Bylaw enforcement to be beefed up

The city could soon take on a greater role in enforcing hundreds of bylaw violations, possibly speeding up appeals.

A report headed to council’s executive policy committee meeting next Wednesday proposes to allow about 600 more bylaw offences to be enforced under the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Act (MBEA).

The city says the change should streamline ticketing for citizens and the city.

“There are a few things that make it simpler for people to to deal with … rather than any big court process,” said Michael Jack, the city’s Chief Corporate Services Officer. “Court time and court resources were (previously) scarce and we were still under a process where all of our bylaw offences would go through provincial court.”

Instead of fine disputes heading to court, a screening officer appointed by the city would hear them instead, if EPC and council approve the plan. Appeals of screening officer decisions could then be heard a provincial adjudicator. The report notes the city has dealt with parking offences this way since August 2016.

The report proposes to use the method to deal with many neighbourhood liveability, public transit, responsible pet ownership, vacant buildings and water bylaw violations.

“It simplifies how we can do it. We now have the ability to simply mail out the offence notices. It’s easier administratively to issue the ticket, so the hope is they we can be more efficient with bylaw enforcement,” said Jack.

The city’s public service proposes to report back to council within one year with an implementation plan for municipal enforcement, including how to collect fines long-term. Until that point, the Winnipeg Parking Authority would administer screening and adjudication.

The city doesn’t expect the switch to cost more.

courtesy of Winnipeg Sun

Rob Ford, former Toronto mayor, dead after battle with cancer


Rob Ford 3Rob Ford the Toronto city councillor who became the world’s most famous mayor during a wild, scandal-filled term, is dead at age 46.

The married father of two young children died after 18 months of treatment for a rare and aggressive cancer first diagnosed in the midst of his 2014 bid to be re-elected mayor. Ford would have turned 47 on May 28.

A brief statement from the Ford family announcing the death Tuesday described the former mayor as a “dedicated man of the people” who “spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.”

“The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions,” the statement said.

Ford underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in May 2015, what was then considered his last chance to survive pleomorphic liposarcoma.

Though the surgery was hailed as a success, the discovery of two new tumours months later merited repeated rounds of chemotherapy that kept him away from the council chamber and his city hall office.

In recent weeks, Ford entered a clinical trial aimed at finding a personalized treatment for his cancer. But the process, which involves implanting a tumour in mice and testing different combinations of drugs, takes four months to complete.

As his health worsened, Ford’s family set up a website for well-wishers to leave messages of support.

“May you have a speedy and successful recovery. Be strong,” said one post left Monday. “We need you as Mayor in 2018 to save Toronto.”

His earlier diagnosis forced Ford to abandon his re-election hopes in September 2014, even as polls suggested he remained a contender. He then coasted to victory in Ward 2 Etobicoke North, which he represented for a decade before his 2010 mayoral triumph.

Last year, after learning multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation had shrunk the original tumour enough to allow surgery, a relieved-looking Ford told reporters: “I’m just lucky to be alive today, and I’m just lucky to get another chance at life … At least I have a chance.”

He also thanked people “from all over the world” who had inundated him with hopeful messages.

The rumpled populist spent the months following surgery as he had the previous 15 years — immersed in politics. He attacked Mayor John Tory’s positions at city hall, gathering ammunition for a declared 2018 mayoral comeback.

Robert Bruce Ford, the son of self-made millionaire Doug Ford Sr. and Diane Ford, worked for the family label-making company before deciding to follow his father, a one-term Progressive Conservative MPP, into politics.

He failed to win an Etobicoke council seat in 1997 but, after the 2000 election, started a decade-long tenure that saw him rail against perceived overspending and face criticism for caustic insults and off-colour comments.

Ford built a profile on talk radio as a plain-spoken champion of the little guy, always eager to get a pothole fixed, and parlayed that into a 2010 mayoral bid that quickly gained steam and shot him into the mayor’s chair.

He at first seemed invincible, unilaterally declaring former mayor David Miller’s Transit City light rail plan dead and convincing council to quickly axe the vehicle registration tax, declare the TTC an essential service and reduce councillor office budgets.

But Ford’s grip on council slipped. He lost battles on the Port Lands and 2012 budget amid seemingly endless controversy that included his use of city staff to coach football and calling police on a comedian at his house.

Ford’s penchant for rule-breaking seemed his undoing after a judge ordered him ejected from office over a conflict of interest, but an appeal court rescued him on a technicality.

In 2013, the Star revealed that Ford had attended a military ball intoxicated and then that a cellphone video apparently showed him smoking crack.

