Archive | May, 2018

Tensions rise in South Asian community in wake of Mississauga restaurant bombing

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

Wild speculation over possible motivations for Thursday’s bomb blast at a popular Indian restaurant in Mississauga has exacerbated tensions within local South Asian communities.

As police continued their manhunt Saturday for two suspects behind the audacious late-night attack, which injured 15 people at a Bombay Bhel restaurant, media and online commenters suggested a multiplicity of causes, from white supremacy to Islamic terror to Sikh nationalism.

Such speculation prompted the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC), a major Sikh organization, to take the unusual step of condemning both the attack itself and the rumours that followed — some of which it claims have been spread by “foreign media outlets,” in particular Indian media.

“Upon further investigation, we can verify that Indian media outlets have engaged in the spread of misinformation regarding this tragedy,” the committee said.

The written statement, co-signed by OGC spokesperson Amarjit Singh Mann and OGC member Bhagat Singh Brar, signals distrust within the Sikh community of Indian officials in Canada. It criticizes the Indian Consulate of Toronto for overstepping its diplomatic reach by establishing a hotline to gather information on the bombing.

People with possible information on the case should be contacting Peel police, the committee said, not the Indian Consulate. It called upon Indian officials “to stay within their diplomatic parameters when operating in Canada and to immediately end their continued interference in Canadian domestic matters.”

A spokesperson for the Indian Consulate of Toronto declined to comment on the Sikh statement.

One official with the Gurdwaras Committee, speaking to the Star on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized as an official spokesperson, said the statement reflected “deep — and unwarranted — anxiety within the community.”

 “If it were quote-unquote ‘trolls’ pointing fingers it wouldn’t bother us so much,” the source said. “The fact that an actual news broadcast in India, within minutes of the attack, pointed to Sikhs as possibly being involved sent us into panic mode,” the official said.

“There is obviously pre-existing tension. Many Sikhs in Canada feel they were dragged through the mud for two months after Prime Minister Trudeau’s India trip, in part because of an Indian media narrative that too many Canadian media seemed to have just copied-and-pasted, without realizing the media in India is mostly controlled by government parties.”

Rattan Mall, editor of the Indo-Canadian Voice, a leading forum for South Asian news in Canada, said the Sikh statement reflects ongoing tension within what is a “pretty divided community at the moment.” But he cautioned that there is nothing to suggest any link between that tension and the attack in Mississauga.

“Everyone needs to cool the baseless speculation and let the police do their job. It could be anything at this point,” said Mall. “Once they determine what this really was, then you can start pointing all the fingers you’ve got.”

Officials shed no new light Saturday on what prompted two masked men to ignite an improvised explosive device aimed at some 40 diners inside Bombay Bhel, a popular eatery on Hurontario St. near Eglinton Ave.

Peel police say there is no indication it was a hate crime or an act of terror, but nothing has been ruled out as the investigation proceeds. They confirmed “multiple agencies” are assisting in the probe and they vowed to collar the two suspects, who were captured on security video entering the restaurant, their faces obscured by hoodies and caps.

“We’re going to get these guys. They’re not going to get away with it,” said Const. Bally Saini, a Peel police spokesperson. She appealed for the public to be patient, decrying the rush to judgment.

“Our investigators are taking the time they need to comb through everything — and they are doing it with all the help they need from other agencies, including the RCMP,” Saini said.

Thursday night’s blast triggered international headlines focusing on the GTA as a site of attack, barely a month after 10 people were murdered in a van rampage on Yonge St. in North York.

Unlike April’s deadly attack, Thursday’s blast saw all 15 victims, who ranged in age from 23 to 69, released from hospital within a day, including three who had been critically injured — a 35-year-old Brampton man and two Mississauga women, 62 and 48.

It was a rare, non-lethal outcome for bombings that attract international attention.

“That is the one nice thing about this — everyone is out of hospital already,” Saini said. “That and the fact that while children were in attendance at the restaurant, none of the children were injured.”

Victims have yet to be officially identified, but details continue to emerge about the chaotic moments as two separate birthday parties were interrupted by the bomb blast.

One woman told reporters how a group of revellers, feting a woman who had just arrived from India that day, initially thought the bomb was a birthday cake with lit candles that had somehow gone awry. They hadn’t noticed the attackers enter the restaurant because their backs were to the door.

