Monthly Archives: June 2019

Police detonate ‘suspicious package’ at Exhibition GO Station

WATCH ABOVE: Situation left confused travelled stranded, crammed in to Union Station. Mark Carcasole reports.

TORONTO – A “suspicious package” found on the tracks of the Exhibition GO Train Station wreaked havoc during the rush-hour commute Wednesday causing widespread delays and cancellations.

Police said they received a report of a cylindrical package just before 4 p.m. Police closed all four tracks at the station as a precaution and service was suspended on the Lakeshore West line while a bomb-disposal squad investigated.

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A second package discovered at the station was determined to be a child’s backpack.

Service was also disrupted on the Lake Shore East, Barrie, Kitchener, Milton, Richmond Hill and Stouffville lines as a result of the investigation.

The package was detonated around 6:30 p.m. and just after 7 p.m. GO Transit said it had been given permission to resume service through Union Station.

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Exhibition Station has since reopened following the police investigation with service returning to normal.

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Metro Vancouver moves back to Stage 2 water restrictions

Metro Vancouver is moving back to Stage 2 water restrictions after being under Stage 3 restrictions since July.

“Recent heavy rains have restored Metro Vancouver’s reservoirs to acceptable water levels,” reads a Metro Vancouver statement.

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“Metro Vancouver staff have continuously monitored the water levels in our three reservoirs as well as our daily water consumption, and now that the reservoirs are within the seasonal average, we can return to Stage Two water restrictions,” said Carol Mason, Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District and Metro Vancouver’s Chief Administrative Officer.

The following restrictions are now in place:

According to officials, private and commercial washing of driveways, sidewalks, and parkades as well as pressure washing are allowed for health and safety purposes, but not for aesthetic purposes. Sports and sand-based playing fields may only use the minimum level of water needed to keep them in usable conditions.

Lawn sprinkling is permitted once a week in the morning but prohibited during evening hours when demand is highest. Water use is also prohibited for public and commercial fountains and water features.

• For residences, even-numbered addresses may water their lawn between 4-9 a.m. on Monday, and odd-numbered addresses may water between 4-9 a.m. on Thursday
• For non-residential property, even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns between 1-6 a.m. on Wednesday, and odd-numbered addresses may water lawns between 1-6 a.m. on Tuesday
• Municipal parks must also follow the once-weekly lawn sprinkling times

-With files from Amy Judd

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Ex-tennis pro James Blake claims improper force by NYPD during mistaken arrest

WATCH ABOVE: Ex-tennis star James Blake thrown down, mistakenly arrested by NYPD. Hena Daniels reports.

NEW YORK – Internal affairs detectives are investigating claims by former tennis professional James Blake that he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday at a Manhattan hotel, police said.

Blake, 35, who is biracial, told the Daily News of New York he wasn’t sure if he was arrested because of his race but said the officer who put him in handcuffs inappropriately used force.

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“To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is,” he told the newspaper. “In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”

The agent who represented Blake when he was a professional tennis player, Carlos Fleming, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

WATCH: NYPD officer’s road rage tirade caught on camera

Stephen Davis, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman, said a co-operating witness misidentified Blake to detectives investigating fraudulently purchased cellphones as one of two people he recognized as being involved with the scheme.

“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately,” Davis said in a statement. “In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the police commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate.”

Officers arrested a suspect in the cellphone scam at the Grand Hyatt New York during a controlled buy earlier Wednesday, police said. It was after that buy that a deliveryman with the cellphone company pointed out Blake and another man in the hotel lobby as having purchased cellphones the day before, they said.

The second man was taken into custody, police said. A security guard at the hotel, himself a former member of the NYPD, recognized Blake, prompting the arresting officers to confirm his true identity.

Blake’s last tournament as a professional was the 2013 U.S. Open, where he lost in the first round of singles and doubles. He was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, including at the U.S. Open in 2005 and 2006.

Blake was born in Yonkers and went to high school in Connecticut, then attended Harvard before turning pro in 1999.

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‘I don’t think about the other parties’: Elizabeth May dismisses vote-splitting concerns

WATCH ABOVE: Global’s Vassy Kapelos sits down one-on-one with Green Party leader Elizabeth May

VANCOUVER – Despite polls showing the NDP in the lead, Green Party leader Elizabeth May isn’t worried about splitting the vote in her home province of B.C.

