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Published: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:03:21 EDT

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Trudeau, Trump governments slam each other publicly for first time as NAFTA talks falterTrudeau, Trump governments slam each other publicly for first time as NAFTA talks falter

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:55:36 EDT

WASHINGTON—The good vibes are gone.In the clearest public indication that talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement are going poorly, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland blasted the U.S. for the first time on Tuesday while U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer blasted Canada and Mexico.They were standing beside each other at an awkward joint appearance in Washington to mark the end of the fourth round of negotiations over the U.S.-initiated effort to revamp the 23-year-old continental free trade pact. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his government, including Freeland, had until Tuesday maintained a chipper public tone about the talks even as the mood at the bargaining table darkened. No longer. Freeland denounced the U.S. for “an approach that seeks to undermine NAFTA rather than modernize it,” warning that the “unconventional” proposals from President Donald Trump’s administration would “turn back the clock” and put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.Lighthizer, meanwhile, criticized both Canada and Mexico for what he called a “resistance to change,” saying he was “surprised and disappointed” they were obviously acting to defend the “unfair advantage” possessed by Canadian and Mexican companies.The three parties announced that they would take the trade equivalent of a timeout, starting the fifth round of negotiations a month from now rather than their usual two weeks.In a joint statement, the three countries agreed there were “significant conceptual gaps among the parties.” They said they had “called upon all negotiators to explore creative ways to bridge these gaps.”They spoke at the end of a weeklong round at which U.S. negotiators delivered demands so unpalatable to Canada and Mexico that trade experts were left wondering if Trump, who has been publicly noncommittal, preferred to blow up the talks rather than reach a new deal.Freeland and her office previously criticized specific U.S. proposals. But this was the first time she, or any other top Canadian official, publicly expressed broad concern about the state of the talks or the American approach.Freeland was most forceful on the subject of U.S. automotive proposals, warning that they would “put in jeopardy tens of thousands of jobs across North America.” Among other significant changes, the U.S. has proposed a new rule requiring that 50 per cent of car content be made in the United States.“We have said this from the beginning: we will maintain and defend the elements of NAFTA that Canadians consider essential to the national interest,” she said.Lighthizer railed against trade deficits, which economists say are inconsequential but Trump considers paramount. “We have seen no indication that our partners are willing to make any changes that will result in a rebalancing and a reduction in these huge trade deficits,” Lighthizer said — minutes after Freeland noted that the U.S. actually has a trade surplus with Canada.Trudeau had professed “optimism” during a visit to Washington last week. He did, however, acknowledge Trump’s unpredictability, and he said repeatedly that Canada was “ready for anything.”The current list of U.S. demands vehemently opposed by Canada includes:• A “sunset clause” that would automatically terminate the deal in five years if all three countries did not endorse it again at that time.• A rule requiring all cars to be made with 50 per cent American content if they are to be exempted from tariffs.• The dismantling of Canada’s protectionist supply management system for dairy and poultry.• A “Buy American” procurement policy sharply limiting Canadian and Mexican access to U.S. government contracts.• The end of the current independent tribunal system for resolving NAFTA disputes.[...]The U.S. proposals “put in jeopardy tens of thousands of jobs across North America," Foreign Affa[...]


Media Files:
https://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/world/2017/10/17/trudeau-trump-governments-slam-each-other-publicly-for-first-time-as-nafta-talks-go-off-rails/freeland_2.jpg




Google firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in TorontoGoogle firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in TorontoGoogle firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in TorontoGoogle firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in TorontoGoogle firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in Toronto

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:22:51 EDT

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Sidewalk Labs, sister company of Google, is officially confirmed to have won a competition to build a new high-tech neighbourhood called Quayside on the east downtown waterfront.

Waterfront Toronto, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory and Sidewalk Lab officials are making the announcement at Corus Quay today.

The board of Waterfront Toronto, the federal-provincial-city agency overseeing the so-called Quayside project, is expected to vote at an Oct. 20 meeting whether to confirm the agency’s staff recommendation arising from a rigorous competitive bid process launched in May.

