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Raptors to celebrate championship before tipping off new season

GREGORY STRONG, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 2019

Before the Toronto Raptors get on with the business of trying to defend their NBA title, one last celebration is on tap.

A ring presentation and unfurling of the franchise’s first league championship banner is set for Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena. The festivities will put a bow on the Raptors’ remarkable run through the playoffs last spring, capped by a six-game win over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

“I feel so thankful for this moment,” Raptors forward Serge Ibaka said Monday. “This is my 11th year in the league. All the things I’ve been dreaming, it’s happening.”

The veteran core of that championship team is back this season, although starters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green left in free agency.

Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet will help anchor the 2019-20 squad with OG Anunoby, Norm Powell and Patrick McCaw likely to receive more minutes.

Newcomers Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Matt Thomas are in the mix too for a team that Las Vegas has pegged to be in the playoff mix but well down in the NBA pecking order.

The new campaign begins with the regular-season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“We’re still good … we’ve got players who can play,” Ibaka said. “After the NBA Finals, everybody got toughness, mental toughness. We know how hard it is to win games. We know how to play together and we don’t give up. We’re good, man.”

Head coach Nick Nurse has been trying out different looks and lineups during training camp and the pre-season. He has the luxury of going really big if he wants to and can also rely on a variety of three-point weapons.

“It’s a good team,” Nurse said. “I don’t know how it will all shake out but I think it’s a team that’s very capable of winning a lot of games and being really tough to beat.

“That’s the one thing — I think we’ve got a smart team. They’re able to adjust quickly on the fly in games. They’re able to adjust from game to game. I think we’re tough to beat.”

It will be interesting to see who gets the ball at crunch time for the Raptors. Leonard was a go-to guy last season so it may fall to the veteran Lowry or Siakam, the NBA’s most improved player who finalized a four-year contract extension Monday.

“I think one of the things that I’ve always done well in my career is just playing off instincts,” Siakam said. “Understanding and kind of like adapting to whatever was thrown at me.

“Just figuring it out and getting to the point where I can be the best player that I can be.”

A 27th overall pick in 2016, Siakam broke out last season, averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game. His averages rose slightly in the playoffs.

Siakam’s extension, worth a reported US$130 million, kicks in after this season.

“I’ve always believed that it was possible because I believed in the work,” he said. “I always trusted that if I did everything that I was supposed to do, I was going to get to this point. I didn’t know when it was going to happen but I knew that if I continued to follow the steps, (it would).”

Raptors general manager Bobby Webster also chimed in after the team practised at the OVO Athletic Centre.

“I think ultimately the success of last year, Pascal’s hugely important role on that team, Pascal’s ascension to potentially being a foundational piece for us, carried the day,” he said.

Pre-season prognosticators have not been kind to the Raptors. Las Vegas sportsbooks have Toronto anywhere from a 35-1 pick to a 50-1 shot to repeat.

The over-under regular-season win total predictions are hovering in the mid-40s despite last season’s 58-24 effort and second-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

“There can only be one favourite, that’s why they’re called the favourite,” said VanVleet. “I don’t think we’re that this year. But I don’t know if there is one this year and that’s the beauty of the game.

“It’s a long season and I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll find our way along the journey.”

The Pelicans, who are coming off a 33-49 season, won’t have first overall pick Zion Williamson in the lineup Tuesday night.

The team said he’s expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn right lateral meniscus.

Celebration time

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:15 p.m. ET. The 17-minute championship ceremony will begin at 7:24 p.m. Tipoff is set for 8:02 p.m.

Raptors Way

Toronto Mayor John Tory will officially unveil new street signs as a part of the pre-game celebration. The city has ceremonially renamed Bremner Boulevard as Raptors Way. A new LED screen is up in the Jurassic Park viewing area as well. It’s 37 per cent larger than the previous one.


The Raptors have exercised the two-way option on Canadian forward Oshae Brissett’s contract. The Mississauga, Ont., native averaged 3.5 points over four pre-season games with the Raptors.

Federal election results: Who won in Toronto and the GTA?

MEREDITH BOND | posted Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 2019

The results are in and the 2019 federal election is over.

Here are your new MPs for Toronto and the GTA, including the results from the top 10 GTA ridings to watch that were expected to be close races.

Top 10 GTA Ridings to Watch results


Result: Liberal Deborah Shulte has been re-elected.

Incumbent: Liberal MP Deborah Schulte

Who were the candidates?

