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Rangers beat Jays 5-3 in Game 1 of ALDS

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Oct 8th, 2015

Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor homered off ace David Price as the Texas Rangers defeated the Blue Jays 5-3 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday, spoiling the Blue Jays’ long-awaited return to the post-season.

A sellout crowd of 43,894, waving rally towels, lived and died with every pitch under the roof at the Rogers Centre, which last saw playoff action in 1993 when the Jays won a second straight World Series.

The underdog Rangers struck from an unlikely source. The bottom of the Texas order took its toll on Price, who was inconsistent pitching on 11 days rest.

Odor, a 21-year-old from Venezuela who bats eighth before Chirinos, is the second-youngest player to score three runs in a post-season game, according to ESPN Stats. Only Andruw Jones in the 1996 World Series was younger.

Both teams lost key players during the game, with Jays’ MVP candidate Josh Donaldson and right-fielder Jose Bautista and Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre leaving early with injuries.

Toronto said Donaldson, dinged in the head breaking up a double play, had cleared the concussion protocol and would be evaluated Friday. Bautista was said to have a hamstring cramp and is not expected to miss any more action.

Bautista homered deep to left-centre off reliever Keone Kela to open the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Texas lead to 4-3. The Jays slugger paused to admire his first-ever post-season blast then trotted around the bases.

One hitter later, Edwin Encarnacion almost repeated the feat but his blast went just foul.

Odor’s line-drive homer to right in the seventh made it 5-3, hushing the crowd after Bautista’s homer.

Price, who gave way to Brett Cecil after seven innings, gave up five earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Price, who did not hit a batter as a Jay during the regular season, hit Odor twice in five innings — a Toronto playoff record. Both times the Texas second baseman came home to score.

For all his regular-season exploits, Price is 1-6 in the playoffs.

Hard-throwing Sam Dyson pitched the ninth for Texas, hitting 98 m.p.h. Encarnacion opened with a single but the Jays came up short.

Texas only won two of six games with Toronto this season and Yovani Gallardo was on the mound for both. He started strongly Thursday, retiring the first nine Jays he faced before exiting after five innings with a 4-2 lead.

Donaldson did not bat in the fifth after being hurt in the fourth. Toronto said Donaldson, who kept a Jays rally alive by sacrificing his body, was pulled as a precaution.

Beltre, injured sliding into second base in the first inning, left after the third with what was called lower back stiffness.

Bautista did not come out for the ninth, and TV showed a trainer leading him out of the dugout back to the clubhouse.

Price walked two batters in the first inning but escaped with a double play. The big man settled down in the second inning, striking out the side.

A hit batter came back to haunt Price in the third after a groundout and RBI single by Delino DeShields brought Odor home. DeShields advanced on a groundout and scored on a Beltre single to make it 2-0.

Beltre pulled up running to first base and did not reappear, replaced by Hanser Alberto. The injury would carry a price for the Rangers.

Gallardo was perfect in his first three innings, extending his scoreless streak against Toronto to 16 2/3 innings this season.

Toronto’s Ben Revere singled to open the fourth to get the crowd going. Donaldson walked and Bautista worked a 3-2 count then grounded out to third. Donaldson broke up the double play at second, losing his batting helmet and grimacing as he got up.

That kept the inning alive and Alberto was unable to bare-hand Encarnacion’s slow grounder, allowing Revere to score from third to cut the lead to 2-1. That ended Gallardo’s scoreless streak against the Jays this season at 16 2/3 innings.

Price hit Odor again to open the fifth and Chirinos dropped a ball just over the left-centre fence to up the lead to 4-1. He had 10 homers during the regular season.

A Russell Martin double and Kevin Pillar single made it 4-2.

The contest featured a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in baseball since the all-star break (405 runs for Toronto, 381 for Texas). Toronto went 40-18 and Texas 38-22 since the start of August.

While Toronto (93-69) was making its return to the post-season after more than two decades, Texas (88-74) has made it four of the last six years. Still the Rangers’ ride this season is noteworthy, given they were last in the American League last year at 67-95 and they opened this season at 7-14.

