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Ontario plans new ambulance system

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 6th, 2017

File photo of an ambulance. CITYNEWS
Ontario is planning to revamp its ambulance system to redirect some patients with less pressing needs to places other than emergency rooms.

The government announced Monday that its new system would start rolling out in March 2018 and would better prioritize calls based on patient need.

It says more than one million patients were transported by land or air ambulance in 2015, and only one per cent of them were the most critically ill and required immediate emergency transportation.

The Liberal government says it plans to update the Ambulance Act to allow paramedics to provide on-scene treatment and refer patients to primary care or community care, instead of hospitals, if appropriate.

The government says increased flexibility would reduce unnecessary trips to emergency departments, lessening overcrowding and easing wait times.

But paramedics with the Canadian Union of Public Employees say diverting and triaging patients who call 911 for emergency medical care away from hospitals is fraught with risks. The paramedics said in a statement they believe the proposed changes will result in “negative outcomes for patients.”

“To improve response times, what’s needed is increasing the capacity of ambulance services to put more paramedics on the road,” said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn. “That’s something that would cost much less than putting paramedics on firetrucks and save more lives.”

It’s estimated that fully implementing the system will take two years.

Investigation underway after body found floating along shoreline in Etobicoke

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Jun 6th, 2017

Toronto police are investigating a suspicious death after a body was pulled from Lake Ontario in Etobicoke on Monday afternoon.

Police were called to Sand Beach Road Parkette at about 3:30 p.m.

The body was reportedly floating against rocks near Sand Beach Road, south of Lake Shore Boulevard.

The age and gender of the deceased have not been released.

One of the London attackers appeared in documentary about British jihadis

LORI HINNANT, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 6th, 2017

A new search was underway Tuesday in a neighbourhood near the home of two of the London Bridge attackers, hours after police said they had freed everyone detained in the wake of the rampage that left seven dead and dozens wounded.

London police said all 12 people held since the attack late Saturday from the Barking neighbourhood in the east of the city, have been freed. A new search was underway Tuesday in Ilford, just north of Barking, as authorities tried to determine whether the group had accomplices.

One of the attackers, Khuram Shazad Butt, had appeared in a documentary “The Jihadis Next Door” and was known to investigators but police said he was not believed to be plotting an attack. The second man, Rachid Redouane, had not aroused any suspicions. Police have not released the identity of the third. The three, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead during the attack.

The attack, the third in Britain in three months, has raised questions over the government’s ability to protect Britain following cuts to police numbers in recent years. The issue has become a key one in the run-up to Thursday’s general election.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the snap election in hopes of strengthening her mandate for discussions over Britain’s exit from the European Union, has come under fire for the cuts to police numbers over recent years. A string of opinion polls over the past couple of weeks have pointed to a narrowing in the gap between her Conservative Party and the main opposition Labour Party.

Much of the area around London Bridge remained cordoned off as commuters struggled to work in the driving rain. The area around Borough Market is not expected to reopen Tuesday.

The nearby London Bridge station was operational though one of the exits that leads to the cordoned off area on Borough High Street remained closed. Transport for London, which oversees the capital’s transport network, has advised commuters to make alternative journeys as the station will be busy.

A minute’s silence is due to be observed in Britain at 11 a.m. local time in memory of the seven people who died during the attack late Saturday.

Related stories:

Police release names of 2 London attackers

12 arrested after London Bridge attack that left 7 dead, 48 injured

Canadian woman from B.C. confirmed as victim in London terror attacks

Teary-eyed Grande returns to stage for One Love Manchester concert

Questions remain over whether investigators had the resources to look into complaints such as those levelled by Butt’s neighbours about his attempts to radicalize children and whether crucial opportunities were missed that could have saved lives.

Saturday’s attack was the third in as many months involving suspects who had been on the radar of British authorities. All three have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

The country’s official terror threat level remains at “severe,” one notch down from the highest.

It had been set at “critical” in the days after the Manchester concert bombing on May 22 that killed 22 people — reflecting a judgment that an attack might be imminent because accomplices with similar bombs might be on the loose.

It was lowered once intelligence agencies were comfortable this wasn’t the case. Authorities have said the London attack was apparently unconnected to the Manchester bombing.

Some falling concrete likely from trucks, not crumbling Gardiner: police

CARL HANSTKE AND NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Jun 6th, 2017

Large chunks of concrete fall from Gardiner Expressway, March 17, 2014. CITYNEWS
The Gardiner Expressway may be crumbling, but apparently it’s not as bad it appears to be.

