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Shots fired at Woodbridge banquet hall

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Apr 15th, 2019

No injuries have been reported after shots rang out at a banquet hall in Woodbridge overnight.

Emergency crews were called the Chateau Le Jardin on Highway 27 near Langstaff Road just after midnight.

Police said shots were fired during a private event at the hall.

One witness told CityNews a wedding was going on.

There has been no word on if the suspect was a part of the function or not.

No suspect details have been released.

SIU investigating after man falls from apartment in Moss Park

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Apr 12th, 2019

The province’s police watchdog is investigating after a man was injured in an incident in Moss Park.

Toronto police said officers were executing a search warrant at an apartment building on Sherbourne Street near Dundas Street just before midnight Thursday, when the man jumped out of the window.

The man was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The Special Investigations Unit has not yet released any further details into the incident.

4 key priorities: Breaking down Fedeli’s budget speech

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Apr 12th, 2019

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli summarized his first budget speech with four key priorities.

Here is a breakdown of those four priorities and the extensive list of initiatives that will be used to back up the strong statements:

Balancing the budget

The first priority outlined by the finance minister was “restoring the accountability of trust by introducing a credible, sustainable and fully costed plan that will return the province to fiscal balance.”

Fedeli announced they expect to balance the budget in five years, after the next provincial election.

“Balancing the budget is a critical first step in protecting our core services. Balancing the budget requires discipline, determination and an appetite to take a different approach to government,” Fedeli said.

The deficit has reportedly already been reduced by $3.3 billion to $11.7 billion since the Progressive Conservatives have been in office. Fedeli says they expected to further reduce it by nearly $1.5 billion to $10.3 billion.

As part of the budget legislation, the government has proposed a new accountability framework called the Fiscal Sustainability Transparency and Accounting Act. “This represents the first comprehensive change to Ontario’s fiscal planning legislation in 15 years.”

The legislation would require the budget to be read by March 31 and would involve a fine of equal to 10 per cent from the salaries of the Premier and Minister of Finance for each missed reporting deadline.

“We are quite literally putting our money where our mouth is,” he said.

Fedeli adds any unused money from the reserves and contingency fund, as well as any unspent dollars at the end of the year, will go into debt reduction.

Healthcare and education

The provincial government’s second priority is “protecting what matters most by adopting bold new ways to deliver world-class services such as health care and education while supporting our frontline workers.”

Fedeli said they are increasing year-over-year investments in both healthcare and education. “The challenges of an aging population and older schools are real and will require even further investment.”

Fedeli announced a new “child-care access tax credit” by criticizing the previous government’s “outdated ‘government knows best’ approach,” while asking the question, “Why don’t we let parents decide what childcare options look best for them?”

The child-care tax credit is expected to give parents up to $6,000 per child under seven and up to $3,750 per child between seven and 16.

Fedeli said it will provide about 300,000 people with up to 75 per cent of their eligible expenses for child-care centres, home base care and camps. It will put “parents at the centre of the decision-making process.”

They are also creating 30,000 childcare spaces in schools over the next five years. Fedeli said $1 billion will go towards the spaces which could be operated by for-profit or not-for-profit groups.

Healthcare was also a main topic in the budget speech, where Fedeli outlined the previously announced plan to create an integrated delivery model and establish Ontario health teams.

They will be also providing $17 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years to modernize and increase capacity at hospitals.

Fedeli adds the government is well on their way to creating 15,000 long-term care beds and are “also committed to upgrading 15,000 long-term care beds.” Low-income seniors will also be receiving free dental care, which is expected to cost $90 million.

In terms of mental health funding, Fedeli said they will be putting $3.8 billion over 10 years to support acute mental health inpatient beds, community health and justice services, and supportive housing.

Fedeli laid out the government’s previously announced education plan, including back-to-basics math, renewed focus on STEM, skilled trades and financial literacy.

He adds they are also drafting a Ministry of Education “Parents Bill of Rights.” He did not provide any more details about that specific legislation.

Fedeli claimed no teacher is being fired under their new plan, “despite what their opponents often claim.” “Our hope and expectation is that our partners in Ontario’s teacher unions will join us in this incredibly important journey,” he adds.

The finance minister also announced the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act will be replaced by new legislation that will encourage employer participation in the apprenticeship system through a new financial incentive program. It will also create a digital portal for apprenticeship opportunities.

