DAVE AGAR

Monday, April 14 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 4/14/2014 12:00:00 AM

An slap-in-the-face reminder of our winter just passed will be back to haunt us overnight up till at about noon tomorrow.

Environment Canada has posted a special weather statement that extends from Windsor to Cornwall and north to Burk's Falls, including all of the Greater Toronto Area.

Basically the message is:  ice pellets overnight and into early tomorrow morning, possibly mixed with freezing rain.   Here in the GTA by around 8 tomorrow morning, the ice pellets will change over to snow....a few centimetres...possibly as much as 4 centimetres.  There probably won't be much, if any, accumulation.   Watch for strong gusty winds up to 70km starting this afternoon.

If there are any weather warnings for the GTA, rest assured you'll hear about them here at NewsTalk 1010.

POSSIBLE ABDUCTION

Parental abduction

In broken-up families all around the world, an all too familiar weekend.   One parent takes the kids to the other parent for visit.  The kids are brought back to the parent with legal custody.

Often things get a little ugly because the feuding between ex-spouses never seems to end.

Occasionally there's a nightmare.  One parent abducts the kids and takes off.

8-year old Mathew Zhang of Mississauga was driven to his mom's house by his dad yesterday morning.   The father, who has legal custody, called the mother at 5pm and she, according to police, told him she was not bringing the boy back to him.   She and the 8-year old haven't been seen since.

You can see photos of the mother and her son and the description of her vehicle on our website at newstalk10-10.com.

MOM OF FOUR

What possible motive could there be for the drive-by murder of 33-year old Andrea White near Morningside and Old Finch Avenue in the east end Saturday night.

That's Detective Dave Dickinson talking about what went down.  There's no doubt the house where White and her kids and common-law husband lived was targeted, but he doubts the mother was the intended target.

She was with family and friends in the garage of the home. The garage door was up.  Two guys drove by in a white Range Rover.  They turned around and came back so the passenger side was closest to the garage and that's when one of them opened fire several times.   

The fleeing vehicle was spotted by the OPP on the 401 and gave chase up Bathurst where the two fled on foot.  One was captured.  The other turned himself in several hours later.

Both men make their first court appearance in the morning.

WYNNE'S TRANSIT PLAN

If the hype is any indication, we could have a clearer idea by early this afternoon what Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals intend to do regarding transit, gridlock and all that bogs you down getting just about anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.

She delivers a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade during the lunch-hour and discuss her plan for, quote, "Moving Ontario Forward."

We already know about the Metrolinx plan to spend 2-billion dollars-a-year over 25-years in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for about a dozen projects including a downtown Toronto relief line,  an LRT along Hurontario from Mississauga to Brampton and all-day, two-way GO service to Brampton, Milton and Kitchener.    What we don't know is how this shaky, minority government intends to pay for these projects other than Wynne's promise of no tax increases that would hit the middle-class.

I was reading an interesting story at Bloomberg-dot-com this morning which got me thinking...maybe we should give a serious look at selling the TTC....selling transit systems in general.

Osaka, Japan which carries nearly 2-and-a-quarter million passengers daily on its subway system is planning to sell the system through an Initial Public Offering or IPO to lure private investment.   They expect to get 5.9-billion dollars.   

Tokyo owns nearly 47 percent of its subway system and is studying the sale of that stake as well.

In this day and age is there any sold reason why governments should own and operate transit.   There may be...but lets not close the door.  The Wynne Government is already talking about optimizing LCBO, Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.   Why not Metrolinx.  Why not the TTC or Mississauga Transit, Oakville Transit.  It is certainly worthy of discussion and perhaps some study.

CRA

A big test for Canada Revenue Agency today.  Will its servers be able to handle a mountain of income tax returns filed electronically.

The site was taken down last week when the Heartbleed bug came to light compromising the security of the most commonly used open source encryption system, https.

At the outset the CRA didn't think this would be a big deal for most of its setup but out of an abundance of caution they plugged the hole and then ran their computers through a battery of tests to make sure things were right.   Late yesterday afternoon the system came back up but today will be the real test based on the sheer volume of returns that are backlogged at accountants and other income tax preparation companies.

The shutdown means the grace period for filing has been extended from April 30th to May 5th.  Provided you file by the 5th, no interest or penalties on income taxes owed.

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