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School bus drivers in Durham, other areas east of Toronto, walk off job

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 21st, 2018

School bus drivers serving several communities east of Toronto are on strike after contract talks between Unifor and First Student Bowmanville broke off Tuesday night.

The walkout affects routes in the Durham, Durham Catholic, Kawartha Pine Ridge and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Boards.

Unifor Local 4268 says bargaining broke off shortly before the strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. over the key issues are of unpaid work hours and wages.

The drivers have been working without a contract since Aug. 31, 2017 and have been in a legal strike position since Dec. 10, 2017.

Parents are advised to visit the Student Transportation Services for Central Ontario and Durham Student Transportation Services websites for school listings and cancellation notices.

“It’s important that our kids get to school safely and that means well trained, responsible drivers,” said local president Debbie Montgomery.

“The industry can’t attract and keep quality drivers if they don’t earn a wage that reflects the responsibilities that they have in the performance of their duties.”

Click here for a full list of the schools affected in Durham District School Broad.

Click here for a full list of the schools affected in Durham Catholic District School Broad.

Click here for a full list of the schools affected in the Kawartha Pine Ridge, and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District school boards.

4 injured in Gardiner crash, westbound lanes closed at South Kingsway

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Mar 21st, 2018

Four people are injured following a two-vehicle crash on the Gardiner Expressway.

The crash happened on the westbound lanes of the expressway at South Kingsway around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Toronto police say one vehicle was coming off the shoulder and merging into traffic, when the second car struck the merging vehicle.

One man in his 20s was rushed to hospital with critical injuries. Three other people were sent to local hospitals with minor injuries.

The westbound lanes of the Gardiner were closed from the Lake Shore Boulevard ramp at Brookers Lane to Islington Avenue. The lanes reopened just before 8 a.m.


Doug Ford tells supporters he can ‘take back’ province from the Liberals

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Mar 20th, 2018

Doug Ford told a group of nearly 2,000 supporters that he plans to “take back this province” at his first major event since he was made leader of the Progressive Conservative party earlier this month.

Addressing a large and enthusiastic crowd at a rally in Toronto on Monday night, Ford said he believes he can build a majority government because Ontario voters are united in their dislike of Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Ford positioned his party as one that will attract voters who have previously been loyal Liberal or NDP supporter.

“It’s not about being red or being blue, it’s about turning this province around,” he said.

“I can assure you the Liberals are watching us tonight and I can assure you they are worried. They are terrified when they see a united party like the PC party.”

His speech focused largely on the province’s finances, which Ford said have been mismanaged by Wynne’s government.

He characterized Monday’s throne speech, which promised to make significant investments into health care, as both false and expensive promises.

“Today, Kathleen wrote a lot of cheques with the taxpayers’ bank account,” he said. “We all know the finances of this province, and I can tell you, all those cheques are going to end up bouncing.”

Any mention of Wynne or of the provincial Liberals was met with loud boos and the occasional interjection from the crowd. “Boy, we got a rambunctious group tonight,” Ford responded at one point.

He told supporters he wants to bring back jobs in the manufacturing sector, saying that Ontario used to be the “economic engine” of Canada, but that it’s now a “have-not” province.

Ford repeated previous claims that his government will make Ontario more business-friendly to the U.S. and elsewhere.

He also vowed to take advantage of lucrative natural resources in northern Ontario. Proposed mining projects in the province’s “Ring of Fire” will take place even “if I have to hop on a bulldozer myself,” he said.

Once he cuts taxes and hydro rates and rolls back Liberal regulations, Ford said, Ontario will have “prosperity this province has never seen before.”

Before his speech, Ford was joined onstage by Christine Elliott, Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen, the three candidates he beat in the leadership race.

The Progressive Conservative leadership contest was triggered by the resignation of former leader Patrick Brown amid sexual harassment allegations, which he vehemently denies.

Many of Ford’s supporters cited his personality and relatability as the foundation for their support.

“He’s very friendly, and he cares about people,” said Maria Lam, who said she has been a longtime supporter of Ford as a Toronto city councillor.

“He seems really sincere,” agreed Susan Rowe, who said Ford was her first choice during the leadership race.

Ford’s vows to cut hydro rates and eliminate the province’s proposed carbon tax were also popular stances.

“I’m not a supporter of high taxes,” said Andy Ramos, who works in the pharmaceutical industry.

He said U.S. President Donald Trump’s diminished corporate tax rates have benefited American industries, adding that he would like to see a similar movement in Canada.