  • Liberal: Deborah Schulte
  • Conservative: Anna Roberts
  • NDP: Emilio Bernardo-Ciddio
  • Green Party: Ann Raney
  • People’s Party of Canada: Anton Stragcic


Result: Liberal incumbent Francesco Sorbara has been re-elected.

Incumbent: Liberal MP Francesco Sorbara

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Francesco Sorbara
  • Conservative: Teresa Kruze
  • NDP: Peter Devita
  • Green Party: Raquel Front
  • People’s Party of Canada: Domenic Montesano


Result: Liberal Tony Van Bynen has won the seat.

Incumbent: Liberal MP Kyle Peterson

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Tony Van Bynen
  • Conservative: Lois Brown
  • NDP: Yvonne Kelly
  • Green Party: Walter Bauer
  • People’s Party of Canada: Andrew McCaughtrie

Richmond Hill

Result: too close to call as of 1:45 a.m. Tuesday

Incumbent: Liberal MP Majid Jowhari

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Majid Jowhari
  • Conservative: Costas Menegakis
  • NDP: Adam DeVita
  • Green Party: Ichha Kohli
  • People’s Party of Canada: Igor D. Tvorogov


Result: Liberal Ryan Turnbull has won.

Incumbent: Independent MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Ryan Turnbull
  • Conservative: Todd McCarthy
  • NDP: Brian Dias
  • Green Party: Dr. Paul Slavchenko
  • People’s Party of Canada: Mirko Pejic


Result: Liberal MP Jean Yip has been re-elected.

Incumbent: Liberal MP Jean Yip

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Jean Yip
  • Conservative: Sean Hu
  • NDP: Larisa Julius
  • Green Party: Randi Ramdeen
  • People’s Party of Canada: Anthony Internicola


Result: Liberal Adam van Koeverden has beaten incumbent Conservative Lisa Raitt

Incumbent: Conservative MP Lisa Raitt

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Adam van Koeverden
  • Conservative: Lisa Raitt
  • NDP: Farina Hassan
  • Green Party: Eleanor Hayward
  • People’s Party of Canada: Percy Dastur


Result: Liberal MP Marco Mendicino has been re-elected.

Incumbent: Liberal MP Marco Mendicino

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Marco Mendicino
  • Conservative: Chani Aryeh-Bain
  • NDP: Alexandra Nash
  • Green Party: Reuben DeBoer
  • People’s Party of Canada: Michael Staffieri


Result: Liberal Gagan Sikand has been re-elected

Incumbent: Liberal MP Gagan Sikand

Who were the candidates:

  • Liberal: Gagan Sikand
  • Conservative: Ghada Melek
  • NDP: Samir Girguis
  • Green Party: Chris Hill
  • People’s Party of Canada: Thomas McIver


Result: Liberal Helena Jaczek has beaten incumbent Independent candidate Jane Philpott.

Incumbent: Independent MP Jane Philpott

Who were the candidates:

  • Independent: Jane Philpott
  • Liberal: Helena Jaczek
  • Conservative: Theodore Anthony
  • NDP: Hal Berman
  • Green Party: Roy Long
  • People’s Party of Canada: Jeremy Lin

Toronto Results

Seat count:

Liberals: 25
Conservatives: 0
NDP: 0
Green Party: 0
People’s Party of Canada: 0


Etobicoke North: Liberal Kristy Duncan

Etobicoke Centre: Liberal Yvan Baker

Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Liberal James Maloney

York-South Weston: Liberal Ahmed Hussen

Humber River-Black Creek: Liberal Judy Sgro

Parkdale-High Park: Liberal Arif Virani

York Centre: Liberal Michael Levitt

Eglinton-Lawrence: Liberal Marco Mendicino

Davenport: Liberal Julie Dzerowicz

Spadina-Fort York: Liberal Adam Vaughan

Willowdale: Liberal Ali Ehassi

Don Valley West: Liberal Rob Oliphant

Don Valley North: Liberal Han Dong

Don Valley East: Liberal Yasmin Ratansi

Toronto- St. Paul’s: Liberal Carolyn Bennett

University-Rosedale: Liberal Chrystia Freeland

Toronto Centre: Liberal Bill Morneau

Toronto-Danforth: Liberal Julie Dabrusin

Beaches-East York: Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Scarborough Centre: Liberal Salma Zahid

Scarborough Southwest: Liberal Bill Blair

Scarborough North: Liberal Shaun Chen

Scarborough-Agincourt: Liberal Jean Yip

Scarborough-Guildwood: Liberal John McKay

Scarborough Rouge Park: Liberal Gary Anandasangaree

GTA Results

Seat count:

