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Crash outside Parliament in London treated as terrorism

DANICA KIRKA AND JILL LAWLESS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Aug 14th, 2018

A car plowed into pedestrians and cyclists near the Houses of Parliament in London during the morning rush hour Tuesday, injuring three people in what police suspect is the latest in a string of vehicle-based attacks in the British capital.

Armed police flooded the area after the incident was reported at 7:37 a.m. local time, hauling the driver from the vehicle, arresting him and cordoning off streets surrounding the heart of Britain’s government. The nearby Westminster subway station was closed, and police asked people to stay away from the area.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police Service told reporters outside Scotland Yard.

A man in his late 20s was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences. The suspect was not co-operating with police, and officers were trying to confirm his identity, said Basu, who oversees U.K. counterterrorism policing. No other suspects have been identified and police believe there is no further threat to Londoners, he said.

Eyewitnesses said the silver car was travelling at high speed when it hit pedestrians and cyclists, then crashed into a barrier designed to protect Parliament from vehicle attack. Two people were taken to local hospitals and another was treated at the scene. One woman remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon, but her injuries aren’t believed to be life threatening, authorities said.

“The car drove at speed into the barriers outside the House of Lords. There was a loud bang from the collision and a bit of smoke,” Ewelina Ochab told The Associated Press. “The driver did not get out. The guards started screaming to people to move away.”

Jason Williams also saw a car moving at high speed.

“It didn’t look like an accident,” he said. “How do you do that by accident?”

Donovan Parsons, a cameraman for ITV’s “Good Morning Britain,” was filming outside Parliament when he heard a loud crash.

“I saw the car crash into the barrier outside Westminster Palace, with smoke coming out of the vehicle. Police were around it, telling people to get back. … They dragged someone out of the car.”

The same area was the site of an attack in March 2017, when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people. Masood abandoned his car and then stabbed and killed a police officer before being shot dead in a courtyard outside Parliament.

Less than three months later, a van rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge before three men abandoned the vehicle and attacked weekend revelers in the nearby Borough Market. Eight people were killed and 48 injured in the attack.

On June 19, 2017, a man drove a van into a crowd of worshippers leaving a mosque in north London, killing one man and injuring eight others.

Book of condolences set up in Toronto for officers killed in Fredericton

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 14th, 2018

Torontonians can pay their respects to the police officers who were killed in the line of duty in Fredericton last week.

A book of condolences for Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns has been set up in the lobby of the Toronto Police Headquarters on College Street.

The books will then be privately presented to the families of the officers.

A New Brunswick man is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of the two officers, as well as two civilians.

Police say the suspect had a firearms licence and used a long gun that can be legally obtained in Canada.

Man dies after suspected hit-and-run in Etobicoke

News Staff | posted Tuesday, Aug 14th, 2018

A 48-year-old man is dead and another man is in police custody after a suspected hit-and-run in Etobicoke.

It happened around 11 p.m. on Monday.

Emergency crews were originally called to Ninth Street and Garnett Janes Road, near Lake Shore Boulevard West and Islington Avenue, for reports of gunshots heard in the area.

When crews arrived on scene they found the victim lying in the middle of the street, suffering from very serious injuries. Police say civilians were performing CPR on the man when officers arrived on scene.

Paramedics said it was determined that the victim wasn’t suffering from a gunshot wound, but had injuries consistent with being struck by a car.

The man was rushed to hospital where he later died.

Witnesses reported seeing a light grey, four-door vehicle fleeing the scene.

According to police, the vehicle was found a short time later, just three blocks from where the incident happened. A 40-year-old man has been placed in police custody. There has been no word on charges.

The area has been closed off to traffic as the investigation continues.

Molson Coors Canada latest player to announce new cannabis-infused beer

TINA YAZDANI | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

With marijuana legalization right around the corner, some big players are jumping on the chance to create cannabis-infused beer.

Molson announced a joint venture with the Hydropothecary Corporation to develop the non-alcoholic beverages.

“Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment,” Molson president Frederic Landtmeters said in a press release.

But, Molson isn’t the first company to jump at the burgeoning cannabis market.

In fact, local company Province Brands has already started brewing water, hops and cannabis.

“We knew it was coming, when you have a great idea there’s always going to be people who jump on the bandwagon,” said Province Brands co-founder Jennifer Thomas.

Since cannabis beer would fall under the edibles category, it won’t be legal for at least another year.

So far, the federal government doesn’t have any concrete plans to regulate it – including whether or not the drinks will end up at bars and restaurants, or what labels will look like.

SmartServe, a training program for servers and bartenders, is ready to tackle changes when the time comes.

“We can launch it pretty quickly once we have the information that we need to put into the program,” said SmartServe Ontario’s Executive Director Richard Anderson.

As for what the beer would taste like – Province Brands already has an idea.

“Everyone who tries it loves it,” said Thomas. “It has a nutty flavour, it has a flavour not too far away from Barley but it’s very unique and interesting.”

Thomas expects the product will have the same effects as beer.

“The same warm and familiar feeling, but guess what, you won’t have the hangover,” she said.

They also hope it will follow the same nomenclature as regular alcohol.

