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Will Ghomeshi deal further discourage women from stepping forward?

Amanda Ferguson | posted Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

His name and face have dominated news headlines for the past year and a half.

Yet still, the saga of Jian Ghomeshi continues to develop. After being acquitted of all charges in his first sexual assault trial, the former radio host was expected to face another charge in court next month.

However a peace bond agreement and an apology may absolve him from facing a judge once more.

CityNews reporter Amanda Ferguson spoke with Ryerson’s Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator Farrah Khan about the long-term implications of the Jian Ghomeshi story. An excerpt from their conversation is below:

Amanda Ferguson: So this has been part of a national conversation for about a year and a half now. What do you think the lasting implications of the Ghomeshi case really are?

Farrah Khan: I think it’s two-fold. One, we do have a crisis in confidence in the criminal justice system in Canada, that survivors do not think – and I think many people in the public – don’t think that they’re getting a fair deal when they want to speak about sexual violence and go and actually say that someone committed acts of sexual violence. But I think what’s the most important thing that we’re going to take away, and I think that’s what I want to hear people talk about, is the fact that sexual violence exists in Canada. It’s an ongoing issue that we need to address. It may not be dealt with solely in the courts, but justice can come from multiple ways.

AF: You definitely have your finger on the pulse of how women in particular are feeling about their own abuse. Do you think this trial and this conversation will encourage more women to come forward or perhaps the opposite?

FK: I think I’m really nervous about how this can create a chilling effect for survivors to feel that they can’t come forward and speak about sexual violence in a criminal justice case. So we’re seeing women saying to themselves, and they’re saying to me, “I’m really glad I didn’t go forward. I’m really glad I didn’t report,” but we’re also seeing people disclose more. So how do we create a space where people can disclose more and say to someone, “I was sexually assaulted. This wasn’t okay. And this is what I want to do?” And that could be things like asking for their employer to take action but not take criminal action.

AF: So really what you’re saying is women are more likely to talk about it, but not move it up the ladder in terms of maybe moving forward with a criminal case?

FK: Maybe for some women, right? We see that some people…after seeing this trial…we saw a very public sexual assault trial. We saw people live tweeting this trial. We saw people talking about not only what happens during a sexual assault but understanding the implications of the impact of sexual violence. So what do you do after someone sexually assaults you? What I’m hoping in this case is that people understand that survivors need to be heard, seen and believed. And that we don’t have an easy answer or a “one size fits all” solution to this. That we need to do more.

Fight led to Rexdale shooting, suspect sought

CityNews | posted Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Toronto police are searching for the suspect after a fight led to a shooting in Rexdale on Tuesday evening.

A man in his 30s suffered life-threatening injuries after he was shot several times just before 8 p.m. at Rexdale Boulevard and Bergamot Avenue.

He was not shot in the head as was originally reported. He was shot four times, all in the torso and upper body. He cut his head when he fell to the ground, and it appeared he had been shot in the head.

The victim is now in stable condition after surgery. However, he will likely be left paralyzed from the waist down.

Police say an argument turned into a physical fight, and one person pulled out a gun. Police believe the victim knew his shooter, but they have not been able to interview him yet because he’s been heavily sedated.

Police are searching for a newer silver or grey two-door Cadillac vehicle in the investigation.

A description of the suspect has not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Photo of a police cruiser in Rexdale on May 10, 2016. CITYNEWS/David Misener.
Photo of a police cruiser in Rexdale on May 10, 2016. CITYNEWS/David Misener.

Oshawa hailed best place to find work in Canada

Alanna Kelly | posted Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

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It may not have been your first choice in Ontario to live, but according to a new report, you should give The ‘Shwa a second look.

Oshawa – or The Motor City as some call it – ranked 109 out of 209 places to live in Canada in 2015 by MoneySense but is now being hailed as the best place to find work, according to BMO’s Regional Labour Market Report Card.

“This is a story about an amazing city that has flown under the radar for a very long period of time,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry, who first heard the news by a staff member on Tuesday morning.

