Toronto Sports News

Almost half of children live in poverty in Morneau’s Toronto Centre riding: Report

Toronto Sun - 12 hours 33 min ago

OTTAWA — Four in every 10 children residing in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s downtown Toronto riding live in poverty, one of the highest rates identified in a new report tracking child poverty rates across all 338 federal ridings.

The anti-poverty advocacy group behind the report, Campaign 2000, hopes the data will prod the government to approve a soon-to-be-finalized poverty-reduction strategy before next year’s federal election, and enshrine commitments in legislation so it cannot be undone by a future government.

The Liberals have promised to create a poverty reduction strategy before the end of this four-year mandate.

Morneau will have a say in how much new federal spending may be made available for the strategy, which would have an effect on his riding of Toronto Centre, where two-fifths of children live in low-income enclaves near the wealthy Bay Street corridor.

The downtown Toronto riding is home to a large number of visible minorities and recent immigrants, many of whom live in social housing, the report says.

The report being released Monday says ridings with high child poverty rates like Toronto Centre also had higher proportions of lone parent families and Indigenous Peoples, such as the Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River and Winnipeg Centre, which ranked second and third, respectively, for the highest child poverty rates in the country.

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The northern Manitoba riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, a predominantly rural riding home to multiple First Nations, had a child poverty rate of 64.2 per cent, more than three-and-a-half times the national average recorded in the most recent census.

“We might hear from some politicians that, ‘this is not an issue in my backyard’ and that really poverty is about either getting a job, or pulling up your bootstraps and it’s because of people’s individual choices. This really shows that there are systemic factors at play,” said Anita Khanna, national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000.

Data released by the group show about 18 per cent of children in ridings held by the federal Liberals live in poverty. About 29 per cent of children live in poverty in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s riding of Papineau, and 26.6 per cent in Heritage Minister Melanie Joly’s riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

NDP-held ridings have child poverty rates of on average 22 per cent, while the figure is about 15 per cent for Conservative ridings.

The latest census found that 17 per cent of children 17 and under lived in low income, or about 1.2 million children overall.

Campaign 2000 is calling on the Liberals to set a target of cutting child poverty in half over the next five years, and boost the base amount of the Canada Child Benefit, the means-tested payments Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will tout on Monday.

The group is also calling for the creation of a federal “dignity divided” of $1,800 per adult and child who live below the poverty line, which would be like a top up to the GST credit and could help lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty.

“Child poverty is an issue that affects all communities and therefore all MPs and all political parties should be working towards its eradication,” Khanna said.

“This is an issue that is affecting people in their ridings and they have a stake in the strength of the strategy.”

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Top 10 ridings for child poverty rate

Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, Manitoba (NDP): 64.2

Desnethe—Missinippi—Churchill River, Saskatchewan (NDP): 57.8

Winnipeg Centre, Manitoba (Liberal): 41.1

Toronto Centre, Ontario (Liberal): 40

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Ile-des-Soeurs, Quebec (Liberal): 38.1

Nunavut (Independent): 36.1

Kenora, Ontario (Liberal): 34.7

Hamilton Centre, Ontario (NDP): 34.2

Dauphin—Swan River-Neepawa, Manitoba (Conservative): 33.8

Sydney—Victoria, Nova Scotia (Liberal): 33.0

Bottom 10 ridings for child poverty rates

Levis-Lotbiniere, Quebec (Conservative): 4.1

Montarville, Quebec (Liberal): 4.1

Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, Quebec (Conservative): 4.5

Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes-Vercheres, Quebec (Bloc Quebecois): 4.7

Beloeil-Chambly, Quebec (NDP): 5.6

Beauport—Cote-de-Beaupre—Ile d’Orleans-Charlevoix, Quebec (Conservative): 5.8

Carleton, Ontario (Conservative): 5.9

Louis-Saint-Laurent, Quebec (Conservative): 6.3

Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, Quebec (Conservative): 6.3

Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Quebec (Liberal): 6.3

Man charged with woman’s murder was new roommate: Cops

Toronto Sun - 12 hours 35 min ago

TORONTO — A man charged in the death of a 28-year-old Toronto woman had just met and moved in with her three weeks before she was found suffering from obvious signs of trauma inside their fifth-floor apartment, Toronto police said.

They said Sunday that officers arrested and charged Richard Isaac, 41, of Brampton, with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Victoria Selby-Readman on Tuesday afternoon.

Det. Paul Worden said text messages and conversations Selby-Readman had with her friends have led him to believe that the pair met through social media, where she had recently posted advertisements on Instagram and Facebook seeking a roommate.

Once Isaac moved into the apartment, Worden said police hadn’t been alerted to any disturbances at the location or incidents involving the pair, who he said had no romantic relationship.

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“It was a roommate-type relationship, but due to the brief time he was there and the level of violence that occurred within a few weeks, (the death) is unusual,” said Worden, who also said it is becoming more common for abusive relations to start on social media, but it is still “rare” for the platforms to trigger a death like Selby-Readman’s.

By the time he moved in with Selby-Readman, Worden said Isaac was already known to police because he allegedly had domestic-related incidents with other women, including one related to some outstanding warrants in Durham Region.

“Selby-Readman knew a bit (about his past brush), but only after he moved in,” said Worden. “She did not know the whole extent.”

Police have spoken with the female victim in the Durham Region incident, but, with Isaac charged and arrested, Worden said he was hopeful that people who might have stayed quiet about the accused’s previous behaviour will come forward.

