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Suspect barricades himself in home after allegedly stabbing woman in Markham

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 23rd, 2019

A woman is in critical condition in hospital and a man has been arrested after a stabbing in Markham.

York police say they were called to a home on Briarwood Road near Warden Avenue just before 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

They found a female victim with life-threatening stab wounds. She was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery.

The male suspect then barricaded himself in the residence. Police tactical units took around two and a half hours to take the suspect into custody and he was arrested.

There’s no word yet on the relationship between the suspect and the victim.

Battleground Ontario: Trudeau, Scheer hope Golden Horseshoe proves lucky

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Sep 23rd, 2019

Ontario: A place to take a stand, a place to grow your votes.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Liberal rival Justin Trudeau are each hoping to discover a bountiful crop of support as they focus today’s federal campaign efforts on the densely populated suburbs north of Toronto and the rest of the so-called Golden Horseshoe.

For Trudeau, it’s his second straight day courting suburban family voters; he spent Sunday in Brampton, Ont., promising the picket-fence crowd a big-ticket tax cut worth billions and a 25 per cent reduction in their cellphone bills.

Given the task ahead for Trudeau, who is in Hamilton today, it’s hardly surprising that he’s bringing out the expensive china: the questions about last week’s shocking blackface controversy may have abated, but they have not disappeared, and this week a clearer picture of the extent of the damage is sure to emerge.

Scheer, meanwhile, arrives in the suburban community of Vaughan, Ont., after a visit to Prince Edward Island, where he made a commitment of a  different kind: a pledge to veterans to personally oversee efforts to reset the Conservative party’s relationship with Canada’s ex-soldiers.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May take their undercard battle to Atlantic Canada, where Singh is introducing a new “star candidate” in Bathurst, N.B., before moving on to Halifax; May makes an announcement in Fredericton.

Scheer not only promised to correct a host of the reasons why veterans in Canada are mad at both the Liberals and the Conservatives — clear the benefits backlog, overhaul their hated pension plan, improve transition supports — but he also promised to oversee the efforts himself and enshrine respect for veterans in legislation.

“As prime minister, I will take a personal interest in ensuring the commitments we made today are followed through on,” Scheer said.

On Sunday, Singh continued to make public concern about climate change and natural disasters a priority.

During a stop in Gatineau, Que., Singh pledged to add $2.5 billion to the federal government’s disaster mitigation fund. The idea, he said, is to help people — like those in west Quebec who recently faced severe flooding — avoid disasters and be able to stay in their current homes.

“We can’t just close our eyes” to the prospect of more weather-related disasters, he said.

— With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone and Morgan Lowrie

Police searching for ‘violent and dangerous’ missing man

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 23rd, 2019

Toronto police are searching for a missing man described as “violent and dangerous.”

Police say 27-year-old Cori Siu went missing from a hospital just before 11 a.m. Sunday and was last seen in the area of Dundas and Bathurst streets.

Sui is described as being five-foot-nine, 180 pounds with a medium build, short brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing no shirt or shoes and grey track pants at the time of his disappearance.

Police say he is considered violent and dangerous and “he could pose a risk to the public and to himself.” If anyone spots him, police say call 9-1-1 and do not approach him.

This is believed to be the same man who was arrested in 2014 following two violent robberies on a pair of senior citizens in the Kensington Market area.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ take top honours at Emmy Awards

LYNN ELBER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Sep 23rd, 2019

“Game of Thrones” resurrected the Iron Throne at Sunday’s Emmy ceremony, ruling as top drama on a night of surprises in which “Pose” star Billy Porter made history and the comedy series “Fleabag” led a British invasion that overturned expectations.

“This all started in the demented mind of George R.R. Martin,” said “Game of Thrones” producer David Benioff, thanking the author whose novels were the basis of HBO’s fantasy saga.

Porter, who stars in the FX drama set in the LGBTQ ball scene of the late 20th century, became the first openly gay man to win a best drama series acting Emmy.

“God bless you all. The category is love, you all, love. I’m so overjoyed and so overwhelmed to have lived to see this day,” said an exuberant Porter, resplendent in a sparkling suit and swooping hat.

Amazon’s “Fleabag,” a dark comedy about a dysfunctional woman, was honoured as best comedy and earned top acting honours for its British creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and a best director trophy.

