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Maclean’s asks men to pay more in call for pay equity

Catherine McIntyre, Maclean's | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018

Decades after Canada introduced pay equity laws, women continue to earn less than men, regardless of sector, job title, or number of hours they work. To draw attention to the problem, Maclean’s is asking men to pay 26 per cent more than women for its magazine this month—a reflection of the persistent wage differential between full-time working men and women in Canada.

The content of both magazines is exactly the same, but one cover aimed at men costs $8.81, while the other created for women costs $6.99. (In practice, readers can buy whichever cover they like.) Extra proceeds from $8.81 cover will be donated to Indspire, an Indigenous-led charity, to help fund a scholarship for an Indigenous woman.

“Pay equity is having its moment as the next beat in the cadence of the #MeToo movement,” says Maclean’s Editor-in-Chief, Alison Uncles. “Our hope is that these dual covers help ignite the kind of urgent conversation in Canada that is already happening elsewhere around the world.” 

The reasons for the enduring wage gap are many and complex, according to a Maclean’s feature report. Academics have devoted decades to researching them; politicians have spent nearly as long pledging legislation to close the gap. But since the second and third waves of feminism came and went, women’s wages have climbed a mere 10 per cent. But that could be changing. The Maclean’s cover story looks at why efforts to close the wage gap have failed, and whether new federal legislation promised by the Trudeau government—amid growing public outrage—will finally move the dial.

The full article is available on newsstands and on the Maclean’s website.

Standard lease agreements coming to Ontario rentals

Amanda Ferguson | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018


The Ontario government has waded into Toronto’s hot rental market with the province’s first standard lease for private rentals.

Starting April 30, the standard form must be used in any private residential lease agreement. That includes anyone renting out houses, apartments, condos or basement apartments.

“Ontario is one of the few provinces that didn’t have a standard form of lease for residential tenancies, so we’re actually playing catch up with most of the rest of the country,” says housing minister Peter Milczyn.

There are about 1.25 million private rental homes in Ontario, with about 19,000 units changing hands every month.

This move comes after a number of renting horror stories. Last fall, CityNews helped dozens of international students who were allegedly defrauded out of thousands of dollars by a man demanding key money and several months’ rent in advance to secure an apartment.

The new forms clearly list total rent, when it’s due, and all rules related to the rental unit. It also outlines both landlord and tenant responsibilities. Further, it explains what can and can’t be included in a lease.

“Many tenants are told in their lease that they’re not allowed to have pets, when they can,” notes Georgie Dent, the executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations. “Or that they have to move out, when they don’t have to move out, or that they have to pay money when they don’t. So we’re very excited that confusion, and a lot of that illegality is going to be cleared up.”

Existing leases are still legal. Further, anyone moving into social, retirement or nursing homes, commercial rental buildings, or mobile homes, won’t be covered. The government is planning on releasing separate standard agreements for these types of homes.

Gender-neutral anthem lyrics now official

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018


The new, gender-neutral lyrics to O Canada are official.

Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says the one-line revision to the national anthem became law Wednesday, one day ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The new wording changes the second line of the anthem’s English version to “in all of us command” from “in all thy sons command.”

Members of Parliament broke into applause after singing the updated version in the House of Commons a few hours after the bill received royal assent.

Joly says the government will update its materials and spread news of the change at no extra cost.

The update is the culmination of efforts by former Liberal MP Mauril Belanger, who died two years ago, to make the anthem more inclusive.

Next Gerber baby will be a boy with Down syndrome

The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018

This September 2017 undated photo provided by the Warren family via Gerber shows 14-month-old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Ga. Lucas' contagious smile won over executives at Gerber baby food who have made him their "spokesbaby" this year. Lucas is Gerber's first spokesbaby with Down syndrome in the company's 91-year history. (Courtesy Warren family/Gerber via AP)

One-year-old Lucas Warren’s contagious smile won over executives at Gerber baby food who have made him their “spokesbaby” this year.

Lucas is Gerber’s first spokesbaby with Down syndrome in the company’s 91-year history.

His photo was chosen out of more than 140,000 submissions. He will receive $50,000, and the Dalton, Georgia, boy’s image will be featured in the company’s social media posts.

