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Monthly Archives: November 2018

TTC welcomes its 30 billionth customer at Davisville Station – Toronto

TORONTO — The Toronto Transit Commission is celebrating its 30 billionth rider today.

TTC Chair Josh Colle and CEO Andy Byford were on hand at Davisville Station Monday to welcome the transit authority’s landmark customer — Grant Scott.

As a reward for being the 30 billionth rider, Scott was gifted a Metropass good for one year.

“Our statisticians worked out the day we would carry our 30 billionth rider,” Byford said.

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“We determine that should be a Metropass user because our Metropass users are the backbone really of our loyal patronage and that’s how we came to choose Grant.”

Scott said being the milestone customer was an honour, adding he’s been a frequent TTC user for more than two decades.

“I was just going on holiday and they left a message for me … it was a surprise.” Scott said.

“Since I’ve moved here 26 years ago, I’ve had either a yearly pass or a monthly pass.”

A ceremony and celebration is planned at the collector booth during the noon hour.

“This is in honour and recognizing his loyalty to the TTC as well as our many other riders,” Colle said.

“There will be many more announcements like this.”

TTC ridership has grown for 11 years in a row and 2014 saw a record amount of users with 535 million rides, surpassing its previous all-time total of 525 million set in 2013.

The TTC had projected a new annual record ridership of 545 million in 2015, and ridership has increased each year for the last 11 years.

Byford also addressed questions on Bombardier’s streetcar delays, saying the Canadian company has re-confirmed a delivery ramp up that would see one new streetcar every seven days, starting this fall.

“We are going to hold them to that,” Byford said.

“We expect to see the ramp up happen and we expect to see these new streetcars the norm on our routes from the end of this year.”

Toronto Argonauts take hit at the ticket booth as attendance drops

TORONTO – After staving off a rousing rally by the Ottawa Redblacks, the Toronto Argonauts moved into a tie for first place in the CFL’s East Division while upping their record to 6-2 for the first time since 1997.

They did it before just 14,748, the team’s smallest draw for a Rogers Centre regular-season game since 2003.

Sunday’s attendance was the lowest in the league this season, barring the 4,900 Toronto drew for a one-off game in Fort McMurray, Alta., in June.

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Don’t blame the weather. It was a glorious summer day, with sunshine streaming in through the open roof.

“I know I live downtown and I don’t even know how many people even knew we had a game today,” veteran defensive lineman Ricky Foley, a native of Courtice, Ont., in his second stint as an Argo, said after the game.

READ MORE: Post-season berth for Blue Jays means Argos kicked from Rogers Centre

Foley, noting he’s a football player not a businessman, wasn’t pointing fingers. But he said the team’s marketing department isn’t getting much help.

“They’re up against it right now. Their budget’s a little low right now and it has been all off-season. They didn’t have much to work with,” he said. “I’d say they’re doing as good as they can with it, but the PR and the marketing – I don’t even know if they do have a budget.”

Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Bell have bought the 142-year-old CFL franchise from David Braley. The old and new owners are working together this season, prior to the new regime taking over in 2016.

The Argos drew 20,642 in their only other regular-season home game under the dome this season, a Saturday evening win over Saskatchewan on Aug. 8.

“We had a terrific turnout of more than 20,000 enthusiastic fans to our home opener earlier this year,” Argos CEO Chris Rudge said in a statement after Sunday’s 30-24 win over Ottawa.

“We expected a lower-than-normal attendance for today’s game against Ottawa, due to a number of reasons, and despite that we were treated to another enthusiastic crowd. We already expect a larger crowd for our next home game on Sept. 11 against Hamilton.”

A club spokesman said Rudge was unavailable Sunday evening to explain what those reasons were.

The empty seats come in stark contrast to the Blue Jays, the dome’s prime tenants who also lead their division. The surging baseball team drew 46,792 for its last Rogers Centre outing – which is 6,000-plus more than the Argos’ two games at the dome this season combined.

Foley pointed to the omnipresent ads promoting the Blue Jays, owned by the Rogers media conglomerate.

For some, the Argos’ planned 2016 move to the more fan-friendly BMO Field can’t come soon enough. Foley, for one, believes that the new ownership and home could up attendance by 5,000 to 10,000 a game.

“I think it will be a huge difference,” he said.

