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Trudeau to meet with Ford in Ottawa

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Nov 22nd, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with Ontario Premier Doug Ford in Ottawa on Friday.

The sit-down between the pair will be the latest in a series of in-person talks Trudeau is having with provincial leaders after receiving a minority mandate last month.

Trudeau frequently warned voters during the federal election against Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer by trying to tie him to Ford, whose popularity has been sinking in recent polls.

Ford said Thursday that he will bring a collaborative message to the meeting, despite the frequent attacks the prime minister launched against him during the federal election campaign.

Ford says he is eager to work with the federal government on a number of files including health care and public transit.

Trudeau has already met with leaders including Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.

New Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe earns win in first game

CHRIS JOHNSTON AND SPORTSNET | posted Friday, Nov 22nd, 2019

This was the Toronto Maple Leafs untethered. Free and easy and driving.

Sheldon Keefe’s debut was a winning one and offered some glimpses of what to expect from a head coach who wants his players to unleash their skill and dominate the puck.

The Leafs tilted the ice heavily while handing the Arizona Coyotes a 3-1 loss on Thursday night and didn’t take their foot off the gas while ending a six-game losing streak in the process.

In fact, it was unquestionably their most dominant win of a disappointing season and came against the NHL’s eighth-best team by points percentage. That it arrived less than 24 hours after Keefe replaced Mike Babcock behind the bench — and without so much as a full practice under the new boss — had to be an encouraging sign for management.

“We’ve got to look at it as a fresh start,” defenceman Tyson Barrie said before scoring his first goal of the season. “This is a chance to find ourselves and really get going.”

Barrie is one of the most obvious beneficiaries of the coaching change — seeing a couple shifts on the top pairing alongside Morgan Rielly in Thursday’s game and getting elevated to the top power-play unit.

He’s struggled to produce since coming over from Colorado in an off-season trade and the weight of the world seemed to be lifted from his shoulders after he carried the puck to the bottom of the circle and beat Darcy Kuemper glove side to open the scoring.

Keefe will encourage the Leafs to take some chances in the offensive zone and told them as much in his first meeting on Thursday morning.

“My message to the players today is that I’m not focused on what this team isn’t, I’m focused on what this team is,” said Keefe. “We’ve got really good people here. We’ve got a lot of talent. We have the ability to make life hard on the other team in a lot of ways.

“So focusing on that, we believe, will produce positive results because the players are good enough for that to happen.”

They were certainly a handful for the Coyotes — one of the NHL’s biggest surprises through a quarter of the season. Toronto controlled more than 61 per cent of even-strength shot attempts through 40 minutes and many were of the high-danger variety.

Pierre Engvall sent the Leafs to the second intermission with a 2-0 lead thanks to a short-handed breakaway at 16:49. That was the first NHL goal for the former seventh-round pick — one of Keefe’s development success stories from his time in the American Hockey League.

Hometown boy Auston Matthews then scored in the first minute of third period to put Toronto comfortably ahead. Vinnie Hinostroza ended Frederik Andersen’s shutout bid with 16.9 seconds to play.

Leafs management wasn’t sure what to expect given the hastiness of the coaching change and expect to have some growing pains while this group adjusts to Keefe.

“There is going to be a few bumps along the way,” said general manager Kyle Dubas. “If there aren’t bumps along the way, and we aren’t doing things aggressively to try to enact change, then it’s not what we’re really aiming for.

“So there are going to be moments where it doesn’t look great, where it doesn’t feel great and people will likely jump on that say ‘Geez, that doesn’t look like it’s going to be positive for the group.”’

Fortunately, it didn’t go that way for them on Thursday night, when an underperforming team seemed to rediscover its swagger.

Man arrested after vehicle crashes into Lansdowne storefront

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 22nd, 2019

A man in his 30s has been arrested after a vehicle crashed into the front of a store in the city’s west end overnight.

Emergency crews were called to the scene on Lansdowne Avenue, just north of Bloor Street West, around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The driver allegedly fled the scene after the crash but police were able to track him down and place him in custody.

