Toronto Sports News

Man shot dead in north Toronto

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:59

A man is dead after a shooting Wednesday morning in north Toronto.

Toronto Police were called to the Islington Ave. and Finch Ave. W. area around 11 a.m. for reports of a shooting.

Officers found a male victim and he died at the scene.

Islington is closed in both directions between Finch and Satterly Rd. for the investigation.

There was no immediate word about any arrests or suspect description.

More to come…

 

Ice cream truck driver killed in Pickering crash

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:51

PICKERING — A 51-year-old man is dead after crashing his ice cream truck into a traffic light post on Tuesday in Pickering.

Durham Regional Police say the ice cream truck mounted a centre median on Brock Rd., south of Hwy. 7, and hit the post before rolling on its side at about 8 p.m.

The driver, from Richmond Hill,  was treated at the scene and taken to a local hospital, where he died. His name was not released.

Witnesses are asked to contact police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5226 or Crime Stoppers.

DeMar DeRozan feels mistreated in wake of Raptors trade to Spurs

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:35

DeMar DeRozan says he just wanted to be kept in the loop.

Speaking in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes on Tuesday night, DeRozan discussed the lingering hard feelings stemming from his shocking trade from Toronto to San Antonio just over a week ago, the disappointment of not being able to compete in a LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, and what the Spurs will be getting in the four-time all-star shooting guard.

It was likely the most interesting ESPN sit-down with an ex-Raptors great since Vince Carter basically told John Thompson he coasted at times as a Raptor.

A hurt DeRozan felt he had done enough and given enough to the franchise to be fully looped in on what was happening.

“I felt like I wasn’t treated – with what I sacrificed for nine years, you know – with the respect that I felt I deserved. By just giving me the say-so of letting me know something’s going on, or that there’s a chance,” DeRozan told Haynes.

“That’s all I wanted. I’m not saying you don’t have to trade me, just let me know something’s going on. Because I sacrificed everything. Just let me know, you know what I mean? That’s all I ask.

“Everybody knows I’m the most low-maintenance person in the world. Just let me know so that I can prepare myself for whatever my next chapter is. I didn’t get that.”

DeRozan described the past week as “like a dream” and a “blur” and said he didn’t agree with team president Masai Ujiri’s description of their conversations.

“I asked: ‘Was I going to be traded? Was there anything going on, if it was a chance I’d be traded?’ And on multiple occasions it was: ‘No, it was nothing,’” DeRozan said.

This corner has argued that dealing DeRozan and firing coach Dwane Casey were justifiable moves (but that the optics in both cases were bad, Casey should not have done a press conference after the season if he was on the way out) and that Ujiri was correct in pointing to the past failings and asking whether they should just run everything back and try again, but DeRozan was particularly stung by the way Ujiri put it.

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“I mean, when you say ‘them,’ that’s kind of frustrating. Like, who is ‘them?’ You put the blame on just me and Casey? Because obviously we are the only two who had to suffer from the loss that we had in the Cleveland series,” he said.

“But it’s only one team that we lost to in the post-season, and that team went to the finals every single year. With an opportunity approaching itself, my mindset and the rest of my teammates’ mindset was the only guy who was in the way of making that happen leaves. Now we’ve got a great opportunity to do something that we haven’t been able to do.

“At the end of the day, I gave everything I had to that team, and it showed. It showed in the progress we made as a team, in me as an individual. So when you put that out there saying: ‘Gave them chances’ and: ‘I have to do something,’ it’s B.S. to me.”

DeRozan is more than entitled to his opinion, but the fact is, it wasn’t just LeBron holding the team back. There was the sweep against Washington years ago, skin-of-their-teeth series wins over Indiana, Milwaukee and Washington, and even a close series against Miami.

Playoff DeRozan/Kyle Lowry have flashed a clear ceiling, with both stars tailing off significantly against any post-season foes.

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DeRozan told a funny story of calling up ex-teammate Rudy Gay after talking to Lowry. The trio were once the Three Amigos as Raptors. Gay could only laugh when DeRozan said he would be joining him with the Spurs, thrilled that he was getting his close friend back. Gay told DeRozan he’d be fine. Lowry, who has twice been traded and was close to being dealt by the Raptors several years ago, sent him a long text message of support

Still, what has particularly hit DeRozan hard in all of this was the fact that he has been the anti-Raptor over the years, committing to the city of Toronto and the franchise like nobody else before him.

“Day One when I was drafted to the Toronto Raptors, they had this stigma on them: ‘Every guy leaves, nobody wants to be here, superstars, nobody wants to play in Canada,’” DeRozan told Haynes.

“From Day 1 my whole mindset and approach to the game, being in Toronto, was I wanted to change that whole narrative to that whole organization. That’s why I work my butt off like I did. That’s why I push, that why I repped so hard to get that stigma off. That was another example in my career where I could prove that by not having to meet with nobody else. Get this done within the first 30 minutes of free agency and keep moving.

“That was always my mindset and approach and you could tell by the connection I have with the fans. I never thought about elsewhere, I never mentioned elsewhere. I love that place. It’s literally my second home.”

DeRozan said he has the utmost respect and love for the franchise, the city, fans and ownership and only had an issue with “what I was told by this one individual and how things were handled with that.”

rwolstat@postmedia.com

‘No evidence to support’ ISIS claim of responsibility for Danforth shooting: Saunders

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:33

Chief Mark Saunders says Toronto Police “have no evidence to support” Islamic State claims of responsibility for Sunday’s mass shooting on the Danforth that killed two people and injured 13.

According to Reuters, ISIS’s AMAQ news agency reported a statement by the group on Wednesday that claimed the gunman “was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries.” No evidence was provided to verify the claim.

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Toronto Police have identified 29-year-old Faisal Hussain as the shooter. The Toronto man died at the scene after an interaction with police officers.

Saunders said in a statement that Toronto Police “have received assistance from law enforcement partners at every level and I have been updated regularly. At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims.

“Accurate information about this investigation will only be released by the Toronto Police Service. We will continue to explore every investigative avenue including interviewing those who knew Mr. Hussain, reviewing his online activity, and looking into his experiences with mental health.”

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Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Tuesday that Hussain was not on any federal watchlists associated with national security.

On Monday, Hussain’s parents issued a statement saying their son struggled with depression and psychosis all his life and had not responded to treatment.

Neighbours and co-workers have said Hussain did not display signs of mental illness, as far as they had seen. But, as the Sun has reported, Hussain was visited by law enforcement over concerns of visiting pro-ISIL websites, as well as dealt with under the Mental Health Act by Toronto Police on several occasions for concerns of behaviour and violence.

CBS News reported on Tuesday that, according to a law enforcement source, Hussain had visited ISIS websites and “may have expressed support for the terrorist group.” The source also told the news agency that officials “were looking into whether Hussain may have lived at one time in Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan,” but CBS added there was “no indication that Hussain was directed by ISIS to carry out the attack.”

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ASK AMY: Elderly mom drives her kids crazy, driving round the block

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:38

Dear Amy: My mother is 89 years old. At 85, she declined to renew her driver’s license, acknowledging that it was time she stopped driving. However, she still has access to two cars and drives each around the block once a week to keep them running.

