Toronto Sports News

ASK AMY: Neighbours need curtains, or others might go blind

Toronto Sun - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 03:45

Dear Amy: My husband and I live next to a married couple who are about our age (late 30s). Our condos are close (less than 12 feet apart), and some of our windows face each other.

They removed all of the curtains and blinds about a year ago. We absolutely try to avoid looking into their house, and we’ve angled our blinds to obstruct our view most of the time. But even walking through our house, you can see into most of their house clearly without even trying.

A month ago, I caught a view of our neighbour in his living room. The husband was sitting on the sofa in the living room, totally nude, clearly in a sexual position. A few weeks later, my husband saw the exact same scene as he checked the weather outside.

We began to feel uneasy about the whole thing, like maybe they wanted to be seen. They could go into their bedroom, so why were they doing this in front of their big, uncovered family room windows? These neighbours were always polite when we interacted with them outside.

I contacted the homeowners association complaining about their lack of window coverings. There is no regulation requiring anyone to have window coverings. They said unless we were seeing something obscene, there’s nothing they can legally do.

We’re not sure what to do now. We feel like we should be able to look out our windows without being fearful of seeing our neighbors in a compromising situation.

What do you think?

— Over Exposed

Dear Over Exposed: Depending on where you live, your neighbours’ activity might legally be considered “indecent exposure” if they are naked and engaged in sexual activity, deliberately exposing others — even if they are in their own home. Check your local statutes to see how restrictive the laws are where you live.

However, many local laws DON’T consider this sort of exhibitionism in one’s own home indecent, even if it is deliberately within public view, and sexual in nature.

Your neighbours might enjoy this sort of display. You could write them a note, saying, “We respectfully request that you either get window coverings, or take your nudity into a more private part of your home. We — and our guests — have the right to look out our own windows without having to view your sexual activity, which, unfortunately, we cannot unsee.”

Understand that, depending on local statutes and their own willingness to cooperate, you may have no recourse other than to block the view with your own window covering.

Dear Amy: Our son is engaged to a lovely girl. They will be married at the end of the year. We have known her for over a decade. She is our daughter’s best friend, and has been dating our son for nearly five years.

We love her and think she will be a wonderful wife. We already consider her family.

My problem is that whenever she writes us a card, she signs it “Best” or “Sincerely.”

To be honest, I am a little hurt that she doesn’t feel close enough to us to sign “Love,” which I always do with close friends and family.

The last card she gave us, she signed “Best” from her and my son.

Is there any tactful way of letting her know we would like to be more than business associates?

— Future MIL

Dear MIL: Let’s head right to the headline: Your future daughter-in-law sends you cards! This alone would send many in-laws into paroxysms of joy.

And yet you are quibbling over how she signs off.

She might feel a little shy about this. Or it is possible that she feels love differently than you do, or that she simply doesn’t love you yet.

Ease up. The best way to love her is to accept her as she is, and not wish for her to be a version of you.

Dear Amy: Responding to “Anxious Mother,” we also dealt with this with our 18-year-old son and his girlfriend. We didn’t care for the girl, but sucked it up and made our point about responsibility.

If our son was going to, at age 18, live at home, several conditions had to be met: Go to college, work part time, text or phone when he would be “sleeping over.” (Using birth control was a no-brainer.)

Otherwise, he needed to get a place of his own.

He complied. They eventually broke up and she became pregnant by another young man one month later.

— Been There

Dear Been There: Smart parents.

April 19, 2018

Toronto Sun - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:01

Gary Varvel

April 19, 2018

Toronto Sun - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

Andy Donato

Martin Jones leads Sharks to sweep of Ducks

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:24

Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period, Martin Jones was spectacular in goal yet again, and the San Jose Sharks completed a first-round sweep of the rival Anaheim Ducks with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Predators withstand late flurry to take control of series against Avalanche

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:09

Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and the Nashville Predators withstood a furious rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

On Deck: Jays at Yankees

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:15

ON DECK

Blue Jays at Yankees

 

STARTING PITCHERS

THURSDAY, 6:35 p.m.

RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 3.66 ERA) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 4.00 ERA)

Sabathia suffered a right hip strain on April 6, but is expected to be activated from the disabled list to make this start. He had a no-decision against the Blue Jays on March 31, giving up two runs (one earned) in five innings.

FRIDAY, 7:05 p.m.

RHP Marco Estrada (1-1, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (1-1, 6.92 ERA)

Gray threw four-plus innings against the Blue Jays on April 1, recording eight Ks and preventing Toronto hitters from getting the ball in the air. However, Gray was hit hard by the Red Sox in his most recent start, giving up six earned runs in three innings. Estrada left his last start with back issues.

 

SATURDAY, 1:05 p.m.

RHP Marcus Stroman (0-1, 7.98 ERA) vs. LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 4.70 ERA)

Montgomery is the only member of the Yankees’ rotation who didn’t face the Blue Jays in the season-opening series. He has a 1.50 WHIP in his three 2018 starts.

SUNDAY, 1:05 p.m.

LHP Jaime Garcia (2-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Severino (3-1, 2.63 ERA)

Severino was hit hard by the Red Sox on April 10 (five runs in five innings), but he has won his other three starts, including Opening Day against the Blue Jays. Opposing batters are hitting .179 off him in 2018.

THREE STORYLINES

1. Stanton soap opera

Everything has gone downhill for OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton since his two-homer game against the Blue Jays on Opening Day, especially at home. Overall, he’s hitting .197, and he has only one homer since Opening Day. At Yankee Stadium, where fans are booing him, he’s hitting .086 (3-for-35) with 20 strikeouts. Yankees manager Aaron Boone continues to support his slugger. “He’s one at-bat away from getting it locked back in,” Boone told the media on Tuesday.

2. Bullpen challenges

The Yankees bullpen was supposed to be one of the team’s strengths, but it hasn’t lived up to expectations. RHP Dellin Betances gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning against Detroit on Friday and has a 7.04 ERA. RHP Tommy Kahnle (6.14 ERA) went on the DL on Tuesday (right shoulder tendinitis), and his replacement, RHP Luis Cessa, suffered a strained left oblique Tuesday night and is heading to the DL.

3. Aaron and Aaron

OF Aaron Judge gained fame for his power, but he also hits for average. He’s hitting .339, and his 12-game hitting streak — tied for the longest in MLB this season — ended with an 0-for-2, 2BB, on Tuesday. OF Aaron Hicks went on the DL one game into the season, but returned April 12, and had two homers — one inside the park — on Friday against Detroit.

STACKING UP

(MLB rankings, yesterday’s games not included)

Toronto Stat N.Y. Yankees

88 (6th) Runs 90 (4th)

 

22 (T-5th) HR 22 (T-5th)

8 (T-15th) SB 8 (T-15th)

.238 (11th) BA .248 (6th)

.321 (12th) OBP .343 (4th)

4.63 (21st) SP ERA 4.84 (22nd)

2.18 (2nd) RP ERA 4.48 (23rd)

PLAYERS TO WATCH

OF Steve Pearce, Blue Jays

Entering play Wednesday, he has gone 10-for-27 to raise his season batting average from .182 to .316.

SS Didi Gregorius, Yankees

Entering play Wednesday, he led the American League in extra-base hits this season with 13 (seven doubles, a triple, and five homers). He also has 14 walks versus four strikeouts. Defensively, he’s a great shortstop.

DUENCH DECLARES

One team is in a playoff position, battling with the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. The other team is at .500. It’s just very surprising which is which. Each team wins two games.

WAR BOARD 

Wins Above Replacement Leaders (yesterday’s games not included)

BLUE JAYS

1. Yangervis Solarte 0.5

2. Luke Maile 0.4

3. Josh Donaldson 0.4

4. Steve Pearce 0.3

5. Kevin Pillar 0.3

YANKEES

1. Didi Gregorius 1.5

2. Aaron Judge 1.1

3. Luis Severino 1.0

4. Brett Gardner 0.6

5. Chad Green 0.5

MLB LEADERS

1. Didi Gregorius NYY 1.5

2. Matt Chapman OAK 1.5

3. Mookie Betts BOS 1.5

4. Bryce Harper WASH 1.2

5. Mike Trout LAA 1.2

FanGraphs WAR explained: 1-2 season WAR, role player; 2-3 WAR, solid starter; 3-4 WAR, good player; 4-5 WAR, all-star; 5-6 WAR, superstar; 6+ WAR, MVP.

