1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar


Details of upcoming royal visit by Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall released

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 20th, 2017

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla wave as they leave Winnipeg on May 21, 2014. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit Canada this summer in time for the country’s birthday. Governor General David Johnston says they have accepted the government’s invitation to undertake a tour. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
The federal government has released a detailed itinerary for the upcoming royal visit by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to Canada’s north, eastern Ontario and the National Capital Region for Canada Day festivities.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will begin their brief tour on June 29 in Nunavut where they will meet with Iqaluit residents who are working to preserve and promote Inuit language and culture.

The royals will also discuss climate change in the region and take part in discussions on women’s health before attending a community feast.

The following day, Charles and Camilla will meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario and visit a farmers’ market and winery in the area.

Then, on Canada Day, July 1, the royals will open the Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History before taking part in the celebrations to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

Prince Charles will then open the newly-renovated National Arts Centre and visit Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify before he and Camilla wrap up their tour by unveiling of The Queen’s Entrance at Rideau Hall — new front doors that symbolize 150 years of Canadian history.

This will be the 18th visit to Canada for the Prince of Wales, and the fourth for the Duchess of Cornwall.

Related stories:

Prince Charles, Camilla to visit in time for Canada 150 celebration
The royals are coming: A timeline of memorable visits to Canada over the years
RCMP tab for royal visit tops $2 million; no final government costs

New trial ordered in deadly stage collapse at Radiohead concert in Toronto

PAOLA LORIGGIO, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 20th, 2017

Emergency personnel are on scene near a collapsed stage at Downsview Park in Toronto on Saturday, June 16, 2012. A new trial has been ordered for those charged in a deadly stage collapse at an outdoor Radiohead concert in Toronto, sending the case back to square one five years after the grim incident. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
TORONTO – A new trial has been ordered for those charged in a deadly stage collapse at an outdoor Radiohead concert in Toronto, sending the case back to square one five years after the grim incident and just as the matter approached resolution.

A mistrial was declared after the presiding judge, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court this spring and found he no longer had jurisdiction over the case.

“It is with great regret that I have come to this decision. A lot of effort and resources have gone into this trial. We had nearly completed it,” Nakatsuru said in a decision released earlier this month.

“My appointment was unexpected and without notice. I know that the defendants have waited a long time for the final resolution of this case. So has the public,” he said.

“There are many compelling reasons why it would be in the best interests of justice for me to finish this. But I cannot.”

The entertainment company Live Nation, Toronto-area contractor Optex Staging and an engineer, Domenic Cugliari, were charged in 2013 with a total of 13 charges under the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The setback could put the case in jeopardy as one of the defence lawyers in the case, Scott Thompson, said they will be bringing an application to have the charges thrown out over unreasonable court delays.

That application is set to be heard in August. A similar application was rejected by Nakatsuru last fall.

If the new application is also unsuccessful, the new trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 5 and continue through May of next year.

The Ministry of Labour, which administers the Occupational Health and Safety Act, declined to comment on the case as it remains before the courts but said the right to be tried within a reasonable time is a fundamental part of the justice system.

“The Crown is always concerned about delays which interfere with that right,” a spokeswoman said in an email.

New time limits established by the Supreme Court of Canada last summer state that cases heard in provincial court should go to trial within 18 months and those heard in Superior Court should do so within 30 months.

Though the landmark decision in R v. Jordan dealt with criminal charges, the time limits it has set also apply to regulatory charges such as those under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, said Palma Paciocco, an assistant professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall law school.

That’s because Canada’s highest court had previously made it clear that the right to a timely trial applies to all charges, Paciocco said.

What is more likely to come into play in this case is the fact that two of the defendants are companies rather than people, she said.

Before the Jordan ruling, defendants had to demonstrate they experienced prejudice as a result of the delays, and it was understood that corporate defendants did not suffer in the way that accused people whose lives were disrupted did, she said.

But the new rules have eliminated that requirement, concluding that extreme delays are inherently prejudicial, she said.

“This opens up a bit of a question as to whether that rule applies directly to corporations,” she said.

The Supreme Court has also allowed for a transition period during which the courts may take the earlier rules into account when weighing cases that predate the Jordan ruling.