My siblings and I have told her that her behavior is irresponsible, illegal and dangerous, but she ignores it. She has developed contacts (friends, relatives, Uber) to transport her to activities, but last week she told one of my siblings, “I’m still driving the car around the block, and you’re not the boss of me.”

What is the best way to handle this? Since she has no license, the DMV will be no help. We have tried reasoning with her, but that hasn’t worked. Should I call the police and report her?

— Concerned Daughter

Dear Daughter: Do you know for certain that your mother is driving around the block? Or is she merely telling you and your siblings that she is doing this, in order to remind you that she is still in charge of her own life?

It is illegal for unlicensed drivers to drive — even around the block. Your mother knows this, and in some sense, her choice to do this proves that she isn’t being a very good boss to herself. This choice shows poor judgment.

Is your mother keeping up the registration and insurance on two cars? This seems a needless expense.

You and your siblings have told her what to do — probably repeatedly. But have you asked her substantial and open-ended questions lately, and listened carefully to her answers?

Say, “This choice of yours doesn’t seem logical, and so I’m wondering — can you tell me why you are still driving?” Sit quietly and listen to her response. And then sit quietly and listen to the next three (or 10) things she says. Just hear her out.

When she is done, respond compassionately: “I’m really so sorry, Mom. I can tell this is hard. You were always the wheels in the family! When I think of all those soccer practices and family vacations…”

I’m asking you to help her let go.

Don’t threaten, wag your finger, or tsk tsk her. You are not an 89-year-old woman. You don’t know what it feels like. Be humble enough to recognize this.

After you have this calmer and more compassionate encounter with your mother, you’ll have to use your own judgment regarding what to do. If you place a non-emergency call to the local police station, an officer might be willing to swing by to check on her and confirm that she is not driving — even around the block — without a license.

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Dear Amy: I have a dilemma. My daughter, who is 22, confided in me that one of her best friends from high school smokes pot.

My daughter does not hang out with her because they attend different colleges.

I was very close to this girl when she was growing up. She was at my house all the time. Her mom and I are still very good friends.

My daughter says to stay out of it and to not tell her mom.

I was very disappointed to hear this about my daughter’s friend. I’m not sure what I should do. What do you think? Should I tell the mother what the daughter is doing?

— Worried

Dear Worried: I don’t think you should do anything. Would you report back to this mother if her (legal age) daughter had a cocktail?

Marijuana is quickly attaining legal status; the jury seems to be out on how casual and occasional marijuana use affects people over time.

Unless this young woman has health problems or serious risk factors relating to her marijuana use, you have no cause to report it to her mommy.

Plus — it’s simply none of your business.

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Dear Amy: Amy, I thought you must have been napping when you answered the letter from “Worried Friend,” the man who “by an absolutely bizarre twist of fate” somehow “discovered” that their young family friend had a very active side career as a porn actress. He wondered how this would impact her life and career, and whether he should speak to her or her parents.

Although I mostly agreed with your advice to this person, I was hoping that you would speculate on the “bizarre twist of fate” that had this man stumbling onto this. Where was your wit?!

— Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: Sorry, but I’ve got nothing.

Councillor Josh Colle won’t seek re-election

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:31

Toronto Councillor and TTC chair Josh Colle will not seek re-election in this fall’s municipal election, he announced Wednesday.

The Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence said he is retiring from municipal politics when this term ends to take a job in the private sector.

Colle was first elected to council in 2010, and was made chair of the Toronto Transit Commission in December 2014.

“We have been able to renew every single park in the ward, make vital infrastructure investments, enhance local transit service, beautify many of our public spaces, successfully advocate for a station at Oakwood, and bring the revitalization of Lawrence Heights from a vision to reality,” Colle said in a statement of his work in Ward 15.

Mayor John Tory said Colle helped “usher in an era of progress and modernization at the TTC.”

The municipal election is set for Oct. 22.

LEVY: Did David Shiner name a new street after his partner in life?

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:02

Nine minutes into an emergency North York community council meeting at lunchtime Monday, Cllr. David Shiner moved that a new street in his ward be named “Karen’s Way.”

The street, which runs east to west between Rean Dr. and Barberry Pl., is located in his Willowdale ward.

A majority of lemmings on the NYCC — Maria Augimeri, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Josh Colle and of course Shiner– supported the motion without question.

While the cost is not an issue — it’s about $500 to create a new street sign — the choice of name is.

While sources tell me Shiner would not confirm who the “Karen” is in “Karen’s Way,” I might note that Karen Wood was Shiner’s executive assistant for many years at City Hall (I was there when she worked for him and found her to be a nice lady) — until she became his life partner.

Coun. David Shiner (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)

Just like his colleague Minnan-Wong — who still hasn’t notified me that he’s paid his councillor salary back for the month he ran for MPP–Shiner did not return several requests by phone and e-mail for comment Tuesday. He was in council all day.

If indeed Wood is the Karen in “Karen’s Way” Shiner certainly has chutzpah pushing this through. Not that anyone will complain to the integrity commish given that the term of council is up and so far he hasn’t signed up to run again (suggesting he might be milking the public teat one last time.)

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Still, he’s not only in a conflict situation if it is Wood. But the past-his-due-date councillor is chairman of planning committee and I’m willing to bet no city bureaucrat would dare tell him it’s not right.

Let’s not forget either how council so viciously voted against naming Centennial Stadium after the late Rob Ford last October.

In fact, many of those who voted “no” on Ford — Maria Augimeri, Denzil Minnan-Wong to name two — were happy to embrace Shiner’s little street-naming vanity project Monday.

Shiner himself was MIA during the Ford naming vote.

slevy@postmedia.com

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‘Reese was like our family’: Teen killed in Danforth shooting mourned

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 07:36

Sadness and shock permeate a neighbourhood near Danforth Village as those who knew and loved Reese Fallon struggle to understand the shooting that killed the 18-year-old and a 10-year-old girl while also wounding 13 others.

Desperate to do something, anything, to to help in the wake of Sunday’s senseless violence, the wife of one of Fallon’s former teachers at Malvern Collegiate Institute started a GoFundMe to raise money for a scholarship in the teen’s name.

“Reese was like our family,” Julie Steel said Tuesday, her eyes welling up with tears as she and her husband stood out front of the high school next to a growing makeshift memorial of flowers.

Reese Fallon, 18, was among the two killed and 13 wounded on a mass shooting on the Danforth on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Facebook)

The Steels live in the neighbourhood and Fallon’s mother has been a caregiver to their young daughters for several years.

“This is a huge loss for us, for her family, for our community,” Julie Steel said. “She was just a wonderful kid, so kind, so patient, so good with the kids.”

“My heart just breaks for her family,” Julie Steel added.

Fallon recently graduated from the high school down the street from her family home on Malvern Ave. — near Gerrard and Main Sts. — and would have headed to McMaster University in September to chase her dream of becoming a nurse.

“She would have been an incredible nurse,” Julie Steel said.