Toronto police say tests have shown that some of the concrete debris on the Gardiner isn’t from the expressway itself, but likely from debris falling off of trucks.

Since 2012, there have been 86 reported incidents of concrete flaking off the underside of the Gardiner and crashing down on the road below.

Const. Clint Stibbe says of the 86 cases, only 22 – or around 25 per cent – were chunks that actually fell off the expressway.

“The other 64 have been determined to be from other sources, some of which are overweight trucks where their loads are coming out and onto the Lake Shore or onto other areas of the the roadway,” Stibbe told 680 NEWS on Tuesday.

According to the latest numbers, seven of the cases were determined to be construction debris likely from trucks. The cause of the other 57 reported incidents is not yet clear.

Police say overloaded dump trucks are prone to have bits of concrete debris spill out and land on the road.

The city is in the process of tearing down portions of the Gardiner due to its deteriorating state. One of the projects involves tearing down the existing ramp from the eastbound Gardiner to York, Bay and Yonge streets and replacing it with a shorter ramp to Lower Simcoe Street.

The ramp has been closed to motorists since April 17 and construction is scheduled to wrap up next January.

Harley-Davidson recalls motorcyles; oil line can detach and cause crash

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 5th, 2017

Harley-Davidson is recalling about 57,000 motorcycles worldwide because an oil line can come loose, spewing oil into the path of the rear tire.

The recall covers certain 2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Police Electra Glide, Police Road King, Road King, Road King Special, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Road Glide and Road Glide Special motorcycles built from July 2, 2016 through May 9, 2017.

Harley says a clamp on an engine oil cooler line may not have been installed correctly. The Milwaukee-based company says in documents posted Friday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it has nine reports of oil lines coming off. The problem caused two crashes and one minor injury.

Dealers will inspect the clamps and fix them free of charge. The repair is expected to take about a half-hour. Harley expects to start the recall, including about 46,000 bikes in the U.S., on Tuesday.

Teary-eyed Grande returns to stage for One Love Manchester concert

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 5th, 2017

In this Sunday, June 4, 2017, handout photo provided by Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester, singers Ariana Grande, right, and Miley Cyrus perform at the One Love Manchester tribute concert in Manchester, north western England, Sunday, June 4, 2017. One Love Manchester is raising money for those affected by the bombing at the end of Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester on May 22, 2017. (Dave Hogan via AP)
Ariana Grande returned to the stage Sunday, two weeks after a suicide bombing killed 22 people at her concert in Manchester.

She paid tribute to the victims with an all-star affair in the city with the help of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher and others.

Grande emerged onstage for the One Love Manchester concert, appearing teary-eyed and emotional as she performed her hits “Be Alright” and “Break Free.”

She told the audience, “Manchester, we’re gonna be all right.”

Sunday’s One Love Manchester concert, held at the city’s Old Trafford cricket ground, also featured Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Imogen Heap, Robbie Williams, Marcus Mumford, Niall Horan and Little Mix.

Gallagher and Take That hail from Manchester.

Grande sang multiple times throughout the three-hour-plus show, even duetting with Miley Cyrus, the Black Eyed Peas, Mac Miller and the Parrs Wood High School Choir, one of the show’s strongest moments.

“I don’t feel or smell or hear or see any fear in this building. All we feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity,” said Pharrel Williams, who performed alongside Miley Cyrus.

The show was broadcast across the globe and proceeds from the concert will go to an emergency fund set up by the city of Manchester and the British Red Cross.

GTA home sales plummet 20.3% in May

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 5th, 2017

A sold sign is shown in front of west-end Toronto homes on April 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
The Toronto Real Estate Board says home sales in the GTA plunged last month by 20.3 per cent as prices continued to climb.

The board says the average selling price for all properties in May was $863,910, an increase of 14.9 per cent from the same month last year.

Sales of detached homes, which had an average selling price of $1,141,041, fell by 26.3 per cent in the GTA.

The data captures a month during which the Ontario government implemented a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a fast-growing region stretching from the Niagara Region to Peterborough retroactive to April 21.

The measures are intended to temper rapid price growth that has given rise to concerns that Toronto has become increasingly unaffordable.

They are also aimed at preventing or mitigating the damage that could result from a housing correction if one were to occur.

The board said in a statement Monday that the effects of Ontario’s housing changes have yet to be seen.

Policy-makers at various levels are watching the city’s housing market closely as there are fears that the fallout from a possible crash in prices could have ramifications on the national economy.

There are signs that Canada’s other real estate market of concern – Vancouver – may be heating up again after that city’s real estate board reported Friday that home sales last month have rebounded to near record levels.

