February 20th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 2/20/2014 7:19:00 AM


The bloodshed in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine flared anew overnight despite a political truce declared by the Ukraine Government and the opposition parties.

The protesters, many of whom have been encamped in Independence Square for months, are having none of it. They've armed themselves against police.

Unofficially we are hearing no fewer than 18 people killed this morning...perhaps as many as 21....with scores more wounded or injured by rocks and stun grenades.

On NewsTalk 1010's Moore in the Morning, Globe and Mail reporter Paul Waldie in Kiev talked about how it was quiet around 8 this morning local time. He left his hotel room to go for breakfast downstairs and suddenly all hell broke loose.

"Eight, nine, ten, a dozen wounded came in and right now I saw 11 corpses and I'm told there are right now 15 in the lobby."

The Foreign Ministers of the European Union are meeting today to discuss sanctions against the Ukraine Government.


What will start as a trickle could turn into a torrent on your street later today and if there's anything blocking the water flow from getting into the storm sewers, you may find it coming up into your basement. If your eavestroughs are plugged with ice...water backing up under your shingles unless you have weather-proofing on the roof.

If you're going to be driving...especially tonight, beware of driving into the dips and underpasses because they could be full of water. And if the snow melts as fast as expected, don't be surprised if the lower Don River spills over onto the Don Valley Parkway.

We're expecting 25 to 50 millimetres of rain to fall from mid-afternoon to early tomorrow afternoon. The ground is saturated and frozen. We have the snowpack too. So melting snow and rain that can't be absorbed. The only route is toward sewers on your street and if they're plugged with ice...that spells trouble.

Some tips from Lou Di Gironimo the General Manager of Toronto Water. First, take a look the way the snow and ice is stored in your property.

"Try to get the melting snow and rain to drain away from your house from your foundation wall.

You might have to dig trenches away from the foundation walls so the water flows out not in.

"We're asking you also to check your downspouts to make sure that they are not blocked with snow and ice so if you've got water that's melting from your roof it can drain properly away," says Di Gironimo.

And if there is a catch-basin on the road in front of your house, check it to make sure its not plugged with ice or snow. If it is, try to clear it as best you can. One other thing to keep in mind...the melt from yesterday froze overnight so sidewalks are icy.

Canada Post

Oakville will be the first community in the Greater Toronto Area on Canada Post's hit list.

The post office announced this morning that 11 communities across the country will stop getting door-to-door mail delivery and switch to community mailboxes this fall. This is part of the plan to end door-to-door delivery nationwide over five years.

More than 26-thousand residents in Oakville, about 8-thousand in Kanata near Ottawa, also in communities near Halifax, some in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Winnipeg and 5 communities in Quebec.


As many of you who listen with any regularity to News and Views you'll know I am no fan of Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak but he caught my attention yesterday when he and fellow MPP Doug Holyday pitched the idea of opening up some government contracts to bids from the private sector.

Basically they're calling for an end to public sector unions dominance on government jobs. Should the Tories come to power the public sector unions would have to bid on contracts. There are some untouchables....no privatizing health care, policing or teaching but lets get competitive bids for things such as transportation, hosting of the government email system. What about food and laundry services in provincial jails. Maybe even employment training.

For those who see Hudak as Doctor Evil who is trying to kill unions, their fears are real but on this particular matter, I see nothing wrong with the concept of competitive bids. In fact there have been instances where public sector unions in other jurisdictions have bid on contracts and won. This is certainly worth exploring as a way to keep costs low to taxpayers. Of course the devil is always in the details because it could end up being a stacked deck against the unions. Which leaves us with, do you trust Tim Hudak? That's the burden he'll carry into the next provincial election.

The weather forecast for the Greater Toronto Area

A rainfall warning is in effect for Toronto. Increasing cloud this morning. About 5 millimetres of rain beginning mid-afternoon. East winds gusting to 50 late this afternoon. A high of 3.

15 to 25 mm of rain tonight and overnight with a risk of thunderstorms. Continuing windy. The temperature rising to 7 by Friday morning.

Periods of rain ending early Friday afternoon, then cloudy with a 70 percent chance of flurries. Southwest winds gusting to 60. The temperature falling to 1 in the afternoon.

A mix of sun and cloud on the weekend with a chance of flurries both days. A high of 1 Saturday. Minus 4 Sunday.






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