The crash caused extensive damage to the front of the building. The tenants living in the apartment above the store were ordered out of their home because fire crews were concerned about the structural integrity of the building.

There has been no word on what caused the crash but police are investigating if impairment was a factor.

Queen’s Park to debate bill to overturn pit bull ban

The Canadian Press and News Staff | posted Thursday, Nov 21st, 2019

A private member’s bill seeking to scrap the province’s pit bull ban is up for debate at Queen’s Park on Thursday.

MPPs Rick Nicholls and David Piccini will announce the details of the bill at the Toronto Humane Society beforehand.

Nicholls says dog owners — not specific dog breeds — are to blame for vicious dog behaviour.

“It’s not pit bulls, it’s dogs, it’s the owners and how the dogs are treated,” Nicholls said in an interview Tuesday.

“If you beat a dog or you train a dog to be vicious, that dog will be vicious regardless of the breed itself.”

The McGuinty government prohibited pit bull ownership in 2005.

It is unclear if the ban ever had an effect on reducing dog bites and attacks, let alone those from pit bulls. The Canadian Press reported in 2016 that Ontario does not collect data at the provincial level and does not regulate how, or even whether, municipalities collect and store that data.

Some municipalities do track dog bite data, but it can be collected by the local public health unit or the animal control unit, depending on how it’s reported.

Nicholls said data from public health units for 2018 show 13 dog bites out of 1,429 bites came from pit bulls.

Somali-Canadian human rights activist murdered in Mogadishu

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Nov 21st, 2019

The Somali government says a Somali-Canadian human rights activist and diplomat has been killed.

The Somali ministry of information says Almaas Elman was murdered in the capital city of Mogadishu.

The government said in a tweet that it is investigating and will bring those responsible to justice.

A Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman said the department was prepared to help the family.

“Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the Canadian citizen who died in a shooting in Somalia,” Natasha Nystrom said in an email Wednesday.

“Consular officials stand ready to provide consular services to the family.”

She said consular officials in Kenya are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.

Nystrom said due to the Privacy Act no further information would be disclosed.

Media reports in Somalia say Elman was shot in her vehicle while heading to the airport.

She was involved with the Elman Centre for Peace and Human Rights in Mogadishu, a non-governmental agency founded by her family.

Her sister, Ilwad Elman, made international headlines in October when she was shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the Elman Centre.

Maple Leafs take on Coyotes in first game with new coach

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Nov 21st, 2019

Sheldon Keefe will make his NHL coaching debut Thursday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Coyotes in Arizona — a day after firing head coach Mike Babcock.

Team resident Brendan Shanahan flew to Arizona on Wednesday to break the news to Babcock along with general manager Kyle Dubas. Shanahan said that he felt he should be present as he hired Babcock in the spring of 2015.

Keefe, head coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, has been tapped to replace him in the top job. The 39-year-old Keefe was in his fifth season as head coach of the Marlies.

Keefe was 199-89-31 with the Marlies and helped secure the franchise’s first Calder Cup championship in 2018. He  has also coached a number of current Leafs when they were with Marlies.

“Sheldon’s earned it,” Shanahan said. “He’s had success basically everywhere he’s coached.”

Ahead of Thursday night’s game, Shanahan, Dubas and Keefe are all scheduled to speak with the media in the morning.

Babcock had a record of 9-10-4 in 2019-20 for the Leafs, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, including five straight losses in regulation, and currently sit two points back of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Babcock’s last win for the Leafs, on Nov. 7 against Vegas, was the 700th of his NHL career.

Driver in custody after vehicle hits parked cars, light standards in Richmond Hill

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Nov 21st, 2019

A 22-year-old man is in police custody after a vehicle crashed into several objects in Richmond Hill overnight, including parked cars and a bus shelter.

Emergency crews were called to Yonge Street, in the area of Elgin Mills Road and Major Mackenzie Drive, around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Police said the white pick-up truck struck five cars parked along Yonge, hit two light standards and also crashed into a bus shelter.