Lightning edge Devils as Nikita Kucherov scores pair

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:44

A feisty Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey's top defenceman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils' first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night.

New Democrat MPP Paul Miller blasts staff’s union

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:36

Ontario NDP MPP Paul Miller criticized his staff’s union and questioned the dedication of an employee who took parental leave, according to a recorded voicemail message.

“Basically, sometimes unions do more harm than good,” Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller said. “And sometimes they get their people into bad situations.”

Miller goes on to say several of his fellow NDP MPPs are having similar problems with COPE, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees International Union, which represents NDP staff at Queen’s Park.

Meanwhile, the Ontario NDP are campaigning in the provincial election on a promise to make it easier for workers to unionize and to access benefits like parental leave.

The voicemail, recorded in October 2016 and obtained by the Toronto Sun, was left for Todd White, who has filed several grievances with his union and recently a Human Rights complaint alleging he was bullied, demeaned and harassed because he took parental leave from his job in Miller’s constituency office.

The recording covers about three minutes of a longer voicemail message.

Miller complained that White was away from this constituency office for 10 months on parental leave and he heard from him maybe once, which he argued didn’t suggest loyalty or interest in the job.

“There’s going to be big changes, real quick, in the next few months or it’s going to be an ugly situation,” Miller said. “It’s not just my office – a lot of the MPPs are moving in that direction because they’re not happy with COPE’s activities. And COPE is really digging a hole for themselves…they’re putting you guys in a bad position.”

LISTEN TO THE VOICEMAIL

http://wpmedia.torontosun.com/2018/04/paul-miller_voicemail_oct-2016.mp3

 

When contacted by the Toronto Sun Wednesday about the voicemail, Miller said he had expressed his frustrations with White’s job performance on a number of occasions directly to him and through the Ontario NDP caucus to his union.

“These frustrations and concerns are now the subject of the grievances currently subject to arbitration,” Miller said in a statement. “I am confident that the process will resolve fairly, and demonstrate that I acted reasonably, in good faith, and consistent with my obligations under the collective agreement.”

Miller’s statement did not address his comments about COPE.

White’s lawyer Wade Poziomka said the comments in the recording are inappropriate and reflect “antiquated” views that do not belong in a modern workplace.

“An employee who takes time off when a new baby is born should not be seen as uncommitted to the workplace or as someone who does not take their job seriously,” Poziomka said in an email.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath speaks to more than 100 people demonstrating against the closure of the London Cardiac Fitness Institute at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont. on Tuesday March 20, 2018. Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network

Leader Andrea Horwath claimed in one media report that the NDP is the only party with unionized constituency workers, Poziomka noted.

“It seems that this unionized system and COPE in particular is something that Mr. Miller takes issue with and in fact may be blaming this system for the problems allegedly experienced in constituency offices,” he said.

“I would expect that the NDP, largely seen as a labour party, would be trumpeting the message that there is room for family and work and working against the view that devoting time to one means that someone is less committed to the other,” Poziomka  said.

aartuso@postmedia.com

WARMINGTON: Doug Ford won’t engage in war of words with Wynne

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:29

AJAX — Since Premier Kathleen Wynne already called Doug Ford a “Donald Trump” style “bully,” the PC Leader had a message for her of his own.

“I want to know why is she driving around the province on the back of the taxpayers’ money” while “we are driving around on our own dime?” Ford asked Wednesday evening.

His challenge was obvious. Why wait until May 9 to drop the writ for the June 7 election? Make the Liberal Party pay for her campaign events — especially when she’s taking nasty, personal shots.