“It seemed a common thing that he did communicate with various women on social media platforms and based on his history with women, we believe there could be some people out there who could have been in an abusive relationship with him or could offer some insight to what may have happened in this case,” he said.

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LEVY: Pride parade no longer proudly inclusive

Toronto Sun - 12 hours 51 min ago

Like the Toronto Police, next Sunday I will be working (writing about) the Pride parade instead of marching in it.

I made that decision because I’m not the slightest bit proud with what has happened to a festival which is supposed to be a celebration of gay rights.

It has gone  completely off the rails.

It is no longer inclusive. Ever since Black Lives Matter hijacked the parade two summers ago with a list of eight demands — one being to ban the cops from marching –the Pride organization and its board has been taken over by a fringe element of radical pro-BLM supporters, who shut out and bully those with a differing point of view, even openly gay, married journalists like myself.

Over the past year, I’ve been shut out of a consultation session after the attendees claimed I’d violate their safe space and was attacked publicly both online and at Pride’s AGM last November. The year before I was informed by Pride organizers on social media that I didn’t deserve a seat at the LGBTQ table.

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Even though Pride is propped up by government subsidies (one can only imagine what the province gave them before Kathleen Wynne was thrown out of office) and Pride executive director Olivia Nuamah talks non-stop about the need for “conversations,” she told me in April she will only respond to me by e-mail, and then tersely.

Despite the fact that, as I have reported,  the Pride organization lost $1.3-million last year and was left with a $458,000 deficit, likely due to the police ban, there has been no move in the past seven months to make the parade more inclusive, more of a party and less of a political statement by the radical fringe element.

In response to a query about the current state of their finances, Nuamah e-mailed me Saturday night that she cannot comment on the deficit “until the audited accounts are completed” after their July 31 year end.

“Our audit process begins in September … the process will make clear whether we have appropriately managed our finances and cleared the deficit,” she wrote.

Revellers pose for a photos with police officers at the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

As if the parade’s reputation hasn’t been blackened enough, Nuamah announced last month that she’s asking all parade attendees to wear black to mourn the loss of the eight victims of alleged Gay Village serial killer Bruce McArthur and the 10 victims of the April 23 Yonge St. van rampage.

Pride officials also plan to hold #BlackMarch at the tail end of the parade, followed by a moment of silence to honour the lives lost.

Look i’m not saying there shouldn’t be a vigil for the lives lost. But it should not be during the parade, for heaven’s sake.

The ban on police presence in the parade continues this year even though I was assured by Mayor John Tory last year that things would be sorted out between the gay community and Pride this year.

Last year, the gay community spoke out and led by Councillor John Campbell, there was an attempt at council to withhold Pride’s $260,000 grant until the police ban was lifted. After a day-long debate, council voted to give the grant — plus $750,000 in free security, clean-up and permitting resources — to the parade, as always.

Following that debate, radical leftist Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who has helped prop up Pride’s support of the fringe element, derided her colleagues in this highly intolerant, divisive tweet:

“For 7 hours, I listened to mostly straight, white men who’ve never been to Pride talk about what Pride meant to them.”

People watch last year’s Pride parade in Toronto from windows. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)

She never apologized despite calls to do so.

This year,  everyone — the police, politicians, our mayor and the mainstream gay community included — seems to have completely given up, lost their will to fight back.

After months of conversations, the police in April withdrew their application to march in this year’s parade. Pride’s organizers had found their Eureka moment — using the police mishandling of the McArthur investigation and their “pain” as the perfect copout.

At their May 22 meeting — while media were sidetracked with the provincial election– council quietly approved Pride’s $260,000 grant again this year.

Mayor John Tory told me late last week he was “insistent” that the police should be included this year — talks did occur to that effect since last summer and an application to march was submitted by the police.

But shortly after as the McArthur case unfolded, he said several groups called for the police to withdraw their application “due to growing tensions from that investigation.”

He said the police understood that it would be better for them to come back “when things were more calm.

“I am determined to see the police return next year in that calmer environment,” he said in his testy response. “That is the truth and I believe to most people what happened this year makes sense.”

THE PRIDE TIMELINE:

July 3, 2016: Black Lives Matter-Toronto, the honoured group at the Gay Pride parade, blocks the intersection at Yonge and College Sts. for 30 minutes with a list of eight demands.

January 18, 2017: A group of raucous BLM supporters hijack the Pride AGM, present BLM’s demands and vote to ban police from marching in uniform and having floats in the 2017 parade.

Mid-February 2017: Police chief Mark Saunders announces police are pulling out of June 25 parade.

May 26, 2017: City council votes 27-17 not to withhold Pride’s $260,000 grant due to the police ban.

June 25, 2017: Attendance way down at Pride parade where police appear only to provide security. A contingent of TPS officers travel to New York City to march in their parade that same day. Although not registered to march, BLM jumps into the parade at the end.

Nov. 22, 2017:  Pride’s audited statements on agenda of 2017 AGM show organization lost $1.3-million and used up their entire surplus, leaving them with a $458.000 deficit.

Jan. 18, 2018: Bruce McArthur arrested and subsequently charged with the alleged serial killings of eight — seven of those murdered associated with the Gay Village.

April 3, 2018: Police withdraw application to march in Pride parade after strong pressure from gay community around the handling of the alleged McArthur killings.