“I think it will be a great environment for everybody,” echoed quarterback Trevor Harris.

But social media suggests some believe the move is too little, too late for a franchise that faces plenty of opposition for the Toronto entertainment dollar. The Pan American Games did not help, with the team out of sight and out of mind.

Argos head coach Scott Milanovich’s post-game news conference Sunday drew a handful of reporters.

Like Foley and Harris, Milanovich paid tribute to the fans who did come Sunday.

“We have a loyal fan base and they love the Argos,” he said. “How many showed up today and why, I don’t know. We really don’t concern ourselves with it. Our players have done a great job responding to that.

“We’ve played in front of small crowds before,” the coach added, referencing the Fort McMurray game.

“I think we all believe that as time goes on and the changes that are going to take place here with moving to BMO, I think we all have faith that our atmosphere will get better.”

As for ways to induce more fans to come to games, he said that was not his job.

The Argos averaged 47,356 in their heyday in 1976 at Exhibition Place. In 2014, the average Rogers Centre regular-season crowd was 17,791 – down from 21,926 in 2013 and 23,690 in 2012.

There have been valleys before – 15,083 in 2003 (when they went 9-9-0 and were taken over by the league) and 15,804 in 2001 (when they needed to win four of their last six games to go 7-11-0).

Toronto isn’t the only city worrying about attendance. The B.C. Lions have drawn little more than 20,000 recently.

Russians fined $85,000 for leaving ice before O Canada at hockey worlds

ZURICH – The Russian Hockey Federation was fined Monday over the national team snubbing Canada’s victory celebrations after the world championship final.

The sport’s governing body, IIHF, said the Russian players deliberately left the ice before Canada’s national anthem was played after a signal from captain Ilya Kovalchuk.

The Russian federation had claimed its players had been confused after the rink-side gate was left open and took that as a signal to leave following the 6-1 loss in May in Prague.

But after studying video evidence, the IIHF said Kovalchuk gave an “unmistakable head gesture” as signal for teammates to skate off the ice early after collecting their silver medals. They did not stay to hear the Canadian anthem and watch the flags of the three medallist countries being raised.

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“This was exceptional as no other team has ever left the ice before the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship medal ceremony was completed,” the Zurich-based body said.

The IIHF fined the Russian hockey federation 80,000 Swiss francs ($85,000) after accepting it had apologized to Canadian officials.

The IIHF ruled that the open rink-side gate was “irrelevant” and noted that Russian players and officials were aware of tournament rules “because of their vast experience.”

“The panel is of the opinion that the occurrences on the ice show that this is not a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding” as Russia claimed, the IIHF said.

READ MORE: Don Cherry says Russian hockey team has ‘no class’ after leaving before O Canada

Kovalchuk, the former Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils forward, was not sanctioned ahead of his country hosting the 2016 worlds.

Kovalchuk retired from the NHL in 2013 to join SKA St. Petersburg ahead of the Sochi Olympics, where Canada won the gold medal.

He had signed a 15-year, $100 million contract with the Devils after being traded from the Thrashers in 2010 but left after three seasons.

The Russian federation said it accepted the fine, but stuck by its claim that the exit was a case of confusion rather than deliberate disrespect.

“The decision to leave the rink was not linked to ill intent and disrespect to the opposing team,” the federation said in a statement. “The federation will carefully ensure that players and team representatives comply with all details of event protocol both at international and domestic competitions.”

Police investigating 2 unconfirmed suicides in Ashley Madison hack

WATCH ABOVE: The Ashley Madison data dump is taking a personal toll on families around the world. Now, Toronto police have announced two unconfirmed reports of suicides linked to the lead of users private date from the cheating website. Jennifer Tryon reports.

TORONTO – Toronto police revealed Monday they are investigating two unconfirmed reports of suicides relating to the data hack targeted against adultery website Ashley Madison.

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“As of this morning, we have two unconfirmed reports of suicides associated because of the leak of Ashley Madison customer profiles,” said Acting Staff Superintendent Bryce Evans during a press conference at Toronto police headquarters on Monday.

The Toronto-based website, which offers to connect people looking to have an affair, was initially hacked last month by a group called The Impact Team.

READ MORE: What we know about the Ashley Madison data dump

The hacker group’s data breach exposed some 32 million memberships in the adultery website last week.