Affordability and convenience for Ontarians

The third priority outlined in Fedeli’s budget speech is “putting people first by making life more affordable and convenient with our new childcare tax credit, flexible auto insurance plan, expanded rapid transit system and a reduced estate administration tax.”

“Everything we do, every decision we make, every dollar we spend must pass one simple test: Is it good for the people?” Fedeli said they are taking steps to improve consumer choice and convenience.

“The dream of home-ownership has been out-of-reach for many first-time buyers.” He adds to break down some of those barriers, the province is introducing a housing supply action plan to make it easier to develop the right mix of housing when needed and to develop rental housing.

Fedeli announced more details about their transit project, saying they are implementing the largest increase in GO rail service in five years. “We are committed to providing two-way, all day service, every 15-minutes in core segments of the networks.”

Fedeli adds the government is also making transformative changes to the auto insurance system, allowing insurance companies to offer driver discounts.

They are also introducing a driver care card which is expected to streamline access to care to make the claims process easier to access.

When talking about convenience for Ontarians, Fedeli announced they are continuing to move forward with the plan to allow corner stores, big box stores and even more grocery stores to sell alcohol.

The government will also be digitizing the top 10 transactions by Service Ontario, including the issuing of driver’s licences, health cards and vehicles permits. Fedeli said it will shift 10 million transactions to digital platforms over the next five years.

Making Ontario “open for business”

An often uttered phrase by Premier Doug Ford, the final priority of the PC’s is to make “Ontario open for business, open for jobs, lowering business costs, and making it easier for employers to hire workers and for workers to find a job.”

Fedeli says instead of a carbon tax, often criticized by the provincial government, they will be establishing a $400 million emission reduction fund to speed up the development of low-carbon solutions and encourage private sector investment in clean technologies.

Fedeli said they are also committed to streamlining the process for film and entertainment companies to take advantage of the five tax credits currently offered by the province.

The government is introducing new legislation to make it safer for professional and amateur athletes to compete in combative sports. “Ontario’s rules and regulations for combative sports, such as MMA, boxing and kickboxing are out-of-date,” said Fedeli.

1 injured in hit-and-run near St. Lawrence Market

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Apr 12th, 2019

Toronto police are on the hunt for a vehicle after a hit-and-run overnight near the St. Lawrence Market.

Emergency crews were called to Jarvis Street between Adelaide and Richmond just before 2 a.m. on Friday.

Police said the pedestrian was rushed to a trauma centre with serious head injuries.

His injuries were later deemed not life-threatening and he is expected to recover.

The only description of the vehicle so far is that it was a black SUV.

Jarvis was closed for several hours while police investigated, but has since reopened.

Marner’s magic the difference as speedy Leafs start strong vs. Bruins

Chris Johnston, Sportsnet | posted Friday, Apr 12th, 2019

If you want to count the ways the Toronto Maple Leafs have changed from the team that got pounded in this building 12 months ago, start here: Mitch Marner, swooping across the defensive zone, ready to pounce.

Even while killing a penalty, he was looking for prey.

All it took was the slightest bobble of the puck for Marner to close the gap, swipe it from Jake DeBrusk’s blade and break in alone. DeBrusk chased hard and hauled him down, but Marner left Tuukka Rask guessing wrong on a short-handed penalty shot that swung the entire direction of Game 1 in Toronto’s favour.

“He’s smart, man. He’s just a smart player,” marvelled teammate Jake Muzzin. “He reads the play so well he’s almost one step ahead, to be honest.

“Defensively and offensively.”

It is not so much Marner’s intelligence the Boston Bruins are left adjusting to in the wake of a 4-1 series-opening loss, but how it’s currently being applied.

At this time last year he would have been watching that sequence unfold from the bench since Marner only added penalty-killing duties to his bag of tricks after approaching assistant coach D.J. Smith prior to the season and asking if he could do it.

They started him slow, at first, but here he was in the biggest game of the year leading all Leafs forwards in short-handed ice time.

And thriving.

“You can tell how quick of a learner he is,” said Muzzin. “Picking up reads and having a good stick and defending and stuff like that.”

“It’s got to be a little bit nerve-wracking [for opponents],” observed Nazem Kadri. “He’s a smart player with speed and lots of skill. His anticipation and his reads are pretty elite, so usually when he’s looking another skilled guy in the face he kind of has a sense of where that player’s going to go.”