“Our beverages will give you a similar lexicon that will tell you this is comparable to a beverage that has this amount of alcohol,” said Thomas.

Accessibility request turns into personal attack online

GINELLA MASSA | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

A Toronto restaurant goer says she was left stunned after her suggestion for a wheelchair ramp at downtown establishment turned into a personal attack online.

On Sunday night, Tessa Vaskas and her father tried to get a seat inside Victory Cafe on Bloor Street West, where she had been many times before.

“I was with my father who is a stroke survivor, and sometimes he uses his wheelchair, sometimes he uses his cane,” Vaskas explained to CityNews.

Her father was using his cane Sunday, and with limited mobility, couldn’t get up onto the seats at the restaurant’s high top tables. Vaskas said the patio wasn’t an option either because of the two steps leading outside.

“I made a suggestion maybe he should consider getting a ramp there because it’s actually street level,” she said of her conversation with a man working at the restaurant who was helping get them seated.

“He went on to argue that ramps are fire hazards, and you need a permit to be wheelchair accessible, which is absolutely not true.”

Vaskas said she and her father ended up going around the outside of the café to get seated, but that wasn’t the end of the interaction.

Vaskas, who also volunteers for the StopGap Foundation — a charity that provides wheelchair ramps to businesses — decided to leave a one-star review on the restaurant’s Facebook page recounting her experience.

“I was a frequent Victory Cafe customer until I came with my dad who has a mobile disability,” she wrote.

“I politely mentioned to the owner that he should consider a ramp instead of stairs to the patio, allowing a more accessible entrance. He got very defensive and continued to argue with me that it’s a fire hazard and you need a permit to be wheelchair accessible. This is absolutely not true and ramps are not a fire hazard. I was extremely disappointed and will not be returning.”

But it was the response from the man she believes to be the same person she interacted in the restaurant that left her stunned.

A user named Knick Kndreka replied to her comment.

“I opened the side door for your father and helped him way more than you did,” he wrote.

“I think you as a daughter should do more for your father in helping him way more please don’t be shy he’s your dad and stop being around him for his pension that’s all you’re about.”

The reply has since been deleted from the restaurant’s Facebook page but an image of the interaction can be seen below.

“That’s just not how you respond to someone,” said Vaskas.

“He didn’t acknowledge the issue in any way. It’s just a personal attack.”

CityNews reached out to the restaurant and a spokesperson sent us a statement which reads in part: “the Victory Café would like to make clear that Mr. Ndreka does not own the Victory Café and he is not the operator of the establishment. The views of Mr. Ndreka do not represent the sentiments and ethos of the Victory Café, its ownership and staff.”

CityNews asked for clarity on how Ndreka is related to the restaurant, but did not receive a response.

However, Vaskas said during her visit he appeared to be a staff member, and when CityNews inquired about him at the café, staff referred to him as their “boss.”

The restaurant’s statement goes on to read, “The Victory Café prides itself on its open and welcoming environment to all people. The Victory Café and its ownership sincerely regrets and apologizes for the comment made.”

Vaskas said she accepts the apology but is disappointed the cafe still hasn’t committed to making their establishment more accessible. It’s something she hopes more Toronto businesses will consider.

“It’s hard enough for my dad to enjoy the city with barriers like steps to the bathroom, steps to the patio that aren’t necessary,” she said.

“Its just about understanding that its really hard (for people like him) and we need to speak up.”

Internship opportunity at Breakfast Television – Fall 2018

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 20th, 2018

Passionate about breaking news, lifestyle content, social media, and producing creative and engaging stories for television and online?

Breakfast Television is a three-and-a-half hour LIVE television news and lifestyle production and is looking for a full-time digital and production intern for its Fall 2018 term (September through December). The successful applicant must be studying a relevant program, and the internship must be part of their school curriculum.

We’re looking for an individual who’s bright, creative, and energetic, with a passion for news- and lifestyle-themed content, plus the ability to hunt down the latest trends before they go viral! Knowledge of video production and editing would be considered a strong asset.

The position is a full-time, five-day-a-week program, running from 6 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday in our downtown Toronto studios.

Should you fulfill the requirements and wish to apply for the position, please forward your resume and cover letter, along with your placement officer’s name and contact info, to:

comments@bttoronto.ca
Please include ‘Internship‘ in the subject line.

Alternately, send a hard copy to:

City – Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Breakfast Television Internship Program
33 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1B8

If we are interested in following up with you, we will be in touch to set up an interview.

2 men shot near gas station at Jane and Wilson

News Staff | posted Monday, Aug 13th, 2018

Two men have been rushed to hospital after an overnight shooting near Jane Street and Wilson Avenue.

Emergency crews were called to the scene near a gas station just after 1 a.m. after reports of multiple gunshots being heard in the area.

Paramedics said a man in his 20s suffered a serious but not life-threatening gunshot wound to the hip.

The second victim, a man in his 30s, was found a short distance from the scene. He was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm. His injuries are also considered serious but not life-threatening.

A third man was treated at the scene for minor injuries that were not gun related.

There has been no word on possible suspects.

Police continue to investigate.

