Ontario Sports News

Ford campaign adviser named Ontario trade rep to U.S.

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 10:24

A campaign adviser to Premier Doug Ford has been appointed as Ontario’s trade representative to the United States.

Ian Todd will take on the post in Washington, D.C. on Monday, replacing former Liberal legislator Monique Smith who was removed from the job by Ford after his Progressive Conservatives won a majority government earlier this year.

Todd will make $350,000 a year — $75,000 more than Smith made in the role.

Ontario’s trade representative promotes the province’s interests in the United States, cross border trade and investment. Todd will also serve as a special adviser to the premier.

Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson defended Todd’s salary, saying he will not be eligible for pension payments or for termination payments.

Wilson says the government has also ended contracts with legal advisers and consultants on the trade file that will save taxpayers $710,000 a year.

Teacher, hockey coach charged with child porn offences

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 10:19

A 52-year-old elementary school teacher and hockey coach from Burlington is facing a number of charges related to child pornography.

Halton Regional Police say the teacher allegedly communicated with children between ages 12 and 15 using Facebook, Instagram and Omegle using the names Cody Clarke and @clarkie1833.

The man currently works for the the Halton District School Board as a teacher at Joshua Creek Public School in Oakville and has also worked as a hockey coach with the Burlington Girls Hockey Club (2010-15), Burlington City Rep Hockey Club (2005-06) and the Flamborough Girls Hockey Club (2016-17).

Christopher Rollo is facing four charges including two counts of luring a child via a computer and one count each of personation with intent and possession of child pornography.

He was held pending a bail hearing.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-465-8965, 905-465-8983 or Crime Stoppers.

Iranian kids show: Songs about martyrdom and anti-aircraft guns

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:46

M is for martyrdom.

Captain Kangaroo would be choking on Mr. Moose’s ping pong balls he’d be so mortified by an Iranian children’s TV show that praises jihad and martyrdom.

And that’s not all, folks.

Captain Kangaroo would not approve. CBS

The show — translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), who posted the clip on Twitter — also features the kids ogling anti-aircraft missiles that “fight enemies of Iran.”

And then the teacher — a jihadi version of Miss Nancy from Romper Room — leads the 10 kids dressed in conservative and military attire in a rousing tune about their dads wanting to die in battle.

Iranian TV Children's Show: Standing Next to Missiles, Children Sing in Praise of Jihad and Martyrdom pic.twitter.com/fraLplQ6G7

— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 18, 2018

Our nutty Miss Nancy then says of the missiles: “Come here for a moment children, have a look. Look at these military vehicles which are being used to defend our beloved country Iran.

“Oh, how wonderful! Children, take a look.”

But there’s a teachable moment in there as well.

“This is called ‘anti-aircraft,’ and what does that mean?” the teacher asks.

“It means that if the airplanes of the enemy are flying in the sky, the anti-aircraft will not let them enter or infiltrate our beloved Iran.”

And let’s finish it up with a song. MEMRI

All of the children wear badges of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pinned to their chests.

And what children’s show isn’t complete without a song?

“My dad is a military man, a man of the Revolution,” the children sing, referring to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran, turning the country into a theocracy.

“My dad fights our shameless enemies through defence and jihad – bravo! He nurtures Iran – bravo! Helping people is his motto – bravo! God helps him – bravo!”

It’s catchy. MEMRI

And there’s more to this moving ditty.

”My dad hopes to be a role model and sacrifice himself in the path of God. My dad’s role models are the martyrs.”

Snow White sends wrong message on consent: Kristen Bell

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:45

That prince in Snow White who brought her out of a year-long coma?

Sex offender.

That’s according to the latest musings of Frozen star Kristen Bell.

The voice of Anna in the animated Disney hit told Parenting magazine she was concerned about the message the beloved children’s classic sends to her two daughters.

Kristen Bell thinks the prince needed Snow White’s consent to kiss her. GETTY IMAGES

“Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping!” she told the magazine.

And don’t take apples from strangers (hint, the witch).

“Every time we close Snow White, I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got the apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘OK, I’m doing something right,'” she told the magazine.

The 38-year-old actress has two daughters, Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3.

In the 1938 feature-length cartoon, Snow White falls into a deep sleep after eating a poisoned apple given to her by a jealous witch.

Before being poisoned by a witch, Snow White was making a delicious vegan meal for the Dwarfs. DISNEY

Only a kiss from Snow White’s true love, the prince, can wake her.

Social media mavens immediately cast a spell on the screwball star.

Actor James Woods chimed in: “The Snow White in a coma, who can only be awakened by the kiss of her one true love? That Snow White? Or the looney feminist Snow White Privilege confused about her gender, who majored in Lesbian Interpretive Dance? Which Snow White though?”

The Snow White in a coma, who can only be awakened by the kiss of her one true love? That Snow White? Or the looney feminist Snow White Privilege confused about her gender, who majored in Lesbian Interpretive Dance? Which Snow White though? https://t.co/SLNrHqpmAt

— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 18, 2018

Another wag added: “I blame the witch for slipping Snow White the roofy apple.”

One took a dig at politically correct Tinseltown titans.

“Remember, kids, it’s not woke to wake Snow White from her deathless slumber,” the user joked.

On Bended Knees: It’s a prehab, rehab life

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:09

SUN Media national lifestyle and food editor Rita DeMontis recently wrote about her struggles with advanced osteoarthritis knee issues, and how she faced the toughest challenge of her life: Bilateral knee surgery. In Part Three of her adventures, she talks about training for surgery, and the importance of rehabilitation.

Six weeks ago today I faced my fears, put my faith in the medical system and went under the knife for new knees.