Marner was also a key cog in Toronto’s successful strategy at 5-on-5, which is why he ended up being called for a first star turn at TD Garden. His line with John Tavares and Zach Hyman got the better end of a matchup with Boston’s feared Patrice Bergeron trio, which has come to be known as the ‘Perfection Line’ in these parts.

They had a few blemishes on Thursday, seeing Marner sweep home the opening goal against them and control 61 per cent of attempts, 78 per cent of shots and 55 per cent of shots in his shared minutes with Bergeron.

When you factor in the nine points Marner had in last spring’s seven-game loss to Boston, it’s no surprise he’s going to be even more of a focal point when Game 2 is played on Saturday.

“Listen, years ago I remember people said of Wayne Gretzky: ‘Why doesn’t anyone hit that guy?’ Well, it’s not that easy,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “So I think it becomes a containment issue, play him hard, play him honest 1-on-1, obviously if you can be physical against him, great.

“He competed hard for the first goal, he went hard to the net. I think we gifted him [the second one] a little bit by coming in late to our coverage on the shorty but good for him, jumping in there.

“He’s a good player, he’s played well against us and we need to find an answer against him.”

Mike Babcock took a different approach to the Brad Marchand-Bergeron-David Pastrnak line by using Muzzin and Nikita Zaitsev against them on the back end, rather than the Morgan Rielly-Ron Hainsey pairing.

That’s two new pieces Babcock didn’t have at his disposal last spring who showed well in the most critical defensive matchup the Leafs are facing in this best-of-seven. Tavares won nine of his 17 draws against Bergeron, while producing more shots, chances, attempts and expected goals in their head-to-head shifts.

The prized free-agent signing added an empty-net goal for good measure.

Muzzin, an effective cycle-breaker and puck distributor who arrived in a January trade from Los Angeles, provided more than 20 steady minutes in his Leafs playoff debut. He’s started just 36 per cent of his shifts in the offensive zone and still saw the team control 56 per cent of shot attempts with him on the ice.

“We’re a different team,” said Marner. “We did some things in the summertime and we’ve got a little more confidence in this room and we’re ready to play with it.”

Most important of all for the Leafs is the fact they managed to attack against Boston’s No. 1 line without getting burned by them at even strength.

It’s a fine line to walk.

“They have so many threats on that line that we need everyone working together taking away options,” said Muzzin. “It’s not just one guy. All three can score, all three can pass. With me and Z and our low forward, I thought we did a good job at getting sticks in lanes, on passes and keeping them to the outside for the most part.”

That left Marner to break things open.

On the penalty shot, he beat Rask with a breath-taking series of dekes — finding a wide open side of the net to deposit the puck after adjusting his move to what the Bruins goaltender showed him.

That gave Toronto a 2-1 lead before the game was 23 minutes old.

“The crowd kind of was deflated a little bit after that,” said Kadri. “We just never looked back.”

Caitlin Cronenberg holds a secret party at Taglialatella gallery

Kyle Mack | posted Thursday, Apr 11th, 2019

I visited Taglialatella Galleries on the day of a secret party, a pop-up exhibition for Caitlin Cronenberg. Canadian photographer and artist, Caitlin has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. From photographing Robert Pattinson to shooting the iconic cover of Drake’s VIEWS album, Caitlin is a force to be reckoned with.

Sitting down with Caitlin, I was able to ask her about HEAT, her newest pop-up exhibition at Taglialatella Galleries.


BT: What inspired HEAT?

C: “HEAT was inspired by the earlier stages of my photography career, and the messy, hectic, crazy shoots that I started out doing. The Michael Fassbender shoot was the very first shoot I did for L’Uomo Vogue, and it was a cover. The pressure was outrageous, but it was such a positive experience. We shot in an abandoned train yard in downtown LA, behind a salsa factory. The cops showed up near the end and threatened to arrest us for trespassing. Those early shoots really shaped my shooting style and reminded me to stay loose and free while I’m shooting and let the moments come naturally. It’s powerful for me to see them all together in one shoot, and also featuring one of my newer works (GOLDFINGER). It’s nostalgic, and it’s where I got my start.”


BT: How did you get involved with Taglialatella galleries

C: “Taglialatella has been incredibly supportive of my career thus far. We did a show together during TIFF with works from The Endings. It’s a great venue in a classic Toronto neighborhood. The gallery opened where the Coffee Mill used to be, which is where I used to have lunch with my best friend and our moms when we were kids. It’s so lovely when things come full circle like that!”


