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SIU investigating after suspected stolen car crashes into police cruisers in Brampton

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Nov 19th, 2019

The province’s police watchdog is investigating after a car, believed to be stolen, collided with a Peel police cruiser in Brampton.

In a release, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said around 6:30 p.m. Sunday police started to follow a vehicle on Hurontario Street.

Police tried to stop the vehicle, but it ended up crashing into two police vehicles and another vehicle in the area of Main Street North and Queen Street East.

The driver and the passenger were arrested.

The passenger, a 46-year-old man, is in hospital with serious injuries.

The intersection was closed for several hours, but has since reopened.

Tribunal upholds Toronto rules on short-term rentals like Airbnb

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Nov 19th, 2019

An Ontario tribunal has upheld rules passed by the City of Toronto on short-term rentals like Airbnb.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal says it has dismissed an appeal by several residents who objected to the rules that put limits on how people can rent out their properties.

Tribunal member Scott Tousaw says in his ruling that while the exact numbers involved are in dispute, it’s clear that each short-term rental displaces a permanent household.

He found that the Toronto rules, which don’t allow secondary properties to be rented out for short-term use, still allow a number of short-term rental uses while not threatening the city’s strained housing supply.

He says the rules represent a “reasonable balancing” between housing needs and supporting business and tourism economies.

Fairbnb, which pushed to keep the rules, says the ruling is a major victory for tenants across Ontario.

Toronto mayor John Tory issued to the following statement on the matter:

“Today, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) upheld City Council’s comprehensive rules for short-term rentals in Toronto – the so called ‘Airbnb’ regulations.

This is good news for Toronto residents and a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating short-term rentals and keeping our neighbourhoods liveable.

When we approved these regulations in 2017, we strived to strike a balance between letting people earn some extra income through Airbnb and others, but we also wanted to ensure that this did not have the effect of withdrawing potential units from the rental market.

I have always believed our policy achieves the right balance which in this case falls more on the side of availability of affordable rental housing and the maintenance of reasonable peace and quiet in Toronto neighbourhoods and buildings.

As the LPAT decision notes, these regulations represent ‘good planning in the public interest.’

The decision also notes, correctly, that these changes do not prohibit short-term rentals but permits and regulates them in a manner that does not displace households. They also provide opportunities to meet the needs of residents and visitors requiring or preferring short-term rental accommodation in a residential setting.”

However Airbnb says the rules may “unfairly punish some responsible short-term rental hosts who are contributing to the local economy.”

In a statement they said:

“We remain committed to working closely with the City of Toronto and the Airbnb community as these new rules are implemented. We encourage other platforms to also come to the table and support responsible home sharing in Toronto.”

First time novelist Ian Williams wins $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize

ADINA BRESGE AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 19th, 2019

First-time novelist Ian Williams singled out a special member of the audience as he accepted the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize — Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood.

Williams choked back tears as he took to the stage to receive the honour at a glitzy Toronto gala on Monday night for his debut novel, “Reproduction.”

“I’ve got notes here for people I need to thank, but maybe I’ll just start with my heart first,” Williams said. “Margaret Atwood over there is the first book I bought with my own money at a bookstore in Brampton.”

“Reproduction” traces the ties that bind a cross-cultural chosen family in Williams’ hometown of Brampton, Ont.

The tale begins when a sober-minded teenager from a small island nation and the listless heir to a German family fortune meet in the hospital room where their mothers lay dying.

From there, Williams unspools a narrative so entangled it strains against novelistic convention.

Jury members praised the Vancouver-based writer for his “masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender and geography.”

“Reproduction,” published by Random House Canada, was a finalist for this year’s Amazon First Novel Award.

Williams’ short-fiction collection, “Not Anyone’s Anything” won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2012, and he’s been a rising star in poetry circles. His 2013 collection, “Personals,” was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award.

Williams was the 2014-2015 writer-in-residence in the University of Calgary’s distinguished writers program, and has held numerous other fellowships and residencies.

He is currently a Griffin Poetry Prize trustee and associate professor of poetry in University of British Columbia’s creative writing program.

