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    Tutiven was driving the SUV that dragged and killed Jayesh Prajapati, the gas attendant who tried to stop him from stealing gas.

    Suspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murderSuspect in gas-and-dash trial found guilty of second-degree murder

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    Interviewed onstage Tuesday at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed how trade issues affect women differently from men, and had words of advice for female high school students in attendance.

    Trudeau talks gender equality (and a little about Trump) at Washington summitTrudeau talks gender equality (and a little about Trump) at Washington summit

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    The Ontario government will commit $1 million in funding to assist Ontario miners who believe years of exposure to toxic aluminum dust left them with debilitating neurological diseases, the Star has learned

    The Ministry of Labour is expected to announce Wednesday that it will finance the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to assess miners exposed to the substance known as McIntyre Powder establish whether their health conditions are linked to its use, and make compensation claims for work-related illnesses where possible.

    But miners who already made claims under previous guidelines will not be eligible to have their cases reopened.

    As previously reported by the Star, thousands of miners across northern Ontario’s gold and uranium mines were routinely forced to inhale the powder, which was sold as a miracle antidote to lung disease. Historical documents suggest it was created by industry-sponsored Canadian scientists bent on slashing compensation costs caused by illnesses like silicosis.

    Read more:

    Help on way for ailing miners exposed to 'miracle' dust

    In human experiment, Ontario miners say they paid devastating price

    Do right by injured miners: Editorial

    Some workers have since claimed they were treated as “guinea pigs” in a human experiment aimed at cutting company costs.

    “When you tell people in today’s context and the workplace protections that we now have, it seems pretty unbelievable that this happened,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in an interview with the Star.

    “What workers didn’t have before is somebody to help them through the system and that’s where the approval of the funding (comes in).”

    The issue has been championed by Janice Martell, whose own father, a former miner exposed to the dust, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He died from the disease in May.

    Martell said she is pleased about the $1 million in new funding, although it is half what was originally requested by OHCOW.

    “It’s been frustrating the length of time it took to get here, and we’ve lost so many miners in between, but I’m grateful it’s finally here,” she told the Star.

    Until recently, potential victims were unable to make successful claims at the province’s worker compensation board because of a policy formed in 1993 that said insufficient evidence existed linking aluminum exposure to neurological disease.

    Martell said she is “livid” that the board has told her it will not reconsider compensation claims lodged before the policy was rescinded — including her own father’s claim.

    Martell said she has spent more than $10,000 of her own money to research and raise awareness about McIntyre Powder.

    “Why should it fall on us? I changed my whole life around. I quit my job to fight for this,” she said.

    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board spokesperson Christine Arnott said its focus is on “finding answers for people.”

    “That’s why we have commissioned scientific research to look specifically at McIntyre Powder and any connection to neurological disease,” she said. “Unfortunately, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to date.”

    Of the 397 former miners who have contacted Martell, around one-third suffered from a neurological disorder — and she says 14 have developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative and incurable condition, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that slowly kills the ability to swallow, speak and breathe.

    In Ontario, the prevalence of motor neuron disease, which includes ALS, is estimated at less than one in a thousand people.

    Research conducted in the United Kingdom found “strong evidence” linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease when absorbed into the blood stream.

    In August, the WSIB announced it would rescind its policy and commission an independent study to assess the development of neurological conditions resulting from exposure to McIntyre Powder, which was used extensively between 1943 and 1980.

    Now that the policy has been reversed, the new funding will help workers build the necessary evidence to back up potential claims.

    “We’re obviously very pleased with this opportunity to intensify our efforts on behalf of the exposed miners,” said Dave Wilken, OHCOW’s chief operating officer. “We will do whatever we can to ensure that they get the answers they deserve.”

    Flynn said OHCOW would provide vital support for workers who were exposed to potentially harmful substances for years, often without their knowledge.

    “It’s not just statistics, it’s not just chemistry,” said Flynn. “It’s real people who have real lives.”

    Martell says that’s why she hopes to see more robust measures to prevent and address occupational illness in Ontario.

    “McIntyre Powder was swept under the carpet for years and years,” she said.

    “I’m grateful my father allowed himself to be shown in a vulnerable light so that other people could benefit from the brutal realities of occupational disease.”

    Ontario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dustOntario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dust

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    CALGARY—A man and a woman face charges related to a quadruple homicide this summer that Calgary police have described as brutal and ruthless.

    Yu Chieh Liao, who also goes by Diana Liao, and Tewodros Mutugeta Kebede are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Hanock Afowerk, police said Wednesday.

    The pair also face three counts of accessory after the fact in the deaths of Cody Pfeiffer, 25, Glynnis Fox, 36, and Tiffany Ear, 39.

    “Although charges have been laid, the investigation is ongoing as police believe there are additional people involved,” Calgary police said.

    Read more: Calgary police recover three bodies after burning car put out in new subdivision

    Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear were found dead in a burned-out car at a suburban construction site on July 10 and police have said they may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fox and Ear were sisters from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation who relatives have said left behind 16 children between them.

    Afowerk, the car’s owner, was found two days later in a rural area west of the city. Police have said they believe he was the intended target and that he and Liao knew each other.

    Liao, 24, and Kebede, 25, are to appear in court on Nov. 2.

    Police say the investigation has spanned multiple provinces.

    They have said Liao has ties to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Regina and Moose Jaw, Sask. She was arrested in Toronto in late July. Kebede had been arrested on an unrelated matter in that city days earlier.

    Investigators said shortly after the homicides that the accused were spotted in the Moose Jaw area and police asked people there to contact them if they found discarded clothing or documents that may have been burned.

    Man and woman charged in Calgary quadruple homicide, but investigation continuesMan and woman charged in Calgary quadruple homicide, but investigation continues

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    A maintenance worker said Wednesday he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside Mandalay Bay before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance.

    The revised timeline has renewed questions about whether better communication might have allowed police to respond more quickly and take out the gunman before he committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

    Worker Stephen Schuck told NBC News that he was checking out a report of a jammed fire door on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay when he heard gunshots and a hotel security guard, who had been shot in the leg, peeked out from an alcove and told him to take cover.

    “As soon as I started to go to a door to my left the rounds started coming down the hallway,” Schuck said. “I could feel them pass right behind my head.

    “It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on,” he said. “As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again.”

    Police said Monday they believe gunman Stephen Paddock shot a hotel security guard through the door of his suite six minutes before he unleashed a barrage of bullets into the crowd of concert-goers, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

    The injured guard used his radio and possibly a hallway phone to call for help.

    That account differs dramatically from the one police gave last week when they said Paddock fired through the door of his room and injured the unarmed guard after shooting into the crowd.

    Read more:

    Concertgoers, family members begin collecting items left behind during Vegas shooting

    Could police have taken down the Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock sooner?

    Las Vegas gunman aimed at fuel tanks, had protective gear as part of escape plan, sheriff says

    The company that owns Mandalay Bay has questioned the new timeline.

    “We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline,” said Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International. “We believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”

    Las Vegas police did not respond Tuesday night to questions about the hotel’s statement.

    “Our officers got there as fast as they possibly could and they did what they were trained to do,” Las Vegas assistant sheriff Todd Fasulo said earlier Tuesday.

    Gunshots can be heard in the background as Schuck reported the shooting on his radio, telling a dispatcher: “Call the police, someone’s firing a gun up here. Someone’s firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway.”

    It was unclear if the hotel relayed the information to Las Vegas police, who did not respond to questions from The Associated Press about whether hotel security or anyone else in the hotel called 911 to report the gunfire.

    Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York City police sergeant, said the new timeline “changes everything.”

    “There absolutely was an opportunity in that timeframe that some of this could’ve been mitigated,” he said.

    Nicole Rapp, whose mother was knocked to the ground and trampled at the country music concert said she’s “having a hard time wrapping my head around” why police changed the timeline of the shooting.

    “It’s very confusing to me that they are just discovering this a week later,” she said. “How did we not know this before? It’s traumatic for the victims and their families not to be sure of what happened.”

    The six minutes that passed between the hallway shooting and the start of the shooting into the crowd wouldn’t have been enough time for officers to stop the attack, said Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who has worked on SWAT teams. Rather than rush in without a game plan, police would have been formulating the best response to the barricaded gunman, he said.

    “Maybe that’s enough time to get the first patrolman onto the floor but the first patrolman is not going to go knock on that customer’s door and say ‘What’s going on with 200 holes in the door?’” Hosko said.

    Undersheriff Kevin McMahill defended the hotel and said the encounter that night between Paddock and the security guard and maintenance man disrupted the gunman’s plans. Paddock fired more than 1,000 bullets and had more than 1,000 rounds left in his room, the undersheriff said.

    “I can tell you I’m confident that he was not able to fully execute his heinous plan and it certainly had everything to do with being disrupted,” McMahill said. He added: “I don’t think the hotel dropped the ball.”

    Mandalay Bay worker says he warned of shooter before Las Vegas massacreMandalay Bay worker says he warned of shooter before Las Vegas massacre

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    MONTREAL—Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately, it won’t be forced to pay the 300-per-cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department.

    “We will not pay those tariffs and that is very clear,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.

    He said the U.S. government’s decision is disappointing and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that it’s still early in the process that is triggering a lot of political debate.

    Read more:

    Bombardier’s CSeries offers ‘unparalleled’ passenger experience. So why hasn’t it taken off?

    U.K. Labour Party rep calls Boeing a ‘subsidy junkie’ amid Bombardier battle

    Bombardier accuses Trump administration of ‘egregious overreach’ after new tariff put on U.S. CSeries sales

    “We intend to take the aircraft,” he told analysts. “I can’t tell you how this is going to eventually work out. There may be a delay in us taking the aircraft as we work through the issues with Bombardier, who is being a great partner in this.”

    Bastian added that he thinks the CSeries needs to come to market in the United States.

    “We believe it will come to market and we believe Delta will get it at the agreed contractual price,” he added.

    Delta signed a deal for up to 125 CS100s in 2016. The firm order for 75 aircraft had a list price of $5.6 billion (U.S.), although large orders typically secure steep discounts. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in the spring.

    “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk, so there should not be any concerns on our investors’ minds in that regard.”

    The comments from the largest CSeries customer come a day after U.S. aerospace giant Boeing launched a public-relations campaign to remind Canadians of its economic contribution to the country.

    The Chicago-based company said its multimedia efforts, which got underway on Tuesday, include traditional and digital media including television, radio and other digital platforms.

    Boeing Canada managing director Kim Westenskow said the company contributes about $4 billion annually to Canada’s economic growth and development. That represents almost 14 per cent of Canada’s entire aerospace economic impact.

    “What we accomplish together benefits Canada and the entire global aerospace industry. It is a compelling story that is overdue to be told,” she said in a news release.

    On its website, Bombardier says its direct contribution to Canadian GDP amounts to $8.3 billion.

    Boeing said it works with 560 Canadian suppliers that support 17,500 jobs, along with 2,000 people it employs.

    It said the company’s partnership dates back a century when founder Bill Boeing launched the world’s first international mail service between Vancouver and Seattle in a Boeing C-700.

    “Today, Boeing is the largest non-Canadian aerospace manufacturer in Canada,” Westenskow added, pointing to both commercial and military activities.

    “It is important that we share this story with the people of Canada.”

    In response to the trade challenge to Bombardier, the federal government has threatened to cancel the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets to temporarily augment Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.

    Bombardier Inc. last week accused the Trump administration of overreach by siding with Boeing in its bid to shut the CSeries commercial jet out of the world’s largest airline market by effectively quadrupling the price of any of the planes sold in the United States.

    The U.S. Commerce Department added 79.82 per cent in preliminary anti-dumping duties to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.

    Boeing said it welcomed the decision affirming its view that Bombardier sold the CSeries to Delta at prices below production cost to illegally grab market share in the single-aisle airplane market.

    Bombardier has repeatedly stressed that Americans will be hurt by the tariffs because more than half the content on the 100- to 150-seat CSeries is sourced by U.S. suppliers, including Pratt & Whitney engines. The program is expected to generate more than US$30 billion in business over its life and support more than 22,700 American jobs in 19 states.

    Meanwhile, WestJet Airlines said Wednesday it has become the first commercial carrier in Canada to take delivery of the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, one of 50 scheduled for delivery in the next four years.

    The 174-seat aircraft is expected to officially enter service on Nov. 9 with a flight from Calgary to Toronto.

    Air Canada has also placed orders for 33 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 28 of the larger MAX 9s, with deliveries starting this year.

    Delta CEO says ‘We will not pay those tariffs’ on Bombardier CSeries orderDelta CEO says ‘We will not pay those tariffs’ on Bombardier CSeries order

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    A 53-year-old man is facing multiple charges including two counts of attempted murder after an alleged assault on two children, a boy and a girl, in a North York home Saturday afternoon.

    Toronto police said they rushed to the area of Jane St. and Steeles Ave. W. just after 3 p.m. for reports of an assault. It is alleged the suspect was at home with the children, both under 10.

    Police said he allegedly struck the children on the head with a hammer, then choked them. Both children were taken to Sick Kids Hospital in life-threatening condition. They are expected to make a full recovery.

    The man has also been charged with two counts of assault with weapon, two counts of overcoming resistance by choking or suffocation, possession of a weapon, and two counts of uttering threats.

    The suspect’s identity was not released to protect the identity of the children, police said.

    He will appear in court at 1000 Finch Ave. W. on Thursday at 10 a.m.

    Man charged with attempted murder after two children allegedly struck with hammer, chokedMan charged with attempted murder after two children allegedly struck with hammer, choked

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    Toronto police have found the car used in a fatal hit-and-run last week and are now searching for its owner, investigators said Wednesday.

    A 63-year-old woman walking on a sidewalk was killed when a gray 2014 Nissan Rogue mounted a curb on York Mills Rd., west of Don Mills Rd. just after 11 p.m. on Oct. 4.

    “She was a resident of New Brunswick, and was having dinner with a work colleague,” Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe said of the victim, via email.

    “When they left the restaurant on the south side of York Mills, the victim was discussing the pedestrian fatalities as a result of mid-block crossings.”

    Stibbe said the victim and her friend reached the intersection of York Mills and Don Mills, where the countdown timer had already begun.

    “The victim wanted to wait until the next walk signal to cross safely,” he said.

    The pair crossed the road and started walking west. Then the victim was hit.

    The driver fled the scene, police said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Police previously said the car was blue.

    Investigators found the Nissan at an auto shop in Toronto on Friday, police said.

    It’s registered to 28-year-old Erin Wright of Toronto and has the Ontario licence plate BVVH 900, police said in a news release Wednesday. Wright is a person of interest, Stibbe said.

    “She has failed to report the collision as required under law, and she has not furnished any information in regards to the collision or who was operating the vehicle at the time,” he said.

    Stibbe said he doesn’t have any information about whether the car may have been stolen or driven by someone else, or if there are any other people of interest.

    The car has damage to its right front headlight, fog light area and right fender, said police.

