TDSB to look at land sales in 2013

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 12/12/2012 11:02:00 PM

The Toronto District School Board will take another look at selling some its land in the spring.

Trustees have voted to ask their real estate office to come back with a report on potential land sales in April ..

They'd like the Toronto Lands Corporation to lay out which parcels of property they can spare & how much they could generate through selling it off.

Alleged Plot to Kill Justin Bieber Foiled

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 12/12/2012 9:49:00 PM

Police in New Mexico are reportedly investigating an alleged macabre plot to mutilate and kill Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.

The claims of a murder-for-hire plot targeting the singer have not been officially confirmed.

A New Mexico media outlet cited unnamed investigators for its report while the Toronto Star said Lieut. Robert McDonald of the New Mexico State Police told the newspaper Bieber was a target in a plot that involved three others.

The Canadian singer's management, asked to comment on the reports, released a statement saying only that they take ``every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin and his fans.''

KRQE News in New Mexico reported that police have arrested two men in the United States in connection with the plot to allegedly murder and castrate Bieber.

The alleged plot - which KRQE News says was planned right down to the paisley tie that would be ...

One Person Rushed to Hospital After Apartment Fire

Posted By: David Woodard · 12/12/2012 8:13:00 PM

Toronto Fire Officials and Paramedics attended a Fire Tuesday night at an apartment building on West Lodge Avenue near Queen and Lansdowne.

An elderly man was taken to hospital with severe smoke inhalation.

Fire officials say the fire was isolated to the first floor and the fire was out quickly.

No word on what may have sparked the blaze, but fire officials say they are investigating.

Marineland to Sue Former Trainer

Posted By: David Woodard · 12/12/2012 7:54:00 PM

Back in October Marineland was scrutinized over the way it was allegedly handling its animals.

Now, the park is fighting back by suing one of the people who made some of the claims against them.

Former Trainer Christine Santos was fired from the park on October 17th - the same day she was interviewed by the Toronto Star saying Marinleland was neglecting one of the Orca Whales.

The park has since been cleared of any wrong doing by the Canadian Association of Zoo's and Aquariums.

The statement of claim, filed Wednesday, says Santos is being sued for $1.25 Million.

UPDATE: Mayor's Office Says Family Fun Day May Replace New Years Day Levee

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 12/12/2012 8:05:00 PM

While there may not be a traditional levee, Mayor Ford could still hold some sort of New Year’s gathering at City Hall.

The Mayor's Office says they may replace the traditional January meet and greet, with a family fun day.

One that could include skating at Nathan Philips Square, along with the handshaking and small talk with the Mayor and councilors.

Originally, it was reported that the levee was cancelled because of cost and scheduling.

The event usually only runs a tab of 45 hundred dollars and most councilors consider it money well spent.

Last year the event was attended by more than 300 people who waited as long as 3 hours to shake hands with the Mayor.

TDSB to re-consider provincial budget help, land sell-off

Posted By: Siobhan Morris · 12/12/2012 4:59:00 PM

Trustees at the Toronto District School Board will try again Wednesday night to get the board closer to the black.

They're expected to make a final decision on whether or not to accept help from the province to get the board's financial house in order.

The Education Minister has offered up a team, but Laurel Broten needs the blessing of trustees before sending them in. So far trustees have said they're not against the idea of taking some advice, but Director of Education Chris Spence should still run the show.  Broten says if the TDSB doesn't accept the help, she'll send in an investigator.

The prospect of selling off parcels of school land is back up for discussion again Wednesday night.

Trustees Irene Atkinson & Mari Rutka will present a motion, asking the board's real estate office to come back with a report in April 2013.

They'd like the Toronto ...

Province Reacts to Audtor's Report

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 12/12/2012 4:32:00 PM

The province is reacting to the Auditor General's report.

The Ministry of finance says the $1.4 billion in possible tax write-offs referred to by Jim McCarter includes $600 million that has been written off in this fiscal year. It says of the remaining cash $400 million is in bankruptcy/insolvency, $200 million is identified to be written off, and there is $200 million that needs to be looked at to figure out if it can be collected.