“Lets get this show on the road,” said Ford.

Albeit unofficially, this election race is now very much underway after Wynne hammered Ford mercilessly earlier in the day.

“Doug Ford sounds like (U.S. President) Donald Trump and that’s because he is like Donald Trump. Ugly, vicious, a brand of politics that traffics in smears and lies,” said Wynne.

Calling Ford a “bully” Wynne also said “he’ll say anything about anyone at any time because, just like Trump, it’s all about him.”

With photographer Ernest Doroszuk, behind La Roya Banquet Hall on Westney Rd., we caught up with Ford as he exited the For The People bus to address the crowd inside that included Ajax PC candidate Rod Phillips.

As you can see from Doroszuk’s video, Ford laughed when I asked about Wynne’s war of words.

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“I can you tell you one thing, she can focus on an election in another country. I am going to focus on the people of Ontario and jobs, reducing hydro rates and reducing taxes. That’s what I am going to focus on.”

Inside he told the crowd he’s “not going to make it personal.”

Just then, a cell phone in the crowd rang. “That’s Kathleen on the phone,” Doug teased to laughter. “Tell her I say hi.”

While not biting on Wynne’s Trump remarks, Ford was relentless on making it clear her government will be facing incredible scrutiny on their “spending, sole sourced and backroom deals” if he’s elected premier.

“We will work with the auditor general but we will go deeper,” Ford promised. “We will find the billions, who the Liberal insiders are and the Liberal elite. When we find out where your money has been spent we will make them accountable.”

Fighting words no question. But words of a bully? Or a typical response from a former Toronto city councillor who when it comes to “respect for taxpayers” has always been known as bullish?

Ontario PC leader Doug Ford meets with supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at La Roya Banquet Hall in Ajax, Ont. on Wednesday April 18, 2018. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

ROOM FOR TWO JACKPOT WINNERS IN DURHAM REGION?

AJAX — When it comes to any casino plans, Doug Ford says as premier he’ll deal in both Ajax and Pickering rather than deal one out as the Liberals have done.

“We are going to sit down and meet with both groups,” Ford told the Toronto Sun just before his rally Wednesday evening. “I am sure we are going to work something out that is going to be positive for both Ajax and Pickering.”

This came on the same day PC Ajax candidate Rod Phillips and Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario President Bob Broadstock unveiled a proposal that allows Durham Live to move forward with it’s planning while keeping Ajax Downs and Casino Ajax and 1,700 jobs in place.

This would sustain Quarter Horse racing and maintain the $8-million annual contribution to taxpayers that has upset Mayor Steve Parish.

The concept would be akin to having a restaurant such as The Keg in one area and a McDonalds in another — both good restaurants that service a different clientele but co-exist and thrive nicely.

“The idea is to find a solution,” said Phillips. “Not  pitting Ajax and Pickering against each other as what has happened with Kathleen Wynne and MPP Joe Dickson’s plan.”

Ontario PC candidate for Ajax, Rod Phillips, addresses supporters at a campaign rally at La Roya Banquet Hall in Ajax, Ont. on Wednesday April 18, 2018. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

On Ajax closing, Phillips said: “We can’t let that happen.”

Ford said if elected premier in June he won’t let that happen — hinting there’s room for two jackpot winners.

“My door is always open to talk to both groups and at the end of the day they are both going to be happy,” he said.

jwarmington@postmedia.com

WALLACE: Ford and Wynne trade

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:28

Back in 2003, Ontario PC campaign staff issued a press release calling then-Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty an “evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet.”

While then-Premier Ernie Eves dismissed the smear as an “attempt at humour,” the reality was the Conservative government was trailing in the polls, running out of time and desperate to undermine McGuinty’s momentum.

It failed to have the desired effect.

“I love kittens, and I like puppies too,” McGuinty said shortly before he became Premier.

Fast forward to 2018.

Kathleen Wynne, whose scandal-plagued government is trailing badly in the pools and desperate to undermine the frontrunner, found something worse to compare Doug Ford to than a “kitten-eater from another planet” – Donald Trump.

