Ottawa, Aug 7 (Canadian-Media): A weekend of extreme violence in Toronto has renewed calls for a national ban on handguns, but Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says "it's appropriate for the political parties to lay out for Canadians where they would go with this particular issue."
Toronto city council first asked Ottawa to enact a handgun ban more than a year ago in the wake of a shooting spree in the Danforth neighbourhood. The request was repeated in June after a shooting incident during the Toronto Raptors' victory celebration. And it was made again this past holiday weekend, after 14 separate shootings injured 17 people — a spasm of violence that Toronto Mayor John Tory described as "heartbreaking."
Last month, a Forum Research survey of 1,143 Toronto voters found that a majority of respondents — 62 per cent — expressed a belief that a handgun ban would reduce the number of gang shootings in the city.
And a national Angus Reid Institute poll in May found 61 per cent of respondents supported making it illegal for civilians to own a handgun — with 75 per cent in favour of a similar ban on all assault weapons. Two-thirds of respondents said they agreed with the idea of a taxpayer-funded buyback program to compensate gun owners if such bans were enacted.
#ComprehensiveOntarioPoliceServicesAct2019; #SylviaJones; #CarolineMulroney; #SpecialInvestigationsUnit; #SIU; #Firstations; #SpecialInvestigationsUnitAct2019; #PoliceServicesAct(1990), #ThePoliceServicesAct2018; #OntarioSpecialInvestigationsUnitAct2018; #JusticeTulloch; #ForensicLaboratoriesAct2018; #CoronersAct; #ReportoftheIndependentPoliceOversightReview
Toronto, Mar 26 (Canadian-Media): A Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 (COPSA2019) was passed by Ontario today by to fix the previous government's Bill 175 by which police were treated with suspicion making it more difficult for them to do their jobs, media reports said.
"Each and every day our police officers put their lives on the line to protect us," said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "Police have our back. And now their government has theirs."
"We are taking strong, balanced and fair action to restore accountability...that has left the people of Ontario and the police in the dark for far too long," said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.
"These changes will provide police with the tools...and focus the SIU's investigative resources where they are needed most, on criminal activity."
Sylvia Jones/Facetime Caroline Mulroney/Twitter
Besides streamlining the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation process, COPSA2019 will also reduce delays in the investigation process by increasing police oversight in Ontario to ensure more accountability.
COPSA2019 will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.
COPSA2019 will create the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 and the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 and repeal and replace the Police Services Act (1990), the Police Services Act, 2018 and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit Act, 2018.
It will also repeal the Policing Oversight Act, 2018 and the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal Act, 2018.
COPSA2019 would also give First Nations communities greater choice in how their policing services are delivered.
"The security of the people will always be a priority for this government, and we believe that our police forces...everyday heroes should not be treated with suspicion and scorn. Instead, they deserve our gratitude and respect...for a strengthened relationship between officers and the communities they serve," said Jones.
The Missing Persons Act, 2018, the Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018, and the majority of the previous amendments to the Coroners Act will carry forward unchanged in the new legislation.
The new police oversight legislation responds to Justice Tulloch’s recommendations in the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review.
Marie-France Lalonde: Facebook; #Marie-FranceLalonde, #FrancophoneCommunityGrantsprogram, #FCGP
Ottawa, Jan 25 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made this week by Marie-France Lalonde, Ontario Minister of Francophone along with Francophone community leaders at the Collège Boréal in Sudbury that Ontario would be investing $3 million over three years period in funding 57 community projects through the Francophone Community Grants program (FCGP), media reports said.
FCGP was reportedly created in 2017 budget and was approved by Ontario government to commit $1.0 million annually for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 to promote Franco-Ontarian community's cultural and community activities.
"A strong Franco-Ontarian community means a strong Ontario...the engagement of francophone community organizations is an essential part of the overall development of our province...Its success is a clear demonstration of the strength and vitality of the francophone community in Ontario," Marie-France Lalonde was reported to state.
Marie-France Lalonde: Facebook
Three organizations in Sudbury that will reportedly receive funding through the FCGP are namely Greater Sudbury's ACFO, City of Greater Sudbury and Le Club Amical du nouveau.
