June 19th, 2024

In the news today: TTC to operate as normal after last minute deal

By The Canadian Press on June 7, 2024.

A Toronto Transit Commission streetcar drives past the downtown skyline in Toronto on Thursday June 6, 2024. Toronto's public transit system is set to operate as normal after the TTC and transit workers announced a last minute deal to avoid a strike. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

TTC to operate as normal after last minute deal

Toronto’s public transit system is set to operate as normal after the TTC and transit workers announced a last minute deal to avoid a strike.

Contract talks between ATU Local 113 and the Toronto Transit Commission went down to the wire following months of negotiations.

The union says the framework deal reached includes progress on key issues like wages, benefits and job security and that it was putting a strike “on hold” as it works towards a final agreement.

The TTC says the deal is fair, affordable and respectful of the important work performed by the transit union.

A strike would have brought Canada’s most populous city to a grinding halt, idling the TTC’s fleet of subways, streetcars and buses, while clogging Toronto’s already congested roadways with extra traffic.

Statistics Canada to release May jobs report today

Statistics Canada is set to release its May labour force survey this morning.

RBC expects the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 per cent and the economy added a modest 15,000 jobs last month.

The report is the first major data release following the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut on Wednesday.

The Canadian job market has softened over the last year as high interest rates weigh on businesses.

The unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent in April, a full percentage point higher than it was a year ago.

The job market is expected to remain weak in the coming months, even as the Bank of Canada continues to lower interest rates.

First full day of evidence at conspiracy trial

Jurors at the trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the Coutts, Alta., border blockade two years ago will get to hear their first full day of evidence today.

Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert are on trial charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the protest in early 2022.

They were arrested after RCMP found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers.

The blockade paralyzed traffic at the busy Canada-United States border crossing for two weeks amid broader protests at what some perceived as unfair and unnecessary government restrictions and vaccine mandates in the fight against COVID-19.

In his opening statements, a Crown prosecutor told the five-man, nine-woman jury that the two men conspired to kill police officers and were planning for what they believed was an inevitable and violent event.

Ibrahim Ali faces B.C. murder sentencing hearing

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin this morning in Vancouver for Ibrahim Ali, who was convicted in December of the first-degree murder of a 13-year-old girl from Burnaby, B.C.

Crown lawyer Isobel Keeley told the judge on Thursday that the court can expected to hear victim impact statements from at least seven people, including the girl’s father, brother and school and family friends.

Ali, who told the judge at a pre-sentencing hearing Thursday that he didn’t kill the girl, will also be given a chance to speak today.

The body of the girl, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was found in Burnaby’s Central Park in July 2017 and Ali was arrested the next year.

A jury took less than 24 hours last December to reach its guilty verdict at the end of an eight-month trial, that heard Ali’s DNA matched semen found in the girl’s body.

Private jets descend on Montreal for F1 race

Race cars aren’t the only elite vehicles set to arrive in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, as private jets carrying thrill-seeking visitors descend on the city.

Analytics firm WingX projects that about 115 business jets in total will land in the Montreal area Friday through Sunday, which amounts to a 50 per cent spike from the daily average over the preceding month.

Last year saw 139 business planes from the U.S., Canada and as far as Italy touch down on the event weekend, up more than 40 per cent from 2019 in line with rising demand for private air travel since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thomas Green, a policy adviser at the David Suzuki Foundation, says that as race teams, executives and celebrities swoop into the city, emissions are slated to rise due to both the race itself and the airplane activity around it.

Brussels-based advocacy group Transport & Environment says the pricey planes are five to 14 times more polluting than commercial aircraft on a per-passenger basis.

Sunrise and Edmonton: Hockey cities with big malls

The mayor of Sunrise, Florida, says his city is not much different from Edmonton.

Michael Ryan says Edmonton and Sunrise are both smaller-sized cities punching above their weight on hockey’s biggest stage.

The Florida Panthers play in Sunrise, a city less than an hour’s drive from downtown Miami.

On Saturday, the Panthers host the Edmonton Oilers in game one of the Stanley Cup final.

Edmonton has won five Stanley Cups and the Panthers have yet to win one.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2024

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