Oshawa jumped 27 spots from last year to make it the top city overall to get a job.

“It’s about a community that is working together through our chamber of commerce, through our business community, through our automotive community, through our education community – all working together doing great things,” he said.

The city is home to over 163,000 residents, up 1.7 percent from last year, and is also known for being the headquarters of General Motors Canada.

But Henry was quick to point out that the city shouldn’t be known just for General Motors.

“For the longest time, when people talk about Oshawa they think of us as a car town – You know we are a great car town, but cars are only part of Oshawa,” he said.

Photograph capturing dusk at the lake by Linda Bazowsky. Photo via www.Oshawa.ca
Photograph capturing dusk at the lake in Oshawa by Linda Bazowsky. Photo via www.Oshawa.ca

The change to the city didn’t happen overnight, Henry points out. The gradual change really started when The University of Ontario Institute of Technology built a campus in downtown Oshawa.

The city now boasts four post-secondary schools including Durham College, Trent University Durham campus, and connecting campuses in Oshawa with the University of Windsor and Queen’s University.

“We have 20,000 young people going to school full-time in the Oshawa-Whitby area,” Henry said.

Annual employment has grown 6.9 per cent and the unemployment rate is at 6 per cent, down 1.6 per cent from last year.

“We have great residential growth but we are building in ever segment in the market place,” he said.

The Oshawa Generals, who won the 2015 Memorial Cup and the General Motors Centre offer up entertainment to the city, not to mention the waterfront that 70 per cent of the residents own.

If you’ve never been to Oshawa, the Mayor suggests starting at the art gallery, located behind the City Hall, followed with having lunch downtown and then a walk to the famous Parkwood Estate.

“You’ll be hard pressed to find another city in all of Canada that has four universities, community college, an airport, a deep water port, and both major railroads with great highway access to this country from coast-to-coast,” Henry said.

“There is no other city like that in all of Canada.”

Second place on the report was Guelph, which dropped from the top spot last year.

The lowest jobless rate in Canada is in British Columbia.

Wade with 30, Heat beat Raptors 94-87 in overtime to even series

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

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MIAMI, Fla. – Dwyane Wade poured in 30 points to lift the Miami Heat over the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Monday, evening up the Eastern Conference semifinals at two wins apiece.

The game needed overtime to decide the winner for the third time in this series.

Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph had 14 points apiece for Toronto, which is without starting centre Jonas Valanciunas for the remainder of this series.

Bismack Biyombo had 13 points and 13 rebounds, while DeMarre Carroll chipped in with 13 points.

Kyle Lowry had 10 points before fouling out with 1:58 to play on another rough night. He and fellow all-star DeMar DeRozan shot a combined 6-for-28.

Filling in for Valanciunas, Biyombo made his presence felt early when he soared over Amar’e Stoudemire for a massive first-quarter dunk, then flexed his massive biceps in celebration.

The game was an otherwise ugly one, with a mish-mash of lineups, and looked like it might have turned into a blowout thanks to Toronto’s woeful 29 per cent first-half shooting.

But the Raptors opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run and when Ross was fouled on a three-point attempt with a minute-and-a-half left in the quarter, his three free throws put Toronto up by six.

Leading 62-60 with one quarter left, Ross drilled two threes to put Toronto up by nine points with six-and-a-half minutes on the clock. But Wade led a comeback that pulled the Heat within two points with just over a minute to play. With 12.6 seconds on the clock, Wade drove to the hoop, and his basket sent the game into extra time.

With Lowry on the bench, the Raptors could do nothing right in OT. Joseph and DeRozan scored the team’s only baskets, before Goran Dragic converted a three-point play with 22 seconds left and Wade grabbed a Raptors turnover for a bucket that sealed the Heat’s victory.

With a minute to go in overtime, the ball got stuck on the backboard on a Wade shot — a moment that summed up this crazy, roller-coaster series.

Valanciunas, who’s been big for Toronto in the post-season, sprained his right ankle when he came down awkwardly in Game 3.