She said the GoFundMe account that had raised more than $15,000 by Tuesday afternoon will be used to fund the Reese Fallon Legacy Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a Malvern CI student entering a nursing program.

“We just wanted to find a way to make sure she’s never forgotten,” Julie Steel said.

A steady stream of teens drop off flowers and hug in front of Malvern Collegiate Institute on Tuesday July 24, 2018. Reese Fallon, 18, who was killed in the mass shooting on the Danforth, was a recent graduate of the high school. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

Her husband, Mark Steel, is a teacher at Malvern CI and Fallon was a student in his Grade 12 chemistry class this past school year.

“She was a fantastic kid, very bright, very smart, just a wonderful human being,” he said.

Mark Steel said he, his wife and their three daughters are “quite close” to Fallon’s family and her death has “hit us really hard.”

“It’s so hard to believe,” he said, explaining it feels as though they have been living “a nightmare” since Sunday.

“She was so excited to go into nursing at McMaster and the fact that she won’t be able to do that is just heartbreaking,” Mark Steel added.

A steady stream of students stopped by Malvern CI to leave flowers Tuesday.

A steady stream of teens drop off flowers and hug in front of Malvern Collegiate Institute on Tuesday July 24, 2018. Reese Fallon, 18, who was killed in the mass shooting on the Danforth, was a recent graduate of the high school. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Max Flath, 17, is a year behind Fallon and didn’t know the teen but he saw her daily in the halls of their high school.

“This stuff happens all over the world, but it’s true, you never really feel it until it’s close to you,” he said. “It’s totally crazy when it happens this close to you. It’s horrific.”

Flath said his friend “Sam” was wounded in the shooting and he messaged her to let her know he was thinking about her.

Max Flath 17 stands in front of flowers placed at Malvern Collegiate Institute on Tuesday July 24, 2018. Reese Fallon, who was killed in the mass shooting on the Danforth, was a recent graduate of the high school. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Media have reported Samantha Price was out for dinner with Fallon and others when the gunfire erupted on the Danforth and she posted a photo on Instagram, aparently from a hospital bed, thanking everyone for their support following the “devastating” incident.

Students, staff and members of the community also also inside Malvern CI where five grief counsellors and 15 support dogs were made available.

“We saw right away that there was a tremendous response and outpouring of love for Reese,” Toronto District School Board spokesman Sherri Schwartz Maltz said, explaining Malvern CI was opened for the day “as a safe space” for anyone in need of support.

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She said the school is much more than just a building to its students and faculty.

“This is a hub with a heart,” Schwartz Maltz said. “The heart is racing today and I think they just need to be with professionals and be with their friends and hold each other.”

cdoucette@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @SunDoucette

Jhonattan Vegas looking to three-peat at very deep RBC Canadian Open

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 07:30

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Jhonattan Vegas is hard to miss.

At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, the easy-going Venezuelan is one of the largest players on the PGA Tour.

Yet, somehow, the two-time RBC Canadian Open defending champion has slipped into Glen Abbey practically unnoticed.

“I like it either way, I don’t mind being on both sides of the spectrum,” Vegas said on a very hot and muggy Tuesday afternoon when asked how he felt about flying under the radar despite his status as repeat champion.

“Either way, I’m going to play as hard as I can.”

Not only has Vegas come in under the radar, he’s almost an afterthought as the 109th edition of our national open gets going on Thursday at the 7,253-yard, par-72 course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

“Well, we have a huge field this week with some of the top players in the world, so those are going to be the guys to beat and I’m always going to be flying under those guys,” said a realistic Vegas, who had just arrived at the course and had yet to play it.

“But either way, I’ve had pretty good success here. I’ll try to replay and relive those memories.”

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Vegas is right about the field; it’s one of the deepest at a Canadian Open in quite a while.

Vying for the $1.116 million first prize are world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, two-time U.S. Open defending champion and world No. 4 Brooks Koepka, big-hitting world No. 14 Bubba Watson, the only three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, rising star and world No. 11 Tommy Fleetwood, and 2017 Masters champion and world No. 19 Sergio Garcia, not to mention the 21 Canadians (four were added in Monday qualifying) who are in the field and looking to end a winless drought that dates all the way back to 1954.

So, yeah, it’s going to be tough for Vegas to accomplish the three-peat, something that hasn’t been done on the PGA Tour since Steve Stricker did so at the John Deere Classic from 2009-2011.

Another reason people might not be giving Vegas as much attention as might normally be afforded a back-to-back champ is that he hasn’t been playing particularly well. He comes into Glen Abbey without a top-35 finish in 11 straight starts now.

Then again, maybe Vegas has everyone right where he wants them.

Last year, he came into the tournament having missed five consecutive cuts and then out-duelled third-round leader Charley Hoffman on the first hole of a playoff to become the first back-to-back winner of the event since Jim Furyk accomplished the feat in 2006-2007.

And despite his relative lack of success this season (he has just one top 10 and hasn’t had a top-25 finish since a T20 at a World Golf Championship event in Mexico in March), Vegas says he isn’t tinkering with his game much.

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“My game feels good, my body feels good. It’s all good,” said Vegas, who was just about to get in some putting practice and work on the range before heading out for 18 holes on the course, which looks lush despite little rain.

When asked to pinpoint exactly what it is about Glen Abbey that brings out the best in his game, Vegas struggles to answer.

“It’s a course that has four par-5s, three on the back nine, so long hitters tend to have a bit of an advantage here,” says the world No. 85, who ranks 77th on the tour this year with a driving average of 298.4 yards. “It’s a course where you have to make a lot of birdies. Obviously taking advantage of the par-5s here is a big deal and I’ve just been fortunate enough to do it better than most guys the past couple of years.”

Whatever it is about the Abbey, Vegas will surely miss the iconic course if it gets turned into a housing development as is the desire of ClubLink, the property’s owner, and this is the final RBC Canadian Open to be held here.

“I think every player on tour has their courses and moments and this is it for me,” Vegas says. “It’s a course that I guess we both see eye to eye very well. I like it and the course obviously likes me. It’s just fun and the more positive memories you can build, it’s easier for good things to happen. I’ve been able to do it the past two years and hopefully I can do it again.”

If he can, there will be no more taking him lightly.

VEGAS COULDN’T BEAT THE ODDS

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Jhonattan Vegas seems like a pretty relaxed guy, but even he had trouble adjusting to a cobbled-together set of clubs at last week’s British Open in Scotland.

Visa issues delayed Vegas’ arrival at Carnoustie and even when he did get there, his clubs didn’t make it for the first round.

“I did get there in time to make my tee time, but obviously it wasn’t the preparation I needed for the British Open,” the big Venezuelan said on Tuesday at Glen Abbey as he got set to defend his back-to-back crowns at the RBC Canadian Open.

“It’s adversity, but at the end of the day we all have to face some adversity here and there but that was rather extreme, let’s put it that way. It was still a great experience, and I tried my best to be ready, I gave it a good try. But it definitely affects the way you feel and the way you play, but it was still fun being at the Open. At least I was able to enjoy it and gain some experience.”