    Investigators are now asking for the public’s help in tracking the car between 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 1:30 a.m. the next day. They’re also trying to figure out the whereabouts of the driver and any other possible occupants of the Nissan.

    Police say they’re also asking residents of certain streets in the York Mills area to contact police if they have surveillance footage of the area from the same time period. Those streets include Birchwood Ave., Fenn Ave., Gordon Rd., Munro Blvd., Old Yonge St., Owen Blvd., Upper Highland Cres. and York Mills Rd.

    Police locate car used in fatal hit-and-run that left 63-year-old dead on a Toronto sidewalkPolice locate car used in fatal hit-and-run that left 63-year-old dead on a Toronto sidewalk

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    Things are looking up for Harvey Weinstein.

    You could say the slew of sexual harassment accusations against him reported in the New York Times last week had placed this blindingly high wattage Hollywood producer on the path to qualifying for the United States presidency.

    On Tuesday morning, he moved a few notches up on the predato-meter — from Donald Trump to Bill Cosby, after the New Yorker magazine published its own bombshell 10-month investigation revealing three allegations of rape among the 13 accusations of sexual misconduct, allegations that a representative for Weinstein denied.

    Oh, he was better than Cosby, though. Or so he thought. In the New Yorker, Weinstein’s temporary front-desk assistant Emily Nestor says that on her second day at work, after she rejected his advances, Weinstein told her he’d “never had to do anything like Bill Cosby” by which “she assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman” to coerce them, setting a strangely low bar for consent.

    As the floodgates opened, by Tuesday, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were among those who alleged misconduct.

    Yet the now growing condemnation of Weinstein has been shamefully slow to arrive. The New York Times investigation was released Oct. 5. Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company Oct. 8. It was only by Oct. 9 — a.k.a. a lifetime in a Hollywood news cycle — that major stars began their condemnation; presumably they had now deemed it safe enough to do so.

    The man who, a survey found, was thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches more frequently than God, must be puzzled by the A-listers distancing themselves from him, by the company that sacked him when he was doing exactly what he had always done. There’s nothing particularly novel about the casting couch phenomenon.

    “We’ve normalized this bad behaviour and we rationalize it because ‘look at the great contributions these guys are making,’” author Mark Lipton told the Los Angeles Times. He interviewed several of Weinstein’s employees for his book, Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man.

    Read more:

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie join flood of allegations against Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein’s friends turn against him as Hollywood condemnation grows louder

    Harvey Weinstein’s brother tasked with steering family film business after fallout

    So let’s be clear here. Weinstein hasn’t lost out because he did wrong. He is being shunned because he was found out.

    Being somewhat discreet gave others licence to fete him as a genius. Exposed, he became a liability.

    His alleged behaviour may have flourished in an era when few dared to speak out, but it continued to be endured even as societal intolerance of sexual misconduct grew. Witness the reaction that followed Trump’s crassness caught on tape, or the outrage that followed sexual misconduct allegations at Fox News that felled CEO Roger Ailes and anchor-in-chief Bill O’Reilly.

    I shudder to think how many more such toxic power dynamics continue to flourish.

    On Monday, Meryl Streep called Weinstein’s behaviour “inexcusable,” but that “not everybody knew.”

    “If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it,” she told HuffPost.

    Yet, French actress Emma de Caunes told the New Yorker, “I know that everybody — I mean everybody — in Hollywood knows that it’s happening.”

    And the New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow wrote, “previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few women were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories.”

    George Clooney said he had heard rumours but thought they “seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumours with a grain of salt,” he told the Daily Beast.

    Jessica Chastain said on Twitter, “I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again.”

    Men can have the privilege of distance. They can treat sexual misconduct rumours as gossip, innocuous word play, a sideshow with minimal impact on their lives or careers. For women, particularly those just launching their careers, it’s about the risk of bodily harm, emotional trauma and risk to financial freedom.

    Whom can they turn to for support? The Weinstein Company’s human resources? Dear HR boss: I need you to tell off the man whose money pays your mortgage and feeds your family.

    Paltrow — raised in a Hollywood family — was lucky to be able to turn to Brad Pitt for support after rejecting Weinstein’s advances. (Pitt asked Weinstein to lay off, the New York Times reported Tuesday.) If the film industry was truly a family as Hollywood types refer to it, vulnerable young women asked to trade sex for work, too, would be able to lean on established veterans such as, say, a Streep or Clooney.

    That doesn’t appear to be happening.

    It’s time for Hollywood to support an independent arms-length professional body with specialists in sexual harassment — and journalists. Yes, journalists.

    While the agency would offer free counsel for women reporting sexual misbehaviour, their reports would be investigated by the journalists. Those that pass the journalistic sniff test — they are defensible against libel — would be published on the agency’s website.

    I first came across this journalistic aspect to justice in an opinion piece in the New York Times last summer about bringing rapists to justice.

    In it the writer says, “It is time to accept that the criminal justice system may never be capable of providing justice for the vast majority of sexual assaults.”

    Given recent developments, it’s also time to accept that film industry networks are inadequate to the task of protecting women’s workplace rights in Hollywood.

    The show must go on, but without systemic supports in place, it can only be a diminished one.

    Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

    Harvey Weinstein being shunned not for wrongdoing, but for getting caught: ParadkarHarvey Weinstein being shunned not for wrongdoing, but for getting caught: Paradkar

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    Eminem offered a detailed and searing critique of U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, using his rapping skills to lambaste the commander-in-chief and his policies during a performance broadcast as part of the BET Hip Hop Awards.

    In the 4 ½ -minute video, the acclaimed rapper issues an ultimatum to any of his fans who support Trump.

    “Any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his/ I’m drawing in the sand a line/ You’re either for or against/ And if you can’t decide who you like more/ And you’re split on who you should stand beside/ I’ll do it for you with this,” he finishes, his hand blurred as he presumably flips his middle finger.

    Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, threw out some expletives but also referred to numerous news stories and presidential actions during the rap delivered from a parking garage.

    He opens with anger: “That’s an awfully hot, coffee pot/ Should I drop it on Donald Trump?/ Probably not, but that’s all I got/ Until I come up with a solid (muted).”

    Eminem then rebuked Trump over numerous topics, including the president’s reaction to the tragedies in Puerto Ricoand Las Vegas, his criticism of protesting NFL players and his frequent golf trips. He accuses the president of racism and worries that he will cause a nuclear holocaust.

    He also issued a tribute to Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who stopped standing for the national anthem last year to protest racial injustice.

    “This is for Colin/ Ball up a fist,” Eminem said, raising his own fist.

    Eminem blasts U.S. President Donald Trump in new videoEminem blasts U.S. President Donald Trump in new video

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    City transportation staff are recommending that council make the pilot project of Bloor St. bike lanes permanent, paving the way for what would be a huge victory for Toronto’s cycling advocates.

    A highly anticipated report released Wednesday morning determined that the lanes have improved safety on the corridor and dramatically increased cycling rates, while minimizing negative impacts on other road users.

    At a press conference at city hall, local councillors Mike Layton and Joe Cressy said the report shows the pilot project has been a success, and should put to rest the debate over whether bike lanes can work on a busy downtown street.

    “For too long, bike lanes in the city have been seen as a divisive issue. It’s been seen as a debate between bikes and cars. Not anymore,” said Cressy, who along with Layton has been a vocal proponent of the project.

    He said the pilot “has shown conclusively that, when you install a bike lane and you design it well, it is a win-win for everyone.”