Lucas’ mom, Cortney Warren, says she hopes this will bring help increase the acceptance of special needs kids.

Durham police release dramatic footage of high-speed helicopter pursuit

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018


Durham regional police have released footage from what they believe to be the second longest helicopter pursuit in Ontario history.

It started at around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 27 when a woman called 911 saying a man she knew was following her and trying to ram her vehicle in the area of Rossland Road West and Stevenson Road North in Oshawa.

A 911 dispatcher advised her to head towards Central West Division in Whitby. While en route, police spotted the suspect vehicle and he fled at high speed towards Highway 401.

In the interest of public safety police backed off their pursuit, but the force’s Air1 helicopter began tracking the vehicle as it entered the eastbound lanes of the 401 at speeds as high as 230 km/h.

“Air1 followed the vehicle for 154 km, as officers on the road kept a safe distance away,” Durham police said in a release. “The male travelled towards Peterborough, but then began to drive back towards Durham Region.”

The suspect’s high-speed evasion came to an abrupt end when police placed a tire deflation device on Ganaraksa Road, but he still managed to flee on foot into a nearby wooded area.

He wasn’t, however, able to evade the eye in the sky and the suspect was arrested shortly after running into the woods.

Police allege that the 47-year-old man tossed drugs into the brush, but the helicopter was able to direct police to the area of the evidence.

Police have chosen not to name the suspect due to the domestic nature of the incident.

He’s facing charges of drug possession (cocaine, heroin, MDMA) for the purpose of trafficking, race a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, as well as criminal harassment, among others.

‘I’m the only person who can defeat Kathleen Wynne:’ Caroline Mulroney

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018

Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leadership candidate Caroline Mulroney appears at a event in Toronto on Monday, February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

In an interview with Maclean’s magazine, Mulroney responded to questions about her lack of political leadership, her famous father and why the time was right for her to jump into the political spotlight.

Despite having grown up in the shadow of her father, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, her opponents will be quick to seize on the fact she has very little political experience. Mulroney says experience hasn’t proven to be beneficial when it comes to the current political landscape in Ontario.

“Kathleen Wynne has a lot of political experience and it’s what got us into this mess in the first place,” she tells Jen Gerson of Maclean’s.

“The more I knock on doors, the more I hear from people that they’re angry. We need to deliver change in Ontario, and I’m running because I’m the only person who can defeat Kathleen Wynne.”

“I’m a new generation in politics and I think that that’s what people are really looking for in Queen’s Park, a new way of doing things.”

As for her famous name, Mulroney says she is more than “just a prime minister’s daughter.”

“I’ve always been a conservative because I believe that government’s not always the solution,” she said. “You’ve got to empower people to make the best decisions for themselves. I learned it from my family but I also learned it from the party, and from my own education.”

Mulroney is one of three candidates who have publicly declared their intentions to seek the leadership of the party in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations that forced Patrick Brown to step down.

Christine Elliott, who previously ran for the leadership and came up short, and former Toronto councillor and mayoral hopeful Doug Ford have also joined the race.

Ontario Tories to use two step verification for online leadership vote

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018

PC staff member leaves the room caucus room at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, January 26, 2018. Ontario Tories will huddle today to pick an interim leader who may lead them into the June provincial election, following Patrick Brown's resignation early yesterday morning in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, the party isn't even sure if it will hold a leadership race before the vote. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Progressive Conservatives who want to help choose the party’s next leader will have to prove their identity before they can participate in the vote.

The party says it is putting in place a two-step verification system to ensure the transparency of the online ballot, which is scheduled for early March.

It says members will receive a unique verification number in the mail, which will direct them online to verify the information on their record. They will then have to send in a photo or scan of an approved identification document before being allowed to vote.

The announcement comes as the party deals with the discovery of a significant discrepancy in its membership numbers.

An email recently sent to the Tory caucus and obtained by The Canadian Press showed that the party has roughly 67,000 fewer members than the 200,000 claimed by former leader Patrick Brown.

The party is holding a leadership race to replace Brown, who stepped down abruptly in late January amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Brown denies the allegations, which were made by two women who spoke to CTV News and have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.