The Heat are also without starting centre Hassan Whiteside, who sprained his medial collateral ligament in his knee on Saturday.

Two days after Wade sparked a social media firestorm for shooting baskets during the beginning of “O Canada,” the all-star was the first player to line up for the anthems on Monday.

Small pockets of Raptors fans, including Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban, who sat courtside, dotted an American Airlines Arena that was otherwise a sea of Miami white. Several fans were shown on the Jumbotron in “We The South” T-shirts.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Toronto.

Biyombo had seven points in a first quarter that saw the Raptors shoot just 37 per cent, and Miami took a 25-21 lead into the second.

A Carroll three-pointer tied the game at 35-35, but the Heat hit back with a 9-0 run to take a 44-35 lead into halftime.

Ghomeshi’s sex assault charge to be withdrawn in favour of peace bond: source

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

jianghomeshi-featured

A sexual assault charge laid against former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi is expected to be withdrawn Wednesday, a source has told The Canadian Press.

In exchange, Ghomeshi will first have to sign a peace bond.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the arrangement means Ghomeshi won’t have to face a trial that had been scheduled to start on June 6.

Instead, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was to announce on Tuesday that the case had been brought forward to Wednesday.

The source confirmed a Postmedia report that Ghomeshi is slated to appear at Ontario Court of Justice to sign the peace bond – a Criminal Code provision most commonly applied in domestic disputes.

Ghomeshi’s defence lawyer and the Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The trial would have been the second faced by the former host of “Q.” The first trial ended in March with his acquittal on all charges: sexual assault and choking related to three complainants – including actress Lucy Decoutere, the only one who agreed to be identified publicly.


Related stories:

Crown says there’s ‘no legal basis’ to appeal Ghomeshi acquittals

Ghomeshi found not guilty of all charges in sexual assault trial

Poll finds less confidence in justice system following Ghomeshi verdict


The trial and not-guilty verdicts – Judge William Horkins said he simply did not find the complainants credible – sparked an emotional and at times angry debate across the country about how the justice system treats sexual assault complainants.

Those complaints related to events that allegedly took place in 2003.

The charge related to the June trial involved a former CBC employee who alleged he had sexually assaulted her in 2008. The woman’s identity is protected by a publication ban. Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, a person can enter a peace bond or recognizance in which they agree to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The bond can be for up to a year. It’s not clear what specific conditions might be imposed on Ghomeshi, who has been on bail throughout.

If no further incidents occur during that period, the bond expires and the legal proceedings end.

Normally, a justice of the peace hears evidence from both sides before requiring the peace bond be signed.

They are frequently used in domestic disputes or other cases where the authorities feel obliged to respond to a complaint but may not be sure that a criminal offence has occurred or might occur.

Dating website offers to pair Canadians, Americans fleeing a Trump presidency

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

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A new dating website is offering to pair Americans with Canadian singles to save them from a Donald Trump presidency.

MapleMatch.com promises love and a U.S. escape plan if Trump becomes commander-in-chief.

The website promises to “make dating great again,” parodying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s slogan.

“It’s easy to say, ‘This is just about Americans trying to find a way to get residency in Canada,” CEO Joe Goldman said in an interview. “I think … many Americans may be frustrated by the community that they’re in or the dating pool they’ve had access to.

“Why not seek something different? Why not seek something Canadian?”

The Texas-based Goldman acknowledges that American have cried “We’re moving to Canada” before, but he says Trump’s divisive policy proposals — like building a wall along the Mexican border and creating a national database of Muslims — make the call of the north all the more real.

“The idealization of Canada by Americans has happened for a long time,” he said. “I guess Americans might be excited about the potential of meeting someone who likes hockey and doesn’t mind a little maple syrup in their pancakes.”

While the dating service has yet to launch, its waitlist has already attracted over 4,200 sign-ups — 70 per cent of them Canadian, according to Goldman.

The site is more about love than a Canadian passport, he insists. He says the matching algorithm will pair people based on compatibility and mutual interest — even if that interest is a fear of Trump.