    Mayor John Tory, speaking at a SmartTrack event in Leslieville soon after the report was released, said the study shows the Bloor lanes have had an overall “positive impact” on the area and he would throw his support behind making the lanes permanent.

    “And, so, I will support the staff recommendation to keep the bike lanes, with continued improvements to be made to safety, street design and practical improvements for local businesses,” he said.

    Council approved the bike lanes on a trial basis last May in a vote of 38 to 3, following decades of advocacy from the city’s cycling community. They were installed along a 2.4-kilometre stretch of Bloor between Avenue Rd. and Shaw St. in August, 2016, at a cost of $500,000.

    To measure its progress, city staff launched what they described as the “most comprehensive performance evaluation undertaken for a cycling project in the city of Toronto,” and Wednesday’s report contains a wealth of data about the bike lanes.

    It determined that within a year of being installed, the lanes are already the second busiest cycling facility in the city. Cycling on Bloor has increased by 49 per cent, to an average of 4,925 riders per day, with roughly 25 per cent of the increased ridership represented new cyclists. The rest diverted from nearby routes.

    Preliminary road safety data suggested collision rates have been reduced, and conflicts between bikes and motorized vehicles decreased by 61 per cent.

    Although the lanes initially caused significant delays for drivers, modifications staff made to signal timing have since cut the increased travel times in half, the report found. During the most congested period of the afternoon rush hour, drivers’ travel time increased by four minutes and 15 seconds, compared to the eight minutes and 30 seconds recorded shortly after the lanes were installed.

    Despite concerns raised by some local businesses that the bike lanes, which necessitated the removal of 136 on-street parking spots, had hurt their profits, the report found no negative economic impacts.

    According to a survey of local merchants, business owners reported a growth in the number of customers. Payment activity collected from Moneris, a credit- and debit-card processing company, found total spending in the pilot area increased more than in the surrounding neighbourhood or a control study area on Danforth Ave.

    A public opinion survey also found strong support for the lanes among local residents, 74 per cent of whom backed the project. An overwhelmingly majority of respondents who bike supported the lanes, while 57 per cent of people who only drive opposed it.

    City staff concluded that the bike lanes have been so successful, council should consider extending them.

    “The pilot project has demonstrated that a cycling facility can be successfully implemented on one of the busiest and most constrained sections of Bloor St. and should be considered for the full length of the Bloor-Danforth corridor,” it said.

    Jared Kolb, executive director of advocacy group Cycle Toronto, said the positive results of the Bloor pilot should make it easier to install bike lanes on other parts of the city.

    “This really was a test case,” he said. “To see it working like this here, I think it helps to pave the way for an expansion of the cycling network on other streets.”

    Transportation staff are recommending some modifications to the lanes to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, as well as traffic flow. They would include green-paint markings at conflict zones, left turn “bike boxes” at intersections, and enhanced barriers to better separate cyclists from cars.

    The report will go before the public works committee next week. Council is expected to vote in November on whether to take up staff’s recommendation.

    With files from David Rider

    Bloor bike lanes should stay: city reportBloor bike lanes should stay: city report

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    WASHINGTON—Canada is a bigger export customer for the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded an influential committee of the U.S. House of Representatives as the fourth round of continental trade talks kicked off in a suburb nearby.

    Their job, Trudeau said, is to make that crucial trade “easier.”

    Foreign leaders do not usually speak to House committees. Trudeau, however, has made a concerted effort in the Trump era to build alliances with American politicians other than the unpredictable president — a kind of protection against Trump’s protectionism.

    The Ways and Means Committee, which has responsibility for taxes and tariffs, would play a significant role in getting Congress to approve any new North American Free Trade Agreement deal or in attempting to thwart Trump from terminating the deal. There is growing concern among business groups and trade experts that Trump’s protectionist proposals could cause the talks to collapse.

    Trudeau called the committee “extremely important” to Canada.

    Read more:Donald Trump’s ‘outrageous’ demands put NAFTA negotiations at risk of collapse as talks resume Wednesday, experts say

    More than 30 of the committee’s 39 members were in attendance. Trudeau, greeted with polite applause, was seated next to Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, the committee chairman, who has called NAFTA “extremely beneficial to the United States” and Wednesday said he wants to turn it into a model for future agreements. Trump, conversely, has called it a “disaster” and the “worst trade deal ever made,” and he again threatened to terminate the deal in an interview published Tuesday.

    “We have to provide certainty for trade and investment to succeed,” Brady said in brief opening remarks.

    The lawmakers did some advocating of their own.

    Brady said he wanted better Canadian protection for American intellectual property and more access for the U.S. dairy industry to Canada’s tightly restricted domestic market. The top Democrat on the committee, Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, pushed for greater access to Canada for American cultural industries.

    After the meeting, Michigan Democratic Rep. Sander Levin said Trudeau had pushed back on the dairy issue during the 55-minute closed-door portion of the meeting, explaining why Canada wants to maintain its “present structure,” known as supply management.

    Trudeau was flanked by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ambassador David MacNaughton. He departed after an hour, telling reporters the session “went very well.”

    Trudeau was scheduled to travel from the committee meeting to the White House for a photo opportunity with Trump and then an Oval Office meeting scheduled for just over an hour.

    Trudeau will proceed to the Canadian embassy for a solo news conference rather than the usual joint news conference with the president. The White House had “scheduling issues,” a Trudeau official said; Trump is scheduled to leave for a tax-reform speech in Pennsylvania immediately after the meeting.

    Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau began their day at a foundation’s roundtable discussion event in honour of International Day of the Girl.

    The NAFTA round, being held in a hotel in Arlington, Va., was extended on Tuesday to seven days from the original five in order to accommodate the schedules of top officials from the three countries. Trump’s negotiators are expected to introduce their first detailed proposals on automotive manufacturing, among other contentious matters.

    Remember that Canada is America’s biggest customer, Trudeau tells Congress in WashingtonRemember that Canada is America’s biggest customer, Trudeau tells Congress in Washington

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    Is Desmond Cole going to run for mayor?

    The question arises after his name popped up in a poll released Wednesday, which shows him with a level of support that would rank him near — or ahead of, depending how you look at the results — Doug Ford in his potential appeal to voters across the city. A little over a year out from election day, with the race so-far shaping up to be a rematch of the right between Ford and Mayor John Tory, activist, journalist and broadcaster Cole says he’s seriously thinking about it.

    Read more: Doug Ford will run for mayor in 2018 rematch

    Mayoral race will be more interesting if you know what goes on at city hall: Micallef

    Please, let’s not start talking about who’s going to win the 2018 Toronto mayoral election: Keenan

    “People approach me a lot and ask me,” says Cole. “There are a whole lot of people who are deeply unsatisfied in this city…at this point I’m still talking to people close to me and asking, ‘What do you think?’ I’m not at the stage yet where I can say I’ve decided.”

    It’s a big decision, obviously. And at this point, he certainly looks like a longshot to win. But the city could use the injection of energy, charisma, honesty and ideas Cole could bring to what could otherwise be an underwhelming race.

    Because so far it has looked like a bit of a snooze. The same poll that solicited opinions on Cole’s appeal, conducted by veteran pollster John Wright at his new firm Dart Insight and Communications for Newstalk 1010, shows 65 per cent of those asked believe John Tory deserves to be re-elected, including more than 60 per cent in every part of the city. (The poll surveyed 814 adults in Toronto through an online panel and claims to be considered accurate within 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.) Torontonians seem far from fed up with their mayor. In this atmosphere of general contentment with the staus quo, only Doug Ford has announced a decision to take Tory on, mounting a challenge from the taxaphobic, government-bashing right.

