Max Khan, an Oakville town councillor and the federal Liberal candidate for Oakville North-Burlington, has died, according to a Liberal Party representative.
Khan represented Ward 6 in Oakville, which he shared with Councillor Tom Adams. Adams said Khan died early Sunday morning. He worked with the town of Oakville for nine years, having been elected for his third term on council last year.
“I learned of it late, late last night and I understand he went into Oakville Trafalgar Hospital around 7 o’clock and passed away just a little after midnight,” Adams told the Star.
Adams said Khan had been feeling ill and had gone to hospital for pneumonia-like symptoms.
Oakville Mayor Rob Burton issued a statement on Facebook early Sunday morning.
“My grief and sense of loss are profound,” he said.
A tweet from the mayor’s account described Khan as “a tireless tiger defending Oakville’s residents. We’ve lost a people’s champion.”
Khan was elected to his third term in Oakville last year at age 45. However, his political ambitions extended beyond the town; he was nominated last fall to run for the federal Liberal Party in the upcoming 2015 election in the Oakville North-Burlington riding.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau tweeted his shock upon hearing of Khan’s death.
“Shocked and very saddened at the sudden passing of #Oakville’s @MaxKhanLib. My heart is with his loved ones — he will be sorely missed,” he wrote.
Khan, who had lived in Oakville for about 27 years according to his council profile page, had braved three bouts of cancer in his lifetime.
“None of us expected him to pass away. We thought he was free and clear,” Adams said.
“He always had a kind word to say and a smile on his face. He was a really nice guy to work with and it’s very, very sad to see him go.”
Adams said his former colleague was a “guy who never stood up for the status quo,” describing him as a “strong advocate” for Oakville residents.
He said Khan “always pushed for better. I’ll always remember that.”
Several people remain in hospital after an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Halifax crashed shortly after touching down at Halifax Stanfield International Airport during a snowstorm early Sunday.
The RCMP and Stanfield said 25 people were taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. However, an Air Canada statement said 23 people were taken to hospital. Eighteen passengers had been released as of 7 a.m. EDT.
The RCMP and Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) are investigating the cause of the crash.
The flight, AC624, left Toronto’s Pearson International Airport shortly before 9 p.m. EDT Saturday and was scheduled to arrive in Halifax just after midnight local time Sunday.
The plane, an Airbus A320 carrying 133 passengers and five crew members, “exited [the] runway upon landing” around 12:43 a.m. local time, Air Canada said. Stanfield described the incident as a “hard landing.”
A flight tracker shows the plane circling around a short distance from Stanfield before flying closer and descending.
The RCMP as well as Halifax police, paramedics and firefighters responded to the scene and passengers were evacuated from the plane into the airport.
It was not immediately clear whether weather played a factor in the incident.
Environment Canada had issued a snowfall warning for Halifax Saturday evening and the weather agency reported heavy and drifting snow, poor visibility and wind gusts of up to 101 km/h at the airport early Sunday.
Passengers on board the plane said they believe the aircraft hit a power line as it came in to land and described the plane skidding on its belly for some time before it came to a stop.
Stanfield was without power from 12:30 a.m. to 1:49 a.m. ADT because of “damage to our overhead equipment,” according to Nova Scotia Power.
Airport spokesman Peter Spurway said the aircraft touched down at about 12:35 a.m. and he didn’t know if runway conditions played a role in the landing.
“It came down pretty hard and then skidded off the runway,” said Spurway.
Randy Hall and his wife Lianne Clark were on their way home from a Mexican vacation when they said the plane ran in to trouble as it landed.
“We just thought that we were landing hard. And when the ... airbags started to deploy and you saw things falling on the floor, we said, ‘Oh no. We’ve got to get out,’” said Clark, a computer consultant.
“We just opened the doors when we landed and everyone started to pile out.”
Hall said he believes the jet hit a power line before it landed hard on the runway. There were sparks but no fire, he said.
“We were just coming in to land and there was a big flash,” said Hall. “The plane came down, bang! It jumped up in the air again.”
Hall said the aircraft hit so hard, the landing gear and at least one of the engines was ripped from the plane.
“I was looking out and I saw the landing gear go and I saw an engine go,” said Hall.
Hall said passengers left the plane immediately but they were left standing on the tarmac, some in their stocking feet, for more than an hour as they were lashed by wind-whipped snow before buses arrived.
The couple, who were wrapped in blankets as they spoke, said they saw some people with bloody faces, but it didn’t appear that anyone was seriously injured.
A photo on Twitter shows heavy damage to one of the plane’s wings.
Air Canada has sent personnel to the site to assist passengers and said more teams are on the way.
The RCMP, Halifax police and the TSB have launched a joint investigation into the crash and “to determine if anything criminal occurred,” the RCMP said. A spokesman for the TSB said two investigators were scheduled to arrive at the airport early Sunday.
