Doug Ford says “the stars are aligning” for him to seek the Progressive Conservative leadership and he will make up his mind within the next few days.
The runner-up to mayor-elect John Tory in last month’s Toronto election said he should know by Thursday if he will run to succeed Tim Hudak as Conservative leader.
“I just know if we roll out the machine it will be a massive machine and it will benefit the PC Party, but more importantly it will benefit the people of Ontario, that’s what I believe,” he said Tuesday.
Ford’s comments came the morning after the first Tory leadership candidates’ debate in Sudbury.
“Interesting debate last night,” the departing Etobicoke city councillor said with a chuckle about the low-key event attended by about 120 people that received little province-wide media attention beyond the Star.
“I’d add a little spice to it, that’s for sure. I’d liven it up,” he said.
“You know what’s missing? The word is ‘pizzazz.’ There’s no pizzazz there. It’s all rah-rah-rah. We should be going into these towns and filling it up with 500 to 1,000 people.”
While Ford sounds eager to hit the campaign trail, he emphasized he hasn’t fully decided yet.
“Let’s see what happens over the next few days. The stars are aligning,” he said.
“Any fight I’ve ever been in in my life — political, business or anything else — you always have to know you have a chance to win.”
The next PC leader will be elected at a party convention May 9 in Toronto.
It’s already a crowded field with MPPs Christine Elliott (Whitby-Oshawa), Vic Fedeli (Nipissing), MPP Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton), Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex), and MP Patrick Brown (Barrie).
The Tories lost nine seats in the June 12 election and handed a majority government to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals thanks mostly to a controversial pledge to scrap 100,000 public service positions to help balance the books.
Since then, all leadership candidates have renounced that stance as they rebuild toward the 2018 election and agree the party must make inroads in urban Ontario.
Ford — who received 331,006 votes in the Oct. 27 mayoral race compared with 218,589 for all 23 PC candidates in Toronto on June 12 — has said the Tories cannot abandon cities to the Liberals and New Democrats.
Former Q host Jian Ghomeshi has withdrawn his $55 million lawsuit against the CBC, says Chuck Thompson, spokesman for the national broadcaster.
“The parties have reached a settlement; the lawsuit has been withdrawn but it still needs to be formalized through a court order,” Thompson told the Star on Tuesday.
The deal was reached last Friday.
Ghomeshi must pay $18,000 in legal costs to the CBC, Thompson said, related to the terms of the settlement. The CBC had previously asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
Ghomeshi filed the lawsuit the day after he was terminated by the CBC.
In the lawsuit, Ghomeshi had claimed that, in firing him, the corporation had acted “in bad faith.”
Ghomeshi’s termination came on the same day he showed CBC executives videos that showed bruising on the body of a woman he had dated, the Star has reported.
He also showed the same executives text messages that referred to a “cracked rib.”
Toronto police said in October that detectives from the sex crimes unit were investigating allegations of sexual violence made against the former CBC radio personality.
Since then, at least three women have spoken with police in relation to the allegations.
The Star first reported in October that several women alleged Ghomeshi had punched, slapped or choked them without their consent.
Shortly after he was fired, Ghomeshi said in a Facebook post that he was being fired after the CBC became aware of his interest in what he described as “adventurous forms of sex.”
Since then, he has made only one public statement, in which he said he would “meet these allegations directly.”
WestJet Airlines has always prided itself on being a different kind of airline.
But the Calgary-based carrier is suddenly facing turbulence as it struggles to reach agreements with flight attendants and pilots amid separate unionization drives.
WestJet’s 2,600 flight attendants were allowed to vote for the first time on a proposed agreement that sets out pay and work rules. They rejected it Monday, with 57 per cent voting against the deal. Turnout was high, with 90 per cent of members casting ballots.
“We were surprised. We felt we had negotiated the majority of the flight attendants’ wants,” said Anthony Pascale, chair of the flight attendants association board. “This is a bump in the road.”