Former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, who came in second to Brown in the last leadership race, is among those competing to take the helm of the party.

Caroline Mulroney, a Toronto lawyer and the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, is also in the running, as is former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, brother of late mayor Rob Ford.

The first leadership debate will be held in Toronto on Feb. 15, a day before the deadline for candidates and new party members to register. A second debate will be held at a later date.

The vote is set to take place between March 2 and 8, with the results announced on March 10. The Progressive Conservatives say independent third parties will be responsible for processing votes and maintaining personal information.

SpaceX’s big new rocket blasts off with sports car on top

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Feb 7th, 2018


SpaceX’s big new rocket blasted off Tuesday on its first test flight, carrying a red sports car aiming for an endless road trip past Mars.

The Falcon Heavy rose from the same launch pad used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send men to the moon. With liftoff, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket in use today, doubling the liftoff punch of its closest competitor.

The three boosters and 27 engines roared to life at Kennedy Space Center, as thousands jammed surrounding beaches, bridges and roads to watch the rocket soar, delayed more than two hours by high wind.

Two of the boosters were recycled and programmed to return for a simultaneous touchdown at Cape Canaveral, while the third, brand new, set its sights on an ocean platform some 300 miles offshore.

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk owns the rocketing Tesla Roadster, which is shooting for a solar orbit that will reach all the way to Mars. As head of the electric carmaker Tesla, he combined his passions to add a dramatic flair to the Heavy’s long-awaited inaugural flight. Typical ballast for a rocket debut: concrete or steel slabs, or experiments.

On the eve of the flight, Musk told reporters the company had done all it could to maximize success and he was at peace with whatever happens: success, “one big boom” or some other calamity. The longer the flight, he noted, the more the company would learn from the heavily instrumented rocket.

Musk has plenty of experience with rocket accidents, from his original Falcon 1 test flights to his follow-up Falcon 9s, one of which exploded on a nearby pad during a 2016 ignition test. The Falcon Heavy is a combination of three Falcon 9s, the rocket that the company uses to ship supplies to the International Space Station and lift satellites. Spacex is reusing first-stage boosters to save on launch costs.

The Heavy is intended for massive satellites, like those used by the U.S. military and major-league communication companies. Even before the test flight, customers were signed up.

Given the high stakes and high drama, Tuesday’s launch attracted huge crowds not seen since NASA’s last space shuttle flight seven years ago. While the shuttles had more liftoff muscle than the Heavy, the all-time leaders in both size and might were NASA’s Saturn V rockets, which first flew astronauts to the moon in 1968.

Not counting Apollo moon buggies, the Roadster is the first automobile to speed right off the planet.

At the convertible’s wheel is SpaceX’s “Starman,” a dummy in a white-and-black-trimmed spacesuit, and on the soundtrack is another nod to David Bowie: his 1969, pre-Apollo 11 song “Space Oddity,” featuring the memorable line “Ground Control to Major Tom.” SpaceX is hoping for live shots of the car from on-board cameras, once the protective enclosure comes off and the car sails off fully exposed.

The car faces considerable speed bumps before settling into its intended orbit around the sun, an oval circle stretching from the orbit of Earth on one end to the orbit of Mars on the other.

First, the Roadster needed to survive liftoff, no small feat for a rocket hot off the factory floor. Then it has to endure a cosmic bombardment on its several hours of cruising through the highly charged Van Allen radiation belts encircling Earth. Finally, a thruster has to fire to put the car on the right orbital course.

If it weathers all this, the Roadster will reach the vicinity of Mars in six months, Musk said. The car could be travelling between Earth and Mars’ neighbourhoods for a billion years, according to the high-tech billionaire.

Musk acknowledged the Roadster could come “quite close” to Mars during its epic cruise, with only a remote chance of crashing into the red planet.
Win or lose, the Heavy already is rattling the launch market. Its sticker price is $90 million, less than one-tenth the estimated cost of NASA’s Space Launch System megarocket in development for moon and Mars expeditions.

SpaceX has decided against flying passengers on the Heavy, Musk told reporters Monday, and instead will accelerate development of an even bigger rocket to accommodate deep-space crews. His ultimate goal is to establish a city on Mars.

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