Today, the scars are healing and fading, I am bending at a respectful 125 ( in knee bend parlay – damn good!), pain is surprisingly at a minimal, and…I am walking. Slowly, carefully, mindful that I don’t trip, but with a sureness to my step I haven’t had in decades.

Years ago, when I realized I had no choice but to have double knee replacement surgery, I fought it tooth and nail – partly out of fear for the unknown, partly because of the (mostly) gruesome stories I had read that gave me nightmares. Terrified, I postponed my surgery twice, hoping that some miracle would visit my knees and I’d wake up one morning cured. Of course that never happened. Instead I found myself paralyzed with pain while going about my life – standing in lineups, hobbling around, missing out on social events. Time and again tears stung my eyes as I struggled to walk when all I wanted to do was just sit down. But all I could do was let this pain monster ravage my rapidly disintegrating knees.

Fiitness and nutrition trainer Nico Alfieri

When I postponed surgery for the second time, I realized I had to do this right: Get rid of the anxiety, and get into shape. Me, the original couch potato, embraced the idea of formally entering “prehab” – a pre-surgery healthy fitness and eating regime. A personal trainer who specialized in this was recommended to me, a gentleman named Nico Alfieri, who met with me, assessed, and immediately mapped out a plan of action.

Alfiero turned out to be a godsend – he was kind but tough, wouldn’t let me squeak by with a mediocre workout. He also helped me change my eating habits – more lean proteins, greens, cut back on the carbs and ditch the sweets, and, as the weeks went by, I started feeling better about myself, and the upcoming surgery. Thanks to his efforts and encouragement, my body limbered up and my weight dropped. I started looking at my upcoming surgery in a positive light.

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The idea of getting into shape before surgery is one of the best investments a person can make, says Alfieri, of Fitutoday.com.”Surgery is not unlike getting ready for a marathon – but you don’t just wake up one morning and decide to run one! There are many challenges to consider. Much like a marathon, surgery is an event that will put a lot of stress on your body, so it’s vital that your body and mind are ready, not just for performance but, more importantly, an easier recovery.”

And it’s true – the fitter and healthier you are before going into surgery, the better the outcome. If you’re facing similar surgery, commit to the idea of getting into shape – it can be as easy as moving around more and changing your eating habits to healthier ones. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.

The second thing I did before going into surgery was listen to my surgeon, Dr. Sebastian Rodriguez of Humber River Hospital, and rented a special accelerated recovery device called a Game Ready. It’s pricey – but worth every single penny, as this computer controlled cooling machine (considered the gold standard for many sports professionals, Olympic athletes and special military forces) immediately cuts down on any post-op swelling, heat and inflammation. In fact, the two cuffs that were wrapped around my legs coming out of surgery continuously offered the most soothing, cooling experience – and, more important, cut back on need for pain meds. This is not a big ice pack, my friends.

Rodriguez spoke about how hospitals are working on various programs (working with pain management specialists, utilizing non-opiate items like professional cooling devices) to eliminate the need for massive opiate use. I can certainly attest to the fact that, throughout my surgery experience, my pain was minimal.

coming out of surgery wearing Game Ready cuffs

Game Ready Canada president Mark Bruno, an orthopedic trauma consultant who has worked with surgeons and athletes, says “Game Ready is a true game changer since first being introduced (in the early 2000s.) Initially, it was the device of choice for professional athletes. I later started working with surgeons and the medical community to introduce the device as part of the healing protocol – and a non-narcotic option to manage pain, which eliminates the risk of side effects.” Now, Game Ready is being made available for rental after orthopedic surgery or injury as a non-invasive treatment that works with the body’s natural healing mechanisms, and insurance companies are starting to recognize the health benefits of such a device. (Check out Gamereadycanada at HealFaster.ca for more details.)

So where am I in my journey today? I am now in an out-patient rehab program at Toronto’s famous West Park hospital, where, twice a week, I join a group of fellow knee surgery survivors and push ourselves to the limits – in bikes, doing stairs, getting in and out of chairs rapidly. And having our knee bend measured.

Have I had set backs? Absolutely! There’s no such thing as clear sailing on anything – nights where my knees get a weird sensation like they’ve been sunburned, or feel too stiff and tight. A sudden tiredness in the middle of the day. My knees are still swelled and remind me of sausage rolls. I’m still trying to find my centre of gravity after having had my bow-legged knees straightened during the surgery. Pain? Some – but totally manageable. And NOTHING like what I had read online.

I’m still touched by the kindness of people, including total strangers from across North America, who have been following my adventures. I’m constantly asked – how am I doing? I tell them the truth: Good. Actually great!

All my original osteoarthritis pain is gone. I still have weeks of physiotherapy to get through, deal with tiredness…but my eternal optimism can’t be dampened.

NEXT TIME: A day in the life of a a rehab centre. And – when can I drive again?

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Stoned driver crash risk grows as legal pot spreads in the U.S.

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:02

As the push to legalize marijuana gains momentum in the U.S., so is evidence that more permissive policies on the drug are putting motorists at risk.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found, in a study to be released on Thursday, that traffic accidents are rising in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. That followed stark warnings from the National Transportation Safety Board, which on Tuesday issued several recommendations to combat drug-impaired driving.

“The last thing in the world that we want is to introduce another legal substance where we may be adding to that toll and to the carnage on our highways,” said David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute. “With marijuana impairment, we’re just now starting to understand what we don’t know.”

After retail sales of recreational cannabis began, the frequency of collision insurance claims in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington State rose about 6 percent higher than in nearby states where marijuana is still illegal, the IIHS said in the study.

A separate IIHS study saw a 5 percent increase in the rate of crashes per million vehicle registrations reported to police in Colorado, Oregon and Washington versus neighbors that haven’t legalized the drug.

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“The bottom line of all of this is that we’re seeing a consistently higher crash risk in those states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes,” Harkey said.