Win, lose, or draw, this week will surely feel like a breeze to the world No. 85.

dhilson@postmedia.com

Council seeks to ban handgun sales in Toronto

Toronto Sun - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 07:10

The City of Toronto is seeking federal authority to outlaw the sale of handguns and their ammunition within the 416 area.

Council will also ask the federal government to ban handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons across the country except for police, military and security uses. The motion was approved in a vote of 41-4.

“People in the City of Toronto don’t need handguns,” Mayor John Tory said at the end of a day-long discussion over the best way to response to gun violence.

Councillor Joe Cressy kicked off the debate on violence prevention Tuesday, questioning whether it was possible to outlaw handguns outright in the city, something he was told would require legislative changes by the Justin Trudeau government.

Police Chief Mark Saunders told council he wasn’t so much concerned with legal gun owners, but rather the criminals who find it increasingly easy to get their hands on such weapons — especially with the possibility of 3D-printed guns.

Saunders, with the support of Tory, has endorsed the more widespread use of surveillance cameras and ShotSpotter, technology that listens for gunshots and notifies the police.

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“This is what I want to give the chief because this is what he says he needs in order to do the job,” Tory said.

The mayor also introduced motions, supported by council, to ask the feds to toughen the penalties against gun trafficking, including mandatory minimum sentences.

Council had already planned to discuss a number of youth and community programs to prevent violence following an increase in gun-related crime in Toronto this year, and the horrific Danforth Ave. shooting added to the urgency.

The debate seesawed between violence prevention and enforcement, from a gun repository to programs to combat racism and youth unemployment to an under-15 midnight curfew to a citywide handgun ban.

“Enforcement is the only way to deal with this issue,” said Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti who proposed the curfew, easier evictions from Toronto Community Housing, a study on the contribution of “lack of parenting“ to crime, the hiring of 100 new police officers and an appeal for more investigative resources for police.

While council rejected the curfew idea, it did back the call for more police officer hires and easier evictions of criminals.

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A TCHC official confirmed that there’s even a term — “a unit takeover” — for criminals who claim the home of a resident with a lease to, for example, turn it into a drug den.

On the flip side of the debate were those councillors who were concerned that beefing up surveillance and sending more cops into a community already marginalized by racism and poverty would send a negative message.

“What does that tell you about your social worth?” Councillor Gord Perks said, calling instead for programs that promote self value and inclusion.

An attempt to withdraw funding from the surveillance camera and ShotSpotter programs was rejected by the majority of council, but it did vote to spend millions more on anti-violence programs such as youth employment and community trauma teams.

Saunders said there is no one fix to gun crime, and police can’t do it all.

aartuso@postmedia.com

DANFORTH SHOOTING: Witnesses to violence and tragedy

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 18:56

Toronto is facing yet another brush with unexpected violence and tragedy.

Two victims died Sunday night — 18 year old Reese Fallon and an unnamed 10-year-old girl, after a gunman ran amok Sunday night on Danforth Avenue.

Eyewitnesses reported a scene of chaos and confusion as the shooter opened fire, seemingly at random.

At the Second Cup on the Danforth at Hampton Ave., Jessica Young said she had a clear view of the gunman’s face just before he fired through the window of the cafe.

The shattered window of a car parked along Danforth Ave. Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun

Eyewitness Andrew Mantzios also saw the gunman, describing how she saw him shoot a woman point-blank after she fell in her attempt to flee the carnage.

Two cooks at the Auld Spot restaurant witnessed two people taking shelter at Skin Deep Tattoo, where proprietor Tanya Wilson gave first aid until paramedics arrived.

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John Tulloch and his brother heard 20 to 30 shots before running away while Jody Steinhauer reported hearing what she thought were firecrackers — 10 or 15 loud blasts — while attending a family birthday dinner at Christina’s restaurant.

People ran to the back of the restaurant once they realized what was happening, and a woman who had been shot was brought into the restaurant for help. 

Dr. Najma Ahmed, trauma physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, speaks to media Monday morning. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun

Steinhauer told CTV news that the only reason she and her family weren’t out in the street — and in the line of fire — was because they’d been waiting for a birthday cake to be brought to their table.

It was a five minute delay that may have saved their lives.

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Kerry Lahey saw a woman shot down at 7Numbers restaurant after the killer walked inside and opened fire.  Another eyewitness saw a girl shot in a group of people outside an ice cream shop.

Several attested to the fact the gunman reloaded more than once during the rampage, and appeared skilled at handling his firearm.

Not much is known about the victims, and thus far only Fallon has been named.

Reese Fallon. (Facebook photo)

One of her two younger sisters posted a heartbreaking tribute on Instagram: “Today has been the hardest because I haven’t just lost a sister I’ve lost my lifelong best friend and anyone who knew us knew that when we were together we were inseparable. I am crushed and broken and there won’t be one minute that goes by for the rest of my life that I won’t think of you.”

Sheryl Fallon — the victim’s aunt — likewise posted a touching tribute on Facebook.

This beautiful person is my niece. Never did I dream when I posted about this shooting this morning that it would touch my family,” she wrote.

“This family didn’t deserve this, my niece was just about to go to McMaster to become a nurse. Sometimes this world doesn’t make sense.

“My heart also goes out to the family of the 10 year old girl who lost her life. RIP Reese, you will be in our hearts always and forever.”

Monday afternoon, Beaches—East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith gave a statement on behalf of Reese Fallon’s family, noting that the family is devastated, “and asks that their privacy be respected at this time.”

The gunman was identified as Faisal Hussain, 29.

Hussain exchanged fire with police and was later found dead on Danforth; whether he was killed by the police or committed suicide has not yet been revealed.

A statement from his family describes Hussain as someone who has struggled with extreme mental health problems — psychosis and depression — all his life. His parents stated, “We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions.”

They too are devastated — by the ‘incomprehensible news’ that it is their son who is responsible for what happened. “Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives.”

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Work in progress, Jays’ Gurriel ‘has a chance to be really good’

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:52

At age 24, Blue Jays infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. still has some improving to do, but he’s making the best of his second extended stint in the big leagues.

At the plate, the young Cuban has been on fire taking a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games into Toronto’s game Monday against the Twins. On the other hand, he has been a work in progress in the field.

Gurriel has spent time at both shortstop and second base, which has heightened the learning curve. But his manager John Gibbons said that, too, will be good for his development.

“Probably not ideal, but we’re trying to take a look and see where he’s stronger,” Gibbons said. “That’s never easy. But guys have to do it sometimes to figure out who you are and what you are.

“He has a good feel and good instincts, it’s just something he has to do over and over. It’s playing and making your mistakes along the way.”

At the plate, the development has been significantly smoother for Gurriel, younger brother of Houston Astros first baseman Yuli.

Despite a stint on the disabled list, Gurriel returned to the Jays lineup on Sunday and had a pair of singles in three plate appearances and is now on an 11-game hitting streak. During that stretch, the rookie is batting .400 (18-for-45).

“From the first day I saw him, he’s always been a guy who puts the barrel, the good part of the bat on the ball consistently,” Gibbons said. “He can hit breaking balls. The key for him has been toning that strike zone a little and not get chasing outside the zone.