May 22, 2018: City council quietly approves Pride’s $260,000 grant with no dissension. Pride will also be provided $750,000 worth of free policing, clean up and permitting services.

June 24, 2018: Pride parade to occur with a cop ban still in place.

SLevy@postmedia.com

LARSON: Mexico has as good a chance as anyone at World Cup in which everyone seems beatable

Toronto Sun - 12 hours 53 min ago

MOSCOW — Taking in a Die Mannschaft defeat is like watching the Generals beat the Globetrotters.

The Germans turn up at every major tournament expecting to reach a semifinal. Not winning the entire thing disappointing. Not reaching the Last 4 is shocking.

They’ve done it 13 times in their history — and still might.

But a stunning 1-0 loss to Mexico at raucous Luzhniki Stadium Sunday night could change the entire complexion of this World Cup.

It could produce the unthinkable: The defending world champs failing to reach the second round for the first time in the history of German football.

“It’s a situation we’re not used to — at all,” coach Joachim Low responded after the biggest result in Mexican football history.

“We will not suffer that fate,” Low added. “We will make it to the next round.”

You’d be foolish to bet against him. Then again, the Germans meet upset specialist Sweden in a must-not-lose Group F decider in Sochi later this week.

“There’s no reason to break out in panic,” Low fibbed.

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We’ve all looked ahead at the bracket.

This was the knockout game before the real knockout round — the match that just. might have decided the right to avoid hell-bent Brazil in the Round of 16.

Now it looks like The Selecao could get their chance at World Cup redemption well before they expected to.

“I certainly don’t care who the opponent will be,” Low said after guaranteeing passage. He called any German loss “unfamiliar.”

After all, this was the same German side that swatted Mexico 4-1 en route to claiming last summer’s Confederations Cup.

Now Low was watching Mexico’s players invade his bench area in jubilation after Hirving Lozano found the eventual game-winner midway through the first half.

The explosion of noise inside Luzhniki was greater than anything felt back in Mexico City, where a sudden uptick in seismic activity was reportedly detected the moment Lozano beat Manuel Neuer.

This was a night when green-clad Mexican fans turned Moscow’s featured venue into Estadio Azteca II, outnumbering and out-voicing stunned Die Mannschaft supporters who appeared gobsmacked.

They sang Cielito Lindo with such fervour it echoed through the historic venue as their team continually pressed forward in search of additional goals they likely should have scored.

Few mentioned post-game how this match would have got away from Germany in a big way if the Mexicans were able to capitalize on the abundance of man-advantage counterattacks they produced throughout the 90 minutes.

“We’d drawn up a plan six months ago — two quick players on the wing,” coach Juan Carlos Osorio said.

What hurt the Germans, though, was how uncharacteristically untidy they were in the final third. A side that commits eight players forward is in trouble if it turns over possession before an attempt at goal.

The Mexicans were ready to burst forward through Miguel Layun, Carlos Vela, Chicharito Hernandez and Lozano, making Germany’s midfield look as bad as it made Brazil look four years ago.

It was an action that eventually led to Lozano’s goal.

“When we scored I just sat down and thought about the plan,” Osorio said. “The plan was the next five minutes not conceding a goal.”

Guillermo Ochoa’s finger tip save on Toni Kroos’ free kick moments later hinted this Mexican side is in good enough form to beat anyone in this tournament. And, therefore, win it.

But Osorio just laughed when a reporter called Mexico the new “favourites.”

“I’d much rather say we’re going to rest and prepare for South Korea, which will be difficult,” Osorio said, humbly. “Then we’ll look to Sweden and see how far we can get.”

Mexican fans on the scene weren’t looking that far ahead, either. Sombrero-wearing supporters poured into the concourse at Luzhniki post-game chanting “Chucky” Lozano’s name.

It was a result Mexicans will feel legitimized them as a powerhouse after decades of trying to prove themselves in a confederation that’s constantly disrespected in Europe.

El Tri has as good a chance as anyone to win a tournament in which everyone looks beatable.

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U.S LEGEND LANDON DONOVAN BACKING … MEXICO?

Arguably the greatest player in U.S. history is in hot water following a bizarre exchange involving an endorsement deal with a bank.

“The tournament is here! USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors to the south are. So join me and their proud #sponsor @WellsFargo to cheer on our other team, Mexico @miseleccionmxEN. ¡Vamos México!” Donovan tweeted before Sunday’s momentous match between Germany and Mexico.

The tournament is here! USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors to the south are. So join me and… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) June 16, 2018

Of course, the U.S. and Mexico are fierce soccer rivals who have competed in epic World Cup qualifiers through the years.

Questioned by former U.S. teammate Carlos Bocanegra, Donovan shot back with an over-the-top reply that drew even more attention to his change in allegiance.

“You grew up in (Southern California) and owe much of your soccer skill to playing with Mexicans,” Donovan told Bocanegra. “Your father is of Mexican descent. Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans?

“Open your mind, stand for something & remember where you came from.”

You grew up in SoCal and owe much of your soccer skill to playing with Mexicans. Your father is of Mexican descent… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) June 16, 2018

Former U.S. International Herculez Gomez eventually came to Bocanegra’s defence.

“This is an incredibly terrible take,” he responded. “Questioning ones loyalties to culture and/or heritage because HE questioned YOU for taking marketing dollars to “root” for your SPORTING RIVAL?

“You can hate El Tri — this doesn’t mean you have anything against Mexicans.”