Recreational cannabis is also legal in California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont while 22 other states have legalized the drug for medical purposes, according to the IIHS, which is financed by insurers. Harkey said policy makers should take heed of the findings as more states are set to consider ballot referendums or legislation to expand legal use of the drug.

Combating drug-impaired driving presents many challenges. Experts say more research is needed to better understand marijuana impairment. Motorists sometimes mix different drugs, or drugs with alcohol, making it harder to isolate their effects.

The NTSB’s recommendations followed an investigation of a 2017 crash in rural Texas that killed 13 people. The accident was caused by a pickup truck driver who was high on marijuana and an anti-anxiety medication and slammed head-on into a church bus. Video shot by another driver showed the pickup repeatedly veering onto the shoulder and across the double-yellow line for 15 minutes.

“The rising tide of drug-impaired driving did not begin with this driver, and it will not end with him,” Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the NTSB said Tuesday. “Law enforcement needs additional tools and advanced training to detect impaired drivers before they crash, regardless of the impairing drug they’re using.”

Drugs were detected in 30 percent of drivers who died in accidents in 2006 and were tested for drugs, according to the NTSB. That number jumped to 46 percent in 2015. In random roadside testing, more than 22 percent of drivers showed evidence of drug use, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

Among the NTSB’s recommendations was one that called for the traffic safety administration to develop specifications for “oral fluid” screening devices that law enforcement can use to test drivers for drug impairment during roadside stops.

Now, there is no widely accepted means of testing that can be used in the way that police officers are quickly able to determine alcohol levels in motorists.

The NHTSA convened public meetings in Seattle, Baltimore and Nashville on drug-impaired driving this year and began addressing the issue in its long-running drunk driving ad campaigns for the first time.

A recent report by traffic safety officials in Washington State found a sharp rise in the mixing of drugs and alcohol since the state legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2014. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that one in four traffic fatalities in 2016 involved drivers who mixed drugs with alcohol or combined drugs.

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Marijuana and alcohol was the most common combination, said Shelly Baldwin, the commission’s legislative director.

The body of available research on marijuana’s impairing effects is much more limited than studies of alcohol impairment, and much of it likely obscures the risks, Baldwin said. For example, past studies have examined driver impairment using far less potent strains of the drug than what is actually available to consumers at retail marijuana dispensaries, she said.

“We need a lot more research,” she added. “We need it on the types of marijuana that people are actually using and we needed it 10 years ago, unfortunately.”

–Bloomberg’s Alan Levin contributed.


Liberal cabinet was warned hydro plan unfair, newly released docs show

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:01

The former Ontario Liberal cabinet was warned by top civil servants that its proposed Fair Hydro Plan would be unfair to future taxpayers and electricity customers.

A select committee, set up by the Doug Ford government, is looking at the recent fiscal history of the province, which carries the largest sub-national debt load in the world.

One of the issues before the committee is the manner in which the Kathleen Wynne government went about cutting hydro rates by 25% in 2017.

In a move later criticized by the Auditor General’s Office, the Liberals offloaded the cost onto an Ontario Power Generation Trust, which meant it did not grow the government’s deficit but exposed ratepayers to higher borrowing costs.

“It is likely that external borrowing by the OPG Trust would be at a higher interest cost than provincial borrowing costs which would affect the carrying costs that would need to be recovered from ratepayers,” says a previously confidential staff briefing note to cabinet, released by the committee.

“The public may expect that the government is committed to reducing or holding constant the absolute cost of electricity for consumers in the long term … (the proposal) would limit the government’s ability to address electricity rate concerns in the future.”

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Despite all the red flags and over much criticism from opposition MPPs, the Liberals decided to go ahead with their Fair Hydro Plan, arguing the cost of rebuilding the electricity system had not been fairly spread out over the life of the infrastructure, forcing current customers to absorb spiking hydro bills.

There is no Liberal MPP on the select committee.

Liberal Leader John Fraser said earlier this week that there has been a dispute around accounting methods, whether the Fair Hydro Plan should be on the rate or tax base.

“We believed it should be on the rate base,” Fraser said.

The cabinet briefing note spells out substantial risks including that the government would have no ability to control electricity prices resulting from these changes, would not know the price of private borrowing through OPG, and that private lenders would likely require a government backstop.

Staff cautioned the then government that the auditor general’s office frowned on “rate regulated accounting” and could qualify the provincial books – a prediction that came true.

The briefing note made the point that the Fair Hydro Plan could easily be construed as a tax, not a valid fee charged to recoup costs, because it back-loads costs onto future electricity customers.

“This risk could be eliminated, either up front or retroactively, by the imposition of a valid tax,” the note says.

Former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie provided a legal opinion that there was a “moderately high risk” that the Fair Hydro Plan could be found by the courts to be a tax because it left future hydro customers carrying a disproportionate share of the costs of electricity in Ontario.

The Ford government has accepted auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s opinion that the Fair Hydro Plan costs belong on the government books.

Lysyk concluded that had the Fair Hydro Plan been recorded on the government books, the deficit would have been $2.4 billion higher.

Ontarians would have paid up to $4 billion more in hydro-related debt borrowing charges under the Liberal accounting method, she said.


Shop Til You Drop celebrates the spooky season!

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 07:44

I just love this time of year! The brilliant colours, the cool sweater days – and all the famous warehouse sales coming up in the next few weeks.

Yes, we have the dates for the famous William Ashley Sale, Ganz and Real Deals, Mr. B and more!

I also love this time of year because it’s all about Halloween – and I love to be spooked!

