breach of trust by a public official and uttering forged documents.

The Mounties claimed that the charges are over alleged misuse of public funds when Fontana was a federal Liberal cabinet minister.

The charges reportedly surround Fontana allegedly writing federal government cheques to London club to help pay for thereception of his son's wedding back in 2005.

The Mayor did resign from the Police Services Board by says he's staying on as mayor.

Fontana has maintained his innocence and says he will fight the charges.

Pair Wants Queen's Park To Get Tough on Litter

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/22/2012 12:31:00 PM

A pair of environmental activists is asking the province to look at littering and regulations surrounding it.

Co-Founder of the Litter Prevention Program Sheila White says she wants to make littering as socially unacceptable as drunk driving.

White and colleague Alex King even suggested to a have a national TV show called "Canada's Biggest Butt-Kicker," where the province which collects the most cigarette butts gets a prize.

When it comes to big events like the Grey Cup, Whit says organizers need to properly plan where they put the garbage and recycling bins in order to prevent people from littering.

White suggests people carry litter bags for when they are out and about. She says smokers, should have "butt jars" - empty jars with lids they can use as a portable ashtray.

White says the province's environmental commissioner has told them he would consider their request to look at littering regulations ...

Don't Let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 11/22/2012 11:57:00 AM

Toronto Police are warning people to beware of fraudsters as we head into the holiday season.  While tampering incidents involving ATMs are down, there has been an increase in the number of 'point of sale' machines that are being targetted by crooks. Investigators believe the 'pin and chip' technology being used at most Automated Teller Machines is forcing thieves to find other ways to get your information. 

One of those other ways is through counterfeit websites.  "These websites will often use toll free numbers.   And they'll often use actual business addresses that exist, but what we find out is that it's a different company or different business located at the address."said Detective Alan Spratt.

Detective Spratt says the best way to guard against this online threat is to do your research.  Call the company's head office to confirm the URL of their website. 

People are also being reminded to protect ...

EMS Managers Earning Thousands in Overtime

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/22/2012 6:32:00 AM

Expect a lot of questions about the overtime tab at Toronto Emergency Medical Services.

The Sun says some senior management at EMS have claimed "an almost unimaginable amount of overtime in the past 12 months alone" and all of it in cash, not time in lieu.

The report says some managers have collected as much as 15 percent of their salary in overtime and in some cases, it was as much as 50 percent in extra cash.

The story also points out there is nothing illegal going on, nor are the managers acting against the interests of the service.  The EMS has no overtime cap.

These managers don't have to attend the scene of accident in person and they also don't have to treat patients.

In a published list of annual public salaries obtained by The Sun, as many as 45 staff are making 15 percent over their wage in ...

92 Year Old Fights High Car Insurance Rates for Seniors

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/22/2012 6:12:00 AM

Whether an insurance company can charge more for driving over 80 (as in over 80 years old) is the subject of an Ontario human-rights hearing starting Thursday.

In his complaint, Denis Olorenshaw argues that setting higher premiums for drivers based on their plus-80 status amounts to age discrimination. He says there's no evidence the elderly pose more risk. The 92-year-old launched his complaint in 2009 when a company wanted to charge him $250 more than his 62-year-old daughter.

The company, Western Assurance, argues the Supreme Court has ruled higher premiums based on age can be justified.

Even though he managed to find quotes from other companies that did not charge the over-80 group more, Olorenshaw said he decided to pursue the case ``for the principle and the benefit of other seniors.''

``This insurance company that I am complaining about ... does not have the right industry statistical information to back ...

Additional Charges Expected in Danzig St. Shooting

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/22/2012 6:07:00 AM

We'll get the details Thursday afternoon but our sources say additional charges have or will be filed in the Danzig Street shooting that happened in July. It was the city's worst mass shooing.

Two people were shot to death,  23 others wounded at a block party outside a public housing complex in the east-end.

It was just two weeks ago when Shaquan Mesquito became the first person charged with murder in the case.  At the time police put out composite drawings of two other men and the lead detective said then, the investigation was "far from over".

The news conference takes place at 2 p.m.

Man Faces Harassment Charges for Tweets

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/22/2012 5:29:00 AM

A graphic designer here in Toronto has been arrested on charges of criminal harassment on Twitter.

Activist Stephanie Guthrie complained to police that for six months she received bullying tweets from a man who offered to do some graphic design work on some posters she was having produced.  She declined and that's when she allegedly started receiving sexual messages on Twitter. She made it clear those advances were not welcome and then the tone of the tweets changed and she began to fear him so she contacted police.

Several other Twitter users have come to police with similar complaints about the man, saying they would receive angry messages with the hashtag #fascistfeminist.

52-year old Gregory Alan Elliott has already made its first court appearance.

(files by D. Agar)

TDSB capital funding on hold after board votes down new plan

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 11/22/2012 6:35:00 AM

The TDSB's director of education, Chris Spence, says he is "extremely worried."

At a board meeting Wednesday night, trustees voted down a new capital plan that the province had been demanding.

The capital plan included selling off parts of school land to make revenue and help fight off a $50-million capital deficit.

But now that proposal is on hold.

What is also on hold is the province's capital funding, which means the board's capital projects are frozen.

Spence says he is meeting with the province Thursday to get advice on what to do next.

Trustee Shelley Laskin, who voted in favour of the capital plan, calls her colleagues in the majority irresponsible.

"We're paralyzed right now, and that is not an acceptable position to be in for the students," Laskin says.

But Cathy Dandy who was one of 15 trustees who voted against the plan says the majority was not about ...

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