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SIU invokes mandate after police-involved shooting in Hamilton

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate following a police-involved shooting in Hamilton Tuesday afternoon.

The SIU said Hamilton Police responded to a serious domestic call at around 3:30 p.m. in the area of Gage Avenue North and Cannon Street East.

At around 4 p.m., officers found a 42-year-old man in a vehicle in a convenience store parking lot.

“As several officers approached the vehicle, there was an interaction and two officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck,” the SIU said on their website Tuesday evening. “He was transported to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.”

According to Hamilton paramedics, two people were taken to hospital. One person suffered critical injuries while the other suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

No further details about the incident have been released.

The SIU is automatically called in to investigate any incidents involving police where there are serious injuries, deaths or allegations of sexual assault.

Multiple shots fired near Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

Police are investigating after multiple shots were fired near Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue West.

Emergency crews were called to the scene at Flemington and Replin roads around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers found at least 15 shell casings in the area and believe suspects may have been aiming at one person who ran off.

No victims have been found.

After reviewing security footage of the area, police say they are searching for four black males — three of which were actively shooting. One was wearing a white shirt and black shorts.

Police are also searching for a white sedan last seen heading westbound on Flemington.

Ontario expected to extend state of emergency to cover gap with new bill

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

Ontario is expected to table a motion Wednesday to extend the province’s state of emergency until July 24.

The current state of emergency declared at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire July 15.

Premier Doug Ford’s office says the government wants to extend the measure to ensure there is no gap between that declaration ending and a new bill extending Ontario’s emergency measures taking effect.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones introduced that bill on Tuesday, saying the province will need to keep some emergency measures in place in the months ahead.

Jones’s bill gives the province the power to keep some pandemic measures in place for up to a year, even as the state of emergency ends.

While the motion to extend the declaration will be introduced on Wednesday, the government does not expect to debate or vote on it until early next week.

Liberals to detail preview of federal deficit, spending affected by COVID-19

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

The federal Liberals are to lay out Wednesday how they see the COVID-19 pandemic affecting government finances for the fiscal year including an estimated deficit and a projected path for the economy.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be releasing what the government has styled a fiscal and economic snapshot.

The Liberals have regularly updated MPs about total spending on emergency aid, which by last count amounted to over $174 billion, but have yet to put a figure on the deficit for the fiscal year.

The parliamentary budget office has suggested the deficit could be as deep as $252 billion.

Other private sector estimates suggest $300 billion wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

Opposition parties have said they expect Morneau to provide a road map for reshaping emergency aid measures that are set to expire in the fall and keeping spending and deficits under control.

Fuelling the deficit is also an unprecedented drop in economic output and employment that will cut revenues the government expected to receive this year.

Morneau’s document is also to provide the government’s view for the economy over the coming months.

The finance minister has said the document won’t have a five-year forecast traditionally part of federal budgets owing to the uncertain path the pandemic will take.

The Bank of Canada has said it believes the economy has avoided a worst-case scenario due to COVID-19 but is still in for a rough ride this year.

Last month, the central bank updated its GDP forecast, foreseeing a decline between 10 and 20 per cent in the second quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. That is an improvement from the 15-to-30-per-cent drop in the quarter highlighted in the bank’s worst-case scenario in April.

Next week, the Bank of Canada is to again update its forecasts when it releases a monetary policy report along with a scheduled rate announcement.

NHL, NHLPA tentatively agree to CBA extension, return-to-play plan

CHRIS JOHNSTON, SPORTSNET | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2020

The NHL is one giant step closer to restarting its season.

Pending ratification votes by the owners and players, a memorandum of understanding was reached Monday on an extension to the collective bargaining agreement running through 2026. The deal includes transition rules and a new critical dates calendar.

Coupled with the protocols governing training camps and games tentatively agreed to Sunday, that should pave the way for a 24-team Stanley Cup tournament split between Edmonton and Toronto to start on Aug. 1.

The series of agreements were the culmination of months of discussions and came after a busy week where the NHL, NHL Players’ Association and a battery of lawyers fine-tuned the plan to carry the league through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Before training camps are able to open on July 13, ratification votes for the entire return-to-play package will be held by the NHL’s Board of Governors and the full NHLPA membership. A simple majority is needed among players while three-quarters of owners have to support the plan for it to move ahead.