“They literally got up to cut the birthday cake, and she had the candles lit and she was about to blow them out and there was a huge bomb sound … They were laughing about it, being like, ‘Oh my God, that was like some birthday cake!’”

They quickly realized it was something far more serious, the woman said, in an interview broadcast on the Tag TV news channel and other outlets.

“Some people had fallen on the floor. People hadn’t realized how badly injured they were, but the bomb was right behind them. The person whose birthday it was was probably the least injured because she had rows of people behind her … They’ve been injured very badly on the back of their legs, everyone.”

A sense of normalcy was returning to the stricken Mississauga neighbourhood Saturday afternoon, with most of the plaza housing the still-shuttered restaurant and other nearby shops open for business. A large section of the parking lot remained cordoned off and forensic investigators could be seen working behind the restaurant.

Frank Sgro works at Sleep Country two doors away from Bombay Bhel. He’d closed up shop at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and didn’t notice anything unusual as he left through the back door. Saturday was the first day his store had reopened following the bombing.

“Yesterday everything was shut down,” Sgro said. He noted the store was quieter than usual Saturday afternoon.

“When I drove up I wasn’t even sure if we (had) access to our store,” Sgro said. “There’s been a couple people in, but most of them have been trying to get to Service Ontario.”

Service Ontario is the only store in the bustling strip mall that has not reopened its doors following Thursday’s incident.

Kim Rule, who owns a Pet Valu store opposite Bombay Bhel, said business was quieter than a typical Saturday. But one thing all of her customers had in common was curiosity.

“We’ve been steady, but it’s quieter today for sure,” Rule said. “Everyone that comes in asks (what happened).”

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Justin Trudeau’s India trip focus of jabs at parliamentary press gallery dinner

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

OTTAWA—Federal party leaders got a few digs in at one another and at themselves at the parliamentary press gallery dinner Saturday night.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs — and Trudeau himself addressed the issue by showing a slide show of the trip and joking that he never wanted to take another trip again.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh poked fun at the prime minister for his attempt at an Indian bhangra dance while on the trip, then proceeded to lead an instruction of the proper way to perform the dance.

But Trudeau wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of jokes.

Resurrecting his milk-carton joke from last year’s press gallery dinner, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer brought a milk jug onstage with a photo of Singh and the word “missing” on it, referring to criticism Singh has faced for not spending enough time in Ottawa.

Several joking references were also made about Scheer and Singh being lesser known to the public.

Ending his remarks on a serious note, Trudeau thanked the journalists for their work, stressing the importance of an independent news media that holds governments to account.


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Canadian employers struggle with balancing costs, needs of resources when it comes to providing childcare

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

CALGARY — One of the keys to Jenna Pickering’s return to work at the Suncor Energy Inc. head office in downtown Calgary was making sure her son Luke had a place at the affiliated daycare in the same office tower — even before he was born.

“I think I was about six months along and I put ‘Baby Pickering’ on the wait list,” the 33-year-old recalled with a laugh.

When her husband Shea, 34, got a job at the Suncor building two years ago and their 18-month-old daughter, Hannah, started going to daycare last year, the daily grind truly became a family affair.

Each day, they drop Luke, now 4, and Hannah off at the daycare on the third floor before mom and dad head up to their respective floors.

The Pickerings know they are among the lucky few in Canada to have childcare at the office.

Despite the rising number of women in the workforce and a federal government push to help even more join — an effort it says will add billions of dollars to the country’s economy — few Canadian employers offer childcare in the workplace.

In 2000, a federal government study found 338 work-related childcare centres operating in the country. The survey counted on- and off-site daycares supported by an employer, a group of employers, a union or an employee group, that sought to meet the needs of employees.

Employment and Social Development Canada said it could not find more recent figures, while advocacy group Childcare Resources, whose 1992 study identified fewer than 200 employer-related daycares, stopped collecting data on employer centres years ago because of their rarity.

Even when offered financial incentives by government, employer apathy persisted.

In last year’s otherwise childcare-friendly budget, the Liberals quietly axed a Harper government initiative that provided employers a 25 per cent tax credit to a maximum of $10,000 per space on costs incurred to build or expand licensed childcare facilities.

The goal of the program implemented in 2006 was to create 5,000 new workplace daycare spaces annually, but fewer than 100 individuals and 20 corporations were claiming the credit each year, according to Finance Canada.