Liberals: 23
Conservatives: 8
NDP: 0
Green Party: 0
People’s Party of Canada: 0


Brampton West: Liberal Kamal Khera

Brampton South: Liberal Sonia Sidhu

Brampton North: Liberal Ruby Sahota

Brampton Centre: Liberal Ramesh Sangha

Brampton East: Liberal Maninder Sidhu

Mississauga-Streetsville: Liberal Gagan Sikand

Mississauga-Erin Mills: Liberal Iqra Khalid

Mississauga-Lakeshore: Liberal Sven Spengemann

Mississauga Centre: Liberal Omar Alghabra

Mississauga East-Cooksville: Liberal Peter Fonseca

Mississauga-Malton: Liberal Navdeep Bains

Oakville: Liberal Anita Anand

Oakville North-Burlington: Liberal Pam Damoff

Milton: Liberal Adam van Koeverden

Burlington: Liberal Karina Gould

Wellington-Halton Hills: Conservative Michael Chong

Dufferin-Caldeon: Conservative Kyle Seeback

King-Vaughan: Liberal Deborah Shulte

Vaughan-Woodbridge: Liberal Francesco Sorbara

York-Simcoe: Conservative Scot Davidson

Newmarket-Aurora: Liberal Tony Van Bynen

Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill: Conservative Leona Alleslev

Thornhill: Conservative Peter Kent

Richmond Hill: too close to call as of 1:45 a.m. Tuesday

Markham Stouffville: Liberal Helena Jaczek

Markham Unionville: Conservative Bob Saroya

Markham-Thornhill: Liberal Mary Ng

Whitby: Liberal Ryan Turnbull

Durham: Conservative Erin O’Toole

Oshawa: Conservative Colin Carrie

Pickering-Uxbridge: Liberal Jennifer O’Connell

Ajax: Liberal Mark Holland

Trudeau’s Liberals win, but fall short of majority in 2019 federal election

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 2019

A series of jarring scandals may have obliterated the honeymoon phase between Justin Trudeau and Canadians, but on Monday night voters once again put their faith in the increasingly-vulnerable Liberal Leader.

Trudeau may have ultimately weathered the SNC Lavalin affair and an ill-timed blackface scandal, but he didn’t come out unscathed — losing his party’s majority status in a tight race with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

When he rose to power in the 2015 election, Trudeau was the new golden boy of politics and his victory was resounding.

This time around though, Canadians were a bit more hesitant.

The Liberals could only manage to secure a minority win in the 43rd general election after a tumultuous six-week campaign.

Polling throughout the campaign showed Scheer and Trudeau neck-and-neck, leading to speculation concerning who would form the next government, with the possibility of rare coalitions suddenly emerging.

With results still trickling in, the Liberals were elected or leading in 157 seats — 13 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons — and may need the support of one or more opposition parties to govern.

“Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau said during his victory speech. “They rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.”

“Tonight you are sending us back to work for you. We take this responsibility seriously and we will work hard for you, your families and your future.

“To those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you, we will govern for everyone.

“Ours is a team that will fight for all Canadians.”

The Conservatives were slightly ahead in the popular vote overall, but with so much of their vote concentrated in the two western provinces, they fell markedly short of the Liberals’ tally, taking just 122 ridings.

Addressing his supporters, an optimistic Scheer gave his party credit for preventing a consecutive Liberal majority.

“Tonight Conservatives have put Justin Trudeau on notice and Mr. Trudeau when your government falls Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” Scheer said.

“Not only have they (Liberals) lost over 20 seats, but Mr. Trudeau has also lost votes and lost support in every region of the country.”

“Tonight, we have accomplished what only two parties have ever done before by holding a first-term majority government to a minority.”

A resurgent Bloc Quebecois secured 32 seats, dashing Liberal hopes of making gains in Quebec that could have ensured a consecutive majority mandate.

Despite a strong campaign by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who was re-elected in his B.C. riding of Burnaby South, his party was leading or elected in just 25 seats and was nearly wiped out in Quebec.

Despite those disappointing results, Singh was all smiles when he addressed his supporters.

“This has been an incredible journey,” he said to raucous cheers.

The fact that Trudeau will likely need his help to command the confidence of the House of Commons didn’t elude him.

“I spoke with Mr. Trudeau earlier tonight, and I let him know that we will be working hard on making sure we deliver the priorities that Canadians have.”