When it comes to Metrolinx, the Transportation Minister underlines it has come in on-budget this year. Bob Chiarelli defends the Presto card system, brushing aside suggestions that it will be the most expense fare card in the world. Chiarelli says the province also stands by the Union-Pearson Air Rail Link ridership projections, noting it's hard for anyone to determine how many people will ride the line when it's completed in a few years. The ...

*VIDEOS* Staff: Gardiner east of Jarvis will not be usable in 6 years

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 12/12/2012 4:27:00 PM

City staff have released a report proposing that the deck along two sections of the Gardiner is replaced over the next 12 years.

Staff say that the Gardiner deck east of Jarvis will not be usable in six years.

They're proposing starting deck replacement there next year, saying that it will take six years to complete.

The next step of their proposal would replace the deck on the stretch between Strachan Ave and Rees St once the east end work is done.

The cost would be almost half a billion dollars.

Councillors, meanwhile, spent the day blaming each other for the state of the Expressway.

Councillors on the mayor's administration say more attention needs to be placed on infrastructure repairs.

Public works committee chair, councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, says he's been fighting to get more funding for fixing up roads like the Gardiner.

But left-leaning councillors like Gord Perks want to ...

Report on F-35 Purchase Released

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 12/12/2012 3:46:00 PM

A long-awaited KPMG report on the F-35 purchase says National Defence did not build a big enough financial cushion into
the plan.

It says the $9 billion the department set aside may not be enough to pay for the planned 65 jets.

The report says uncertainties in the oft-delayed program could force the air force to cut the number of planes to 55 or force the
Conservatives to up the purchase amount by between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion.

The Conservatives have said the $9 billion figure is carved in stone.

A series of reports were released Wednesday by the Public Works secretariat overseeing the replacement of the air force's current
fleet of CF-18s.

One of the reports says the lifetime cost of owning the Lockheed Martin-built F-35s is estimated at $45.8 billion.

Alleged Danzig Shooter Back in Court In January

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 12/12/2012 3:43:00 PM

The case for the only person charged with first degree murder in the Danzig Street shooting, will be back in court on January 16th.

Shaquan "Bam Bam" Mesquito's case was put over in a brief appearance Wednesday.

The next appearance will be via video link.

The 18 year old Mesquito, was one of two people charged earlier in the investigation and is now facing 27 charges in connection with the shootings.

He was initially charged with an assortment of firearms related offences, as well as uttering threats prior to the shooting.

He has now been charged with 2 counts of 1st degree murder, 23 counts of aggravated assault, one count of attempted murder and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm in public.

*VIDEO* Provincial Auditor General Releases Annual Report

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 12/12/2012 12:30:00 PM

Cost overruns and mismanaged service.

That may be the McGuinty government's legacy if you take into account the last auditor general's annual report of the premier's career. 

Jim McCarter outlines in these tough economic times, he looked at 12 areas where the province could save some green in his "value for money audits" - four of which were in the healthcare sector.

"This report comes at a time when the industrialized world is struggling with the twin challenges of an economic slowdown and high debt, issues that also confront Ontario," McCarter said when his report was released.

The 455-page report shows cost overruns at Metrolinx, OPP cost overruns and the province losing unpaid tax revenue.

In the health sector, the focus is mainly on services which affect the gaining population and your bottom line.

The report shows:

- Vehicle emissions have declined significantly since Drive Clean was started in 1999, ...

*UPDATE* Man Wanted in Hit & Run Crashes Into Police Cars

Posted By: Suzette Francis · 12/12/2012 9:43:00 AM

The man wanted in connection with running down three pedestrians last Friday in a stolen vehicle is now wanted for crashing into two police cars early Wednesday.

Toronto police say two officers spotted Steven Paul Brunswick shortly after 1:30 a.m., at a gas station in the Bathurst and Lawrence area.

When the officers tried to apprehend him, he allegedly drove into both police vehicles and fled the scene.

Police say he is driving a dark colored VW Golf that was damaged in the incident. They believe the car may be stolen.

