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Osuna’s administrative leave extended through May 28

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Osuna was put on administrative leave by MLB on May 8. The pitcher was charged with one count of assault, according to Toronto Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu. Osuna, who is from Mexico, is scheduled to appear in court June 18.

Osuna remains on the restricted list and continues to receive his $5.3 million salary but is ineligible to play. Administrative leave is not considered discipline.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has the option of suspending Osuna either without pay or with pay pending the resolution of legal proceedings _ a penalty that later could be converted to without pay. Osuna could challenge any discipline before arbitrator Mark Irvings.

The 23-year-old Osuna is 0-0 with nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games this season. The righty was an All-Star last year, when he went 3-4 with 39 saves and a 3.38 ERA.

Prices at the pump headed higher as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Dan Healing and The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 18th, 2018

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

But price direction will vary across the nation, said fuel market analyst Dan McTeague of GasBuddy.com, with prices rising in Ontario, the Maritimes, Manitoba and Saskatchewan but actually expected to fall from recent peaks in Alberta and Quebec.

He says prices for regular gasoline in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and most of the rest of Ontario are expected to rise by one cent per litre on Friday and another cent on Saturday, reaching an average of 140.9 cents per litre, the highest since June 29, 2014.

“We said this would be the highest price (in four years) … but honest to God, I never thought it would be this high,” said McTeague.

As of Thursday afternoon, GasBuddy.com showed the average Canadian gasoline price as 134.4 cents per litre, up 2.6 cents from a week ago and 26 cents from the average of 109.4 cents per litre last year.

The highest average price it has recorded in Canada was 142.4 cents in August 2008, it says.

Higher fuel prices at this time of year are to be expected because increased demand allows retailers to build in bigger profit margins, said Kent Group vice-president Jason Parent.

“We’re into the beginning of the summer driving season and demand’s on the rise and supply generally is a bit tighter,” he said. “The general trend at this time of year is upward.”

Manitoba and Saskatchewan, which had the cheapest gas prices in the country on Thursday, are expected to see price increases of five to seven cents over the weekend, McTeague said, adding many retailers in the two provinces have been losing money on gas sales.

“When you suddenly double the traffic with people heading out for the long weekend, you can’t afford to lose double what you’ve been losing,” he said.

“So it’s retailers that tend to drive these prices up regardless of what the (wholesale) market does.”

Gas prices in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador went up Thursday by more than two cents, McTeague reported.

Quebec prices of about $1.48 per litre are expected to fall by as much as 10 cents over the weekend, while Alberta prices of around $1.35 are to slump by about four cents, in both cases due to local market pressures.

McTeague said Vancouver region prices could rise by a cent or two over the weekend from Thursday’s average of about $1.61 cents per litre but will fall back as the workweek dawns.

Parent said Vancouver prices are higher than anywhere else in North America because of logistical issues including the inability to transport more refined fuels from Alberta on the fully-booked Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.

“They can’t bring enough product from Alberta into the region so they have to go out and get imports and over the last while those have been higher priced because the import market is fairly competitive on the West Coast right now,” he said.

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. has threatened to abandon an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline by May 31 because of continued opposition from the B.C. government.

Gasoline prices are emerging as an issue in the Ontario provincial election.

Earlier this week, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford promised to lower gas taxes by 10 cents per litre by cutting 5.7 cents in provincial taxes and another 4.3 cent from his pledge to eliminate the province’s cap-and-trade system.

Gas prices across the country and in parts of the United States have been hovering near record highs, with little relief in sight as the New York benchmark price of oil remains above US$71 a barrel.

Toronto subway accordion players learn new tune; TTC still unimpressed

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 18th, 2018

Two accordion players who have entertained and annoyed Toronto subway riders with their performances of Despacito have learned a new tune, but the city’s transit agency says the men are still breaking the law.

The pair, whose performances on subway cars have circulated online in recent weeks, had been warned to stop or risk being fined as busking on trains isn’t allowed.

Now, they are playing a different hit song on the subway: Havana by Camila Cabello.

The Toronto Transit Commission says it understands the men, believed to be brothers, are mixing up their set list.

But spokesman Stuart Green says that doesn’t make what they’re doing any more acceptable than when they were “subjecting our customers to that other musical abomination.”

Green says as of Thursday, the men have been issued one ticket with a set fine of $235 and two summonses compelling them to appear before a justice of the peace for a penalty.

He says the transit agency realizes the pair have their supporters and critics, but notes the bottom line is that their actions are against TTC bylaws and must stop.

“Not only is it disruptive to the expectation our customers have for a relatively peaceful ride, it can prevent those with sight loss, and who may rely on the audible stop announcements, from navigating the subway system,” Green said Thursday.