“Doug Ford sounds like Donald Trump, and that’s because he is like Donald Trump,” Wynne said Wednesday. “He believes in ugly, vicious brand of politics that traffics and smears and lies. He’ll say anything about anyone at any time because just like Trump, it is all about him.”

Ford’s lies? Accusing Wynne’s government of being politically corrupt and cited the recent conviction of McGuinty’s former chief of staff and multiple auditor reports citing “reckless” government spending. He suggested if Wynne “tried to pull these kinds of shady tricks in private life” there would be more Liberals in jail, which sparked the Trump vitriol from Wynne.

And for Wynne, casting the Ontario PC leader in the role of the province’s Deplorable-in-Chief is about the only political card she has left to play.

She tried bribing taxpayers with their own money.

She’s carrying the baggage of umpteen Liberal government scandals on her back.

Then there’s her own track record of waste, mismanagement and broken promises – on auto insurance, balancing the provincial debt, the Hydro-One selloff and hydro rate debacle, the cash-for-access scandal and on and on and on.

Finally, her record of deficits and debt – that this week resulted in Moody’s debt-rating agency downgrading its outlook on Ontario’s finances to “negative” from “stable.” That came on the heels of Wynne’s decision to run multi-billion deficits for the next six years and drive provincial debt north of $300 billion to pay for her promises.

Now, she’s claiming Doug Ford and Donald Trump were separated at birth and suggests Ford has “flat out lied” during the campaign?

For a premier who defines a broken promise as a “stretch goal,” as Wynne did after breaking her 2013 promise to lower auto insurance premiums 15%, Wynne’s on sketchy ground accuses anyone of “saying anything about anyone” to justify their actions.

She recently tweeted that Conservative opposition to federal carbon taxes “will put as many as 40,000 public sector jobs at risk” in Ontario – and cost teachers and nurses their jobs.

That was fiction. Pulled out of a hat from a speculative Maclean’s magazine article written by a left-wing university professor. A political lie.

Does that make Wynne “Lyin’ Crooked Kathleen?”

Hardly. It means she’s in a fight for her political life and making the same mistake the Tories did in 2003.

Her best shot at turning the polls around and avoiding voter rage over the mess she and her Liberal government created in health care, hydro and the economy is to demonize Ford.

It’s not a great one, but all she’s got in her hand are jokers.

jawallace@postmedia.com

LeBron James powers Cavaliers past Pacers to tie series

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:59

LeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.

Penguins dominate again to put Flyers on the brink

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:57

Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Pittsburgh Penguins' career post-season points leader in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

LEVY: Toronto hate crimes up 28% in 2017

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:45

First the good news.

Increased media attention and more community education has led to increased reporting of hate crimes in this multicultural city, Det-Sgt. Scott Purchase told members of the Toronto Police Services Board Wednesday.

Now the bad news: Hate crimes were up 28% in Toronto in 2017 with 186 reported occurrences compared to the year before — the highest number of incidents in the past 15 years.

The most targeted group yet again?

According to the annual Toronto Police Service Hate Crime report, it was the Jewish community with 53 incidents or 28% of all hate crimes reported — mostly involving mischief to property such as vandalism or graffiti.

Those 53 incidents represent a disturbing 23% increase over the previous year.

Occurrences directed at Toronto’s black and Muslim communities were tied at 33 each — which each represented 18% of all groups victimized by hate occurrences. Incidents against both of these communities also increased from 22 each in 2016.

The LGBTQ community was subjected to 22 occurrences in 2017, the report also notes.

While the general increase is troubling, one has to remember that the Jewish community represents only 3.8% of the religious population in Toronto — while being targeted with 28% of the  hate crimes.

That compares to the Muslim community which is 8.2% of Toronto’s religious population and the black community which represents nearly 9% of the city’s visible minorities.

There’s no doubt in my mind — based on these steadily increasing statistics and the number of stories I’ve written about anti-Israel hate/BDS and apartheid movements (particularly on university campuses) — that anti-Semitism is on the rise, not just in Toronto but across North America.

