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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Toronto mayor plans to unite city, restore reputation

   Canada column for Sunday, Nov. 2/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Toronto’s Mayor-elect John Tory said he wants to unite the city and restore its reputation after the turbulence of the Rob Ford years.
   “Torontonians want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed city hall for the past four years,” Tory said after he defeated Ford’s brother Doug in the municipal election.
   Rob Ford, who gained international notoriety after admitting to using crack cocaine and entering rehab for his addiction problems, dropped out of the mayoralty race after being diagnosed with cancer in September.
   His brother took his place on the ballot as Rob Ford ran for a council seat instead and was elected.
   The Ford bothers said they still have a presence at city hall and will prepare for a comeback in the next election while fighting for the “taxpayers.”
   Tory, 60, a business executive, broadcaster and fiscal conservative, said that along with reinstating stability at city hall, he wants to address the city’s infrastructure and public transit challenges.


   Mounties say they have evidence the terrorist attack in which a soldier was killed and several wounded in the gunfight at the Parliament buildings was the result of “ideological and political motives.”
   Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, the gunman who was killed, made a video before the rampage opposing Canada’s foreign policy and praising Allah.
   Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the incident a terror attack that raises fears over reprisals for Canada joining the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS extremists in Iraq and Syria.
   In apologizing for her son’s actions, Susan Bibeau said he wasn’t a terrorist but was “mentally ill.”


    News in brief:
   - Jian Ghomeshi, one of the most-popular hosts on CBC Radio, is suing the government-run broadcaster for $55 million for defamation and breach of trust. He was fired after allegations he engaged in abusive sexual behavior. Ghomeshi said a jilted ex-girlfriend lied about their relationship but now eight other women have come forward to complain as well.
   - Former Canadian football star and “business tycoon” John Forzani has died in a Palm Springs, Calif. hospital. Forzani, who was 67, had been an offensive lineman with the Calgary Stampeders and suffered a stroke or heart attack. He opened the Forzani Locker Room store in 1974 and later acquired the Sport Chek chain that became Canada's largest sports retail business.

   - Canadians can expect winter weather won't be as miserable as last year. Environment Canada’s models suggest winter will be about normal, so “just accept it, enjoy it and embrace it,” said climatologist Dave Phillips. Last year, a lingering mass of Arctic air resulted in the coldest November to March since records were kept in 1948. “We’ve never canceled winter in this country but we have canceled a few summers,” he said.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar has dropped to 88.69 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.1274 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is unchanged at 3 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 14,596 points and the TSX Venture index down at 764 points.
   The average price of a liter of gasoline is lower at $1.1812 (Canadian).
   Lotto 6-49: (Oct. 29) 6, 25, 29, 34, 39 and 44; bonus 22. (Oct. 25) 10, 20, 23, 31, 33 and 45; bonus 38. Lotto Max: (Oct. 24) 8, 27, 30, 32, 34, 35 and 42; bonus 17.


   Regional briefs:
   - Justin Bourque was sentenced to 75 years in prison before any parole consideration for the shooting in June that killed three Mounties and wounded two others in Moncton, New Brunswick. Judge David Smith said the precedent-setting sentence was for “one of Canada’s “most horrific crime sprees.” Bourque, 24, received the harshest sentence since executions were outlawed in 1962.
   - Shoppers won’t be as generous this Christmas season, spending an average of $1,517, down from $1,810 last year, a Bank of Montreal survey says. Across the country, Albertans will spend the most at $1,947 while Quebeckers the least at $1,322. Rising household debt was suggested as a concern this year, the survey found.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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