“We need to get rid of the carbon tax,” said Miguel Gonzalez, who attended the rally with his mother, Erika Gonzalez.

Erika said “fiscal responsibility” is the most appealing part of Ford’s platform. Gonzalez, who teaches students in grades one, two and three, also hopes the province will review the sexual education curriculum, which she calls “age-inappropriate.”

Miguel said he originally supported Elliott, but said he was happy to switch his support to Ford when the leadership race was called.

“I’m happy to back whoever is going to take on Kathleen Wynne,” he said.

Liberals to propose law enhancing background checks on some gun buyers

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Mar 20th, 2018

The federal Liberals are set to tighten restrictions on the sale of guns under proposed legislation to be introduced as early as Tuesday.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is expected to fulfill a Liberal election platform promise to enhance background checks for anyone buying a handgun or other restricted firearm.

The government has said it has no interest in building another national long-gun registry.

But the proposed law, set to be introduced in the House of Commons, would require gun vendors to keep records of all firearms sales and inventories to aid police investigations of gun trafficking and other firearms-related offences.

It would also require gun purchasers to present a valid licence.

The bill could spark a battle with the Opposition as it would repeal some measures passed by the previous Conservative government.

The Liberals had already earmarked more than $327 million over five years and $100 million in each subsequent year, to help authorities crack down on criminal gun and gang activities.

Suspects in attack on man with autism believed to be from B.C.: police

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Mar 20th, 2018

Peel police believe the three men responsible for an attack on a man with autism in Mississauga are from British Columbia.

Investigators say they have received numerous tips after they posted a video of the attack and descriptions of the three men online. They believe the men recently travelled to the GTA from the Lower Mainland area of B.C.

A 29-year-old man with autism was left with a broken nose and cuts to his face when he was attacked in the Square One bus terminal on March 13.

**Warning: the contents of this video may be disturbing to some viewers**

All three suspects are described as South Asian males, five-feet-ten-inches tall.

The first suspect has a light complexion and a thin build with a dark, short beard and straight, black hair above the ears. He was wearing a black t-shirt with an Air Jordan logo and white lettering with black track pants and black shoes.

The second suspect is described as clean shaven with a light complexion and thin build. He is wearing a black jackets with a greay horizontal stripe across the chest and a grey vertical stripe along the hood along with black track pants and black shoes.

The third suspect is unshaven with a medium complexion and medium build. He is wearing a black hoodie with a Nike logo on the front and Nike lettering along the sleeves with black track pants and black shoes.

Officers are asking for the public’s help, specifically on the West Coast, encouraging them to watch the video and contact Peel police if they have any information that could help identify the suspects.

Home under construction in Nobleton goes up in flames

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Mar 20th, 2018

Fire crews are on scene after a fire broke out at a home under construction in Nobleton.

Emergency crews were called to the home on Robinson Road around 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

Police said the fire caused extensive damage to the house. Several other homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution.

Other homes in the area have reportedly been damaged by the fire.

Police say there have been no reports of any serious injuries.

There has been no word on what caused the fire.


Man in life-threatening condition after alleged assault in Brampton

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Mar 20th, 2018

A Brampton man is in hospital in life-threatening condition following an alleged assault in Brampton.

Peel police responded to a call in the Cedarcliff Trail and Sandalwood Parkway are around 6 p.m. Monday for reports of two males allegedly assaulting another male using sticks.

Police say a victim in his 20s was found with life-threatening head injuries and was rushed to a trauma centre. The victim’s car was also located at the scene.

Police are speaking to witnesses but no suspect information is available at this time.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact police.

School-zone safety blitz launches post-March break

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Mar 19th, 2018

Children are heading back to school Monday after March break, and police will be out making sure the return to class is a safe one.

Toronto police will be launching a two-week road safety blitz at Cornell Junior Public School near Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Road at 7:30 a.m.

Mayor John Tory, deputy police chief Peter Yuen, Coun. Paul Ainslie, and other city and Toronto District School Board officials, will be at the launch.

The “Slow Down Toronto” blitz will take place in school zones. Police will focus on driving behaviours — speeding, distracted driving, and aggressive driving — that lead to serious and fatal crashes in the city.

The road safety campaign ends of Sunday.

During the launch, Tory will also announce the next steps in the city’s “Vision Zero: Road Safety Plan,” which focuses on school zones and areas around schools.

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