Hydro crews are on scene to repair the wires that were brought down in the incident. Workers are expected to be there for several hours, through the morning rush.

No injuries have been reported.

The suspect is expected to face numerous charges.

However, police said alcohol or drug impairment is not considered to be a factor in the crash.

Seafood 101

Kyle Mack | posted Thursday, Nov 21st, 2019

Lots of people get their seafood from a grocery store or fish market. What’s wrong with that?

  • It’s not fresh. Grocery stores largely get their fish pre-cut. This means it’s oxidizing in the 2-4 day journey to the grocery store. Oxidization is what causes seafood to lose freshness, taste, texture, and nutritional content. Then it sits on the shelf for an unknown period before it’s bought.
  • Questionable quality. There’s little incentive for a grocery store to source their seafood ethically or from a trusted fishery. And with people being very price-conscious, there’s a lot of pressure to source the cheapest possible fish.
  • Food waste. The grocery store model leads to tonnes of food waste as old or spoiled product gets thrown away.


Should we opt for wild-caught fish wherever possible?

Yes, within reason. But if the entire world only ate wild-caught fish, there would be none left. Farmed seafood is a necessity. Farmed doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. But people should take care to buy seafood that’s farmed in a facility that ASC-certified. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an international organization that strictly regulates seafood farms around the world to ensure that their practices are sustainable with minimal impact on the environment.


Oceana recently completed a study and found that there’s rampant fraud with seafood mislabeling. What are some common tricks and games that can be played in the seafood industry?

  • Scallops can be soaked in chemicals for the purpose of adding water weight
  • Frozen seafood is coated with ice or glaze. This is necessary to keep it from drying. Unscrupulous companies can inflate the weight of the fish and charge more by overglazing. We’ve seen seafood whose weight is 25% glaze.
  • Farmed salmon are starved before killing so that they keep their fat content high and stay fresh during handling and shipping.
  • Fish like salmon and tuna are treated with gas which keeps the flesh colour looking fresh long after they’re not fresh or have gone bad.

Do you have some overall tips for Canadians when buying seafood?

Yes, here are my ‘Top 5 tips for choosing quality seafood’

  1. Fresh Over Frozen
  2. Busy Store, Fresher Product
  3. Buy Whole
  4. Avoid Countries With Bad Farming and Fishing Practices
  5. Colour Can Be Deceiving


What else?

  1. The games that can be played with glaze, weight, chemical treatments can’t be done easily with fresh seafood. Whenever possible, opt for fresh products. Fresh is best. Although for items like shrimp and lobster, freezing and thawing doesn’t impact the taste and texture in any noticeable way if done correctly.
  2. A store that does brisk sales and has a lot of products coming in and being sold is a store whose products don’t have a chance to get old. If you’re in an area that lacks a busy fish market or busy fish department in a grocery store, finding quality, fresh seafood may prove to be impossible.
  3. A grocery store or fish market that gets its products whole or in whole loins is better than one that receives its seafood products pre-cut. This is because of oxidization. When you cut a fish and the flesh is exposed, that exposed flesh immediately begins to oxidize. The oxidization process is what makes a fish lose its freshness, taste, texture, and nutritional content. Try to buy from places that have their seafood displayed in the whole form and where you can see them filet/cut it in front of you.
  4. Though individual fishermen and suppliers may be good, countries like China and India generally still struggle with bad farming and fishing practices. From overfishing, to the environmental destruction caused by factory farms, to poor hygienic practices, be wary of products from these countries—especially frozen seafood products.
  5. When buying seafood on display, colour can be maintained through the use of chemical additives like tasteless smoke. So colour isn’t a good criterion when determining whether or not something is fresh. Instead, look for cues like if the product is slimy or has any greasy film on it. Ex. presence of white, translucent skin on top of it. It can be greasy yet also dry. A dry, old fish won’t look firm and has flesh that’s beginning to come apart at the muscle fibers. Ask to smell the fish where possible. Fresh fish should smell faintly of the ocean and should not have a strong pungent, fishy, or ammonia-like smell.
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