WATCH: Highlights from Toronto Police news conference on Ashley Madison hack investigation

Police call on hackers to help with Ashley Madison investigation


Police call on hackers to help with Ashley Madison investigation


Toronto Police urging those who are getting extortion messages from Ashley Madison hack not to pay


Toronto Police are not concerned with the nature of Ashley Madison’s online service, only the crime that was committed


Toronto Police outline timeline of events in Ashley Madison hack


Toronto Police stress ‘social impact’ of Ashley Madison hack on families


Toronto Police sends message directly to those behind Ashley Madison hack

“The ripple effect of the Impact Team’s actions has and will continue to have a long term social and economic impacts and they have already sparked spin-offs of crimes and further victimization,” said Evans.

The San Antonio Express-News reported last week a city worker who had his user data compromised in the hack committed suicide on Thursday. But the publication admitted it was unclear Friday whether his death had anything to do with the leak.

Police say employees at Avid Life Media Inc., the company which operates the website, received a threatening message on their work computer screens accompanied by the ACDC song ‘Thunderstruck’ on July 12.

The message warned the company it would expose personal user data if the website was not shut down.

Police say Avid Life Media Inc. immediately hired a security firm and contacted law enforcement on the alleged threat.

“When reporting events to police, Avid Life Media advised that the suspect had in fact already made good on the threat by releasing the information on two Ashley Madison clients, one from Mississauga, Ont. and the other from Brockton, Mass. through the internet on July 19,” said Evans.

READ MORE: Ashley Madison data dump blunts blackmail danger, ex-CSIS agent says

But despite efforts to prevent the exposure of further confidential client information, police say The Impact Team released the entire Ashley Madison user list on Aug. 19.

There are hundreds of email addresses in the data release that appear to be connected to federal, provincial and municipal workers across Canada, as well as to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the military.

Fallout from Ashley Madison hack continues, Class Action lawsuit planned


Fallout from Ashley Madison hack continues, Class Action lawsuit planned


Hackers release Ashley Madison user information


15,000 emails exposed during Ashley Madison hack allegedly traces to U.S. gov’t accounts


Ashley Madison hackers release personal information of extra-marital website’s users

The credit-card information of U.S. government workers, some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department, was also revealed in the data breach.

READ MORE: Will the Ashley Madison hack force us to take online privacy more seriously?

Some of the information released include at least seven years’ worth of credit card and payment information details as well as users’ personal names, emails, home addresses and message history.

Police have confirmed a number of clients have also been contacted in an attempt to extort money from them.

“If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt with all of your friends and family (and perhaps even your employer too?) then you need to send exactly 1.05 Bitcoins to the following address,” said an email dated Aug. 23 directed at a client released by Toronto police on Monday.

Police say the Bitcoin amount is equal to around $300 Canadian.

VIDEO: Toronto Police urging those who are getting extortion messages from Ashley Madison hack not to pay

Police sent a direct message to the group behind the hack warning them that multiple law enforcement agencies are now on their tails.

“Team Impact, I want to make it very clear to you that your actions are illegal and will not be tolerated,” said Evans.

“This is a wake up a call. We will continue to work with law enforcement officers to stop or minimize the social and economic impact of your actions.”

The investigation into the hack has been made up of several police forces including the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

VIDEO: Toronto Police stress ‘social impact’ of Ashley Madison hack on families

Police are warning the public and clients of Ashley Madison not to click on links to download the hacked information due to security risks.

“Criminals have already engaged in online scams by claiming to provide access to the leaked websites,” said Evans.

“The public needs to be aware that by clicking on these links, you are exposing your computer to malware, spyware, adware and viruses.”

Evans is also advising Ashley Madison clients to refrain from using websites which offer to erase customer profiles for a fee.

“This is also a scam. Multiple sites have now been downloaded and they are present. Nobody is going to be able to erase that information,” said Evans.

A national class-action lawsuit of $578 million was recently launched for Canadian subscribers to Ashley Madison.

Filed last Thursday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the lawsuit targets Avid Dating Life Inc. and Avid Life Media Inc., the operators of AshleyMadison杭州夜网.

The company also announced a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of those involved in the hack.