If confirmed by Waterfront Toronto’s board, the choice of a firm owned by Google holding company Alphabet Inc. would be a big high-tech feather in the cap of the city currently chasing the second headquarters of Amazon and other innovation opportunities.

Quayside is envisioned by the agency as a testbed for cutting-edge technology as well as a bustling, functioning neighbourhood, with homes, offices, retail and cultural space, near Queens Quay E. and Parliament St.

Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet’s urban innovation unit, with a stated goal of “reimagining cities from the Internet up.”

Dan Doctoroff, the company’s chief executive and co-founder, told a conference in New York City last May that his company was “looking into developing a large-scale district” to act as its smart city test bed.

The community would be universally connected by broadband and could have, Doctoroff said, prefab modular housing, sensors to constantly monitor building performance, and robotic delivery services to cut residential storage space, The Architects’ Newspaper reported in May.

Improving transportation would be a focus, possibly with self-driving cars and design to encourage biking and walking, he told the conference. World-leading environmental sustainability could include thermal exchange systems to capture wasted building heat, and smart sensors to limit energy use.

Waterfront Toronto says the 4.9-hectare (12-acre) site will be “a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes that will address these challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide.”

The agency said the winning bidder must propose plans to foster sustainability, resiliency and urban innovation; complete communities with a range of housing types for families of all sizes and income levels; economic development and prosperity driving innovation that will be rolled out to the rest of the world; and partnership and investment ensuring a solid financial foundation that secures revenue and manages financial risk.

Development of the three publicly owned blocks at the east end of Queens Quay will eventually include redesign and reconstruction of the intersection of Queens Quay and Parliament St.

Toronto tech leaders at a Smart Cities event in Toronto last May said the city is on the cusp of a tech boom, noting talk of Google interest in the city and Uber’s decision to make Toronto a hub for driverless car research.

Sidewalk Toronto is a joint effort by Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to create a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront, beginning with the creation of Quayside.Toronto's eastern waterfront will be home to Quayside, a high-tech community that will be people-centred and designed to achieve higher levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.An artists rendering of what Quayside will look like. The high-tech neighbourhood in Toronto's eastern waterfront will be built by Sidewalk Labs, a sister company of Google.


Media Files:
https://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/city_hall/2017/10/17/google-firm-wins-competition-to-build-high-tech-quayside-neighbourhood-in-toronto/_4_sidewalk_labs.jpg




Anne Frank, Harvey Weinstein Halloween costumes call for drastic measures: TeitelAnne Frank, Harvey Weinstein Halloween costumes call for drastic measures: Teitel

