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Provincial leaders set to square off in highly anticipated #CityVote debate

News Staff | posted Monday, May 7th, 2018

One month before Ontarians go to the polls, the major provincial party leaders will make their pitch directly to voters on Monday in #CityVote: The Debate.

The debate marks the first opportunity in which Premier Kathleen Wynne and PC Leader Doug Ford will square off face-to-face since the former Toronto councillor assumed the conservative leadership back on March 10.

Pre-election polls have the Conservatives as the clear front-runners and suggest the Liberals are most vulnerable in the 416, placing greater importance on Monday’s debate which will focus entirely on issues relevant to those who live and work in Toronto.

While Ford has managed to play to an anger among voters towards the governing Liberals, his policy announcements have been short on specifics and he has yet to provide a fully costed platform. Observers are also keen to see how he handles the minefield of an election campaign as a first-time leader.

Wynne is going into her second election campaign as Liberal leader, having led the party to a majority victory in 2014. Polls suggest she is facing an angry electorate this time around. Despite introducing policies that are resonating with voters, that does not appear to be translating into support for a return to power.

Andrea Horwath is going into her third election campaign as NDP leader. After leading the party to official opposition status in 2011, it gave up that balance of power four years ago in the Liberal majority. An experienced debater, she could be key in determining the balance between a Conservative majority or minority at Queen’s Park.

Where to watch?

Commercial-free coverage begins at 6 p.m. live on:
City
CityNews.ca
CityNews Facebook page
@citynews Twitter page
CityNews YouTube channel
Live 360-degree studio view
680NEWS.com
Macleans.ca
Listen on 570 NEWS in Kitchener
Listen on 1310 NEWS in Ottawa

Live commentary from issue advocates including Desmond Cole, Jodie Emery and Murtaza Haider on Facebook and Citynews.ca

The debate will also be broadcast on OMNI2 at 6 p.m. in Punjabi and at 10 p.m. in Mandarin

Who is moderating?

CityNews political specialist Cynthia Mulligan will referee the debate.

What’s the format for the debate?

Each candidate will have the opportunity to answer six audience questions on the following topics: policing, drugs, transit, education and real estate. As well, each candidate will get the chance to ask an additional question to another candidate.

How can I get involved?

Throughout the broadcast viewers will have the opportunity to join a live moderated chat on Facebook and participate in live polling on Twitter using the hashtag #CityVote.

Testing begins Monday for Canada’s new emergency alert system

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, May 7th, 2018

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Mobile devices across Canada will be buzzing a little more than usual this week as emergency management officials test a new national public alert system.

Test signals are to be sent to millions of mobile users in Quebec around mid-morning today (9:55 AM EDT) and across Ontario in mid-afternoon (1:55 PM EDT).

Cellphones, tablets and other devices will receive the signal in most of the rest of the country on Wednesday.

Depending on settings, users with compatible devices connected to an L-T-E network will hear a tone similar to an ambulance alarm or feel a vibration for eight seconds.

Devices that are turned off won’t receive the signal but phone users will hear their conversations interrupted by a sound similar to a call waiting tone.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ordered wireless providers to implement the system to distribute warnings of imminent safety threats such as tornadoes, floods, Amber Alerts or terrorist threats.

Radio and TV stations will also run the tests.

Their backs to the wall, Raptors say they will come out fighting

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, May 7th, 2018

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As the Raptors’ practice wound down Sunday, star guard DeMar DeRozan sat alone with his back to the wall and headphones clamped on his hoodie-clad head.

One could only imagine the torrent of emotions whirling inside.

After a nightmarish eight-point performance in the first three quarters, Toronto’s marquee man sat out the finale Saturday night when the Raptors were beaten at the buzzer by LeBron James.

DeRozan, by his own admission a poor sleeper at the best of times, endured another “extremely long” night.

“There’s really nothing much you can do, honestly, but watch the time go by,” he said. “And wait for the time to come to be able to get this feeling off you. And the only way to get that feeling off you is to go back out there, help your teammates and get a win.”

Time is running out for the Raptors, down 3-0 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Game 4 goes Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

One senses the Raptors have no answers. Except to come out swinging and hope something connects.

“You choose to continue to fight,” said coach Dwane Casey.

Casey recalled the 1995-1996 NBA final when his Seattle SuperSonics — he was an assistant coach — went down 3-0 to the Chicago Bulls.