Review a liveblog of the press conference from Global News reporter Caryn Lieberman

With a file from Nicole Bogart and The Associated Press

Death toll could rise to 20 in British airshow crash: police – National

WATCH: Footage of plane crashing and exploding at airshow in England

LONDON – Police say the death toll in the crash of a vintage jet fighter in southeastern England will probably rise as emergency workers clear away wreckage on the freeway where the plane went down.

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Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry of Sussex Police told the BBC on Monday that he’d be surprised if the number of deaths “doesn’t go above” the 11 currently known. But Barry said he “would be really surprised if it would be more than 20.”

The Hawker Hunter jet plummeted onto a highway Saturday after it failed to pull out of a loop manoeuvr during the Shoreham Airshow, exploding in a huge fireball and plowing through cars on the road. The wreckage is scheduled to be removed from the site, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) south of London, on Monday.

“It’s an absolute devastating scene,” Barry said. “It’s about 400 yards of the dual carriage way and extends into the airfield itself. And there is debris and damage littered everywhere, so it’s an incredibly traumatic incident.”

Barry said that authorities have been mapping and recording the scene. A crane will lift the aircraft from the trees, but authorities say it will be a very delicate operation.

“There is a suggestion that, there’s still fuel in the aircraft and the status of the ejector seats suggests that there still may be some charge in them, so it’s obviously very important that that’s all made safe before the aircraft is moved,” Barry said.

The Civil Aviation Authority has begun reviewing safety procedures but said that events such as this are very rare. Some critics have called for new rules calling for air displays to take place only over water.

The pilot, former Royal Air Force instructor Andy Hill, 51, is in critical condition.

6 dead in plane crash during sightseeing trip on Quebec’s North Shore

WATCH ABOVE: Quebec provincial police say six people are dead after a seaplane crashed on the province’s North Shore. Global’s Paola Samuel reports.

LES BERGERONNES, Que. – All six people aboard a seaplane that crashed on the province’s North Shore have died, Quebec provincial police said Monday.

The Air Saguenay plane went down in a wooded area on Sunday afternoon, police said, near the community of Les Bergeronnes, about 250 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

Authorities confirmed Monday all six bodies have been found and were handed over to the coroner’s office.

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Air Saguenay vice-president Jean Tremblay said the Beaver seaplane was taking part in a routine sightseeing flight departing from Lac Long in Tadoussac.

Tremblay told The Canadian Press on Monday the flight was only supposed to last 20 minutes. It wasn’t windy and visibility was clear on Sunday.

“It was perfect conditions,” Tremblay said. “At first glance, the weather conditions are not at all the cause, that is clear.”

He offered his sympathies to families who lost loved ones in the crash – among them, a longtime employee of the company.

Tremblay said the pilot of the aircraft had more than 6,000 hours of flying experience – all with Air Saguenay, where he’d worked for the past 14 years.

“It’s not going so well,” a shaken Tremblay said. “This is not a good day for us. It’s very difficult for the Air Saguenay team.”

Tremblay said the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver in question had about 25,000 hours of flight time, not unusual for a plane built between 1950 and 1960.

No distress calls were made by the plane before it crashed.

The airline upgraded its security system after another of its seaplanes crashed in bad weather in 2010, killing four of the six people on board.

It describes itself as an airline that provides charters for fishing, hunting and mining exploration.

The Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to the crash site and the provincial police say they are continuing their own investigation to determine if a criminal element caused the crash.

The wreckage was not accessible by road, and was located with the help of parachutists from the Canadian Armed Forces. Air Force personnel also aided in recovery efforts.

Bad weather in the region on Monday caused delays in getting to the crash site.

Authorities published a photo that showed the wreckage of the plane in a wooded area.

©2015The Canadian Press

Former mayoral candidate Melanie Joly to represent Liberals – Montreal

MONTREAL – A high-profile former Montreal mayoral candidate and friend of Justin Trudeau has won the Liberal nomination in the Montreal-area riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

Melanie Joly, who finished second in Montreal’s 2013 vote for mayor, received the nod in a vote held Sunday.

She was criticized earlier this month after it was discovered she had given a $250 donation to a Conservative Party candidate in 2011.

READ MORE: Potential Liberal star candidate Melanie Joly donated to Tories in 2011

Joly said she made the donation because the candidate was a member of her business circle and maintained she “never had any ties” with the Conservatives.