The plane is being guarded and a section of Stanfield’s runway has been shut down for the investigation, although the airport said its secondary runway was expected to be operational by 6 a.m. ADT. Investigators are also looking at a site about 40 m away from the airport where a number of power lines were knocked down.
Several flights to and from Halifax Sunday morning have been delayed or cancelled.
With files from The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Target Corp. is planning to close all of its Canadian stores even faster than originally planned.
A court-appointed monitor overseeing the windup of the Target Canada stores says all 133 locations across the country will be permanently shut down by “as early as mid-April,” which is about a month ahead of schedule.
Some locations have already ceased operations — 17 stores closed in the middle of March. Another six Target locations will shutter on Monday, while 23 are slated for closure on April 1, and 32 more on April 2.
“It is anticipated that the pace of delivery of vacate notices ... will continue to increase over the next two weeks,” the monitor wrote in an update filed with the court.
“All stores are expected to be closed to the public as early as mid-April 2015.”
Target Corp. announced in January that it was making plans to leave Canada, saying it would take years to turn a profit after a bungled launch hurt its reputation with consumers. The company is in the process of closing all 133 stores across the country, most which opened in 2013.
A liquidation has been underway since last month, while lawyers are in court trying to iron out the details of Target’s departure. A variety of creditors that include landlords, suppliers and others impacted by the closures, are trying to determine what will happen to money they’re owed.
On Monday, the court will consider approving the US$2.22-million sale of a variety of intellectual property assets from Target Canada back to its U.S. parent company, including both in-store and outside signs, 28,000 branded shopping carts, and 912,000 shopping bags.
Court documents say that unlike other items owned by the stores, which include electric scooters and shopping cart corrals, the Target-branded items can’t be sold in the liquidation process because they’re all permanently stamped with the company’s name.
“It is not possible to remove the Target branding from most of the (intellectual property assets) without destroying or substantially decreasing their value,” the monitor said, noting an outside appraiser was involved in the process.
“The external signage cannot be repurposed and in any event has no value based on the third party bids (and) estimates of value that have been received.”
In addition to the sales price, Target Canada believes it will save an extra $1.9 million by shifting the responsibility for removing and disposing of the branded items over to Target Corp.
Danielle Smith lost the Tory nomination to Carrie Fischer, a town councillor in Okotoks, in the provincial riding of Highwood, south of Calgary.
Smith led eight of her colleagues of the Wildrose party across the floor to join the government last December in a stunning move that created considerable buzz among political watchers.
“This is of course a mixed emotions day for me. I did want to get a mandate to be the PC candidate for Highwood but of course residents felt otherwise,” she said in her concession speech.
“I’m grateful for the residents of Highwood for coming out and participating in the process. I think it was an invigorating process. I think it was good for the party.”
Smith still believes switching parties was the right thing to do and she has no regrets about crossing the floor four months ago.
“No. Absolutely not. I believe that Jim Prentice is exactly the leader that we need right now. I think it’s important for Conservatives to unify under his leadership,” said Smith.
Smith’s loss happened on the same day that the Wildrose picked former federal Conservative MP Brian Jean as the new leader of the opposition party in a leadership vote.
The Progressive Conservatives did not give a breakdown on the nomination results but say 972 people voted.
Fischer said she understands that the floor crossing did have an impact on the outcome.
“I think it was on the minds of some of the voters but I hope my conversations with them earned their trust and support,” said Fischer.
Smith said she has no immediate plans but intends to join her parents on a trip to Mexico in May.
She told reporters earlier this year that she underestimated the amount of public anger that resulted from her decision to abandon the Wildrose Party.
On one side: Sherry Brydson, said to be Canada’s richest woman
On the other side: Jim Lawson, a high-profile boss at the CFL and Woodbine Entertainment Group, Canada’s premier horse racing business.
At stake: a bitter lawsuit brimming with allegations of wrongful dismissal, real estate scams, power struggles and pornography.
Brydson, the granddaughter of Roy Thomson, with personal wealth estimated at $6.6 billion, is a director of Westerkirk Capital, a private financial corporation, where Lawson was once the boss.
According to documents filed in Ontario Superior Court, Lawson was fired in 2012 after eight years as Westerkirk’s CEO. He claims he was dismissed without cause, and fires back that Brydson used the company as a personal piggy bank — for instance, making withdrawals of approximately $106 million “without proper authorization.”
Brydson denies this.
Her side says Lawson used his office to download pornography described as “graphic, hard-core, racist and misogynistic.”
Lawson denies this.
The escalating dispute plays out in a series of court documents, starting with Lawson’s wrongful dismissal claim in 2014. That was followed by a counterclaim seeking more than $14 million in damages by Westerkirk and Brydson, and a defence to the counterclaims by Lawson in 2015.
All allegations in this story are based on these court documents. None of the allegations have been proven in court. Both sides dispute the other’s claims.