A British drum technician who was touring with Radiohead was killed and three other workers were hurt after part of a massive outdoor structure came crashing down during setup for the June 2012 concert at Downsview Park.

The falling debris crushed Scott Johnson, a drum technician in his 30s, whom the band called “a highly skilled and valued member” of its road crew.

Live Nation Canada, Live Nation Ontario and Optex Staging each face four counts alleging they failed to ensure the stage structure was being built in a safe manner.

Cugliari, the engineer, faces one count of endangering a worker as a result of allegedly negligent or incompetent advice or certification.

Radiohead postponed a portion of its European tour that year following Johnson’s death.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly said Nakatsuru was appointed to Superior Court late last year.

Feds stick with July 2018 deadline to legalize pot despite provincial worries

ANDY BLATCHFORD, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 20th, 2017

A man lights a marijuana joint as he participates in the 4/20 protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, April 20, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
The Trudeau government is sticking with its deadline to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, despite provincial fears that there’s not enough time to address the legal, social and health challenges of ending Canada’s pot prohibition.

The federal Liberals delivered that message Monday after Manitoba’s finance minister said he felt rushed by Ottawa’s tight timeline and asked for an extension.

In making his argument, Cameron Friesen said the provinces are bearing the bulk of the work involved, as well as the “very real” costs needed to create a regulated cannabis market.

The federal government introduced legislation in April, with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational marijuana by July 2018.

With the countdown underway, Friesen insisted there were still many unanswered questions on issues like public safety, enforcement and finding legal supplies of marijuana.

“We have one year on the clock to put all this in place,” Friesen said before a meeting in Ottawa with his federal and provincial counterparts to discuss, among other issues, how best to tax Canada’s forthcoming legal pot industry.

“This is a very significant shift in how we’ll operate, and we need to have that adequate time to develop the tools that we will need as a province to be able to implement this the correct way.”

Friesen said he had already raised the idea of an extension with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and would push the issue again. Later in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself essentially snuffed out the idea.

“We gave everybody lots of time,” Trudeau said in Ottawa. “We’ve been working for a long time with all the provinces, with the municipalities… It’s time for us to move forward on this.”

Morneau acknowledged after the meeting that several of the provinces said there’s still much work to be done.

For provinces that aren’t ready in time for the “fixed date,” Morneau said, Ottawa will oversee a mail-order sales program. Consumers would be able to buy pot through a federally licensed producer and receive home delivery.

The legalization date, however, appears to be non-negotiable.

“We need to get a firm date out there,” he said. “We accept that there’s much work to be done, but we’ve started down that path… We believe that it’s entirely possible.”

Morneau said the ministers agreed to the principle that pot taxation should stay low to ensure the regulated market squeezes out the illegal activity.

The challenge will be identifying the sweet spot — where pot prices are high enough to cover government costs, but cheap enough to beat out the black market.

Morneau added that they have yet to determine how tax revenues would be shared between provinces and the federal government.

Provincial ministers have said they intend to push the feds to ensure they receive a share of pot-related tax revenue that fairly reflects the added costs provinces will have to assume on the road to legalization.

After the meeting, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said his province would be “ready” by July 2018.

Prior to the meeting, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa insisted he had yet to consider how much pot-related revenue his province could bring in because he’s been more concerned about ensuring legalization is handled properly.

“We’re going to be asking for fairness and flexibility, so that when there are some possible revenues that come from this that it’s properly shared,” Sousa said.

His Quebec counterpart, Carlos Leitao, said the provinces should receive most of the tax revenue from legalized pot because they will “have to shoulder most of the costs of putting in place regulations.”

The federal government has vowed to work with provinces on implementation and to commit more resources to needs such as public security, policing and educational campaigns. It has also argued that marijuana prohibition is very expensive and that legalization could significantly cut down on costs.

Ottawa has not shared details about how much tax revenue could be generated by a recreational pot market, nor has it publicly discussed its potential benefits for the wider economy.

But they have repeatedly said the primary goal is to get pot out of the hands of young Canadians and to cut off the criminal trade.

In addition to cannabis, the finance ministers also focused on how to improve information sharing between jurisdictions as a way to address tax avoidance, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.

