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    In the past month, Roxanne messaged more than two dozen Ontario women on Facebook to warn them that their photos had surfaced on the image-sharing site Anon-IB.

    It’s something the Toronto resident has been doing on and off since she learned four years ago that her own photos had cropped up on the site — a place where users gather to share images, many of which are sexually explicit.

    “Part of me felt like a little bit of a creep doing this,” said Roxanne, who didn’t want her full name published out of concern her experience would affect her career in social work. “But … if I can track them down this easily, somebody with a worse motive can too.”

    Roxanne, 24, typically finds the women she warns by searching on Facebook for their first names, the first letter of their last name and the community they’re believed to live in — all information that accompanies the photos posted on Anon-IB, which boasts the tag line “Best Anonymous Image Board.”

    The site — which did not respond to a request for an interview — has sections for various countries, including Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and pages specific to cities and even universities. The level of detail can allow users to come across images of people they may actually know.

    The Canada forum on Anon-IB is currently 15 pages long, with threads for women at various universities and more than 30 Ontario communities.

    The website has rules prohibiting the posting of images of minors and a ban on the posting of “personal details like addresses, telephone numbers, social networks links, or last names.” But some users work around the rules by posting messages like, “(first name) L anyone? Surname rhymes with mammoth.”

    The photos of Roxanne that appeared on the site in 2013 were taken in 2011, she said. She had sent two photographs — taken in a crop top and underwear — to someone who befriended her on Facebook.

    Roxanne thought the person was a woman named Mary, who described herself as a queer feminist, a survivor of sexual violence and a women’s studies student. But when she began badgering Roxanne for explicit photos, Roxanne said she grew suspicious. After an internet search revealed that Mary’s profile photo appeared to be that of a pornography performer, Roxanne blocked the person.

    Nearly two years later, Roxanne said the photographs she sent to that person appeared in the Ontario sub-forum on Anon-IB, where users were specifically requesting “wins” — slang for nude photos — of her.

    Roxanne said she found out about the images only after an acquaintance pointed them out. The photos had been up for two days by that point, she said.

    “I (was) in shock,” she said. “Then terror and a sense of dread set in.”

    Roxanne tried to get her photos taken down by filling out a form on the website, but said her request was ignored.

    Under the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, it’s a crime to post or distribute an “intimate image” of another person without their consent.

    Roxanne decided to go to York regional police in Newmarket, Ont., a month after learning of her photos on Anon-IB.

    She knew it was unlikely they could get the images removed but she wanted to have a police record in case the matter escalated. She also wanted police to look into what she said were images of underage girls on the website.

    “The (officer) just looked bewildered,” she said.

    York regional police said they are aware of Roxanne’s case, that her file is still under investigation and no charges have been laid.

    Other police forces have also received the occasional complaint related to the website — RCMP in Antigonish, N.S., said they’ve been conducting an investigation related to Anon-IB since April, and police in Peterborough, Ont., said they became aware of the site after one complaint in the last two years. In both cases, no charges have been laid. Hamilton police said they had one investigation that involved the website but not a direct complaint against it.

    Ontario provincial police, Toronto police and Ottawa police said they have not received complaints about Anon-IB.

    Read more:

    Education, not litigation, needed to address revenge porn

    We can do more to fight 'revenge porn': Editorial

    Sex trafficking case turns on whether websites can be held liable for content created by users

    Toronto lawyer Gil Zvulony said Roxanne’s photographs would not be considered “intimate” under the Criminal Code because they do not appear to depict any explicit sexual activity or nudity. He said women who find themselves on Anon-IB should still go to the police but noted that it’s unlikely charges would be laid if those who post the images remain anonymous on the website.

    Roxanne’s photos stayed on the site for about a year, she said, until it went offline briefly in 2014. When the site came back online, her images were gone.

    After her experience, Roxanne continued to think about what happened to her.

    “My coping mechanism was to go back on the website, find as many girls as I could, tip them off and go to bed,” she said.

    Katelyn, 23, was one of the women Roxanne messaged. She said she was 16 and 17 in most of the photos that she learned were on the site in August 2013.

    Katelyn said she has no idea who took photos from her Facebook and Plenty of Fish dating profile and edited them to make her shirts appear see-through, which was possible because she was wearing light-coloured tops without a bra, she said.

    After learning about her images, she asked the site to take them down. The photos were removed within 24 hours, she said, which is why she didn’t go to police.

    “I’m grateful that Roxanne reached out to me,” she said. “It’s important for women to keep mobilizing and looking out for one another.”

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    LONDON—For a couple of minutes Monday night, Aaron Brown believed perhaps Canada’s luck at the world track and field championships was turning.

    He’d raced to a victory in his 200-metre heat in a season’s best time, three days after he’d been quarantined for the stomach virus that has slashed through the team.

    Then the results flashed up on the scoreboard. Beside his name was the dreaded “DQ.” Brown was disqualified for a lane violation.

    “I hope the tide’s turning,” Brown said, just a minute or two before hearing the bad news. “Brandon McBride made the final (in the men’s 800), we’ve got some other people waiting in the wings. Go Canada, we’re going to do this.”

    Athletics Canada immediately appealed the disqualification, but after video review, the appeal was rejected. Runners are disqualified for stepping on the line.

    Four days into the world championships, the Canadian team has lost stars Andre De Grasse and Derek Drouin to injury, and Eric Gillis dropped out 30 kilometres into the marathon, three days after he’d been ill with what is believed to be Norwalk.

    Read more:

    Andre De Grasse to miss world championships with hamstring injury

    Derek Drouin hoped to be ‘that person’ who stepped up for Canada and Andre De Grasse

    Canadian track team hopes virus and medal goose egg don’t last

    The 25-year-old Brown, meanwhile, raced to a season’s best 20.08 seconds — what would have been the second fastest time on the night — and, yet to learn of his disqualification, was all smiles when he went through the media interview area.

    He was happy he’d recovered from the bug that has flattened athletes from several teams staying at the same central London hotel.

    “I was in my room the entire day in the dark like I was a vampire,” he said. “It hit at night, couldn’t sleep, aching stomach. Felt like the movie ‘Alien,’ when they breed the alien and the thing’s running around inside. It felt like that. I was holding my stomach the entire night.”

    Brown was also disqualified from the 100 metres last month in Ottawa for a false start.

    He and De Grasse are the only two Canadian sprinters in history that have recorded both sub-10 second times in the 100 and sub-20 in the 200.

    Brown said he’s drawn inspiration from his Canadian teammate, who was a medal threat in both the 100 and 200 in London before tearing his hamstring a week ago in training.

    “Why not me? That’s been my slogan for the championship, ‘Why not me?’” Brown said. “I know I have the talent and the capabilities.”

    He just needed some better luck.

    Sage Watson fared better than Brown on Monday night, advancing to the semifinals in the women’s 400-metre hurdles. Watson was second in her heat in 55.06, the fifth fastest time of the night.

    The 23-year-old from Medicine Hat, Alta., who won the NCAA title for the Arizona Wildcats, said there were some things she needs to clean up for the next round — she relaxed on the corner too much, and didn’t come off the hurdles as smooth as she would’ve liked over the final 100 metres.

    A few small fixes, and she believes she’s “ready to do something special,” she said.

    Special, she said, would be making the final and breaking the Canadian record of 54.39, set by Rosey Edeh (now a Canadian television personality) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

    Watson’s best time is 54.52, set at the NCAA championships in June.

    Canada has four athletes in finals on Tuesday night, including Shawn Barber, the defending champion in pole vault. McBride races the 800, Matt Hughes races the 3,000-metre steeplechase, and Liz Gleadle throws the javelin.