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:03:12 EDT

What precedes the most wonderful time of the year? The most offensive time of the year, of course — a.k.a. Halloween. It’s the only holiday that makes school principals and university deans cower in fear, not on account of ghosts or witches or any other supernatural threat, but because of something very real: the likelihood that, sooner or later, some kid will show up for class in a cable-knit sweater brandishing a bottle of pills, i.e. clad in a DIY costume of accused serial rapist Bill Cosby. Or, to use a more current example, they know a student is bound to show up at school wearing a nice suit with a big pillow tucked under his shirt, in an attempt to resemble alleged serial predator Harvey Weinstein. (Yes, people have already begun doing this. I Googled it. I wish I hadn’t.)But the costume that will likely take the cake for most bizarre and offensive in 2017 isn’t that of any living person, but one long dead: a costume depicting Holocaust victim Anne Frank. The ensemble, which went viral this week provoking major backlash online, comes complete with a “beret,” a “shoulder bag” and a “felt destination tag.” Its product description on halloweencostumes.com actually read, “We can always learn from the struggles of history!” No kidding.But perhaps the getup’s most outrageous element is that the child modelling the costume on the website was pictured grinning with her head cocked to one side and her hand on her hip. In other words, she looked less like a victim of the Nazi regime and more like a girl named Madison posing for a photo at her Bat Mitzvah party at Casa Loma. Needless to say, the Anne Frank costume triggered so much outrage it has since been pulled from the popular Halloween website. But other tasteless attire there remains to strike fear into the hearts of school administrators. Among them: “Native American Beauty Costume,” “Arab Costume,” “Tween Jade Geisha Costume,” “Pregnant School Girl Costume,” “Child Will Work for Candy Hobo Costume,” and last but certainly not least, “Frank the Flasher,” which appears to be a combination of a raincoat and nude jumpsuit affixed with an enormous plastic penis.Eliminate one Anne Frank getup and a thousand different but equally deranged costumes are still there for the taking.It’s not surprising then that some institutions are so wary of offending or frightening anyone they have done away with Halloween altogether. One of them, the brand new École Sage Creek School in Winnipeg, announced recently that, instead of Halloween, it will celebrate a “tie and scarf day.” The school’s principal told the CBC this week that this decision arose in part because there is a concern Halloween might inspire some students to wear costumes that are too gory and not age-appropriate (think sexy zombie). And while not going as far as cancelling Halloween, a French school board in Ontario has released a costume checklist for parents, to help their kids avoid outfits that make use of cultural or ethnic stereotypes.And yet I can’t help but strongly doubt that any of these tactics will actually work to dissuade the truly committed young s--- disturber from putting on his most convincing Bill Cosby sweater or makeshift suicide bomber vest come October 31. Human beings who choose to wear such costumes, generally speaking, live to scandalize their fellow man, and their worst fear on Halloween isn’t that Bloody Mary will appear in the mirror, but that they won’t sufficiently repulse the people around them.So the best punishment for this kind of person, it seems to me, is to fight his extremely poor taste with extremely good taste. Come October, schools and colleges should compile a large collection of painfully wholesome costumes. In fact, they should go online right now and order the following: Teletubby, Mailman, Olaf from Frozen, EMT worker (and for[...]


Media Files:
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What is the best Canadian city for a woman? Toronto is ranked 10th What is the best Canadian city for a woman? Toronto is ranked 10th

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:46:06 EDT

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OTTAWA—A new study suggests Victoria is the best city in Canada to be a woman, despite the wage gap between men and women there worsening slightly in recent years.

The study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at differences between men’s and women’s access to economic and personal security, education, health and positions of leadership in Canada’s 25 biggest cities.

The CCPA says Victoria is the only city on the list where more women than men are employed, and they account for nearly half of all senior managers and elected officials.

But it says the wage gap in the city is on par with the rest of the country, with women earning 73 per cent of what men do — slightly worse than five years ago.

In Windsor, Ont., which ranked worst in the study, the wage gap is actually smaller than average, with women making about 75 per cent of what men earn.

But the study says only 23 per cent of elected officials and 34 per cent of senior managers in the region are women, and women are more likely to be living below the poverty line than men.

The CCPA also says that sexual assault is the only violent crime that’s not on the decline in Canada, and every city still struggles with high rates of sexual and domestic violence.

“Statistics will never be a substitute for the full experience of lives lived. But as signposts they mark the spot where more attention is needed from our political leaders and policy-makers,” says study author Kate McInturff, a senior researcher at CCPA. “We hope they follow through.”

Here is the CCPA’s ranking of the cities it studied:

1. Victoria

2. Gatineau

3. Hamilton

4. Kingston

5. Vancouver

6. Quebec City

7. St. John’s

8. Sherbrooke

9. Halifax

10. Toronto

11. Ottawa

12. London

13. Kelowna

14. Abbotsford-Mission

15. Montreal

16. St. Catharines-Niagara

17. Winnipeg

18. Edmonton

19. Saskatoon

20. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

21. Regina

22. Calgary

23. Barrie

24. Oshawa

25. Windsor

A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranks Toronto in 10th place for the best city in Canada to be a woman.


Media Files:
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Brampton family is asking for more time to conduct tests on daughter declared brain dead Brampton family is asking for more time to conduct tests on daughter declared brain dead Brampton family is asking for more time to conduct tests on daughter declared brain dead

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:14:50 EDT

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A Brampton family is asking for more time to conduct medical tests on a 27-year-old woman who was declared brain dead last month.