BT: How long will your show be running?

C: “The pop-up show will run for 6 days, until April 16th! Come check it out!”


BT: Has your dad impacted your photographic perception?

C: “I think every creative person in my family has a very unique visual style. My dad [David Cronenberg] taught me not to be afraid and to create exactly what I want to create without holding back. No fear!”


BT: Who were/are your heroes that inspire your work?

C: “I’m inspired mostly by the people in my life who hustle and work hard to achieve their dreams. As corny as it sounds, I couldn’t work as hard as I have been without other amazing women in my life who have paved the way and shown me not to slow down. Every person I shoot inspires me at that moment to capture them authentically, and that is the greatest gift I can get.”


BT: What sparked the shift from fashion into photography?

C: “When I got to fashion school I realized that my favourite part of “fashion” was sewing. My fellow students reminded me that I didn’t want to be a designer, I wanted to be a seamstress. So I re-evaluated and decided to explore photography while I finished my fashion degree. I love fashion but I didn’t feel the passion for it that I felt for photography, and in both of those industries, you need a full commitment to see any kind of success. Especially in Canada.”


BT: How has your work changed over the years

C: “I think my work has become more focused. I realize the kind of stories I want to tell and I know how to tell them. There is less guesswork in my photos now, I know how to achieve what I want. It’s always a collaboration with my team and my subject as well, but I have more confidence in my vision now which really helps.”


BT: Which photo of yours has helped shape your career?

C: “I think the cover of Drake’s Views album is the most recognizable photo I’ve ever taken, even if people don’t know I took it! It is something I am incredibly proud to have been a part of, and I love being able to represent Toronto on a large scale like that!”



HEAT will be on display at Taglialatella Galleries from April 11th – April 16th.




Woman killed in PATH stabbing near financial district

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 11th, 2019

The Toronto police homicide unit is investigating after a woman was stabbed to death in the financial district area of Toronto’s PATH system on Wednesday.

Police responded to a call in the PATH food court at the concourse level of King and Bay Streets around 7 p.m.

A woman believed to be between 20 to 30 years old was found with stab wounds in life threatening condition. Paramedics began life saving procedures but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say a male suspect fled on foot but they did not find a weapon at the scene.

A witness told CityNews the suspect had a long knife and the victim was behind the counter at one of the eateries.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, five-feet-eight inches tall, thin to average build, with dark hair and a thin mustache. He was last seen wearing a black or dark hoodie with a white t-shirt, dark pants and dark shoes.

Inspector Anthony Paoletta said investigators believe that this was a targeted attack but the relationship between the victim and the suspect is not known at this time. No one else was injured and police do not believe there are any other suspects at this time.

Paoletta added that the food court was crowded at the time of the stabbing and police are interviewing several witnesses. Security footage is also being reviewed from the multiple cameras in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

The stabbing is not far from where Rosemarie Junor was fatally stabbed in 2015 near a Shoppers Drug Mart by Rohinie Bisesar, who was found not criminally responsible for the attack last year.

With a file from The Canadian Press

WikiLeaks’ Assange arrested at Ecuador embassy in London

Danica Kirka, The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Apr 11th, 2019

Police in London arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy Thursday for failing to surrender to the court in 2012, shortly after the South American nation revoked his asylum.

Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said a tweet that his government withdrew Assange’s status for repeated violations of international conventions. Moreno described it as a “sovereign decision” due to “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life.”

Assange took refuge in the embassy in London in 2012 and has been holed up inside ever since.

“Today I announce that that the discourteous and aggressive behaviour of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr. Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable,” Moreno said in a video statement released on Twitter.

Police said Assange has been taken into “custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.”

Video posted online by Ruptly, the agency wing of Russia Today, showed about five to six men in suits forcibly escorting Assange out of the embassy building, surrounding him as he staggered down the steps and boarded a police van.

Police said officers were invited into the embassy by the ambassador following the Ecuador government’s withdrawal of Assange’s asylum.

Assange had not come out of the embassy for years because he feared arrest and extradition to the United States for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked Moreno for breaking the impasse, saying on Twitter that Assange “is no hero and no one is above the law.”

His arrest came a day after WikiLeaks accused the Ecuador’s government of an “extensive spying operation” against Assange.

WikiLeaks claims meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed.

WikiLeaks said in a tweeted statement that Ecuador illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law.”

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