That bombshell triggered months of controversy and worldwide headlines as Ford angrily denied, and then finally admitted, abusing drugs and alcohol. Council stripped him of most of his powers.

He emerged from rehab apologetic but eager to put the past behind him and win re-election. His legion of diehard “Ford Nation” supporters seemed ready to give him another chance.

In October 2014, following his re-election as councillor and in between chemotherapy treatments, Ford talked to reporters about his legacy.

“People know that I saved a lot of money, and people are going to know that I had a few personal struggles,” he said.

“So you can remember it for what you want, but they’re definitely going to remember it.”

Ford is survived by his wife Renata, children Stephanie and Douglas, mother Diane, brothers Doug and Randy, and sister Kathy.

Social media awash with the French Tricolor in solidarity with France

The National Gallery is lit up in the colors of the French flag in solidarity with France after the deadly attacks in Paris, in London, on Nov. 14, 2015. (Matt Dunham / AP Photo)

The National Gallery is lit up in the colors of the French flag in solidarity with France after the deadly attacks in Paris, in London, on Nov. 14, 2015. (Matt Dunham / AP Photo)

LONDON — Social media was awash Saturday in the red, white and blue of the French flag as people worldwide expressed their solidarity with a nation in mourning in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.

Users of Facebook shaded their profile pictures in the French Tricolor, and on Twitter and Instagram, people posted vacation photos, teardrops and a peace symbol with the Eiffel Tower inscribed in the centre as they expressed their grief over the carnage.

People also harnessed the power of social media in the search for their missing loved ones as Parisians desperate to get in touch with family and friends missing since Friday’s wave of gun and bomb attacks posted heart-breaking messages and photos under the hashtag .rechercheparis — Paris Search.

Scores remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the co-ordinated attacks on a rock concert, a soccer stadium, bars, restaurants and other popular nightspots that killed at least 129 people.

“Waleed is missing,” read one post. “We last contacted him at the match, Please share & contact me if u have any info. .rechercheParis.”

“I’ve been looking for my cousin since last night,” read another. “He’s 25 and 1m75. He’s called Younes. .rechercheParis.”

The photos and messages garnered hundreds of retweets from users eager to help in the search for survivors.

Across the globe, people joined in to offer sympathy and share a nation’s pain. Many posted the poignant video of the Eiffel Tower — the beacon of the City of Light — going to black in memory of the dead.

Some of the world’s most recognizable buildings and monuments — the Sydney Opera House, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, One World Trade Center in New York, the Mexican Senate — were shaded in the colours of the French flag.

Sports teams also expressed their solidarity. The Washington Capitals splashed the red, white and blue of the Tricolor across the team’s ice rink before Friday night’s game against the Calgary Flames. “The National Anthem is playing, but tonight our thoughts are with Paris,” a caption on the Capitals Twitter feed read.

The images and sentiment, shared under the hashtags .prayforparis or .parisattacks, mirrored the outpouring of emotion that followed the Charlie Hebdo attacks 10 months ago.

One of the most shared was a peace symbol by Jean Jullien, a French graphic designer living in London, that showed a stark image of the Eiffel Tower rising in the centre of a peace sign.

Jullien said the design came to him by simple association of Paris and peace.

“I was overwhelmed that so many people used it,” he said in an email to the Associated Press. “It’s a communication tool for people to share their solidarity. It’s a message for peace.”

Courtesy of CTV News


ISIS expresses fury over French airstrikes in Syria; France says they will continue

This photo released on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows a French army Mirage 2000 jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base as part of France's Operation Chammal launched in September 2015 in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State group. (French Air Force/ECPAD via AP)

This photo released on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows a French army Mirage 2000 jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base as part of France’s Operation Chammal launched in September 2015 in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State group. (French Air Force/ECPAD via AP)

NEW YORK — The Islamic State group on Saturday expressed fury at France’s recently launched airstrikes against it in Syria as it claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks in Paris. The airstrikes have hit training camps and reflect France’s fears that hundreds of French fighters in Syria and Iraq could return home and, as President Francois Hollande put it last month, “plant bombs in our country.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Saturday told French television TF1 that France’s fight in Syria will continue.

Many details about Friday’s attacks remain unclear, including how long the co-ordinated assault had been planned.

Here is a look at recent French action in Syria:


The Paris attack comes less than a week after France’s military said a French airstrike had targeted an oil distribution centre in Syria controlled by Islamic State militants in an attempt to cut a crucial source of the group’s funding.

