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Two drivers taken to hospital in Brampton crash

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Apr 11th, 2018

Peel police say two drivers have been taken to hospital after a crash in Brampton.

Officers were called to Bovaird Drive East and Richvale Drive just after 8 p.m. Tuesday to a two vehicle collision.

A woman in her 20’s was taken to a trauma centre with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, while a man in his 40’s was taken to a local hospital with injuries.

Peel police are investigating the cause of the crash but have not closed any roads in the area.

Ontario realtors’ group calls for stronger protections against grow-ops

Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018


Ontario’s real estate agents want stronger rules to protect home buyers from purchasing a former marijuana grow-op – a situation they say will increase once cannabis is legalized this year.

The Ontario Real Estate Association, which represents the province’s 70,000 realtors, has proposed a series of changes it says can act as a “regulatory shield” and protect home buyers from health and safety risks linked to grow-ops. The group’s president, David Reid, said Monday that growing pot indoors requires high temperatures and humidity, which can create dangerous conditions that are hard for home buyers to detect.

“Former cannabis grow operations, even on a small scale, can pose significant health and safety issues for unsuspecting home buyers,” Reid said. “These risks are often masked by owners of existing grow operations when the property is sold, making it very difficult for home buyers and realtors to detect problems like mould and fungus.”

Reid said in Denver, Colorado – where marijuana has been legal since 2014 – police estimate one home in 10 grows pot inside.

“Make no bones about it, as of this summer more Ontarians are going to be growing legal pot at home,” he said. “Realtors would support a full ban on the home cultivation of marijuana, however we don’t expect the government of Ontario to take that step with legalization of recreational marijuana on the horizon.”

The group is instead asking the Ontario government to restrict the number of plants a home owner can grow in a condo or apartment unit 1,000 square feet or smaller to one plant, down from four.

Ministry of the Attorney General spokesman Brian Gray said in a statement that as the province approaches legalization it will continue to work with all sectors, including realtors, homeowners, and landlords to “ensure that people have the necessary information and protections in place to make informed decisions about buying and selling a home.”

Gray said that the province has adopted the federal government’s recommendation of allowing homeowners to cultivate four plants, but those plants must originate from licensed seed or seedling suppliers.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is currently developing regulations to set qualifications for home inspectors and will consider the real estate association’s proposal as a part of that work, he added.

Reid said his group would also like home inspectors to receive training on how to spot the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.

“As a realtor, it’s unsettling not always being able to inform buyers that a home they’re considering was once a marijuana grow-op,” he said.

The association also wants to ensure all illegal cannabis operations are inspected by a building inspector, and it wants all municipalities to be required to register remediation work completed on a property. Once a home has been properly remediated, it can be removed from the list, Reid said.

The federal government introduced legislation in April 2017 with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational pot, but left it up to individual provinces to design their own distribution system and usage regulations.

Ontario was the first province to announce a detailed plan to sell and distribute recreational cannabis, and it sets the legal age to purchase it at 19.

The province plans to set up approximately 150 stand-alone cannabis stores by 2020. The first wave of 40 stores will open in July, with that number rising to 80 by July 2019.

Consumption of legal weed will not be allowed in public spaces or workplaces and should be confined to private residences, the province has said.

No middle name on ticket keeps Mississauga woman off flight

Amanda Ferguson | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018


A Mississauga woman learned the hard way that a middle name isn’t something to forget when flying after WOW Airlines denied her boarding because the name on her ticket didn’t match the one on her passport.

Ashley Collins said she arrived at Pearson International Aiport Sunday with a friend to fly to Iceland via WOW airlines with tickets purchased in January. She says she was able to check-in, get her luggage tags, but it wasn’t until she went up the counter, she was told she wasn’t able to fly.

“Once we got to the front, the lady said to her supervisor, ‘It’s another one.’” Collins said. “She handed me my passport and said I was missing the middle name on the ticket so I was denied boarding the flight.”

Collins said she was told 11 others were denied boarding on the flight the previous day for the same reason. She was then given a customer service number to call. A WOW airlines agent informed her there was little she could do because they cannot change a name on a ticket less than four hours prior to a flight.

“We were really looking forward to this trip,” she said. “We had no options at that point.”

Collins ended up paying for a new flight the next day out of Pearson, at a price more than what she paid for round-trip flights to Iceland.

WOW airlines did not return CityNews’ requests for comment.

Gabor Forgacs, from Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism management says the issue of identification can be a common and costly problem for airlines.

In 2016, 60,000 passengers were not admitted into a country of arrival. Airlines are then fined up to $4,000 per passenger, and forced to cover the costs of returning the passenger to their country of origin.

“Airlines learnt to be very careful because they can be in a lot of trouble for not complying with the regulations that require the names of the passenger to match the names of the travel documentation,” Forgacs said.

However, he did point out that not all airlines require middle names, although it is more frequently asked for on international flights.

A spokesperson for WestJet told CityNews it’s reservation system does not require middle names when booking and therefore, it is not required for travel.

Collins said WOW Airlines also charged her $23 for changing her name on her return ticket.

“I just advise everyone to make sure you put your middle name (on your ticket) whether the airlines require it or not because you don’t want to run into a situation like I did,” she said.

Hunk of metal falls off disputed Markham cow statue

Brandon Rowe | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018


Residents of Markham’s Cathedraltown neighbourhood are renewing their calls to get a statue of Charity the cow moved to greener pastures after a hunk of metal fell off this weekend.