Day of the Dead socks – Hallmark Canada

According to the good folks at Hallmark Canada, I’m in good company: A 2017 National Retail Federation survey found that 72% of adults plan to celebrate or participate in Halloween activities, and that the average consumer plans to spend around $86 on costumes, candy, decorations – and greeting cards. People love receiving cards and well over 20 million Halloween cards are exchanged North American-wide. The first Halloween cards were produced in the U.S. around 1908, and Hallmark first started producing Halloween cards back in the 1920, along with a limited line of Halloween party accessories, such as nut cups and bridge tallies. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the company began producing Halloween centrepieces, masks, children’s things and paper partyware items.

Today, the company continues to produce some of the most awesome Halloween ideas – from socks to mementos, to keepsakes to kitchen gadgets to recordable storybooks and digital scrapbooks, the itty bittys Peanuts Gang to, of course, their famous cards.

– For additional details, check out Hallmark.ca. #LoveHallmarkCA, #myhallmark, @Hallmark_Canada

Jerusalem Market taking place this weekend at the Promenade Mall


Known for its one-of-a-kind cultural and culinary experience, this famous market also supports the largest Jewish bone marrow registry in the world! Presented by Ezer Mizion Canada (a not-for-profit organization) the Famous Jerusalem Market is coming back to the GTA this weekend, and setting up shop at the Promenade Mall. The market will host more than 30 Israeli and local vendors, live music and other family-friendly activities to truly bring the authentic ‘Shuk’ (the Hebrew word for ‘market’) experience and unique vibe to life with its cobblestone streets, authentic dishes, merchants, spices, sounds and aromas. Organizers say the event is being held to raise awareness and funds for Ezer Mizion’s largest Jewish Bone Marrow Donor Registry that to-date, has saved the lives of 3,000 people including 48 Canadians. Proceeds from the market will go towards covering the cost of Bone Marrow DNA matching tests – a critical part in this life-saving process.

– Famous Jerusalem Market, Oct. 20-21, Promenade Mall, Thornhill; For tickets and additional information, check out Eventbrite.ca/e/ezer-mizions-shuk-machane-yehuda-visits-toronto-2018-tickets-46586752230@EzerMizionIncCa. #SAVINGLIV65 #SHUKSHOPSAVESLIVES.


Etobicoke location: Yes, this famous sale, which in its own way heralds the official start of holiday shopping, is open for business today and I can’t wait! Clearance Warehouse is big and jam-packed with major savings on everything from housewares to baking items, toys to small appliances, cookware to collectibles, chocolates, cookies and so much more, with savings from 30% to 90% off the retail. Dynamic Virtual Viewer, regularly $30, on sale for $5, snow brushes, regularly $15, on sale for $5, holiday garland with lights, regularly $100 on sale for $10, Strike spy drone, regularly $150 on sale $30! Name brands include Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, CorningWare, Baker’s Secret, Oster, and more. Prices so low it’s cash only, ATM machine on site (two other locations opening soon).

– Clearance Warehouse Sale, Etobicoke location, Oct. 18-Nov. 4, 375 Queen’s Plate Drive (next to Fortino’s), Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p. m, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cwsale.com 


Here’s your chance to get in on the games with this famous company’s warehouse sale. Look for major savings on a huge selection of games, sporting goods, furniture and toys, priced at up to 70% off the retail. New and used billiard tables from $750; wide selection of discontinued models, floor models, scratch and dents – everything from sports memorabilia to gifts, dart boards, toys, puzzles and more. Sale’s on today to Saturday.

– F. G. Bradley Warehouse Sale 2018, Oct. 18-20, 813 Brock Rd. S., Unit #1 (south of Bayly St.), Pickering, Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1-877-837-8456.


Plenty of footwear for both men in women – stock up on dress, casual, boots, athletic and so much more, at unbelievable prices in a variety of sizes. Sale’s on until Saturday.

– Clarks Warehouse Sale of men’s and women’s footwear, 2881 Brighton Rd. (QEW and Winston Churchill Blvd.) Oakville, Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


This sale offers up some of the most amazing fashion deals all under one roof – formal, casual, office – all clearing out with prices starting at around $20. Name brands include Simon Chang, Joseph Ribkoff, Carre Noir and more, sale’s on today to Saturday.

– J Michaels Warehouse Sale, Oct. 18-20, 100 Ronson Rd. Etobicoke (Dixon Rd./Martin Grove Rd. area), Thursday-Friday 9 a.m., to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m., to 2 p.m. Jmichaels.ca.


Beautiful Burberry
At the most recent Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, one guest truly stood out for her sexy and androgynous look – Cara Delivigne showed up resplendent in a fitted Emporio Armani tux with tails – and a jaw-dropping top hat. Ever the game changer, no wonder this stunning British model and actress has been chosen to represent Burberry’s Her Eau de Parfum – a new fragrance for women that captures the bold attitude and adventurous spirit of this famous femme. The fragrance is energetic, adventure, vibrant and bold – much like Ms. Delivigne. It has floral notes of jasmine and violet at the heart, with a base of dry amber and musk. And it’s now available wherever Burberry and other fine fragrances are sold.

– Check out Burberry.com for additional details.

Angry Andrea Horwath ‘accosted’ me: PC MPP Donna Skelly

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 07:16

A PC MPP says she was pushed and screamed at by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Tuesday in the Ontario legislature.

The NDP downplayed the interaction, claiming the PCs themselves had acted badly by deliberately blocking an Ontario Parliament Network camera that was broadcasting Horwath’s speech.

The unusual incident came to light Wednesday when PC MPP Donna Skelly stood up in the Ontario legislature to ask Speaker Ted Arnott to find a prima facie case for breach of privilege.

“Regarding the incident in question, at the conclusion of debate (Tuesday,) during the division bells yesterday, the member from Hamilton Centre crossed the chamber and initiated unwanted and intentional physical contact with me,” Skelly said.

Horwath later told reporters that the allegation against her is untrue.

“This is not what happened,” Horwath said.