Employers’ lack of interest in childcare in Canada is disappointing, said Tanya van Biesen, executive director for Catalyst Canada, whose mission is advancing women’s progress in the workplace.

Many parents have no choice but stay home to watch their children because they would be “breaking even or falling behind” financially if they had to pay full fare for daycare, she said.

“For many years, people didn’t really think about or care about the fact that women were exiting stage right because they didn’t have any other options,” she said.

Employers recognize childcare is a major factor in attracting and retaining female employees, but balancing the costs and matching needs with resources is difficult, said Peter Dugandzic, CEO of Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta.

“I think that’s the issue for most companies. One, there’s the cost, and secondly, the physical layout,” he said.

While some employers advertise daycare access to attract staff, most — if not all — refer to third-party services. Some subsidize certain costs or provide the space to daycare operators for free in return for preferred access.

For example, when Mediacorp named BASF Canada as one of its Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2018, it cited the chemical company’s programs including salary top-ups and extended leave for new mothers and fathers — and mentioned the private onsite daycare at its Mississauga, Ont., head office.

But the company has no formal relationship and doesn’t financially support the daycare on the ground floor, said Terri Howard, director of human resources.

Among the few employers that do provide childcare services, many of them are public institutions, such as universities and even Parliament Hill.

At Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby, B.C., campus, a daycare centre that has operated for at least 50 years is run by a non-profit operator with preference for its 315 spaces given to employees and students.

The university provides space on its grounds rent-free and subsidizes the salaries of two employees, at an annual cost of about $500,000, said Sandi de Domenico, associate vice-president of human resources.

The benefits in recruiting and retention of staff justifies the cost, she said. However, the university’s two other campuses in the area don’t offer childcare and de Domenico couldn’t say why.

Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026 by employing more women in technology and taking steps like providing better access to childcare to boost women’s participation in the workforce, McKinsey Global Institute estimated last year.

In the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields — areas that Canada is focused on strengthening due their potential contributions to economic growth — women represent just 20 per cent of jobs in the field.

“Tech doesn’t traditionally support parents,” said Amanda Munday, an advocate for women-identified rights who works at technology startup HiMama in Toronto.

“When you think about evening workshops, beer and ping-pong night-time activities, long hours, those things are not conducive to the parent lifestyle.”

Munday estimates it costs $3,400 per month for good-quality daycare for her two kids, a bill she recognizes is unaffordable for her startup employer.

Her return to work after having her daughter four years ago, therefore, involved compromises. She negotiated a flexible schedule, including sometimes working from home, and unlimited sick days for her and her children. Her daughter attends preschool three days a week and Munday’s mother watches her son to save on daycare costs.

Daycare at work is a major perk of working at Suncor for the Pickerings. The company doesn’t subsidize their daycare costs, but the fees are competitive.

Jenna Pickering said the children thrive there, excited by fire drills and enjoying regular walks through downtown.

“I went into having children knowing I wanted to go back to work,” she said.

“It’s still a hard choice, but I like having them close by and this is the best of both worlds.”


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NDP’s Horwath goes to Etobicoke North to warn Ontarians ‘can’t afford Ford’

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath went to the heart of the so-called “Ford Nation” to warn voters that the Progressive Conservative leader’s tax plan will benefit wealthy people such as Ford, himself.

“Doug Ford says he’s for the people, but it’s clear his plan is for the rich,” Horwath said Monday at a coffee shop in Etobicoke North, where Ford is the local PC candidate.

 “We can’t afford Ford,” said Horwath, who noted that his tax cuts, bankrolled by $6-billion in annual service cuts, will only give $18 back to most ordinary Ontarians, while wealthier people would see almost $1,200 a year.

“When all of those taxes are taken out of the system, hospitals are going to get worse, nurses are going to get laid off, teachers are going to get laid off, our schools are going to continue to crumble,” she said.

At the same time, Horwath noted Ford, a millionaire and scion of a well off, political family, opposes increasing the $14-an-hour minimum wage to $15 in January, which she and Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne favour.

That would mean an additional $2,000 a year to a full-time worker earning the minimum wage.

“This is something that is very different from what Mr. Ford is offering lower income workers. Mr. Ford is saying ‘you don’t get the $15 minimum wage.’ His plan actually rips people off by about a thousand bucks,” she said, referring to Ford’s proposal to have minimum-wage earners be exempt from provincial income tax, for a savings of about $1,000 annually.