They also spent time discussing the Canada-U.S. trade relationship and their respective experiences interacting with American officials, particularly anything related to upcoming NAFTA negotiations.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz also delivered a presentation for finance ministers Monday on the state of the economy.

Flour recall expanded, 20 kg bags of Robin Hood affected

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Jun 20th, 2017

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has expanded a recall for 20-kilogram bags of Robin Hood flour, because the flour may be contaminated with E. coli. These two items were added on June 19, 2017. CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has expanded a recall for 20-kilogram bags of Robin Hood flour, because the flour may be contaminated with E. coli.

Both the Super Keynote Strong Bakers Flour and the Italian Style Flour are affected, the agency said Monday. The flour was sold to hotels, restaurants, and other similar institutions.

The initial recall was issued the previous Friday. At that time, The Canadian Press reported that no deaths were reported in connection with the recall, but the agency said 26 people were initially infected with E. coli and at least six required hospital care.

A class-action lawsuit has already been proposed.

Click here for a full list of related product recalls.

The new recall involves products that were sold in Ontario and may have been sold nationally.

The Super Keynote Strong Bakers Flour had lot codes containing BB/MA 2017 OC 24 and 6 298 SK and C0010573, and a UPC of 6 28622 10597 4. It was sold at Hillcrest Home Baking at 2192 Floradale Rd. in Floradale.

The Italian Style Flour had lot codes containing BB/MA 2017 OC 31 and 6 305 SK and C0010889; BB/MA 2017 NO 01 and 6 306 SK and C0010889. It had a UPC of 6 28622 10134 1. It was sold at Flour Barrel at 115 Wyndham St. in North Guelph.

Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

About E. coli 

Food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer, 1 in 4 will die of disease: Cancer Society

SHERYL UBELACKER, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 20th, 2017

A radiologist uses a magnifying glass to check mammograms for breast cancer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Damian Dovarganes
Almost one in every two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die from the disease, a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society predicts.

In 2017, an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and an estimated 80,800 will succumb to their malignancy – making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada, the charitable organization said Tuesday in its annual cancer statistics report.

“Currently, every year we’re seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases in Canada,” said the society’s epidemiologist, Leah Smith. “So between now and 2030, for example, we expect to continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of cancers diagnosed in Canada.

“That is a reflection of the growing and aging population,” she said. “About 90 per cent of all the cancers that we expect to be diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older.”

About 45 per cent of those cases will occur in people age 70 and older, said Smith, noting that as more people move into old age, the number of cancer cases will rise.

Despite the projection that cancer will cause the deaths of one in four Canadians, cancer mortality rates have been declining since their peak in 1988. Over the last three decades, deaths due to cancer have fallen by more than 30 per cent among males and by about 17 per cent among females.

“Declines in death rates have been largely driven by decreases in lung cancer incidence and mortality,” she said, “so tobacco control in general has had a big impact on our death rates,” especially among men who historically had higher smoking rates than their female counterparts.

Increased rates of screening for breast cancer and improved treatments have also bolstered survival among women.

Still, four cancers – prostate, breast, lung and colorectal – continue to top the list of the most common malignancies, which together are expected to account for more than half the cancer diagnoses in 2017. Lung cancer continues to take a huge toll: more people are predicted to die of the disease this year (21,100) than from a combination of the other three cancers (19,200 in total).

Sarah Metcalfe of Ottawa is all too familiar with the ravages of cancer, which has affected eight people in her family.

When she was a child, an aunt died of breast cancer. But cancer really hit home when Metcalfe was a new mom in her early 30s and her husband developed osteosarcoma in his upper arm, which was successfully treated with a bone transplant and long courses of “dramatic” chemotherapy.

About the same time, three uncles succumbed to lung cancer, mostly due to smoking, and then her father developed fatal colon cancer.

“I thought that’s got to be it now,” said Metcalfe, 58.

But is was not to be: her brother was subsequently diagnosed with skin cancer, though he is doing well,” she said, “and then I had my turn.” In 2011, Metcalfe learned she had breast cancer.

“Just as I’d finished treatment, my mom found a lump on her thigh” that turned out to be a soft-tissue sarcoma. Despite treatment, the cancer spread and her mother died about two years later.