Theses community projects that will reportedly receive funding include Franco-Ontarian organizations, municipalities and not-for-profit groups from across the province, Youth and seniors outreach, Social integration of Francophone immigrants, Celebration of Franco-Ontarian culture, training of volunteers through workshops and learning-based projects.
Promotion of health resources for francophones and programming would reportedly be provided at a local, regional or provincial level.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TorontoFireServices; #violationsoftheOntarioFireCode; #OntarioFireCodeandFireProtectionandPreventionAct #ChiefJimJessop
Toronto, June 21 (Canadian-Media): Following numerous inspections and measures taken by Toronto Fire Services (TFS) to protect the occupants of the building between 2013 and 201, the owners of 484 Spadina Ave. (Jeffrey Wynn, Trustee and 2436196 Ontario Inc.) pleaded guilty in Provincial Offences Court on June 20, media reports said.
Jeffrey Wynn was fined $33,000 plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge and 2436196 Ontario Inc. was fined $153,500 plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.
The four storeys Waverly Hotel, operated with 63 rooms and the basement was occupied by a nightclub.
Numerous violations of the Ontario Fire Code which TFS had been issuing for a number of months, while the building continued to be occupied remained uncorrected
The violations included: absence of operating smoke alarms, absence of required fire separations; open fire doors; absence of required number of exits per floor area, excessive combustible material accumulated, absence of exit signs, fire-rated doors that would not close and latch, no records of tests for the fire alarm system, emergency lighting units, sprinkler and stand pipe system.
"The work undertaken by Toronto Fire Services inspectors on this file transpired over several months and required countless hours and the usage of numerous enforcement mechanisms under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act to ensure the safety of the residents while the violations remain uncorrected," said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop. "Toronto Fire Services is committed to ensuring appropriate measures are taken by property owners to achieve compliance and will take all necessary measures in these types of cases to reduce the probability and consequence of a fire, especially in an occupied building."
Toronto Fire Services/Facebook
Toronto Fire Services continues to work to reduce risk through fire prevention and enforcement strategies involving owners who fail to meet the Ontario Fire Code and jeopardize the safety of individuals and responding firefighters. Toronto Fire Services is committed to ensuring that appropriate measures are taken by property owners to achieve fire safety through compliance with the Ontario Fire Code and Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TheCoalitionAvenirQuebec; #CAQ; #federalimmigrationauthorities; #FrançoisLegault; #Philippe Couillard #SimonJolin-Barrette
Quebec/Ottawa, May 16 (Canadian-Media): The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ)'s plan to give newcomers stringent tests to prove their French speaking and conform to Quebec values was met with criticism, media reports said.
"We do not want to keep too many people who do not accept our language, our values and to participate in the workforce," Leader François Legault told Radio-Canada.
The plan, laid out in an "orientation document" was made public this week and said that immigration candidates would receive a temporary three-year permit, referred to as a certificat d'accompagnement transitoire (CAT).
These candidates would reportedly be tested on their knowledge of French language to be eligible to apply for Canadian residency.
The CAQ's Justice Critic, Simon Jolin-Barrette, said the plan is designed to help people join Quebec society.
"All our plan is about is responsibility. We will help the immigrants to have a great integration here in Quebec," said Jolin-Barrette.
The CAQ said it would reportedly also like to reduce immigration to 40,000 people per year.
Legault said newcomers who are in Quebec and have been issued a transitionary certificate would need to meet three criteria within three years: pass a French test, pass a values test and show they are actively looking for a job.
"I think fundamentally what Mr. Legault is saying is that you must fear immigration and that's scary. On the contrary, Quebec and Canada were and are built on immigration and immigration is a good thing," said Quebec Immigration Minister David Heurtel
The aim is to be more selective, said Legualt in their choice of newcomers to ensure they speak French and can be integrated in the labour force and in its culture.
People in difficult circumstances, including parents of young children or those caring for ill loved ones would reportedly be given extensions.
But Newcomers who repeatedly fail the tests would not be eligible to apply for citizenship and be flagged at the federal level as living in Quebec without status.
"If the person does not want to learn French, they will not have their selection certificate, so they... become a person without status and it's up to the federal government to decide what to do with that person."