“He’s great with the bumper stickers …, but the minute you peel back a layer, you see his plan is a plan that is not for the people.”

Horwath’s event was briefly hijacked by local Liberal candidate Shafiq Qaadri, who has represented the riding since 2003.

Qaadri and a small group of supporters said they just happened to be canvassing nearby and wanted to “welcome” Horwath to the neighbourhood.

 “I think it’s unfortunate that they’ve decided to do this. Nice to see you, Shafiq. What am I going to say? It’s their decision to behave that way,” the NDP leader said.

The veteran Liberal insisted he was “very coincidentally” nearby and “thought we’d crash the party, as it were.”

Qaadri conceded “it may be” bad form to show up at a rival party’s event.

“We want to get the message out …: we do share a common goal about stopping the Ford machine,” said Qaadri, who stressed that the Liberals and New Democrats should work together to defeat the Conservatives.

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Expect more hot, sunny weather in Toronto this week

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

If you haven’t pulled out the fans or cranked up the air conditioning yet, this might be the week to get to it.

Torontonians are in for a humid, sunny week ahead with occasional rain.

Monday starts off with a hot high of 31 C. Environment Canada says UV rays will be strong so don’t forget the sunscreen. It’ll cool down at night to 18 degrees, but it’s still going to be humid.

Plan on Tuesday being the perfect summer day with a tolerable temperature of 24 degrees and clear skies.

The rest of the week will gradually cool down. Look forward to temperatures between 23 C to 26 C for the rest of the week with a mix of sun and cloud.

Environment Canada is calling for showers from Wednesday night through to the end of the week.


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Toronto’s new ward boundaries challenged in court

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

The fate of how Toronto’s 2018 election will be run rests in the hands of Superior Court Justice Katherine Swinton.

On Friday, in a sunlit courtroom on the second floor of Osgoode Hall just steps away from city hall, the judge heard arguments about whether the court should consider an appeal of the city’s new ward boundary structure.

In what may be an unprecedented move, the case contesting a city council decision, which was confirmed by a provincial tribunal, was brought by a sitting city councillor and a local resident.

A decision will be given at a later date.

Swinton’s judgment will be pivotal to how the municipal election on Oct. 22 will be run.

But there are pressing timelines. The nomination period for candidates to sign up and run for a council seat opens May 1 — just two months from now.

The city approved a 47-ward structure recommended by independent consultants in 2016, which would increase the number of councillors by three. That decision was affirmed by the Ontario Municipal Board, a provincial tribunal that has the final say in land-use disputes, in December. That came just before a deadline to have those ward boundaries take effect for the 2018 election.

There are now two issues that have been raised in court: Firstly, whether the court should hear an appeal of the OMB decision, and secondly, how the 2018 election should be run.

The legal team for Councillor Justin Di Ciano, who represents Ward 5 (Etobicoke Lakeshore) and Tony Natale, a real estate broker who lives in the Davenport area, argued Friday the OMB erred in its decision.

An appeal can only be heard on the basis that there has been a specific error in law.

The city’s lawyers argued that was not the case and that leave to appeal should not be granted by the court. They also argued the OMB’s decision was not appealable to the court at all.

Lawyer Bruce Engell, representing Di Ciano and Natale, also argued that the city failed to pass a bylaw confirming the number of councillors on council, which he says creates a “legal vacuum” where 47 wards could be in place but only 44 councillors elected. Toronto council is currently made up of 44 councillors and the mayor.

City lawyer Glenn Chu responded saying a bylaw confirming one councillor be elected per ward has already been passed. The city has asked the court to confirm how the election should be run: With 47 ward seats up for grabs.

None of those issues have been decided.

Di Ciano and Natale argue that a 25-ward structure, which follows federal electoral districts, is superior to the council-approved 47-ward structure.

The OMB earlier agreed with the city’s position that there were no “clear and compelling reasons” to overturn the council-approved 47-ward option.

Those arguments were rehashed in court on Friday.

“There’s no reason to doubt its correctness or reasonableness,” city lawyer Brendan O’Callaghan said of the OMB’s decision.

The 47-ward structure would see the area where Di Ciano’s family home is located cut out of the ward he currently represents. On Friday, he told the Star that did not factor into his decision to appeal the decision. He said he believes the 47-ward option was based on a flawed methodology.

A candidate does not have to live in the ward they wish to represent, they only have to be a resident of the city. Di Ciano won with 54 per cent of the vote in 2014.

