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Ghomeshi’s sex assault charge to be withdrawn in favour of peace bond: source

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

A sexual assault charge laid against former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi is expected to be withdrawn Wednesday, a source has told The Canadian Press.

In exchange, Ghomeshi will first have to sign a peace bond.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the arrangement means Ghomeshi won’t have to face a trial that had been scheduled to start on June 6.

Instead, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was to announce on Tuesday that the case had been brought forward to Wednesday.

The source confirmed a Postmedia report that Ghomeshi is slated to appear at Ontario Court of Justice to sign the peace bond – a Criminal Code provision most commonly applied in domestic disputes.

Ghomeshi’s defence lawyer and the Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The trial would have been the second faced by the former host of “Q.” The first trial ended in March with his acquittal on all charges: sexual assault and choking related to three complainants – including actress Lucy Decoutere, the only one who agreed to be identified publicly.

Related stories:

Crown says there’s ‘no legal basis’ to appeal Ghomeshi acquittals

Ghomeshi found not guilty of all charges in sexual assault trial

Poll finds less confidence in justice system following Ghomeshi verdict

The trial and not-guilty verdicts – Judge William Horkins said he simply did not find the complainants credible – sparked an emotional and at times angry debate across the country about how the justice system treats sexual assault complainants.

Those complaints related to events that allegedly took place in 2003.

The charge related to the June trial involved a former CBC employee who alleged he had sexually assaulted her in 2008. The woman’s identity is protected by a publication ban. Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, a person can enter a peace bond or recognizance in which they agree to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The bond can be for up to a year. It’s not clear what specific conditions might be imposed on Ghomeshi, who has been on bail throughout.

If no further incidents occur during that period, the bond expires and the legal proceedings end.

Normally, a justice of the peace hears evidence from both sides before requiring the peace bond be signed.

They are frequently used in domestic disputes or other cases where the authorities feel obliged to respond to a complaint but may not be sure that a criminal offence has occurred or might occur.

Dating website offers to pair Canadians, Americans fleeing a Trump presidency

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

A new dating website is offering to pair Americans with Canadian singles to save them from a Donald Trump presidency.

MapleMatch.com promises love and a U.S. escape plan if Trump becomes commander-in-chief.

The website promises to “make dating great again,” parodying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s slogan.

“It’s easy to say, ‘This is just about Americans trying to find a way to get residency in Canada,” CEO Joe Goldman said in an interview. “I think … many Americans may be frustrated by the community that they’re in or the dating pool they’ve had access to.

“Why not seek something different? Why not seek something Canadian?”

The Texas-based Goldman acknowledges that American have cried “We’re moving to Canada” before, but he says Trump’s divisive policy proposals — like building a wall along the Mexican border and creating a national database of Muslims — make the call of the north all the more real.

“The idealization of Canada by Americans has happened for a long time,” he said. “I guess Americans might be excited about the potential of meeting someone who likes hockey and doesn’t mind a little maple syrup in their pancakes.”

While the dating service has yet to launch, its waitlist has already attracted over 4,200 sign-ups — 70 per cent of them Canadian, according to Goldman.

The site is more about love than a Canadian passport, he insists. He says the matching algorithm will pair people based on compatibility and mutual interest — even if that interest is a fear of Trump.

“We often get asked if Maple Match is something like a joke or a hoax,” he says. “Frankly, Donald Trump is a joke. Finding someone and meeting them and finding a place where you can be happy is real.”

Goldman hatched the idea for the site while watching primary election returns on Super Tuesday. As the former reality TV star swept up five state wins, Goldman searched for an alternative.

He wasn’t alone. According to Google trends, searches for “how to move to Canada” spiked 350 per cent in the hours after the results came in, according to a tweet by Google data editor Simon Richards.

That day, CNN dispatched a crew to Cape Breton after a local website pitching the Nova Scotian island as a Trump-free paradise attracted more than 300,000 hits in two weeks.

Since going live this week, Goldman says the page has received over 36,000 views.

“We thought it might really be a good idea to started this before another wall gets built,” Goldman said.