Describing this proposal impracticable, Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard said it treats immigrants as problems that need solving.
"This cannot work and it sends the wrong message," he said.
#Ontario, #reviewPublicHolidayRules, #EmploymentStandardsAct; #ChangingWorkplacesReview; #KevinFlynn; #publicholidaypay; #FairWorkplacesBetterJobsAct2017
Ottawa, May 7 (Canadian-Media): A review of the public holiday system under Part X of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) will be conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of Labour, Ontario based on feedback and discussions with stakeholders, media reports said.
The review. the first comprehensive one in the province's labour and employment legislation in a generation, will form part of the Ontario government's on-going response to the Changing Workplaces Review (CWR),
“The Changing Workplaces Review was about bringing more fairness to workplaces in Ontario. Bill 148 is a reflection of that vision, with measures such as a $15 minimum wage, equal pay for equal work and paid sick days put in place in order to ensure that workers’ rights are always protected and that they are paid a decent wage. This review of the public holiday pay section of the Employment Standards Act is part of our overall commitment to address the realities of the modern workplace and create a fair society, ” Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour said.
Public holiday rules were the source of the most complaints under the ESA, found the CWRs, and these needed to be simplified.
The public holiday pay (PHP) formula was reportedly amended by the CWR which had helped inform the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (FWBJA) .
The government has made a new regulation, as an interim measure, O. Reg. 375/18, that reinstates the PHP formula that applied prior to the FWBJA for all employees.
The regulation will come into effect July 1, 2018.
#ConsumerProtectionOntario; #creditreportingagencies, #onlinecreditreports, #currentcreditscore, #TracyMacCharles, #AccesstoConsumerCreditReportsandElevatorAvailabilityAct
Ottawa, May 5 (Canadian-Media): Ontario has passed legislation to give consumers easier access to credit information and improve access to elevators, media reports said.
The new law will allow Ontario to become the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair times and will give Ontario consumers the strongest rights in Canada over information held by consumer reporting agencies.
According to reports, Consumer Protection Ontario received from January 2015 to December 2017, approximately 2,000 complaints and inquiries about consumer reporting agencies.
"This new law will make life a little bit easier for people across the province. We heard from a lot of people during debate, and I want them all to know that we’re committed to continuing our work with them. I know we can count on them to continue to provide constructive feedback as regulations are developed," Tracy MacCharles, Ontario Minister of Government and Consumer Services
The Access to Consumer Credit Reports and Elevator Availability Act will reportedly requires credit reporting agencies give access to consumers to their online credit reports and current credit score free of charge at least two times per year.
by credit reporting agencies should include the credit score in a consumer report given to third parties in the past 12 months.
In the event of an identity theft, credit freeze at the request of a consumer, should be implemented by credit reporting agencies
The province is also reducing elevator outages and improving access to elevators through enhanced enforcement of maintenance requirements.
All of the 19 recommendations proposed in the independent study by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham would be addressed by Ontario’s elevator action plan.
According to official reports, there are about 20,000 elevators in approximately 10,000 residential and institutional buildings in Ontario, including long-term care and retirement homes.
Each day approximately 655,000 elevator trips are taken on these elevators.
Ontario would reportedly also publish information about elevator performance to help consumers make better decisions before they rent or buy any place in the high rise building.
Creation of new standards for new high-rises, would also be considered, to ensure enough availability of elevators to adequately serve residents.
Public and businesses would be consulted by Ontario in the development of these standards.
#ThePublicSectorSalaryDisclosureAct, #provincialgovernment, #Crownagencies, #corporations, #OntarioPowerGeneration, #hospitals, #municipalities, #schoolboards, #universities, #colleges, #not-for-profitorganizations, #EleanorMcMahon
Ottawa, Mar 23 (Canadian-Media): Ontario government, has released on Mar 23 the salaries of Ontario Public Service and broader public sector employees who were paid $100,000 or more in 2017 In accordance with The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act (PSSDA), media reports said.
The PSSDA applies to the provincial government, Crown agencies and corporations, Ontario Power Generation and subsidiaries, publicly funded organizations such as hospitals, municipalities, school boards, universities and colleges, and not-for-profit organizations that receive public funding from Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in the previous calendar year.