“I’m concerned about the safety of this statue,” says resident Anne Mak. “I’m just worried that it could hurt myself, one of the kids, or anyone who is walking their dogs in the park.”

There is now a safety fence surrounding the statue, which is made of polished silver metal. The cow is on stilts and stands tall over the local parkette. It’s in the image of Charity, a prizewinning show cow.

On Sunday, one of Mak’s neighbours found a large metal leaf, weighing nearly a pound, speared into the earth below the statue. The leaf is part of a garland circling Charity’s neck, and is bigger than an adult’s hand.

The larger-than-life statue was installed by developer Helen Roman-Barber in honour of her father, who once owned Charity, and the farmland that she now stands on, surrounded by a subdivision. The statue was approved by Brampton’s city council, but some residents were up in arms about the design.

Last fall, city council voted to move the 25-foot-high cow, but six months later, it’s still standing.

“They told us it was going to be moved by the end of 2017, but it’s still here in our park,” says Mak.

City staff say they are evaluating three alternative locations for the bovine on stilts, based on cost, the readiness of the site, and when it could be installed. Staff expect to bring a report to council sometime this month. The city says the reason for the delay is that the statue — which isn’t actually completed yet — is still technically owned by the donor, who is reluctant to sign it over.

“It’s written in the contract that upon completion of the installation of the cow, the ownership will be transferred from the donor to the city automatically. However, during the installation, we wanted the donor to stop any work, because we knew that the cow would be relocated or removed one day,” says area councilor Alan Ho. “Because of that, the donor is using this as the ownership is still in their hands.”

A spokesperson for Roman-Barber says they are working on getting the fallen leaf fixed. As of right now, he says no decision has been reached with the city about moving this fixture. He says as far as his client is concerned, the cow is already where it belongs.

12 bus crash survivors still in hospital, 4 in critical condition

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018

People gather at a memorial set up on the stairs that lead to Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt, Sask. on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened when a tractor-trailer collided with a hockey team bus at a Saskatchewan highway intersection in a horrific crash that killed 15 people, including players and the coach of the Humboldt Broncos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

A dozen survivors of a bus crash that killed 15 people on Friday are still in a Saskatoon hospital and four remain in critical condition.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says four others are in serious condition and four patients are stable.

The Humboldt Broncos were on their way to a playoff game Friday in Nipawin when the bus carrying the junior hockey team collided with a semi truck in northeastern Saskatchewan.

Fourteen people were injured in the collision.

Nick Shumlanski was the first of the Broncos to be released from hospital and sent out a statement Sunday night thanking people for their support.

He said he was told it was a miracle he was able to walk away from the accident with only minor injuries.

Toronto man wanted for domestic assault

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018


Peel police are asking for the public’s help in searching for a Toronto man wanted for domestic assault.

Officers were called around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning to the area of Northaven Drive and Atwater Avenue in Mississauga.

A 47-year-old woman was found with injuries and taken to hospital for treatment. She has since been released.

Police learned the man allegedly responsible was known to the victim and had fled the scene before officers arrived.

Renaldo Francois, 35, is wanted for aggravated assault, assault, and uttering death threats.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Facebook to send Cambridge Analytica data use notices Monday

Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018


Get ready to find out if your Facebook data has been swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Starting Monday, the 87 million users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will get a detailed message on their news feeds. Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the U.S., though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.K.

More than 620,000 Canadian users have had their data improperly shared.

The Federal Privacy Commissioner is currently investigating Facebook.

In addition, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a notice titled “Protecting Your Information” with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. If they want, they can shut off apps individually or turn off third-party access to their apps completely.

Reeling from its worst privacy crisis in history – allegations that this Trump-affiliated data mining firm may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections – Facebook is in full damage-control mode. CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that he made a “huge mistake” in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook’s responsibility is in the world. He’s set to testify before Congress next week.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie previously estimated that more than 50 million people were compromised by a personality quiz that collected data from users and their friends. In an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Wylie said the true number could be even larger than 87 million.

That Facebook app, called “This is Your Digital Life,” was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also – thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions – data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.

Facebook later limited the data apps can access, but it was too late in this case.

Zuckerberg said Facebook came up with the 87 million figure by calculating the maximum number of friends that users could have had while Kogan’s app was collecting data. The company doesn’t have logs going back that far, he said, so it can’t know exactly how many people may have been affected.

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement Wednesday that it had data for only 30 million Facebook users.

SJHL yet to make decision on 2018 championship after deadly bus crash

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018


The president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League says a decision on what to do with the SJHL championship has yet to be made following Friday’s deadly collision between a truck and a bus that was carrying the Humboldt Broncos team.

Bill Chow says he expects word on how the league intends to handle the final will come within the next few days.

The Broncos were en route to Nipawin, Sask., for Game 5 of their league semifinal when the team’s bus collided with a semi-truck, killing 15.

The Nipawin Hawks were leading Humboldt 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after losing Game 4 in triple overtime earlier in the week.

The Estevan Bruins had already advanced to the championship final.

The SJHL is a junior ‘A’ hockey league with 12 teams.

“We’re a little bit too early to make that decision,” Chow told The Canadian Press on Sunday. “We’ll be meeting as a group, obviously the Humboldt Broncos, the league’s board of governors, and we’ll be making that decision.”

Chow said both the Bruins and Hawks will also be involved in the eventual decision.

“They have representatives at the board, so they’ll have a say in the situation. That’s where that decision will be made.”

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