December 12 2013 01:00AM
TORONTO _ After the Los Angeles Kings made the most of their sagging energy by playing a smart, simple game on the second night of a back-to-back sequence, after they won the third period against the Maple Leafs to pull out a 3-1 victory Wednesday that extended their winning streak to five and their road points streak to 7-0-2, the only remaining question was how good they might be.
December 12 2013 12:36AM
No. 1 Star: Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings
The Kings backup-to-the-backup goaltender remains perfect on the season defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Jones stopped all but one of Toronto's 39 shots. Cody Franson scored on the power play in the second period, ending Jones' shut-out streak of 177 minutes and 12 seconds.
No. 2 Star: The Chicago Blackhawks
It's hard to pick one player that really stood out in a 7-2 thumping of this season's iteration of the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Michal Handzus, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane all had multi-point nights.
No. 3 Star: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
After running into teammate Hampus Lindholm's shoulder with his face, Perry took a few minutes to compose himself before scoring a ridiculous goal on a Lindholm rebound. This goal is Perry's eighth in the last seven straight games and it put him back into a tie for second place in goals (21) with Alexander Steen. Ryan Getzlaf's helper on the play extended the Ducks captain's scoring streak to 13 games.
Honorable mention: Anaheim's Alex Grant scored his second goal in his second NHL game in the Ducks 2-1 win over Minnesota... Chicago's backup-to-the-backup goaltender Antti Raanta stopped 37 of 39 shots, including this nifty breakaway by Brayden Schenn...
Even though the Wild lost, Josh Harding played incredibly well. In one series he stopped Dustin Penner (with help from the crossbar) and a wide open Corey Perry on a lunging save...
Did You Know? Since No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick went down with a major groin injury, the Kings have gone 10-1-3. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. LIAR.
Dishonorable mention: Coming out of the first intermission, the Flyers were leading 1-0. They proceeded to give up 4 goals on 6 shots... Craig Berube finally took mercy on starting goalie Ray Emery and pulled him when the score was 6-2 in the third... LA's Colin Fraser left the game with an upper-body injury after being hit into the boards by Frazer McLaren. Fraser had to be helped to the locker room by teammates and did not return to the game. McLaren was not assessed a penalty on the play. Yet another Shanaban forthcoming?
December 11 2013 09:51PM
TORONTO (AP) - Jeff Carter scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
December 11 2013 09:35PM
TORONTO – Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser left midway through the game Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an apparent upper-body injury.
At 7:19 of the second period, Fraser was hit into the boards by Maple Leafs forwar...
December 11 2013 09:07PM
The Bruins might want to invest on a shuttle moving back and forth between Western Canada and Boston. The Bruins sent another player back to Boston to be evaluated medically in Daniel Paille with an upper body injury after he missed Tuesday nights game in Calgary. The fourth line winger played Sunday night against the Maple Leafs and practiced on Monday in Calgary, but hasnt been on the ice since Tuesdays morning skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Paille injury leaves the Bruins without Adam McQuaid, Dougie Hamilton, Chris Kelly, Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton, and with starting goaltender Tuukka Rask feeling the effect of the flu moving quickly through the Bruins dressing room.
December 11 2013 08:35PM
Now the Maple Leafs know how it feels.
Having won three games this season in which their opponent pounded 50 shots on the Toronto net, the Leafs found themselves on the opposite end of that dynamic on Wednesday night.
In what was, surely, their best performance in weeks and possibly their most complete effort of the season, the Leafs thoroughly outplayed the Los Angeles Kings and still dropped a disheartening 3-1 verdict.
As moral victories go, this one was right up there. The Leafs played a co-ordinated, hardfought game, for once playing the kind of game that head coach Randy Carlyle has been begging them to play all season.
Without suspended captain Dion Phaneuf in the lineup, and with MLSE boss Tim Leiweke in the stands desperately hoping for a win against the team he used to run, the Leafs just couldn’t put enough pucks behind L.A. goalie Martin Jones, who has suddenly become the NHL’s hottest netminder.
The Leafs generated at least a dozen prime scoring chances, but could only earn a 1-1 tie over two periods and then watched Jeff Carter score the winner in the 10th minute of the third on a wrist shot that banked off the inside of goalie Jonathan Bernier’s pad and in.
The Leafs’ ride through scheduling hell continues Thursday night in St. Louis before Saturday’s home start against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Cody Franson’s goal at 14:30 of the second period with the Kings short two men ended Jones’s shutout string at 177:16. Even with the two-man advantage, the Leaf goal still seemed like an enormous accomplishment against the NHL’s best defensive outfit and a team that had swamped the Habs in Montreal the night before.