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    There’s a tall brick building between Richmond and Queen, just west of Spadina, where Darwin the Ikea monkey climbs the CN tower to reach Drake, who’s perched on top Views-style. Meanwhile, ”crane girl” hovers overhead.

    The newest mural in Toronto’s ‘graffiti alley,’ an established haunt for local photographers and artists, reads like a smorgasbord of Toronto stories.

    Monday, passerby Kelly Sveinson chuckled as he recognized the iconic Sam the Record Man sign in the corner. But other more obscure local references — like “dart guy” or red touring helicopters — were lost on Sveinson, his wife Susan and their daughter Kya, who were in visiting from Vancouver.

    Stella Hsu, who hustled through the alley with headphones on, paused her music to consider the mural. “There are a lot of elements,” she mused, her eyes darting up and down, left then right. A few feet away, a group of teenagers stopped to snap photos with the bustling references as a backdrop.

    The wall is a Where’s Waldo of Toronto’s stories. But the real secret comes from the artist himself — an east-coaster who goes by the moniker Uber 5000. The city is the final piece of a larger concept, which began in 2012 when he also painted two other sides of the same building.

    The original murals are washed over with technicolour fish. But to Uber 5000, images of a coral reef and images of Toronto go hand-in-hand.

    “Originally the idea of the reef section of the wall was it was sort of a metaphor for the city,” he said. While reefs make up a tiny fraction of ocean space across the earth, they’re home to enormous populations of marine life.

    The same ideas apply to the city, and especially Toronto, he explained. When he sat down to talk to the owner of the building about how to tackle the third side, a depiction of the city seemed to tie everything together.

    The process, which is still underway with a strip left to paint at the bottom, took place largely upon a 15-by-six foot lift that the owner of the building rented, and hoisted into the air with the artist aboard.

    Making art is Uber 5000’s full time job, he explained over the phone from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia — where he’s just completed a mural for a local waterfront festival. His work didn’t start with murals — in fact, it began while taking a political studies class, when he took to scrawling political slogans he learned on the school walls.

    After school, he moved to Vancouver, where a more experienced artist taught him more about mural art. His first mural there was a 3-storey high depiction of the Ewok Village from Star Wars near Granville Island. After it was finished, he was hooked.

    After a year in Vancouver, he moved back to the east coast, where he was approached by a local group in Halifax to do a mural for them. But, neither he nor the group had enough money to fund it. On his way back from that meeting, he passed a wall in the city he’d always thought would look nice as a mural.

    Mustering up his courage, he walked in and asked if he could paint it. “And if I got shot down, I already got shot down once today,” he reasoned.

    But, to his surprise, the answer was yes.

    The building housed an engineering firm, so he set his mind on a “photorealistic” image of Halifax’s Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. “They would come out and smoke, and just point out all the mistakes,” he said.

    But with another mural under his belt, Uber 5000 began to build a portfolio. Earlier this year, he worked on a piece for Toronto’s Humane Society, and now has several commissions from local businesses.

    The work was exhausting, he said, noting that on the last day he worked on the Toronto city mural, he worked through the night, then had to deal with a broken lift so he didn’t get to sleep until 3 p.m. He woke up that evening, packed everything up, and met his 5 a.m. flight to paint more in Cape Breton.

    To him, it’s worth it to live the life he does. “I like zipping around and renting equipment and jumping up on stuff,” he said happily. “And leaving a big, colourful picture in my wake.”

    Can you spot the references?

    Dart Guy

    Crane Girl

    Sam the Record Man

    Darwin the Ikea Monkey

    Drake on the CN Tower (“Views”)

    Queen Street West

    Blue jay flipping the bat

    Red touring helicopters

    Canada 150 airplane

    Wayward fish from the 2012 murals

    Bonus: Uber 5000’s real-life dog Hubble, who appears in nearly all his murals!

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    A little girl, a stuffed animal and the social media campaign to reunite them.

    Calling her daughter “heartbroken,” a mother’s Facebook post imploring for help to locate a stuffed pink dog has been shared on the social media site over 7,130 times.

    The family of four visiting Toronto was killing time before their flight back home to Exeter, UK in the Eaton Centre on Aug. 4.

    Phoebe, 6, had her beloved stuffed animal, Sleepy Dog, with her, wrote Julie Letton, Phoebe’s mother, in an email.

    When Phoebe noticed her toy was missing, Letton said her stomach flipped. The family re-traced their steps and searched the mall. “Phoebe was with me and was inconsolable. She cried constantly for about 2 hours,” Letton said.

    The family had to leave without finding Sleepy Dog, despite their search and speaking with staff at the Eaton Centre.

    In the taxi on the way to the airport, Letton made her Facebook post, and has since made a Facebook group.

    One of the people aiding in the search is Toronto Police Sgt. Wendy Drummond who enlisted the help of Twitter users. “We are all pulling together to bring this little guy home,” she tweeted.

    Drummond was inspired to tweet after she saw Letton’s online post. She has children of her own and said she knows what this situation is like with toys that carry meaning.

    “As adults we’ve all experienced heart break at some point in our lives, so we know what it feels like, and it’s awful to see (Phoebe) going through such an emotional time,” Letton said. “Sleepy Dog has been her number one since he came into her life when she was less than a year old.”

    “Phoebe is amazed by the amount of people who are trying to help her,” Letton continued. “We are all very grateful.”

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    A “loud, thunderous noise” was all Christopher Palumbo heard before the water started rushing down Albion Falls toward him and his five buddies Monday afternoon.

    The 19-year-old Vaughan man road tripped to Hamilton on the long weekend to hike the trails and shoot some photos of the falls, but a quick turn in the weather changed those plans.

    Thunder and rain prompted the group to take cover under a rock ledge, and that’s when the water came.

    “We heard a loud, thunderous noise, and we all looked up and saw that all the water had started rushing down the waterfall,” he said. “It was like this water had come out of nowhere.”

    At first, they were amazed by the beauty and power of the flow, he said.

    “Then we realize, this thing’s coming right towards us.”

    The friends picked up their gear and fled downstream. The flooding started, and people got split up from one another and stuck on cliff sides, he said.

    He and his friends managed to cross the water and get to high ground but then he got stuck. While looking for ways to get back on the trail and find his way out of the falls, he ran into a couple of people stuck on the same side as him.

    “We all kind of stayed together just to figure out how we were going to get across,” he said. “Some people were from out of the province, so they were really unfamiliar with the area.

    “They had no idea what they were walking into.”

    About 30 people were down at the base of the falls when the water started rushing, Palumbo noted, including a man who got stuck in the water as it was flowing.

    Palumbo said the man managed to hold on to his dog despite getting washed down shore.

    With the help of emergency personnel, Palumbo was walked to safety. Neither he nor his friends suffered any injuries, he said.

    Immediately after the misadventure during his first visit to Albion Falls, Palumbo said he was shocked. But a few hours later, that initial panic had already subsided.

    “We’re all calmed down,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something we’ll let bother us in the future.”

    But he did have a few words of advice for anyone thinking of travelling down the sleep slopes anytime soon: “Be prepared. Plan … Know what you’re getting yourself into.”

    Hamilton fire prevention officer Steve McArthur said a total of 10 hikers needed assistance getting out of Albion Falls after an “excessive amount of water” came Monday afternoon. No one was injured, he said.

    Albion Falls has been at the centre of the public and political backlash lately over people ignoring safety warnings and trespassing.

    This has led the city to bolster safety features, including adding $75,000 worth of fencing and increasing ticketing enforcement of trespassers.

    Palumbo, who was informed afterwards that he was in a restricted area, said he didn’t receive a ticket. He said bylaw told him that was because there was “no signage” in the area he was in.