Toronto sending emergency assistance to storm-ravaged Winnipeg

News Staff | posted Monday, Oct 21st, 2019

The city of Toronto is stepping up to help the city of Winnipeg.

Mayor John Tory says the city will send forestry crews, consisting of 25 certified arborists, as well as equipment to support efforts during Manitoba’s state of emergency.

“That’s what being a Canadian and a Torontonian is all about,” said Tory.

“When something happens in another part of Canada, if Toronto can help I think most Torontonians are Canadians first and they would want to do that. They’ve had a devastation of their trees after the terrible storm they had and we’re sending people to help clean up the mess and preserve the trees.”

The forestry crews from Toronto are scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg on Tuesday and remain there for 20 days.

The cost of the emergency assistance will be covered by the City of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg and southern Manitoba were devastated by a massive blast of heavy, wet snow that affected over trees in the region and left more than 150,000 people without power. The City of Winnipeg said it could be months before an estimated 30,000 city-owned trees that were damaged can be fully cleared from public spaces.

As of Friday, Manitoba Hydro said just under 5,000 customers remained without power. Spokesman Bruce Owen says crews have been forced to rebuild much of the transmission system damaged in the wake of the storm.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford had previously also offered up “full support in whatever capacity is needed” for Manitoba.

Governor General could play pivotal role in federal election

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 21st, 2019

OTTAWA — With Canada facing a potential minority government after votes are cast today, Governor General Julie Payette could have a critical role to play in what follows.

Constitutional experts have widely rebutted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s assertion that the party that wins the most seats gets the first shot at forming government.

Philippe Lagasse, an expert on Westminister governments at Carleton University, says it could fall to Payette to decide whether to stick with constitutional convention, or recent historical practice.

Constitutional convention dictates the incumbent prime minister — in this case Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau — can make the first attempt to form a government that can command majority support in the House of Commons.

A report prepared by the Library of Parliament in 2015 and provided to The Canadian Press by Rideau Hall indicates that where the Governor General becomes involved is if and when the incumbent prime minister is unable to win a vote of confidence.

University of Waterloo constitutional law expert Emmett Macfarlane says Payette will also have to walk a careful line to ensure she is not dragged into a political trap.

Man suffers serious injuries in alleged kidnapping attempt

News Staff | posted Monday, Oct 21st, 2019

A man is in the hospital with serious injuries after police thwarted an alleged kidnapping attempt in the city’s west-end Sunday afternoon.

Police said that they received a call for unknown trouble at around 2:45 p.m. in the Renforth Drive and Tabard Gate area.

Investigators said a man had been forced into a car and when officers arrived at the scene, a pursuit ensued.

The suspects ditched the car near Legion Road in Mimico. When officers approached the car they saw a man in the back with “significant injuries.”

Paramedics were called and the victim was transported to a trauma center in life-threatening condition. On Monday, police said his injuries are serious but not life-threatening.

Officers searched the area and arrested three of four suspects from the car. Police continue to search for a fourth suspect considered armed, violent and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.


Boy, 15, suffers life threatening injuries in Brampton stabbing

News Staff | posted Monday, Oct 21st, 2019

A 15-year-old boy is suffering from life-threatening injuries after a stabbing in Brampton on Sunday night.

Peel Regional Police say were originally called to an area near Parity Road and Dalecrest Road near Bovaird Drive and McLaughlin Road just before 8 p.m.

Police say an area a few kilometres away near Legend Lane and Vintage Gate is also part of the same crime scene.

The victim was taken to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition. His injuries are now considered serious and police say he is expected to survive.

Police have a 15-year-old male in custody and say this was isolated incident and there are no other outstanding suspects.



Canadians cast their ballots after divisive campaign, and amid tight polls

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 21st, 2019

Now it’s time for what politicians always say is the only poll that really matters.

Canadians will cast their ballots today in the country’s 43rd general election after what federal leaders themselves have called a nasty and divisive campaign.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer have spent weeks arguing the decision is between which of the two historical governing parties will be in office.

But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has drawn support from progressive voters and the Bloc Quebecois has surged in Quebec, which could scuttle hopes of a majority government and put either party into the position of power-broker in a hung Parliament.

Elizabeth May is hoping her Green party can capitalize on its recent success in provincial votes and translate that to more seats in the House of Commons.

And Maxime Bernier, who has spent much of the campaign trying to protect his own seat in Quebec, will find out whether his upstart People’s Party of Canada is a movement or a footnote.

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