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Immigration minister criticizes Ontario Tories’ language on asylum seekers

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

HALIFAX—The federal minister of immigration is objecting to language being used by Ontario’s new Tory government to describe people claiming refugee status.

Last week a spokesman for Premier Doug Ford issued a statement describing asylum seekers as “illegal border crossers,” saying the influx has resulted in a housing crisis in Toronto and “threats to services that Ontario families depend on.”

Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, told a news conference today in Halifax that he’s “very concerned” by the comments made by Ford and Lisa MacLeod, the provincial cabinet minister responsible for immigration.

Hussen, himself an immigrant from Somalia, says Canada has a legal obligation under national and international law to give a fair hearing to refugee claimants.

The new Ontario government has said it wants additional financial help from Ottawa in handling asylum seekers in Toronto.

However, Hussen was non-committal about whether additional funding was forthcoming, saying he’s “perplexed” by the request at a time when the province hasn’t committed to help Ottawa with a plan to redirect migrants to temporary shelters outside of Toronto.

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Authorities say 33 dead in Quebec as humidity and heat wave blanket Eastern and Central Canada

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

The number includes 18 in Montreal, which has been hit hard by muggy temperatures for several days

MONTREAL — Quebec health authorities say 33 people in the province have died from heat-related complications over the last few days.

The number includes 18 in Montreal, which has been hit hard by muggy temperatures for several days.

The officials gave the update at a news conference in Montreal this morning.

No deaths have been reported in other provinces.

The ambulance service that serves a large swath of the Montreal area has called on people to refrain from calling unless it is a real emergency.

Urgences-sante says it has been inundated by the volume of calls — 1,200 calls per day in Montreal and nearby Laval over the past four days, which is 30 per cent more than usual on busy days.

With the muggy temperatures expected to persist for at least another two days, authorities are urging people to remain vigilant.

Officials across the province advised people to drink plenty of water and check in on neighbours or relatives and, if need be, get them to a place where air conditioning is available.

Environment Canada says a heat warning remains in effect for an area spanning southwestern and northeastern Ontario through southern Quebec and into the Atlantic region.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted condolences to the relatives of the Quebec victims.

Police and firefighters continue to go door to door in areas identified as having people considered at high risk: those with chronic illness or mental-health problems, those who live alone and people without air conditioning at home.

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Toronto home prices reach highest average price since May of last year

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

TORONTO — Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area rose 2.4 per cent in June compared to the same month a year ago, and were 17.6 per cent higher compared to May, according to the latest data released Thursday by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

The slight year-over-year increase followed a steep sales drop of 22.2 per cent in May across the GTA compared to May 2017, reflecting what TREB says is a continuing trend of volatile buyer reaction to various policy changes impacting the market.

The board said 8,082 homes changed hands in the GTA in June, with the average selling price edging up by two per cent on a year-over-year basis to $807,871.

Sales of detached homes led the way, with the board reporting 3,589 sales at average price of $1,033,574. TREB said 2,234 condos were sold during the month for an average of $561,097.

Board president Garry Bhaura said market conditions appear to be tightening with new listings down compared to last year.

At the same time, said Bhaura, home buyers are starting to move back into the market, with sales trending up from last year’s lows.

Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, says the board expects to see sales improve over the next year although issues surrounding the supply of listings will persist.

“This suggests that competition between buyers could increase, exerting increased upward pressure on home prices,” he said.

Bhaura said the board looks forward to working with the new Ontario government to ensure home ownership and affordability are a top priority.

“In this regard, one of the most important issues is ensuring that no new municipal land transfer taxes are imposed on home buyers.” he said.

In the City of Toronto in June, 3,096 homes were sold at average price of $870,559 while 4,986 homes were sold in the rest of the GTA at an average price of $768,945.

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Why the Bank of Canada should pull the trigger on another rate hike

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Kevin Carmichael: There’s an opportunity now for the Bank of Canada to raise, given the economy appears to be entering dog days.

A little more than a year ago, the Bank of Canada stopped worrying about Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and focused on real news.

“Life goes on and decisions must be made in the meantime,” Carolyn Wilkins, the senior deputy governor, said near the end of a speech in Winnipeg on June 12, 2017.

Four weeks later, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates for the first time during Stephen Poloz’s tenure as governor. It would do so again at its next opportunity in early September, putting the benchmark rate back at the level at which Poloz found it when he took over from Mark Carney in the middle of 2013.

Pretty much everyone expects the four men and two women on the central bank’s Governing Council will decide to lift the policy rate another quarter point to 1.5 per cent on July 11, which would be the first increase since January.