    Monday’s rain also prompted another rescue at Lower Chedoke Falls about a half hour before crews were called to Albion Falls.

    At Chedoke, a family of five — three adults and two kids — became stranded on rocks because of fast moving water, McArthur said. No one was injured, he added.

    Hamilton Police Service’s marine unit was called in to help with that rope rescue using a portable water rescue craft because of their “swift water” training, said Const. Ben Rushton.

    “The rapids were quite swift when we first got there,” said Rushton.

    People need to be aware of the potential hazards around them, Rushton said.

    “When they’re hiking, especially when they’re near steep cliffs obviously you need to stay back from that and obey any signage and fences and stay on marked trails,” he said. “And then when there’s rain, definitely stay away from water’s edge.”

    The Hamilton Spectator

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    Step inside a stadium or club on a concert night and you’re usually inundated with cellphone-armed fans blocking your view in pursuit of grainy video, or libation-laden crowds aggressively jostling to be nearest the stage.

    But that didn’t happen when Toronto-born flamenco artist Tamar Ilana took to the floor at the newly opened Broadview Hotel’s Lincoln Hall event space on a recent Sunday afternoon.

    About 130 music lovers sat enraptured by her Sephardic love songs, so engaged that few reached for their phones — an impressive feat considering they had flocked to the spot never having heard her music and not even knowing who would be performing.

    They were there because they had scored an invitation to a secret show put on by Sofar Sounds, a global organization that has quietly crept into Toronto, arranging clandestine performances in living rooms, community centres and offices, and attracting local phenoms Royal Wood, Great Lake Swimmers and Donovan Woods.

    It works like this: music lovers apply online to attend a show, knowing only the date and neighbourhood it will be held in. Guests are selected from a pool of 100 to 400 applicants and, a day or two before the show, those chosen are sent an address. They don’t find out who will hit the stage until showtime.

    The secrecy element — popularized by Prince and Mumford and Sons — means attendees get to brag about their exclusive night of music, while up-and-coming artists still struggling to build a fan base get connected with crowds they haven’t be able to attract on their own.

    “It’s not a shtick,” says Sofar Sounds Toronto director Jon Campbell. “We’re trying to get people to experience their city as much as possible, and we take that to mean both geographically and artistically. The motto is to put the magic back into live music.”

    To date they’ve attempted to conjure up that magic at dozens of spots, once even bringing guests to the centre of the Woodbine Racetrack to jam. Their performers have been an eclectic bunch, including indie rockers, rappers, spoken-word performers and gypsy singers who dabble in beatboxing.

    They’ve taken their cues from the movement’s founders, two Brits who became annoyed at a London gig in 2009.

    “The noise around them was distracting their ability to actually see the show at a bar somewhere, and so they just said this is crazy and they brought the show to their home, where people would sit down, shut up and listen,” said Campbell.

    Now the U.K. chapter hosts three intimate shows a night almost every day of the year and the initiative has expanded to 366 cities, including Bogota, Lima, Brussels, Sydney and Shanghai. (Plans are underway to bring it to Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo soon.)

    The Sofar Sounds movement (an acronym for “sounds from a room”) has even been credited with giving the National, Hozier, James Bay, Leon Bridges, Bastille and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a platform before they became radio regulars.

    “It’s not easy to get access to big names. It’s a money thing and it’s a scheduling thing,” says Campbell, of why you’re more likely to see an emerging artist than Beyoncé at Sofar Sounds.

    But he insists the events are still of value because “you’re going to be among the next generations of big artists.”

    He and the other volunteers behind Sofar Sounds Toronto often discover potential performers at their day jobs in the music industry or through agents pitching new artists, but the Broadview Hotel show’s second act, duo The Visit, requested their slot after performing at one of the organization’s previous shows.

    “They bring out great crowds, and it’s a good and rare opportunity to connect with the audience. You can talk with them and get to know them,” said The Visit’s cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne.

    After The Visit came Catriona Sturton, a contact from Campbell’s university radio show days and the former bassist for Halifax teen-rockers Plumtree, whose 1997 song “Scott Pilgrim” helped inspire the cult favourite books and movie.

    She had the audience giggling as she blew on her bedazzled harmonica and sang short ditties about the “romance of poutine” and a time when a friend gave her a sweater riddled with moth-chewed holes that the pal’s mom covered up with bee stitching.

    As she capped the evening, a handful of guests approached the artist merchandise table with wallets in hand, while others murmured about wanting to add some of the performers to their Spotify rotations.

    Many, including IT worker Murugi Murai, vowed they’d be back.

    Murai attended her first Sofar Sounds show at a condo in Nairobi last month. It took no coaxing for her to get her bartender pal Christopher Smith to join her at the Broadview Hotel show.

    “I’m an adrenalin junkie, so I was really attracted to it being a secret. I am already thinking about people I know that are interested in doing something off the beaten track that I can invite next time,” said Smith.

    Ilana also predicted she would come back, though she griped that performers were offered so little to play that her group Ventanas decided to send just her and one other member.

    “I considered even not doing it. It is a lot of artists performing for almost free, but we love playing so we will almost always do it in the end,” she said, requesting the Star not publish her earnings.

    Tickets for the Toronto shows, which last around three hours and include three sets, cost $15. The artist’s take is a function of the small audience, the affordable cover and the equipment, crew and venue costs, said Campbell.

    Still, not having to book the venue, sell tickets, set up light and sound equipment, and arrange filming on top of performing was a treat for Ilana, who like most burgeoning artists takes on most of those responsibilities herself. She added that the audience was a perk, too, because Ilana often plays festivals and for crowds that skew much older than her.

    “We were playing to our peers. It was a new audience for us and you really feel the difference,” she said. “It was impeccable. Cellphones were away, everyone listening and the focus was really on the music.”

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    Friends have identified the victim of a motorcycle crash that occurred early Sunday morning.

    A 21-year-old man was pronounced dead on scene after it appears he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into the side of a building in a shopping plaza in Vaughan.

    The victim has been identified as Anthony Smith, who worked in the plaza at a Jack Astor’s restaurant, said friend Theos Kuzakis.

    Kuzakis, 20, works in the same shopping plaza and has known Smith since the eighth grade when they played soccer together. He found out about Smith’s death when he arrived at work in the morning and saw ambulances there.

    “He was a good kid, I never knew him for doing stunts or anything like that,” Kuzakis said. “Back in high school he was a very smart kid . . . he had high grades. He was doing everything right, he was on the right path to success.”

    At 3:10 a.m., York Regional Police responded to a call about the crash in a parking lot at Weston Rd. and Colossus Dr., south of Hwy. 7.

    Kuzakis described Smith as someone who wanted to see others succeed and would help them along the way. “Anthony, he’s always just been there for everyone,” he said.

    With files from Alexandra Jones

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    I went on a few dates with a guy but it never turned into anything. On a date, we did snap a selfie and he now (months later) uses that photo as his Facebook profile pic! I don’t feel comfortable with that. What can I do?

    That’s weird. Really weird. And possibly a signal of why a few dates with this person was enough. You can contact him directly and ask that he deletes that photo, a simple, polite, straight-to-the-point message would do the trick: “Hi! Can you please delete that photo of us? Thanks, take care!” Since he’s so keen on Facebook, you can send it through FB messenger.

    If that doesn’t work, you can ask Facebook to take it down on your behalf. Click on the photo and on the bottom you’ll see “options”. One such option is “report photo.” You’ll need to explain the circumstances but it shouldn’t be too much grief.

    I have an aunt that sends ridiculous “daily joke” emails in mass Bcc emails. They used to be cute, but now I get a few a day. Can I tell her to take me off?

