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Rotating Canada Post strikes begin Monday in 4 cities

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018

The union at Canada Post says its rotating strikes have begun in four cities across the country after the Monday morning deadline passed without a deal being reached.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says strikes started at 12:01 a.m. Monday in Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax and will last for 24 hours.

CUPW President Mike Palecek says Canada Post has refused to talk about issues that matter to the union, which include job security, an end to forced overtime, better health and safety measures and gender equality.

The union says mail will still be delivered in those cities, but will be delayed.

Canada Post says it has an offer on the table that includes wage increases, job security, improved benefits and no concessions.

Spokesman Jon Hamilton says mail will be delivered in all other locations across the country in the event of a strike.

He says they remain committed to negotiating a deal.

CityVote 2018: Complete coverage of Monday’s municipal election

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018

Voters go to the polls Monday, bringing an end to one of the most chaotic municipal elections in recent memory.

You can watch full coverage starting at 8 p.m. on Channel 368 as well a live streams on CityNews.ca680News.comYouTubeFacebook and Twitter pages.

You can also follow along with our interactive ward-by-ward map as the results pour in.

Through out the night, reporters will be in all 25 wards across the city providing analysis and insight as the new city council takes shape, culminating with special election night coverage on Citytv starting at 11 p.m.

Toronto municipal election: How to vote

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018

Toronto voters head to the polls Monday in a municipal election made unexpectedly dramatic with the slashing of city council.

Residents will be voting for mayor, councillor, and school board trustee in 25 wards – many of which see incumbent councillors battling it out for the same seat.

Here’s what you need to know before you head out to the polling stations:

Who am I voting for?

  • Mayor
  • Ward Councillor
  • Toronto District School Board trustees
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees
  • Conseil scolaire Viamonde trustees
  • Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir trustees


Click here for a full list of candidates.

Who can vote?

You can vote in Toronto’s municipal election if you are:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Reside in the City of Toronto
  • Do not reside in Toronto, but you or your spouse own or rent property in the city
  • Not prohibited from voting under any law

When and where do I vote?

On election day you can vote from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the ward you reside in. Click here to find your ward and polling station.

What shall I bring to vote?

Bring your voter information card as well as one piece of identification that shows your name and address in Toronto.

If you did not receive your voter information card your name will not be on the voter’s list, but you can still vote at a polling station with acceptable forms of identification and your name will be added to the list.

If you have misplaced your voter information card, you can print it at home or download it to your phone. To start, click here and enter your address.

Note: your voter information card cannot be used as identification.

What can be used as identification?

The following are a few forms of acceptable identification that may be used for voting purposes:

  • Government-issued document, such as a driver’s licence or photo ID card
  • Credit card statement, bank account statement, cancelled personalized cheque, or a loan agreement
  • Hydro, telephone, cable TV, water, or gas bill
  • Pay stub or T4 statement

Click here for a full list of acceptable forms of identification.

What can I expect at the polling station?

Arriving at the polling station

When you arrive at the polling station you will be greeted by an election official who will:

    • Ask for identification showing your name and address in Toronto
    • Check your identification against the voters’ list, then cross your name off the list or check your identification and add your name to the list.
    • Put your ballot into a secrecy folder and show you how to mark your ballot
    • Direct you to the voting screen

Casting your ballot

When you are ready to cast your vote behind the voting screen you will:

  • Mark your ballot by filling in the empty oval to the right of the candidate you choose, voting only once for each office listed.
  • Place your marked ballot in the secrecy folder
  • Take your ballot to the election official who will feed in into the tabulator
  • Once the tabulator has accepted the ballot, your vote has been successfully counted.

Here is what a sample ballot looks like:

City of Toronto sample ballot by CityNewsToronto on Scribd

What happens if I make a mistake or there is a problem with my ballot?

  • If you make a mistake or change your mind about who to vote for, take your ballot back to the election official. The official will cancel your ballot and issue you another one.
  • If there is a problem with your ballot the tabulator may return it. The election official will give you the choice of getting a new ballot or having the tabulator accept it as marked.


Can I ask a friend or interpreter to help me cast my ballot?

If for some reason you are unable to mark your own ballot, you can ask a friend to help you and they are allowed to go behind the voting screen with you. A person can act as a friend only once except for family members or in the case of nursing homes.

Your friend will have to swear declaration to:

  • mark the ballot as directed by you, the voter
  • not try to influence you in making your choice
  • keep who you voted for a secret

If you need an interpreter, you can ask anyone who is not a candidate or scrutineer to act as one. They will also be allowed to go behind the voting screen with you.

An interpreter must also swear a declaration to truthfully translate any declaration, document or question put to the voter and the answer.

What if I am not able to vote?

If you are an eligible voter but are not able to cast your ballot, you can appoint another eligible elector to vote on your behalf. For everything you need to know about that process, click here.