Williams beat out titles by David Bezmozgis, Michael Crummey, Megan Gail Coles, Alix Ohlin and Steven Price.

Before the Giller winner was announced, a who’s who of Canada’s cultural scene walked the Giller red carpet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Giller executive director Elana Rabinovitch said this year’s short list was distinct not only because there were six finalists instead of the usual five, but for the range of time periods, styles and geography the books represent.

“(The finalists) come from everywhere and these voices are strong and powerful and resonant,” Rabinovitch said.

Atwood said she chose to celebrate her 80th birthday at the literary bash at Rabinovitch’s behest.

“Elana made me do it,” Atwood told reporters with a laugh.

As her global book tour for “The Testaments” winds down, Atwood said she’s hoping to catch up on the latest Canadian reads.

“There’s some interesting non-fiction books as well, and I would say quite a lot of fiction,” Atwood said. “I haven’t ploughed my way through it, but I will.”

Singer-songwriter and actress Jann Arden, who hosted the televised night’s festivities, serenaded Atwood with a birthday tune.

“Happy birthday to you. You write such good books,” Arden crooned. “Now Canada’s famous for more than just maple syrup.”

The six finalists were chosen from 117 submissions by a jury consisting of Canadian writers Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda and Jose Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.

The Giller awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists.

Last year’s winner was Esi Edugyan for “Washington Black.”

Woman critically injured in hit-and-run at Midland and Steeles

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Nov 19th, 2019

A woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after she was struck by a vehicle near Midland and Steeles avenues Monday evening.

Emergency crews responded to a collision in the area around 6:30 p.m.

A woman was reportedly struck by a dark-coloured SUV and found unconscious.

The SUV and driver involved fled the scene.

Paramedics say it is possible she was struck by more than one vehicle.

1 man injured in midtown shooting

News staff | posted Monday, Nov 18th, 2019

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the Sherwood Park area of the city.

Officers responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Bayview Avenue and Roehampton Avenue around 5 p.m. Sunday.

When they arrived on scene, they discovered a man suffering from gunshot wounds.

Paramedics transported him to a trauma centre and described his injuries as not serious.

There is no suspect description at this time.

2 in custody after 2 people stabbed in Markham

News Staff | posted Monday, Nov 18th, 2019

York Regional Police have two people in custody following a stabbing incident in Markham.

Police say they were called to a Tim Hortons on Markham Road just north of Denison Street around 8:30 p.m. for what was initially termed a “weapon’s incident.”

When they arrived they discovered one man, believed to be in his 20s, suffering from “serious” stab wounds. He was transported to a Toronto trauma centre.

After they began canvassing the area, police discovered a second victim suffering from stab wounds a short distance away from the restaurant. He was transported to a local hospital, however, the extent of his injuries is not known.

Two people have been taken into custody but police have yet to determine what exactly their roles were in the incident. Police have not revealed the ages or genders of the two.

It’s not know if there are any other outstanding suspects at this time.

Police are asking anyone who may have been at the Tim Hortons or in the area at the time of the stabbing to contact them.

High school teachers to reveal strike vote results, discuss ‘next steps’

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Nov 18th, 2019

The union representing Ontario’s high school teachers will be releasing the results of their strike votes today.

A media advisory also says the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will be talking about the union’s “next steps.”

The OSSTF is already in a legal strike position as of today, though it’s also required to give five days notice before a strike and has not yet done so.

Three of Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions are taking steps toward potential strikes as they negotiate with the government for new contracts.

Elementary teachers are set to start a work-to-rule campaign on Nov. 26 that they say will target ministry and school board administrative tasks and will not affect student learning.

Catholic teachers voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary, although they are not yet in a legal strike position, while negotiations between the province and French teachers continue.

SIU investigating after alleged stolen car crashes into police cruiser in Brampton

News Staff | posted Monday, Nov 18th, 2019

The province’s Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate after an alleged stolen car collided with a Peel police cruiser in Brampton.

Officers stopped the vehicle at Queen and Main streets shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday but details of what happen afterwards are still unclear.

Debris could be seen laying across the major intersection.

Two men are now in custody and police believe there are no other suspects at this time.

Residents are asked to avoid the area and anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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