“This is getting a ridiculous,” Waller-Bridge said in her third trip to the stage to collect the top trophy.

Her acting win blocked “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus from setting a record as the most-honoured performer in Emmy history.

“Nooooo!” a shocked-looking Waller-Bridge said as Louis-Dreyfus smiled for the cameras. “Oh, my God, no. Thank you. I find acting really hard and really painful. But it’s all about this,” she said, her acting trophy firmly in hand.

In accepting the writing award earlier, she called the Emmy recognition proof that “a dirty, pervy, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys.”

Porter, a Tony and Grammy Award winning actor, relished his groundbreaking moment, quoting the late writer James Baldwin, Porter said it took him many years to believe he has the right to exist.

“I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right,” he said.

English actress Jodie Comer was honoured as best drama actress for “Killing Eve.” She competed with co-star Sandra Oh, who received a Golden Globe for her role and would have been the first actress of Asian descent to win an Emmy in the category.

“My mum and dad are in Liverpool (England) and I didn’t invite them because I didn’t think this was going to be my time. One, I’m sorry, two I love you,” Comer said after saluting Oh.

Bill Hader won his second consecutive best comedy actor award for the hitman comedy “Barry.”

Peter Dinklage, named best supporting actor for “Game of Thrones,” set a record for most wins for the same role, four, breaking a tie with Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad.”

“I count myself so fortunate to be a member of a community that is about nothing but tolerance and diversity, because in no other place I could be standing on a stage like this,” said Dinklage, a little person.

“Ozark” star Julia Garner won the best supporting drama actress trophy against a field including four actresses from “Game of Thrones.”

The auditorium erupted in cheers when Jharrel Jerome of “When They See Us,” about the Central Park Five case, won the best actor award for a limited series movie.

“Most important, this is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five,” said Jerome, naming the five wrongly convicted men who were in the audience. They stood and saluted the actor as the crowd applauded them.

It was the only honour for the acclaimed Netflix series of the evening; “Chornobyl” won the best limited series honour.

Streaming hit new Emmy heights, powered by Amazon Prime winners “Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and a “Very English Scandal,” and Netflix’s “Bandersnatch (Black Mirror),” honoured as best movie. But HBO again showed its strength, including with the trophies for “Chornobyl,” “Barry” and John Oliver’s best variety-talk win.

Michelle Williams, honoured as best actress for her portrayal of dancer Gwen Verdon in FX’s limited series “Fosse/Verdon,” issued a call to arms for gender and ethnic equality.

She thanked the network and studio behind the project for “supporting me completely and paying me equally because they understood … when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And where do they put that value, they put it into their work.”

“And so the next time a woman and, especially a woman of colour, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart, tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her,” Williams said.

Patricia Arquette won the trophy best supporting limited-series or movie actress for “The Act.” She paid emotional tribute to her late trans sister, Alexis Arquette, and called for an end to prejudice against trans people, including in the workplace.

Ben Whishaw took the category’s supporting actor trophy for “A Very English Scandal,” admitting in charming British fashion to a hangover.

Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won best supporting acting awards at the ceremony, which included early and varied messages of female empowerment after the hostless ceremony.

“I want to dedicate this to the strength of a woman, to (series creator) Amy Sherman-Palladino, to every woman on the ‘Maisel’ cast and crew,” Borstein said, and to her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother survived because she was courageous enough to step out of a line that, Borstein intimated, would have led to her death at the hands of Nazi Germany.

“She stepped out of line. And for that, I am here and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line,” said Borstein, who won the award last year.

Shalhoub added to his three Emmys which he earned for his signature role in “Monk.”

The awards opened without a host as promised, with an early exchange pitting Ben Stiller against Bob Newhart.

“I’m still alive,” Newhart told Stiller, who introduced him as part of a wax museum comedy hall of fame that included Lucille Ball and George Burns.

Kim Kardashian West and Kendall Jenner drew some mocking laughter in the audience when they presented their award after Kardashian West said their family “knows firsthand how truly compelling television comes from real people just being themselves.”

An animated Homer made a brief appearance on stage until he was abruptly crushed, with Anderson of “black-ish” rushing in to, as he vowed, rescue the evening. He called “Breaking Bad” star Cranston on stage to tout the power of television from its beginning to the current golden age.

“Television has never been bigger. Television has never mattered more. And television has never been this damn good,” Cranston said.