    I can appreciate how that can go from cute to too much on a dime. There is a way to both spare your inbox and your aunt’s feelings. Whatever email platform you are using, Google how to apply a rule to it. It’s a snap to set it up so that when an email lands in your inbox with the words “daily joke” in it, the email will go directly to your trash. You’ll never ever see it. When you next bump into your aunt in person and she asks you what you thought of last week’s joke, tell her that you can’t keep them straight and could she please tell it again? Give her a good belly laugh to appease any guilt you might be carrying from filtering her emails.

    A group of friends and I host an alternating potluck party, but there is one friend who always cheaps out. Last time she brought a can of frozen lemonade and borrowed my pitcher to serve it. The dinner before that, she showed up with a bowl of plain rice. Everyone else spends time on their contribution and typically brings something fancy. How can we get her to step it up?

    Come on, who doesn’t love lemonade and rice? Really, though, maybe this is the best potluck game that your friend has. Cooking isn’t everyone’s jam. Or, maybe your friend is on a really tight budget but still wants to see her friends. I assume (er, I hope!) that the purpose of these potluck parties is to spend some time with friends, rather than outdo each other in the kitchen. Next time she shows up with a dish (or a can of frozen juice) give her a big hug and when you say thank you, mean it.

    Etiquette expert Karen Cleveland answers your questions about modern life:

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    The only thing more worrisome than giving Toronto more power would be not giving it more power. Do we really want a dysfunctional city hall to have more control? On the other hand, do we really want to leave the city in the hands of a usually distracted province? Neither scenario is terribly reassuring.

    Toronto may be the most important city in Canada, generating 10 per cent of the country’s GDP. But that hasn’t stopped its tendency to self-destruct. Neither does it cut much ice at Queen’s Park, where Toronto is seen as a cash cow that can be safely ignored when convenient and thwarted when necessary.

    These questions have once again become the subject of discussion under the mayoralty of John Tory. For the first time since David Miller was chief magistrate, civic empowerment is on the table. But since former premier Dalton McGuinty brought forth the City of Toronto Act in 2006, little has changed. Though Tory has fumed famously about being “a little boy going up to Queen’s Park in short pants” to ask for more money, the hard truth is there’s not much he can do. The governance structure under which Canadian cities operate gives all the cards to the provinces.

    Premier Kathleen Wynne made that painfully clear in January when she abruptly reversed direction and nixed Tory’s plan to toll the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. Though doing so ran contrary to the city’s wishes — and her own progressive impulses — she opted to stick it to Toronto rather than risk suburban ire.

    Tory’s frustration was understandable; but more important, Wynne’s decision once again raised the question about the wisdom of leaving Toronto, the country’s single most dynamic economic, cultural and social force, to the whims of its otherwise preoccupied provincial masters. Even when municipal and provincial politicians see eye to eye — as they do on the ruinous $3.4-billion Scarborough subway extension — the results are disastrous for the city.

    The real issue, of course, is the raising and spending of money. Forbidden to impose personal income or general sales tax, Toronto must rely on property and land transfer tax, user fees and, of course, “handouts” from the province and, when lucky, Ottawa. At a time when the municipal infrastructure is suffering from severe lack of investment and decades of neglect, the city’s financial needs are greater than ever. To make matters worse, political leaders, especially those at the civic level, focus on little more than keeping property taxes low. That was as true for Toronto’s first post-amalgamation mayor, Mel Lastman, as it is for the current office-holder.

    Sadly, though predictably, years of political banality have left the city more reliant than ever upon provincial funding. To make matter worse, Toronto’s leadership has squandered valuable capital — political and economic — on schemes that will leave Toronto poorly served and debt-ridden.

    The choice between city and province is not a happy one. It’s a bit like the proposed revamp of the Ontario Municipal Board. Though much despised by city officials, the OMB has also enabled those same councillors and bureaucrats to avoid responsibility for development projects Torontonians fight tooth and nail.

    Underlying these issues is the deep-seated suspicion Ontarians and many Torontonians feel for the big city. Official Toronto’s reluctance to accept its cosmopolitan fate, its race to impose suburban standards and continued fealty to car culture keep the city from realizing its potential. Yet at a time of backlash — Rob Ford and Donald Trump — the city’s role as a centre of innovation and intellectual and economic leadership is more crucial than ever.

    The truth is that neither provincial nor municipal governments are up to the challenge of running a 21st-century metropolis. As long as political decisions are made — as they are in Toronto — out of fear of Ford Nation, the city will remain a civic underachiever.

    Toronto’s best hope is probably the millennials, who have first-hand experience of how their parents’ generation has failed them. They will be the ones who take this city to the next level. They understand without being told that the urban agenda must address more than gridlock and downtown expressways and double-parked cars and low taxes.

    They expect more from the city. They just need the power to get it.

    Christopher Hume’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at

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    Ottawa is treating minors like adults when it comes to charging them for their citizenship applications.

    Although recent changes to the citizenship act allow those under age 18 to make an application without their parents, they must pay the same fee as adults — $530.

    By contrast, the fee is $100 for minors who apply for citizenship together with their parents.

    Critics say children applying for citizenship on their own are probably unaccompanied minors who came to Canada alone for asylum or are estranged from their family and in such difficult situations that they can’t afford the application fee.

    When the Liberal government tabled the motion to move forward with the Senate-amended citizenship bill that was passed in June, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen highlighted this particular change on minors, saying easier pathway to citizenship helps newcomers “build successful lives in Canada.”

    “The government . . . supports the amendment to make it easier for children to obtain citizenship without a Canadian parent and has made changes to clarify who can apply for citizenship on behalf of the child,” the minister said at the time.

    Conservative Senator Victor Oh, who put forward the amendment in the Senate to allow children to apply for citizenship on their own, said no fee-specific provisions were made in his motion at the time because he was told setting processing fees did not require legislative changes and fell within the immigration minister’s discretion.

    “I was advised that would take a simple regulatory amendment by the minister, who has the authority to do that,” the Ontario senator told the Star.

    Oh said he sent a letter to Hussen in early July and asked him to lower the fee to no more than $100, but he has yet to hear back from the minister.

    “We can’t discriminate and penalize the minors who apply on their own,” Oh said. “These children are the most vulnerable and they are not making it easier for them to become citizens.”

    Immigration officials said the $530 application fee was put in place to reflect the increasing cost of processing. Over the past three years, an average of 29,740 children under age 18 applied for citizenship per year, the majority of them with their parents.

    “As part of its ongoing review of the impact of changes to the citizenship program, consideration will be given to this processing fee difference created by the amendment,” said Julie Lafortune, a spokesperson for the Immigration Department.

    Immigration lawyer and policy analyst Richard Kurland said the government should make public the cost to process a minor’s citizenship application before setting the fee.

    It is meaningless for Ottawa to relax the rule on one hand but impose a higher fee on the other, Kurland said. “What is that about?” he asked.

    Andrew Griffith, retired director general of the Immigration Department, said the hefty citizenship application fee for independent minors defeats the purpose of the citizenship amendment.

    “It was likely driven by somebody thinking bureaucratically without thinking about the policy’s intent to make it easier for minors to become citizens independently,” Griffith said.

    “That’s a lot of money, particularly for this vulnerable population. The government has removed the legal barrier to citizenship for them but has now set up a new financial barrier. Theoretically, more young people could become citizens. In practice, they will find it a lot harder.”

    Passport Canada currently charges those 16 or older $160 for a 10-year passport and $57 for children younger than that for in-Canada applications. Immigration lawyers expect the number of unaccompanied minors applying for citizenship to be fewer than a couple hundred a year.

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    A Canadian partnership has won hotly contested rights to expand and operate GTA casinos, including one coming to Woodbine race track.

