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50 cannabis retail licenses to be awarded in second lottery

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Aug 20th, 2019

Fifty new retail cannabis licenses will be awarded on Tuesday as Ontario moves forward with its second lottery.

The lottery will be handing out licenses to sell legal marijuana to 42 retail stores, including 13 in Toronto and six in the rest of the GTA, while eight more will be given to First Nations Reserves through a separate, first-come first-serve basis.

Unlike the first lottery in January, which saw 25 retail licenses handed out, this one required applicants to provide confirmation they had secured a lease, along with the capital to run it.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario said a bank letter confirming access to $250,000 cash and another confirming the ability to get a $50,000 standby letter of credit was needed to apply.

The province was hoping to weed out unprepared applicants.

The new stores will be allowed to open on a rolling basis starting in October.

The Ontario government had cited national supply issues for the decision to hold an initial lottery of just 25 stores, but that was easing at the time of the second lottery announcement.

“Our government is continuing to take a responsible approach to opening cannabis stores across Ontario, allowing private sector businesses to build a safe and convenient retail system to combat the illegal market,” Finance Minister Rod Phillips said in a statement.

With files from The Canadian Press

2 injured in motorcycle crash in Scarborough

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Aug 20th, 2019

A motorcyclist remains in hospital after a collision with a vehicle in Scarborough Monday night.

Emergency crews were called to Markham Road and Finch Avenue East just after 9 p.m.

Police said the motorcycle struck the back of a Volkswagen, sending the 24-year-old motorcyclist into the rear window of the car.

He was rushed to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

A 23-year-old woman, who was a passenger on the bike, was also sent to hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released.

The driver of the Volkswagen wasn’t hurt.

2 males show up in hospital after shooting in Rexdale

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Aug 20th, 2019

Toronto police are searching for suspects after a double shooting at a plaza in Rexdale.

Police were called to Kipling Avenue and Mount Olive Drive just after 10:30 p.m. Monday for reports of six to eight shots fired.

A group of males were reportedly seen running from the scene.

When police arrived, they could not locate a victim.

Two males later walked into a hospital in the city’s west end with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

There are no suspect descriptions available at this time.

Ontario municipal funding cuts to public health, child care to start Jan 1

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Aug 19th, 2019

Doug Ford’s PC government will implement its controversial municipal funding cuts for public health and child care on January 1st.

The premier is expected to make the announcement later today at a gathering of municipal leaders in Ottawa.

The government tried to force retroactive funding cuts this year but cancelled them after municipal leaders complained that their annual budgets had already passed.

The new plan will see all municipalities pay 30 per cent of public health-care costs, and 20 per cent of the cost of creating new child care spaces, which the province previously fully funded.

Ford says the funding cuts are needed to tackle Ontario’s $11.7-billion deficit.

Nature Conservancy of Canada expands conservation area on Lake Huron island

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Aug 19th, 2019

A national not-for-profit land trust says it has expanded a conservation area on a Lake Huron island that has large forests and a long stretch of undeveloped shoreline.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says the portion of land it now protects on Cockburn Island, west of Manitoulin Island, is 107 square kilometres – twice the size of Bermuda.

It says the island has one of the largest hardwood forest ecosystems in southern Ontario, and is a vital breeding area and stopover site for migratory songbirds and waterfowl.

The NCC says the island is also home to many mammals, and has rivers and creeks that support several species.

The organization had already protected more than 60 per cent of the island and launched a campaign in March to expand the conservation area.

It plans to conduct biological surveys to learn more about the island and look at removing invasive species in the area.

Anti-fur protestors trigger Eaton Centre lockdown

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 19th, 2019

Toronto police say a lockdown at the Eaton Centre near Yonge and Queen Streets has ended after an anti-fur protest reportedly took over a portion of the mall.

Officers were called by mall security, who had placed the shopping centre on lockdown, around 7 p.m. Sunday shortly before the mall closed after dozens of activists filled the skywalk bridge that connects the main building and Hudson’s Bay Company and Saks Fifth Avenue.

According to police, they were called to help “keep the peace,” and no injuries, damage or arrests have been reported at this time.

Some of the protesters who left the mall told City News they were heading to a local police station to file an official complaint.

1 dead, 5 injured in Richmond Hill crash

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 19th, 2019

One man is dead and five other people are injured after a three-vehicle crash in Richmond Hill.

York Region police were called to Yonge Street and Townwood Drive, near Jefferson Forest Drive, just before 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

One of the three vehicles flipped over and caught fire. One man was trapped inside the vehicle and later died.

Five other people were taken to hospital with injuries ranging from serious to minor.

One of the five injured was from a third vehicle, which was not involved in the initial crash and struck by one of the two other vehicles.

Police are still trying to determine what caused the crash.

The area remains closed to traffic.

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