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Cyclist dies after being struck by vehicle near Kensington Market

LUCAS CASALETTO | posted Friday, Sep 25th, 2020

Toronto police say a male cyclist has died after he was hit by a car just north of Kensington Market.

Officers were called to the Dundas Street West and Denison Avenue area around 6 p.m. Thursday night for reports that a man had been struck.

The victim’s injuries were serious and police say CPR was performed.

The man was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Constable David Hopkinson says the driver remained at the scene.

Road closures will be in place as the investigation continues.

One man dead, several others injured following multiple shootings in Toronto

LUCAS CASALETTO | posted Friday, Sep 25th, 2020

Toronto police say one man is dead and several others are hurt after a string of shootings in a violent night across the city.

Police say the first incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when multiple shots were heard near Gosford Boulevard and Shoreham Drive, just west of Jane Steet.

Police say two victims were located with gunshot wounds with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

One man was pronounced dead on scene.

The second victim, a man in his 20s, was taken to hospital in serious but non-life-threatening condition.

A silver car was seen fleeing the area.

Less than an hour later, police responded to another shooting in North York, near Futura Drive and Driftwood Avenue.

Officers say shots were fired towards a home, where a man was struck inside. He has since been rushed to hospital.

Multiple suspects fled the scene in a car.

This comes after a previous incident around 6:30 p.m. when several shots were fired near a plaza on Driftwood Avenue and Jane. No victims were located and it’s unclear if the pair of shootings are connected.


Scarborough shooting leaves one man in critical condition

A separate, unrelated shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. after police were called following reports of several shots fired near Lawrence Avenue and Galloway Road in Scarborough.

Officers located a male victim suffering from serious injuries. They also report a light coloured vehicle was seen fleeing from the area.

The man is in life-threatening condition and has been rushed to hospital.

Police are asking anyone with information on either incident to contact them.

Blue Jays beat Yankees 4-1 to secure playoff spot

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Sep 25th, 2020

The Toronto Blue Jays are returning to the Major League Baseball playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The Blue Jays secured a post-season berth by defeating the New York Yankees 4-1 at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field.

Regular-season play continues through Sunday and the playoffs will begin Tuesday.

First-round matchups have yet to be determined.

More to come

2 more nooses found at Michael Garron Hospital construction site

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 25th, 2020

Two more nooses were found at a construction site at Michael Garron Hospital, a spokesman from EllisDon, the company heading the construction project, has confirmed.

Dustin Luchka told CityNews that Toronto police were contacted and an investigation has been launched.

“We plan to do a full site stand down [on Friday] with our leadership team to address the project team and condemn these actions,” he said in a statement. “We will also be providing access to counsellors for any of our team members who need immediate mental health support and guidance.”

Back in June, two nooses were discovered at the same construction site on Coxwell Avenue and Mortimer Avenue.

At the time EllisDon said the nooses were strategically placed and that the act appeared to be racially motivated.

The incident led to an investigation my the Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit.

60 pharmacies across Ontario to offer COVID-19 testing as of Friday

Kyle Mack | posted Thursday, Sep 24th, 2020

The province of Ontario will begin offering COVID-19 testing at up to 60 pharmacies as of this Friday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the testing is for asymptomatic people and will be by appointment only. People will have to undergo pre-test screening to ensure they have no symptoms before being tested. There will be no charge for the test.

Here is the list of pharmacies that will make COVID-19 testing available to asymptomatic people:

Rexall, Unit A01 – 545 Steeles Avenue West
Shoppers Drug Mart, 160 Main Street South
Shoppers Drug Mart, 10665 Bramalea Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 34 A Avondale Boulevard
Shoppers Drug Mart, 366 Main Street North
Shoppers Drug Mart, 10048 McLaughlin Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 Kennedy Road South
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3938 Cottrelle Boulevard
Shoppers Drug Mart, 11965 Hurontario Street, Brampton

Shoppers Drug Mart, 51 King William Street

Rexall, 90 Copper Creek Drive

Shoppers Drug Mart, 6975 Meadowvale Town Centre Circle
Shoppers Drug Mart, 101 – 5602 Tenth Line West
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 – 5425 Creditview Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 7070 Mclaughlin Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 579 Lakeshore Road East
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3980 Grand Park Drive
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2470 Hurontario Street
Shoppers Drug Mart, 700 Burnhamthorpe Road East