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Aug 13th, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton police officers Sunday, and said he told their children something he had learned – mourning is made a little bit easier when you’ve got the whole country’s support.

Trudeau and his son Hadrien went to Fredericton’s police headquarters to lay flowers at the growing memorial for the two officers and two other victims of Friday’s violence.

Trudeau had planned to march in Sunday’s Pride parade in Fredericton, but his plans changed after the shooting at a north-side apartment complex that killed Bobbie Lee Wright, Donnie Robichaud, Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns.

Speaking to reporters, he appeared to allude to the public support he received after the death of his own father, the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

“I talked to their kids and highlighted something that I had experienced was that when you have a whole community, and indeed a whole country supporting you through terrible grief, it actually does make it a little bit easier – not much easier but a little bit easier,” he said.

A subdued Pride parade went ahead Sunday afternoon, with Mayor Mike O’Brien calling it a way for Fredericton’s residents to begin healing.

“It’s a way for our community to start rebuilding our faith in community and having a celebration,” O’Brien said Saturday. “There’s a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief.”

It began with a moment of silence, and parade organizers said in a Facebook post that they were marching “in appreciation of our Chief of Police Leanne Fitch, the first responders and all the officers who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe.”

The force announced Sunday that a regimental funeral “to celebrate the lives of our fallen members” will be held on Saturday at the Aitken University Centre at the University of New Brunswick.

The Fredericton Police Force’s public information officer, Alycia Bartlett, said in a release that a book of condolences will be available to the public in the council chambers of Fredericton City Hall on Monday.

There has been an outpouring of grief in the small city, with residents stopping by police headquarters to drop off flowers, notes and teddy bears for the fallen officers.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you on behalf of the Fredericton Police Force,” Fitch said in a written statement Sunday.

“Your support, as demonstrated by the flowers and cards that are left in front of the police station is appreciated by us all. Everyone in our community is hurting with the deaths of four of our citizens but the support of the community, to our fallen officers, the two others killed and all of their families and friends is appreciated.”

On Sunday evening, Trudeau attended what was described as a “Fredericton Pride social event” at a local pub.

He spoke to the gathering and explained why he wasn’t able to march in the parade.

“Obviously with circumstances, I was honoured to be able to spend some time with our police services here and with their families, who we obviously stand together with,” he said.

“But I’m also very pleased to know the Pride continued, people were celebrating, people were strong, people recognized the tragedy but were also looking for a opportunity to pull together and come together, and that’s exactly what you did.”

Asked by reporters earlier in the day about potential new gun laws, Trudeau said it wasn’t the time to be talking about that, but alluded to various gun tragedies including the shooting in Toronto’s Greektown that left two people dead and 13 others injured.

“Obviously I think there is a reflection going on around the country, around how we can ensure our communities are safer, individuals are safer, our police officers are safer,” he said.

“I think there are natural conversations to be had around now: Do we need to take further steps, do we need to go further? And these are things we are talking with Canadians about, we are talking with experts about and we are reflecting on it.”

Costello, 45, was a 20-year police veteran, while Burns, 43, had been an officer for two years.

Robichaud, 42, had begun dating Wright, 32, earlier this month.

Ten children lost a parent Friday morning – Burns was married with three children, while Costello was a father of four, and Robichaud had two teenage sons and an older daughter.

Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, has been changed with four counts of first-degree murder and is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.

Raymond was shot by police on Friday and was still being treated in hospital for his injuries as of Saturday. Police have not disclosed the severity of his injuries.

Two investigators with Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team, a police watchdog agency, were dispatched to Fredericton on Friday to investigate police involvement in Raymond’s injuries.

Police did not say if the suspect and victims were known to each other and a motive was not yet known.

Both Robichaud and Raymond were residents of the complex, but lived in different buildings, according to the landlord.

Shots fired near Mississauga strip club

News Staff | posted Monday, Aug 13th, 2018

Peel police are investigating after reports of shots fired near a Mississauga strip clip.

Emergency crews were called to Invader Crescent, near Tomken Road and Derry Road East, around 2:30 a.m. on Monday.

Police said at least six shell casings were found in the area.

So far no victim has been found.

The investigation continues.

1 dead, 3 injured in Hamilton shooting

News Staff | posted Wednesday, Aug 8th, 2018

One man is dead and three other people are injured after an overnight shooting in Hamilton.

Police were called to the area of East Avenue North and King Street just after 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Upon arrival, they found a man shot in the head and a woman suffering from a serious gunshot wound. The man was pronounced dead in hospital.

A short time later, two other men took themselves to hospital with gunshot wounds. They were seriously hurt but their injuries are not life-threatening.

There’s no word on suspects at this time.

Firefighters battle massive blaze at auto wreckers yard in Etobicoke

News Staff | posted Wednesday, Aug 8th, 2018

Toronto firefighters battled a massive 2-alarm blaze at an auto wreckers yard in Etobicoke.

Emergency services were called to the fire after reports of an explosion on North Queen Street and Atomic Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Heavy smoke can be seen billowing from the yard and Toronto fire has indicated it is a pile of a cars on fire.

No injuries have been reported and police have evacuated the area.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said there is no indication that hazardous material is involved.

 

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