This is an incredibly terrible take. Questioning ones loyalties to culture and/or heritage because HE questioned YO… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


herculez gomez (@herculezg) June 16, 2018

Even U.S. soccer can’t get along.

klarson@postmedia.com

EDITORIAL: The carbon tax cover up continues

Toronto Sun - 13 hours 17 min ago

It’s not rocket science. At least it shouldn’t be. Although the way the Liberals are acting you’d think it’s a superhuman feat to disclose how much carbon taxes are going to ding the average Canadian family.

On Thursday evening, the Conservatives used the legislative tools at their disposal to keep MPs around late into the night to vote on a motion that would see the Liberals release a needlessly secret report that gives up the carbon tax goods.

Back in 2015 bureaucrats at the federal finance department calculated how much a federal carbon tax levy was going to cost.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre recently filed an access to information request to receive the document. But when he got it, the pertinent information was blacked out. The data was redacted.

Poilievre is now challenging this, with the Office of the Information Commissioner investigating whether the Liberals in fact broke access to information laws by failing to disclose the data.

You’d think if they’re such proponents of the carbon tax, then they’d be all gung ho to talk about it and all of its details. The truth though is that carbon tax fans never want to discuss the costs. Because they know how high they are and they know this will turn the people off of them.

This is scandalous. The people have a right to know.

What’s even more scandalous is that MPs would collectively vote to block the release of the document once again. While 71 MPs voted in favour of the motion, 184 voted to block it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on more open government, yet he isn’t even willing to release an internal government report to the people on an important public policy issue we’re all talking about.

Poilievre has labelled this saga “the carbon tax cover up.” That’s exactly what this is – the government doing everything they can to stop us from talking about the costs and hide the information from us.

There are a number of estimates out there from private and academic sources. The lowest of them suggests families will pay around $600 per year on average. It could be more.

Stop this charade and tell us.

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5 important love lessons we can learn from TLC’s ’90 Day Fiance’

Toronto Sun - 13 hours 51 min ago

When I agreed to write a story about the latest season of TLC’s 90 Day Fiance, I figured I’d watch one or two episodes over my morning coffee and call it a day.

Wrong.

Like a can of Pringles, it’s impossible to enjoy just one. Approximately eleven and half hours, several take-out orders and zero showering later, I got off the sofa, shook the the Pad Thai crumbs from my bra and thought long and hard about my life decisions.

Now in its fifth season, the show follows international couples as they secure a K1 visa that requires them to get married within 90 days. To borrow a line from Saturday Night Live’s Stefan, this show has everything: romance, trust-issues, water buffalos and a handful of characters that simultaneously make you want stab yourself in the eye with a fork and press play on the next episode.

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There’s Josh and Aika (a teenage boy trapped in a twice-divorced 43-year old’s body, Josh is determined to make us uncomfortable by saying stuff like, “I feel like I scored the hottest cheerleader in the squad!” when talking about his Filipino fiance); Molly and Luis (a 41-year old woman engaged to a 26-year old bartender she met while on vacation in the Dominican Republic); Nicole and Azan (a 23-year old single mom engaged to Morocco’s most miserable 26 year old); David and Annie (a 48-year old marrying a Thai woman younger than his daughter); Elizabeth and Andrei (the KGB is less possessive than this guy); and Evelyn and David (she’s 18 and he’s 27. Nope, nothing creepy here).

90 Day Fiance made me feel like I was watching the relationship equivalent of the door scene from The Shining on repeat. I was screaming at the TV, unable to stop the terrifying sea of dating red flags. With that said, there are a couple of important lessons about love that we can learn from these rushed romances.

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Talk about the important stuff before you get married.

For example, having kids right away (yes, Josh, Mr. “I’m just going to reverse my vasectomy” – I’m looking at you) or where you want to live. If 90 Day Fiance has taught us anything, it’s that there’s nothing more awkward than telling your beloved, “live in a small town? But I thought we were going to travel the world with your Christian band,” while standing on a picturesque bridge in New Hampshire.

Yes, that means sex too.

Cue the Salt n’ Pepa. Communication is a key part of a healthy sex life. In other words, if you’re a 26-year old virgin and your 18-year old fiance tries to delicately broach the subject of intimacy, your initial reaction shouldn’t be to run out of the room in a huff.

Don’t blame a woman’s behaviour on her period, and then follow it up by critiquing her decorating skills.

Sure, it looks like Molly went on a shopping spree at Home Sense and her house is now a sanctuary for ceramic owls and Buddha heads, but calling a woman hormonal and then having the nerve to suggest her scented candles “don’t smell good,” will incite World War III.

Blended families take time.

It’s incredibly unrealistic and reckless to expect your kids to call your new partner “daddy” right away. If they don’t hit it off, the problem isn’t the “demon owls” or “witchcraft,” like your fiance suggests. It’s that you’re forcing your kids to live with a stranger that just months before was taking body shots off mommy’s boobs at Senor Frogs.

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You can’t rush love.

Most of these relationships have more red flags than a Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill. If anything, 90 Day Fiance is a testament to why we shouldn’t rush into marriage. Take it from Azan — when your partner asks you whether you love them and if you say “yes” but shake your head “no,” you’re probably not ready for a trip to the altar.

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Convicted Toronto scammers who preyed on elderly victims sentenced

Toronto Sun - 14 hours 33 min ago

One perpetrator admitted she was “disgusted with herself, ashamed and horrible” for what she did.