“He’s a free swinger but I see much improvement the second go around.”

Gibbons said the growing pains on defence are just part of the process.

“Some guys get to the big leagues and they’re polished, whether it’s offence or defence,” the manager said. “Some guys get here and there’s things they need to work on. I think he’s got a chance to be a really good player. He’s got a great attitude and every day he’s ready to play. He’s got everything in his favour.”

DOWN ON THE FARM

Could starting pitcher Sean Reid-Foley be a potential September call-up treat for Jays fans?

The way things are going for the right-hander at triple A Buffalo, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Reid-Foley was on Monday named the International League pitcher of the week after a pair of shutdown wins for the Bisons, including a six-inning, one-hit shutout against the Norfolk Tides and a six-inning two-hitter over the Durham Bulls on Sunday.

In his 12 starts in Buffalo, Reid-Foley has a 7-2 record with 78 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.56.

Reid-Foley wasn’t the only Jays farmhand to be recognized. New Hampshire Fisher Cats righty Jordan Romano was named the Eastern League pitcher of the week.

In his two starts, the Markham, Ont., native allowed just two runs in 14.2 innings for an ERA of 1.23 while piling up a dozen strikeouts and just one walk.

QUICK HITS

With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rumour mill continuing to spin, add Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson into the mix. Reported to be among potential teams interested in the veteran are the Philadelphia Phillies … Marco Estrada will have to wait a day and switch teams for his rehab effort as he recovers from a strained glute. Estrada was scheduled to pitch in New Hampshire on Monday, but his flight was cancelled so instead he will throw for triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday in Louisviille, Ky. … Left hander Ryan Borucki is scheduled to rejoin the Blue Jays on Tuesday and start against the Twins and Jose Berrios … In a minor-league deal, right-hander Chris Rowley was claimed off waivers by Texas.

DANFORTH SHOOTING: Shaken residents vow to not live in fear

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:51

Longtime Danforth resident Paulette Sopoci has vowed not “to live in fear” after a mass shooting by a lone gunman left two people dead and 13 others injured Sunday night in Greektown.

“It does rock you,” said Sopoci, who’s lived two blocks from the scene near the intersection of Logan and Danforth for the past 15 years.

“It’s my neighbourhood, it’s my city, it’s my street.”

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) identified the shooter as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain of Toronto, followed by a statement from his family stating “our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life.”

Dead in the shooting is 18-year-old Reese Fallon, as well as an unidentified 10-year-old girl. Thirteen others were injured, ranging in age from 10 to 59 — six female and seven males.

Sopoci didn’t hear the multiple shots as the gunman made his way down one of Toronto’s busiest streets a little after 10 p.m., spraying bullets at unsuspecting people and storefronts, but did hear the sirens of first responders.

Paulette Sopoci. (Jane Stevenson photo)

The mother of two was among dozens of area residents and business owners who visited the scene Monday morning near Logan and Danforth.

“It’s sad because it’s so unexpected,” said resident Claude Dussieres, who’s lived at Logan and Gowan for four and a half years. “You don’t expect this behaviour to occur anywhere in this city.”

Added 16-year resident Sue Franz, “Toronto’s changing (but) the world’s changing … with technology and guns.”

Colin Fenby, who’s lived along the Danforth for two decades before moving to The Beaches, said his former in-laws run the 45-year-old-old restaurant Sher-E-Punjab in Greektown.

“Apparently, (the shooter) went right by the Sher-E-Punjab,” said Fenby, originally from Vancouver.

“Toronto’s an amazing place. It’s a world-class city and we’re getting world-class problems I guess but I hope it’s just a blip. We’re subject to the same global pressures like terrorism, and also psychotics walking around with who-knows-what issues. But this is just unbelievable.”

Police cordoned off a portion of Danforth Ave. on Monday morning after the previous evening’s mass shooting. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)

Hussain exchanged gunfire with officers before fleeing on foot, and was found dead a short time later near Bowden and Danforth. The SIU is investigating if he died by police gunfire, or at his own hand.

An autopsy is set to take place Tuesday morning.

Nine investigators from the SIU were at the scene Monday morning collective evidence, reportedly recovering a firearm.

At a Monday afternoon press conference, Toronto police chief Mark Saunders maintains the city is “safe” after an especially violent summer — not only the recent spate of shooting deaths but also the April 23 Yonge St.

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But he warned of grappling with the increased shootings: “There is no magic pill.”

Police did say they were working to get a search warrant for a property linked to the gunman and Saunders wouldn’t rule out terrorism as a motive.

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Monday afternoon, officers were seen guarding a seventh-floor apartment at 43 Thorncliffe Park Dr. pending the arrival of that search warrant.

Police guard a seventh-floor apartment at 43 Thorncliffe Park Dr. in Toronto, Ont. in the Millwood Rd. and Overlea Blvd. area, awaiting the arrival of a search warrant in connection with Sunday’s mass shooting on Danforth Ave. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

Added Det. Sgt. Terry Browne: “I’m quite certain that there will be a frenzy on social media, speculation about who this person is and what they belong to. I ask you to be cautious.”

Browne refused to say if this is the worst mass shooting Toronto has seen.

“I don’t want to qualify it as the worst or not the worst,” he said, admitting the incident was indeed “disturbing.”

Mayor John Tory called the shooting rampage “a despicable act” and said he was “outraged.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a statement of support via Twitter.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 23, 2018

“The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave — and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time,” went part of his statement.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford met with Saunders, Tory and Federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair Monday afternoon to discuss issues ranging from mental health to guns getting across the border.

“We all agreed, we support our Toronto Police, 1000%,” Ford told CP24.

“We have all the confidence in the world in Chief Saunders getting to the very bottom of it. It’s an absolute tragedy.”

Mayor John Tory meets with Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair, left, Premier Doug Ford and Police Chief Mark Saunders at Toronto City Hall on Monday. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

Sunday night’s shooting came just days after Toronto police began an anti-violence initiative that saw an additional 200 officers working the night shift.

Saunders said people should expect a “heightened level of uniformed presence” on the Danforth in the coming days.

“We have control of the city,” echoed Browne. “This is an incident that has occurred. It is a tragic incident. But we will get through this.”

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TIFF 2018: Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’ and five other films we hope come to Toronto

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:25

Get your popcorn ready.

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to announce part of its lineup Tuesday. The 10-day affair is known for premiering Oscar favourites, like last year’s Best Picture winner The Shape of Water.

In fact, over the past 10 years, the Oscars’ biggest trophy has gone to nine movies that first unspooled at TIFF, which began life in 1976 as the Festival of Festivals.

This year’s awards season was dominated by films that Toronto audiences were among the first to see, including Lady Bird; Call Me By Your Name; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Darkest Hour; I, Tonya and Roman J. Israel, Esq.

And of course, there’s the celeb factor. Stars love it here. Last year, George Clooney gabbed with a handful of journalists asking for restaurant recommendations (we suggested Ivan Reitman’s Montecito). The new dad was a bachelor for the weekend as he brought his crime comedy Suburbicon to town and when he did get some downtime, there he was glad-handing and rubbing shoulders with us regular folk at Patria on King West.