“Everybody wrote us off …. but at that time guys just made up their mind — ‘We’re not going to quit. We’re not giving in, we’re not quitting. Because we’ve got too much sweat equity.’”

There was a bounce-back but no happy ending. The Sonics won Games 4 and 5 before the Bulls put them away in Game 6.

No NBA team has ever rallied from an 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series, with 129 trying and failing.

“The easy thing to do is just to write us off, write ourselves off and say ‘Hey, look we’re not worthy,’” Casey continued. “But you choose to be a warrior, you choose to continue to fight.”

Kyle Lowry echoed those fighting words.

“No matter what, you’ve got to just rumble,” he said.

Toronto, which compiled a record season to finish first in the East, has been unable to fire on all cylinders against the Cavaliers. Instead it has found different ways to lose.

The Raptors led all the way through regulation time in Game 1, only to lose in overtime. James put on a clinic in a Game 2 blowout. And James delivered the dagger with a majestic off-balance buzzer-beater in Game 3 as the Cavs held off one Raptor comeback after another.

Power forward Serge Ibaka has faded out of the starting lineup. DeRozan was reduced to a spectator. Lowry has been hot and cold.

Casey chose not to show his players film of Game 3 on Sunday. But he did speak to DeRozan before practice, downplaying the decision to bench his star by saying he didn’t want to break up the quintet he had on the court at the time.

While the Raptors have thrown up their hands at the officiating — with team president Masai Ujiri hit with a $25,000 fine for walking onto the court at halftime to berate the officials Saturday — James has simply dazzled.

He has lifted up his teammates while doing his best to break the Raptors’ spirit by dipping into a seemingly bottomless toolbox to get the job done.

The 33-year-old has trended on social media at Toronto’s expense, adding the word LeBronto to basketball’s vocabulary after having his way north of the border and earning kudos from fellow pros for the wonder-shot Saturday.

“Tough shot. Makes it look easy,” tweeted veteran Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki.

“We really witnessing history,” added Brooklyn point guard D’Angelo Russell.

Rubbing salt in the wound, James’ latest heroics came right in front of the Toronto bench. A photo on the front of the Cleveland Plain Dealer sports section Sunday shows the stunned Raptors contingent as the ball is about to leave James’ right hand.

Ibaka stands hands on hip, with a look of near resignation. You could almost slip a cob of corn in the open mouth of assistant coach Jim Sann.

James has been nothing but classy off the floor. But he clearly chooses his words — and wardrobe — carefully.

After Game 2, James made a point of citing Casey for helping make him the player he is. The Cavs star said he learned from the defences drawn up by Casey, then a Dallas assistant coach, in the 2010-11 NBA final won by the Mavericks over James’ Miami Heat.

On Saturday night, there was perhaps another subtle dig as James wore a baseball cap with the Seagram’s 7s Canadian whisky logo to the post-game news conference.

Sidewalk Labs says ‘sketch’ of plan for Toronto coming in July

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 4th, 2018

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The public will have to wait until late July to see “initial sketches” of a plan for a proposed high-tech community in the city, while a more detailed proposal is set to be released in October, Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto said Thursday at a consultation meeting that offered scant new information.

And it won’t be until sometime in the new year that citizens will see the full picture being envisioned by Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.

In October, Waterfront Toronto announced it had chosen Sidewalk Labs to present a plan to design a brand new area of the city from scratch, with innovative technologies and infrastructure that’s expected to include roads designed for driverless cars.

Bianca Wylie, co-founder of Tech Reset Canada, said the new timetables given for releasing real details about the project will leave the public with little time to assess them.

“They’re going to have to have more public meetings or there’s no legitimacy,” Wylie said.

“You cannot assess something until you see it in its technical detail.”

While the public was originally promised a year of “extensive community and stakeholder consultation,” that could be extended, said Kristina Verner, vice president of innovation, sustainability and prosperity for Waterfront Toronto.

“That one year is not written in stone, it could be a little longer than a year, the reality is we need to take as much time as it’s going to take to make it right,” she said.

“It’s not a race to the finish, it’s a race to getting it right and, if it takes a little bit longer than what had been articulated ahead of time, there’s a commitment on both sides to make sure that time is taken to get the community’s voice to be heard and actually answer the questions that come forward as a part of the process.”

Molly Sauter said she came away from Thursday’s event feeling no more informed about the process and called the presentation “an exercise in salesmanship.”

“They’re very slick and practised in their marketing,” said the McGill University PhD candidate. “They are selling the project, they’re not particularly interested in what people have to say about the project.