How else could you feel when you steal from an elderly blind woman, or try to con an 93-year-old Alzheimer’s patient?

Fraudsters Kevin Sampson and his girlfriend Aimee Cipolla targeted and preyed upon elderly victims — nine of the 10 were females, including a legally blind, recent widowed and a age-related-memory-challenged 90-year-old man who was terrorized and bilked for $18,649 over 11 days last summer.

Under the guise of performing emergency roof repairs, Sampson, 42, and Cipolla, 35, wormed their way into the victims’ home.

They pretended to “refund” overpayments by exploiting a handheld device that recorded the victims’ PIN from their bank cards.

And then after the predators snatched the vulnerable victims’ personal info, they ripped off their bank accounts and credit cards for thousands of dollars, $500 almost daily purchases of booze, food and other items. The con artists performed no work on the victims’ roofs and collected roughly $21,500 in ill-gotten loot.

One tactic they used was distracting the victim while alone in their homes with conversation while the other cleaned out the woman’s purse.

Sampson and Cipolla recently received prison sentences for their crimes.

Sampson, who had committed his third set of similar fraud ripoffs, was slammed with a four-year penitentiary term on Tuesday by Justice William Wolski.

Cipolla, who had a record for minor, unrelated crimes, netted a 15-month sentence in April by Justice Joseph Bovard.

“They took full advantage of vulnerable people. The mere targeting of the elderly is despicable,” said Wolski while sentencing Sampson.

“They are valued citizens of this city, this province and indeed Canada itself — they are deserving of protection from such hustlers and fraudsters as Sampson.

“Sampson and Cipolla went door to door and only targeted these people. It was a systemic attack on elderly, fragile people.”

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For Sampson, this was his third such conviction for scams against the aged in 19 months — two in Toronto and one in Oshawa.

He also pleaded guilty to criminal harassment, eight counts of fraud under, five thefts under and two breaches of probation.

The victims’ names have been changed to protect them from further victimization, and all were fully reimbursed by their banks.

Legally-blind Polly Smith had just lost her beautiful collie dog only six days before her husband of 58 years passed away.

Four days later, the heart-broken widow was approached in her Toronto home by Sampson and Cipolla on July 8, 2017.

“Unfortunately, my guard was down. . Sampson said my air vent was missing and I paid him $350,” the 78-year-old said in her impact statement.

“Two days later, he came back to my house and said it was my lucky day as he had overcharged me and to put my bank card in his machine with my PIN and the money would go directly in my bank,” she recalled.

“He asked me for a drink of water and he had taken off with my card and PIN.”

Upset, she phoned CIBC and cancelled her card, but it was too late — the thieves had stolen $800.

“Now I’m terrified to open the front door or even go to the bank machine,” said the widow.

“How can these people target innocent seniors? They have no scruples.”

Chuck Downs, 90, lives alone in his north Beaches area home and suffers from an age-related memory loss.

He was told by Sampson that his roof had a broken vent on July 20, 2017.

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In the coming days, Sampson obtained Downs’ debit card and PIN through means the victim now doesn’t remember.

Over the next 11 days, the pair returned to Downs’ home over ten times to obtain more money from him, causing him to fear for his safety, said Crown attorney Andrew Max.

“Sampson and Cipolla made unauthorized withdrawals and purchases totalling $18,649. 43, and none has been recovered from the accused,” said Max.

“After an extensive campaign by Mr. Downs’ family, Scotiabank eventually compensated the victim for his loss.”

The fraud was uncovered when a bank manager became concerned and phoned Downs’ son the next month, Max said.

“I was angry and upset about how my claim was initially denied and that I was blamed for the theft,” Downs said in his victim impact statement.

“I no longer have full control of my affairs and have lost some of my independence.”

Sampson, who started his criminal career in ‘91 and formerly worked for a paving company, was already on probation for assaulting Cipolla in May 2017.

He was sentenced to serve 90 days on weekends and had a two-year probation.

At Cipolla’s sentencing, Justice Joseph Bovard said the fraudster “was really messed up on drugs” at the time and feels “horrible” for her crimes.

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Bovard said the pair “executed a premeditated and well-planned scheme to repeatedly prey upon very elderly and vulnerable people and they did so in a callous, uncaring manner.”

Bovard quoted Cipolla as saying “she has no one to blame but herself. She’s disgusted with herself and ashamed,”

The judge then noted Cipolla contradicted her acceptance of guilt by insisting Sampson “had control of everything. He  just dragged me along, and I went along like a fool.”

The judge wasn’t buying her blame-shifting.

“I’m not convinced she was under his complete control,” said Bovard, noting she fully co-operated in the scheme, shared his motivation and wanted to continue associating with Sampson.

Their crimes have “caused the victims psychological and emotional damages that continues for them and will probably be so until the end of  their lives,” said Bovard.

“Elder abuse is a very serious issue in our society.”

spazzano@postmedia.com

Illinois race car driver killed in crash at Bowmanville track

Toronto Sun - 14 hours 34 min ago

Cars were Jeffrey Green’s passion.

The driver killed Saturday while racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont. was involved with cars at work and at play, from the age of 13 onward.

Green, 61, ran both the Ford and the Chevrolet dealerships where he lived in Peoria, Ill. He got his start cleaning cars as an adolescent in the nearby town of Monmouth, where his father, Ray Green, had a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership.