The Islamic State’s online statement Saturday on the Paris attacks specifically mentioned France’s airstrike campaign, launched less than two months ago.

“The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders’ campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes,” the statement said.

France joined the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq last year and expanded its campaign to Syria in late September, starting with a five-hour attack by jet fighters on a training camp in the eastern part of the country.

In announcing the strikes on Sept. 27, Hollande told reporters that the strikes, and others to come, were aimed at “protecting our territory, cutting short terrorist actions, acting in legitimate defence.”


Also this month, Hollande announced that France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist in the fight against the Islamic State group in both Iraq and Syria.

He didn’t say when the carrier, which will boost the air power of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes, will leave the French Mediterranean port of Toulon.

France already has 12 jet fighters based in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan involved in the operations. Two of the Jordan-based jets carried out the Nov. 8 strike against the oil distribution centre controlled by the Islamic State group near Deir ez-Zor, in eastern Syria.

The French government has insisted that while it is part of the U.S.-led coalition, France is deciding independently who and what to hit in Syria.


In an interview last month with French broadcaster RTL, Hollande acknowledged French airstrikes on other Islamic State camps in Raqqa, the capital of IS’ self-proclaimed caliphate, and elsewhere in Syria, saying “there are terrorists training to lead the fight in Syria but can also plant bombs in our country.”

He repeated his government’s estimate that there are 600 French nationals in the “combat zones” in Syria and Iraq who could return to France with the potential to carry out attacks at home.


Until launching the airstrike campaign, France had held back on engaging in Syria, citing concern over playing into Syrian President Bashar Assad’s hand and the need for such action to be covered by international law.

But Hollande on Sept. 7 announced France’s intention to start airstrikes in Syria, days after the photo of a dead 3-year-old Syrian boy on a Turkish beach galvanized concern about Syrian refugees fleeing to save their lives.

In addition to the military moves, France has remained insistent that Assad must go — a stronger stance than that of the United States, which recently has tamped down demands for Assad’s quick departure.

“The future of Syria cannot (include President) Bashar Assad,” Hollande said in announcing France’s airstrike campaign.


Death toll in Paris attacks hits 129; another 352 hurt

PARIS — Three teams of extremists carried out the coordinated gun-and-suicide bombing attacks across Paris that left 129 people dead and 352 injured, a French prosecutor said Saturday.

Paris Terror attack

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said 99 of the injured were in critical condition after the “act of barbarism.” He said the attackers in the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people died, mentioned Syria and Iraq during their deadly rampage.

French President Francois Hollande has vowed that France will wage “merciless” war on the Islamic State group, after the jihadists claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday night.

Grief, alarm and resolve spread across Europe on Saturday as officials raced to piece together information on the seven attackers. Officials said one was a young Frenchman known to the authorities. In addition, a Syrian passport found near the body of another attacker was linked to a man who entered the European Union through a Greek island last month.

Canadians in France: For emergency assistance, contact consular officials at or call collect at 1-613-996-8885

Attackers launched gun attacks at Paris cafes, detonated suicide bombs near France’s national stadium and killed hostages inside a concert hall during a rock show — an attack on the heart of the pulsing City of Light.

“These places are the places we visit every week,” said Ahsan Naeem, a 39-year-old filmmaker who has lived in Paris for seven years. “Streets we walk every day … All those places will have been full of my people. My friends. My acquaintances.”

Hollande, who declared three days of national mourning and raised the nation’s security to its highest level, called the carnage “an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help.”

The president said France would increase its military efforts to crush IS. He said France — which is part of a U.S.-led coalition bombing suspected IS targets in Syria and Iraq and also has troops fighting militants in Africa — “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility in an online statement in Arabic and French circulated by supporters. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the admission, which bore the group’s logo and resembled previous verified statements from the group.

The statement mocked France’s involvement in air attacks on suspected IS bases in Syria and Iraq, noting that France’s air power was “of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris.”

Many of Paris’s top tourist attractions closed down Saturday, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Disneyland theme park east of the capital. Some 3,000 troops were deployed to help restore order and reassure a frightened populace.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that all public demonstrations would be banned until Thursday and local governments would have the option to impose nightly curfews.

The attacks, on an unusually balmy November Friday evening, struck at the heart of Parisian life: diners in cafes, concertgoers watching a rock band, spectators at a soccer match.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the places attacked are ones Parisians love — and ones where they celebrate diversity.

“It is this Paris that was hit. Probably because this example of living together, which is so strong in our city, is unbearable for fanatical people,” she said.

