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From 15cm to 16 C: Spring-like forecast for GTA this week

CityNews | posted Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

Whatever is left of the snow in your backyard won’t last much longer with spring-like temperatures expected in the GTA this week.

According to 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor, Monday’s high is 11 C, but it will be 14 C on Tuesday and 16 C by Wednesday.

And while winter technically doesn’t end for another couple of weeks, the warm trend is expected to last until then.

“It looks like an early spring and we’ll be dealing with temperatures quite mild right through to March 20, the start of astronomical spring,” Taylor said.

However, Taylor warns winter-type weather can’t be ruled out just yet.

“We could be dealing with a surprise-type storm at the end of March beginning of April that brings that winter-type weather back to us,” she said.

If the snow returns, you can blame Wiarton Willie, the only groundhog that to hold out on predicting an early spring.

But the GTA has been lucky so far, receiving almost 44 centimetres of snow, which is a fraction of the 97 centimetres the region had by March of last year.

And, brace for it: The calendar is going to steal an hour of sleep from you this weekend, when the clocks spring forward an hour on Sunday for Daylight Saving Time.

Five takeaways from Justin Trudeau’s 60 Minutes segment

Adrian Lee | posted Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

If this was to be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most significant introduction to American audiences, it was to be far slimmer than the show’s name would suggest. A 13-minute 60 Minutes segment about Trudeau—the first Canadian politician featured on the show in 13 years, timed for just before his state dinner at the White House on Thursday—felt more like it lasted 60 seconds, a weightless introduction to a country that has been invisible on the United States’ No. 1 news show.

The reality, of course, is that Lara Logan’s 60 Minutessegment was not for Canadians, despite Canadians’ thrill that the newsmagazine was set to join outlets like Vogue and the New York Times to deign to cast a light on Canada. Nevertheless, the segment offered little new insight into Trudeau, spending swaths of time on his family and his affection for boxing in the wake of his 2012 fight against Patrick Brazeau. Here are five takeaways from the piece:

1. Margaret Trudeau is not Kim Cattrall.

The segment spent a large chunk of its time on Trudeau’s personal life, setting him in the context of a father that may still resonate for American audiences. But during a mention of his mother Margaret’s history of mental illness, 60 Minutes sent up a B-roll image of Kim Cattrall, the actress that Pierre briefly dated. In a segment that ends with Trudeau suggesting that Americans should “pay attention to us from time to time, too,” it’s a bit of an embarrassment.
Last word on this to Cattrall — for now:



2. Justin Trudeau is a fan of 2006’s Rocky Balboa.

“People think that boxing is all about how hard you can hit your opponent. It’s not. Boxing is about how hard a hit you can take and keep going,” he said, linking his politics to his love of the ring. But if it sounds familiar, it may be because you’re a completionist of the Rockyseries of films: In the movie Rocky Balboa, an aged, retired Rocky delivers those lines, nearly word for word, to his son Robert. (For whatever it’s worth, the 2015 follow-up Creed revealed that Robert moved to Vancouver; perhaps in the Rocky universe, Robert passed on this advice to a ski-instructor pal?) The lines about boxing don’t sound too different, either, from what he told Globe and Mail writer Ian Brown in his profile during the campaign; he regurgitated another story, too, when he tells Logan about the awkward conversation with his father when he asked him to teach him about politics—a tale he’d previously wovenfor the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge.

Related: The true sign of Canadian cool? Not caring if others think we’re cool

3. Trudeau nearly flunked out of school—and sees that near-dropout as a leading example of his failure.

The show’s most revealing clip may have come in an online bonus extra. In a “60 Minutes Overtime” video online, Logan asks Trudeau whether he’s ever “tasted failure.” He pauses, then says he nearly dropped out of Grade 12, feeling the pressure of following in his father’s high-achieving footsteps. “I went through a real period of wondering whether or not I was a worthy son, or even a worthy individual,” he said. “It repeated a few times at moments throughout my life where I was faced with uncertainty about whether or not I was actually on the right track, or actually even a good and worthy person. And quite frankly, through public life, the connection I’ve managed to establish with people in actually making a difference and helping and learning has done a really good job of having me understand that maybe I am a good person with things to offer and meaningful contributions to make.”

4. Trudeau took another swipe at Donald Trump.

Logan asked Trudeau whether or not he was concerned about whether refugees represent potential terrorism threats. In his response, Trudeau couldn’t help but take an unsubtle swing at the Republican Party’s frontrunner: “Ultimately, being open and respectful toward each other is much more powerful as a way to defuse hatred and anger than, you know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies,” he said. It’s not the first time: When asked to repudiate Trump’s beliefs at Maclean’s Town Hall, he did so, saying, “I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear.” On 60 Minutes, he also spoke of rebuking the supporter of a particular male presidential candidate for her failure to care about the global picture. These are rather daring interventions into a heated U.S. political race, and there are those who believe it’s best for Trudeau to stay out of it, to see how things shake out.

