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May 03, 2012
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A day after his confrontation with Mayor Rob Ford, Toronto Star scribe Daniel Dale spent a couple of hours Thursday afternoon being questioned by police at 22 Division.
"It was terrific to have an opportunity to share my side of the story," says Dale.
When he emerged from his session with Toronto cops, the writer stuck to his account of his exchange outside of Ford's home Wednesday night in Etobicoke.
Dale claims he was simply trying to get a look at the public land Ford is trying to acquire for the story he was writing about the attempted purchase. He says the photos he could have got his hands on from officials wouldn't have made it in time for his deadline.
When on near Ford's home, Dale insists that he was on public property. Despite the claims of the Mayor, Dale believes he did nothing wrong.
"I never peered over ...
Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the city of Toronto on Thursday evening.
The watch was lifted around 10 o'clock, but not before the city was pelted with heavy rains and high winds.
Outside of the GTA, to the north, hail was reported in Barrie and in Orangeville.
There's no word on any damage.
Friday was supposed to mark the start of closing arguments at the Michael Rafferty trial in London, ON. Rafferty's lead counsel Dirk Derstine was supposed to spend the day addressing the jury and laying out his entire case one final time.
Proceedings were ordered delayed by a day Thursday afternoon though because there was still no resolution to legal matters being dealt with in closed court by the judge and lawyers. The accused was also present.
After Thursday's three hour meeting (their second of the week) to sort out any issues with Justice Thomas Heeney's impending final instructions to the jury it was declared that another day of "pre-trial conference" was required.
The exact issues being discussed in the courtroom are under an automatic publication ban because the jury is not present.
Justice Heeney has ordered the group to reconvene Friday for discussions that will likely take most of the day, ...
Peel police are asking the public for their help in identifying human remains that were found in Brampton on Monday.
Police say they found a body in the area of Bovaird and Heartlake Roads in Brampton. It's believed that the remains have been there for the past year, and belong to a male between the ages of 20-40 years old.
Several items of clothing were found with the remains, including Rock and Republic Jeans sized 30-32, a black Prada messenger bag, and Yojhi Yamamoto running shoes size 9.
If you have information, call the Peel Homicide Unit, at 905-453-2121 ext. 3205.
If one downtown city councillor has her way, part of downtown will be only accessible by foot.
Kristyn Wong-Tam is floating an idea to close two lanes of traffic on Yonge between Gerrard and Richmond during a street festival called Celebrate Yonge.
The plan calls for the two curbside lanes to be closed for 4 weeks - between August 17th and September 16th.
It wouldn't be the first time Yonge would be only accessible by pedestrians. Back in the 70's the entire stretch of the street was closed to vehicles and Joe Pantalone floated the idea again, during his run to become mayor in 2010.
Instead of sending three elephants to the PAWS sanctuary in California, the city of Toronto is sending down two councillors.
After a meeting this morning, Councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Giorgio Mammoliti along with Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna confirmed there were still legal holdups stopping the elecphants from being airlifted in a cargo plane to the sanctuary.
So Mammoliti, Berardinetti and several officials from the Toronto Zoo are heading to the PAWS Sanctuary near San Andreas, California.
The councillors are travelling out of their own expense.
One of the major holdups is the disclosure of medical records from PAWS. Specifically, concerning reports of Tuberculosis exposure among elephants there.
No word yet as to when the Councillors will travel to the sanctuary, or how long this could delay the trip for the animals.
A 95-page report from Toronto's Ombudsman suggests that poor communication and misinformation about bedbugs were two of the chief reasons for delays in placing residents from 200 Wellesley into emergency housing.
Fiona Crean released the report on the city's response after a fire at the apartment building forced the evacuation of 1700 residents on September 24th, 2010.
Crean says an e-mail went out from Public Health to emergency officials on scene warning of bed bugs among the residents. Rumours swirled among the residents as well that they would have to re-bathe, change clothes and leave all of their belongings behind.
Hours later, the Ombudsman found that indications that bedbudgs had been found at the reception centre were erroneous.
Through the report, the Ombudsman made 15 recommendations - mostly surrounding poor communication during the evacuation.
City manager Joe Penachetti says he agrees with all 15 recommendations, which he says supports their ...
The Premier's current Chief of Staff is moving on.
In a letter to staff, Dalton McGuinty announced Chris Morley has decided to "launch the next phase of his life and career." McGuinty outlined that Morley started as an Intern and worked his way up to his current position, calling it "the stuff of legend".
McGuinty says Morley was "instrumental in building the momentum and track record we would need to win" the last election.
The premier notes Morley is expecting a baby with his wife and will be spending time with them.