The rejection is not expected to have any direct impact on service, given that the airline’s workers are not unionized.
Pascale refused to speculate on the reasons for the rejection, saying a survey is being circulated over the next week. “We will compile all the data, and then we will regroup and see what comes of it,” he said.
The agreement was first announced in October, after six months of negotiations. Similarly, WestJet’s pilots are set to vote on a new agreement in the coming weeks, after they rejected a proposal a year ago.
Tyson Matheson, WestJet’s vice-president of inflight, said the “no” vote among flight attendants was a disappointment, but added that the company will try to reach an agreement at the negotiating table. If not, then the parties can consider mediation or binding arbitration.
As WestJet continues to expand, with new regional airline Encore and plans to fly wide-body aircraft next year, Matheson said the airline wanted to formalize the way decisions are made “so our flight attendants get their fingerprints on decisions we are making that impact them,” he said.
Two unionization drives are underway for the company’s flight attendants. One group, started by eight flight attendants, calls itself the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents flight attendants at other airlines including Air Canada, has also made several attempts to sign up WestJet’s flight attendants.
A group calling itself the WestJet Professional Pilots Association also has efforts underway to organize the company’s 1,300 pilots.
York University business professor Fred Lazar noted that with 57 per cent of flight attendants voting against the agreement, it’s not impossible for the company to win over employees.
“You don’t have to offer much more to get a majority supporting it,” he said. “If it were 75 per cent plus, that indicates there’s a problem.”
Lazar added that while WestJet, which has been enjoying strong profits, touts its profit-sharing program with employees, he suspects payouts are not that large on an individual basis. That may result is some employee discontent.
Last Friday, WestJet had its semi-annual profit sharing day, where $23 million were paid out to employees. For flight attendants, payouts depend on hours worked, so the company could not provide an average.
Matheson said that airline has always had a target on its back from those trying to unionize. “Regardless, if this (agreement) was voted in, we would still have that threat,” he said. “As one of the only airlines out there that is non-union, it becomes that much more enticing for a union to come in.”
FERGUSON, MO.—A day of tears gave way to another night of fears in this ravaged St. Louis suburb, as heavily reinforced police mobilized throughout Ferguson, vowing to prevent a repeat of Monday’s mayhem.
Busloads of Missouri National Guard troops in full riot regalia fanned out across the steps of Ferguson police headquarters just before sunset, the front edge of what officials said was a deployment of more than 2,000.
Across town, near the site of the deadly August encounter between a white policeman and an unarmed black teen that a grand jury now has deemed legal, burned-out and badly looted West Florissant Ave. was in veritable lockdown, with police roadblocks preventing all but residential traffic.
As the latest battle lines took shape, fury, sorrow and blame-storming gripped Ferguson, where pointed questions flew over who bears ultimate responsibility for the flames that all but subsumed the forward-looking message protesters and city leaders hoped would prevail.
Many blamed terrible timing — the inexplicable decision by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to announce the jury’s de facto exoneration of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson after 8 p.m. Monday — needlessly making an already dangerous situation that much worse.
Others questioned the absence of a police and fire response in the hardest hit areas of Ferguson, wondering how it was possible that so many days of preparations could result in zero presence on West Florissant, where hooliganism reigned for hours on end. Heavily criticized for an overtly militarized response to earlier clashes in Ferguson, Monday’s security response seemed to veer to the other extreme, ceding the city’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods to banditry.
Others still found a conspicuous scapegoat in Louis Head, the stepfather of slain teen Michael Brown, who broke with the family’s message of peace in the emotion-charged minutes following the grand jury ruling, repeatedly urging a large crowd of supporters to “burn this bitch down.”
President Barack Obama, speaking from Chicago, took aim at those who interpreted Ferguson as an “excuse for violence.
“I have no sympathy for that. I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.”
Without referencing the specifics of the Michael Brown case, Obama signalled the White House and U.S. Justice Department were readying “trust-building” efforts aimed at closing gaps apparent in communities like Ferguson, acknowledging the sense of exclusion is “not just made up, it’s rooted in realities that have existed for a long time.
