DAVE AGAR

March 17th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 3/17/2014 7:03:00 AM

Carbon Monoxide

After that extraordinary weather of Friday, the weekend turned bitterly cold in the Greater Toronto Area and for a family in Brampton it was particularly bad.

Their furnace conked out. What do you do to stay warm?

Someone in this family made a bad choice and as a result, half of them are dead.

This horrific tragedy began to unfold around just before 2 this morning, on Linden Crescent, which is in the area of Highway 410 and Williams Parkway.

Crimea

This morning in Ukraine, the parliament of Crimea formally declared it's independence saying Ukrainian laws no longer apply and all Ukrainian state property in Crimea belongs to Crimea.

It is now formally requesting that Moscow admit Crimea to the Russian Federation.

This is the upshot to yesterday's so-called referendum in which 96.8 percent of the people who bothered to vote said they wanted to rejoin Russia.

In Kiev, the Ukrainian Parliament today formally approved the partial mobilization of 40-thousand reservists, in response to what it calls this "war-time situation."

The Interim President of Ukraine says the Crimean referendum was nothing but a "farce."

The first steps by the west will likely be an asset freeze and travel ban against a number of Russian officials.

Malaysia

There are now 26 countries involved in the search for that missing Malaysian jetliner.

Australia joined in this morning.

It will be the lead on searching the southern Indian Ocean which is beginning to look more and more as though that was the destination of the person or people who deliberately diverted the Boeing 7-7-7, 9 days ago for reasons no one has yet to figure out.

One other new piece of information.

The last verbal communication between the cockpit and Malaysian air traffic control was when someone in the cockpit said "all right, good night".

Investigators are reasonably confident that the one who said that was the co-pilot. Whether it was said under duress...that's not clear.

Auto insurance

It was last May when Desjardins auto insurance offered the first-usage based auto insurance. They'd send you a device that you hook up to your vehicle and it measures your driving habits.

It was supposed to bring down your premiums by as much as 25 percent.

In real-word experience, Desjardins says the average reduction is about half that.

This morning, another big auto insurance company, The Co-Operators will unveil its "en-route Auto Program"...same idea.

You get an automatic premium cut of 5 percent...and the overall reduction, depending on how you drive, will likely work out to be about the same as Desjardins...12 percent or so.

3 more companies have been given the go-head by government regulators at Queen's Park but they're not yet ready to roll out.

Honda/Fiat recalls

If you own a Honda Odyssey minivan...model years 05 to 2010, you'll be getting a recall notice in about 5 weeks.

There's a fire hazard. The fuel strainer could age prematurely and leak fuel. They don't have the exact fuel strainer replacement in stock. That won't happen until the summer but there will be some sort of "interim" part that Honda will install free.

If you driving a new Fiat 5-hundred-L, Chrysler says its recalling 18-thousand of them...the ones built between last April and January of this year.

There's a problem with the computer module controlling the gear shift. Usually you just can't get the vehicle out of park but Chrysler says the module might also pick the wrong gear, causing the Fiat to move "in an unintended or unexpected direction." 1-hundred complaints so far...but the company says no crashes or injuries.

Rob Ford

He wouldn't admit it or deny it when reporters converged on Mayor Rob Ford yesterday at the St. Patrick's Day parade.

This after a cellphone video surfaced showing Ford acting erratically, again, outside city hall, again...around 10:30 Saturday night.

He was disheveled and wearing St. Patrick's Day beads and swearing.

There's a lot I could say about this...but it's not worth saying anymore.

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