He said there is a legal way for musicians to perform on TTC property through the Underground Sounds program, but even then, “performing on vehicles is not permitted.”

He said if they continue, the TTC will escalate to what is called a Part 3 summons, which can carry increased fines and probation with conditions.

The first summons hearing is June 1, the second is scheduled for July 20, Green said.

Despacito, by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee, became the most viewed clip of all-time on YouTube last summer and the most-streamed track of all-time. However, the record-breaking video did not feature vocals by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber that appeared on a remix.

Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down aisle

The Associated Press | posted Friday, May 18th, 2018

Prince Charles will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at the royal wedding — stepping in after the father of the bride fell ill just days before the ceremony.

Kensington Palace said Friday that Markle’s future father-in-law, the heir to the British throne, would walk the American actress down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor for her wedding to Prince Harry. The palace says he “is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the Royal Family in this way.”

The decision comes after feverish speculation about who would have the honour after the bride announced that her father, Thomas Markle, wouldn’t attend because of poor health. The bookies had suggested that Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, was the favourite.

Unlike Ragland, Harry’s father has a lifetime of experience in appearing at large-scale public events amid intense scrutiny. The palace said Markle had asked Charles to offer a supporting arm.

Having the father of the groom take the honour offers yet another twist in a royal wedding that is proving to be different than many others. Normally such occasions are choreographed to the second — and replete with tradition.

But things began to unravel last week after it emerged that Thomas Markle allegedly staged paparazzi photos in what celebrity website TMZ said was an effort to improve his image and show him to be a loving father preparing for the big day.

Speaking from Windsor, TMZ’s Sean Mandell told the BBC that the father was hurt by negative headlines and inaccurate portrayals.

“He was trying to explain his side of things — that him working with the paparazzi for those staged photos was an attempt to recast his image to show him as a loving father who was getting ready for his daughter’s wedding, and not as a reclusive lush.”

Victoria Day weekend reigns supreme in Toronto

Samantha Knight and Patricia D'Cunha | posted Friday, May 18th, 2018

We can thank Queen Victoria for this: a long weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer. And while one of her descendants is getting married this weekend, the rest of us will either be heading to the cottage or puttering around in town. One thing is for sure though, we are all destined to have fun this weekend, whether we are royals or not. So take your crown and scepter and rule the weekend.

If you are staying in town this weekend, you will be dazzled with fireworks and a slew of other events taking place around the city. As you make your plans, consult the list below of what’s open and closed on holiday Monday.


What’s open and closed on Monday

Open

  • TTC will run on a holiday schedule
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: ROM, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Most malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Yorkville Village (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Curbside garbage is not collected on any Monday, but other services will be affected. Click here for details.

 

Closed

  • LCBO stores are closed on Monday
  • Beer Store locations will also be closed on Monday but some stores will open later on Sunday
  • Government offices, municipal buildings and banks
  • Toronto Public Library locations are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery
  • Recreation centres and programs in Toronto
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre

 

Events

Fireworks
The season of fireworks starts this weekend with light shows at Asbridges Bay Park and Canada’s Wonderland. The fireworks at Wonderland is at 10 p.m. on Sunday, while the light show at Asbridges is at 10 p.m. on Monday.

Royal wedding
Get your fascinators ready! The city will be buzzing all the way from Windsor Castle as royal watchers take in the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this long weekend. The couple will be married Saturday at noon local time, which is 7 a.m. ET. Watch the wedding live on CityNews.ca starting at 6 a.m.

David Mirvish is hosting a massive viewing party at the Princess of Wales Theatre from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. As many as 2,000 people will pack the venue for the sold-out event, to experience the wedding projected live on a big screen. After the ceremony ends, Harry and Meghan will take a horse drawn carriage procession through Windsor as husband and wife.

Artfest Toronto
Artfest Toronto is taking over the Distillery District for its 12th annual event this Victoria Day weekend. The outdoor arts show celebrates painting, photography, sculpture, fine craft and live music from Canada’s top artists. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Admission is free and there will also be art workshops for kids all weekend long.