“That’s it so far,” said Metcalfe, who as the owner of two women’s fitness centres in part credits regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet with her five-year survival.

Survival rates for some cancers have improved dramatically over time: overall, 60 per cent of Canadians diagnosed and treated for cancer will survive five years or longer, says Smith.

But that’s not the case for pancreatic cancer. With an eight per cent five-year survival rate, the gastrointestinal cancer has the poorest prognosis of the 23 malignancies the Canadian Cancer Society reports on. This year, an estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and 4,800 will die of the disease.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing very little improvement in pancreatic cancer, not just in Canada but around the world,” said Smith, pointing out that the report has a special focus on the disease in a bid to raise awareness and designated funding for the cancer.

Dr. Jolie Ringash, a radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, said pancreatic cancer is challenging to treat because tumours don’t typically cause symptoms – abdominal or back pain – until they are at an advanced stage.

“It’s one of the areas where we really have not seen significant breakthroughs in 50 years,” she admitted.

“So the lucky ones are where it’s found very early, often by chance because the (patient is) having tests for some other reason and there’s a tiny cancer that can be surgically removed.

“That’s the good-case scenario. But unfortunately, the vast majority of these tumours progress within the abdomen, don’t cause any symptoms for the longest time and by the time they’re recognized they’re very advanced and treatments aren’t very effective.”

Ringash said more research into the causes of pancreatic cancer is needed, which could help lead to a screening test that could to pick up tumours when they’re small and more treatable. Researchers hope to find a biomarker in the blood – similar to the PSA test used to screen for potential prostate cancer in men – but she said more research dollars are needed for such screening and to develop much better treatment.

Unlike with breast cancer and prostate cancer, where survivors and their families and friends often hold events to raise awareness and research funding with the goal of finding cures, the issue of pancreatic cancer seems to fall below the public radar and suffers as a result, she said.

“We don’t have enough survivors out there pounding the streets and doing the walks and raising the money.”

61 dead in central Portugal wildfires; many killed in their cars


Police investigators stand by a burnt car on the road between Castanheira de Pera and Figueiro dos Vinhos, central Portugal, Sunday, June 18 2017. Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed more than 50 people, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, in what the prime minister on Sunday called “the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years.” (AP Photo/Armando Franca),
A raging forest fire in central Portugal sent flames sweeping over roads, killing at least 61 people, many of them trapped in their cars as they tried to flee, officials said Sunday. The country’s prime minister called it “the biggest tragedy” that Portugal has experienced in decades and declared three days of national mourning.

A huge wall of thick smoke and bright red flames towered over the top of trees in the forested Pedrogao Grande area some 150 kilometres (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon where a lightning strike was believed to have sparked the blaze Saturday. Investigators found a tree that was hit during a “dry thunderstorm,” the head of the national judicial police told Portuguese media.

Dry thunderstorms are frequent when falling water evaporates before reaching the ground because of high temperatures. Portugal, like most southern European countries, is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months. At least four other significant wildfires affected different areas of the country on Sunday but the one in Pedrogao Grande was responsible for all the deaths.

“The dimensions of this fire have caused a human tragedy beyond any in our memory,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters on his arrival at the scene Sunday. “Something extraordinary has taken place and we have to wait for technicians to properly determine its causes.”

He said the death toll was lowered from the previously reported 62 victims because one person had been counted twice.

More than 350 soldiers on Sunday joined the 700 firefighters who have been struggling to put out the blaze. Authorities say temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the area in recent days might have also played a part in the inferno.

The forest fire deaths were the biggest in memory in Portugal, which saw 25 Portuguese soldiers die fighting wildfires in 1966. Last August, an outbreak of fires across Portugal killed four people, including three on the island of Madeira, and destroyed huge areas of forest.

Resident Isabel Brandao told The Associated Press that she had feared for her life when she saw the blaze.

“Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far. I never thought it would come to this side,” she said Sunday. “At 3:30 a.m., my mother-in-law woke me up quickly and we never went to sleep again. We were afraid the fire would reach us.”

Other locals were also shocked.

“This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions,” said Valdemar Alves, the mayor of Pedrogao Grande. “I am completely stunned by the number of deaths.”