Cops also say the vehicle is running stolen licence plates, of BLNB-571.

Police are asking anyone who sees him to call them and not to approach him because he is considered dangerous.

They are also asking him to turn himself in.

Brunswick is wanted for several charges, including theft of a vehicle, attempted murder and dangerous driving.

It was ...

Wedding industry makes big bucks on 12-12-12

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 12/12/2012 6:35:00 AM

Wednesday is not typically the most popular day in the week to get hitched, but today it's a different story because the date only comes around once in a century.

It's 12-12-12: the 12th month and 12th day of 2012.

Krisztina Sebesi and Rex Lu got engaged on New Year's Eve and the Brampton, Ontario couple will be tying the knot in Aruba on 12-12-12. Sebesi says she and her fiance were drawn to the ``last of our lifetime'' date for their wedding.

Bridal retailer David's Bridal has some 381 brides registered in Canada who say they'll be getting married Wednesday. Spokesman Brian Beitler says the reason these dates are so important is because the wedding is one of the most significant events in a bride's life.
In Las Vegas, land of the quickie wedding, chapels in a city accustomed to playing the numbers aren't about to let ...

NHL talks to resume with help of federal mediators

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 12/12/2012 6:24:00 AM

After watching negotiations go off the rails in a very public setting last week, the NHL and NHL Players' Association are heading back underground, and they've invited some company.

The sides are set to resume talks at an undisclosed location Wednesday with U.S. federal mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney rejoining the process. Those men first met with league and union leaders Nov. 27 and 28 before deciding they couldn't help negotiations along.

The NHLPA continued to push for mediation when players and owners gathered in New York last week and the NHL eventually agreed. However, deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged Tuesday that he would carry ``no expectations'' into the next session.

Some traction was made during the last round of negotiations when owners and players met directly (commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr were both kept out of the room) although talks broke down in ...

Mayor's office cancels New Year's Levee

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

If you were hoping to greet Mayor Rob Ford at the annual New Year's Levee, you're out of luck.

The event has been cancelled for 2013 with Ford's chief of staff citing scheduling conflicts and the cost.

Mark Towhey says they are looking at other options, but no word on what those could be yet.

According to a city spokesman, the levee cost $4,500 in 2011 and $3,400 last year.

Towhey insists that the Mayor's conflict of interest court battle has nothing to do with the cancellation of the event, where Ford and councillors meet residents of the city.

UPDATE: Is the Gardiner Expressway falling apart?

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 12/12/2012 6:40:00 AM

Just how safe is the Gardiner Expressway? We're asking that question again after new documents have surfaced.

According to a Freedom of Information request filed by Global News, a collection of inspection reports, briefings and emails warn of the deteriorating conditions of the overpass, the need for emergency removal of loose concrete and the possibility of a large vehicle being able to crack a hole right through the bridge portion of the expressway.

That is referred to as a 'punch-through'. It wouldn't be large enough for a truck to fall through, but it could send a very large chunk of concrete falling onto cars below, or it could cause a pile-up from vehicles trying to avoid it.

Two separate reports indicate this is more of a possibility near Fort York Boulevard and approaching Cherry Street. There were reports of loose concrete over a children's playground as well as above the ...

Ontario Auditor General To Release Report

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 12/12/2012 5:01:00 AM

It's something that has made sitting governments squirm.

The province's auditor general is releasing his annual report today, which focuses on 12 specific areas such as the cost-effectiveness of independent health facilities, whether cancer screening programs follow regulations and how cost-efficient Metrolinx really is.

Jim McCarter will also reveal what he found when it comes to making sure unpaid taxes are collected, whether the Ministry of Children and Youth Services is properly overseeing and managing the Youth Justice Services Program, and whether the OPP can control policing costs.

The report also looks at how MPPs view Ontario’s annual estimates review,  and whether it's worth making changes in Ontario similar to other jurisdictions with similar parliamentary systems.

Premier Dalton McGuinty says there will always be room for improvement in a multi-billion dollar operation. McGuinty says the province always follows up with the auditor's recommendations.

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