    B.C.-based Great Canadian Gaming Corp. and Toronto-based Brookfield Business Partners won the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. bidding process, they announced Tuesday.

    Woodbine, which now hosts slot machines, is expected to become a full-fledged casino and entertainment/hotel complex. The 22-year deal also includes rights to redevelop and operate: Great Blue Heron charity casino on Scugog Island near Port Perry; Ajax Downs race track, which has slot machines; and a fourth gaming site to be named later.

    The new partnership won’t make the winning plan public just yet, said Chuck Keeling of Great Canadian Gaming.

    “We are eager and excited,” he said, but, “in a proposal this large and complex, there a lot of vested stakeholders,” and it is important to brief them on plans and get feedback before making the details public.

    “We do have a vision for the GTA marketplace, and, at this place, we don’t want to speak to any of the details, which include preferential locations,” for casino sites, said Keeling, promising details “soon.”

    The partnership will take control of the sites and propose future plans for approval to OLG and Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet, and to Toronto council for Woodbine.

    Race track operator Woodbine Entertainment Group already has plans to build “a city within a city” on its sprawling site, guided by international architecture and planning firm SWA Group.

    WEG said, in a statement, it looks forward to working with the new “key partners” while proceeding with its vision for 684 privately owned acres, including “expanded entertainment and cultural offerings, food and dining, hotel, shopping, employment, post-secondary education, recreation, health, wellness, and urban residential living (facilities).”

    Ward 1 Councillor Vince Crisanti predicted the new complex will inject needed jobs into the northwest corner of Toronto that has seen past proposals go nowhere.

    “This sets the stage for a transformation and revitalization; Etobicoke north is going to come to life because of it,” Crisanti said. “There will be thousands of job opportunities,” that should spark new housing and transit opportunities.

    The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, which owns Great Blue Heron and its gaming tables managed by a charitable arm of the band, has expressed “high hopes” for expansion of the small, but successful casino.

    In an interview Tuesday, Chief Kelly LaRocca said she had a small role in the selection process as a “subject-matter expert” on the bids’ Indigenous components and “how they thought to include and uplift the aboriginal community in their plans.”

    She congratulated the winning companies and expects to meet with them soon to go over their Great Blue Heron proposals.

    “I’m very hopeful that they are looking to reinvigorate employment opportunities for aboriginal peoples in the local and surrounding communities,” LaRocca said. “I know that they are probably looking at branding and how they can give a bit of a facelift to the Great Blue Heron and the other casinos.”

    As for Ajax Downs, the town has earned $6.4 million a year in OLG hosting fees and is making the case that it should host the new casino, boosting those fees to as much as $12.3 million. In a statement, the town said it looks forward to working with the new operator “to ensure Ajax continues to be a popular destination for gaming, horse racing and entertainment.”

    Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan, however, said in an interview he wants to convince the partners his city should host the casino.

    “We’re not only at the table, we’re on the table,” Ryan said. “We have twice the land opportunity and could host a much larger casino, entertainment and tourism complex,” than Ajax.

    OLG has said the deal will earn the partnership at least $72 million a year, plus up to 70 per cent of gambling revenue, but only after OLG has earned a pre-determined annual cut.

    Finance Minister Charles Sousa, speaking to reporters at Massey Hall, hailed the “exciting news.”

    “It was an arms-length process and it’s been some time in the making. I’m extremely excited about it. I’m very pleased by the outcome,” said Sousa, predicting construction of “a destination venue in the Toronto area.

    “There’s a huge investment coming into the community, a lot more jobs being created,” he said. “The proponent will now come out with the plans in association with Woodbine . . . , but it’s going to be a substantive investment with a great rollout and many opportunities for the region.”

    Not everyone is cheering. Theo Lagakos, president of PSAC Local 533 representing 400 workers at Woodbine slots, said his members have lost the rights of provincial civil servants and are guaranteed only one year of employment with the partnership taking over the operation.

    “I think this is a bad deal for the people of Ontario,” he said, arguingthere was little or no public debate on the privatization and “the private company is going to keep a large percentage of the profits that should be going back to the Ontario government.”

    With files from Robert Benzie

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    Authorities in Toronto have seized a dog that police say was seen in an online video being hit by its owner while on a subway train.

    The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took the dog after executing a search warrant on Monday, OSPCA spokeswoman Alison Cross said Tuesday, noting that charges are pending in the case.

    “This is a concerning video that we wanted to have an opportunity to investigate,” Cross said.

    The alleged incident caught on video took place on Friday afternoon.

    Police said they were called to St. George Station in downtown Toronto for a report of a dog being abused.

    Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said officers interviewed a woman and witnesses and ultimately issued her a warning, releasing her with the dog.

    “We couldn’t do anything because the dog appeared to be unhurt and we didn’t have access to any video of the incident at the time,” Douglas-Cook said.

    A video appearing to show the incident surfaced later that day, Douglas-Cook said.

    In the video, which has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, a woman appears to hit, pull and bite a small dog sitting on her lap on a subway train.

    “You hear me? Stop it, stop it right now,” the woman yells at the dog, which is on a leash and is seen trying to move away several times.

    “You’ve got to stop hitting your dog,” a man is seen saying to the woman when the train is stopped and its emergency alarm is going off.

    “Stop what? Pardon?” the woman says to the man before hurling expletives.

    Roxy Huang, who said she shot the video and posted it online, said she watched the incident unfold as she sat on the subway train.

    “I was terrified and worried she might punch me in the face if she noticed I was recording her,” Huang said in an email. “I have heard too many stories about abused animals, I know it is important to have evidence, that is why I started to record her.”

    Huang said she left the train as its emergency alarm went off and didn’t immediately see any police, so she uploaded the video to YouTube.

    Police said they grew concerned for the dog after watching the video and notified the OSPCA, which opened an investigation.

    The OSPCA said the dog, a Chinese crested dog, has seen a veterinarian and is doing well.

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    A man stabbed in Vaughan. A passenger mirror smashed in with a baseball bat on Lake Shore Blvd. A truck ramming into another car in the Port Lands.

    Each incident fell in the last few weeks, joining a growing list of road rage incidents in the GTA.

    On Sunday night, a 29-year-old-man was stabbed in Vaughan, after a verbal altercation with another driver while both were stopped at a red light near Highway 27 and Ashbridge Cir. No arrest had been made as of Tuesday afternoon, and the victim has been released from hospital.

    On Friday, the occupants of two vehicles at a red light at Lake Shore Blvd. W. and Strachan Ave. also got into a verbal altercation. One of the drivers then left his white Acura with a baseball bat and slammed it into the other car’s passenger mirror. Police have video and are looking for a suspect.

    On July 17, an extended confrontation was caught on video in the Port Lands. A pickup truck can be seen turning and accelerating head-on into a car in the oncoming lane.

    Further outside the GTA, some headlines may prompt a chuckle — like the 58-year-old Kingston motorist accused of biting the nose of a pedestrian who yelled at him.

    Others, though, are deeply distressing. On Sunday night in Cleveland, a four-year-old boy was shot in the head, moments after his mother had honked her horn to pass another car.

    While ‘road-rage’ isn’t explicitly tracked by Toronto or Ontario Provincial Police — it’s often listed as a factor in other classifications like negligence, dangerous driving, mischief, traffic offences, collisions or other criminal offences — both forces have seen an uptick in aggressive driving recently.

    In Toronto, there were 191 serious or fatal collisions involving aggressive driving in 2015, according to the police force’s data portal. Last year, that number rose to 213.

    Fatalities related to speed, which the OPP classifies as a form of aggressive driving, are up nearly 45 per cent from last year, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said. Their 2017 death count is 42. On this day last year, there had only been 29.