He will be replaced by Infrastructure Ontario President and CEO David Livingston (pictured). The Premier writes he is "a positive problem solver, dedicated to serving the people of Ontario by improving the things they count on the most: good schools, quality health care, and job creation."
Morley will be leaving in June.
The Liberals have tabled legislation to keep cell phone service providers transparent.
Liberal MPP David Orazietti drafted the "Wireless Services Agreements Act" which would force cell phone companies to cap cancellation fees, make contracts easy to read and put full prices in ads. He says this is a way to avoid consumers having surprise charges on their bills.
Orazietti expects support from both the NDP and Tories on this bill.
However, Minister of Consumer Services Margarett Best says there has mixed reactions from telecommunications companies, noting smaller ones support the proposed legislation.
Both Best and Orazietti says it's encouraging to see calls for a national strategy from the industry.
This is just the first step towards making it law, the province underlining it would come into effect six months after it has passed third reading at Queen's Park.
The premier maintains he didn't try to buy a by-election.
Dalton McGuinty had an event in Kitchener-Waterloo today, a riding recently held by former Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer. She was offered the job to chair the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for $188,000. Previous chairs didn't crack the $100,000 mark.
McGuinty underlined Witmer is the former Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier, noting she's worth every penny of taxpayer dollars.
In Question Period, NDP MPP Taras Natyshak asked if she got the job because the Liberals wanted a majority. NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it's obvious that it's more about the government's interest than those of Kitchener-Waterloo.
PC leader Tim Hudak says the issue isn't about salary but rather what the premier is willing to do to get out of a minority government situation.
After the October election, the McGuinty Liberals received a minority government by only one seat. ...
More twists in the confrontation Wednesday evening between Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and a Toronto Star reporter in James Garden immediately adjacent to the Mayor's house.
The reporter says he went there to check out the Mayor's application to buy a parcel of the land to enable him to have a more secure fence surrounding his property and that he was no closer than 10 metres from the Mayor's back fence but the mayor's brother, councillor Doug Ford tells NewsTalk 1010 there's video from the family surveillance cameras.
Doug Ford says the reporter Daniel Dale was standing on a cinder block looking into the backyard.
This conflicts with the version of events as relayed by Toronto Star spokesman Bob Hepburn.
Hepburn insists the reporter was there for legitimate news purposes because the Mayor wants to buy land adjacent to his home to erect a better security fence to protect his ...
Police are investigating a shooting Thursday morning in the west end of the city.
Police say three men, one armed with a gun, entered a car dealership at 2500 Bloor West near Jane Street West and shot an employee in the leg.
A customer who was inside the dealership was robbed along with the employee before the three men fled the scene.
One of the suspects is described as male, white, 5'8", with a stocky build.
The car dealership employee suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital, while the customer wasn't harmed.
Police have closed off the area for the investigation.
A man has been arrested and charged in the death of two women who were found at a Barrie hotel on Wednesday.
Barrie Police were called to the hotel after the bodies were found and a third person, a 22-year-old man was found suffering from serious injuries.
Police say he was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and has been arrested and charged with two counts of 1st degree murder.
Police say he is in stable condition.
The two women are said to be a a 52-year old female from Alberta, and a 32-year old female, who had recently moved to Barrie from Alberta.
Police haven't said how they died.
Parts of the hotel and the parking lot have been closed to public for the investigation and police expect that they will remain closed off for another 2 days.
Once again police have been called to the mayor's house.
Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale was near the mayor's home Wednesday evening. He says he was researching a story about a piece of land the mayor wants to buy to build a better fence.
Dale had walked through a parkland towards the mayor's backyard and never entered private property. But when the mayor's neighbours noticed him from their kitchen window after 7:30 p.m., they knocked on Rob Ford's door to let him know.
The neighbours say he was right near the mayor's fence where two cinder blocks now sit, about two metres away.
Dale writes on the Star's website that he was perhaps 10 metres away and never came close to entering the Ford backyard, which is separated from the parkland by a wooden fence. (See below for the full text of Dale's version of the story.)
The neighbours say ...
Open court proceedings at the Michael Rafferty murder trial in London, ON are still essentially on hold for another day. Jurors will return to their seats Friday for the start of the Defence team's closing argument.
However, there will be dealings in their absence between Justice Thomas Heeney and Crown and Defence lawyers. Michael Raffery will also be there.
They are looking ahead to Justice Heeney's final instructions to the jury, which are scheduled to begin Tuesday.
"The judge is going to look to both counsel for assistance with his charge and enable counsel to pre-vet his charge to the jury," explains NewsTalk 1010 Legal Analyst Steven Skurka, who has been watching the case closely.
"I expect that one area of focus may be what charges are available to be left with the jury before its deliberation."
More specifically, it is likely they will discuss how Heeney should approach the charges faced by Rafferty. Especially the ...