Parisians expressed shock, disgust and defiance in equal measure. Some areas were quiet, but hundreds queued outside a hospital near the Bataclan concert hall to donate blood. As a shrine of flowers expanded along the sidewalk, a lone guitarist sang John Lennon’s peace ballad “Imagine.”

Authorities said eight attackers died, seven in suicide bombings, a new terror tactic in France. Police said they shot and killed the other assailant.

Molins, the prosecutor, said all the suicide attackers wore identical explosives vests.

Authorities in Belgium conducted raids in a Brussels neighborhood Saturday and made three arrests linked to the Paris attacks. Justice Minister Koen Geens told the VRT network that the arrests came after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater.

Officials in Greece said the Syrian passport found in Paris had shown its owner entering in October through Leros, one of the islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in Syria and elsewhere have been using as a gateway into the European Union.

If the attack does involve militants who traveled to Europe amid millions of refugees from the Middle East, the implications could be profound.

Poland’s prospective minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymanski, said that in light of the attacks, Poland would not comply with an EU plan to accept refugees unless it received “guarantees of security.”

The attack brought an immediate tightening of borders as Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced renewed border checks. Germany also stepped up border checks.

The militants launched six gun and bomb attacks in rapid succession on apparently indiscriminate civilian targets.

Three suicide bombs targeted spots around the national Stade de France stadium, in the north of the capital, where Hollande was watching a France-Germany soccer match. Fans inside the stadium recoiled at the sound of explosions, but the match continued.

Around the same time, fusillades of bullets shattered the clinking of wine glasses in a trendy Paris neighborhood as gunmen targeted a string of crowded cafes.

The attackers next stormed the Bataclan concert hall, which was hosting the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. They opened fire on the panicked audience and took members hostage. As police closed in, three detonated explosive belts, killing themselves, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot.

Another attacker detonated a suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire, near the music hall, the prosecutor’s office said.

Video shot posted by newspaper Le Monde Saturday captured some of that horror as dozens of people fled from gunfire outside the Bataclan.

At least one person lies writhing on the ground as scores more stream past, some bloodied or limping. The camera pans down the street to reveal more fleeing people dragging two bodies along the ground. A woman and two others can be seen clinging to upper-floor balcony railings in an desperate bid to stay out of the line of fire.

Le Monde said its reporter Daniel Psenney filed the scene from his apartment balcony, and was shot in the arm when he went downstairs to help someone who had collapsed.

A tall, sturdy 38-year-old concert-goer named Sylvain collapsed in tears as he recounted the attack, the chaos and his escape during a lull in gunfire.

“First I heard explosions, and I thought it was firecrackers,” he said.

“Very soon I smelled powder, and I understood what was happening. There were shots everywhere, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shooters, but I heard others talk. They cried, ‘It’s Hollande’s fault.’ I heard one of the shooters shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,'” Sylvain told The Associated Press.

He spoke on condition that his full name not be used out of concern for his safety.

The Paris carnage was the worst in a series of attacks claimed by the Islamic State in the past three days. On Thursday, twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200, and 26 people died Friday in Baghdad in a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites.

The militant group also said it bombed a Russian plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, killing 224 people.

IS also suffered significant reversals this week, with Kurdish forces launching an offensive to retake the strategic Iraqi city of Sinjar and the U.S. military saying it had likely killed Mohammed Emwazi, the masked British-accented militant known as “Jihadi John” who is seen in grisly IS beheading videos.

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died in those attacks, including three shooters.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have traveled to Syria and returned home with skills to mount attacks.

“The big question on everyone’s mind is: Were these attackers — if they turn out to be connected to one of the groups in Syria — were they homegrown terrorists or were they returning fighters?” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert.


Canada’s Primer minister sworn in and his new Cabinet

On November the 5, 2015 Justin B Trudeau was sworn in as Primer Minister number 26, in the meantime his cabinet represents the true and colour of Canada’s culture.

And the same time his cabinet was presented

Canada's new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (bottom row C) poses with his cabinet after their swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie - RTX1URF7

Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (bottom row C) poses with his cabinet after their swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa November 4, 2015.






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Transit’s electronic fare boxes go online Friday May the 31st

YWG busAfter waiting for a good time, finally the digital fares boxes are making its debut.

Eight of Winnipeg Transit’s buses have been equipped with the machines.

Winnipeg Transit’s long-awaited electronic fare boxes will begin to go online on Friday.

Eight of Winnipeg Transit’s 565 buses have been equipped with the $20,000 machines that accept coins, issue transfers and — late this year — will start reading programmable smart cards.