That’s the right call based on what the Bank of Canada has been telling us it cares about. If there is a pattern in the institution’s decision making over the past year it’s opportunism. Think back to last summer. Trump already had everyone good and freaked out halfway through 2017. Yet Canada’s economy was on a roll. It seemed likely that U.S. policy would disrupt things eventually, but the central bank had a moment of relative calm in which it could act — and used it.

Policymakers have a similar window now. The economy isn’t growing as quickly, but it’s probably stronger than it was at this point in 2017.

Employment has plateaued after two strong years; Statistics Canada reported on July 6 that employers added about 32,000 net positions last month, reducing the overall decline since January to about 17,000.

Some have described the net job losses this year in negative terms, but they are too small to be considered definitive statements about the direction of overall hiring, given the margin of error StatCan applies to its monthly Labour Force Survey.

The unemployment rate suggests the Canadian economy rarely has been stronger: it rose to six per cent in June, still one of the lowest rates found in records that date to the mid-1970s. The jobless rate increased because more than 75,000 individuals joined the labour pool in June, the biggest monthly increase in six years, according to StatCan. Only about half of them found jobs, so the unemployment rate rose. Still, it’s a positive sign because it suggests employers are starting to make places for marginalized workers, something Poloz has said he hoped could be achieved by keeping interest rates low.

“Any doubts that the recent pause in Canadian job growth might lead the Bank of Canada to hold off on a rate hike have likely been erased,” Brendon Bernard, a former Finance Department economist who now works at the Toronto office of Indeed, the web-based hiring company, said in a statement on the latest employment figures.

To be sure, Trump is less of a theoretical threat today than he was a year ago. The U.S. is now engaged in tit-for-tat trade skirmishes with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico that threaten to disrupt the strongest global economic growth in a decade.

That would hurt Canada, which has struggled to take full advantage of the surge in global demand. In a separate report on July 6, StatCan said the value of merchandise exports dropped 0.1 per cent in May from April — before Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum went into effect. International shipments of goods have averaged $47.3 billion per month this year, a three per cent increase from the monthly average in 2017, which is only mediocre given the level of demand.

“This is one of the rare instances where you could argue that given this uncertainty out there, why would you proceed with a rate hike if things turn from bad to worse later this summer?,” Stéfane Marion, chief economist at National Bank Financial, said in interview with BNN Bloomberg on July 3.

The central bank will rework its forecast to reflect the various tariffs that have been applied since its last economic outlook in April. It’s possible that the results of that work could prompt policymakers to leave interest rates unchanged, much as their assessment of the oil-price shock prompted them to unexpectedly cut interest rates in January 2015.

But it’s also time to acknowledge that monetary policy can’t do everything. Take hiring. Wholesalers and retailers have cut more than 60,000 positions since the start of the year, according to StatCan. It’s the only industry to post such a dramatic shift, either positively or negatively. Some of the job cuts will be in response to weaker demand. Higher minimum wages could be playing a role. Yet what if the main reason for the decline is automation and the surge in e-commerce? If it’s the latter, lower interest rates won’t bring back those retail jobs.

The central bank’s main job is to control inflation, which is currently on target. Its other main job is to oversee financial stability, which should be a worry after about a decade of ultra-low borrowing costs. Not everything can be about Trump. The Bank of Canada has an opportunity to raise interest rates and it should use it.


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Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli enjoy a stroll on Cardiff streets

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Anushka Sharma took a short break from her work and joined her hubby Virat Kohli in the UK where the Indian cricket team is all set to play their second T-20 against England. Ahead of the match, Virat and Anushka were spotted enjoying a stroll on the streets of Cardiff holding each other’s hands.

Both Anushka and Virat were dressed casually. In Cardiff, the couple also attended cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 37th birthday. The actress joined her husband Virat Kohli to UK for India-England T-20 series.

Wife Sakshi Dhoni and daughter Ziva joined in the birthday celebration of Mahi. Friends had a great fun and was seen smearing cake on Mahi’s face.

Anushka was also clicked travelling with hubby in the Indian cricket team bus.

Talking about India’s tour of England, Virat Kohli is on a three-month long tour for five Test matches against England. Last month, Anushka was spotted at Mumbai airport seeing off Virat.

On the work front, Anushka will next be seen in ‘Sui Dhaaga’ opposite Varun Dhawan and Aanand L Rai’s ‘Zero’ opposite Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.