Cedarview Pharmacy, 12 – 4100 Strandherd Drive, Nepean
Medicine Shoppe 143, 19 – 5303 Canotek Road
Rexall, 1615 Orleans Boulevard, Orleans
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1180 Walkley Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 647 Earl Armstrong Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 455 Bank Street
Shoppers Drug Mart, 541 Montreal Road
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3940 Innes Road, Orleans
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2954 St. Joseph Boulevard, Orleans
Shoppers Drug Mart. 1937 Portobello Boulevard, Orleans
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 – 2148 Carling Avenue
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1309 Carling Avenue
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1102 Klondike Road, Kanata

Medicine Shoppe 134, 2600 Eglinton Avenue West
Rexall, 4459 Kingston Road, Scarborough
Rexall, 250 Wincott Drive
Rexall, 901 Eglinton Avenue West
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1630 Danforth Avenue
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1601 Bayview Avenue, East York
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1027 Yonge Street
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3446 Dundas Street West
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1400 Dupont Street
Shoppers Drug Mart, 360A Bloor Street West
Shoppers Drug Mart, 123 Rexdale Boulevard, Etobicoke
Shoppers Drug Mart, 900 Albion Road, Etobicoke
Shoppers Drug Mart, 4841 Yonge Street, North York
Shoppers Drug Mart, 5095 Yonge Street
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3874 Bathurst Street, North York
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2550 Finch Avenue West, North York
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2751 Eglinton Avenue East, Scarborough
Shoppers Drug Mart, 629 Markham Road, Scarborough
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2301 Kingston Road, Scarborough
Shoppers Drug Mart, Unit A -1780 Markham Road, Scarborough
Village Square Pharmacy, 2942 Finch Avenue East

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

Trudeau calls COVID-19 ‘fight of our generation’ in national address

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 24th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the battle against COVID-19 the “fight of our generation” in a national address that touched upon the virus response plan, financial supports for Canadians and strengthening the economy.

In the speech that lasted less than 15 minutes, Trudeau reiterated much of what was announced in the speech from the throne earlier in the day.

Trudeau also addressed the rise in cases of COVID-19 across the country and cautioned that the second wave is already underway in Canada’s four biggest provinces – Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

“The numbers are clear. Back on March 13, when we went into lockdown, there were 47 new cases of COVID-19. Yesterday alone, we had well over a thousand,” he said, adding that Canada is on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring.

Trudeau said September’s case numbers have already been decided by the actions of citizens over the past two weeks, but expressed hope that October and the winter could be different.

“It’s all too likely we won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving, but we still have a shot at Christmas,” he said.

Trudeau encouraged people to take the flu shot this year and download the COVID Alert app. He also reiterated public health guidelines about wearing masks, washing hands, limiting your social circle, avoiding undue risks and encouraged vigilance among all Canadians.

“This is no time for parties,” he said. “No one is invincible, neither are your loved ones. We cannot let our guard down now.”


Liberals unveil sweeping plan for current and future challenges in throne speech

STEPHANIE LEVITZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Sep 24th, 2020

The minority Liberal government unveiled sweeping goals Wednesday to expand or extend supports for Canadians from nearly every sector of society in a throne speech billed as their “ambitious plan for an unprecedented reality.”

But the plan hit political reality very quickly with two of the three main opposition parties in the House of Commons immediately saying they wouldn’t support it. The Liberals’ most likely dance partner, the NDP, waltzed around whether they’d vote yea or nay.

If they don’t, the country could head into an election just as public health officials are warning the country is on the cusp of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some areas already there.

The Liberals’ throne speech acknowledged that if they don’t first tackle the pandemic, they can’t move forward on previous commitments to fight climate change, address systemic racism and economic inequality.

“We must address these challenges of today. But we also cannot forget about the tests of the future,” said the text of the speech, read in the Senate by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

Her words hung over a near-empty chamber as COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of people who could be present in the Senate. Not far from Payette sat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wearing a mask.

Later Wednesday, Trudeau addressed Canadians in a nationally televised address, warning that the dreaded second wave of the pandemic is already underway in the four largest provinces.

“We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,” he said.