Other stars who set camera flashes ablaze last September included Jennifer Lawrence (mother!), Lady Gaga (Five Foot Two), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Current War), Angelina Jolie (First They Killed My Father) and many, many more.

So with the star wattage at TIFF getting brighter with each passing year, we take a look at our crystal ball and make some predictions for films and celebs you might see walking the red carpet this fall.

1. A Star is Born: Bradley Cooper’s remake of the 1937 romantic-drama features himself as a country singer-songwriter struggling with alcoholism until he meets Lady Gaga’s character, Ally. They fall in love, but this is the movies – we know their future is anything but certain. The cinema classic has been remade twice before, including a 1954 version with Judy Garland, and a 1976 rock musical that featured Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Cooper and Gaga are premiering the film first at the 75th Venice Film Festival, so expect it to screen here over TIFF’s opening weekend.

2. First Man: Writer-director Damien Chazelle is reuniting with Ryan Gosling for First Man, an account of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Chazelle’s La La Land had its Canadian premiere at TIFF in 2016 en route to winning six Oscars, including Best Director and Best Actress (for Emma Stone). First Man is set to open Venice, but Chazelle is a big fan of TIFF (he told the crowd at the premiere of La La Land that he used to come to the film fest as a fan when he dreamed of becoming a director) so a screening in Toronto is pretty much guaranteed.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody: Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in this long-awaited biopic about the Queen frontman, who died of AIDS in 1991. The film, scripted by The Theory of Everything Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten, follows Mercury’s rise from a budding pop hopeful to global superstar.

4. Halloween: One of the most popular programs at TIFF is Midnight Madness, which highlights action thrillers and horror titles. With Michael Meyers set to kill again, Halloween – a direct sequel to the 1978 original that starred Jamie Lee Curtis – would be a great fit among this year’s titles. Co-written by funnyman Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) and festival fave David Gordon, it’s a fresh take on the Halloween franchise. “We came up with a story that we thought was worthy of following that classic horror film and we went and pitched it to John Carpenter and he dug it,” McBride told the Sun in an interview. “He’s excited by it and he’s given us his seal of approval.”

5. Suspiria: Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming remake of Dario Argento’s supernatural horror film Suspiria counts Quentin Tarantino among its early supporters. According to the Call Me By Your Name director, QT saw an early screening and he was “enthusiastic about it – in the end, he was crying and hugged me.” The film stars Dakota Johnson as a young ballet dancer, who joins a renown dance academy only to discover that there are dark secrets within.

6. White Boy Rick: Based on the true story of a drug dealing 14-year-old (newcomer Richie Merritt) who became the youngest informant in FBI history. Matthew McConaughey co-stars as the boy’s stern father.

Other possible films headed to TIFF include Montreal superstar Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan; Mowgli (which is Andy Serkis’ darker take on The Jungle Book); Eli Roth’s family-friendly The House With a Clock on Its Walls; Timothee Chalamet as a struggling meth addict in Beautiful Boy; Melissa McCarthy’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which finds her playing a rare dramatic role as a one-time celebrity biographer turned literary forger; and Mary, Queen of Scots, featuring Saoirse Ronan portraying the young monarch and Margot Robbie as her rival cousin Queen Elizabeth I.

This year’s TIFF runs from Sep 6 – Sep 16. For tickets and info, visit tiff.net.

Twitter: @markhdaniell

mdaniell@postmedia.com

CRAIG: Trudeau helps foreign businesses again, hurts Canadian ones

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:10

The Trudeau government has once again introduced legislation that will hurt Canadian companies while helping their foreign competitors.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest move is not only hurtful to everyone who works in the oil and gas industry, it’s harmful to all the tax-paying companies and workers across Canada that supply parts, supplies and services to Canada’s energy industry.

The situation involves Bill C-69, legislation that was tabled by the federal government earlier this year. If passed, the legislation would complicate the process for reviewing energy projects.

According to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), the legislation would have a devastating impact. If Bill C-69 passes, CEPA notes, “it is difficult to imagine that a new major pipeline could be built in Canada.”

Among many new changes, the legislation would expand the current consultation process with aboriginal communities as well as require “gender-based analysis” before a Canadian energy project proceeds.

Keep in mind the mandatory consultation and review process is already extensive. For example, the new Trans Mountain pipeline project in British Columbia took three years to receive approval.

Given Ottawa’s proposed new requirements for Canadian projects, we decided to ask the Trudeau government if foreign oil would also have to go through “gender based analysis” and consultations with aboriginal communities before it could enter Canada.

After all, Canadian women in the oil and gas sector, as well as aboriginal people who work in that field, are adversely impacted every time Ottawa makes it easier to import foreign oil than it is to buy Canadian products.

We were told Ottawa has no documentation on such a review.

But this isn’t the first time the Trudeau government required Canadian energy projects to meet a standard greater than what foreign oil is required to meet.

Last year, Ottawa asked TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project to go through an “upstream and downstream” emissions review. The announcement came after TransCanada had already spent over $1 billion planning the project and years jumping through the federal government’s hoops.

After the federal government changed the rules on TransCanada halfway through the process, the company pulled the plug on the initiative and Canada lost thousands of new jobs and billions in tax dollars as a result.

We then asked the federal government for documentation related to foreign oil going through similar reviews. Again, the federal government told us they didn’t have any.

As an aside, Ottawa also didn’t conduct such emission reviews before giving Bombardier and Ford hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support. (Two companies that manufacture vehicles that produce significant emissions).

Have you noticed a pattern yet?

The Trudeau government continues to put up roadblocks in front of Canadian oil and gas projects while giving a free pass to foreign oil that is imported to Canada.

If this doesn’t sound fair to you, you may wish to contact your Member of Parliament. Prime Minister Trudeau’s new legislation hasn’t passed yet so there’s still time to pipe some common sense into the debate.

— Colin Craig is the Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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LEVY: Mayor and council helped create crime mess in Toronto

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:52

A visibly shaken Mayor John Tory told council Monday morning he was understandably “angry” by the “unspeakable act” — a mass shooting– on Danforth Sunday night that left two dead and 13 injured.

“Our entire city has been shocked by this cowardly act of violence,” he said, referring to what appears to be a lone gunman who opened fire around 10 p.m. at innocent victims on the popular Greektown strip.

“While a city will always be resilient against such an attack, it doesn’t mean the attack is any less painful … this is another tragedy in our city this year.”

And then, after promising to be “relentless” about finding out why this senseless act occurred, Tory turned to his tired and predictable efforts to defer all blame to the lack of gun control.

“Guns are far too readily available to far too many people,” he said. “There are far too many people carrying around guns who should not have them.”

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Councillor Mary Fragedakis, who represents part of the Danforth, couldn’t even get a few words out without crying uncontrollably.

Reading from her prepared script, she said she was “devastated” and hoped everyone would come together as a community.

Fletcher, a little more articulate, also blamed the “terrifying night on the Danforth” on the lack of gun control.