The lawyer for Taquisha McKitty’s family says the woman was taken to hospital in September after experiencing a drug overdose.

Hugh Scher says McKitty’s condition worsened and she was put on a respirator.

Read more:

Judge grants two-week injunction that keeps Brampton woman on life support

‘She’s still alive’: Brampton family goes to court to keep daughter on life support

He says doctors later moved to take McKitty off the respirator after ruling that she was brain dead and issuing a death certificate.

Scher says McKitty’s family believes she is still showing signs of life.

The family wants the death certificate revoked and obtained a temporary injunction from the court late last month to keep her on the respirator while its legal challenge continues.

Court heard Tuesday that a series of tests has been conducted but McKitty’s family is asking for at least one more to be performed, which would require the court to extend the injunction.

The test would involve filming McKitty for 72 hours to capture her movements and better assess whether they represent a sign of consciousness or simply a reflex, Scher said.

Lawyers for McKitty’s doctor are taking issue with the family’s expert witness, an American doctor who told the court Tuesday he does not believe lack of brain function is enough to declare someone dead.

“The beating heart is indication that there can be circulation going on and I don’t think that a patient should be declared dead as long as there is life in that patient,” Dr. Paul Byrne told the court.

Erica Baron, who represents Dr. Omar Hayani, said that what constitutes life is the crux of the case.

“Would you agree that there is a respected opinion in the United States that the cessation of brain function constitutes death?” she asked.

“Yes,” Byrne said. He then acknowledged that it is also considered death under U.S. law.

The court is weighing whether Byrne is qualified to serve as an expert witness.

Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their 27-year-old daughter Taquisha, who is on life support at Brampton Civic Hospital, despite the hospital's desire to remove the support.Dr. Omar Hayani, a critical care physician at Brampton Civic Hospital, determined that Taquisha McKitty's brain had ceased functioning, which constitutes death in Ontario. Her family believes she is still alive.


Media Files:
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Morneau walks himself into a political crisis: Tim HarperMorneau walks himself into a political crisis: Tim Harper

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:47:46 EDT

There is nothing quite like the sight of opposition politicians circling when they smell political blood in the water.Particularly when the fish is as big as the federal finance minister.Tuesday, Bill Morneau swam away. It did nothing to slow the Commons feeding frenzy.This is not the way the Liberals envisioned celebrating Small Business Week, also known as Liberal Climb Down Week, and we’re just getting to hump day.Read more: Morneau open to changing financial affairs as Conservatives, NDP demand ethics investigationShould we know what the federal finance minister owns?Trudeau and Morneau’s efforts to sugar-coat tax reforms turns into comedy of errors: HébertBut rarely, if ever, has a federal minister blindly — or in this case non-blindly — walked himself into such a morass because Morneau, operating in a majority government, has somehow taken a campaign pledge promising tax fairness and turned it into a career-threatening crisis.And so it was that one of the Conservatives’ top sharks, finance critic Pierre Poilievre, rose in the Commons to invoke, “he who has the most control over the nation’s finances, should have the most transparency over his interests.’’Then New Democrat Nathan Cullen pronounced the Morneau scandal “unprecedented,” and “jaw-dropping,’’ and asked how he could continue to do his job while enshrouded in such controversy of his own making.By neglecting to put his substantial holdings into a blind trust, Cullen argued that Morneau was in conflict after introducing a bill that would make it easier for federally-regulated businesses to move from defined benefit pensions to riskier targeted benefit pensions.Morneau’s family company, Morneau Shephell, would benefit from such a plan and the minister could personally benefit if he still has shares.The finance minister was in Montreal, not Question Period, Tuesday, and that is only one of a series of serious missteps by the government on the fiscal reform file, which it must address or pay a steep price.Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been successfully painted by the opposition as elitist and out of touch, not the saviours of the middle class as they had marketed themselves. Trudeau has placed his “family fortune” in a blind trust and his finance minister’s failure to do so has allowed the focus to fall on his personal wealth.They face legitimate charges they are out of touch with farmers and the fishing industry in this country and were tone deaf in protecting their own interests while initially making it harder for a farm to be passed on to the next generation.The Liberals are showing the same contempt for Parliament and the Parliamentary Press Gallery for which they vilified Stephen Harper.They made their tax cut announcement at a Stouffville restaurant, at a symbolic Main Street address with partisan background plumage, a tried-and-true Tory tactic of getting out of Ottawa to locations where they can better stage manage their message.Neither Trudeau nor Morneau bothered to show up for Question Period to answer opposition questions Monday or Tuesday.And Trudeau, a self-styled admirer of parliamentary reporters, managed to look condescending and arrogant in telling reporters in Stouffville that questions directed at his finance minister would have to go through him because he was the prime minister.It reduced the man who should be his most powerful minister to a piece of wallpaper.A government accused of too much consulting apparently consulted no one, not even its own caucus, before bringing in tax reforms.Morneau touted a listening tour before the government unveiled a series of tweaks to their reform package and announced they would lower the small business tax rate, but that was a listening tour foisted on him. Union leaders say he also consulted with no one before introducing the pensions bil[...]