The family has been involved in the car business since the late ‘50s, and Green has two siblings who likewise have Illinois car dealerships. Green did a degree in automotive marketing and business at Northwood University in Michigan.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jeffrey Green,” said Myles Brandt, President and General Manager of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fellow competitors.”https://t.co/gypSVfDx5R

— CTMP (@CTMPOfficial) June 17, 2018

After running car dealerships in Danville, Ill., for 18 years, Green moved to Peoria in 1997.

On Saturday, he was competing in a Formula 5000 Revival Series event sponsored by the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada.

His car, a Lola T300 from 1972, has a rich racing history; a Lola T300 driven by Frank Gardner in ’72, for example, won the New Zealand Grand Prix.

According to oldracingcars.com, the car driven by Green was the Lola T300 HU6. Past drivers include Jerry Jansen and John McDonald and  the car has been part of 19 recorded races. It was off the scene for some years but most recently entered the race world in 2011. Green bought the car in 2015 and it was run at Road America in 2016 and 2017.

Jeff Green is pictured in a Facebook photo.

According to a statement from Durham Regional Police, Green lost control around corner eight at the Bowmanville raceway during Saturday’s event and left the track, hitting a wall. Safety staff got Green from his car and he was taken to Lakeridge Health Centre in Bowmanville, where he was pronounced dead.

The car had passed a pre-race safety inspection.

Whether Green had any medical issue personally at the time of the accident or whether the car experienced mechanical failure is still under investigation.

On Sunday, Myles Brandt, president of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, issued a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jeffrey Green. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fellow competitors.”

 

 

NHL draft weekend a chance to turn struggling franchises around

Toronto Sun - 14 hours 43 min ago

It doesn’t matter if you finished dead last or won the Stanley Cup, the NHL Entry Draft has a way of breathing new life into even the most beleaguered fan bases.

With just one pick or one trade, you can theoretically turn a franchise around. And with five of the seven Canadian teams having missed the playoffs last year, that certainly is the hope heading into the two-day event held in Dallas on June 22 and 23.

From finding a trading partner for Erik Karlsson and Max Pacioretty to why Canadians could be shut out of the top-5, here are eight questions heading into this weekend’s draft:

Will Ottawa trade Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman?

The Senators have the fourth and 22nd picks in the first round, but expect them to have plenty more if Karlsson and Hoffman are moved. In Karlsson’s case, look for Vegas as a potential destination, with a package including centre Cody Glass (sixth overall, 2017) and defenceman Erik Brannstrom (15th overall), as well as a roster player such as Tomas Tatar. Hoffman won’t fetch nearly as much now that Ottawa is painted into a corner of having to move, but it’s not unrealistic to assume that the Rangers could offer one of the first-round picks they acquired from Tampa Bay or Boston.

What other trades might we see?

Montreal already acquired Max Domi from Arizona in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, but it doesn’t mean the Canadiens won’t trade captain Max Pacioretty if it means filling a void at the centre position. Nashville is reportedly gauging interest on P.K. Subban, while Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot might be available, and just about everyone needs a defenceman.

How good is this year’s No. 1 pick?

The term “generational talent” gets thrown around more than it probably should. But in the case of Rasmus Dahlin, who is going to be the first Swede since Mats Sundin to go first overall, it’s appropriate. Described as a mix between Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson, the 6-foot-3 defenceman has the potential to be a franchise-changer. In other words, get your Sabres’ jokes out of your system. The days of Buffalo being a punchline are coming to an end.

If Dahlin is so good, why are people comparing him to Nail Yakupov?

The comparison to the first-overall bust is more a reflection of the 2012 draft, which saw eight defencemen selected in the top 10. This year’s draft could be just as rich with defenders. It obviously begins with Dahlin at No. 1, but scouts also believe that Adam Boqvist, Quinn Hughes, Noah Dobson, Evan Bouchard and Bode Wilde could all grow into top-pairing defencemen in a few years.

Why did the Senators keep their pick?

As part of the Matt Duchene trade, the Senators have the choice of giving the Avalanche either this year’s or next year’s first round pick. It looks like they are keeping this year’s pick, which is a bit of a gamble considering that Ottawa could be just as bad next year and potentially lose out on the No. 1 pick and a chance to select top prospect Jack Hughes. At the same time, selecting fourth overall in this year’s draft was too much to pass up considering that their choices in that spot (wingers Filip Zadina and Brady Tkachuk) are NHL-ready and could make the sort of impact as rookies that ensures Ottawa won’t be picking in the top five again.

Which top prospect is going to tumble?

It was a year ago when Gabe Vilardi fell outside the top 10 — despite being the fourth-ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting — because of concerns with his skating. That’s not an issue with Quinn Hughes or Adam Boqvist, who might be the two best skaters in the entire draft. But there are concerns surrounding their size. It’s not that just that the 5-foot-10 Hughes or the 5-foot-9 Boqvist are short — it’s that they are also slight with Hughes weighing in around 170 pounds and Boqvist barely tipping the scales at 154 pounds. Maybe one of the teams picking in the top five will look past this, but with 6-foot-3 Noah Dobson and 6-foot-2 Evan Bouchard also available in that area, expect one of Hughes or Boqvist to drop.

Who is this year’s sleeper pick?