“I wanted to talk to her about something, walked over, tapped her on the shoulder and she went ballistic. You can ask her why she decided to make this into a hyper-partisan angry affair. It was simply me going over to talk to her.”

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NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson said Skelly’s point of order has no merit.

“The antics displayed by the government members yesterday in trying to block the cameras in the chamber from televising the speech from my leader on a very important health care issue facing Bramptonians were absolutely inappropriate, disrespectful and beneath the dignity of this House,” Bisson said.

Skelly said she was sitting in Finance Minister Vic Fedeli’s chair having a discussion with a PC cabinet minister when a furious Horwath walked across the floor, pushed her shoulder to get her attention and began screaming “You disgust me.

“I stood up and said, ‘Don’t touch me, get your hands off me,’” Skelly said.

MPP Donna Skelly

“We had an exchange and then the clerk stepped in and told her to get back in her seat.”

Horwath’s face was red and she was clearly upset, but while she was aggressive in tone she did not hurt her, Skully said.

There were many witnesses to the incident, and Horwath hasn’t denied touching her, Skelly said.

“My biggest issue in raising this is had a man done that this would have been a big deal,” she said.

“I’m not intimidated by Andrea Horwath but that conduct is so unbecoming of anyone, let alone the leader of a party, the Leader of the Opposition… She should apologize and she should control her temper.”

Skully questioned the workplace culture of the Ontario NDP, noting two other NDP MPPs are the subject of unresolved union grievances and human rights complaints by their staff.

“No one should feel that they can be attacked where they work, in a workplace, especially in the legislature and that’s why I raised it,” she said. “She accosted me, and no one should put their hands on anyone else in the legislature.”


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Cops begin excavating in Bowmanville teen’s 1963 disappearance

Toronto Sun - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 06:55

Durham Regional Police will begin excavating a site Thursday in the cold-case disappearance of a teenaged girl in Bowmanville.

Noreen Greenley, 13, vanished on Sept. 14, 1963 while heading home from a Saturday night bowling with her friends.

Investigators say they will begin excavating Thursday morning in the area of Hwy. 57 and Concession Road 8.

In 2016, a tipster told the girl’s niece Kelly Greenley that his father had confessed on his deathbed to abducting and killing Noreen.

According to his story, his dad was a construction worker who worked part-time as a school bus driver in Bowmanville; when he offered her a ride home that night, Noreen would have recognized him and felt safe.

But he killed her by striking her with a dowel and then put her body in the trunk of his car.

On the Monday, he went to work at his construction site where they were rerouting Hwy. 57 near Concession 8. He dumped the car, telling his co-workers he was burying it with a backhoe because it was a jalopy that had given him no end of trouble.

“So it’s been buried there ever since and that’s why the car never showed up,” Greenley told the Sun’s Michele Mandel last month. “It all adds up.”

Durham Regional Police had doubts about the man’s credibility and asked the OPP to conduct ground penetrating radar first before going further. “To give them some peace of mind, I’m taking it to this next step,” Det. Rob Moore told the Sun.

“I told them I’m hoping to be proven wrong but not to get their hopes up. “We’re going to give it a shot. We could get lucky.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5326.

O’Brien kicks late drop goal to give Wolfpack narrow win over Toulouse

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 13:25

TORONTO — Gareth O’Brien’s drop goal in the 77th minute lifted the Toronto Wolfpack to a 13-12 win over Toulouse Olympique in a tense rugby league playoff game Saturday.

It was a physical contest played before 7,923 under a hot early afternoon sun at Lamport Stadium, with both teams putting on second-half surges.

Tied 8-8 at the break, Toronto (3-2-0) turned up the heat in the second half and spent large chunks of time in the visitors’ half. Toulouse (2-3-0) defended resolutely but the Wolfpack regained the lead five minutes into the second half with a Chase Stanley try.

Down 12-8, Toulouse pulled even on a Stan Robin try in the 71st minute. But William Barthau missed the conversion, setting the stage for O’Brien’s dramatic boot.

O’Brien is no stranger to big kicks, having made the drop goal that kept Salford in the Super League in 2016. He had missed three conversion attempts from the sidelines Saturday.

Mason Caton-Brown and Nick Rawsthorne also scored tries for Toronto.

Paul Marcon also scored a try for Toulouse, who had a player sin-binned in the first half. Mark Kheirallah kicked two penalties for the visitors.

It was another first for the transatlantic Wolfpack as La Marseillaise rang out before the game for the first visit to Lamport Stadium by a French team. Toronto won both previous meetings this season — 24-22 on April 2 and 43-30 on May 19.

It was a tight opening with neither team able to breach the other’s defence.

Toulouse centre Bastien Ader got up from a 12th-minute tackle by Jack Bussey complaining of a bite to the ear. Midway through the second half, it was Bussey’s turn to allege he had been bitten.

A penalty gave Toulouse a 2-0 lead in the 17th minute. But Toronto went ahead 4-2 in the 20th after Caton-Brown dove over in the corner. A TV replay showed the Wolfpack winger lost control of the ball before touching it down but, with no video replay available to referee Tom Grant, the try was awarded.

Caton-Brown saved a try at the other end when he intercepted a Johnathon Ford pass with an unmarked Toulouse player awaiting the ball.

A minute after Robin was sin-binned for a professional foul (delay of game) and dissent, Rawsthorne went over in the corner in the 28th minute for an 8-2 lead. A Kheirallah penalty cut the deficit to 8-4 in the 33rd.

Toulouse lost veteran New Zealand forward Sam Rapira late in the half after he crashed into a teammate making a tackle. The visitors, however, had the last laugh of the half, tying it up at 8-8 when Marcon touched down his own kick in the corner in the 38th minute.