“I know we always say it can’t happen here when we see those gunmen in the States doing the same thing, but it has happened here now,” she said.

It made me incredibly angry listening to this nonsense because I truly feel — and have said it for months and months — that this was an incident waiting to happen and that proliferation of guns themselves are not the sole or even major problem.

It’s the despicable people who carry those guns and use them to target innocent people — shooters who’ve been enabled by the touchy-feely policies of Mayor John Tory, Police Chief Mark Saunders and most of council, including the very councillors, Fletcher and Fragedakis, who had the gall to speak as if they were surprised with the mass shooting on their turf (that it really doesn’t happen outside of Jane and Finch, did you not know?).

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As silly as it sounds, if the weapon used to assault and kill people is the problem, then we should equally be blaming knives and vans.

It’s the “s***hole” this city has become under the very watch of Tory and council — the blind eye they have turned to lawlessness around safe injection sites and respite shelters and the way they’ve handcuffed police with cuts to front-line resources, the watering down of street checks and the axing of TAVIS.

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It’s the idea that the mentally ill are best served by continuing to feed them their poisons and letting them roam the streets unchecked.

It’s the lawlessness that starts in the schools, as I’ve reported on in the past week, exacerbated when the nuts on the Toronto District School Board and their leader John Malloy cancelled the School Resource Officer (SRO) program last fall.

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All of these moves have sent a strong signal to the criminal element — and even the mentally ill — that Toronto is not a safe city or a particularly well-protected city, one that is in a crisis due to the lax policies and the hug-a-thug mentality from City Hall.

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Tory and the entire council need to do some tremendous soul-searching about the role they played in this mess.

Instead of taking a recess until 2 p.m. out of respect for the victims — as our entire council of weaklings did — they should have sat in their seats and had a good, hard debate about what they can do to fix it.

That would have been a far better way to respect the victims — and the entire city of Toronto.

SLevy@postmedia.com

FUREY: Toronto’s psyche under siege this summer

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:40

Just when the city gets over one incident, there’s another one waiting in the wings.

Not again. Not another one. That’s what so many people were saying when they woke up Monday.

The shooting rampage Sunday night in the popular Greektown stretch of Toronto’s Danforth has now claimed two lives and left another 13 injured. It was a familiar place, somewhere that everyone has a memory of and a story to tell.

The same goes for the stretch of Yonge Street where, three months ago to the day, a young man allegedly drove a van along the sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring another 14.

And the same goes for the area around the CN Tower and Rogers Centre, where there was a heightened police presence that they chalked up to “credible information” about another vehicular ramming threat. And this was less than two weeks ago.

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Then you have the series of shooting deaths in the past few months, the news that Toronto is already on pace to double the number of homicides from last year. Two young girls shot in a playground. A young woman randomly killed as she sat in a car.

It’s just not right. It feels different. There is a “newness” to all of this, to take the word used by Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders in his press conference on Monday.

Speaking of those press conferences, there’s frustration at the general lack of information. Not just about the Danforth shooting. But about all of these stories. People have more questions than they’ve got answers. They then rush to fill the void with their own theories and fears. Sometimes the record never gets corrected.

We all want to say the police are doing a great job. We really do. But look at the Bruce McArthur case, how long that twisted saga continued to fester. Or how we still know nothing about the murders of Barry and Honey Sherman.

Whether you’re a guy on the street or a billionaire in a mansion, the city just doesn’t feel safe anymore. And that is really what’s changed. The feeling of it all.

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It’s like Toronto’s psyche is under siege, constantly taking a beating with bad news coming at us non-stop. Sure, the actual crimes differ. The locations vary. The victims come from all walks of life. But combined it has a disorienting effect.

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Then there’s the general feeling of urban decay that has come from the heightened guns and gangs activity in our streets and how drug addicts and their dealers are making a mess of areas like Moss Park and Queen & Bathurst and yet seem to face no consequences.

What is going on? Just who the hell is running this city anyway?

Politicians are on hand to offer their “thoughts and prayers.” Sometimes they’ll even announce a new program or a funding initiative. Will these make things better? Maybe. We’ll see.

Right now, though, it certainly doesn’t feel like we’re headed in a better direction.

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afurey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/anthonyfurey

 

WILLIAMS: Can we trust experts?

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:34

By Walter E. Williams

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted that if Donald Trump were elected, there would be a protracted recession within 18 months.

Heeding its experts, a month before the election, the Washington Post ran an editorial with the headline “A President Trump could destroy the world economy.” Steve Rattner, a Democratic financier and former head of the National Economic Council, warned, “If the unlikely event happens and Trump wins, you will see a market crash of historic proportions.”

When Trump’s electoral victory became apparent, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned that the world was “very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”

By the way, Krugman has been wrong in so many of his economic predictions, but that doesn’t stop him from making more shameless predictions.

People whom we’ve trusted as experts have often been wrong beyond imagination, and it’s nothing new. Irving Fisher, a distinguished Yale University economics professor in 1929, predicted, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Three days later, the stock market crashed. In 1945, regarding money spent on the Manhattan Project, Adm. William Leahy told President Harry S. Truman, “That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The (atomic) bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.”

In 1903, the president of the Michigan Savings Bank, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in Ford Motor Co., said, “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.” Confidence in the staying power of the horse was displayed by a 1916 comment of the aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Douglas Haig at a tank demonstration: “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.”

Albert Einstein predicted: “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” In 1899, Charles H. Duell, the U.S. commissioner of patents, said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Listening to its experts in 1936, The New York Times predicted, “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”

To prove that it’s not just academics, professionals and business people who make harebrained predictions, Hall of Fame baseball player Tris Speaker’s 1919 advice about Babe Ruth was, “Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I ever heard.” For those of us not familiar with baseball, Babe Ruth was one of the greatest outfielders who ever played the game.

The world’s greatest geniuses are by no means exempt from out-and-out nonsense. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was probably the greatest scientist of all time. He laid the foundation for classical mechanics; his genius transformed our understanding of physics, mathematics and astronomy. What’s not widely known is that Newton spent most of his waking hours on alchemy. Some of his crackpot experiments included trying to turn lead into gold. He wrote volumes on alchemy, but after his death, Britain’s Royal Society deemed that they were “not fit to be printed.”

Then there’s mathematical physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), whose major contribution was in thermodynamics. Kelvin is widely recognized for determining the correct value of absolute zero, approximately minus 273.15 degrees Celsius or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. In honor of his achievement, extremely high and extremely low temperatures are expressed in units called kelvins. To prove that one can be a genius in one area and an idiot in another, Kelvin challenged geologists by saying that Earth is between 20 million and 100 million years old. Kelvin predicted, “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” And he told us, “I can state flatly that heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”

The point of all this is to say that we can listen to experts but take what they predict with a grain or two of salt.

 Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. 

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BONOKOSKI: Gunplay and death along the Danforth ’cause for anger’

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:18

Back in March, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale ended a summit on growing street-gang activity and gun violence — the epicentre being Toronto, where mayhem again paid a weekend visit — by promising more stringent background checks in order to get a licence to purchase any firearm.

And he said this with a straight face.