Spring BeerFest TO
Escape to the cottage-in-the-city this weekend at the Spring BeerFest TO at Fort York Garrison Common. The event will serve up 17 top-notch cold beers, delicious food from Toronto’s most popular food trucks, roasted marshmallows, campfires and outdoor games. The 19+ BeerFest runs on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Queen Victoria’s Secret
Brewer’s Backyard is back with its annual Victoria Day event — Queen Victoria’s Secret — where the beers available are only revealed when the event starts. Queen Victoria’s Secret will be held at Evergreen Brick Works, and will feature Ontario breweries, including Shacklands Brewing Co, Muddy York Brewing, Big Rock Brewery and Collective Arts Brewing. There will also be food, and a “first call” special during the first hour of the event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Victoria Day at Fort York
If you’re looking for some family fun and history this Victoria Day, head on over to the Fort York National Historic Site.Guests will be able to join a guided tour, take part in soldier’s drills, or watch historic cooking demonstrations in one of the oldest kitchens in the city. Visitors can also stop by the Fort York Visitor Centre and explore interactive exhibits on the history of Toronto and the Fort. The Victoria Day event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission applies.

POPnology at the Science Centre
A new exhibit is opening at the Ontario Science Centre this weekend — POPnology showcases how people connect, move, play, live and work. It also looks at how books, movies and games have inspired the world’s greatest technological innovations. Visitors will be able to test drive robotics, rovers and sci-fi inspired tech, as well as work with a robot arm and see the world’s first 3-D printed car. POPnology opens on Saturday and continues through August 6th.

City of Toronto activities
Not everyone is getting away to the cottage this long weekend. Others will be staying in town or heading to Toronto to soak in what the city has to offer. Ferries to the island will be running every 15 minutes, and to avoid the rush, you can purchase your tickets online. Splash pads also start running on Saturday. Most of the city’s historic sites will be open on Sunday, but only Fort York National Historic Site and Spadina Museum will be open on Monday. Anyone who enjoys outdoor sports can use the golf courses or tennis courts. Click here for a full list of Toronto-run activities.

Watch the royal wedding live on Citynews.ca on Saturday

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 18th, 2018

On Saturday, May 19th, Prince Harry will wed Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel.

Watch a live stream of the the royal wedding on CityNews.ca starting at 6 a.m. Eastern.

Some 79 international broadcasters, including CityTV and outlets from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, are planning to report on Markle and Harry’s wedding. More than 5,000 U.K. and foreign media and support staff have credentials to cover the ceremony and reception.

Americans in particular – some 46 U.S. broadcast affiliates will cover the wedding – are obsessing because the bride is one of their own. The E! TV entertainment network plans to devote five hours of air time to the wedding that matches a California girl with a British prince.

While Markle was raised in the Los Angeles area, she also has a Canadian connection, having lived in Toronto since 2011 while filming U.S. legal drama “Suits.”

The 33-year-old prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne, and the 36-year-old divorced American actress met through a mutual friend in 2016, bonded during a camping holiday in Botswana and managed to keep their relationship secret from the media for several months.

It won’t be the first time that a British royal has married an American, or a divorced person. In 1936, Edward VIII famously abdicated after he was forced to choose between the monarchy and his relationship with twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

 

Windsor Castle, west of London, is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s main residences. The 15th-century chapel is as historic but more intimate than Westminster Abbey, where William married Kate Middleton in 2011.

 

Ontario PC candidate Simmer Sandhu quits; cites anonymous ‘allegations’

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, May 17th, 2018

A Progressive Conservative candidate in Ontario’s provincial election has pulled out of the race citing anonymous allegations made against him.

Simmer Sandhu, who had been running in the riding of Brampton East, says the allegations pertain to both his work life and his nomination campaign.

Sandhu says he denies the allegations and will vigorously defend himself.

He also thanks supporters and volunteers for their hard work and dedication, and says he’s confident in PC Leader Doug Ford’s ability to earn the trust of Ontario voters.

A party spokeswoman says Sandhu’s resignation has been accepted.

Melissa Lantsman says the party is excited to announce Surdeep Verma as its new candidate in Brampton East, calling him a great addition to the PC team.

In his statement posted on Twitter Sandhu does not give details of the allegations.

“I have recently been made aware of allegations anonymously made against me pertaining to both my work life and my nomination campaign,” he wrote Wednesday.

“These allegations are totally baseless. I absolutely deny them.”

Sandhu said that while he is confident he will be cleared it is impossible for him to continue as a PC candidate.

Highway 407 investigating ‘inside theft of data’

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, May 17th, 2018

The company that operates a major toll road in the GTA says the personal information of roughly 60,000 people was stolen from its offices “some time over the past 12 months.”

The privately-operated 407 Express Toll Route says in a statement that the stolen data is limited to account names and phone numbers, and no credit card or banking information was taken.

It says the incident is being investigated as an “inside theft of data,” and no external breach of its systems is suspected.

The company says it was informed of the issue last Thursday and immediately launched an investigation.

It has also notified police, the federal privacy commissioner and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

The 407 ETR bills itself as “the world’s first all-electronic, barrier-free toll highway,” running 108 kilometres from Burlington to Pickering.

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