4 preventive measures to lower risk of vision loss

Devon Johnson | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

An eye exam is an important part of looking after your eyes, but did you know it’s more than a simple test of your sight? City health expert Bryce Wylde explains how your eyes can be an indicator of your overall health, and shares tips on how one can lower their risk of vision loss.

Eye management 101

Vision loss can happen at any time, at any age. As of 2015, 4.25 million Canadians live with a serious eye disease. Out of every seven Canadians, at least one is developing one of the four most common eye diseases in their lifetime. These eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is important to manage your eyesight with a healthcare professional.

Preventive eye care tips

  1. Perform eye health exercises daily. With the prevalence of vision loss expected to increase 30 per cent in the next decade, these exercises are very important. Canadians spend on average 376 minutes a day looking at screens on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    One popular eye health exercise is the 20-20-20 computer rule. Take your eyes away from the screen every 20 minutes, and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to take a much-needed break from the computer screen, and allows your eyes a chance to refocus.

  2. Wear only UV sunglasses and UV contacts. Be wary of sunglasses or contacts that are not UV protected. Although the price might be cheaper, non-UV protected eyewear can dilate your pupils and increase the amount of radiation your eyes are exposed to.
  3. Make smart diet choices. Consume dark and leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, squash, and red peppers. These vegetables gives your eyes much-needed antioxidants that can prevent vision loss. Seven cups of  vegetables or fruit each day. A large intake of Omega-3 fatty acids are also important to prevent eye problems. These acids can be found in fresh fish, nuts and seeds.
  4. Supplement your diet. Many Canadians are not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals in their diet plan. There are various products that will help benefit your eye health. These include eye healthy vitamins, lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 supplements.

Mississauga man battling Fort McMurray wildfire after just being hired

CityNews | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

A Mississauga man is battling the biggest wildfire in Alberta’s history, just one month after being hired as a Firefighter for the Fort McMurray Fire Department.

Jason Munro, 21, has had limited contact with his family in Ontario, and his girlfriend Emily Medeiros, who was also living in the evacuated region.

Shortly after the fires started, his father Neil said he received a text message that read “I gotta go, I love you dad.”

That Wednesday was the first of many sleepless nights for the family.

“I get overwhelmed sometimes and just start worrying,” said Neil.

Medeiros, who moved from Mississauga to Fort McMurray to be with Munro, hasn’t seen him since the wildfires began on May 1.


“I still don’t know when I’m going to see him again, so it’s scary.”

Their communication is limited to short text messaging conversations because the fire department has been working tirelessly around the clock, said Medeiros.

“They don’t consider themselves heroes, they keep rejecting it, but they are our heroes,” she said. “They’re the only thing left saving our towns.”

The Munro family couldn’t be more proud of their 21-year-old son, who they say has always dreamt of working in this field.

“I’m really proud of him, he’s a wonderful young man,” Neil said holding back tears.

“He just wants to help people.”

Medeiros is flying back to Toronto on Sunday night, but she says she will return to Fort McMurray as soon as the evacuation is lifted to help the town rebuild.

Related stories:

Maclean’s: People say there were no casualties. There are now two

Fort McMurray wildfire enters second week, won’t be ending anytime soon

Staff at Alberta school bring students through wildfire

Dwyane Wade responds to Canadian heat after rude anthem behaviour

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

Dwyane Wade promises to change his pre-game shooting routine after his behaviour during “O Canada” sparked outrage on social media.

The Miami Heat star has become Public Enemy No. 1 after video showed him shooting through the beginning of the national anthem for Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

“I’m not a disrespectful person,” Wade said Sunday. “So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to a country, then they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.”

Wade traditionally doesn’t line up for the anthem until he hits his last shot, and blamed timing for his behaviour Saturday. When Canada’s lone NBA franchise plays in Miami, the anthems start earlier than the regular schedule.

“It’s something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I’ve been doing it my whole career,” Wade said. “So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I’m not a disrespectful person.”

“It was no disrespect from myself. And if anybody feels like it was, please don’t fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments, because that’s not this guy right here. Find somebody else for that. But we’ll adjust our pre-game routine for the next game.”