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Higher interest rates add to home buyer struggles

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

First-time home buyers already struggling with more stringent mortgage rules have been dealt another blow by an increase this week in the Bank of Canada’s five-year mortgage rate.

The move is also one more reason why the Toronto region’s soft spring real estate market could linger longer, according to some.

On Wednesday the Bank of Canada followed the country’s big banks and announced it was raising its 5.14 per cent benchmark mortgage rate to 5.34 per cent.

The central bank rate is different from the rates that banks offer consumers, but it’s used to assess mortgage applications.

Since Jan. 1, home buyers with a 20 per cent downpayment have had to qualify at the central bank’s five-year rate or at 2 percentage points higher than the mortgage rate being offered by their bank.

That alone has diminished buying power by 16.5 per cent, according to a recent report by Royal LePage.

Higher fixed rate mortgages alone won’t be enough to cause a dramatic drop in activity, but it will reinforce the trend to longer commutes for more affordable homes and add demand to the already hot condo market, said Sotheby’s CEO Brad Henderson.

“We’re coming off a historic period where interest rates have been so low that homebuyers have enjoyed the ability to borrow vast amounts of money not only for home purchasers but their lifestyles,” he said.

“It’s just another small number of people who aren’t going to qualify for the mortgage they had hoped for and have to now explore some alternatives,” said Cynthia Holmes, chair of the real estate management department at the Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management.

Those alternatives could include waiting longer to buy or turning to other lenders such as private companies or credit unions, which are provincially rather than federally regulated and therefore not bound to apply the stress test.

 “That has no broad impact on the housing market, but it has an impact on our financial system,” said Holmes.

If interest rates rise this year, she added, it makes the stress test qualification more onerous and so the amount people qualify for will get smaller.

It will also impact consumers looking to renew their mortgages. Those home owners don’t have to qualify under the new stress tests if they stay with the same bank. But if they decide to shop around for a lower rate with another institution, they could have to qualify again with the stress tests, as well as higher rates, Holmes said.

“That means some people are holding a mortgage and they wouldn’t actually qualify for the mortgage they already have,” said Holmes.

The rate hike comes in a year when 47 per cent of all existing mortgages will be renewed, according to CIBC Capital Markets.

According to online financial hub, Ratehub Inc., the rate hike, coupled with the stress test, would mean a $9,000 difference on what a buyer can afford if that consumer has a $90,000 income and a 10 per cent downpayment amortized over 25 years. That’s a $469,785 home at a rate of 3.09 per cent, versus a $460,852 home at the new qualifying rate of 5.34 per cent.

“It is hard to get people qualified,” said Sandra Barnes of Dominion Lending Centres.

“Qualifying at the benchmark rate and if you’ve got less than 20 per cent down, you have a 25-year amortization — that combination has really affected the first-time home buyer and their buying power,” said Barnes. If a home buyer has 20 per cent down and they qualify at the benchmark, lenders can use a 30-year amortization.

Mortgage broker Samantha Brookes of Mortgages of Canada says she’s already seeing clients struggling under new higher rates as they try to renew their loans.

“A lot of people are literally on the brink of losing their home or having to sell,” she said, adding that she has advised some to consider the latter option because they have re-financed their homes to the point where they have no equity remaining.

“People have been using their homes as ATMs over the last few years because the market has been going up so quickly,” she said.

He says the cooling effect of higher interest rates on housing sales is undeniable and further possible rate increases will add to the malaise. But this year’s dramatically reduced sales statistics look worse than they are on a year-over-year basis because sales and prices rose so high so fast in early 2017.

TD Bank was the first of the big five lenders to raise its five-year posted rate from 5.14 per cent to 5.59 per cent. It was followed by RBC, CIBC, national Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia, which posted smaller rises.


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Horwath focuses on people and their lives during leaders’ debate

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

TORONTO – Ontario families are feeling a new hope – hope that with Andrea Horwath, they won’t have to accept cuts, wait longer for care, or accept less from their government. The contrast with Doug Ford was clear during Sunday evening’s leaders’ debate, where Horwath laid out her positive vision for Ontario, while Doug Ford relied on petty personal smears.

“There is this growing sense that we don’t have to settle anymore,” said Horwath. “We can end hallway medicine. Have good schools and better jobs. Fix what’s wrong and do what’s right. So that families get ahead, seniors live in dignity, and our kids have a great future.