Associated Press Writer Beth Harris and AP Entertainment Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.

Trudeau seeks to right his campaign in Toronto

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Sep 20th, 2019

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in Toronto on Friday, hoping to take back control of his re-election campaign after spending yesterday apologizing for donning blackface when he was younger.

He scrapped his plans on a visit to Winnipeg, instead using the time to call supporters and leaders in minority communities, after images came out of him as a dark-skinned Aladdin at a party when he was 29 and made up like Harry Belafonte at a talent show when he was a student.

Trudeau is finishing the first full week of the campaign with an announcement at a hotel in Toronto this morning.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is in Atlantic Canada, with plans to make an announcement at the University of New Brunswick and then make campaign stops with candidates there and in Nova Scotia.

The Greens’ Elizabeth May is spending her day in Calgary, starting with a transportation announcement at a CTrain station and then a visit to a climate-change demonstration at city hall.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is trying to hold onto his own seat in Quebec and is spending today campaigning there, though he has a swing to Western Canada coming up next week.

#CityVote2019: the state of Toronto’s transit

MARK MCALLISTER AND DILSHAD BURMAN | posted Friday, Sep 20th, 2019

Party leaders and candidates hit the campaign trail over a week ago and from minor infractions to bombshell revelations, the field is littered with strategies aimed at grabbing or swaying your vote.

But while party politics reaches a fever pitch over the next few weeks, there are still some core issues that will likely be top of mind for voters as they go to the polls — and in Toronto, transit is a big one.

By most accounts the city is under served by transit and the system is at capacity.

Transit expert Raktim Mitra from the Ryerson School of Urban and Regional Planning says overall, the system in Toronto is at a “choking point.”

“In downtown, our subway lines are at or above capacity during morning peak. A third of our bus and streetcar lines are over congested. So overall, it doesn’t look good.” he tells CityNews.

From David Miller’s Transit City initiative to the late Rob Ford’s call for “subways, subways subways” to SmartTrack and Metrolinx’s Regional Express Rail plans under current mayor John Tory, Mitra says there has been a lot of talk, but not enough action.

“At the rate at which we are going, we see developments at almost 15-year increments — so every 15 years we get a big project. So at [this rate], we are just trying to resolve the problems that we already have. We’re not really thinking in a futuristic way,” says Mitra.

The city’s east end, arguably the most under served by transit, has been the centre of transit planning and political debate for years. Discussions have been ongoing regarding building a one-stop, three-stop or four-stop subway line and other ideas about a possible LRT line were also in play at one point.

“Scarborough is interesting because the decisions or promises around big transit projects have been more political,” says Mitra, adding that those promises are not always driven by data.

He says there have been studies that show that a third of the total number of trips that originate in Scarborough area actually stay within Scarborough and only about 15 per cent go downtown.

“This discussion about a one-stop subway — they are all targeted toward bringing people from Scarborough to downtown. We have to think about local, non-commuter trips as well and then we’d probably be looking at a different type of solution for our transportation problems in that area.”

And even when it comes to commuter trips, Statistics Canada shows an average of more than 24 per cent of commuters in all five Scarborough ridings have more than an hour-long trip to work, putting them among the top 20 ridings in the entire country for people spending the most time commuting.

“When it comes to the bigger projects, unfortunately we’re still stuck into promises by various governments and various levels of government instead of actually trying to plan and build,” says Mitra.

Recent years have seen some movement on extending service to more areas, with the Spadina subway extension now in service and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT set to open in 2021. But the much needed Relief Line, which has now morphed into the Ontario Line is still in the planning stages.

“If we think about the bigger picture, a transit network is like a tree. And we can enrich the branches as much as we want but unless the core is strong, the system will not be efficient,” says Mitra.

“So we need more transit lines in the downtown core such as the Relief Line that has been in discussion for a long time. We that now because otherwise, five to seven years from now, we will be in a situation where nothing that we have been doing so far would really work.”

Shots fired outside Eaton Centre

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 20th, 2019

Toronto police are investigating after there was a report of gunfire outside the Eaton Centre Thursday night.

Police said a man fired several shots at a car at around 11 p.m.

Investigators said they have recovered several bullets that had struck the H & M sign at the corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets.

No injuries are reported.

Police said the car fled the scene and they do not have a suspect description.