    On the left, there seems to be a current of vocal dissatisfaction with Tory, in both his priorities (such as his obsession with keeping property taxes low and road construction) and the slow pace of movement on social files such as public housing. Yet there has appeared to be no candidate emerging to champion that view. A series of possible candidates, some of whom considered it, some floated by the press and pollsters — former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, councilors Kristyn Wong-Tam, Joe Cressy, and Mike Layton, federal MP Adam Vaughan, even retired Maple Leafs and Raptors boss Richard Peddie — have decided not to run. There’s a sense among those who consider themselves progressive that 2018 will not be their year. Better, they think, to focus on winning city council races for like-minded allies and to wait Tory out and try again in 2022.

    There’s a certain logic to it, but in the meantime, how does a months-long, agenda-setting debate about the city’s priorities and future shape up when the only major participants are Tory and Ford? It seems we can expect a contest between right-of-centre and righter-of-centre. Tory’s strategy in such a contest would seem to obviously involve positioning himself just slightly left of Doug Ford, to pick up as many conservative voters as possible while still appearing to be the lesser of two evils to the left.

    I’d expect a lot of one-upmanship about who can best control spending, keep taxes low and make the city better for driving a car. I’d expect little-to-no serious discussion of how to best build the city and make it a better, more compassionate place to live. Certainly Tory would likely have nods to these things somewhere in the platform, to mop up the votes Ford isn’t bothering to compete for, but in the big battleground debates for votes that would determine what the city expects in the coming four years — that deliver the mandate a mayor would try to implement — I fear much of what I care about would be overlooked.

    The poll I mentioned above is not on a horserace “who would you vote for” question, but rather on who voters would consider voting for. It shows 30 per cent of Toronto voters say they would give Cole “a great deal” or “some” consideration. That’s significantly less than the 75 per cent who say they’d give that consideration to Tory, but pretty close (especially factoring in the margin of error) to the 36 per cent who would give that level of consideration to Doug Ford. And the reverse question shows Cole has perhaps a larger possible voting universe than Ford: 53 per cent of voters say they would give the former Etobicoke councillor no consideration at all, while only 30 per cent said they’d absolutely rule Cole out in the same way.

    Those aren’t juggernaut numbers, obviously. But for a man with a relatively lower political profile than Tory or Ford, and without even having announced he was thinking about running, it looks like he’d at least be up for consideration by plenty of voters. And in a campaign, things change. If there’s only one candidate on that end of the political spectrum, there’s a lot of experienced organizational and fundraising expertise that may be available to put to work.

    Cole says he’s not interested in running simply to make a point or to be the flag bearer for a lost cause. He wouldn’t run, he says, “unless I thought I could win.” But the lack of a candidate talking about the things that are important to him is a factor in his thinking. “Whether I run or not, it won’t be a good thing for our city if the only two candidates are John Tory and Rob Ford.”

    “There’s so much to be said on a number of issues,” he says. Issues he’s become prominent advocating about, such as policing and racial equity, he says, but also so much more. Transit and transit accessibility, libraries, housing. “John Tory brands himself as a good manager of the status quo,” Cole says, something he acknowledges might have been what a lot of city voters wanted after the tumultuous term of Rob Ford. But with that, he says, “That level of aspiration is just missing…we’ve stopped dreaming in this city… we just need to imagine something better for the city.”

    As he speaks in more detail about his approach, it sure sounds like he’d like to run. And Cole figures those reasons are not just what fires him up, they define the possible path to victory. “If we offer people a bolder politics, a lot of people will respond to it,” Cole says. They are hungry for it, he tells me.

    Some people will shake their head and say that’s a daydream. That there’s a good reason so many successful politicians adopt moderated middle-of-the-road policies and speak in careful, bland blah-blah-blahisms. But I’d sure like to see where Cole’s daydream goes.

    Perhaps he’ll decide to run. Perhaps not.

    But it sure would be nice if someone put that bolder politics to Toronto voters and at least see how they respond.

    Will Desmond Cole run for mayor? He’s thinking about it: KeenanWill Desmond Cole run for mayor? He’s thinking about it: Keenan

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    An Orangeville man had his drug charges stayed after police claimed they couldn’t find him for nine months when he was already in jail over other matters.

    Prior to his time in custody, police also could have arrested him at the address he gave to them earlier in their investigation but they never checked there, court documents show.

    Because of this delay, Mark Nurse, 25, had to wait 22 ½ months for a trial on three drug charges including trafficking cocaine. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last year that provincial court trials must be completed within 18 months.

    Justice Richard Schwarzl ruled last month that Nurse’s right to be tried within a reasonable time had been breached, saying the steps Orangeville police took to locate him were “woefully hollow if not non-existent.” Schwarzl stayed the charges.

    In March 2015, police allegedly came across Nurse near an Orangeville scrap yard, according to the court document. When Const. Stephen Fisher approached, he said during his testimony he noticed a baggie containing a white powder near Nurse’s feet.

    Fisher testified he told Nurse that if the powder tested positive for illegal drugs, Nurse would be charged. Nurse gave Fisher his personal information, including his current address in Ajax.

    By the end of May 2015, Fisher had formed reasonable grounds to charge Nurse with three drug-related offences, Justice Schwarzl said in his ruling.

    Even though Nurse had previously given Fisher his current address in Ajax, Fisher ran Nurse’s name in the local records system and found four addresses — three in Orangeville and one in Shelburne.

    Nurse didn’t live at any of them and neither Fisher nor any other officer went to the Ajax address he’d provided, Schwarzl ruled. Fisher told the court he didn’t follow up with the Ajax address because the local ones were more current.

    On July 9, 2015, Orangeville police issued a warrant for Nurse’s arrest and sent out a service-wide email to all local officers about the warrant.

    But on July 3, 2015, Nurse was in custody in Niagara region facing drug trafficking charges. He remained in custody until Jan. 19, 2016, when he pled guilty. He was sentenced to time served plus one day. The day he was sentenced, Toronto police laid robbery and other charges against him and brought him to Toronto. He remained in custody and eventually those charges were dropped. In all, he was in jail from July 2015 to April 2016.

    No one from Orangeville Police Service checked to see if Nurse was in custody with another police service, or in jail.

    “(Police) appeared to be content to sit on the warrant and do nothing,” Schwarzl wrote in his ruling. “Had the police in this case made basic efforts, they would have readily found (Nurse) in custody and could have executed the arrest warrant literally any time after the information was sworn.”

    It wasn’t until the day Nurse was released from Toronto custody, nine months after Orangeville police had secured a warrant, that an Orangeville police officer travelled to Toronto and arrested him.

    “Fisher testified that neither he, nor any other officer as far as he knows, did anything to attempt to locate the applicant (for) a period of 273 days,” Schwarzl wrote. “(Nurse) was in custody the entire time and was incapable of evading or avoiding execution of the Orangeville Police Service arrest warrant.”

    Nurse appeared in court on May 17, 2016. Schwarzl wrote the prosecutor didn’t appear to know of his case and had no file or disclosure to provide. After further delays for Nurse to retain defence lawyer Mark Rieger, a pre-trial took place in September 2016. Nurse was available for all 10 of the dates offered for trial, but the Crown turned down eight.

    The trial was scheduled to proceed in May 2017 — 22 ½ months after Orangeville police had issued a warrant for Nurse’s arrest.

    “They had 18 months for a pretty simple case that, if it had gone to trial, would have taken a day,” Rieger said.

    The trial was eventually adjourned so Rieger, on behalf of Nurse, could file a charter application against the delay.