5. A glossing-over of some real issues.

Sure, there are only so many things you can do and say in 13 minutes. But it is odd to hear Logan describe the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees—which came months after the campaign-promised deadline—as achieved in an easy fait accompli. It is difficult to agree entirely with the claim that Pierre Trudeau “famously made Canada one of the most progressive countries in the world” when he suspended civil liberties by invoking the War Measures Act during the October Crisis. It’s odd to hear Logan suggest, largely unbidden, that the withdrawal of jets from the fight against ISIS represents a “deeper engagement in the war.” And it’s unusual to hear that Canada is more than hockey and cold fronts when Trudeau is not, it seemed, asked about his agenda for his important visit with Barack Obama.

But then again, Trudeau wouldn’t need to do these get-to-know-you interviews if Americans were already up to speed on Canadian politics. The segments weren’t for us, at home. And even if these profiles have proven to focus more on the telegenic leader than the country itself, it is impossible to argue that it’s not a useful exercise to try to raise Canada’s profile. He is asking America to—in the words of his father—just watch him. And so, we will: The real test starts this week, in Washington.

Kim Cattrall gets mistaken billing as Trudeau’s mom in ’60 Minutes’ profile

The Canadian Press and news staff | posted Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

Call it a “60 Minutes” oops moment.

The venerable CBS newsmagazine aired a profile piece on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday evening. And, for the most part, it cast Canada’s new leader in a glowing light.

But there was one noticeable gaff in the “60 Minutes” piece that is getting plenty of attention. A photo that was supposed to show Trudeau’s parents displayed his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau alongside actress Kim Cattrall, and not his mother, Margaret.

The former Prime Minister and Cattrall dated in the early 80s. In response, Cattrall, who is best known for her role in “Sex and the City,” joked on Twitter, saying: “I have a son who is the Prime Minister of Canada? I couldn’t be more proud.”

There is not comment yet from the Trudeaus.

During the interview, Trudeau discussed his late father, his approach to politics, and even offered some gentle criticism of Americans.

Trudeau’s interview comes ahead of his state visit to Washington this week where he’ll meet with U.S. President Barack Obama. The visit is a first for a Canadian prime minister in almost two decades.

While defending Canada’s Syrian Refugee program, Trudeau made a veiled jab at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Ultimately, being open and respectful towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse hatred and anger, than layering on big walls and oppressive policies,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau was also asked what Canadians don’t like about the United States, and said it would be “nice if they paid a little more attention to the world.”

“Having a little bit of an awareness of what’s going on in the rest of the world, I think is what many Canadians would hope for Americans,” he said.

Last week, The Associated Press obtained a transcript of the interview with Trudeau quoted as saying that Canadians would be appreciative if Americans paid more attention to what is going on around the world.

It prompted Conservative MP Jason Kenney to take to social media and refer to Trudeau’s comment as “regrettably smug.”

Kenney responded on Twitter, saying both countries have their flaws, but the idea that Canadians pay more attention to the world is “manifestly untrue.”

Toronto Zoo baby pandas to appear in public, Trudeau to attend

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

A pair of panda cubs born in a Toronto zoo will have a high profile audience Monday when they appear in public for the first time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will be among those getting the first glimpse of the cubs who have been held in a special maternity-area since their birth last October.

The zoo will be announcing the top name choices for the cubs — a special committee was set up to compile possible monikers.

The cubs marked their 100th day in January and are now considered to have survived their infancy.

Their mother, Er Shun is on loan from China.

She and a male panda named Da Mao arrived in 2013.

It’s hoped the cubs will be introduced to the general public later this month.

Celebrate Toronto with a party, vintage show, and film fest

Patricia D'Cunha and Jackie Rosen | posted Friday, Mar 4th, 2016

A 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square for the Pan Am and Pam American Games. TWITTER/@g026r

Toronto turns 182 years old on Sunday and what better way to celebrate the occasion than by exploring what the city has the offer.

There are plenty of events taking place this weekend to help you cheer on the city, including a special “Celebrate Toronto” party at the Steam Whistle.

As you make your plans, a reminder that a portion of Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) is shut down this weekend for TTC work.

Outside of the city, there’s an OPP job fair and an “open data” event in Mississauga.


Celebrate Toronto at Steam Whistle
Happy birthday, Toronto!