Transactions in Metro Vancouver in May were down 8.5 per cent year-over-year, while the MLS benchmark price for all properties hit $967,500, an increase of 8.8 per cent since May 2016.

Like Ontario, British Columbia introduced several measures including a tax on foreign buyers in the Vancouver area last August in an effort to stabilize the housing market.

Related stories:

Toronto home sales dip could signal market cool-down

Home sales cool last month after record March, GTA leads decline

Ontario to tax foreign buyers, expand rent control to cool housing market

Canadian woman from B.C. confirmed as victim in London terror attacks

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 5th, 2017

A woman who worked in a homeless shelter before moving to Europe was identified on Sunday as the Canadian killed in Saturday’s terror attack in London that left seven people dead.

Family members say Christine Archibald from Castlegar, B.C. was a victim of the attack on London Bridge and in the bustling produce market nearby.

“We grieve the loss of our beautiful, loving daughter and sister. She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected,” read a statement released on behalf of the family through the federal government.

“She lived this belief working in a shelter for the homeless until she moved to Europe to be with her fiancé. She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.”

Messages posted on Facebook by the brother and sister of Archibald’s fiance, identified as Tyler Ferguson, said the couple was on London Bridge when Archibald was struck and killed by a van.

“I can’t breath. You hear these things so often but it doesn’t seem real. Last night in London my baby brother lost the love of his life on the London bridge. In a split second his entire life was ripped away from him,” Cassie Ferguson Rowe, Ferguson’s sister posted on Facebook.

The family asked that people honour her memory by making the community a better place by volunteering or donating to a homeless shelter.

Dr. David Docherty, president of Mount Royal University, where Archibald took courses, expressed his great sadness upon learning of her death.

“Christine Archibald was a truly outstanding student who completed her coursework at Mount Royal in 2014 and officially received her Social Work diploma in 2015,” the Calgary university president said in a statement.

“Our deepest condolences go to her family and loved ones, as well as to members of our community who are grieving her loss.”

B.C. Premier Christy Clark issued a statement saying her thoughts are with the Archibald family, and with everyone who knew and loved Chrissy.

“As her family and province mourn, we must never forget who we are – and the diversity that makes us strong,” Clark said.

“The individuals who carry out these acts of hate want to change us. They want to sow fear and division. Ultimately, they want us to turn on each other. They will never succeed.”

B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan tweeted about Christine Archibald, saying “let’s honour her & never let hate win.”

Earlier Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was heartbroken to hear that a Canadian was killed.

“We grieve with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, and wish all those injured a speedy and full recovery,” he said in the statement. “Londoners and people across the United Kingdom have always displayed strength and resilience in the face of adversity. We recently witnessed this after the attacks in Manchester and in the Westminster area of London. This time will be no different.”

The Canadian government is advising citizens to be vigilant in the wake of the attack.

The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom says any Canadians in need of urgent help should call 00 800 2326 6831 or email sos@international.gc.ca

The government and diplomats on the ground in London are advising travellers to avoid the affected areas, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.

tory tweet

On Saturday, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted that he was “horrified by the events in London” and that Canada would always stand with the people of London.

scheer tweet

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a tweet Saturday that Canadian hearts were heavy with the news of the violence in London.

wynne tweet

The attack began at about 10 p.m. local time when police and witnesses say a white van barrelled into pedestrians on London Bridge.

The attackers, wielding blades and knives, then ran down a set of stairs into Borough Market where they stabbed people in several different restaurants.

The attack lasted about eight minutes, police said, but seven people were killed and at least 48 were hospitalized.

The attackers were shot dead by police, and 12 people have been arrested in Barking in east London. Raids are going on elsewhere in the city.

The SITE Intelligence Group says Islamic State’s news agency is claiming fighters for the extremist group carried out the van and knife attack.

SITE said in a statement Sunday that the Islamic State’s Aamaq news service cited “a security source” in the Arabic-language posting claiming the attack.

Islamic State has often made such claims not just when it has sent attackers, but when extremists carrying out deadly plots were inspired by the group’s ideology.

This is the third attack in Britain in as many months. Two weeks ago, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in northwest England, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.

In March, a British convert to Islam ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four before fatally stabbing a police officer on Parliament’s grounds.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday that police had recently foiled five other plots.

The violence turned a warm spring night in an area packed with revellers into a scene of panic and chaos, with officers running through crowded streets screaming for people to flee.

Related stories:

6 victims, 3 suspects all killed in London Bridge ‘terrorist incidents’
12 arrested after London Bridge attack that left 7 dead, 48 injured

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