    “We made the decision late to file the application, but it was important,” Rieger said. “Somebody knew Nurse was in custody, but nobody seemed to put two and two together. A case like this really demonstrates a culture of complacency on the part of the police. Whether this translates to action, I don’t know.”

    Orangeville police said it is working to achieve the provincial standard of completing trials within 18 months.

    When asked about Nurse’s case, spokesperson Const. Scott Davis said in an email, “We take this as a learning opportunity and continue to improve our practices in this area.

    “We respect the decisions of the judiciary and always accept opportunities to make changes in our practices and work in collaboration with our Crown Attorney’s office.”

    Drug charges dropped against Orangeville man in jail — because police couldn’t find himDrug charges dropped against Orangeville man in jail — because police couldn’t find him

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    Who’s afraid of a higher minimum wage?

    Despite the scare stories, a proposed $15 hourly wage in 2019 is proving wildly popular. By all accounts, it is a vote-winner.

    The usual suspects are upset: TD Bank, Loblaws, Metro, the Chamber of Commerce and the small business lobby are warning higher wages will hit hard, and hurt the working poor by costing them jobs.

    It’s a recurring tale of two competing victimhoods — businesses at risk and jobs in jeopardy — but people aren’t buying it. The old fable about the boy (or business) who cried wolf is a hard sell when few believe the wolf is at the door.

    The big change is not just in new economic thinking, but a broader societal consensus. The ground has shifted.

    Perhaps people are waking up to the impact of poverty amidst plenty. And are prepared to pay more at their local Dollarama — rebrand it Toonierama if need be.

    Canadians who were content to live alongside the working poor are increasingly sensitized to the argument for a living wage. Times change.

    For the longest time, people put up with second-hand cigarette smoke, drove while drunk, forgot their seat belts, or sneered at nerds who wore helmets for motorcycling, cycling, hockey or skiing. Now, cigarettes are taboo, drunk driving is anathema, seat belts are the law, and helmets are de rigeur.

    Once society reaches a tipping point, it’s hard to turn back. Against that backdrop, politicians aren’t so much leading the change as reading the change.

    Changed attitudes may be a reflection of increased inequality, but also reduced insecurity.

    Our unemployment is dropping rapidly — StatsCan announced last week that Ontario’s rate had declined to 5.6 per cent, the lowest level since 2000. With 170,000 new jobs over the past year, scare stories about job losses don’t add up.

    The provincial economy has been on a roll for the last few years, leading the country and much of the industrialized world. Yet income inequality keeps increasing.

    A previous column about the business lobby pointed to the flaws in outdated econometric modelling that vainly tries to foretell future job losses from doomsday scenarios. Their conclusions are contradicted by more advanced research that looks retrospectively at recent history, showing negligible or unmeasurable impacts from minimum wage hikes.

    Yet major retailers keep warning that automation is the inevitable result of higher wages. Been to a Loblaws, Sobeys, or Canadian Tire recently? Seen those automated check-out counters, even at today’s minimal minimum wage?

    Automation is inevitable. Lowering the minimum wage won’t bring back full-service gas station attendants, or persuade the banks to remove automated tellers from your local branch.

    Economic disruptions are also unpredictable. Even if business scaremongering about a wage hike were remotely true (at the margins), the reality is that a rapid increase in interest rates would have far more impact, as would a collapse in the housing market.

    Let’s give at least partial credit to the politicians who have been paying attention to recent changes. But not too much credit, for they are merely playing catch-up.

    The last time Ontario debated a minimum wage change in 2014, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats dragged their feet — and played footsie. Both parties paid lip service to higher wages while mouthing platitudes to small business lobbyists, leading to the half-measure of $11 an hour.

    The Progressive Conservatives reliably resisted that increase then, just as they do now. Opposition Leader Patrick Brown flatly opposes a proposed $15 hourly wage in 2019 (he purports to support it in principle at some future point — though without a timeline it’s a mere press line).

    With an election looming, the Liberals have breathed new life into the living wage. But the heavy lifting happened outside Ontario, with Alberta’s NDP government leading the way to a $15 target in Canada.

    The maximum push, however, has come from our American friends — never mind Donald Trump — who have broken the barrier without breaking the back of big banks or small business: San Francisco’s non-unionized minimum wage is now U.S. $14, (about $17.50), and will hit $15 by 2018 ($18.77).

    That’s the economic reality that recent research relies upon, that business is blind to, that Ontario voters are waking up to, and that smart politicians are paying attention to. The only thing we have to fear about the minimum wage is fear-mongering itself.

    Martin Regg Cohn’s political column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday., Twitter: @reggcohn

    Time to follow America’s lead on minimum wage: CohnTime to follow America’s lead on minimum wage: Cohn

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    Trustees at Peel District School Board are asking the Ministry of Education to suspend EQAO tests for all students this year in the wake of its plans to review curriculum and how pupils are assessed.

    In a motion approved at a board meeting Tuesday night, the trustees also urged other school boards throughout the province and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association to support its request.

    Given the province-wide review, the motion to cancel EQAO tests in math, reading and writing for students in Grades 3, 6 and 9 “makes perfect sense,” says Peel chair Janet McDougald.

    Ontario’s second-largest school board has become increasingly worried that current tests administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) don’t accurately reflect what its students are learning in the classroom, McDougald said in an interview Wednesday.

    The trustees’ move comes a month after Ontario announced an “education refresh” that will include revamping curriculum and report cards as well as rethinking standardized testing.

    While Education Minister Mitzie Hunter indicated in a statement that the tests will proceed as planned, the Peel motion has already reignited the debate about the explosive topic of standardized testing.

    Unions representing elementary and high school teachers, who want the current system of large-scale testing eliminated, applauded the Peel request, while other educators stressed that while no test instrument is perfect, the EQAO is an important measure of what skills students are mastering.

    “During this review, it’s important that parents are still receiving information about how their child is doing at school,” Hunter said in a statement. “That’s why EQAO will continue to provide relevant information to better support student achievement and well-being.”

    The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association did not respond directly to the Peel trustees’ request for support because it needs more information, said president Laurie French.

    “However, the reality is that EQAO has been in place for 20 years and a comprehensive review is overdue,” she said in a statement.

    That was also the message in the association’s discussion paper on EQAO testing released last spring, which, among other recommendations, called for the province to consider alternatives to across-the-board tests such as randomized testing of a sample of students.

    “This is an important issue and we look forward to participating in that conversation,” said French.

    McDougald said the Peel board has long been concerned about “a disconnect” between student report cards and EQAO scores, particularly in math, and met with EQAO staff earlier this year to try to get to the bottom of it.

    While a strategy to improve literacy results led to significant improvement, three years of intensive focus on math has not improved scores on the provincial test, she said.

    “We do not believe the test is capturing what the children are learning.”

    While reading and writing results improved at the board this year, math results have declined in line with the provincial trend. Last year, only 63 per cent of Peel students met the standard in Grade 3, dropping to a dismal 49 per cent by Grade 6. Province-wide, 62 per cent of Grade 3 students were successful while only half of those in Grade 6 met the standard.

    McDougald said putting the tests on hold during the review is reasonable because of the weight put on the results by everyone from parents choosing schools to real estate agents using them to attract homebuyers to certain neighbourhoods.

    “It’s the only public assessments people see and we’re fine with that … as long as those assessments are relevant and fair to students.”

    The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario welcomes the motion, said president Sam Hammond. The union has long supported eliminating EQAO testing, arguing it is costly, puts stress on students and diverts resources and teaching time that could be used more effectively to engage them in the classroom.