“I don’t think about the other parties actually much at all,” May told Global News in an interview Wednesday. “We’re offering British Columbians the strongest voice in Parliament.”

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READ MORE: Green Party platform promises cash for infrastructure, eliminate tuition

May is currently the Green Party’s only elected member of parliament. Bruce Hyer, the other, crossed the floor from the NDP in 2013.

The Green Party  also released their full election platform Wednesday, pledging billions of dollars for the environment, infrastructure, health care and support for seniors – all without running a deficit.

May says she expects her party to have presence in B.C., but didn’t pinpoint by how many seats.

“We’re the only party that is prepared to say that we won’t allow tankers out of this port right behind me,” May said, referring to Vancouver’s port.

“We’re the only party that is offering British Columbians and committing to British Columbia that we will defend our coast.”

Though Conservatives hold a majority of seats in B.C., the NDP is currently polling as much as ten points ahead of every party.

READ MORE: Mulcair, Trudeau, Harper campaigning in vote-rich Ontario

University of British Columbia political scientist Max Cameron thinks many British Columbians who could vote either NDP or Green will direct their vote to the party they believe has the best chance of beating Conservatives.

“The Greens have a real problem, which is that they may be closer to the preferences of some progressive voters but the danger is that they could divide the vote,” Cameron said. “I think that’s likely something that will suppress the Green vote.”

Cameron does, however, think May’s seat on Vancouver Island is fairly safe.

At a campaign stop in Niagara Falls, NDP leader Tom Mulcair dismissed concerns the Greens could take away NDP votes in other parts of B.C. – though he wouldn’t mention the Green Party or May by name.

“I always try to respect my adversaries and that doesn’t change from party to party, because they all have their different strengths,” he said. “But I do know that in B.C. and across Canada, people want change”

May is adamant British Columbians, among others, will see it differently.

“We want…Canada to wake up to a big Green surprise the morning after the election.”

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Financial literacy a growing concern for B.C.’s students

When students graduate from high school, it used to be a solid understanding in reading, writing, and arithmetic would put them in good stead.

But a growing chorus of people say financial literacy may be the most important subject taught in high school and that B.C. students are falling woefully behind.

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“Unfortunately, many people are learning about financial literacy and how to manage money through the school of hard knocks. And that’s a really tough teacher, because they’re learning by mistakes,” said Scott Hannah of the B.C. Credit Counselling Society.

“[Students] come to us with a high level of stress, which obviously impacts their ability to study for school, and worried about [whether they will] have enough funds to live on through the course of a term, and they’re dealing with credit card debt too. That’s pretty common what we’re seeing in schools today.”

According to a 2013 Ministry of Education survey of high school graduates, only 17 per cent said schools were doing enough when it came to lessons on spending and saving.

This year? The Ministry scrapped the question altogether.

“They didn’t need to,” said Hannah.

“They know the answers, very plainly. They’re not doing a good enough job, and unfortunately parents aren’t doing a good enough job teaching them good money practices. The challenge is how do we introduce these concepts?”

In a statement, Minister of Education Mike Bernier defended the government’s record in light of the satisfaction survey.

“Our staff will be working with school districts to see how we can encourage participation and improve the overall satisfaction of students, staff and parents in our education system,” he wrote.

The government will introduce financial literacy into the math curriculum next year, but Hannah argues it should be discussed within the context of many different subjects, rather than a match course that many students find imposing.

“The challenge for our schools is this is not a one-term solution, this is going to take a decade to really manifest itself and grow so we’re graduating students with those skill sets. But it’s got to start now.”

Money pressures lead to plagiarism?

B.C. students carry $29,000 in student loans on average, the third highest in Canada.

“Students who cheat are doing it out of desperation. A student who is cheating is cheating because they can’t afford to fail a class or afford another year of school,” argues Simka Marshall, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC.

SFU Criminologist Rob Gordon agrees that financial pressures can manifest themselves in plagiarism.

“It’s certainly one of the issues. Students have to do spend more time raising money than they have in the past, and that reflects in a number of the ways – in the quality of the work, but their willingness to cut corners,” he says.

While financial pressures and the increased availability of online essay mills have seemingly made plagiarism more prevalent, Gordon says it’s hard to say whether it is actually on the rise.

“We don’t know. What we identify is probably the tip of the iceberg, but how big it is, we don’t know for sure,” he said.

“When this university began 50 years ago, I would guarantee there was cheating in the first term.”

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