“They counted us out in April but today we start the post-season,” the Rangers tweeted prior to Thursday’s game with their signature NeverEverQuit hashtag.

There was plenty of pre-game hoopla, with the “2015 AL East Champs” pennant unfurled high in the rafters.

Cito Gaston, who managed the Jays to back-to-back World Series the last time Toronto was in the playoffs, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. And there was another tie to the glory days with the Canadian anthem — a recording of the late Michael Burgess from the 1992 World Series played as members of the military manned a giant Canadian flag in the outfield.

The roof remained closed, however, despite 15 degree temperatures on a pleasant fall afternoon that came with a 20 per cent chance of precipitation. Major League Baseball decides the roof status in the post-season.

The Jays bandwagon is stretching far and wide.

The Royal Ontario Museum bathed a dinosaur skeleton in blue. Ottawa city hall raised a Jays flag, as did Canada’s embassy in Washington, D.C. The Vancouver Canucks, Curling Canada and Hockey Canada were among those sending best wishes.

“It’s been unreal. The love that we’ve been getting from Toronto, from all of Canada has been unbelievable,” Game 2 pitcher Marcus Stroman said. “I feel like we feed off that energy that the country brings us. And we’re excited to get out there and kind of put the country on our back, and play for an entire nation.”

In Price we trust: Blue Jays play first post-season game in 22 years

News staff and The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Oct 8th, 2015

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Let’s play ball! The first post-season baseball game in 22 years will be played at the Rogers Centre on Thursday afternoon when the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Texas Rangers.

Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers gets underway at 3:37 p.m. The gates to Rogers Centre – the closest thing to heaven at the moment – will open at 1:30 p.m.

It’s Toronto’s first visit to the post-season since winning a second-straight World Series in 1993 and interest is booming.

David Price will face Texas’ Yovani Gallardo in the series opener while Marcus Stroman takes on Rangers marquee man Cole Hamels in Game 2 on Friday.

Meanwhile, offices will be empty and Nathan Phillips Square will packed Thursday afternoon, as Toronto rallies behind the American League East Champion.

The city will broadcast all of the upcoming playoff games on a large screen on the stage in Nathan Phillips Square, being referred to as the #BirdsNest on Twitter.

“It’s an exciting time for Toronto. Let’s come together and cheer on our Blue Jays at Nathan Phillips Square,” Mayor John Tory said in a release. “See you in the #BirdsNest!”

The games will also be broadcast on Sportsnet and at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Earlier this week, Tory along with members of city council and ACE, the Blue Jays’ mascot, raised the Blue Jays flag at City Hall.

The AL Championship banners are already up around Rogers Centre. And inside the ballpark, space has been made for the banner to be added this afternoon. It will be unfurled during a ceremony at about 3 p.m. Cito Gaston has reportedly been pegged to toss the first pitch of this afternoon’s game.

And, the weather might just might allow for the opening of the stadium’s retractable roof for Game 1. The forecast calls for increasing cloud for the afternoon and a high of 16 C.

“I’d certainly say there is a chance given what I’ve seen from the weather (forecast),” said Stephen R. Brooks, the Blue Jays’ senior vice-president of business operations.

“Obviously the league ultimately will make that call in terms of their control of the post-season in discussions with us. If we’re in the mid-teen range, that is admittedly pushing the limits a little bit of the mechanics of the roof.

The second home game will take place around 12:45 p.m. on Friday. The best-of-five series will then descend on Texas for the next two games, if necessary, with Game 5 in Toronto if needed.

With files from The Canadian Press

Blue Jays feeling the effects of ‘epic’ fan support going into playoffs

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2015

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First baseman Chris Colabello experiences Blue Jays fever every time he looks at his phone or steps out his door.

“It’s pretty epic,” he said.

Colabello, a platoon player who readily admits he’s nowhere near the top of the Jays’ star pecking order, says just getting a cup of coffee is an adventure these days.

“That’s a testament to how much this city loves their team and appreciates what we’ve done for them,” he said. “And we hope to continue it for them.”

“It’s a blessing,” added left-fielder Ben Revere.