Phil Kessel set up Franson with a nice diagonal pass through the heart of the L.A. defensive triangle. The Leaf defenceman was at a low, tight angle, but found the net to draw the Leafs even at 1-1.
Kessel’s assist came after he’d been frustrated on three golden scoring chances against Jones, including two opportunities when he was unimpeded to the front of the L.A. net.
Through two periods, the Leafs were the better team, and even owned a rare edge in the shots-on-goal department, firing 21 at Jones while Bernier was facing 16 in the Leaf net. It was the first time all season the Leafs had outshot an opponent in the first and second periods.
It was Bernier’s first appearance against his former team since last summer’s trade that brought him to Toronto and sent goalie Ben Scrivens, winger Matt Frattin and a draft pick to the Kings.
Scrivens, meanwhile, was denied the opportunity to start against his former club, surely a defensible decision for L.A. head coach Darryl Sutter with Jones riding such a hot streak.
Drew Doughty had opened the scoring at 10:30 of the first period on an L.A. power play, but the noteworthy part of the opening frame was that the Leafs didn’t score, making it a remarkable 17th straight game in which the 2012 Cup champions had not given up a goal in the first period.
Without Phaneuf, rookie Morgan Rielly drew back into the Leaf lineup, while Jake Gardiner seemed the beneficiary of Phaneuf’s absence, playing more than 17 minutes over the first two periods.
The Leafs had more chances to score early in the third, but it was Carter who found the net first. Leaf defenceman Paul Ranger chose to pinch deep into the L.A. end and paid for it, with Carter heading off with the puck on a two-on-one break.
Defenceman Mark Fraser gave Carter the shot, and the veteran sniper potted his eighth goal of the season to give the surging Kings the victory.
Naturally, this being Toronto, the strong effort in Phaneuf’s absence will be taken as evidence against the captain, who has been arguably the club’s best skater this season.
This much is true: the Leafs were undeniably hungrier and better in the defeat. That said, the Kings were able to close, while the Leafs, even with winger Joffrey Lupul back in harness, simply couldn’t take advantage of the abundant scoring chances they earned.
Lupul, with four minutes left, walked right through the slot into prime scoring position, and then ripped a wrist shot off Jones’s pad. Two minutes later, Kyle Clifford iced the game off a nice pass from former Ottawa 67’s forward Tyler Toffoli.
Earlier in the shift, James van Riemsdyk had set up Kessel one last time, but Jones got across the net with his stick.
The Leafs haven’t won a game in regulation since beating the New York Islanders 5-2 back on Nov. 19. In the 11 games since, it’s taken extra time and shootouts just to get table scraps and stay in decent position in the standings.
Now, playing better is nice, particularly if it leads to more of it.
Then again, having won themselves when they probably shouldn’t have, this might also have been the hockey gods just making things even.
The Star’s hockey page
December 11 2013 08:34PM
Jeff Carter scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
December 11 2013 08:31PM
TORONTO - Jeff Carter scored midway through the third period as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 for their fifth straight win Wednesday.
Carter beat former teammate Jonathan Bernier with a wrist shot between the legs on a...
December 11 2013 08:25PM
TORONTO - Jeff Carter scored midway through the third period as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 for their fifth straight win Wednesday.
Carter beat former teammate Jonathan Bernier with a wrist shot between the legs on ...
December 11 2013 07:46PM
On Wednesday, CBC As It Happens host Carol Off interviewed Conrad Black about his high profile sit down with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that aired Monday night on Vision TV.
The two hosts sparred over Black's treatment of Ford's suggestion in the Monday night interview that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale is a pedophile.
Off took Black to task on his gentle handling of the mayor. Here is a transcript of that interview.
Carol Off: Lord Black, what were you trying to accomplish in your interview with Rob Ford?
Conrad Black: Just to create a somewhat human and civilized atmosphere. So he could say whatever he wanted to get off his chest. The nature of those conversations I have on that program are not combative interviews, they are just conversations. And he was very relaxed and I think he proceeded quite well, and he started out really avoiding some of the problems he’s had that I’ve seen at least, and previous encounters with media people where he knit picks and haggles with them. He openly acknowledged he made terrible and very embarrassing mistakes, and he apologized for it, so I thought we were off to a good start, that he bothered to acknowledge that.
Off: You mentioned that we have in common that we have a rabid adversary, meaning the media in general, and the Toronto Star in particular …
Black: I certainly didn’t say the media’s rabidly hostile, I said the Star is, but I don’t find most of them to be.