There were five other players ahead of Jesperi Kotkaniemi on NHL Central Scouting’s latest European rankings, but don’t be surprised if he leapfrogs past most of them on the day of the draft. After all, he can do something that none of the others can: play centre. Teams will say they don’t select based on position, but finding a No. 1 centre — or even a No. 2 — these days is next to impossible outside of the draft. In other words, don’t be surprised if the Canadiens, who are picking third overall, already have Kotkaniemi’s name on a jersey.

Where are all the Canadians?

The best defenceman in the draft is Swedish. The best forwards are Russian, American, Finnish or from the Czech Republic. So where does that leave Canada, which enters this draft lacking in top-end talent? It’s been almost 20 years since a Canadian-born player wasn’t selected in the top-3. This year, there probably won’t even be one taken in the top five. That’s not a knock on Bouchard or Dobson, who are this country’s top-ranked prospects and should be snatched up within the top 10 picks. Just don’t expect them to be the next Connor McDavid or even Aaron Ekblad.

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PREDICTING THE NHL DRAFT

1. Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin, D

6-foot-2, 181 pounds

Frolunda (Swe) 41GP 7G 13A 20PTS

The Sabres, who finished last but didn’t win the lottery in 2014 and 2015, are finally picking first overall. And they really couldn’t have picked a better year to do it. The team already has a star centre in Jack Eichel and one of the best forward prospects in Casey Mittelstadt. Now, they’re adding what could be a future Norris Trophy winner.

2. Carolina: Andrei Svechnikov, RW

6-foot-2, 186 pounds

Barrie (OHL) 44GP 40G 32A 72PTS

Svechknikov cannot play centre, but that’s about all he cannot do. The Colts winger has been compared to Marian Hossa because of his responsible, two-way game, but don’t classify him as a defensive checker. He scored nearly a goal per game with the Colts and finished in the top-25 in scoring despite missing 24 games.

3. Montreal: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C

6-foot-2, 188 pounds

Assat (Fin) 57GP 10G 19A 29PTS

The Canadiens need a centre — a legitimate one, that is. And the Finnish-born Kotkaniemi, who has been shooting up the draft rankings, is the best one available in this year’s draft. Scouts compare him to Anze Kopitar, because he can score but also because he’s noticeable even when he’s not factoring the scoresheet. Either way, he’s a better option up the middle than Jonathan Drouin.

4. Ottawa: Filip Zadina, RW

6-feet, 196 pounds

Halifax (QMJHL) 57GP 44G 38A 82PTS

With Mike Hoffman likely gone in a trade this summer, the Senators are going to need someone to replace his offence. Zadina can do that — and more. A pure sniper who led Quebec league rookies in goals and points, his stock took off at this year’s world juniors, where he scored seven goals in seven games for the Czech Republic.

5. Arizona: Brady Tkachuk, LW

6-foot-3, 196 pounds

Boston University (NCAA) 40GP 8G 23A 31PTS

Arizona missed out on drafting Auston Matthews. But in Tkachuk, who was born in St. Louis but lived in Phoenix when his dad was playing for the Coyotes, is the next closest thing. Big, mean and skilled, he should free up space for Clayton Keller and Alex Galchenyuk, and at the very least make the Coyotes tougher to play against.

6. Detroit: Evan Bouchard, D

6-foot-2, 193 pounds

London (OHL) 67GP 25G 62A 87PTS

Ever since Nicklas Lidstrom retired, the Red Wings have been searching for the Next One on defence. Bouchard won’t fill those skates, but he will fill the net after leading OHL defencemen in points last season. As a late birthday — he missed out on last year’s draft by a month — he could also be NHL ready for next season.

7. Vancouver: Adam Boqvist, D

5-foot-9, 154 pounds

Brynas IF Gavle (Swe) 15GP 0G 1A 1PTS

The Canucks went the safe route by selecting two-way defenceman Olli Juolevi with the fifth-overall pick in 2016. Boqvist is the opposite. Highly skilled and with a nose for the net, the offensive-minded defenceman won’t be playing on your penalty kill. But pair him with Juolevi and Vancouver could have a tandem that does it all.

8. Chicago: Noah Dobson, D

6-foot-3, 180 pounds

Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 67GP 17G 52A 69PTS

Dobson finished second amongst defencemen in scoring, but he really put his name on the map in the playoffs, by leading Acadie-Bathurst to a league championship and then winning a Memorial Cup. In a pressure-filled atmosphere, he stood out for his poise on the back end. In other words, he could be the next Duncan Keith.

9. NY Rangers: Oliver Wahlstrom, RW

6-foot-1, 198 pounds

USNDTP

The top scorer in the under-18 program, where he was often paired with future No. 1 pick Jack Hughes, Wahlstrom patterns his game after Patrik Laine and plays a hybrid game that is the result of having a father who played professionally in Sweden. He’s committed to Harvard next season.

10. Edmonton: Quinn Hughes

The Oilers hired Paul Coffey last year to help coach the defence into being more offensive. But at the end of the day, you need the horses to pull it off. Hughes can be that guy. He skates and thinks the game like Coffey, meaning Connor McDavid might finally have someone who can pass him the puck.

mtraikos@postmedia.com

twitter.com/Michael_Traikos

Caster Semenya files legal challenge against 'discriminatory' IAAF rule

CBC Sports - 14 hours 51 min ago

Olympic champion Caster Semenya is challenging a recently introduced IAAF regulation, calling it "discriminatory." The two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 800-metre will file a legal case today before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

ASK AMY: Girlfriend’s solo escapade bothers boyfriend

Toronto Sun - 15 hours 5 min ago

Dear Amy: A couple of months ago, my girlfriend went out with some mutual friends while I stayed home to deal with a personal issue. It was unusual for her to go out on her own, since we do most things together, but we discussed it and I got over any issues I had with the fact that she went out without me.