Toronto’s wild ride this season will go up a gear Thursday when the Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of their American League Division Series. It’s Toronto’s first visit to the post-season since winning a second-straight World Series in 1993 and interest is booming.

Toronto ace David Price will face Texas’ Yovani Gallardo in the series opener while Marcus Stroman, adding a new chapter to his remarkable comeback from spring training knee surgery, takes on Rangers marquee man Cole Hamels in Game 2 Friday.

The best-of-five series will then descend on Texas for the next two games, if necessary, with Game 5 in Toronto if needed.

A relaxed bunch of Jays met the media Tuesday before working out at the Rogers Centre to the diverse sounds of Miguel, Beck, Fetty Wap, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, the Zac Brown Band and Hardwell.

Promotions for Thursday’s game flashed on the giant scoreboard as the players held batting practice.

Earlier, manager John Gibbons leaned back in his chair as he chatted with reporters in his office.

“I feel good,” he said. “Nice and relaxed. I feel good about the way the year’s gone. And you know what I think we’ve got a real shot to advance in this thing.

“You never know (in) the playoffs. Everybody will tell you that … But I feel confident in the group. I know they feel confident. We’ve just got to go out and play it.”

The 53-year-old Gibbons, in his second go-round as Toronto manager, summed up the Jays’ formula for success.

“We score a lot of runs. That’s really what this team is,” he said. “But we started winning more when we started playing better defence – a couple of changes – and the bullpen improved.”

And he pointed to Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Price and Stroman as the kind of players who thrive on the big stage.

Every Jay is in the spotlight these days, with fans across the country following the team.

Colabello, who has 24,100 Twitter followers, estimates 20,000 of them came after joining Toronto this season.

Gibbons says he too feels the buzz.

“I get recognized probably a little bit more – maybe in a better way,” he said with a smile. “You can just feel the excitement, no doubt about that.”

His phone isn’t lighting up, however.

“My buddies might call. (It’s a) secure number,” he added with a grin.

Toronto (93-69) went 4-2 against Texas (88-74) this season. Toronto and Texas were 1-2 in scoring runs in the second half of the season when Toronto went 48-23 and Texas 46-28.

Both managers have only confirmed their starters for the first two games of the series. Gibbons said one of R.A. Dickey and Marco Estrada will pitch Game 3.

Stroman used social media to announce his Game 2 start.

“Tore my ACL, finished my degree from @DukeU, rehabbed my knee in 5 months, and now pitching in Game 2 of the #ALDS. Crazy excited!” he tweeted Tuesday.

Hamels threw a complete game Sunday in Texas’ regular-season finale, a 9-2 win over the Angels that clinched the AL West title.

The Rangers have won their past 10 games started by Hamels, who is 7-1 in 12 starts since being acquired from Philadelphia in late July.

The two Texas pitchers have fared differently against the Jays in a limited number of meetings

Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) won both of his starts this season against Toronto, pitching 13 2/3 scoreless innings. Toronto managed just six hits while batting 136 against him. Gallardo is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA all-time against the Jays.

Hamels is 0-2 with a career 6.97 ERA in four starts against the Jays. On the plus side, his post-season ERA is 3.09 against all teams.

Gibbons said Dalton Pompey and Ezequiel Carrera will be on the post-season roster to add speed. The team will only carry two catchers in Russell Martin and Dioner Navarro.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, two games into his comeback from a cracked shoulder, says he is good to good despite some ongoing pain.

So the Jays 25-man roster is expected to be starters Price, Stroman, Estrada and Dickey with a seven-man bullpen made up of Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Brett Cecil, Mark Lowe, LaTroy Hawkins, Liam Hendriks, and Aaron Loup. The position players are Martin, Navarro, Encarnacion, Ryan Goins, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Cliff Pennington, Justin Smoak, Colabello, Revere, Kevin Pillar, Bautista, Pompey and Carrera.

GM Alex Anthopoulos, whose acquisitions at the trade deadline helped trigger the Jays’ second-half surge, says all he can do now is watch.

“I’m trying to tell myself ‘Look, you’re powerless. Try to enjoy it,’” he said. “I hope I can react that way and watch that way. But everybody tells me every pitch, every inning is just tough.