    The road rage incidents are happening in plain sight.

    This week, Schmidt said he himself was driving down Highway 400 when, suddenly, a vehicle cut in front of another driver and intentionally slowed down to around 40 km/hr.

    “I’m watching this, in my police vehicle, like ‘what’s going on?,’ ” Schmidt said.

    Clicking into business, he pulled the driver over. The driver’s son was also buckled into the vehicle at the time.

    “He just goes ‘well, he cut me off on the exit ramp and I wanted to show him that that was not appropriate.’ Well, excuse me, what you’re doing is actually just aggravating the situation. It’s completely uncalled for,” he said.

    Schmidt cited a “arrive-just-in-time mentality” on the part of drivers, instead of preparing to get there a few minutes earlier than scheduled, as a contributing factor to the cases he’s seen on the job.

    “Anytime you’re being delayed by anything, you’re feeling violated,” he said. “Everyone thinks they’re anonymous out on the highway, they can do whatever they want, and that was certainly not the case.”

    For Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe, the issue of road rage can be far more personal, and therefore more difficult to untangle and pinpoint.

    An incident that took place several years ago has stuck with him. Two vehicles were coming in eastbound on the Gardiner Expressway when one, seemingly without realizing, cut the other off during a lane change.

    “The vehicle didn’t do it erratically, he didn’t do it quickly,” Stibbe said. “He turned on his signal, and clearly had not seen the vehicle that he cut off. I was right there; I watched the whole thing happen.”

    But the cut-off driver reciprocated and cut off the original driver. The first driver, unaware why the second driver was upset, cut them off again. In the end, two drivers with completely clean records — one in their mid-50s and the other in their late-30s — were convicted of stunt driving.

    Neither knew what came over them, Stibbe said. He urged anyone discussing solutions to road-rage to consider the bigger picture.

    “You and I are speaking right now. I know nothing about you, you know nothing about me. I could go home to a house that’s just a nightmare. Stress, money, personal life, whatever. Maybe you’re going home to that,” he said.

    “You have to look at it a little further outside just the vehicle event.”

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    SAINT JOHN, N.B.—Six Americans have been charged with bringing handguns across the New Brunswick border so far this summer, as a Canadian prosecutor says it’s proving difficult to let otherwise law-abiding people know they can’t bring firearms on vacation.

    “The offences continue to occur with alarming frequency during the summer months,” federal prosecutor Peter Thorn said from Hampton, N.B.

    Five men — three from Florida, two from New England — pleaded guilty and were fined between $1,500 and $2,000, he said.

    Thorn, who has prosecuted these cases for years, said most of the people caught are "respectful and law abiding citizens of the U.S.A." who are unaware handguns are either restricted or prohibited in Canada.

    He said many don’t realize they can legally declare firearms and leave them behind as they enter the country. Many of the tourists are 60 and older, and from the South.

    The Canadian government has issued travel advisories, and there is signage at the border, but some Americans keep bringing their guns and lying about it, he said.

    Thorn said each time he handles a case, he asks the judge for a sentence that will deter others from travelling armed, but word doesn’t seem to filter back to the U.S.

    “Unfortunately, whereas the offenders reside in the U.S.A., it is highly unlikely that the sentencing message will ever reach those who could take heed or notice of the message,” Thorn said in an email to The Canadian Press.

    Read more:

    Canadian government to American tourists: Leave your guns at home

    2 Texans who brought guns across Canadian border are fined, sent home

    The first case at St. Stephen, N.B., this summer came May 20. A 69-year-old New Hampshire man admitted he had a .357 Magnum in his glove compartment as border guards inspected his SUV. He was fined $1,500.

    Two days later, a 27-year-old Maine woman was charged with failing to declare a prohibited handgun at St. Stephen. She has pleaded not guilty and will face trial in Saint John, N.B., on March 23, 2018, Thorn said.

    On June 9, a 66-year-old Tavernier, Fla., man denied having a gun in his motor home — until border officers found a Smith & Wesson 9 mm in a locked safe. He was fined $1,500.

    On June 23, a Hampton, Fla., man arrived with two undeclared guns, including a prohibited .25 calibre Raven Arms handgun. He was fined $2,000.

    On July 11, there were two cases within hours.

    A 59-year-old New Hampshire man heading for Roosevelt Campobello International Park denied having guns while entering Campobello, N.B., from Lubec, Maine, and was targeted for a search.

    He told officers he wanted to return to the U.S. but it was too late. Officers found a .38 in a storage case in his motor home, as well as undeclared alcohol and two grams of suspected marijuana. He was fined $2,000.

    That same day, a handgun was seized from a 64-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., couple at St. Stephen. It was found, undeclared, in the woman’s suitcase, where her husband had hid it without telling her, Thorn said.

    “(The woman) stated that she specifically told her husband not to bring his handgun into Canada,” said Thorn.

    The man pleaded guilty, telling Judge Andrew LeMesurier of the New Brunswick provincial court they were coming to Canada to escape the heat.

    The judge joked the “heat” found him — and that he should know by now to listen to his wife. The Jacksonville man was fined $2,000.

    The Canadian Border Services Agency said such seizures are common.

    In 2015, the agency seized seven guns in St. Stephen, up from five the previous year, it said. Nationally, it seized 671 firearms in 2015, 313 of which were prohibited in Canada, mostly in Ontario and B.C.

    Last summer, Thorn said border agents seized a gun about once a week at St. Stephen.

    On one weekend in August last year, two Texas men separately tried to bring hidden guns across at St. Stephen. On one October weekend, two retirees in their mid-60s from southern states arrived hours apart, both carrying weapons and both denying it.

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    OTTAWA—Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is considering lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers, according to a letter she sent to her Quebec counterpart.

    In the correspondence to Stephanie Vallee dated on May 23, Wilson-Raybould suggests lowering the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood from the current 80 milligrams.

    The federal minister said the change would “make it easier to fight the danger posed by drivers who have consumed alcohol.”

    She said the current rules were established after research indicated the risk of being involved in a car crash was twice as likely when a driver has 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his or her system.

    “More recent research indicates the initial data underestimated that risk,” she wrote.

    Wilson-Raybould said the risk is twice as high at 50 milligrams and close to three times as high for 80 milligrams, “and the risk increases exponentially after that.”

    The minister said in the letter she was eager to hear Vallee’s thoughts on the proposed legislative change.

    Neither Wilson-Raybould nor Vallee was available for interviews Tuesday.

    Francois Meunier, who works for an association that represents restaurateurs in Quebec, said the proposed changes would be a disaster for the province’s restaurant industry, particularly for business owners outside the big cities.

    “The new rules mean a woman can have one drink and a man, in most cases, two,” Meunier said. “Forget about a bottle of wine for two, for a Valentine’s Day dinner — that’s over.”

    Meunier said his members are less worried about losing alcohol sales than seeing a significant drop in total revenues, as people choose to stay home.

    “It’s about food sales that go with the alcohol,” he said.

    “When it comes to celebrations, parties, all that will be done at home as people change their behaviour. It’s easy to talk about taking a taxi or public transportation, but in the regions it’s not as easy.”

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    WASHINGTON—Even when we were judging only by the excerpts, we knew U.S. President Donald Trump’s interview with the Wall Street Journal was dishonest. But we didn’t know quite how dishonest until last week.

    The Journal released only a partial transcript of its July 25 Oval Office conversation with the president. Those segments included 11 false claims from Trump. When the right-leaning paper refused to release the full text, a rival publication, Politico, obtained and published the full transcript— which included a whopping 15 additional false claims from Trump.