Toronto pulled ahead 12-8 in the 45th minute when Toulouse winger Chris Centrone was unable to handle a Josh McCrone kick high in the sun and Stanley touched the ball down in the corner.

It was 26 degrees Celsius at kickoff — 12:30 p.m. local time. The "sweltering heat," as Toulouse observed on its Twitter feed, was said to feel like 33 degrees. It was about the same temperature in Toulouse, however.

The Wolfpack, who won their first 19 games in Toronto, came into Saturday’s contest having lost two of the last three at Lamport — against Featherstone in the regular-season finale and Hull Kingston Rovers in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

The Super 8s Qualifiers group the bottom four Super League sides (Leeds Rhinos, Hull Kingston Rovers, Salford Red Devils and Widnes Vikings) with the top four Betfred Championship teams (Toronto, London, Toulouse and Halifax RLFC).

After a round-robin, the top three secure Super League status while No. 4 plays No. 5 in the so-called "Million Pound Game" to see who joins them.

Teams voted this week to scrap the Super 8s and return to one-up, one-down promotion and relegation next year.

Toronto, which beat London and Halifax and lost to Hull KR and Salford, hosts Widnes next weekend before finishing at Leeds.

In other Saturday action, Widnes (1-4-0) ended a 17-match losing streak with a 26-12 win over Halifax (0-5-0). Hull KR hosted London in the day’s other game.

Maple Leafs confident in defence despite doubters

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 13:09

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — In the hours after his stunning move to the Toronto Maple Leafs, an unprompted John Tavares went out of his way to praise the team’s most maligned group — its defencemen.

Part of a response to a general question about style of play, the brief exchange showed that while the meticulous star centre was new to town, he was also keenly aware of the perception surrounding what has been viewed from the outside as the franchise’s weak link.

"I know the defence has been talked about here over the (last) little while," Tavares told a packed room of reporters on July 1. "But I remember how tough they were to play against."

Tough or not, those concerns remain.

Vaulted among the favourites to hoist the Stanley Cup after Tavares left the New York Islanders in free agency to join Auston Matthews and Toronto’s elite forward group that nicely complements Frederick Andersen’s steady play in goal, the Leafs still lack a true No. 1 defenceman.

The top four of Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev remain from last year, while the bruising Roman Polak left in free agency, leaving Travis Dermott and a host of youngsters to vie for rest of the roster spots at training camp.

"We have a lot of confidence in ourselves," Rielly said. "You hear about the doubts (with) the blue line … you take that personally and you use it as motivation.

"We think we can get better and we think we can be elite. There’s obviously room to improve and things we can get better at, but we have confidence in the personnel."

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Rielly and Gardiner, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, are each coming off career-high 52-point seasons — only two other teams had defence duos record 50-plus points. But in a perfect world, they would play second and third fiddle to an Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman or Drew Doughty.

Those players, unfortunately for the Leafs, don’t grow on trees.

"I’ve been consistent in saying I do like our defence," said first-year Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas. "When people ask about it, I think they’re asking, ‘Can you go out and land one of these high-end, top-defenceman-in-the-league-type people.’ I think that underestimates what Morgan and Jake have done.

"With Zaitsev healthy, with Travis Dermott continuing to develop, with Ron Hainsey there to solidify things, and then we’ve got a real good group of younger people coming up behind them … I’m excited."

That doesn’t mean the Leafs aren’t continuing to search for improvements.

Toronto has taken defencemen in the first round of the last two drafts — Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin — while Connor Carrick, Justin Holl, newly-signed former KHLer Igor Ozhiganov, Martin Marincin, Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen are in the mix for spots six through seven or eight with the Leafs coming out of camp.

Carrick and Holl both would need to clear waivers to be sent down to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

"I’ve always considered it a privilege to compete at this level," Carrick said of trying to crack the lineup. "It will be a great challenge."

"There’s a lot of great players here and a lot of great defencemen," Holl added. "It’s a very competitive environment."

Head coach Mike Babcock said apart from the veteran Hainsey, the defence corps has plenty of room to grow. Toronto had a respectable team goals-against average of 2.88 last season, but gave up the fourth-most shots in the league at 33.9 and was in the middle of the pack in even-strength shot attempts for at 49.81 per cent.

"I think the group is real good," Babcock said. "A lot better than a lot of people think."

Hainsey, meanwhile, said team defence will be a focus in camp, especially in the neutral zone before opponents have a chance to set up as Toronto looks to push into the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004 after back-to-back early exits.

"The best way to defend these days is to keep the other team out of your zone with possession of the puck," said the 37-year-old Hainsey. "There’s so much skill among forwards around the league that if they get into your zone with possession, they’re able to make plays no matter who they are."

Dubas, who took over as GM for Lou Lamoriello in the spring, is confident Toronto can get by with the type of star-less blue line Babcock will once again ice on opening night.

"A number of teams in the league that have done it without those type of players in the last number of years," said Dubas, 32. "We have some history recently that shows (a) team can have ultimate success with that style of defence group."

Set to enter his sixth season, the 24-year-old Rielly said the faith management has shown is not lost on the current group.

"We take it as a compliment from Kyle and the coaching staff for keeping us together," he said. "It’s up to us to improve and work hard to be the best we can be."

With the strengths the Leafs have elsewhere, that might end up being good enough.

Aaron Rodgers returns to Packers practice after injuring knee

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 12:43

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has taken part in practice for the first time this week after being held out with a left knee injury.

Rodgers was a participant in practice on Saturday after being held out on Wednesday and Thursday to focus on rehab ahead of this weekend’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Fridays are a rest and recovery day. The Packers usually hold a light practice on Saturdays.

Rodgers said he sprained his knee in the second quarter of last week’s season opener over the Chicago Bears. He left the field on a cart but returned in the second half to throw three touchdown passes to help rally the Packers to a 24-23 victory.