Recently, I found out that she, along with the rest of the group, was drunk that night. The thing is she doesn’t usually get drunk. Like, zero times in the last 18 months.

We go out with the “group” quite a bit, and she doesn’t have more than two drinks.

I’m weirded out about this. I understand that it’s normal to be independent, and I fully support that, but I just think it’s a bit odd to doing something out of character when the “BF” isn’t present.

— Weirded Out

Dear Weirded Out: Routinely getting drunk might be a dangerous habit, but your girlfriend is not a big drinker normally, and from your letter it sounds like no one else has expressed concern about her drinking habits. Nor has she done anything embarrassing, unkind or illegal.

This sounds like a case of getting drunk in good company, which, if you’re going to do it, is the best way to go.

What concerns me more is your attitude.

Despite your insistence, you are obviously NOT OK with the fact that she went out without you and had a good time, and now you are trying to manipulate her into feeling bad after the fact. (Barkeep, make mine a double…)

You and your girlfriend should reframe your codependent relationship. You should consider setting some time aside each week to go out on your own — take a class, or go out with your own friends independently. Your girlfriend should do this too; you each need to develop your own independent, supportive social circle.

If you are still fixating on this, then consider visiting a counselor, either on your own or with your girlfriend, to discuss why this is giving you so much anxiety.

Dear Amy: Years ago, I began working at an agency where I met a woman who became a good friend. We’ve served as job references for each other over the years. A few months ago, I faced another job change and she gave me permission to use her as a reference again.

I didn’t know at the time that she was having a painful dental issue, but when I found out, I left her a voicemail saying to take care of herself and to forget about writing the reference. Too late. She emailed me the reference she wrote. The next day, she sent me a self-critical missive, stating that she blamed herself if her terrible reference cost me the job.

She followed this up with a defaming litany of wrongs that I had supposedly done to her over the past 10 years. She confessed that she had never spoken what was really on her mind, or had been her true self with me.

I was flummoxed. I don’t feel any guilt, or the need to defend myself, because I know that I have not wronged her.

I don’t think this is really about me — or the reference. I am saddened, hurt and angry. But I don’t know how to reply or even if I should reply. On the other hand, I am a bit worried about her. I need another perspective, can you help?

— Flummoxed Former Friend

Dear Flummoxed: This erratic behavior might have nothing to do with you; painful dental problems can derail the coolest of customers. Could this possibly be a result of medication she’s on?

Receiving an email saying she’s never been herself around you should make you rethink this relationship. I suggest responding with a simple: “Are you OK?” Otherwise, don’t engage her in a conversation about your faults and failings. She owes you an apology, and you should not have to solicit it.

Dear Amy: I try to read your column every day. Wow, you hit the nail so squarely on the head with your advice to “Concerned Mom,” whose daughter drank an entire bottle of wine and then drove home.

Thank you. Your words were profound.

I needed them today.

— A.

Dear A: People who send me questions are generously airing their personal dilemmas for everyone’s benefit. I hope that you will act on the nugget of my answer that spoke to you today.

Canadian triathlete Tyler Mislawchuk places 3rd at World Cup race in Antwerp

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 18:59

Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk placed third at the ITU Triathlon World Cup race in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday. The 23-year-old from Oak Bluff, Man., finished with a time of 58 minutes, 17 seconds. Belgian Jelle Geens edged New Zealand's Tayler Reid to win the event.

Eric Lamaze claims Grand Prix win at Spruce Meadows tournament

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 18:05

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady won a $385,000 Grand Prix on Sunday at the Spruce Meadows Continental tournament. Lamaze and the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare claimed bronze together at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

FIFA World Cup Wrap: June 17

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 18:05

Mexico upset the defending champion Germans, Serbia shut out Costa Rica 1-0 and Switzerland held Brazil to a draw.

Egypt goalkeeper declines beer-sponsored World Cup award

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 16:46

An Egypt team official has confirmed goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy declined to receive a player of the match trophy at the World Cup for religious reasons. The trophy, an artistic red goblet, is sponsored by Budweiser. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

Brooks Koepka repeats as U.S. Open champion

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 16:36

Brooks Koepka captured his second consecutive U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y. The 28-year-old from West Palm Beach, Fla., shot a two-under 68 in the final round to finish plus-one for the major.

Canada wins 5 gymnastics medals at World Challenge Cup in Portugal

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 16:05

Canada's senior artistic gymnast team won five medals at a weekend World Challenge Cup event, including one gold from pommel horse champion Thierry Pellerin of Levis, Que.

Blue Jays hit back-to-back homers in 8th to sweep Nationals

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 15:04

Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte broke a tie with back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk added a pair of solo homers and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Switzerland holds favoured Brazil to draw at World Cup

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 14:11

Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia as the five-time champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday.

Canada drops 5-setter to top-ranked France in Bulgaria

CBC Sports - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:05

Canada fell 3-2 to France in Volleyball Nations League play despite a match-high 23 points from Nick Hoag on Sunday in Varna, Bulgaria. Canada is eighth of 16 teams with one weekend remaining in round-robin play.