Off: And you mentioned sanctimonious attacks.
Off: To what degree do you identify with Rob Ford?
Black: I identify with anyone who’s been crucified by the media and has been subjected to a certain lynching, and I’ve been through that myself, and I identify that I don’t like it, it’s no fun, and it’s not a good thing to have. Whatever mistakes he or I or you or anyone else commits, we have to pay for them, and I don’t think paying for them in that way is appropriate. There’s some identification with that, but on the other hand, there’s no question, and he admits this himself, he’s aggravated his problems himself by his very unwise, as he’s said so himself, silly and juvenile response to some of it. I think a very large number of your listeners identify in the abstract with an underdog and a person going through a difficult time, but that is the extent of it. I certainly don’t have any identification with drug problems. I sympathize with it, but I’ve never been in that position myself, and nor have I ever been in public in a drunken condition such as he has been.
Off: Do you think that Rob Ford has been a victim of rumour and innuendo?
Black: I think he has chiefly been a victim of himself. But he said it himself, it’s extremely unwise doing things that are completely unacceptable for a person in his position, and indeed unacceptable generally, but I think he has been victim to an excessive degree of almost frenzied moralizing, and that awful feeding frenzy you get when there’s an enthusiasm that tears someone down completely, particularly to destroy the holder of a high public office.
Off: How damaging is it to be accused of things in the media or have slanderous things suggested about you in the media?
Black: Well it depends if there’s any truth in them or not, obviously truth is a defence against defamation, slander or libel, so it is very damaging if it is true that you’ve done terrible things. But the damage isn’t the fact that it’s recorded and referred to; it is that you did it in the first place. But then it is certainly damaging to have supplementary, fictitious slander or libel. In the mayor’s case, I don’t think anyone knows the extent to what he’s done bad things and the extent to which he’s been falsely accused, but it’s a combination of the two, and unfortunately it has been damaging, but you can get over it you know, and people do recover from defamations, I know something about that myself.
Off: You know something about that, you know how damaging it is, and yet when Rob Ford said that Daniel Dale, a Toronto Star reporter, Rob Ford said, “I have little kids. When a guy is taking pictures of little kids, I don’t want to say the word, but you start thinking, what’s this guy all about?” What other word is there but the word “pedophile?”
Black: Peeping Tom.
Black: Well, yeah—
Off: Rob Ford said that Daniel Dale he believed to be a pervert.
Black: You’re asking me a question. If you’re going to answer your own questions, you needn’t have phoned me at all. I think there’s room for a greater variety of interpretations and levels of perversion if you insist on using that word, but I took it as the lower end where it was trespassing, snooping, and excessive, not necessarily maladjusted or psychiatrically unbalanced curiosity. Now perhaps I’m just being a benign optimist, but I know that I’ve been roundly accused in the sorts of places you would imagine I might be, for not leaping to the defence of the Toronto Star reporter, but the fact is, Carol, I don’t know if you’re a parent, but many of your listeners would be, and I don’t think that any of us who have or had at one time young children under the age of ten would be particularly pleased about seeing some stranger out leering over the back fence looking at them, and that’s a disturbing thing. I’m afraid I don’t get on board here the transposition of the status of the aggrieved party on this particular instance from Mr. Mayor to Mr. Dale. I have no grievance to Mr. Dale. I quoted his figures on my analysis of the budget performance of the Ford administration quite respectfully, and I thought he did a good report on that. I don’t know him apart from that. It is disturbing that total strangers are doing that, but it is disturbing that total strangers are doing that over your backyard.
Off: What evidence is there that he did that?
Black: Well, I was taking the Mayor’s word for it.
Off: Uh huh. But you established with him that Rob Ford does lie. He admitted he lies.
Black: But he doesn’t always lie.
Off: But if he’s suggesting that someone’s a pedophile or a pervert, is that not something where you ask him the obvious question?
Black: I did not take it that way at all. He wasn’t saying [Dale] was a pedophile.
Off: What other interpretation is there?
Black: I’ve just given you some Carol, I think you’re overdoing this. The fact is, the guy is a journalist, he is in some manner allegedly looking over the Fords’ back fence, he’s staring at young children playing in the yard. You don’t have to be a pedophile, you can just be unduly nosy, and frankly, lots of journalists are. And it is annoying to the person whose property is being spied on in that way. That doesn’t mean he’s a pedophile, I didn’t take that Ford was saying that.
