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Child struck by vehicle in Leaside

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Jul 21st, 2020

Police said a child suffered a serious leg injury after being struck by a vehicle in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood Monday evening.

Police said they were called to the Leaside Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard area for a report that a pedestrian had been struck.

The child was taken to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The driver remained at the scene and the incident remains under investigation, police added.

Inside Canada’s first major case of the #MeToo era

THE BIG STORY | posted Tuesday, Jul 21st, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, Matthew McKnight was a fixture in the Edmonton bar scene, known for partying in colourful animal themed jumpsuits and sometimes only his underwear. He’d buy rounds of drinks, distributing them to pretty, young women enjoying a night on the town.

In April 2016 the first — a 17-year-old girl — would report to police that she had been sexually assaulted by McKnight. Many other women soon came forward with their own experiences of assault at the hands of a man whose exploits had been an “open secret” for far too long.

This past fall, Matthew McKnight pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of sexual assault against 13 different women. In January, a jury found him guilty of five of them. Now, as he awaits sentencing, the case is being scrutinized as one of Canada’s first legal reckonings of the MeToo era — a test of how the court handled a rare case of multiple charges of assault against one serial sexual predator. Can justice really be served?

Guest: Jana Pruden, crime and feature writer with The Globe and Mail. You can read her feature about the McKnight case right here.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Poll suggests parents want students to don masks at school in fall

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 21st, 2020

OTTAWA — Almost two-third of parents in a new poll say they believe that children returning to school in the fall should wear masks at least part of the time.

The latest poll on the COVID-19 pandemic by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 41 per cent of respondents believe school children should be required to wear a mask while they’re on the bus or in the school.

A further 21 per cent said yes to masks, but only when a student is outside of class during recess, lunch or if on the bus — suggesting they were OK with students taking off their masks once in class and not in common areas.

There was also a group of respondents, accounting for 28 per cent, who believed masks should be optional.

The current public health advice is that non-medical masks can contain infectious particles on their wearers’ breath, reducing the risk of contagion from people with COVID-19 who might not know they’re carrying the illness.

The Leger online poll of 1,524 Canadians over age 18 took place July 17 to 19. The poll cannot be given a margin of error because it is not a random sample.

Police search for suspect after ‘random’ attack attempts in Scarborough

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 20th, 2020

Toronto police said they are searching for a male suspect after a series of  “random” and “unprovoked” attempted attacks on people in a Scarborough neighbourhood.

Police said they were called to Heather Heights Woods park, which is in the Orton Park Road and Ellesmere Road area, on Saturday after a man attempted to attack a woman with a hammer.

“There have been several reported incidences of similar circumstances and this general description, in this area,” police said in a news release Sunday. “These attacks have occurred each time at random, are unprovoked against members of the public with no warning.”

Police described the suspect as a man in his 20s and approximately five-foot-eight inches tall. He was seen wearing a grey hoodie and black shorts.  The man was last seen fleeing on foot eastbound toward Orton Park Road.

If you spot the suspect, do not approach the person and call 911 right away.

Tips can also be left anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

One man killed in partial house collapse in east end

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 20th, 2020

One man is dead following a partial house collapse in the city’s east end.

Emergency crews were called to a house under construction on Jones Avenue near Boultbee Avenue just after 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

Fire officials say they found a man trapped under debris in a two-metre trench that had caved in.

Crews worked for almost two hours to free the man who was eventually pronounced dead.

A name and age of the victim has not been released.

The Ministry of Labour has been called in to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Data, dating apps, and danger for LGBTQ people online

THE BIG STORY | posted Monday, Jul 20th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, by now we’ve become at least semi-acquainted with the idea that advertisers and social media companies scrape and use our personal information in ways we can’t even begin to comprehend.

But a new analysis of the ways LGBTQ people are targeted, surveilled and censored online reveals a disturbing and disheartening tool international governments are using to persecute the queer community: Data from dating apps.

In a report released last week, cybersecurity company Recorded Future found dating apps like OKCupid, Grindr and Tinder collected user data, including users’ exact location, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political beliefs, drug use and more, and shared it with at least 135 third party entities. The company observed multiple cybersecurity attacks traced back to Russia and other Eastern European countries as well as cases all over the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Sometimes, people were entrapped, beaten and tortured.

What implications does this data collection and dissemination have for queer peoples’ safety online — and what can be done to protect them?