Skaters at Nathan Phillips Square with the ‘Toronto’ sign in the background. 680 NEWS/Patricia D’Cunha.

To mark the 182-year milestone, Steam Whistle Brewery is hosting a “Toronto: Past, Present, Future” party on Saturday with an exhibit, food and its famous beer.

Click here for ticket information.

Vintage flare
If you’re looking for a piece of history that you can wear or put in your home, head on down to the Vintage Clothing Show and the Antique and Vintage Market at Exhibition Place this weekend.

At the clothing show, rummage through racks of retro and vintage clothes and be dazzled by rows of unique costume jewelry. And of course, what would a wardrobe be without a charming old-world purse?


The Toronto Vintage Clothing Show. Photo via Instagram/vintageclothingshow.

After, mosey on down to the antique market to find that something special for your home. There are many items to suit your fancy like bohemian-style furnishings, reclaimed wood pieces, antique prints and silver accents.


The Toronto Antique and Vintage Market. Photo via torontoantiqueandvintagemarket.ca.

ntrance to the clothing show is included with price of admission to the antique market.

Feeling a little Irish?
With St. Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks away, it’s never too early to explore your Irish roots and culture, whether you are from the Emerald Isle or not.

The Toronto Irish Film Festival, now in its sixth year and running this weekend, celebrates the best in Ireland cinema from full-length movies and film shorts. This year also marks the Easter Risingcentenary, and some of this year’s short films commemorate the uprising.



Click here to check out the full festival programme.

Spin to Conquer Cancer 
A new charity event takes place Saturday morning, all in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

It’s the first annual Spin to Conquer Cancer at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, where participants will hop on spin bikes in 45-minute session. The goal is to raise $75,000 for the cancer centre.

Mississauga ‘Code and the City’
Mississauga is inviting people to help “Code the City” on Saturday, a contest to help the city deliver services more efficiently, and win prizes by doing it.

The event is taking place at the Hazel McCallion campus of Sheridan College, where teams will be competing to organize the open data.

The winners will receive up to $6,000 in cash and prizes.

OPP tech job symposium
Attention tech students: do you want to work for the Ontario Provincial Police?


The OPP coat of arms, in Toronto, December 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/J.P. Moczulski.

At Sheridan College’s Davis Campus in Brampton, police are looking to hire new grads or soon-to-be grads who have experience in technology applications. Click here to apply.

TTC work

Partial Line 1 closure
Subways won’t be running between St. George and Lawrence West stations the entire weekend due to track work.

Replacement buses will stop at all stations during the closure.

In a video, TTC CEO Andy Byford and spokesperson Brad Ross explain the reasons for the weekend closures.


Trump defends ‘manhood’ during GOP debate as insults fly

The Associated Press | posted Friday, Mar 4th, 2016

Donald Trump found himself under a withering attack during Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit involving the Republican presidential candidates.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz blasted the front-runner on such topics as his personal ethics, his business practices, and his changing policies.

Although Trump admitted his changed his stand on some issues, he argued flexibility can be a strength.

In one of the more bizarre moments, Trump defended the size of his hands, and quipped about another part of his anatomy.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz levelled withering criticism at Donald Trump’s “flexible” policy positions and personal ethics in the debate in an attempt to derail the brash billionaire’s growing lead in the primaries.

The two senators pressed Trump aggressively on his conservative credentials, his business practices and changing policies.

Earlier in the day, in an extraordinary display of Republican chaos, the party’s most recent presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, lambasted Trump on Thursday, calling him unfit for office and a danger for the nation.

“His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader,” Romney declared. He called Trump “a phoney” who is “playing the American public for suckers,” a man whose “imagination must not be married to real power.”

The vicious feud marked a near-unprecedented scenario pitting the Republican Party’s most prominent leaders, past and present, against each other as Democrats begin to unite around Hillary Clinton.

The criticism set the tone for a primetime debate in which Trump lashed back, calling Romney “a failed candidate” who lost to Barack Obama four years ago because he was such a poor candidate. The loss, Trump charged, was “an embarrassment.”

But on a day when the Republican establishment was in chaos over the prospect of Trump landing the party’s nomination, Cruz, Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich all said they would support Trump if he won primary election battle. And Trump, in turn, said he would support whoever wins — though he seemed to find it inconceivable that it might not be him.

Pressed on policy matters, Trump, in short order, signalled a willingness to deal on any number of issues.

He said it was fine that Florida Sen. Rubio had negotiated with other lawmakers on immigration policy.

He said he had changed his own mind to support admitting more highly skilled workers from overseas, adding matter-of-factly, “I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly skilled people in this country.”