Toronto Mayor John Tory listens to Rabbi Moshe Steiner of Uptown Chabad speak on fighting antisemitism at 32 Division in North York, One the left is B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn on Wednesday February 22, 2017.

It is interesting to note that following a question Wednesday from Mayor John Tory,  a member of the police services board, Purchase admitted that they delivered presentations at U of T, York and Ryerson in October 2017 after recognizing the “increased trend” of reported crimes coming from these university campuses.

“We went to sessions with students and did find tension between groups on campus,” he said.

Purchase didn’t mention which groups. But I’m betting the pro-Palestine, anti-Israel contingent and their organized activities against Students Supporting Israel are at the top of the list.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said Wednesday that while the report is concerning, this “sadly” is nothing new for the Jewish community.

“For years Jews have remained Toronto’s single most targeted group for hate crimes, despite our very small numbers,” he said

“We must not allow the promoters of anti-Semitism to threaten us and we call on citizens to speak up if they witness any crimes motivated by hatred,” Mostyn said.

Noah Shack, vice-president for the Greater Toronto area of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, called it “appalling” that in this diverse city “an anti-Semitic crime took place on average once a week in 2017.

“Police deserve credit for shining a light on these disturbing trends and for working to keep Toronto residents safe,” he added.

SLevy@postmedia.com

LEVY: Another fire fatality in a TCHC building

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:16

I just don’t get it.

How many fatal fires must occur in Toronto Community Housing Corporation buildings before someone other than the media (me) truly holds the feet to the fire of those who purport to run this dysfunctional housing authority?

The latest deadly fire occurred Wednesday morning at TCHC’s Greenwood Towers on Strathmore Blvd. in East York. A man in his 70s was taken to the hospital and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

The fire, which is under investigation, occurred in the bedroom of a 13th-floor apartment.

It is the second fatality in six months at Greenwood Towers, located near Danforth and Greenwood Aves. On Nov. 29, 2017, a man in his 60s was found with vital signs absent following another fire.

TCHC issued a faceless statement Wednesday — neither chairman Kevin Marshman nor CEO Kathy Milsom attached their names to it — indicating they are “saddened by the tragic passing of a tenant” as a result of the fire at…(insert latest address here).

In July 2017, TCHC was fined $100,000 for its part in the February 2016 fatal fire at a Neilson Rd. seniors building that killed four tenants and injured another 15.

TCHC had originally been charged with three charges but pleaded guilty to failing to implement an approved safety plan at the 126-unit Scarborough building. 

While the fatal fires continued elsewhere, TCHC officials quickly hopped to it to spend more money (which they are good at doing) — $750,000 — on a fire safety program to bring their fire safety plan into the current century.

Former Ontario fire marshall Ted Wieciawek was brought on board last summer to update TCHC’s fire protocols, procedures and staff responsibilities as well as staff training and tenant education. Total fees invoiced by consultants in 2017 were $125,000 (without HST), according to TCHC spokesman Bruce Malloch.

Malloch told me recently consulting fees for 2018 were not to exceed another $150,000.

So what exactly has TCHC done for the money?

At a dreary end of October board meeting, frustrated board member Pam Taylor kept insisting targets and end dates needed to be attached to the $750,000 fire safety plan and a more detailed progress report needed to be provided monthly.

At that point it was abundantly clear that TCHC officials had done little to engage tenants about proper fire safety protocol.

At the end of January I learned TCHC planned to hire a senior director of fire life safety and two fire prevention inspectors (the latter at a cost of $69,368 each plus benefits).

Malloch said Wednesday training has been provided to 750 frontline employees and TCHC has been working with Toronto Fire Services to “improve tenant awareness” on fire safety.

For example, he said, important fire safety information (each building’s fire safety plans that apply to tenants) was mailed to about 52,000 tenants in December 2017.

He said they also issue “regular communications” to tenants focusing on fire safety messages — the next one in May will address cooking safely.

Malloch added that they plan a “more immediate outreach” on fire safety awareness to tenants in the Greenwood Towers building in the next few weeks.