“I’m already stressed out of my mind as it is. I don’t know what it’s going to be like but I’m going to try to just sit back and watch and enjoy it.”

Gibbons, a San Antonio native, said he expects to sleep well the eve of the playoffs.

“I hope so,” he said. “I sleep pretty good once I get to sleep.”

The exhausted parent’s guide to the election

Kathryn Hayward | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2015

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Your partner has to work late—again. You’ve managed to cobble together a reasonable facsimile of dinner, but the babyis crying in her high chair, your preschooler is feeding his broccoli to the dog and there’s a knock on the door. It’s one of your local candidates. Who has time to talk or read the pamphlets? Fear not: Here’s a crash course on the key issues so you can cram in time for voting day on October 19.

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Child care

Child care has emerged as one of the main talking points in the election, as the parties have taken fairly different stances on this issue that’s near and dear to the 3.8 million families with children in Canada. Quality daycare is expensive—in Toronto, for instance, full-time infant care can run upwards of $1,600 per child a month. The NDP have thrown down the gauntlet with their $15-a-day plan.

CONSERVATIVES: Earlier this year, the Conservatives expanded the Universal Child Care Benefit. It now pays $160 per month for each child under the age of six and $60 per month for kids ages six to 17 (this money is taxable). They increased the Child Care Expenses Deduction under the Income Tax Act by $1,000. They have no plans for a national child care program (they say they don’t want to tell you how to spend your money).

LIBERALS: They would replace the Universal Child Care Benefit with a new Canada Child Tax Benefit that would give more money to families whose combined income is less than $150,000 (for example, a two-parent household with two kids and an income of $90,000 would receive $490 tax-free a month). While they have no explicit plans for a national child care program, they have proposed a 10-year, $20-billion social infrastructure fund that would include funding for daycare. There’s also a proposal to make parental leaves more flexible, allowing longer leaves (up to 18 months) at a lower pay level.

NDP: The New Democrats promise to create or maintain one million daycare spaces over the next eight years. The fees would be capped at $15 a day (so daycare would cost less than $350 a month). The plan would cost $1.9 billion, to be shared 60/40 between Ottawa and the provinces and territories. “Lots of parents would like affordable, accessible quality child care, and the lack of it means that women are often stuck making very tough decisions about their careers,” Thomas Mulcair told Today’s Parent. They would keep the Universal Child Care Benefit to help parents who don’t use daycare.

GREEN PARTY: They propose the creation of a universal child care program. The program would encourage incorporating child care at workplaces by adding a tax break for employers who offer daycare spaces. “Certainly, there is a lot of good empirical data that workplace productivity increases dramatically and quality time goes up when child care is in the same place where you go to work,” Green Party leader Elizabeth May told Today’s Parent. They support transferring more money to the provinces to increase the number of child care spaces available for at least 70 percent of children ages six and younger. They would also cancel the Universal Child Care Benefit.

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ECONOMY

What’s the best way to make the economy grow: government spending or tax cuts? The Liberals are taking a different tack from the Conservatives and NDP. One thing is certain: Money talks. The economy has been one of the most fiercely debated points in the campaign.

CONSERVATIVES: Their platform is largely about balancing the budget, and they’re bullish about the economy—if we stay the course. As Stephen Harper told Today’s Parent, “If we stay on the path that we’re on, there’s really not going to be a better place in the world to be than Canada for economic opportunity for young people.” They would keep current tax credits, like children’s fitness and public transit, and have promised to pass a “tax lock” law that prohibits increases to federal income tax, sales tax and discretionary payroll taxes for the next four years. Their income-splitting policy allows a higher-earning spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of income to the lower-earning spouse, which can net a tax credit worth up to $2,000. They’ve pledged enhancements to registered education savings plans, which would double the federal grant for low- and middle-income families.

LIBERALS: The party wants to ease the burden of the middle class. They plan to place “more money in the pockets of parents who need it every month, with a tax break that we are going to pay for by having the wealthiest pay a little more in taxes,” Justin Trudeau told Today’s Parent. Specifically, they would lower the tax rate on income between $44,700 and $89,401 by 1.5 percent to 20.5 percent and raise it for individuals earning more than $200,000. They’re also willing to go into a deficit to help boost the economy by investing in infrastructure programs. They plan to eliminate income splitting—they say it favours two-parent households and disproportionately helps people who don’t need help nearly as much as others do.