    All in all, the interview with one of America’s leading publications was one of Trump’s most inaccurate of all time. And at the 200-day mark of his presidency, he has made 500 false claims — an average of 2.5 false claims per day.

    Over six months in office, Trump has proven uniquely willing to lie, exaggerate and mislead. By all expert accounts, he is more frequently inaccurate than any of his predecessors.

    Read more:How Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale fact-checks Trump

    We are keeping track. Below is a list of every false claim Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20.

    Why call them false claims, not lies? We can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional; in some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

    Last updated: August 8, 2017

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    Canadian health officials have extensive plans to ensure people survive a future influenza pandemic, but they’ve also made macabre recommendations for the nation’s funeral homes for those who don’t.

    “In a pandemic, each individual funeral home could expect to handle about six months’ work within a six- to eight-week period,” the Public Health Agency of Canada warns on a web page about the management of mass fatalities during a pandemic flu.

    “That may not be a problem in some communities, but funeral homes in larger cities may not be able to cope with the increased demand.”

    One of the agency’s recommendations is that funeral homes make advance plans for what to do if their staff get sick, including making arrangements with volunteers from service clubs or churches to dig graves.

    Storage space for corpses could also be a problem, the agency notes, and it says refrigerated trucks or ice rinks could be pressed into service if needed.

    “Funeral service providers, I can assure you, throughout their history, have responded to these sorts of tragedies and would do so again to the very best of their ability,” said Allan Cole, a board member with the Funeral Services Association of Canada and president of MacKinnon and Bowes, a company that provides services for the funeral industry.

    But finding a funeral home that’s willing to talk about its own pandemic planning is difficult. The Canadian Press reached out to numerous funeral homes in several Canadian cities and asked whether they were prepared for a pandemic, but not one returned the calls.

    Cole has been serving on committees for about a decade that deal with infectious diseases and how they affect the funeral profession.

    He said interest in planning rises when diseases such as SARS or Ebola are in the news, but wanes when pandemics fade from the headlines.

    Cole said it’s also difficult for funeral homes to stock many of the extra supplies they would need if business unexpectedly picked up.

    “Anything that you buy and save for some horrible eventuality, these are items that have a shelf life. You couldn’t buy, for instance, latex gloves, put them on the shelf and expect 15 years later that they’re in good condition. They simply aren’t,” Cole said.

    “Subsequently, for a private enterprise to go and undertake that sort of an investment for a potential community requirement would be hugely onerous and, as a result, I don’t think many really embarked on any sort of a program to upgrade their inventories for some sort of potential requirement.”

    The public health agency’s 2015 guide for the health sector on planning for a pandemic notes that historically, pandemics have occurred three to four times per century. However, it says there is no predictable interval.

    It says the last four pandemics demonstrated that the effect on the population can vary from low to high.

    The agency says that during a pandemic, some families could experience multiple deaths at the same time, straining financial resources for high-end funerals. It recommends funeral homes stock an extra supply of inexpensive caskets.

    Diseases like Ebola can spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of victims or corpses. During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, traditional funerals, in which mourners touch the body, were a source of virus transmission.

    The Canadian agency says special infection control measures are not required for the handling of people who die from influenza, as the body is not contagious after death. But mourners who attend funeral homes could be contagious, and it says it would be up to provincial health officials to decide if restrictions are needed on the type and size of gatherings.

    The agency notes the average attendance at a visitation in Prince Edward Island is 1,000 to 1,400 people.

    No special vehicle or driver’s licence is needed for transportation of the deceased, the agency states.

    “Therefore, there are no restrictions on families transporting bodies of family members if they have a death certificate.”

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    Donna Vekic of Croatia downed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-4 in first-round play at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

    The 21-year-old Vekic, ranked 51st in the world, will face third-seed Angelique Kerber in the second round.

    Playing in her main draw debut at the Rogers Cup, Vekic broke the 70th-ranked Bouchard six times and won 17-of-27 first-serve points at Aviva Centre.

    Bouchard started the match on the wrong foot, getting broken in the first game after a lengthy back-and-forth. Vekic held serve then broke Bouchard again for a 3-0 lead.

    Read more:

    Monfils, Kyrgios move on at Rogers Cup in Montreal

    Bouchard sees hope in home away from home

    Next wave of women’s tennis hits Toronto: DiManno

    Bouchard was 2 for 3 on break points during the first set but Vekic broke the Canadian four times, including the deciding game — a 10-minute long affair that saw the opponents hit deuce six times.

    The second set started better for Bouchard, who broke Vekic for a 2-1 lead, but she lost her next serve and responded by bouncing her racket off the ground in frustration. Each held serve over the next five games before Bouchard hit the net down 40-30 to give Vekic the match at 6-4.

    Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., remains Canada’s top women’s singles player despite dwindling down from a career-high No. 5 ranking in 2014 to her current No. 70.

    The 23-year-old Bouchard, who made a name for herself when she reached the Wimbledon final in 2014 after two straight Grand Slam semifinal appearances, has failed to make it past the second round in six straight tournaments. She was a wild-card entry this week.

    Vekic won her spot in the main draw via a two-round qualifying tournament over the weekend. Bouchard won their only previous match against each other, a three-set victory in Shenzen last year.

    Bouchard’s best showing at a Rogers Cup came last year in Montreal, where she lost to Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova in the third round.

    She was scheduled to play her first-round doubles match with World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova later Tuesday against Dominika Cibulkova and Kirsten Flipkens.

    Earlier Tuesday, 18-year-old American Catherine Bellis rallied from down a set to defeat Julia Goerges of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and move on to face eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.

    Bellis recovered from six double faults to break Goerges five times. Goerges had six aces but managed to convert on just 3 of 9 break point opportunities.

    In other first-round play Tuesday, Oceane Dodin of France had to retire in the first set, giving Australia’s Ashleigh Barty a 5-0 victory. And Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova downed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-5, 6-0.

    Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., made her Rogers Cup debut in Tuesday’s night draw against Hungary’s Timea Babos. She’s the last remaining Canadian in the women’s draw after Montreal’s Francoise Abanda was dropped in straight sets by Lucie Safarova.

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    WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a stern warning to North Korea, saying that if its threats to the United States continue, the outcast nation will be “met with the fire and the fury like the world has never seen.”

    Trump comments came as North Korea spurned a new round of sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council and pledged to continue to press forward with development of nuclear weapons that could reach the U.S. mainland. Earlier Tuesday, news broke that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, according to a confidential assessment by U.S. intelligence officials.

    Trump was speaking at a briefing on opioid addiction at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., where Trump is on a 17-day “working vacation,” he said that “North Korea best not make any more threats of the United States.”

    “They will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” Trump said.

    The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, according to a confidential assessment by U.S. intelligence officials.

    The new analysis of North Korea’s new capabilities, completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency, comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.

    The findings are likely to deepen concerns about an evolving North Korean military threat that appears to be advancing far more rapidly than many experts had predicted. U.S. officials last month concluded that Pyongyang is also outpacing expectations in its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking cities on the American mainland.

    While more than a decade has passed since North Korea’s first nuclear detonation, many analysts believed it would be years before the country’s weapons scientists could design a compact warhead that could be delivered by missile to distant targets. But the new assessment, a summary document dated July 28, concludes that this critical milestone has already been reached.

    “The IC (intelligence community) assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the assessment states, in an excerpt read to the Post. The assessment’s broad conclusions were verified by two U.S. officials familiar with the document. It is not yet known whether the reclusive regime has successfully tested the smaller design, although North Korean officially last year claimed to have done so.

    The DIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

    An assessment this week by the Japanese Ministry of Defense also concludes there is evidence to suggest that North Korea has achieved miniaturization.