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Arjun Kapoor’s comment on Katrina’s video will leave you in splits

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Katrina Kaif has shared a new video on her Instagram account last week and Arjun Kapoormade a humorous comment on it which will leave you in splits. The video that Kat shared was from her latest Malang photoshoot in which Katrina flaunts her sensuous body with dust background. While Katrina’s followers loved the video, Arjun Kapoor posted a funny comment. He wrote# “U got dandruff Katrina”.

Arjun Kapoor trolled the actress more than one. As soon as Katrina Kaif posted another gorgeous photo from the shoot, Arjun wrote# “And now ur ALL CLEAR !!! Good job Katrina…”

But this time, Katrina did not sit silent. She retorted, “@arjunkapoor I know you want to try these poses…. I’ll come back and show u, I promise”. She further commented: “@arjunkapoor even @varundvn can show u some poses in my absence”.

Varun Dhawan couldn’t stop himself from commenting on Kat’s tweet. He wrote ‘humility’ with a fire emoji.

Katrina Kaif, who was last seen in the blockbuster ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ is currently working on ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ with Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Sheikh and Amitabh Bachchan. She will be next seen in ‘Zero’ co-starring Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.

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Akshay Kumar, Mouni Roy break into gig at ‘Gold’ song launch

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Akshay Kumar and his ‘Gold’ co-star Mouni Roy broke into impromptu gig at the song launch of ‘Gold’. At the song launch of ‘Naino Se Baandhi’, Akshay and Mouni broke into crazy dance as they suddenly climbed on the table and dances madly. Mouni was dressed in a stunning saree while Akshay Kumar was seen in suit, boot.

Mouni Roy took to her social media account to share picture of the event and she captioned the video as, “It was a happy happyday”.

‘Gold’ directed by Reema Kagti is inspired from real life incidents and is based on the sport of hockey.

“People should know more about other sports like hockey, kabaddi, football rather than cricket. The audience should know more about hockey, and it should be encouraged.

“People should know what happened in 1948… How we won the first Olympic gold medal in hockey after the independence of India. I think things also have changed because the government is supporting the sport a lot, the number of medals are increasing in the game, so I am happy seeing the encouragement,” Akshay said.

In the film, Akshay plays a Bengali character named Tapan Das who encouraged young players to win hockey for independent India.

“I worked closely with our dialect coach. I have stayed in Kolkata for two years which actually helped me to play the character, its body language etc. I tried to speak with a Bengali accent… (but) I tried not to make it a caricature,” he said.

“I hope after this film, hockey gets the respect that it commands. It is an important game that gave our country the first ever gold medal after independence. So I hope things change after our film,” Akshay said.

The film also features Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh, Mouni Roy, Sunny Kaushal and the music is composed by Sachin-Jigar.

‘Gold’ is scheduled to release on August 15th.

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Paris Diary: Aaradhya poses like her mom Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter Aaradhya Bachchan are having a whale of time in Paris. The mother-daughter duo left for Paris few days ago. Pictures from Paris are doing all round the net. In one of the pictures, Aaradhya dressed in a monochrome dress and posed stylishly like her mom.

Aaradhya twinned with her star mother. She posed like a diva as she clicked playing on a carousel. Aishwarya captioned Aaradhya’s pic “My love.”

She headed to Paris to shoot for Swiss brand Longines’ new collection.

In one picture, Ash posed next to the carousel’s wooden horses, wearing an elegant black gown. She simply captioned the picture, “Today.”

On the work front, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be seen in ‘Fanney Khan’ co-starring Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao. The teaser of the film was released some days ago and it was highly liked.


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Tenaris Algoma Tubes Blames U.S. Tariffs For 40 Job Cuts

Posted on 05 July 2018 by admin

They had hired some new employees only months earlier.

An Ontario manufacturer is laying off approximately 40 workers, and says U.S. tariffs are to blame.

Seamless steel pipe manufacturer Tenaris Algoma Tubes is based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Less than a year ago, it hired 50 new workers as they were “cautiously optimistic” about the market, reported SooToday.

That has all fizzled after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration brought in a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel on June 1. It has created an”unsustainable market to serve our U.S. customers,” said David McHattie, head of Tenaris institutional relations, in a statement to media on Friday. “The market outlook remains uncertain as we continue to understand the full-scale impacts of cross-border tariffs.”

McHattie added the company is also feeling “the effect of increased import competition in Canada from countries no longer able to sell in the U.S. due to the Section 232 action on them.”

The 40 layoffs come into effect on July 1, the same day as Canada’s retaliatory tariffs kick in. Countermeasures include a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. steel and aluminium products, reflecting the U.S. tariffs on similar products from Canada. It also adds a 10 per cent surtax to a few other products including lawn mowers and whiskey.