Is the voter toolkit available in other languages?

Information on how to vote has been translated into 25 languages, and is available online or at the polling station. Click here to learn more.

Bruce McArthur to appear in court Monday

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is scheduled to be in court on Monday after appearing via video link at the beginning of the month.

The 67-year-old landscaper is facing eight counts of first degree murder.

The remains of seven men were found buried in planters at a property in Leaside where McArthur provided landscaping services. The remains of an eighth possible victim were found in a ravine near the same property.

Many of the victims had ties to the city’s gay village in the Church and Wellesley streets area.

Lead detective Hank Idsinga says he doesn’t believe there are any more possible victims.

McArthur has been in custody at the Toronto South Detention Centre in Etobicoke since he was arrested on Jan. 18.

Crown attorney Mike Cantlon says negotiations and discussions are ongoing.

Weekend hoopla in Toronto includes the Waterfront Marathon

CityNews | posted Friday, Oct 19th, 2018

Another happy weekend is upon us, and there is no shortage of things of do around Toronto. Below are some of the events taking place.

If you are taking the TTC this weekend, subway service on Line 1 between St. Clair and Spadina stations will start at noon on Saturday. Shuttle buses will be running.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Ready, set, go! Around 25,000 runners from around the world will descend on Toronto this Sunday for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The event kicks off with the 5k at 8 a.m. followed by the marathon and half marathon at 8:45 a.m. Road closures will be in effect, including along Lake Shore Boulevard, Bay Street, University Avenue, and Bathurst Street. Click here for a full list.


The following road closures will be in effect from Saturday to Sunday:

  • Bay Street, from Queen Street to Dundas Street, will be closed from 11 a.m. on Saturday to 8 p.m. on Sunday
  • Road closures will also take place in the area bounded by Bloor Street West, Victoria Park Avenue, Lake Ontario, and Windermere Avenue, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday


Back to the Future
It’s one of the most beloved movies of the ’80s, and now you have a chance to watch it in IMAX. The Cinesphere at Ontario Place is screening Robert Zemeckis’s classic Back to the Future this weekend. The movie, starring Michael J. Fox, involves a high school student being sent 30 years into the past. The movie is being shown as part of the Cinesphere Film Series. Movie times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are $13.27 for adults.

Toronto Soup Festival
If you are a novice soup enthusiast or a soup connoisseur, then the Toronto Soup Festival is the place to be this weekend. It is being held Saturday and Sunday at Fort York outside in the Garrison Common. Local restaurants and chefs will be concocting and serving up yummy soups that are sure to warm the belly. Sample how many soups you like and then vote for the best one. Admission includes two sample soup tickets. Children under the age of 12 can enter the event for free. Prices of the soups vary with each vendor. Proceeds raised from the event will support Second Harvest. To foster a more sustainable environment, bring your own bowl and spoon.

Boo at the Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is getting into the Halloween spirit this weekend, with Boo at the Zoo. The promotion allows kids in costume aged 12 and under free admission to the zoo, when accompanied by an adult paying regular price (two children per one adult). Don’t forget your camera, because there will plenty of opportunities for Halloween-themed photos. Boo at the Zoo is taking place Oct. 20-21, as well as Oct. 27-28.

Rock the Wish
This Saturday is the inaugural Rock the Wish event benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Taking place at Adelaide Hall in Toronto, the special evening will feature live rock music, comedy, as well as delicious food and drinks, all for a great cause. All proceeds will go directly to Make-a-Wish, which helps make dreams a reality for children diagnosed with critical illnesses. Organizers are hoping to raise at least $10,000, which is the amount need to grant a single wish. Tickets are $65. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. This is a 19+ event.

Edmonton Girl Guide sells out of cookies near cannabis store

COLETTE DERWORIZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 19th, 2018

She’s being called one smart cookie.

As people lined up to buy cannabis at one of six Edmonton cannabis stores that opened Wednesday a small entrepreneur stood ready to capitalize on what could be expected to be customers’ future need for a sweet snack.

Nine-year-old Elina Childs had a wagonful of Girl Guide cookies for sale.

“My dad asked me if I wanted to sell cookies and I said yes,” she said in an interview after school Thursday. “So we started selling cookies there and they sold out very quickly.”

Her father, Seann Childs, said they sold cookies going door to door in their neighbourhood last year, but people often weren’t home or there would be big dogs in the yards.

“We thought, ‘Where can we go to sell them?’” he said. “It just so happens that legalization was coming up in a couple of days.”

When Elina got home from school Wednesday, she grabbed some change from her piggy bank. She and her dad loaded up a wagon with three cases of Girl Guide cookies and they walked a few blocks to the nearby cannabis store.

She started walking up and down the lineup.

“It was well received,” said Seann Childs.

Elina said people told her “it was a smart idea and that they’d like to buy some cookies.”