You think? Now that two seniors have died in that building, TCHC officials perceive a problem? One can count on TCHC to be reactive not proactive — and in this case it has had fatal results.

I guess TCHC officials like to perpetuate the definition of insanity. If the fires keep occurring in seniors buildings, perhaps, just perhaps, they’re not getting the message.

Perhaps, just perhaps, TCHC officials need to do things differently and actually meet with seniors face-to-face.

Surely to goodness a few lives merit some of the $750,000 is actually spent on proper tenant education.

Otherwise I’ll have to conclude the only thing they’re really good at doing for that $750,000 is hiring consultants, empire building and rewriting faceless statements indicating how sad they are at the latest “tragic passing” in one of their buildings.

I’m saddened that I seem to get more fired up than TCHC officials by these disgraceful fire tragedies.

slevy@postmedia.com

Cops in the heart of the city will soon carry lifesaving Naloxone

Toronto Sun - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 18:53

Cops working in the city’s downtown area will all be carrying the opioid antidote Naloxone by this summer.

The Toronto Police Services Board heard Wednesday that by the end of June the roughly 1,000 officers to be involved in program will be certified to administer the life-saving nasal spray.

Currently, only 56% of the officers who will be involved in the Naloxone program have first aid certification.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders at the Toronto Police Services Board on Wednesday April 18, 2018.

The remainder of these frontline officers are slated for the training as permitted so the minimum staffing levels on the streets are maintained.

“The priority is to get these officers certified,” Supt. Scott Baptist said Wednesday.

There are still concerns that the province’s Special Investigations Unit will evoke its mandate and probe any death or injury involving police officers administering Naloxone.

The SIU opened two death investigations after officers in Peel Region administered Naloxone.

In some jurisdictions such as in B.C., Naloxone is akin to other medical interventions like providing CPR and not subject to investigation if there is injury or death.

The Board discussed whether potential SIU investigations would discourage officers from administering the nasal spray.

“We don’t want a millisecond of hesitation,” Mayor John Tory said.

Mayor John Tory at the Toronto Police Services Board on Wednesday April 18, 2018.

Baptist says there has been Ontario legislation passed in March to amend SIU jurisdiction to investigate incidents such as medically administered Naloxone.

Such legislation may be amended by January.

“When we arrive on the scene, seconds count,” Baptist said. “Regardless of what the law says we will comply (with administering Naloxone).”

Toronto Police Supt. Scott Baptist at the Toronto Police Services Board on Wednesday April 18, 2018.

In June, each officer in the Naloxone program will carry two doses of the antidote, which loses effectiveness if exposed to extreme hot or cold weather conditions over a period of time.

“If they (officers) believe it (the dose) has gone bad, the onus is on them to get it exchanged,” Baptist said.

The nasal spray kits will be provided to Toronto Police and paid for by Toronto Public Health.

There were 186 opioid-related deaths in Toronto in 2016.

kconner@postmedia.com

Wife of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich dies

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 18:48

The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich's death Wednesday. The team didn't provide further details.

Jays 'share' the wealth, 'like' result of Facebook-only win over Royals

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:39

Teoscar Hernandez had four hits, including a two-run home run, Curtis Granderson hit his ninth career grand slam and the Toronto Blue Jays routed Kansas City 15-5 on Wednesday in the Facebook-exclusive game to complete the series sweep of the Royals, losers of eight straight.

Morgan Rielly leading edgier Leafs as they push to even series with Bruins

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 14:28

The defenceman helped lead a nastier, angrier version of the Leafs in Monday's 4-2 victory over the Bruins in Game 3 of their first-round series to cut Boston's lead in half.

Raptors' evolution means finally being easy in role of overwhelming favourite

CBC Sports - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 13:32

It's been an unprecedented playoff start for Dwane Casey and the Toronto Raptors. For the first time in its history, Toronto boasts a 2-0 series lead following its 130-119 win Tuesday night over the Washington Wizards. The Raptors began with a 114-106 Game 1 victory on Saturday, the first time they'd won a playoff opener since 2001.