State broadcaster RTP showed terrifying images of several people on a road trying to escape the intense smoke that had reduced visibility to a few meters (yards). A young man shared a bottle of water with a distraught woman as she stumbled down the road.

Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said firefighting crews were having difficulties battling the fire, which was “very intense” in at least two of its four fronts. He said authorities were worried about strong winds that could help spreading the blaze further.

Schools in the area were closed until further notice and outdoor fires were banned, authorities announced Sunday.

Gomes gave a grim description of the deaths to RTP. He said at least 30 people died inside their cars as they tried to flee between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. He says 17 others died right outside their cars or by the road, 11 people died in the forest and two people died in a car accident related to the fire and information was missing on the other deaths.

So far, no one has been reported killed by the fire inside a house.

Gomes says 54 people were also injured in the fire, 5 of them seriously, including four firefighters and a minor.

Costa tweeted his “deepest regret for the victims … and a word of encouragement and strength for all who help combat this scourge.”

“We are most likely facing the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known,” he said.

There was no immediate identification of the victims. Portugal established a special diplomatic channel for embassies to receive information on foreign citizens who “may be affected” by the fire.

The European Union responded to a call for assistance by Portuguese authorities. As a result, Spain sent four firefighting aircrafts on Sunday. France was also sending three aircraft and Greece’s prime minister also offered to send firefighting help.

Many world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed solidarity with Portugal. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted that he is “overwhelmed by the tragedy at Pedrogao Grande. The Portuguese people can count on our solidarity, support and care.”

In Kazan, Russia, Portugal’s national soccer team wore black arm bands and stood for a moment of silence with the Mexican team in solidarity with the forest fire victims. The ceremony took place before the teams’ match Sunday at the Confederations Cup tournament.

Coach Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the players released a statement saying “in this sad hour, we send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, attending the match in Russia, also offered his condolences.

“We want to send a big hug to everyone in Portugal for what they are going through, which is absolutely terrible. There are no words for that,” he told reporters.

Number of dead, missing in London fire rises to 79

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 19th, 2017

A train drives past Grenfall tower, as it continues to smoulder on June 15, 2017 in London, England. GETTY IMAGES/Dan Kitwood
London police said Monday that 79 people were now believed to have died in the highrise apartment building fire.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy gave the new figure during a statement outside Scotland Yard, saying it includes both people who were confirmed dead and others who are missing and presumed dead. It’s an increase from the previous number of 58.

The new number may change as the investigation continues, Cundy said. He said that the search and recovery operation in the 24-story Grenfell Tower continues, he said, adding that it has been incredibly distressing for families.

“It’s hard to describe the devastation the fire has caused,” Cundy said, fighting back tears as he spoke.

He said it had been “incredibly emotional working in there … On Saturday, I went in myself and went to the top floor.”

He told reporters the “awful reality” was that it might not be possible to identify all the victims.

Cundy said that authorities were continuing to investigate whether any crimes had been committed in the fire. Two British officials said Sunday that new exterior cladding used in a renovation of the high-rise may have been banned under U.K. building regulations.

Related stories:

Canadian building standards meant to guard against fires like London blaze

Death toll in London highrise fire rises to 30; fire may have destroyed DNA evidence

Video: Witnesses recount terror during massive London highrise fire

Queen reduced to 1 lane between Bathurst and Spadina for construction

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Jun 19th, 2017

File photo of a cyclist at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue. CITYNEWS/Michael Talbot
It is going to be a tighter squeeze on Queen Street West starting Monday.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue until early September for the reconstruction of sidewalks and streetscaping.

Work will start on the north side of Queen at Bathurst and move eastward to Spadina before switching to the south side.

The city says the work is scheduled to be completed in time for the Toronto International Film Festival in September. However, some streetscaping work will continue until November.

This is one of several projects taking place on Queen this summer. Because of the number of projects, the TTC replaced their streetcars with buses on the route on May 7.

Streetcars are expected to return to Queen on September 3, but buses will continue to run west of Roncesvalles Avenue until the rest of the year. Riders can also expect streetcar diversions for other work until November.

Related stories:

Buses replace streetcars on Queen Street all summer

No streetcar service on Queen Street this summer: TTC

Queen West streetcar riders loving replacement buses

Page 6 of 15« First...45678...Last »