    “If they suspended it for this year, teachers across the province would not be teaching to the test as they always do and would have much more time to teach in a much deeper way,” he said.

    Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, said Peel “has taken a very responsible position on this at a time when the dubious value of the EQAO is being called even more into question.”

    However, Wilfrid Laurier University economics professor David Johnson argues the universal tests are a cost-effective way of measuring student achievement in basic skills.

    All measurement instruments are imperfect, says Johnson, a policy scholar with the C.D. Howe Institute, who says it’s important to audit any public system for its effectiveness, whether it’s health care or education.

    He says, on balance, EQAO “still provides a good index of how a school is functioning in terms of meeting curriculum demands” and allows schools and boards to compare results.

    Peel Board wants province to cancel EQAO tests this yearPeel Board wants province to cancel EQAO tests this year

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    Being the wife of an alleged sexual predator is far better than being a victim of that predator but it’s not a role to be desired. Case in point: Georgina Chapman, the 41-year- old English fashion designer who was, until very recently, the committed spouse of fallen Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Chapman announced Tuesday that she is leaving her husband after bombshell media investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed he allegedly harassed and assaulted more than a dozen women in the entertainment industry over many years.

    “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” Chapman said in a statement to People Magazine on Tuesday. “I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”

    Fat chance. Chapman’s business already appears to be suffering as a result of her husband’s alleged actions. On Wednesday, jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds announced it was severing ties with her fashion label, Marchesa, and some former fans of the brand have begun boycotting it. Chapman is not only an ongoing subject of media fascination, she is the target of outsized online vitriol. In times like these, everyone wants to know: Who is the wife? Was she aware of her husband’s alleged behaviour? How could she have been married to such a pig? Did her silence enable him?

    We know that Weinstein may have been instrumental in the success of Chapman’s fashion line, allegedly pressuring famous actresses to wear Marchesa on the red carpet. But of Chapman’s motivations for staying by Weinstein’s side for years, and now, for leaving him, we don’t actually know anything.

    Of course it’s entirely possible, as online haters of the fashion designer have suggested, that Chapman knew about every violation allegedly committed by her husband. It’s also entirely possible she had no qualms about keeping quiet so that he could help her business succeed.

    But those quick to condemn Chapman ought to remember that there are other possibilities in this equation, and though they are less scandalous they are worth considering.

    For example, it’s entirely possible that revelations about Weinstein’s alleged abuse came as a complete surprise to her. It’s possible that Chapman was under the impression her husband was merely creepy (the kind of guy who makes a pass at a female subordinate) but was totally unaware that his actions may have veered into the territory of rape. It’s also entirely possible that she was a victim of sexual assault in her own right, at his hands. Some of the women who say Weinstein allegedly assaulted or harassed them also report that they were terrified of him. Who’s to say his wife wasn’t equally terrified? The point is, we simply don’t know.

    What we do know, however, is that the spouses of fallen powerful men are rarely able to redeem themselves. Real life is not as forgiving as The Good Wife. If Chapman says she knew nothing, she will not be believed. If she says she knew something, she will be loathed. Hers is a lose-lose situation.

    Of course, being sexually assaulted is a far graver lose-lose situation than that of the wronged spouse, but victims of sex crimes have a protective force behind them that Chapman and women like her most certainly do not: the sisterhood. In other words, where victims of assault are rightly believed, women who appear to give themselves willingly to domineering men are judged and shunned. Though Chapman is no Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern’s slow, painful climb back to respectable public life after her affair with Bill Clinton is a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance some feminists exhibit in situations where women aren’t clear-cut victims.

    Perhaps the most telling example of this cognitive dissonance was Beyoncé performing in front of a gigantic “FEMINIST” backdrop at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards after she sang “Partition” — a song in which she turns Lewinsky’s name into a verb for ejaculation. “He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown,” Beyoncé sings on the song. (Lewinsky later shot back at the pop star in Vanity Fair, stating: “If we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown.’ ”)

    All this is to say we don’t know if Georgina Chapman was a victim of her husband, but she is most definitely a victim of our judgment. This is unfortunate because when a man appears to have abused his power in a cruel and heinous manner, as Harvey Weinstein has allegedly done, our outrage should remain fixed on him. When we shift it to his spouse we achieve nothing more than to extend his path of destruction.

    Harvey Weinstein’s wife a victim of our judgment: TeitelHarvey Weinstein’s wife a victim of our judgment: Teitel

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    The list of suppliers left in the lurch by the Sears Canada insolvency reads like a who’s who of retail and it circles the globe.

    It has debts to businesses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Gazipur, Bangladesh, Gurgaon, India, New Jersey, Ohio and Mont-Laurier, Quebec.

    It owes money to small contractors and conglomerates: Canada Post, Coca-Cola, Clinique, Crocs Canada, Google Inc. and Upper Canada Soap and Candle.

    It owes Adidas Canada Ltd. $871, 537. It owes Barbara Engram of Milltown, NL $1,134. Dican Enterprises, of Brampton, which supplied forklift parts to a Sears warehouse in Vaughan, is owed $17,000.

    “I think it’s a lot of money for anybody in soft times,” said owner Sayed Mohammed, who is waiting to see what kind of settlement he’ll get after the liquidation sales are done and the money from asset sales is distributed to creditors.

    He had been supplying Sears since 1995.

    “Like anything else, when you have a big account and things like this happen, you tend to feel it.”

    For more than 27 years, Toronto based Ahearn & Soper Inc. supplied Sears with inventory management tools, from warehouse automation products to printers, mobile scanners and labels.

    While Ahearn sometimes did as much as $500,000 a year in business with Sears, in recent years it was closer to $250,000, said Danny Di Marco, Ahearn’s vice-president of finance and chief financial officer.

    “We basically saw the writing on the wall. We scaled back the terms and the amount of credit we gave them,” said Di Marco.

    Ahearn is owned $53,020, and Di Marco is not sure how much it will be able to recover. The bigger concern is how long it will take to replace the lost income.

    “To find another customer like Sears, who was loyal and bought as much product as they bought from us is not an easy task,” said Di Marco.

    Sears is not the retailer it once was, employing 41,000 people and doing $6.7 billion in sales, but the effects of the insolvency will ripple far and wide, according to experts.

    If the liquidation plan is approved in court on Friday, about 12,000 people will be out of work by the time all the Sears locations across Canada are closed between Oct. 19 and Christmas, including 74 full-line department stores, eight Sears Home stores and 49 Hometown stores.

    Malls will be faced yet again with the task of filling in empty spaces left by a prominent retailer, a little more than two years after discount department store retailer Target decamped following a failed launch in Canada.

    When Target closed its 133 Canadian stores in the spring of 2015, Walmart was expanding its grocery superstore concept in Canada and swooped in to buy 13 of the Target leases. Lowe’s Canada and Canadian Tire bought about a dozen each.

    There isn’t the same demand for retail real estate today.

    “The ‘B’ malls are going to have a tough time,” said retail consultant Ed Strapagiel.

    Not all of the effects will be negative.

    The liquidation sales at Sears during the holiday season may attract customers who would otherwise be shopping at Costco, Walmart and Hudson’s Bay, said Strapagiel.

    But the effect will be temporary. In the long term those same merchants stand to gain market share as they fill the space left by Sears Canada, which did $2.6 billion in sales in 2016.

    Apparel retail consultant Randy Harris said that in the apparel sector, Hudson’s Bay, Winner’s and Marshall’s stand to benefit the most. Reitman’s may also pick up sales.

    “If you kind of think of who goes to Sears, these people aren’t going to all of a sudden turn around and go to Nordstrom’s — a lot of them are on fixed incomes,” said Harris, president of Trendex North America and publisher of the industry newsletter Canadian Apparel Insights.