The incident sparked outrage on Twitter. Toronto Mayor John Tory posted “Hey @DwyaneWade a Canadian invented the game. Respect the anthem. #WeTheNorth #RTZ.”

Member of Provincial Parliament Mike Colle wrote a letter of complaint to commissioner Adam Silver.

To Wade’s comments about not being a disrespectful person, former Ontario Premier Bob Rae tweeted: “Sure coulda fooled us!”

The Raptors went on to beat the Heat 95-91 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series. Game 4 is Monday in Miami.

You need to plant this easy-to-grow flower

Frank Ferragine | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

What’s the easiest, foolproof flower to grow in your garden? Frankie Flower’s says you should start with the marigold! This beautiful flower comes in a variety of colours and will bloom all summer long (just remember to prune after bloom). Plus it’s the perfect seed to grow with your kids–the large seed is easy for small fingers, it germinates quickly and it doesn’t require a ton of soil.

Get planting this weekend with Frankie’s tips!

Moms rule this weekend’s event roundup across the city

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

In case you need a reminder, Mother’s Day is on Sunday. While mom should be celebrated every day, there are plenty of things to do around town this weekend to mark the occasion.

Aside from mom’s day, three walks are also taking place in the city, two to benefit charities. There will some road closures associated with one of them.

As you make your plans, keep in mind a portion of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) is closed this weekend for TTC work.

Things to do with mom

Something sweet
Forget about just giving your mom a box of truffles, take her on a chocolate and sweets tour instead.Tasty Tours Toronto is offering tours all weekend, one on Saturday and two on Mother’s Day. There is also a chocolate workshop on Sunday … you can never have too much chocolate. Prices vary for the tours.

Something savoury
Whether it is just you and mom, or the entire family, enjoy a traditional brunch or dinner buffet at the Old Mill on Sunday, featuring meat and seafood dishes, cheese platters, an assortment of vegetables, and rice pilaf, to name a few. Of course, a meal would not be complete without dessert like tortes and pastries. Click here for the menu and buffet rates.

Dining room at the Old Mill Toronto. Photo via oldmilltoronto.com.
Dining room at the Old Mill Toronto. Photo via oldmilltoronto.com.

Cruisin’ on a Sunday afternoon
A scrumptious brunch followed by an afternoon cruise along the city’s waterfront is a lovely way to spend Sunday with mom.

Mariposa Cruises has two cruises, one on its Northern Spirit boat and another on the Showboat. Each comes with brunch, a two-hour cruise, a welcome mocktail, a complimentary rose for mom, and a free family portrait.

Mariposa Cruises' Northern Spirit boat. Photo via facebook.com/mariposa.cruises.
Mariposa Cruises’ Northern Spirit boat. Photo via facebook.com/mariposa.cruises.

The Northern Spirit cruises along the harbourfront and around the Toronto Islands, while the Showboat cruises through the Toronto Island waterways.

Click here for more information and cost details.

Mom and baby love at the zoo
What better way to spend Mother’s Day than by visiting the animal moms and their offspring at the Toronto Zoo.

Over the past year, there has been plenty of baby love at the zoo with the adorable giant panda, polar bear, rhino and white lion cubs being born with weeks of each other. Take your mom to the zoo on Sunday and learn more about the animal moms and their babies.

While everyone will be ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over the super cute cubs, don’t forget to dote on the mothers too – polar bear Aurora, Indian rhino Ashakiran, white lion Makali and giant panda Er Shun.

Light refreshments will be served (the animals get their own treats), and grandmothers, moms and daughters can win some prizes. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for non-members (including taxes).

De-clutter with mom
If your mum is a neat freak, nothing would make her more happy than to hang out at the Barns Upcycle.

Held at the Artscape Wychwood Barns from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, the an upcycle promotes the idea of converting unwanted materials into new products. The event features a clothing repair-a-thon, mother-to-mother sale, and more.

Other events

Sporting Life 10K
Expect one major road closure (but also smaller ones) as 25,000 people raise money for Camp Oochigeas in one of the most popular races in the city.

The Sporting Life 10K starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday along Yonge Street at the Sporting Life near Roselawn Avenue, and goes all the way down Yonge, turning left on Richmond Street downtown, continuing through the Entertainment District and ending at Fort York.