    Kim Jong Un is becoming increasingly confident in the reliability of his nuclear arsenal, analysts have concluded, explaining perhaps the dictator’s willingness to engage in defiant behaviour, including missile tests that have drawn criticism even from North Korea’s closest ally, China. On Saturday, both China and Russia joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in approving punishing new economic sanctions, including a ban on exports that supply up to a third of North Korea’s annual $3 billion (U.S.) earnings.

    The nuclear progress further raises the stakes for Trump, who has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons. In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the prospect of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped ICBMs would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”

    “We have to provide all options ... and that includes a military option,” he said. But McMaster said the administration would do everything short of war to “pressure Kim Jong Un and those around him, such that they conclude it is in their interest to denuclearize.” The options said to be under discussion ranged from new multilateral negotiations to reintroducing U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula, officials familiar with internal discussions said.

    Determining the precise makeup of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has long been a difficult challenge for intelligence professionals because of the regime’s culture of extreme secrecy and insularity. The country’s weapons scientists have conducted five nuclear tests since 2006, the latest being a 20- to 30-kiloton detonation on Sept. 9, 2016, that produced a blast estimated to be up to twice that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

    But producing a compact nuclear warhead that can fit inside a missile is a technically demanding feat, one that many analysts believed was still beyond North Korea’s grasp. Last year, state-run media in Pyongyang displayed a spherical device that government spokesmen described as a miniaturized nuclear warhead, but whether it was a real bomb remained unclear. North Korean officials described the September detonation as a successful test of a small warhead designed to fit on a missile, though many experts were skeptical of the claim.

    Kim has repeatedly proclaimed his intention to field a fleet of nuclear-tipped ICBMs as a guarantor of his regime’s survival. His regime took a major step toward that goal last month with the first successful tests of a missile with intercontinental range. Video analysis of the latest test revealed that the missile caught fire and apparently disintegrated as it plunged back toward Earth’s surface, suggesting North Korea’s engineers are not yet capable of building a re-entry vehicle that can carry the warhead safely through the upper atmosphere. But U.S. analysts and many independent experts believe that this hurdle will be overcome by late next year.

    “What initially looked like a slow-motion Cuban missile crisis is now looking more like the Manhattan Project, just barrelling along,” said Robert Litwak, a non-proliferation expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and author of Preventing North Korea’s Nuclear Breakout, published by the centre this year. “There’s a sense of urgency behind the program that is new to the Kim Jong Un era.”

    While few discount North Korea’s progress, some prominent U.S. experts warned against the danger of overestimating the threat. Siegfried Hecker, director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the last known U.S. official to personally inspect North Korea’s nuclear facilities, has calculated the size of North Korea’s arsenal at no more than 20 to 25 bombs. Hecker warned of potential risks that can come from making Kim into a bigger menace than he actually is.

    “Overselling is particularly dangerous,” said Hecker, who visited North Korea seven times between 2004 and 2010 and met with key leaders of the country’s weapons programs. “Some like to depict Kim as being crazy — a madman — and that makes the public believe that the guy is undeterrable. He’s not crazy and he’s not suicidal. And he’s not even unpredictable.”

    “The real threat,” Hecker said, “is we’re going to stumble into a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.”

    In the past, U.S. intelligence agencies have occasionally overestimated the North Korean threat. In the early 2000s, the George W. Bush administration assessed that Pyongyang was close to developing an ICBM that could strike the U.S. mainland — a prediction that missed the mark by more than a decade. More recently, however, analysts and policy-makers have been taken repeatedly by surprise as North Korea achieved key milestones months or years ahead of schedule, noted Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies’ East Asia Nonproliferation Program. There was similar skepticism about China’s capabilities in the early 1960s, said Lewis, who has studied that country’s pathway to a successful nuclear test in 1964.

    “There is no reason to think that the North Koreans aren’t making the same progress after so many successful nuclear explosions,” Lewis said. “The big question is why do we hold the North Koreans to a different standard than we held (Joseph) Stalin’s Soviet Union or Mao Zedong’s China? North Korea is testing underground, so we’re always going to lack a lot of details. But it seems to me a lot of people are insisting on impossible levels of proof because they simply don’t want to accept what should be pretty obvious.”

    With files from The Associated Press

    0 0

    A Florida toddler was found dead late Monday in a hot daycare van after police said the driver failed to conduct a head count and notice that the boy had been forgotten.

    Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a news conference Tuesday that Myles K. Hill, who would have turned 4 later this month, died after he was apparently left all day in a hot vehicle parked outside Little Miracles Academy on Plymouth Avenue in Orlando.

    “This is an absolute tragedy, which could have been prevented,” Mina said, urging caregivers to always check their vehicles for children, according to CBS affiliate WKMG.

    Mina said criminal charges are pending against the daycare worker, who he noted was “extremely distraught,” although authorities are still awaiting the autopsy results.

    The police chief said when Myles was not dropped off at home at the end of the day, his grandmother and legal guardian called Little Miracles Academy and police to report that he was missing. A daycare worker checked the van, Mina said, and police received a call from the daycare about an unresponsive child in a vehicle. Temperatures in Orlando reached nearly 34 C that day.

    “I was on the phone with her and she started to scream, ‘He’s in the van, dead!’” Barbara Livingston, Myles’s aunt, told the Orlando Sentinel about the boy’s grandmother.

    When officers arrived about 8:30 p.m., they found the 3-year-old on the floor in the back seat of the vehicle, Mina said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

    “If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them,” Livingston told the newspaper. “He had to lose his life because of someone’s neglect. It’s not right. It’s not right at all. If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van.”

    An initial investigation revealed that the daycare worker, who has not been identified by police, transported Myles and other children Monday morning from one Little Miracles Academy to another location, police said.

    The worker returned to the daycare centre on Plymouth Avenue about 9 a.m., police said, and did not realize that Myles was still in the van. The van was parked outside the centre the entire day, with Myles in it, police said.

    Livingston, 71, Myles’s aunt, told WKMG that she had asked a daycare worker where the toddler was and she was told that he was “gone.”

    When Livingston asked, “Gone where?” she said the employee pointed to the van. “I’m numb. I don’t know how to feel,” she told WKMG.

    On Tuesday night, Myles’s family members, friends and neighbours gathered around a makeshift memorial that had been created for the boy outside the daycare centre.

    Corey Esters, Myles’s grandfather, told the newspaper the daycare centre’s owners, Audrey and Bryant Thornton, had not reached out to them, which he said was upsetting because he has known Audrey for many years.

    “We know her; we went to school together. It would’ve been different if she had come out,” Esters said.

    “The fact that we know her personally and that she hasn’t come out … it would’ve been easier to forgive.”

    So far in 2017, 32 children have died from heatstroke after being left in hot cars, according to a national database. Data shows that since 1998, 732 children have died that way.

    Earlier this year, the owner of an unlicensed Vaughan daycare pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in a case that bears striking similarities to Myles’ death. On the morning of July 8, 2013, Olena Panfilova left 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich inside a minivan parked outside the daycare, still buckled in her car seat. Panfilova found Eva dead shortly after 5 p.m. that evening. The heat inside the minivan reached at least 50 C around midday, according to an agreed statement of facts.

    Panfilova was sentenced to 22 months in jail.

    Authorities said the Florida Department of Children and Families will conduct an institutional investigation.

    State records dating to 2015 show that Little Miracles Academy has been cited for lax practices regarding personnel records, supervision and transportation, according to CNN. In July, the centre was cited for failing to log destination and arrival times and location when transporting the children, according to an inspection report.

    Little Miracles did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Local news media reported that the facility was closed. A Facebook page for the centre appeared to be deactivated and the website was down.

    With files from Ellen Brait

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