“We often get asked if Maple Match is something like a joke or a hoax,” he says. “Frankly, Donald Trump is a joke. Finding someone and meeting them and finding a place where you can be happy is real.”

Goldman hatched the idea for the site while watching primary election returns on Super Tuesday. As the former reality TV star swept up five state wins, Goldman searched for an alternative.

He wasn’t alone. According to Google trends, searches for “how to move to Canada” spiked 350 per cent in the hours after the results came in, according to a tweet by Google data editor Simon Richards.

That day, CNN dispatched a crew to Cape Breton after a local website pitching the Nova Scotian island as a Trump-free paradise attracted more than 300,000 hits in two weeks.

Since going live this week, Goldman says the page has received over 36,000 views.

“We thought it might really be a good idea to started this before another wall gets built,” Goldman said.

4 preventive measures to lower risk of vision loss

Devon Johnson | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

Eye exam

An eye exam is an important part of looking after your eyes, but did you know it’s more than a simple test of your sight? City health expert Bryce Wylde explains how your eyes can be an indicator of your overall health, and shares tips on how one can lower their risk of vision loss.

Eye management 101

Vision loss can happen at any time, at any age. As of 2015, 4.25 million Canadians live with a serious eye disease. Out of every seven Canadians, at least one is developing one of the four most common eye diseases in their lifetime. These eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is important to manage your eyesight with a healthcare professional.

Preventive eye care tips

  1. Perform eye health exercises daily. With the prevalence of vision loss expected to increase 30 per cent in the next decade, these exercises are very important. Canadians spend on average 376 minutes a day looking at screens on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    One popular eye health exercise is the 20-20-20 computer rule. Take your eyes away from the screen every 20 minutes, and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to take a much-needed break from the computer screen, and allows your eyes a chance to refocus.

  2. Wear only UV sunglasses and UV contacts. Be wary of sunglasses or contacts that are not UV protected. Although the price might be cheaper, non-UV protected eyewear can dilate your pupils and increase the amount of radiation your eyes are exposed to.
  3. Make smart diet choices. Consume dark and leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, squash, and red peppers. These vegetables gives your eyes much-needed antioxidants that can prevent vision loss. Seven cups of  vegetables or fruit each day. A large intake of Omega-3 fatty acids are also important to prevent eye problems. These acids can be found in fresh fish, nuts and seeds.
  4. Supplement your diet. Many Canadians are not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals in their diet plan. There are various products that will help benefit your eye health. These include eye healthy vitamins, lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 supplements.

Mississauga man battling Fort McMurray wildfire after just being hired

CityNews | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

A Mississauga man is battling the biggest wildfire in Alberta’s history, just one month after being hired as a Firefighter for the Fort McMurray Fire Department.

Jason Munro, 21, has had limited contact with his family in Ontario, and his girlfriend Emily Medeiros, who was also living in the evacuated region.

Shortly after the fires started, his father Neil said he received a text message that read “I gotta go, I love you dad.”

That Wednesday was the first of many sleepless nights for the family.

“I get overwhelmed sometimes and just start worrying,” said Neil.

Medeiros, who moved from Mississauga to Fort McMurray to be with Munro, hasn’t seen him since the wildfires began on May 1.

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“I still don’t know when I’m going to see him again, so it’s scary.”

Their communication is limited to short text messaging conversations because the fire department has been working tirelessly around the clock, said Medeiros.

“They don’t consider themselves heroes, they keep rejecting it, but they are our heroes,” she said. “They’re the only thing left saving our towns.”

The Munro family couldn’t be more proud of their 21-year-old son, who they say has always dreamt of working in this field.

“I’m really proud of him, he’s a wonderful young man,” Neil said holding back tears.

“He just wants to help people.”

Medeiros is flying back to Toronto on Sunday night, but she says she will return to Fort McMurray as soon as the evacuation is lifted to help the town rebuild.


Related stories:

Maclean’s: People say there were no casualties. There are now two

Fort McMurray wildfire enters second week, won’t be ending anytime soon

Staff at Alberta school bring students through wildfire

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