Rodgers is listed as questionable on the injury report. Coach Mike McCarthy has said the two-time MVP quarterback would be evaluated on a daily basis.

Matthews impressed by longevity of Marleau’s career

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 12:06

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Mayweather says he’s coming out of retirement for Pacquiao rematch

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 11:11

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he’s coming out of retirement again to fight Manny Pacquiao for a second time in December.

Mayweather posted a video on Instagram early Saturday that showed Pacquiao and him together, reportedly in Japan, jawing at each other over a possible second fight.

Whether the fight will actually happen remains to be seen. There are no promotional barriers between the two men, because Mayweather promotes himself and Pacquiao is a boxing free agent.

50-1 #NoExcuses pic.twitter.com/c5Q6khCDd9

— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) September 15, 2018

Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in May 2015 in a massively hyped fight that was largely panned by most boxing fans. The bout delivered a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys.

Representatives for the two fighters could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lightning’s Jake Dotchin clears waivers after ‘breach of contract’

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 10:28

Defenceman Jake Dotchin has cleared waivers one day after the Tampa Bay Lightning placed him on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.

The Lightning said the move was due to a “material breach of contract” and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Friday the team was unhappy with Dotchin’s conditioning as training camp opened.

Dotchin clears. We’ll see where this goes. Agent/NHLPA looking into appeal of his contract termination

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 15, 2018

Dotchin, 24, had one year and $812,500 remaining on his contract before he was slated to become a restricted free agent following the 2018-19 campaign.

Selected in the sixth round (161st overall) by Tampa in 2012, Dotchin has 22 points and 73 penalty minutes in 83 career NHL games all played over the past two seasons.

Gotta See It: Chelsea’s Willian sinks Cardiff with great strike

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 10:05

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Gotta See It: Arsenal’s Xhaka scores gorgeous free kick

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 09:16

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Senators’ Duchene & Stone talk contracts, Karlsson, Tavares

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 09:11

KANATA, Ont. – Upon trading Erik Karlsson and infuriating an Ottawa Senators fan base already on edge, general manager Pierre Dorion was presented with a chance during his press conference to throw his support by the best two hockey players remaining after culling his roster over the past seven months.

Both Matt Duchene, the top-line centre Dorion traded a boatload to acquire in November, and Mark Stone, the best bet to succeed Karlsson as team captain, are impending unrestricted free agents.

Instead of raving about their value to the franchise and expressing a desire to lock up two of the best impending UFAs in their prime, Dorion said this:

"All I can tell you is both Matt Duchene and Mark Stone care a lot about this organization, and we know they want to the Ottawa Senators to win. They love it both in Ottawa, and we’ll just let nature take its course to see what happens in the future."

Hockey fans should be accustomed to what happens when you let nature take its course.

Cody Ceci, another core member on an expiring contract, agrees there is concern regarding all the long-term commitments not being made in this town.

"Yeah, they’ll need some sort of core to build around if they plan on doing a full rebuild. I’m curious to see what will happen," Ceci told Sportsnet.

"After January, will they start talking extensions and see what players they want to keep as the core? We’ll have to wait and see. Coming to the deadline, they’ll pick and choose the guys they want and probably end up chipping some guys out and getting some more younger guys and draft picks and stuff to continue the rebuild."

Duchene and Stone would make enticing rentals, to be certain, but neither is ready to write off the Sens’ season before it begins. That’s not in their nature.

In separate one-on-one conversations, we sat down with Ottawa’s best two players standing — solid members of the club’s leadership group on thin ice contractually — to chat free agency, rebuilds, dressing-room culture and life without Karlsson.

Ironically, these interviews took place in the same building at the same time Dorion was crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on what "the most significant trade" in the rebuild.

Suffice it to say, it won’t be the last.


SPORTSNET: When you arrived, the Sens had come within a goal of the Stanley Cup Final. I would think you believed you were joining a winning team. Now, this week, the word rebuild is getting tossed around. How does that make you feel?

DUCHENE: I’ve been part of a few rebuilds and the roster has looked very different than this. I don’t know if this is a full-on rebuild, just looking at the guys we have in that locker room. We have a lot of talented guys who are ready to take a big step right now. I think we’re further ahead than the usual term "rebuild." We haven’t stripped it down to bare bones. We have a lot of really big pieces. The key going forward is being able to keep those pieces together that are kinda core, and then surround them with already-established guys and young guys. It takes both. You can’t win with all old guys; you can’t win with all young guys. Hopefully we go in that direction.

What about Erik Karlsson?
That’s a little different, and we’re going to react accordingly. You’re never going to replace a guy like that. You can go in a different direction and shore up other parts of your hockey club, but that’s a piece you’re not going to replace that way. The biggest part now is the other guys that we need to be here long term, we gotta make sure that’s able to happen.

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For yourself, how far did conversations toward an extension get?
There was none.

Do you wish there were negotiations?
I’m OK. I’m good with it. I just want to play hockey again. I felt so good at the end of last year in terms of my game. Obviously, the season was a disappointment for us as a group, and I was upset to not be in the playoffs and competing the way I thought our team would compete when I got here, but I felt all summer that I couldn’t wait to get back on the ice and pick up where I left off. That’s my main objective, and the rest will take care of itself.

When you watch John Tavares getting multiple offers and July 1 ending in a big paycheque, does your mind start churning about what it might be like to turn UFA?
You definitely pay attention. It’s a situation of constant information-gathering whenever you’re in a contract year. Johnny’s a good friend of mine. We’ve come up together: same agent, same trainer, same equipment company, same draft, same everything. It’s a guy I’m very familiar with and have a really good relationship with. I thought he handled the situation with extreme class and respect for everyone involved. I definitely took notes.