    Retailers in the home improvement sector stand to benefit too, according to Michael McLarney, founder and editor of Hardlines, a trade magazine that focuses on the retail home improvement industry.

    “There’s no question that Home Depot and Lowe’s Canada have that appliance business squarely in their sites, and in the smaller markets, Home Hardware,” said McLarney.

    The difference between the Sears insolvency and Target’s insolvency is that most suppliers this time around had an idea it was coming, said Lou Brzezinski, a partner in Blaney McMurtry's commercial litigation group, representing suppliers and landlords.

    “Sears caught nobody by surprise and Target caught everybody by surprise,” said Brzezinski.

    Many Sears suppliers purchased insurance against just such a thing happening although not all of them could afford it or thought it was worth the money.

    “It’s a significant amount of money off the bottom line,” said Brzezinski.

    Target creditors got more than 80 cents on the dollar for monies owed, said Brzezinski, which is almost unheard of. Currently some Sears creditors are selling what they are owned for about 30 cents on the dollar.

    The difference is that Target Canada’s debt was held by its parent corporation in the U.S., and it decided to subordinate its claim, allowing other creditors to be paid first, said Brzezinski.

    That’s not the case with Sears.

    Sears collapse will ripple through the economySears collapse will ripple through the economy

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    A couple accused of killing their 13-year-old daughter in 2008 has been cleared on appeal, following a court hearing in India on Thursday.

    Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, both dentists in New Delhi, were convicted of murder in 2013, after their daughter Aarushi Talwar was found dead on her bed in New Delhi in 2008.

    According to The Hindu Times, the Talwar’s lawyer Rebecca John said: “I am happy that the Allahabad High Court has allowed the appeal filed by Nupur and Rajesh Talwar against their conviction and sentence. The case against them was untenable in fact and law, and their prosecution and subsequent conviction resulted in grave miscarriage of justice."

    In November 2013, the couple was given a life sentence.

    The Star has covered the Talwar case extensively from the perspective of columnist Shree Paradkar, who is the cousin of Nupur Talwar.

    Paradkar’s 2013 chronicle of the investigation became one of the Star’s most-read stories.

    A bestselling book on the case, titled Aarushi, was released in India in 2015. That same year, a film on the murders, called Talvar— released internationally as Guilty— premiered at TIFF and is now on Netflix.

    Couple accused of killing daughter Aarushi Talwar acquittedCouple accused of killing daughter Aarushi Talwar acquitted

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    RCMP officers have been screening Muslim refugee claimants entering from the U.S. at Quebec’s Roxham Rd. crossing, asking how they feel about women who do not wear the hijab, how many times they pray, and their opinion about the Taliban and the Islamic State, a questionnaire obtained by the Star shows.

    The 41 questions appear to specifically target Muslims, as no other religious practices are mentioned, nor terrorist groups with non-Muslim members.

    Refugee lawyers representing the more than 12,000 men, women and children who have crossed from New York this year at the informal crossing on Roxham Rd., near the Quebec town of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, have heard stories of profiling, but it wasn’t until a client of Toronto lawyer Clifford McCarten was given his own questionnaire last month — seemingly by mistake — that there was proof of the practice.

    RCMP spokesperson Annie Delisle told the Star Wednesday that these questions were part of an “interview guide” that was used by officers in Quebec.

    “Due to the high volume of irregular migrants in Quebec, an interview guide was developed as an operation tool to streamline processing and provide consistency in the RCMP’s preliminary risk assessments,” Delisle wrote in an email to the Star.

    Answers from the questionnaire were entered into RCMP databases, Delisle wrote. That information could then be shared with the Canada Border Services Agency or other security partners “in accordance with Canadian legislation,” she wrote.

    Scott Bardsley, spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, told the Star Wednesday afternoon that the RCMP has suspended use of “that version” of the guide.

    “The minute we became aware of the interview guide, we were immediately concerned and contacted the RCMP,” Bardsley wrote. “Some of the questions were inappropriate and inconsistent with government policy.”

    But civil rights advocates, refugee lawyers and Muslim leaders said the document highlights the larger problem that Canada’s security services disproportionately target Muslims.

    “Getting rid of the evidence doesn’t get rid of the problem,” said Faisal Bhabha, the legal adviser for the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “The document itself isn’t the problem. The problem is the mindset. It’s not an anomaly.”

    The refugee claimant represented by McCarten, who is fleeing a Muslim-majority country, said he was shocked by the questions and feared how information he gave — such as the fact that his wife wears a hijab — could be used against him.

    The Star has agreed to protect his identity.

    Question 31 on the form, typed on RCMP letterhead in both English and French reads: “Canada is a very liberal country that believes in freedom of religious practice and equality between men and women. What is your opinion on this subject? How would you feel if your boss was a woman?”

    “I never expected this in Canada,” said the middle-aged teacher, whose family still lives in his birth country. “My country has a lot of problems about human rights and democracy but these questions are not the kind of questions I’d be asked even in my country.”

    Mitchell Goldberg, head of the national association of refugee lawyers, noted the similarity between the RCMP’s questionnaire and the widely lampooned campaign pledge by Conservative MP and former leadership candidate Kellie Leitch to screen immigrants for “Canadian values.”

    “The job of the RCMP is to protect national security, not to issue a value test and that’s all I can call this,” said Goldberg.

    The Roxham Rd. crossing has taken on mythological significance among refugees seeking a path to freedom, as has Canada as a hospitable haven. In response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s January travel ban on Muslim countries, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada.”

    Read more:

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    The “Safe Third Country Agreement” between Canada and the U.S. stipulates that those seeking asylum must apply in their first country of arrival. But there is a loophole if refugee claimants enter at an unofficial border crossing — such as Roxham Rd.

    This summer saw a massive influx of mainly Haitian claimants, fearful of what would happen to them in the U.S. when their special immigration designation, known as a Temporary Protected Status, expired. The Trump administration told Haitian citizens living and working in the U.S. to prepare to return home as their status would only be extended until November.

    Canadian officials are bracing for a second wave of asylum seekers from Central America, who worry they also will be expelled from the U.S. if their status is not renewed.

    Other claimants from Muslim-majority countries feel they would have a better chance finding refuge in Canada than the U.S. under Trump.

    McCarten said late Wednesday that while he was thankful for the quick reaction from Goodale’s office, more answers are needed about federal oversight and what will happen with the data collected by the RCMP.

    “I’m heartened to hear from the leadership that they take this as seriously as we do,” he said. “But what possible purpose could someone’s opinion about female employment or religious head coverings have to bear on an assessment of risk?”

    “If someone’s religious opinion is sufficient to place them in an RCMP database for potential future monitoring, we need to be concerned about that. If they recognize those questions are inappropriate, then they need to destroy all the information that was gathered.”

    McCarten also said he found it hard to fathom that federal officials from Public Safety or the Prime Minister’s office were unaware of the screening process being used at Roxham Rd., when Canada’s influx of asylum seekers has been such an important and politically fraught story.

    “I find that incredibly hard to believe that the site of incredibly vexed immigration and refugee policy in Canada, the site of probably the biggest clash of values between Canada and the U.S. right now, and the site of the largest irregular border issue in the country, is being managed exclusively by a local detachment without any federal oversight or higher level approach?”

    “If there isn’t, then there’s a huge problem.”

    RCMP officers screened Quebec border crossers on religion and values, questionnaire showsRCMP officers screened Quebec border crossers on religion and values, questionnaire shows

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