?All transit buses will have the new readers by early July, transit plant manager Tony Dreolini said.

The smart card readers will go online by December, if not earlier. Before they do, transfers and tickets will be accepted manually and riders with passes may continue to show them to drivers.

The entire technological upgrade, originally envisioned in 2003, cost $17.8 million.

It took longer than expected to implement because the mobile technology did not yet exist, Dreolini said.

The new transfers issued by the machines are smaller and feature QR codes.

Like everything else in life patience and understanding are expecting from the public specially going on a digital era, although this system has been used in several cities around the world and has demonstrated to be a successful tool.

Digital fareboxes

Evacuations, shutdowns on East Coast before storm

(Reuters) – Tens of millions of East Coast residents scrambled on Sunday to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which could make landfall as the largest storm to hit the United States, bringing battering winds, flooding and even heavy snow.

The massive storm, which has already killed 66 people in the Caribbean, was headed toward a densely populated region that includes Washington, New York and Boston and its effects could be felt for hundreds of miles, officials warned.

It could be the largest storm to hit the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

New York and other big cities closed their transit systems and schools and ordered residents of low-lying areas to evacuate before a storm surge that could reach as 11 feet.

They warned that power outages could last for days.

“We’re expecting the worst, hoping for the best. We’re getting everything off the basement floor. We’ve got two sump pumps but during Hurricane Floyd, we were down there for 17 hours straight sweeping water into the sump pumps,” said Maria Ogorek, a Maplewood, New Jersey, lawyer and mother of three.

The U.S. government said it had granted administrative leave to non-emergency federal workers in the Washington D.C area.

The New York Stock Exchange said it would close its trading floor on Monday for the first time since Hurricane Gloria in 1985. All?stocks?listed on the exchange will trade electronically, NYSE Euronext said.

President?Barack Obama?asked residents to heed the orders of state and local authorities to protect themselves from Sandy.

“This is a serious and big storm,” Obama said after a briefing at the federal government’s storm response center in Washington. “We don’t yet know where it’s going to hit, where we’re going to see the biggest impacts.

Officials ordered many school closures, New Jersey?casinos?and Broadway theaters prepared to close, airlines got ready to halt flight activity in the New York area, and residents cleared store shelves of vital supplies and food.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of New York City, from upscale parts of lower Manhattan to waterfront housing projects in the outer boroughs, that are home to some 375,000 people.

“If you refuse to evacuate you’re not only putting yourself at risk but also the first responders who will have put themselves at risk in an emergency,” Bloomberg told a news conference.

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Fire Department Captain Frank Rivera was ordering residents of 300 waterfront homes to evacuate.

“A lot of them are on their way out but some of them are thinking about (Hurricane) Irene and how they didn’t get damage and I tell them it’s two different animals,” Rivera said, referring to the August 2011 hurricane that brought severe flooding to parts of New Jersey and Vermont.

Officials warned that flooding could be particularly severe since the storm’s arrival coincides with a full moon, which normally means higher-than-usual high tides.

“The most worrisome aspect of Sandy is the high tides,” said Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. “With the full moon occurring Monday, with Sandy coming up the Bay, we’re very concerned about flooding in our low-lying coastal areas.”

New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia transit authorities said they would begin shutting down service on Sunday afternoon. Maryland’s transit system, serving some suburbs of Washington, said it would not open on Monday.

Amtrak, the passenger rail service, canceled nearly all service on the Eastern seaboard on Monday and would halt its service north of New York along the Northeast corridor.

Transit systems in Washington and Boston said they planned to operate as usual on Monday as long as it was safe to do so.

Airlines flying into and out of New York’s three major airports were all expected to cease flight activity on Sunday night, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Forecasters said Sandy was a rare, hybrid “super storm” created by an?Arctic?jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm, possibly causing up to 12 inches of rain in some areas, as well as up to 3 feet of snowfall in the Appalachian Mountains from West Virginia to Kentucky.

Nasdaq?planned to open on Monday despite the transit shutdown and evacuation orders, with bigbanks?putting up key personnel in?hotels?overnight so that they would be able to make it in to work on Monday morning.

The?Chicago Mercantile Exchange?said it would suspend floor trading on the NYMEX oil market on Monday, as it is located in the New York City evacuation zone near the Hudson River. It said electronic trading would go on as usual.


Sign-Up 2012

We will post the crew sheets as soon as we get them,? a hiccup exists due to the City now expecting a disclaimer saying the displayed sheets may not accurately depict the posted sheets at the Garages due to corrections and updates.