The race is fully sold out, but people are encouraged to line the route to cheer on the runners.

Route outline for the Sporting Life 10K. SPORTING LIFE.
Route outline for the Sporting Life 10K. SPORTING LIFE.

Meagan’s Walk
The 15th annual Meagan’s Walk is set for Saturday, honouring a brave five-year-old girl who died of a cancerous brain tumour in 2001. Her parents created the walk in order to raise money for the Hospital for Sick Children.

Participants will be walking from Fort York to the hospital in a five-kilometre route. Besides the walk, there will also be face painting and live music and entertainment. To get your team into the walk, email walkteam@meaganswalk.com.

Route map for Meagan's Walk. Photo via meaganswalk.com.
Route map for Meagan’s Walk. Photo via meaganswalk.com.

Jane’s Walk events
Toronto is honouring one of its most famous urban pioneers, Jane Jacobs. The 10th anniversary ofJane’s Walk is set for this weekend, a few days after what would have been Jacobs’ 100th birthday.

Taking a Jane’s Walk allows you to explore the city, meet your neighbours and talk about issues affecting the city. You can find a list of the different walks here.

Blossom and Bloom
The hustle and bustle of Union Station will have a flowery respite this Friday and Saturday. The annualBlossom and Bloom show takes place in the newly renovated West Wing and Oak Room.

A collection of flowers.

The show transforms the area into a floral wonderland, with the plants and other crafts for sale. There will also be a large sculpture flower garden, live music and a complimentary henna station. Admission is free.

TTC/road closures

Sporting Life 10K
On Sunday, Yonge Street will be closed from Lawrence to Eglinton avenues from 4:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Fort York Blvd will also be closed from Bathurst Street to Lakeshore Boulevard from 4:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Along the route, the following closures will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:

  • Yonge Street from Eglinton Avenue to Richmond Street
  • Richmond Street from Yonge Street to Peter Street
  • Peter Street/Blue Jays Way between Richmond Street and Front Street
  • Westbound Front Street from Blue Jays Way and Bathurst Street
  • Bathurst Street from Front Street to Fort York Boulevard
  • Fort York Boulevard between Bathurst Street to Fleet Street

The intersection will reopen to motorists after runners pass the area. All roads are expected to re-open by 12:30 p.m.

Meagan’s Walk
Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, participants will make their way along sidewalks from the Fort York National Historic Site to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Elizabeth Street, from Gerrard to Elm streets, will be closed from 4 a.m. to around 4 p.m. However, drivers can expect minor delays as the walkers cross major intersections.

University of Toronto Science Rendezvous
George Street, from College to Harbord streets, will be closed in both directions from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Road work
Bayview Avenue from River to Queen streets is closed in both directions until May 20 for road repairs.

Gerrard Street, from Yonge to Church streets, will be closed until the end of July for watermain replacement, road resurfacing and bike lane and sidewalk upgrades.

Westbound Lake Shore Boulevard, from York Street to Rees Street, will be reduced to one lane except from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays when two lanes will be open. The closure, which is for Toronto Hydro work, is expected to be completed on July 27.

Richmond Street, from Yonge to Bay streets, is also reduced to two lanes until July 1 for road and sidewalk repairs. One lane will be used for cyclists and pedestrians.

Partial Line 2 closure
Subways won’t be running on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Bathurst and Jane stations this weekend due to track work. Shuttle buses will stop at all stations.

A TTC report proposing numbered subway lines was presented at a board meeting on Oct. 23, 2013. TTC

Next Sunday (May 15), subway service along Pape to St. George stations will start later (exact time to be determined) due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Raptors even series against Miami with overtime victory

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

DeMarre Carroll came up big for the Toronto Raptors both on and off the floor Thursday.

Carroll showed some tough love for struggling all-star Kyle Lowry, and then went out and scored a team-high 21 points to lift the Raptors 96-92 over the Heat in overtime, to send the series to Miami tied at one game apiece.

And moments after Lowry scored on a key jump shot with 15 seconds left in regulation, Carroll pulled the point guard aside and said “I told you so.”