In June, some of her rivals speculated the party was delaying the nomination date to allow Joly to sign up more members.

Joly will now have to take on Maria Mourani, the former Bloc Québécois MP who is now running for the NDP.

READ MORE: Melanie Joly steps down as party leader

Mourani has represented the riding since 2006.

The Liberals have now nominated candidates in 74 of Quebec’s 78 ridings.

WATCH: Melanie Joly’s platform as a municipal mayoral candidate:

Melanie Joly on mental health


Melanie Joly on mental health


Melanie Joly takes questions


Mayoral candidate Melanie Joly


Weather forecast by Melanie Joly

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  • Potential Liberal star candidate Melanie Joly donated to Tories in 2011

  • Melanie Joly steps down as party leader

    Mayoral candidate Melanie Joly

©2015The Canadian Press

Many students need budget training: CIBC – National

TORONTO – If past practice is any indication, the majority of post-secondary school students will likely run out of money before the school year ends — and end up turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad for help.

A new poll from CIBC (TSX:CM) has found that 51 per cent of post-secondary students tapped their parents for additional financial support last year because they ran out of money.

And according to the bank, there wasn’t much difference between students from higher- and lower-income families.

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  • Shoppers spending more for food thanks to loonie’s drop

CIBC said some 48 per cent of students from families with household incomes of more than $125,000 tapped their parents for extra cash, compared with 52 per cent from families with household incomes of less than $75,000.

Sarah Widmeyer, managing director and head of Wealth Advisory Services, at the bank, said that even though 86 per cent of parents surveyed considered themselves good role models for financial planning, some students were treating their parents like personal ATMs.

Widmeyer said young people need to understand that their parents may not always be willing or able to dispense extra cash and that being taught basic financial and budgeting skills before they go off to college or university is essential.

“Clearly, being a good financial role model doesn’t mean your children will understand how to manage their own finances,” she said.

“That’s why it is so important to teach them the importance of balancing a budget in their early teens because it’s a much a tougher lesson to learn when they are off living on their own for the first time in their lives.”

The online survey was conducted Aug. 13-17 among 1,001 Canadian parents who are Angus Reid Forum panellists.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Drowning victim identified at Professor’s Lake in Brampton – Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: An evening out along the shores of a Brampton lake has taken a tragic turn, after a body was recovered by divers this morning. Cindy Pom reports.

TORONTO — The body of a man who went missing in Professor’s Lake in Brampton Sunday night has been recovered.

Police say the man and a friend were walking along the pathway around the lake just after 8 p.m. when they both decided to enter the water.

Soon after, the man went underneath despite help from the friend. Police are still trying to determine what circumstances led to him going under the water.

A family member identified the victim to Global News as 22-year-old Satvir Singh of Brampton.

She said that the Singh moved to the area from India two years ago and was not a strong swimmer.

Paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene and began a search operation which was later suspended due to darkness.

Police say the circumstances surrounding the drowning won’t be known until a post-mortem is conducted.

A security guard tells Global News the lake is just over 9 metres deep in some areas.

This is the second drowning at the lake this summer. In May, a father went in to try and rescue one of his young daughters when he drowned. The girl made it out safe.

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Boston police arrest 2 men after threats to Pokemon World Championships

The Boston Police Department say two men have been arrested after making “threats of violence” over social media against attendees at the Pokemon World Championships.

Boston police said Sunday that security officers at the Hynes Convention Centre investigated threats made against the event and prevented two male suspects from Iowa from entering the event.

The two men were initially released but their vehicle was seized after reports that it may have contained weapons.

Detectives executed a search warrant on Friday and discovered a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, one DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife.

Boston police later arrested 18-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo, both of Iowa, at a hotel Saugus, north of Boston.

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Stumbo allegedly posted a photo on a Pokémon players Facebook group page of a car with guns lying across the trunk with the message: “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!

When a user commented on the post wishing them luck, Norton replied “With killing the competition?”

BPD said the arrest highlights the important relationship between police and private security.

“The relationship between police and private sector security is important in both our community policing philosophy, as well as our counter-terrorism strategy,” said BPD Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald.

“This incident is a good example of private security reaching out to their local Boston police district and relaying information to detectives and BRIC analysts in order to identify the very real threat.”