And he also was matter of fact about providing campaign contributions to leading Democrats, including 10 checks to Hillary Clinton, reviled by many conservatives.

Trump said it was simply business.

“I’ve supported Democrats and I’ve supported Republicans, and as a businessman I owed that to my company, to my family, to my workers, to everybody to get along,” he said.

The bad blood among the candidates flowed freely.

Rubio justified his attacks on Trump by saying the billionaire businessman had “basically mocked everybody” over the past year.

Trump then noted that Rubio had mocked his hands as small, widely viewed as an insult about Trump’s sexual prowess. Holding his hands up to the audience, Trump declared, “I guarantee you, there’s no problem” in that area.

It was a jaw-dropping moment in a campaign that’s been full of surprises from the beginning.

On policy, when moderator Megyn Kelly told Trump his shifts caused some people to question his core, Trump insisted: “I have a very strong core. I have a very strong core. But I’ve never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible, who didn’t have a certain degree of flexibility.”

Kasich sought to turn Trump’s statement on the value of “flexibility” into a character question. When meeting with voters, the Ohio governor said, “you know what they really want to know? If somebody tells them something, can they believe it?”

In one moment of levity, Texas Sen. Cruz poked fun at Trump for interrupting, telling the businessman, “Breathe, breathe, breathe.”

Rubio chimed in, “When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question?”

In another exchange, Rubio faulted Trump’s businesses for manufacturing clothing in China and Mexico rather than the U.S. Asked when he would start making more clothes in the U.S., Trump said that would happen when currency valuations weren’t biased against manufacturing garments in America.

Cruz, too, took the fight to Trump, accusing him of being “someone who has used government power for private gain.”

“For 40 years, Donald has been part of the corruption in Washington” that people are angry about, Cruz said, citing Trump’s campaign contributions to leading Democrats, including then-Sen. Clinton.

With Ben Carson’s exit from the race this week, the field of Republican candidates has now been narrowed to four, but any number of predictions that GOP voters would unite behind one anti-Trump candidate have come and gone without a change in the overall dynamic.

Trump, with 10 state victories, leads the field with 329 delegates. Cruz has 231, Rubio 110 and Kasich 25. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.


Associated Press writers David Eggert in Detroit and Nancy Benac in Washington and contributed to this report.

Don Cherry appeals for donations to help save lives of alleged fighting dogs

CityNews | posted Friday, Mar 4th, 2016

Don Cherry is appealing for people to donate to an animal rights group seeking to intervene legally in an effort to spare the lives of 21 dogs seized in an investigation into an alleged dogfighting ring.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has filed an application in court to destroy the dogs arguing they pose a danger to the public.

Cherry took to Twitter on Thursday to say Camille Labchuck, a lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice, is “leading the charge” for a legal intervention in court to save the dogs.

An investigation last October by police and the Ontario SPCA in the Tilbury, Ont., area led to more than 300 charges being laid against four people.

Chatham-Kent police say charges were laid against a fifth person this week after searches of two properties resulted in the seizure of another seven pitbull-type dogs.

“Let me get this straight,” Cherry tweeted. “The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) says they rescued 21 dogs from an alleged dogfighting ring and now they are going to kill them. Am I missing something here?”

Animal Justice references the case of NFL player Michael Vick who was convicted of dogfighting-related offences in 2007.

It says of the 51 pitbulls rescued from Vick’s operation, nearly all of them were rehabilitated and are in homes with families and or in animal sanctuaries.

“None of the Vick dogs have been reported as injuring humans since their rescue, and many of them have even become therapy dogs,” the not-for-profit group says on its website.

“I feel for the innocent beautiful dogs caught in this mess and they might pay for it with their lives,” Cherry tweeted.

5 tips for a bloomin’ garden

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Mar 3rd, 2016

March is here and spring is in the air but before you jump out into the garden our own Frankie Flowers has 5 things you should consider when starting to garden in March!


March is the perfect time to take a look at your outdoor living space and plan how to maximize use of the space and create impactful colour thru designing great gardens including plotting out places to grow your own food:  Frankie says “for larger projects consider hiring a landscape designer or landscape architect, the investment will be worth it and you will have a focused plan to implement over years to come.”



Sharpen lawn mower blades, tune up garden tools by cleaning off dirt and sterilizing blades of pruning shears.  Do some research and find out the best plants or foods to grow for you!Prepare1


Prune off any broken branches or stems and clean up debris around the garden.



A little early to plant but you can plant seeds indoors.  Early March is the time to sow tomatoes indoors.



Take time to enjoy early spring and do not walk on lawns or gardens until they are firm underfoot.  Walking on wet soil increases compaction.  Stay off until the ground is firm underfoot.



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