NDP: Mulcair has said that the first NDP budget will be a balanced budget. They have promised to lower taxes for small businesses and raise corporate tax rates. As for income splitting, they would scrap it, choosing to invest that money in middle-class families instead.

GREEN PARTY: To address poverty and a widening income gap, the party would implement a Guaranteed Livable Income. They would replace several social security programs to establish a minimum income. In terms of the budget, May says, “It’s preferable, of course, to live within your means, but we are not ideologically wedded to always balancing the budget.” The party would also eliminate income splitting, reduce taxes for small businesses and raise the corporate tax rate. They also pledge to create a national pharmacare program and cover dental costs for low-income youth.

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Crime

Overall police-reported crime has been falling for more than 20 years. In fact, in 2013, Statistics Canada reported that the country had experienced the lowest crime rate since 1969. It doesn’t mean, however, that we feel safer.

CONSERVATIVES: Over the years, the party has maintained a tough-on-crime approach. Firmly against the decriminalization of marijuana, they’ve pledged $4.5 million to crack down on grow ops and promised to launch a hotline for parents concerned about their kids using drugs. Their signature legislation, the controversial Bill C-51, which passed in June, increases the powers of the police and CSIS to conduct expanded surveillance, share information between different agencies and arrest without a warrant for suspected terrorist activities.

LIBERALS: The party supports mandatory minimum sentences for serious and violent offences. They are in favour of legalizing and regulating marijuana (arguing regulation makes it harder for kids to access it and takes profits away from organized crime). The party supported Bill C-51 but plans to implement greater oversight of security agencies.

NDP: The party has pledged to hire 2,500 more police officers across the country. They’ve called for an increase in restorative justice. As well, they’d strengthen rules for sentencing dangerous offenders. On the pot issue, they call for decriminalization but not full legalization.

GREEN PARTY: In their platform, the Greens argue it’s time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. In addition, they call for increased funding to safe-injection sites, treatment facilities and addict rehabilitation. They would like greater oversight of agencies involved in counterterrorism measures.

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Environment

Canada has an abysmal record on the environment. In a recent report that compared 61 countries on their climate policies, renewable energy and efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions, we ranked very, very low—just ahead of Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

CONSERVATIVES: This spring, the party pledged to ambitiously cut emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (it’s a bold promise given that we haven’t been able to meet previous targets). They are strongly in favour of building gas pipelines to get oil from the tar sands to refineries and port. As well, they’d like to promote angling and hunting tourism and would work to improve the habitats of key species harvested by hunters and trappers.

LIBERALS: Trudeau has said he’ll work with the provinces to develop a national framework for putting a price on carbon. The party promises to invest $200 million to support innovation and clean technology in forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agriculture. They will increase protected marine and coastal areas by 10 percent over the next five years, and they promise to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. The party opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline but supports the Keystone XL pipeline.

NDP: The party plans to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and create a cap-and-trade system, which would put a market price on carbon (they wouldn’t, however, impose a system on provinces that already have a carbon strategy). They’d reinvest any money generated into green energy. While they support the Energy East pipeline from the oil sands to eastern Canada, the party opposes the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines. Mulcair has also vowed to strengthen laws to protect our lakes and rivers.

GREEN PARTY: The party wants to halt the use of fossil fuels by mid-century, including a rapid phase-out of coal-fired plants. They oppose all pipeline plans and would make all carbon fuels subject to a carbon fee. “If we approach addressing the climate problem aggressively, that’s a way to stimulate the economy and avoid a recession,” May toldToday’s Parent.

Read more:
Today’s Parent interviews Prime Minister Stephen Harper>
Today’s Parent interviews Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau>
Today’s Parent interviews NDP leader Thomas Mulcair>

Today’s Parent interviews Green Party leader Elizabeth May>

Canadian Arthur B. McDonald shares Nobel Prize in physics

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2015

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STOCKHOLM – Canada’s Arthur McDonald and Takaaki Kajita of Japan have won the Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the two researchers had made key contributions to experiments showing that neutrinos change identities.