Reaching this stage of the restart plan required a complex rethinking of the league’s economic system for the next couple years. Even though the current CBA was due to run through September 2022, a negotiated extension was needed with the NHL set to lose more than a $1-billion for the 2019-20 season and even more than that in a 2020-21 campaign that will likely be played in buildings at less than full capacity because of COVID-related restrictions.

Under the new deal, players will defer 10 per cent of next season’s salary and see another 20 per cent contributed to capped escrow. The upper limit of the salary cap will be held flat at $81.5-million.

As part of the NHL return-to-play agreements, any player wishing to opt-out of this summer’s restart for any reason can do so without penalty. They must notify their team in writing before camp opens.

The NHL is hoping to award the Stanley Cup to conclude a season paused March 12 by the rapid spread of COVID-19.

It decided on tightly controlled bubbles in two Canadian hub cities as the most effective way to do so. The remaining Eastern Conference teams are due to report to Toronto while those out west head to Edmonton following training camps.

However, with coronavirus infection rates spiking in parts of the United States, it could still be a challenge to get there without experiencing an outbreak because camps are scheduled to be conducted in each team’s home market.

Earlier Monday, the NHL announced that 35 players had produced positive COVID-19 tests since June 8. That came after the St. Louis Blues closed their practice facility Friday due to multiple positive tests.

30 Vaughan mushroom farm workers test positive for coronavirus: York health

SPENCER GALLICHAN-LOWE | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2020

York Region Public Health says 30 workers at a Vaughan-area mushroom farm have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The health unit said the “workplace cluster” is at the Ravine Mushroom Farm, located on King Vaughan Road, which is in between Weston Road and Pine Valley Drive. They said they were first made aware of the situation on June 27.

Twenty-four of the individuals who tested positive for the virus are residents of the region, the health unit said in a notice on their website.

The outbreak is considered large, said Dr. Karim Kurjii, the medical officer of health for the region in a YouTube update Monday.

“We have one large outbreak at a farm and a few cases each at several farms in York Region,” he said. “These have been proactively identified with our hospital partners, in particular, South Lake Hospital.”

He added that public health inspectors have visited the sites.

“Our public health inspectors have been into these farms in order to give infection prevention and control advice to the farmers, as well as ensure the living conditions are adequate,” he said.

Kurjii did not list what other farms were experiencing these outbreaks.

York health said they conducted risk assessments on the infected individuals at the Vaughan site and determined that the risk to the general public is low.

What’s the story behind the Liberals’ cancelled WE Charity deal?

THE BIG STORY | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, the organization was supposed to distribute more than $900 million in student grants, but the reaction when the deal was announced was immediate and intense. There’s now an ethics investigation and WE has walked away from the plan. What happened? Why did the Liberals agree to this, and what should they have known about the organization before announcing it would be handling nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer money?

GUEST: Jesse Brown, Canadaland

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

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Ontario to introduce bill to extend some emergency measures over the next year

SHAWN JEFFORDS THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2020

Ontario is set to introduce new legislation to enable the extension of some pandemic emergency orders over the next year.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says she will introduce the bill at the provincial legislature today.

The proposed law would allow the government to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, with the law expiring a year after it’s passed.

Under current legislation, the province can only issue emergency orders while the state of emergency is in place.

Ontario’s state of emergency is set to expire July 15 and Premier Doug Ford has said he hoped not to extend it again.

If the bill passes, the government could move parts of the province back to earlier stages of the pandemic lockdown if required.

It could also continue the redeployment of health-care staff and change public health orders limiting social gatherings.

Emergency orders that permit the pick-up and delivery of cannabis and prohibit price gouging on essential goods will not be included in the bill, and will expire next week.

Ontario first declared a state of emergency March 17 when the province’s COVID-19 cases began to increase.

It has subsequently issued a series of emergency orders that have been extended a number of times since the start of the pandemic.

Jones said the legislation is needed to “bridge the gap” between the strict lockdown and public health measures required to initially flatten the virus curve, and the less stringent conditions needed as COVID-19 case numbers improve.

“It allows us to transition away from the declaration of emergency, which is an important signal to people that we’re on our way out,” she said. “But it also allows us to ensure that — because frankly, we don’t have a vaccine for COVID-19 — that we still can keep in place the important tools we need.”

Jones said the bill will also introduce additional reporting requirements to bolster oversight. The government will have to report any emergency order extensions to a legislative committee once every month and table a report on the use of the law six months after it expires.

“We want to make sure that we’re not over-using the declaration of emergency,” she said.

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