“There’s no room for ‘how about you just don’t use (people’s) data, how about you just don’t collect the data?’ That’s not part of this discussion.”

Sidewalk Labs chief policy officer Rit Aggarwala told the crowd the company is “not interested in selling personal information” and will ultimately present a plan that will need to be approved by the government before proceeding.

“At the end of the day, this is all going to be a proposal,” he said. “There’s no decision we get to make.”

WestJet severs ties with Hopper app after ‘confusion’ about secret fares

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 4th, 2018

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WestJet Airlines said it is severing ties with airfare finder app Hopper due to confusion over the developer’s announcement the airline would offer “secret fares” on its app.

Montreal-based Hopper announced Wednesday that WestJet and Air Canada were among its first global partners to unload some of their seats via “secret fares” at discounts of up to 35 per cent.

But both airlines have disputed the claim that they would offer secret fares with Hopper and said they were offering the same discounts available to their travel agencies partners.

“Due to the confusion this has created in the marketplace, WestJet is severing ties with Hopper,” company spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said late Thursday.

WestJet said Hopper will still be able to sell the company’s published fares, comparable to those available on its website, but that it will no longer provide the private, discounted fares it offers to travel agents and other partners.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said Thursday the airline doesn’t offer fares with Hopper that are not provided to its other partners.

“From time-to-time we offer tactical fares on select markets to travel partners in the normal course of business and to remain competitive,” he said, adding that such fares offered by Hopper were not available in Canada.

The company did not say whether it would end its partnership with the app developer along with its rival.

In its release Wednesday, Hopper said other “secret fare” airline partners include LATAM, Turkish, Copa and Air China, adding they will be joined by other carriers in the coming weeks.

But the company clarified Thursday night that its “secret fares” were a “Hopper-specific marketing strategy and not a unique class of airfare.”

“Airlines offer distinct fares to specific types of agencies, in our case online travel agencies, and they are marketed under a range of different brand names,” Hopper spokeswoman Brianna Schneider said in an email. “We are currently contacting relevant parties to clear up any confusion.”

Twitter says internal glitch exposed users passwords

News Staff | posted Friday, May 4th, 2018

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Twitter is urging its more than 330-million users to change their passwords after discovering a glitch on its internal computer network.

In a blog post, the company’s Chief Technology Officer said the social media network recently identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log.

“We have fixed the bug, and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse by anyone,” wrote Parag Agrawal.

“We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again.”

Agrawal explained that a number of passwords were written to an internal log before completing a process known as hashing, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are then stored on Twitter’s system.

Twitter did not say how many passwords were affected.

Toronto Marathon highlights a busy weekend in the city

Patricia D'Chunha and Michael Gibbons | posted Friday, May 4th, 2018

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Toronto is always bustling with energy, and this weekend is no different. There are so many events taking place, that you will need to put them in your calendar. One of them is the Toronto Marathon, which runs through several areas of the city. This is also the weekend that Centre Island opens for a new season.


Run, walk, and support
It will be an emotional time for those who are running, walking, or supporting those taking part in the Toronto Marathon on Sunday. Three of the main events — marathon, half-marathon and relay — start at Mel Lastman Square and continue along a stretch of Yonge Street in North York. The neighbourhood has been the scene of tragedy, but also of people coming together in solidarity. That supportive spirit will continue to embrace the city this weekend, as the marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, 10-kilometre run, and five-kilometre run and walk navigates from one neighbourhood to another.

Around 14,000 people from Toronto, across the country and around the world are participating in the event, which also supports the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and the Hospital for Sick Children. It all starts at 7:30 a.m. with the 10-kilometre run, followed by the marathon, marathon relay, five-kilometre run, half-marathon, and the five-kilometre walk. The marathon and half-marathon events start in North York and make their way along Yonge and into the downtown core, along Lake Shore Boulevard, to the Humber Bay Shores area, back onto Lake Shore and ending at Ontario Place. The 10-kilometre run starts near Yonge and Bloor streets and finishes at Ontario Place. The five-kilometre run and walk starts and ends at Ontario Place. Click here for the route maps.

Road closures start at 6 a.m. and will be in effect along Yonge and other streets bounded by Bayview Avenue in the east, South Kingsway in the west, Lake Shore Boulevard in the south and Finch Avenue in the north. The following ramps on the Gardiner and the DVP will also be closed:

  • Eastbound Gardiner ramp to Jarvis Street from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Westbound Gardiner ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • No access to westbound Lake Shore Boulevard at Spadina Avenue from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • DVP Bayview/Bloor ramp to Bayview Avenue from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Click here for a full list of the road closures.