The battle began when Lawson began proceedings to sue Westerkirk for wrongful dismissal, seeking more than $6 million in damages from the corporation after his many years of “exemplary” work.
While at Westerkirk, Lawson’s base salary was $800,000 in 2004. It jumped to $1.13 million by 2006, with 4 per cent raises annually. His yearly bonus money increased from $250,000 in 2004 to $700,000 in 2012, the year he was terminated.
Westerkirk and Brydson countered by accusing the former CEO of a “pattern of dishonesty,” alleging that Lawson:
In the bulging countersuit, Westerkirk and Brydson also allege that Lawson used his office to download pornographic materials described as “graphic, hard-core, racist and misogynistic”; and “distributed some pornography to other persons, including to certain of his subordinates,” which “recklessly endangered the defendant’s reputation.”
Lawson’s defence denies “each and every allegation” made by Brydson and Westerkirk, claiming “Westerkirk had no grounds whatsoever to terminate him with cause and did not purport to do so when he left Westerkirk on November 27, 2012. Westerkirk only alleged cause long after the fact.”
Calling the pornography claims malicious and “deserving censure of the court,” the statement of defence stated:
“At no time prior to the commencement of Westerkirk’s counterclaim, was any issue regarding Mr. Lawson and pornographic materials ever raised. The claims were manufactured by the plaintiff through an extensive search of electronic records undertaken long after Mr. Lawson had departed as CEO. Westerkirk’s reputation was never at risk. Nor did the materials referred to . . . have any impact on the work environment. The claims were made maliciously and are an abuse of process deserving the censure of the court.”
Lawson could not be reached, but his lawyer, R. Paul Steep, said in an email to the Star that the Westerkirk claims are baseless.
“This is a commercial dispute before the Commercial Court so we will only repeat what we have already said in our statement of defence which is that there is no basis for these allegations against Mr. Lawson,” Steep said.
Lawson claims Brydson butted heads with him over governance restructuring of Westerkirk and made whopping personal withdrawals of approximately $106 million “without proper authorization.”
Howard Levitt, the lawyer representing Westerkirk and Brydson, told the Star in an email that Brydson “certainly did not” make an unauthorized withdrawal of $106 million, adding “It is really an entirely ridiculous allegation to imply that Sherry Brydson ‘stole’ money from the company set up to hold the wealth of herself and her then minor children. These transactions were fully reported in Westerkirk’s financial statements and were properly implemented so as to be completed in a tax efficient manner.”
Levitt said he will be filing reply pleadings “respecting the many corporate inaccuracies respecting governance in the plaintiff’s pleadings — and there are many.”
In an emailed statement to the Star, a spokesperson for Westerkirk wrote that “Westerkirk and the Brydson family have filed a Statement of Defence and Counterclaim in response to Mr. Lawson’s claims. They will continue to seek redress through the courts and will have no further comment at this time.”
Lawson claims he was fired without proper authority, “to prevent a formal reorganization of Westerkirk governance” that Brydson did not like, according to his defence document.
Brydson’s side claims Lawson was appropriately fired after he asked her to sign resolutions to approve “this ill-advised new structure” that was engineered by Lawson without her knowledge or consent.
“At all material times, Brydson was the only person who had the authority to terminate Lawson” and the termination was “to protect the interests of Westerkirk and were in accordance with Brydson’s obligations and duties as a director,” the 49-page counterclaim alleges.
It claims Brydson “required the advice and assistance of a scrupulously honest and capable CEO to manage the assets of Westerkirk” and relied on Lawson to act in her best interests. Instead, “Lawson serially took advantage of her through a pattern of dishonesty and self-dealing.”
It further alleges that Lawson referred to Brydson as “crazy” to subordinates and business associates; forwarded confidential Westerkirk information to his wife; knowingly paid about half the actual market value to acquire a Westerkirk-owned painting; and arranged for himself senior appointments to the Jockey Club of Canada and Woodbine Entertainment Group, working for them during Westerkirk hours, according to court filings.
Lawson’s defence claims he had a written agreement to purchase the painting from Westerkirk at $32,000, and that the transaction was transparent and approved by the corporation’s chief financial officer; denies he made disparaging remarks “that caused dysfunction and discontent at Westerkirk” and did not breach confidentiality.
Lawson now chairs the Woodbine Entertainment Group, which oversees two of Ontario’s largest horse racing tracks — Woodbine in Toronto and Mohawk in Milton.
He is also chair of the CFL’s board of governors.
Brydson, a former journalist, does not maintain a high profile in Canada. The mother of three children has been described as an activist, philanthropist and entrepreneur who holds the largest single stake in the Thomson family fortune. Her wealth has been estimated at more than $6 billion by Canadian Business magazine.
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey was disqualified from the US PGA Championship after the second round for failing to "recreate his lie" after removing a ball from sand.
American Scott Verplank withdrew from the US PGA Championship with a hip problem half-way through his second round at the Ocean Course.
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