“The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe,” the academy said.

Kajita is director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and professor at the University of Tokyo.

McDonald is a professor emeritus at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

The winners will split about $960,000 in prize money.

Each winner also gets a diploma and a gold medal at the prize ceremony on Dec. 10.

Jays fans contemplate sick days, vacation requests for afternoon playoff games

Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2015

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Sick days, last-minute vacation requests and reluctant ticket sales – those were just some of the options being considered by Toronto Blue Jays fans as the baseball team’s long-awaited playoff games were officially slated for inconvenient afternoon starts.

The timing came as a blow to many who’ve watched the team make an exhilarating second-half push to the post-season for the first time since 1993.

Game 1 on Thursday is set to begin between 3:37 p.m. and 4:07 p.m., while Game 2 on Friday starts even earlier with opening pitch scheduled for 12:45 p.m.

For Samantha Valters, who couldn’t take a vacation day at short notice, the times meant she had to put her prized tickets up for sale.

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for over 20 years for, so it’s a real bummer,” said the 31-year-old. “It kind of ruins that high and excitement in the city when you can’t all get together and root for your team.”

Calling in sick wasn’t an option for Valters either because everyone in her office knows just how much of a Jays fan she is.

“I’m a super fan. I’m dressed in Jays gear right now. I have little bobble-heads at work on my desk,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve been at the World Series games when I was a kid and I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.”

Valters hopes she’ll be able to go to other playoff games, but notes she’ll likely only be able to make it if they are after regular working hours.

“At least they’re in the playoffs, and that makes me incredibly happy,” she said. “But you’d love to be there in that moment and feel that camaraderie.”

Like Valters, Josh Elijah definitely wants to experience the games with friends.

The London, Ont., resident doesn’t have tickets to the games in Toronto but is determined to find a way to watch them on television with his buddies.

He has plans to leave work early on Thursday, but is still contemplating what he’ll do for the Friday game.

“I’m going to try to get out of work somehow,” he said, adding that he hoped his boss would be sympathetic. “I want to be with my friends to watch the game. This is the moment, this is the time all Blue Jays fans have been waiting for.”

The 30-year-old, who describes himself as an “avid baseball fan” said he’d certainly be burning a sick day for future games in the coming weeks if they are scheduled during the day.

Jacob Robinson is also considering time off work if more playoff games land in the middle of the afternoon.

The Delhi, Ont., resident will be at Friday’s game thanks to a well-timed day off, he and his wife won’t be able to make it to Game 1 – a situation that’s left him frustrated.

“It’s a bit of a gut punch to not be able to go to that first game, and having spent that much money to go,” he said. “It was the one I was really excited about because it’s the first time in 22 years.”

If future games are slotted for more afternoons, Robinson plans to ask his boss about possibly using some vacation time to go watch them because he feels the experience is worth it.

“This is kind of the one team I feel everyone rallies around, no matter where you’re from in Canada,” he said. “It’s not only just the team, but the excitement around it. I really just hope that the afternoon games don’t take away from that.”

Scotiabank will no longer sponsor Nuit Blanche

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 5th, 2015

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Scotiabank says it will no longer sponsor Nuit Blanche, the all-night party that transforms Toronto into a roaming art exhibit.

In a statement, the bank says that despite supporting Nuit Blanche since its first year in 2006, it won’t be lending its name, or money, moving forward.

This year’s event has made headlines for some boorish behaviour that saw police inundated with calls, including one for a stabbing. Officers were also caught on video retreating as a large crowd taunted them and hurled bottles in their direction at Yonge-Dundas Square.

But Scotiabank says the decision was made long before the bad press.

“In 2015, we completed a review of our sponsorship priorities and decided that Nuit Blanche no longer aligns with our sponsorship strategy. We informed event organizers in February that we would not renew our sponsorship of this property after the 2015 event, providing event organizers with more than 18 months of notice.”

Scotiabank says it’s helping organizers as they try to find new sponsors.

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