He said it as if background checks would have stopped the clad-in-black lunatic who went on a shooting rampage on Toronto’s Danforth on Sunday, killing two and injuring a dozen others (including a child), before dying in an alley from a gunshot wound — either self-inflicted or delivered by a cop.

Goodale said these measures might be construed by some to be “controversial” when, in fact, they were a joke.

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As if Sunday’s gunman had bought his weapon legally. As if a deeper background check would have ferreted him out as a homicidal maniac and would have sent the 29-year-old killer home with nothing more than his tail between his legs rather than having handguns in a satchel on this belt.

This is wishful thinking at its most naive.

To Goodale and all the progressives whose thinking on gun crime is both soft-headed and predictable, the legislation he was proposing would fulfill a key promise the Trudeau Liberals made in the 2015 election campaign.

It would do nothing of the sort.

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On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, off on personal time in far-off British Columbia, fell in line with that leftish predictability by putting out a tweet that addressed nothing at the forefront.

“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery,” he wrote. “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave — and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 23, 2018

In a response to Toronto Mayor John Tory’s concern about the escalating gun violence in his city prior to Sunday’s rampage, Ontario’s new attorney general, Caroline Mulroney, recently wrote a letter to Goodale and federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould condemning violent criminals getting bail and demanding action — citing Toronto was well on its way to setting a new record for murders by guns.

Illegal gun possession is a “grave concern” of the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford, Mulroney said, and the status quo of kid-glove treatment when it comes to gun crime “absolutely has to change.”

There is only one way to deal with this, of course, and that is to take a tough-on-crime stance with written-in-stone consequences when it comes to gun crime and gun violence — as in no bail, long prison sentences, and the permanent confiscation of property like the offender’s vehicle.

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The Trudeau Liberals, however, would rather talk social reconditioning, although Mulroney’s letter went out before Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle last week where former Toronto police chief Bill Blair was appointed to oversee border control and the reduction of organized crime, which would presumably include street gangs and their love of handguns.

As Ford said in a statement Monday in the Queen’s Park legislature, what happened along the Danforth was a “cause for anger.”

He was not wrong.

markbonokoski@gmail.com

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MASS SHOOTING ON DANFORTH: Two killed, dozen wounded, gunman dead

Toronto Sun - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 06:42

TORONTO — A second victim has died after a gunman opened fire on the Danforth in Toronto’s Greektown late Sunday, wounding about a dozen others, the SIU said Monday morning.

Toronto Police sources say the 29-year-old gunman killed himself in the wake of the shooting.

Just after 10 p.m., police, fire and EMS were called to Danforth Ave. near Logan Ave., for reports of a shooting.

Witnesses posted many photos and videos, including a clip that appears to show a man, clad in black with a bag at his side, walk a few steps before lifting his arms in front of him as gunshots ring out.

Pretty high quality image of Danforth shooter captured by Instagram user arielanise. https://t.co/wARVN289mg pic.twitter.com/Dl6f7xq6uc

— Sean Craig (@sdbcraig) July 23, 2018

The Special Investigations Unit says the man exchanged gunfire with police officers before fleeing the area.

The agency says the man was later found dead nearby.

One of the victims is a woman, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said. Information on the second victim was not immediately released.

Toronto Mayor John Tory and police Chief Mark Saunders speak following a mass shooting in Toronto on Monday, July 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Numerous ambulances were sent to the scene, where police, firefighters and bystanders attended to a number of victims seen laying on the ground.

Freelance journalist Andrew Collins reported on Twitter that patients were transported to trauma centres at St. Mike’s and Sunnybrook, and a young girl was taken to Sick Kids.

According to witnesses speaking to CityTV, at least two of the victims were young females — TPS sources tell the Sun a nine-year-old girl was shot in the back.

A man with a gun fires on the Danforth late Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Video screengrab)

Toronto paramedics report via CP24 that eight patients were taken to hospital.

Katie, who didn’t want to giver her last name, was returning from dinner downtown with friends and was driving eastbound on the Danforth when she witnessed the shooter firing what appeared to be a handgun multiple times on the north side of the street.

“We heard a loud bang and I just looked to my left and I saw a guy in a black hoodie, just standing there, pointing at one of the storefront windows and the glass was just shattered,” she said.

“He was firing multiple shots, we heard eight, if not more.”

We just got off stage tonight in Toronto and heard the news about the shooting on Danforth. Sending all our love to those affected.

— Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) July 23, 2018

The 19-year-old said the shooter stood outside on the sidewalk, but didn’t appear to be using a rifle. She said it looked like he was specifically aiming directly into the restaurant.

“It was like he was in a stance, his arms were straight out,” she said.

“It looked like he was firing straight in front of him. It looked very aimed.

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“We stayed in the car and I told my friend to drive faster,” she said. “It didn’t register until a few minutes later. A few blocks later, I dialed 911.”

Katie said the gunman continued to shoot as she and her friends drove away, passing by multiple police cars and ambulances rushing to the scene.

Heard something I never want to hear again in my life, 10 maybe 15 gun shots, spread out over what seemed like forever. People running down my street saying someone is shooting. Was thinking about a walk on Danforth changed mind 15 mins before. Praying for the injured. #greektown

— Michael Hollett (@m_hollett) July 23, 2018

“We’re just in shock right now,” she said. “One of my friends said she saw people on the sidewalk (when he was shooting) and other people down the street coming out of stores. I didn’t even think of ‘mass shooting’ until I started watching the news. And know that I know that, it makes me feel so much worse.”

John Tulloch said he and his brother had just gotten out of their car on Danforth when he heard about 20 to 30 gunshots.

“We just ran. We saw people starting to run so we just ran,” he said.

Crime specialist Ross McLean said police at the scene told him, before they moved the shooter’s body from the scene, they had to “check in for explosives.”

Civilians are escorted from the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto on Sunday, July 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A little after midnight, police cleared media and bystanders away from an area near Broadview and Danforth in order to detonate a suspicious object inside of a trash can.

As of Monday morning, police still had the Danforth closed between Broadview and Pape Aves. and TTC subway trains were bypassing Chester station.

Mayor John Tory called the shooting rampage “a despicable act” and said he was “outraged.”

“On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am outraged that someone has unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening.

Toronto Police officers work on Danforth St., at the scene of a shooting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 23, 2018. COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images

“While our city will always be resilient in the face of such attacks, it does not mean such a cowardly act committed against our residents is any less painful – this is an attack against innocent families and our entire city.

“This is a tragedy and on behalf of all Toronto residents, we are extending our prayers to all the innocent people attacked tonight, their families and their friends.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a statement of support via Twitter.

“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery,” he wrote Monday morning. “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave — and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 23, 2018

Sunday night’s shooting came just days after Toronto police began an anti-violence initiative that saw an additional 200 officers working the night shift in the city — a response to an especially violent summer in Toronto that’s seen numerous people gunned down.

In April, a white van mounted a sidewalk on Yonge St., between Finch and Sheppard Aves., running down pedestrians.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

— With files from Jenny Yuen, Victor Biro, Sam Pazzano and The Canadian Press

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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