Media Files:
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Bombardier jet giveaway hands Donald Trump another victory: WalkomBombardier jet giveaway hands Donald Trump another victory: Walkom

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:29:51 EDT

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Airbus deal virtually guarantees that the U.S will get the lion's share of any new C Series jobs created.The Bombardier CS 300 performs a demonstration flight during the Paris Air Show in June 2015. The announcement that the plane will be built at an Airbus plant in Alabama "effectively marks another failure in Canada’s long-running efforts to nurture a homegrown aerospace industry," writes Thomas Walkom. "It seems we are not big enough to go it alone."


Media Files:
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Ontario’s abortion safe zone passes second reading Ontario’s abortion safe zone passes second reading

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:08:06 EDT

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Public hearings begin Thursday, passage expected next week for fast-tracked Bill 163.Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod tried to get the bill to create protest-free zones around abortion clinics, passed right away on Oct. 5, 2017. But the Liberals refused.


Media Files:
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Here's how to make the Lawrence East SmartTrack station a success: KeenanHere's how to make the Lawrence East SmartTrack station a success: Keenan

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:04:12 EDT

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The potential usefulness — and business — of a station like Lawrence East will depend on two things — the cost of a fare and the number of TTC buses feeding passengers into the station.Lawrence East Scarborough RT station where under Mayor John Tory's SmartTrack transit plan, a GO train will make stops at a new station. The new station would replace the existing stop on the SRT but that won't be enough to make it a success, Ed Keenan writes.


Media Files:
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Ontario government ignored health warnings from its own engineers about Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, report claims Ontario government ignored health warnings from its own engineers about Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, report claims

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:30:24 EDT

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A report comes to light after an investigation by journalists, including the Star, into a pattern of potentially-dangerous leaks and secrecy in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley. Ada Lockridge stands on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation reserve bordering the Sarnia petrochemical plants on Sept. 24, 2017. The community living there has long been concerned about the health impacts of living so close to industry.


Media Files:
https://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/canada/2017/10/17/ontario-government-ignored-health-warnings-from-its-own-engineers-about-sarnias-chemical-valley-report-claims/djc_photo_fo_oil_sarnia_lockridge_011.jpg




Trump warns ‘I fight back’ after McCain calls out ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’Trump warns ‘I fight back’ after McCain calls out ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:16:47 EDT

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McCain, who spent 5 ½ years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp and is battling brain cancer, offered a simple response to Trump: “I have faced tougher adversaries.”Sen. John McCain, surrounded by reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday.


Media Files:
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Highway 401 westbound reopened at Guelph Line after crash Highway 401 westbound reopened at Guelph Line after crash

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:05:14 EDT

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A transport truck involved in the collision spilled diesel all over the highway, making it "very slippery."A five-vehicle collision that happened shortly before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday resulted in minor injuries.


Media Files:
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