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Michael Ford hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jun 12th, 2020

Councillor Michael Ford has checked in to hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesperson from his office says Ford checked in to Humber River Hospital earlier today to have additional testing done, after experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Ford’s office says the hospital is monitoring his status, but overall, he is feeling well.

The nephew of premier Doug Ford went into self-isolation at his home after receiving a positive test Tuesday morning.

More businesses to open outside Toronto and Hamilton regions today

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 12th, 2020

Most Ontario regions outside the Toronto and Hamilton area will be allowed to reopen more businesses on Friday.

The second stage of the province’s reopening includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools.

Meanwhile, the limit on social gatherings will increase from five to 10 provincewide, but people must still stay two metres away from anyone outside their own household.

Child-care centres across Ontario will also be allowed to reopen, but it’s not yet clear how many will be able to implement new pandemic safety measures immediately.

The current pandemic restrictions will stay in place for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, which have a high concentration of COVID-19 cases.

Border regions such as Windsor-Essex, Lambton County and Niagara, as well as Haldimand-Norfolk, which has seen an outbreak among migrant workers, will also not move to Stage 2.

Suspended Toronto cop charged with impaired driving, street racing

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jun 11th, 2020

A suspended Toronto police officer, who is currently facing charges related to allegedly threatening someone over a debt, has been arrested for impaired driving and street racing by provincial police.

Constable Lionel Peters, a 17-year veteran of TPS, was charged with threatening bodily harm, extortion, breach of trust by a public officer and careless storage in May of last year. He is currently suspended with pay.

On Tuesday around 1:30 p.m., OPP officers pulled over a vehicle allegedly driving 179 kilometres per hour along Highway 407 near Guelph Line.

The driver was identified as 43-year-old Peters from Paris, Ontario.

Peters then allegedly blew four times the legal limit and was arrested for impaired driving and street racing.

On top of the charges, Peters’ license was suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days.

Politicians urged to collaborate on pandemic benefit for disabled Canadians

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 11th, 2020

Federal politicians are being urged to work together to help Canadians with disabilities weather the COVID-19 crisis.

This after opposition parties refused Wednesday to give the unanimous consent needed to swiftly pass the government’s latest emergency aid bill.

The bill included provisions to deliver on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a one-time, tax-free benefit of up to $600 for disabled Canadians.

That benefit, along with other measures in the bill, are now in limbo.

Jewelles Smith, chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, says she’s disappointed that governments have failed to provide emergency help for disabled Canadians.

Many of them face increased costs due to the pandemic including for grocery delivery, medication dispensing fees and increased home care.

“We urge all parties to work together during this crisis,” Smith said in an email. “People with disabilities continue to experience barriers that are not being recognized.”

The bill also includes a proposed expansion of the wage subsidy program to include more seasonal workers and some additional businesses and proposed penalties for fraudulently claiming the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

As well, it proposes changes to the CERB in response to concerns that the benefit is discouraging people from returning to low-paying jobs.

For a variety of reasons, some of them unrelated to the content of the legislation, no opposition party was prepared to give the unanimous consent needed to debate and approve the bill within a matter of hours.

Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez proposed splitting the bill to deal with the disability benefit separately but the Conservatives nixed that idea, holding out instead for a full resumption of business as usual in the House of Commons.

Rodriguez said afterwards that he will continue negotiating with the opposition parties to try to find a resolution.

Most likely, that will involve introducing a separate bill for the disability benefit, which could be passed relatively quickly if at least one opposition party is prepared to support it and agree to limit the amount of time for debate.

The NDP has indicated it would not block the proposed benefit if it was dealt with in a stand-alone bill, even though New Democrats maintain the benefit is inadequate and would apply to only 40 per cent of Canadians with disabilities.

Gaining support for other measures in the bill could prove to be more difficult. The NDP is adamantly opposed to imposing fines or jail time on Canadians who fraudulently claim the CERB — despite Trudeau’s assurances that the penalties are intended only for the small number who deliberately defraud the government.

It’s getting harder and harder to stop disinformation

THE BIG STORY | posted Thursday, Jun 11th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, it’s been a banner year for disinformation, and the past few weeks have been the worst of all. Coronavirus hoaxes and miracle cures are still circulating, but there’s also been a deluge of confusion, lies and misrepresentation around what’s happening at the protests that have taken over streets in almost every town and city in North America.

So how do you tell the real from the fake, especially when the misinformation is sometimes coming from traditional sources of authority? What are the most common hoaxes surrounding these protests? What’s the goal of them? And how close are these social media hoaxes getting to inciting real-life violence?

GUEST: Jane Lytvynenko, senior reporter, BuzzFeed News

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify.

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Overnight storm knocks down trees, cuts power in GTA

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jun 11th, 2020

The cleanup is underway after a storm moved through Southern Ontario Wednesday night.

Trees were knocked down and electricity was cut off for some in the region.

There were reports of “explosions” in the Oakwood Avenue and Rogers Road last night, but police said it was hydro transformers “exploding in the area.”

 

Arrest made in hit-and-run that killed 17-year-old girl in Downsview Park

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jun 10th, 2020

Toronto police say they have made an arrest in the death of the 17-year-old girl killed in a hit-and-run in Downsview Park.

Police say they arrested Shawn Ramsey, 46, of Toronto on Tuesday, believed to be the driver of a Black SUV that allegedly struck two pedestrians on Sunday.

The girl and a 19-year-old woman were crossing the street at the intersection of Keele Street and Calvington Drive just north of Wilson Avenue around 12:15 a.m. when they were struck by a vehicle that was travelling northbound on Keele and making a turn onto Calvington.

The teen was pronounced dead at the scene while the other woman suffered minor injuries.

Ramsey has been charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.

He is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

Police have seized the vehicle involved in the crash and continue to investigate.

2 gunshot victims walk into hospital, shooting location under investigation

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jun 10th, 2020

Two gunshot victims have walked into a hospital as police investigate a shooting in the Jane Street and Wilson Avenue area.

Police were called to the scene around 11:30 p.m. to reports of multiple gunshots.

Evidence of gunfire and shell casings were found in the area, but no victims were located.

Shortly after, two people with gunshot wounds walked into a hospital. Both have serious injuries.

Police have yet to determine if the two incidents are related at this point.

There has been no suspect information released at this point.

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