Cherry blossoms starting to bloom
With the arrival of warm weather, the cherry blossoms trees are starting to flower in High Park. On its website, officials at the High Park Nature Centre say they “expect some blooms on the trees this weekend, with many more by May 9-14.” Drivers can expect traffic delays the area during peak viewing times — 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends.

MS Walk
Downsview Park will play host to a special fundraiser to support people living with multiple sclerosis in the GTA. The Toronto Mandarin MS Walk is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. on Sunday, with participants checking in at 9:30 a.m. Participants will walk either a 2.5-kilometre route or a five-kilometre route through Downsview Park. After the walk, there will be a BBQ lunch, entertainment, and awards. Event organizers have a fundraising goal of $63,000, which will go towards multiple sclerosis research, and to help people living with the autoimmune disease.

Travel to the island
Centreville Amusement Park will be opening for a new season on Saturday, and will stay that way for every weekend in May. The amusement park opens as of June 1. Last year, the park, as well as Centre Island and other Toronto islands, were closed until late July due to high water levels. Click here for the ferry schedule.

Bowling to save cats
You can be the knight in shining armour for every cat in our city that is abandoned, sick and injured from abuse or neglect, or is at risk of being euthanized. This Saturday, bring your charitable goodness to a bowl-a-thon to raise money for Toronto Cat Rescue. It will be held at the Kennedy Bowl from noon to 3 p.m. Last year, the event raised $25,000, and this year, the event hopes to bring in $35,000. There will be pizza and prizes, and you are encouraged to wear your cat tails and ears — but that is optional. If you are not able to bowl, you can still donate to the cat rescue.

Park and Bark Dog Show
Dog owners are encouraged to bring their pups out to an outdoor pop-up shop in the Yonge and Davisville area on Saturday. The one-day outdoor event will feature free samples and contests, as well as speakers and experts to talk to. If you happen to look like your canine, there will also be a special “Dog and Owner” look-alike contest. It takes place at 1943 Yonge St. just north of Davisville Avenue in the large parking lot.

Toronto has many stories
Learn more about Toronto’s past and its path to the future by walking through the city. Named after author and urbanist Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walk aims to bring people together through citizen-led walking tours, which start on Friday and run until the end of September. Some of the walks this weekend are:

  • Sculpture and the City — these pieces of art are everywhere, but how did they get there and who paid for them?
  • Crosstown: Transforming York South-Weston Through Transit — a look at the physical transformation between West Road and Blackthorn Avenue along the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project
  • From Town to City in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood — how the Town of York outgrew its colonial roots in the 1800s to become the City of Toronto
  • The Pulse of the Junction; Our Stories — learn how the railroad played a role in the development of the neighbourhood to what it is now, shaped by a cultural mosaic, architecture, breweries, and local businesses

 

Paddle the Don
Paddle the Don is celebrating 25 years as an event on Sunday. Since 1993, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has been giving people a unique opportunity to celebrate the Don River watershed by paddling from Ernest Thompson Seton Park to the mouth at the Keating Channel. The TRCA says participants will experience a natural adventure in an urban environment, and learn to honour and connect with the Don River.

May 4, 2018

BT Toronto | posted Friday, May 4th, 2018

In studio:

  • Its Star Wars Day and for the first time in Toronto, the original lightsaber used by Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back will be on display, along with other Star Wars memorabilia at the Ripley’s Aquarium
    Cory Dacy, Star Wars enthusiast from Ripley Entertainment
    Web: www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada
  • The award-winning play ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ tackles themes of race, power and opportunity. Two of the stars of the latest Toronto production are in studio
    Alana Bridgewater – “Ma Rainey,” Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    Lovell Adams-Gray – “Levee,” Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    Web: www.Soulpepper.ca
    Twitter: @SoulPepper
  • Toronto Author, Zoa Gypsy’s book was chosen by Sir Elton John to read on BBC’s Bedtime Stories. Her book “The Dog Detectives: Lost in London,”is based on her travels to 20 countries with her dog
    Zoa Gypsy, Author
    Web: www.youtube.com/cbeebies
    Instagram/Twitter:@CBeebiesHQ

On location:

  • Adam Wylde is LIVE at Scotia Bank Pond Arena for the 13th annual Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s™ in Support of Baycrest
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