Scheer’s same sex marriage comments return to the fore amid Trudeau scandal

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Sep 20th, 2019

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s own past comments returned to the fore Thursday as his main rival for the country’s top political office admitted to repeatedly donning racist costumes and makeup.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau asked the country to forgive him Wednesday after two images of him wearing brownface or blackface, one from high school and one when he was a teacher at a posh Vancouver private school, came out through various media outlets. A third video from the early 1990s then emerged Thursday morning.

At a campaign stop in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., just east of Montreal Thursday morning, Scheer’s attempt to proceed with the campaign as normal and announce a tax credit for seniors was knocked off the rails by the emerging Liberal crisis.

Scheer said the video was given to Global News by the Conservative campaign team, but said he himself had only seen it for the first time Thursday morning.

A handful of local supporters outside a bakery watched as reporters asked Scheer whether he had ever dressed in a way that stereotyped or mocked anyone’s race or culture.

“No,” he said firmly.

But he also said he is not perfect.

“I’ve never claimed to have handled every situation properly and obviously I continue to reflect on that and try to improve myself as a human being,” he said. “In conducting myself do I regret anything in my life? Not a specific instance. I’m not pretending to be a perfect human being in every way, but nothing like this at all. No, no, nothing like that at all, nothing that would rise to this level.”

Scheer continued to face questions about why he has not expressed any regret that during the debate on same-sex marriage in Parliament in 2005, he compared the idea of two people of the same sex getting married to considering a dog’s tail to be one of its legs.

When the Liberals drew attention to that speech via a tweet from cabinet minister Ralph Goodale in August, Scheer did not apologize, rather he said only that the question of same-sex marriage was legally closed in Canada and a Conservative government would not bring it back up.

As a practising Catholic, Scheer has not said whether his own views on same-sex marriage have changed or whether he still considers allowing people of the same sex to marry to be wrong.

When asked if his comments on same-sex marriage are among the things he regrets, he did not directly answer the question.

“I have addressed the speech I gave in 2005,” he said. “What we’re talking about today is Justin Trudeau’s behaviours and his inability to be truthful and honest about it, and we saw that last night when he was asked directly if there were other examples out there of this and he failed to be honest.”

The first picture to emerge Wednesday depicted Trudeau in 2001, when he was a Vancouver private-school teacher, at an “Arabian Nights”-themed event, clad in an elaborate turban and robe, his face, hands and neck covered in dark makeup.

When asked whether it was the only instance of its kind, Trudeau said that during a high-school talent show, he wore makeup while performing a version of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O).” A photo of Trudeau in that outfit, apparently from a yearbook, came out within a few hours.

Scheer said people running for prime minister must be held to a higher standard.

Over the first several days of the campaign, the Liberals continually issued tweets with evidence of Conservative candidates saying or posting racist, homophobic or other offensive things. Scheer said last weekend that as long as a Conservative candidate apologizes and expresses a commitment to treat all people with respect, he would accept such an apology.

The only candidate the Conservatives dropped was one who had, they said, lied about the existence of social-media accounts on which he made offensive statements.

Scheer said he can’t accept Trudeau’s apology because he lied about how many times he had put on dark makeup. Trudeau said Thursday he wasn’t going to put a number on how often he had done so because he hadn’t remembered the incident in the video – so it was possible there were other instances, as well.

In and around the market where Scheer campaigned Thursday, most people shrugged off Trudeau’s previous behaviour. One woman said in French she was tired of the mudslinging and wanted the election to be about where the parties intend to take the country.

Resident Brian Denes did say he thought Trudeau’s behaviour was “deplorable” and that his vote was leaning towards the Conservatives.

Scheer was campaigning in three Quebec ridings southeast of Montreal – two held by the NDP and one by the Liberals – where his party finished a distant fourth in 2015. In at least two of them, the local prominence of the Conservative candidates is giving the party some hope it can win this time.

In a 2018 byelection, the Conservatives nabbed a seat in Quebec’s Saguenay region north of Quebec City, which they hadn’t won since 1997, when they ran a prominent local candidate.

Scheer’s day began with an unexpected delay when the floor of the bakery hosting Scheer’s announcement began to buckle, forcing the event outside. He ended the day beside the Magog River in Sherbrooke for a small campaign event. Scheer is to end the first full week of the campaign Friday with campaign stops in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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