Since its enactment in 1996, PSSDA for disclosure of $100,000 salary threshold, has not changed and has not been adjusted to keep up with inflation.
If the salary threshold was adjusted for inflation, it would be $151,929 in today’s dollars, reducing the number of employees included in the compendium by 85 percent.
Proactively releasing information on public sector salaries demonstrates Ontario's commitment to openness and transparency. As part of this commitment, every disclosure dating back to 1996 is now available in accessible, downloadable, sortable formats.
The annual compendium released by the government can be found in the form of a downloadable, machine-readable format as well as in a sortable, searchable tables on Ontario.ca/salarydisclosure, making it more accessible to the public.
“Ontario’s commitment to openness and transparency includes releasing public sector salaries annually. Information is now available in downloadable, machine-readable formats. We will continue to transform government to make it more innovative, more efficient, and more accountable to the people of Ontario,” Eleanor McMahon, President of the Treasury Board was reported to state.
Reasons for employees' appearances in the compendium, include: employees progressing in their career, natural progression through salary ranges, overtime payments, retroactive pay awards, performance payments and payments that may be required on retirement.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#JohnTory, #firearmslegislation, #Ottawa, #Ontario, #Canada, RalphGoodale, #domesticguntrafficking
Toronto Mayor John Tory's statement on new federal firearms legislation
John Tory/Facebook page
"Today, the Government of Canada introduced legislation to tighten restrictions on gun sales and to crack down on illegal handguns and assault weapons.
As Mayor of Toronto, I believe it is my job to stand up for Toronto and all its residents. A major part of that job includes advocating for gun control that makes sense – that keeps guns off of our streets, out of the hands of criminals, and away from killing or injuring innocent people.
Earlier this month, I was in Ottawa at a summit hosted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to call on the government to toughen up Canada's gun laws to reduce gun trafficking, in particular domestic gun traff
The legislation Minister Goodale has tabled today looks to enhance background checks on those trying to buy firearms and urges retailers to keep adequate records to assist police investigations into domestic gun trafficking. It also would add more rules around how restricted and prohibited firearms, like handguns and assault weapons, are moved through the community.
This is a good start for a national discussion on improving our gun laws and, in the weeks ahead, I hope to see the government look at further strengthening the rules to keep guns off our streets.
It is long past time to take bold action to fight domestic gun trafficking.
This isn’t about punishing those who obey the law. Those who obey the law have nothing to fear. This is about tightening and toughening our laws so we prevent loopholes that can be exploited by criminals."
#kirpanban, #NationalAssembly, #Montreal, #Quebec, #Canada, #WorldSikhOrganizationofCanada, #Patrick Healy, #CanadianConstitution
Montreal, Feb 21 (Canadian-Media): Quebec's top court on Feb 20 upheld kirpan ban at National Assembly, media reports said.
A unanimous motion adopted in February 2011 stating that security personnel had the right to refuse entry to anyone who did not want to remove kirpan -- a small ceremonial dagger that initiated Sikhs are supposed to wear at all times -- was challenged by two members of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.
Balpreet Singh and Harminder Kaur refused to part with their kirpans as they headed into a legislature hearing to submit a brief in January 2011.
Initially they argued the motion was unconstitutional but later agreed that the motion was legal but non-binding.
But on Monday Patrick Healy, Quebec Court of Appeal Justice rejected their arguments saying national assembly has the right to establish its own rules in accordance with parliamentary privilege and to "exclude kirpans from its precincts as an assertion of parliamentary privilege over the exclusion of strangers.''
"The Supreme Court confirmed that these general principles formed part of Canadian constitutional law and held specifically that the privilege to exclude strangers is entrenched in the Canadian Constitution,'' Healy was reported to write on behalf of a three-member panel.
"I make no comment whether the assembly's exercise of the privilege to exclude the kirpan is a wise decision. I say only that it is a legal exercise of this category of privilege. If the appellants wish to challenge it, the proper forum is the assembly itself...an appeal is certainly one of our options and we’re considering it very seriously,” Healey was reported to state.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)