Her dad said some cars even stopped on the street to buy a box.

“It was really something else,” he said. “I’d never seen anything quite like that.”

Childs said he expected it to go well, but he never thought she would sell out of all the cookies they had left in the three cases — about 30 boxes — in 45 minutes.

“We were sold out in no time,” he said.

An official with the Girl Guides praised Elina’s strategy.

“Good on her and her family for thinking of it,” said Edmonton commissioner Heather Monahan. “It’s fun and it’s different and what better way to get rid of cookies.”

A social media post on Elina outside the pot store went viral and Monahan said they started getting questions from other parents about whether it was allowed.

“Why wouldn’t it be?” she said. “It wasn’t like she was in the store — that would be a whole different ball game.

“I think it’s wonderful.”

To make it even better, Elina’s parents were able to use the experience as a teaching moment for their daughter.

“She actually has cystic fibrosis, so we encourage her to get out there and do things and be active,” Childs said. “Girl Guides is one part of that.”

He noted that smoking is usually harmful to her.

“This was one day she could benefit from smoking,” said Childs. “We saw that as an opportunity to get out there and teach her a little about what cannabis is.

“Obviously she’s not going to be using it before she’s 18, I hope, but we like to have frank discussions with her, so she understands what it is and take away that mystery behind it — just to show her people of all ages and all walks of life are doing this and it’s legal in Canada now, just demystify it for her so it’s not a big deal for her.”

Saint Bernard dogs adopted after gaining worldwide attention

JUSTIN SLIMM | posted Friday, Oct 19th, 2018

EDMONTON (CityNews) – Three Saint Bernard dogs have now found their forever homes.

The trio – Gasket, Gunther and Goliath – have been up for adoption since Oct. 9, when the appeal by the Edmonton Humane Society went viral.

READ MORE: Big bonded buddies: Edmonton Humane Society seeks single home for 3 St. Bernards

Hundreds of families inquired about adopting the dogs from the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) as their story gained international attention.

Tens of millions of people in over 40 countries followed the story and more than 200 inquiries were made from all around the world in just the first day.

The dogs suffer from anxiety when separated, so it was crucial they be adopted together.

The EHS said they have been adopted by a Calgary family and along with the family’s other dog, will have plenty of room to explore their one-acre fenced yard.

Feeding the pups costs more than $300 a month and they collectively weigh over 350 pounds.

Goliath, Gunther and Gasket were transferred to the society’s care from another animal welfare agency, so there isn’t much known about their early years.

They appear to be about two years old, but it’s not clear if they’re littermates.

The couple taking in the dogs do not want to be identified at this time as they adjust to the increased level of drool in the home.

But they are big proponents of adoption, as one of their two children (10 and 16) is adopted, as are a number of their previous pets.

“We are beyond excited to be giving these three dogs their forever home,” said the family, in a release sent out by the Edmonton Humane Society. “When we found out that we were getting the opportunity to meet them, we cried tears of joy. Pets add so much to the family, and we’re so happy we can give back to them by providing a loving home for the rest of their lives.”

Even though there was increased interest in adopting the animals, the EHS prioritized families from Alberta to minimize the amount of stress on the giant dogs.

In Calgary specifically, there is no limit on how many dogs can be owned, while other cities and towns have specific bylaws capping the number of dogs per home.

“The response to the story of these gentle giants, from the thousands who helped share our call for help to those who offered their homes to these dogs, was truly astounding,” said Jamey Blair, Manager of Animal Health & Protection in the release from the EHS.

“At the end of the day we could only choose one family for them, but there are thousands of other homeless pets who are all as deserving of a forever home. We hope this story inspires people to adopt from their local shelters and rescues.”

The Edmonton Humane Society is now hosting an adoption event hoping to get more of its animals adopted.

The GTA gets an early taste of winter

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Oct 18th, 2018

The GTA is getting an early taste of winter, with a sub-zero wind chill Thursday morning and snow north of the city.

A special weather statement was issued by Environment Canada for parts of the GTA and beyond, including northern York and Durham regions, Newmarket, Huron-Perth and Barrie.

“Brisk northwest winds continue to usher in scattered flurries off of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay this morning,” the agency explained.

“The flurries will be mixed with showers immediately along the shorelines of the lakes.”

While you may have lamented having to get out that winter hat so early into fall, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said it’s not rare to get snow in October.

“In fact today and for the next four days in history there was measurable snow in October,” she explained.

“On Oct. 23, 1969, there was no new snow but already eight centimetres on the ground.”

Last year, the GTA didn’t get into the colder air, flurries and snow squalls until Nov. 9 and 10, according to Taylor.

But the taste of winter weather won’t last long — milder air is on the way.

“Looks like the next possible snow for this year and for Toronto will not occur until sometime in November,” Taylor said.

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