GUEST: Jane Lytvynenko, senior reporter with Buzzfeed News, who wrote about the Recorded Future report.

Man killed in multi-vehicle collision in Toronto’s east end

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 20th, 2020

A 23-year-old man has died following a serious multi-vehicle collision in Toronto’s east end.

Emergency crews were called to the Lawrence Avenue East and McMillian Avenue area around 7 p.m. Sunday for a report of a collision.

Police said it appears an Audi was heading eastbound at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it headed into the westbound lanes and crashed into a Jeep.

The man who was pronounced dead at the scene was a passenger in the backseat of the Audi.

The driver of the Audi, who is also a 23-year-old man, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries. A third person, who had been sitting in the passenger seat, suffered only minor injuries.

The 27-year-old woman who had been driving the Jeep was also injured but is expected to survive.

All three were taken to hospital.

Photos and video showed a dramatic crash scene, with vehicles and car parts scattered all over the road and sidewalk.

Lawrence Ave East was closed from Morning Dew Road to Beechgrove Drive for the investigation.

Police say charges against the driver of the Audi are pending.

Ontario will receive $7B of federal pandemic recovery package

SHAWN JEFFORDS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jul 17th, 2020

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s frustration with a perceived lack of COVID-19 recovery funds flowing from the federal government turned to praise on Thursday as he learned the province would be receiving a $7 billion portion of a national aid package.

Ford announced the province’s share of the $19-billion deal from a farm outside of Chatham, Ont., as he toured parts of Southwestern Ontario still grappling with the global pandemic.

He said the money will help the province provide critical services, including financial relief to municipalities who have said help from both governments could stave off local tax hikes and service cuts.

“This funding will support us as we get the economy going over the next six to eight months,” Ford said. “My friends … it’s a great deal for Ontario.”

The federal funding is expected to help provinces pay for initiatives such as child care, contact tracing and personal protective equipment.

Last month, Ford said the province’s pandemic-related expenses have reached $23 billion and that he wouldn’t agree to a “bad deal” with the federal government. But he had changed his tone considerably on Thursday, offering praise for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“At the end of the day, the prime minister had the final say in this,” Ford said. “And he pulled through in my opinion with spades. He came up, he stepped up. True leadership. When you’re negotiating within the family … things get a little bumpy.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said earlier this summer that the city faced $1.5 billion in pandemic-related costs and needed help to avoid serious cutbacks and even loss of local transit services.

He said Thursday the deal will have a positive impact on the city’s finances, but said he is still waiting for details on how Ontario’s portion will be allocated.

“I know Premier Ford is mindful of … the tremendous damage that has been inflicted upon transit systems by the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, the top doctor for Ontario’s Windsor-Essex region said Thursday progress is being made to bring COVID-19 outbreaks on local farms under control.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed said approximately 150 workers in the region have active cases of the virus, down from more than 300 weeks earlier. The health unit reported that another 11 agri-food workers tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

“I think that’s definitely an improvement from where we were,” he said. “But the challenge is the unique nature of the industry … and the congregate living setting that we are talking about.”

Farms in Windsor-Essex have been hit hard by COVID-19, with five currently in outbreak. Two local workers have died from the illness.

Migrant workers spend their days and nights in close quarters, which advocates say makes physical distancing hard and has led to the rapid spread of the virus on farms.

The farm outbreaks delayed the economic reopening in the Windsor-Essex region, particularly in the towns of Leamington and Kingsville, which were the final two communities to reach Stage 2 last week. The region will be one of 10 left behind as the rest of the province advances to Stage 3 on Friday.

Ford toured the area Thursday morning, stopping in to get his first haircut in months at a barbershop in Leamington, Ont.

Late last week, local leaders called on either the provincial or federal government to take charge of the response to the farm outbreaks.

They outlined their concerns in a formal request to the province last week, but Ford wouldn’t say Thursday if the government had responded.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath criticized the premier for focusing too much of his time on photo ops in the region instead of providing leadership on the farm outbreak issue.

“It’s really tone deaf to the problems that folks are facing,” she said. “It’s just unbelievable that the government isn’t stepping up on the co-ordination piece that they’re being asked to do.”

Ontario reported 111 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and five new deaths related to the virus.

Meanwhile, Ontario extended pandemic emergency orders until July 29. The orders cover the redeployment of health-care workers and temporary management of long-term care homes. They also prohibit price-gouging.

An emergency order permitting curbside delivery of cannabis has also been extended.

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