“To those who are prepared to work constructively, I want you to know your president will work with you,” he said.
Nowhere, however, were the perceptual gaps more apparent than in the bitterly divided views of the grand jury outcome itself.
Wilson’s published testimony and excerpts of an interview Tuesday with ABC News both cast the six-year Ferguson Police veteran as remarkably at ease with taking Brown’s life, even if the way he described it struck many as stretching the bounds of credulity.
Wilson answered a flat “no” when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos whether there was anything he could have done to prevent the killing. He also shrugged off the suggestion the shooting would haunt him, calling it “just something that happened.”
Lawyers for Michael Brown’s family vowed to push for federal charges against Wilson as they renewed their calls for peace following Monday’s night of violent protests.
The lawyers alleged the grand jury process was rigged from the start to clear Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of the teen. And they criticized everything from the types of evidence McCulloch presented to the jury to the way it was presented and the timing of the grand jury’s decision. They also said they hope that a federal civil rights investigation will result in charges against Wilson.
This is pretty heady company.
As the discussion of Kyle Lowry focuses on his willingness to take a big shot, his ability to make a big play, his knack for dominating the game-changing moments, teammates and coaches trot out some big-time names.
“He kind of reminds me of Chauncey (Billups),” was how Amir Johnson put it, evoking comparisons to a former NBA Finals MVP known as “Mr. Big Shot.”
“We had Gary Payton in Seattle, he reminds me so much of Gary in those situations,” says coach Dwane Casey, going Johnson one further and liking the Raptors point guard to a Hall of Famer.
Pretty heady company, indeed.
Lowry has shown an uncanny ability to make big plays at big moments in this wondrous start to the season for the Raptors and the interesting thing about it is the variety of ways that he does it.
In Boston, he had a shocking strip of an over-matched rookie and a no-look drop pass to DeMar DeRozan that sealed a win.
Against Utah, he made a clutch shot in the dying minutes that basically sealed a win.
Monday against Phoenix, he had an amazing few seconds that included a blocked shot, a steal, an assist and an offensive foul charged that was a tour de force. And it was eclipsed in the final 30 seconds by another steal off Isaiah Thomas and a jump ball forced that was the defining late-game play in Toronto’s fifth straight win.
“He can’t tell you the technique he uses, he just gets it done,” said Casey. “A loose ball on the floor, he’s going to come up with it; a charge to be taken, he’s going to get it. Last night, it was a blocked shot (and) at his size, he got it. He just finds a way in those situations to get it done and it’s just the DNA of Kyle.”
Adds Johnson: “He takes the big shots, the clutch shots, he keeps going, always keeps the motor going, just like Chauncey.”
Proving that it is truly instinctual, Lowry can’t explain how he does what he does when he does it. In the speed of the game and at frenetic moments, there isn’t time to think, there’s just time to react. He’s repeatedly called them simply “basketball plays” and that’s probably the best description.
Even if there’s no way to figure out where those instincts come from.
“Playing basketball?” he asks rhetorically. “Playing basketball for 20-something years of my life, it just happens. You’ve got a feel for certain situations at certain times in a game.
“I think you just have it. If you’ve got it, you’ve to it from the day you start playing the game, to be honest.”
Led by Lowry’s late-game big plays, the Raptors have become one of the best closing teams in the NBA this season, a continuation of a trait that first emerged last year.
Toronto is 10-0 this season when it leads a game going into the fourth quarter and 4-0 in games decided by four points or fewer. In past years, they tended to collapse late in games, so far this season, they have thrived.
“That’s all we did in training camp, we did late-game situations,” said Lowry. “Coach (Casey) really hammered it home and made us understand that these are the types of situations we’re going to be in and (Monday) night was one situation that we worked, a team comes back on us making threes, small lineup and we just had to make an adjustment.”
And Lowry made big plays. Like usual.
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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