“Because I’ve been texting Kyle, I kind of do the rough brother texting with Kyle, I tell him you’re Kyle Lowry, you need to play like you got a chip on your shoulder,” Carroll said. “I remember the Kyle Lowry in Memphis that got traded. And that’s the biggest thing for Kyle is he gotta remember who he is. He’s a blue-collar, gritty, grimy type of person.”

Two days after perhaps the worst game of his career, Lowry had 18 points, including two clutch baskets in the final 46 seconds of regulation, plus six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 12 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 20 points, and Terrence Ross added 10.

In what’s been a roller-coaster post-season for the Raptors, it was another wild night.

The Raptors roared out to a 14-point lead, and looked poised to romp to a relatively easy victory over Miami, but the Heat had all the momentum in a horrible third quarter for Toronto and took a 65-63 lead into the fourth.

Luol Deng capped an 8-0 Heat run with a three-pointer to give Miami a seven-point lead with six minutes to play. But the Raptors clawed their way back over a thrilling final few minutes of regulation.

“Our sense of urgency was there,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

After Lowry’s jumper with 15 seconds to play, Goran Dragic, who played the second half with eight stitches in his lip, sunk a heartbreaking three with 10.5 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied 86-86.

Toronto dominated in OT, virtually the reverse of Tuesday’s game. Miami missed its first five shots, and the Raptors had baskets from DeRozan and Valanciunas, who was huge down the stretch. A Deng dunk made it a four-point game, but free throws in the dying seconds from Cory Joseph, DeRozan and Lowry iced the victory for Toronto.

DeRozan and Lowry laughed when asked if they think the Raptors will have a playoff game that resembles the consistent squad of the regular-season.

“Man, it’s been ugly,” DeRozan said.

“Uh-gly,” Lowry added.

“When we do, I’m pretty sure you will know,” said DeRozan, to which Lowry piped in: “IF we do.”

“It’s a grind man, honestly,” DeRozan said. “We know nothing was going to be pretty, as long as we can come out with a W, doesn’t matter how we play. It’s going to come.”

Carroll had a superb night, shooting 7-for-13 and grabbing four steals and five rebounds with his hustle play.

Lowry, meanwhile, had been limited to just seven points in a horrible performance in Game 1, and stayed on the court until 1:15 a.m. shooting alone. He said the next day the Raptors can’t win the series without him playing well.

The two-time all-star had moments where he looked like his post-season slump might be a distant memory. He scored early on a mid-range jumper, then followed it up with a beautiful pass to Carroll for a three-pointer. And when he tossed up a three of his own late in the first quarter, the Air Canada Centre crowd of 20,906 went nuts.

“I felt great,” Lowry said. “I got so many phone calls and texts from people who just care about me in general, fellow NBA players, and just friends of mine supporting me. And then knowing I have the support of my teammates, I just had to come out and have fun and be myself.

He shot just 7-for-22 on the night, while DeRozan, his right thumb taped after his jammed it on the final play in Game 1, shot just 9-for-24, and made just two of his eight free throws.

“I don’t think I ever missed that many free throws,” DeRozan said. “But it’s just something I’ve got to deal with it. It’s my first game playing with it hurt, sore like it was. . . another day of rest and icing and I should be alright the next game.”

Game 3 is Saturday in Miami, while Game 4 is Monday.

The Raptors won five of their last six regular-season matchups with Miami, but the Heat claimed the series opener 102-96 on Tuesday, ruining a thrilling comeback by Toronto to force overtime on a half-court Lowry buzzer-beater.

The Air Canada Centre was painted in black and white T-shirts that spelled out “6IX,” the Drake-inspired nickname for Toronto. Maple Leaf Square outside drew a packed crowd of T-shirt waving fans.

The Heat raced out to an early-six point lead but the Raptors found their rhythm with a 17-3 run, and took a 29-19 advantage into the second quarter.

Miami cleaned up its turnovers in the second, giving up just one, and pulled to within five points before a Carroll basket sent the Raptors into the halftime break up 48-41.

The Raptors shot just 6-for-20 in the third quarter, and the Heat ended the frame on a 13-2 run to take their first lead since early in the first.

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