“For years, governments have been making life harder in Ontario. Health care waits are long and hallway medicine has reached a crisis point. Life is expensive. Together, we’re saying it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to accept Doug Ford’s $6 billion in cuts to health care, seniors care, transit and our children’s classrooms.”

Ford has promised at least $6 billion in across-the-board cuts. To do that, he’d have to close 36 hospitals, fire 28,000 nurses, close 780 schools, and fire 20,000 teachers. He has yet to release a platform, refusing to tell people exactly where the axe would fall and what he’d cut.

“Kathleen Wynne was a big disappointment – but instead of going from bad to worse, Ontarians have a choice this election. People can choose a premier that will invest in the services that matter most and help everyday families build a great life in our beautiful province. This election, Ontarians can choose change for the better.”



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‘Sanju’ new poster: Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor get funny, romantic

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

A new poster from ‘Sanju’ was released in which Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor was seen dressed in the 80s and having full masti. It is not yet clear what role Sonam is enacting in the Sanjay Dutt’s biopic but most probably she is portraying the role of Tina Munim whom the Sanjay dated at one point of his career.

Rajkumar Hirani tweeted about the film’s poster#A still from #Sanju ‘s crazy romantic love life! #SanjuTrailerundefined” style=”margin:0px;word-spacing:0px;white-space:pre-wrap;orphans:2;widows:2;float:none;background:white;color:rgb(28, 32, 34)” helvetica”,sans-serif”=””> out in 5 days on May 30th. #RanbirKapoor@VVCFilms@foxstarhindi@sonamakapoor

Talking about her short but significant role in ‘Sanju’, Sonam had earlier told DNA, “I have a small but important part in the movie. It’s not what everyone is thinking. I am not playing an actress. I am not allowed to say anything about it. But it has been wonderful working with Rajkumar Hirani. He is one of the biggest reasons why I said yes to this film.”

Sonam Kapoor captioned the image# “A page from #Sanju’s crazy romantic love life! Watch the #SanjuTrailer on 30th May. #RanbirKapoor @RajkumarHirani #RajkumarHiraniFilms @VVCFilms @foxstarhindi.”

In an interview with DNA, Hirani revealed the reason behind choosing Ranbir for the film. He said: ”Hmmm. Why Ranbir? The first reason for choosing him is that he’s a fantastic actor. And the second reason is that he is at the perfect age. I needed an actor who could be 21 (years old) because that is where the film begins. That was the age when Sanju was shooting for Rocky and his drug phase started. And then we have Sanju when he came out of prison (around 56 years). So, we needed someone who could fit that transformation”.

Produced by Vinod Chopra Films and Rajkumar Hirani Films in association with Fox star studios. ‘Sanju’ is slated to release on 29th June 2018.

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Here’s everything you need to know about Deepika Padukone’s superhero flick

Posted on 30 May 2018 by admin

After the release of Padmaavat, Deepika Padukone is yet to sing a film. Reportedly, she was waiting for the right project that she felt was suitable for her after Padmaavat. Although there is no confirmation yet, rumours are suggesting that Deepika has signed her next film in which she will be a part of the country’s first female superhero franchise.

The script is yet to be finalised, although sources suggest that Deepika has given her nod to the project.

According to reports, the makers will take inspiration from the popular DC character Wonder Woman for the film. Deepika’s look in the film will draw inspiration from Gal Gadot’s character. A source close the film spoke about the same to a leading daily. He said, “The costume will be sexy, not contrived or gimmicky. Since Deepika has an envious figure, a special outfit is being designed for her character which will be custom-made to facilitate hardcore physical combat and movement.”

The source added, “Deepika’s avatar is being fashioned after Gal Gadot’s in Wonder Woman. The developments have been kept under wraps with a creative team holding discreet meetings with Deepika on a regular basis. Presently, a running bid is on for Rs 300 crore among multiple investors.”

The source also mentioned that Deepika will undergo intense training for the film. He said, “The 32-year-old-actress will begin training extensively in mixed martial arts and different styles of hand-to-hand combat. Since this is a first-of-its-kind mega project, the timelines for pre-production will be long and the project will go on the floors next year.”

Deepika was supposed to be seen in Vishal Bhardwaj’s next in which also starred Irrfan Khan. But, due to Irrfan’s health condition, the project has been postponed indefinitely.


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