The Canadian government is also providing $2 billion in aid to industries affected by the U.S. tariffs, and the money will likely be used expand a work-sharing program and improve a corporate innovation fund, Bloomberg reported.

TOM WILLIAMS VIA GETTY IMAGESSen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talks with reporters in the Capitol’s Senate subway before the Senate Policy luncheons on June 19, 2018.

The brewing trade war will likely affect people on both sides of the border, a fact that has U.S. Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey “really concerned.” His home state of Pennsylvania hosts the headquarters for Heinz and ketchup is one of the items targeted by Canadian tariffs, a point he raised recently with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“I’m really concerned about the retaliation, which hasn’t even really started to hit us yet. But it’s going to hit the people who make Kraft and Heinz products.”

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Man killed in Woodbridge shooting had family ties to organized crime

Posted on 05 July 2018 by admin

There are only two ways in and out of Castlepoint Dr., a quiet residential street where a man related to an organized crime boss and his female companion were murdered early Friday morning.

Investigators with the York Regional Police Homicide Unit are gathering video cam and home security video along the street since the shooting, hoping for hard physical evidence.

Police have not yet released any suspect information in the murders of Cosimo Ernesto Commisso, 33, of Woodbridge and Chantelle Almedia, 26, of Toronto.

Commisso was related to Cosimo (The Quail) Commisso of Siderno, Italy, considered by police there to be an ‘Ndrangheta organized crime boss.

A Star investigation last year found some of his Canadian relatives had clashed with an aggressive young computer-friendly newcomers from B.C. and Quebec allied to a gang called The Wolfpack Alliance.

Cosimo Ernesto Commisso lived at the Castlepoint Dr. home with his parents, and worked at the family’s two upscale restaurants in Woodbridge and Yorkville.

Cosimo Ernesto Commisso and Almedia were both dead when police arrived at approximately 12:45 a.m. at the detached brick home near Hwy. 27 and Langstaff Rd.

Neighbours said they heard about a half dozen gunshots.

A neighbour who would identify himself only as Tom described the residents of the home as “very good people, very nice people, very hardworking people.”

“They work hard, these people,” Tom said. “They’re always at the restaurant working,”

Tom said that the business at one of the restaurants has suffered since someone shot up the restaurant at Christmastime.

A Star investigation reported that there were two credible death threats against other men in the Commisso family in York Region last year, and that the men declined police protection from York Region police.

The threats came as enemies from a group called the Wolfpack Alliance had aligned itself with enemies of the GTA ‘Ndrangheta, the Star investigation found.

The killer on Friday morning was apparently waiting for the couple to arrive in a white Mazda SUV.

Almedia’s body was found in the Mazda while Cosimo Ernesto Commisso was on the driveway when police arrived.

Cosimo Ernesto Commisso clashed in 2016 with Anastasios (Tassos) Leventis, the brother of an accused drug trafficker connected to the Wolfpack Alliance, sources say.

Leventis, 39, from the St-Laurent borough of Montreal, was murdered in broad daylight in January 2017 in front of his condo complex on George St. near Adelaide St. E. in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, near George Brown College.

He was shot as he bolted in front of students, passersby, construction workers and area residents.

His older brother Mihale Leventis, 40, missed his Montreal funeral because he was in custody in the Montreal Detention Centre, awaiting trial on cocaine trafficking and gangsterism charges.

The Star investigation noted that tensions between the GTA ‘Ndrangheta and others in the underworld ramped up after Vito Rizzuto, considered by police to be Canada’s most powerful mobster, died in Montreal in December 2013 of reportedly natural causes.

Locals found themselves at odds with young computer-friendly newcomers from B.C. and Quebec allied to The Wolfpack Alliance, the Star investigation found.

Wolfpack supporters don’t have blood or ethnic ties, a code of conduct or a rigid hierarchy.

By contrast, the ‘Ndrangheta is steeped in a highly structured, quasi-religious criminal tradition that reaches back more than a century to the southern Italian region of Calabria.

There was enormous bad blood between the Rizzutos and local ‘Ndrangheta at the time of Rizzuto’s death. They were on opposite sides of a mob war in the early 2000s that saw Rizzuto’s father and eldest son murdered.

At the time of his death, Rizzuto was believed by police to have drafted a “black list” of men in the Commisso family he wanted killed.

The Star investigation reported that Tassos Leventis was called to a mid-afternoon meeting on Jan. 30, 2017 — the day he was murdered.

He had moved to downtown Toronto from Montreal more than a year ago to collect drug debts owed to Montrealers, the Star investigation was told.


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