By talking to him or just observing?
Just observing. I left him alone. He probably had a thousand people trying to message him. I’m not looking into a crystal ball. I’m looking at [Friday] is our first day on the ice. Everything will fall where it may, and my biggest thing is being the best player I can be to help this hockey team. I’m happy to be in Ottawa right now. I want to help this team win and get back to where we believe it can be.

Ottawa Senators’ Matt Duchene takes part in training camp in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

You’ve said the team needs to do more activities together off the ice in order to gel and prevent cliques from forming. What does that look like?
It’s important. Dinners on the road. Get-togethers, parties, whatever — when it’s the right time for that stuff. It’s old school, but that’s where teams become teams. I learned that at a young age from some older guys. I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. Group dinners with the wives and the girlfriends are important because they’re an extension of our family in the locker room. We can do a better job. When I said we’re a quiet group, I meant that we don’t have enough guys taking initiative and wanting to get together and do things in big groups. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we can be better in that aspect. The more we get together, the closer we are, the more you want to go battle for your guys.

Attendance is a concern.
I’ve heard that.

How do you get fans rallying behind this team again?
There’s tons of them around the city. Attendance is something that’s a head-scratcher, but the ones that come out, we want to make sure we put on a great show for them and, yeah, hopefully attract more. I know [Kanata’s Canadian Tire Centre] is far from the city and it’s tough to get this way after work for a lot of people, but we appreciate all the season ticket holders and people who support us on a daily basis. We want to be a good team this year. We don’t want this thing to be a complete teardown. It doesn’t matter what language is being thrown around and by who. Us in that locker room want to win. We want to be the best team we can be.



What comes to mind when you hear the word rebuild from management?
They’re going to bring in new faces, bring in young guys. For a guy like me, it’s what I make of it. I still feel we have good players on this team. We have some superstar talent. From the young-guys perspective, we have some high-end talent coming. Rebuilds can be two months, they can be six months, they can be years. It’s what the team in that locker room makes of it, and we’re going to gel as a 22-man group.

Does the plan surprise you considering how close you came in 2017?
Last year still surprises me that we were as bad as we were. I still don’t understand, looking at the talent and the group that was in that locker room, how we were able to do that. At the same time, when you have years like [2017-18], you just can’t deny it. You need to make change — and that’s what looks like is going to happen.

What did go wrong?
A string of things. We didn’t play well on the road trip after the Sweden trip. Things spiralled out of control and we just couldn’t get it back.

A couple of players mentioned that things got cliquey in the room. As one of the leaders on this team, how do you guard against that and bring everyone together?
There were things that happened, but I don’t think there are bad people in our room. There really isn’t. I don’t think anyone’s had a problem with each other. Going into this season, it’s about forming a group. You have to form a bond where 22 guys enjoying coming to the rink and being with each other. You’re with each other every single day, and if you don’t enjoy coming to the rink, then you’re not going to succeed.

Ottawa Senators listen to coaching staff during training camp in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Have you come to terms with the idea of Erik Karlsson not being here when the puck drops?
You read, you listen, and you live it. Whether he’s here or not, it doesn’t change the way this team has to play. Yes, we’d love to have him on our team. He’s a superstar player. He’s our best player. He’s our captain. But if he’s not, then we’ll have to move on with the group we have.

Describe how you felt during the countdown to arbitration this summer.
I understood the process going into it. I understand where they’re coming from and where I’m coming from, so I think it was to be expected. We worked hard, long hours for all of July trying to get something done. I didn’t, but Pierre and my agent, Craig Oster, worked long hours. We didn’t come to agreement on a long-term deal, which is fine. Lucky for me, we were able to get something done before the hearing. We’ll look forward to January to see if we can get something else.

Are you heavily involved in the process, or do you prefer to keep it at arm’s length?
If I was going into the hearing, I’d want to know absolutely everything. As far as the [negotiations], I let the people I pay money to handle that. I trust Newport Sports and the staff they have. You kinda sit back and relax. Ultimately, it’s my decision, but I’m glad I have the people in place to steer me in the right direction.

Top 100 NHL Players of 2018–19 Sportsnet insiders ranked the 100 best players in the NHL for the 2018–19 season, from Alex Radulov to Connor McDavid. Check out the list, then create your own top 10. Top 100 players | Best of the rest | Rank your top 10

When you see Tavares take his time and knock it out the park with a big payday and have all that attention from contending teams, do you consider the possibilities for yourself next summer?
Every player on July 1 wonders what it’d be like to be a free agent. All the stars aligned for him. Toronto’s an up-and-coming team, they had cap space, so it worked well in that situation. I don’t think it’ll be the same for every player every year, but you’d be crazy to say that on July 1 every year you don’t wonder what it’d be like to go through that. I don’t think about it during the season by any means.

How much will the fates of Karlsson and Duchene affect your own decision-making?
I don’t think it does. I just want to see the team go in the right direction, and I want to be on a competitive team. We have lots of players here who are very competitive people, who can help teams win hockey games, and now we’re going to incorporate a lot of youth that looks like they’re going to help us win hockey games, so that’s all I can really ask for.

What would be your message to fans discouraged by Karlsson’s situation and the fact you only signed for one year?
I’ve said all along that I wanted to stay here. I don’t think they understand that we tried to get a long-term deal done, and just because we weren’t able to this summer. … I mean, we had a deadline. We were either going to arbitration or we were going to try to do something. All doors are open for me. As far as the team goes, we’re young, we’re excited and we’re hungry. We want to rebuild on a positive structure. Obviously, last year was negative. There’s going to be no excuses from our side this year. We’re gonna play hard, we’re gonna play fast, and there’s not going to be one night when we’re going to roll over and die.

Bill Peters on 2018-19 Flames: ‘We gotta play fast’

SportsNets - Sat, 09/15/2018 - 08:46

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