He noted there were well over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Canada on Tuesday, compared to just 47 new cases on March 13, when the countrywide lockdown to curb the spread began.

Trudeau said it’s “all too likely” families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month, but if Canadians do their part then he said there is hope on the horizon: “We still have a shot at Christmas.”

Trudeau used the televised address to summarize the contents of the throne speech unveiled just hours earlier.

The Liberals promised in the speech to do whatever they can to protect Canadian lives and help stave off another economy-crippling lockdown, including creating a federal “testing assistance response team” to meet the surge in demand, and targeted support to businesses forced to close due to local public health orders.

With millions of Canadians lives and livelihoods still teetering after the pandemic’s first wave, the Liberals promised to move ahead with a shift from emergency benefits to a more robust employment insurance system to incorporate COVID-19 supports. They’ve also reversed course on a planned end to the federal wage subsidy program, now saying they’ll extend it into next year.

But the immediate goals of the government to restart the economy and support Canadians are matched by the need of the Liberals, who hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons, to stay in power.

The eventual vote on the throne speech is a confidence motion and the Liberals need at least one of the three main opposition parties in the Commons to back their plan.

The Conservatives panned the speech Wednesday as being a case of “Ottawa-knows-best,” out of touch with Canadians’ needs and provincial powers.

“The prime minister had an opportunity to present a real plan to Canadians, and he didn’t do that,” said deputy party leader Candice Bergen.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the speech pretty words on paper. He said his party has two demands: make sure that the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in lieu of an expanded employment insurance program doesn’t mean people actually get less money, and introduce paid sick leave.

“We’ve not decided yes or no on the throne speech,” Singh said.

“I’m saying we need to see some actions to back up these words.”

Trudeau’s rivals dismissed his televised address as further proof the throne speech amounts to an election platform.

Opposition leaders will have a chance to respond. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, who is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, recorded his reply ahead of time.

The Conservatives, who had also said they’d like to see some measure of fiscal restraint included after months of unchecked spending, saw those demands unmet.

“This is not the time for austerity,” the speech says.

“Canadians should not have to choose between health and their job, just like Canadians should not have to take on debt that their government can better shoulder.”

Trudeau expanded on that during his televised address.

“Low interest rates mean we can afford it,” he said. “And in fact, doing less would end up costing far more. doing less would mean a slower recovery and bigger deficits in the long run.”

The Liberals do hint, however, that the taps won’t run forever, promising they will be guided by “values of sustainability and prudence.” They say they will provide a fiscal update in the fall.

They are also promising some new sources of revenue, including looking for ways to tax “extreme wealth inequality,” and addressing digital giants perceived not to be paying their fair share of taxes.

The Liberals post-pandemic “resiliency agenda” also includes plans for broad national programs, including a decades-old Liberal promise to implement a national child-care program. They also say there should be national standards for long-term care.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, currently in isolation due to COVID-19, said the federal government’s ambition strays too far onto provincial turf.

He said his party would give the Liberals one week to meet Quebec’s demands for increased federal health transfers to the provinces.

“Otherwise, we will vote against it,” Blanchet said in an interview.

There are also promises for tougher gun laws, legislation to address systemic racism in the justice system, more support for reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and a new disability benefit regime.

But the cornerstone of the “resiliency agenda” is combating climate change, the Liberals said.

There are a series of commitments on that score, including legislation a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and investments in technologies to help achieve that goal.

The promises all come with no firm price tags, nor many specific timelines.

“Taken together, this is an ambitious plan for an unprecedented reality,” it says.

“The course of events will determine what needs to be done when. But throughout, protecting and supporting Canadians will stay the top priority.”

Ontario fall pandemic preparedness plan roll out continues today

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Sep 24th, 2020

Premier Doug Ford is expected to continue the roll out of his fall pandemic preparedness plan today.

Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office has confirmed the announcement will provide spending details related to testing and case and contact management.

The premier has already announced the province will launch a bolstered flu shot campaign in the coming weeks in a bid to keep hospital capacity down.

On Wednesday, the government said that up to 60 pharmacies will begin offering COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic people starting Friday.

Other yet-to-be announced elements of the province’s plan will focus on quick identification, management and prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The strategy will also address ways to reduce health service backlogs, prepare for case surges and recruit and train health-care workers.

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