Off: Actually Daniel Dale and the story has been investigated by the police about Dale being not on the property, but in the public area behind his property where he was taking pictures of a field, a public property that Mr. Ford would like to buy. He didn’t look over the fence, there were no kids in the yard that anyone knows of, and the police investigation said there was absolutely no substance to this. This was all reported a long time ago. You’re known for your research. Did you not know that this was completely wrong?
Black: I didn’t know any of that.
Off: So you accepted what Ford had to say?
Black: I mean, if your summary is correct, then the mayor lied. I still don’t see it as an allegation of pedophilia. It’s an overhasty leap out of the starting blocks to assume that, then certainly, if the account you just gave is accurate, then the mayor lied. And I would resent that if he did.
Off: The point here is that—and you established this with Rob Ford—if rumour and innuendo of suggesting slanderous things about people is damaging to them, is there a double standard when it’s a journalist who’s being slandered?
MORE ON THESTAR.COM
Conrad Black and Rob Ford — two fools in one room keep the lies coming: DiManno
Ford stands by comment about Daniel Dale to Conrad Black
Off: I guess the point here is that if, and you establish this with Rob Ford, if rumour and innuendo, of suggesting slanderous things about people is damaging to them, is there a double standard when it’s a journalist who is being slandered?
Black: No. If that’s what he did, there’s no double standard. If that’s what he did, then he shouldn’t have done it. And indeed if what you just said is what happened, going back to my days in the study, in my brief days in the practice of law and certainly to my extensive experience in defamation matters, Mr. Dale would have a case against him.
Black: But his case isn’t against me. It’s not my duty to debate with the mayor, I was asking questions and he was giving the answers.
Off: But you allowed that to go on the air.
Black: I didn’t do the editing. I wasn’t going to leap from my chair and throttle the mayor. I was his guest in his office and he can say what he wants. And if he says slanderous things he’ll have to face the consequences of that and I don’t doubt the Star would not be hesitant to sue him if it really is a slander. But I think it’s a bit much to expect me to know that. I mean I haven’t made a study of every aspect of the mayor’s controversy. I was, in fact, when that was going on, on a trip around the world. I don’t hold myself out as an authority on municipal affairs. I did a fair amount of research. I put, I thought, relevant questions to the mayor and he answered them. It’s not for me to vouch for the truthfulness of his answers. But I don’t engage in a debating style in these things.
Off: You interviewed him on Friday and you aired the interview on Monday. You had three days. Was there no discussion between you and anyone else? Did anyone check and see if these facts were true?
Black: I haven’t the faintest idea.
Off: Was there any editorial discussion about editing out this part?
Black: No doubt. But I had nothing to do with it.
Off: You’re on it. You’re the one, You’re the face and the voice.
Black: Carol, you don’t have to tell me what my role is. But I would answer your question, I have nothing to do with editing. And by the way, the entire interview ran later in the day. At midnight. So there was no edit on that.
Off: At the same time, though, they could have edited out something that is slanderous. You had an opportunity to do it. But no one thought that they should.
Black: You’ll have to put that to the people who edit. I just put the questions.
Off: There’s another section that was damaging to a reputation and that is when Rob Ford said to you that he believed the police were investigating Sandro Lisi, this one person with whom he’s associated, and did a very elaborate and expensive investigation into illegal drugs sales just to get at Rob Ford for reasons of politics, he says for political reasons. Why didn’t you ask him for his evidence?
Black: Because I was asking for his opinion. And I was specifically asking what he thought the motive was for the chief to take the unusual position of saying in a press conference that he personally as a citizen was disappointed in the mayor. Because I thought that was improper and I still think it was improper. I’m not hostile to the chief and I’m certainly not hostile to the police. I think they are a good force. But I thought that that was not within the purview of the chief of police’s jurisdiction to do that. He’s not engaged to opine on the character and personality of public officials. And I was asking the mayor what he thought the motive for the apparent hostility of the chief was. And I asked him if he thought that his refusal to accede to the chief’s request for a $21 million budget increase was part of it. And he said it was. And he elaborated. Well I don’t think it would be appropriate for me at that point to demand to know what his evidence is. I was asking for his opinion.
Off: It’s a simple journalistic question. How do you know that?
Black: How do I know what?
Off: When you ask when somebody says something, the chief of police launches an expensive investigation just to get at Rob Ford for political reasons, there’s a simple question: How do you know that Mr. Ford?
Black: No. I was asking his opinion. He was giving his opinion. I assumed it was sort of his intuition.
Off: You have sued a lot of people, haven’t you? For libel and slander.
Black: Yeah. And always successfully.
Off: Ah ha. And is it not the responsibility of those who are doing journalism, putting things on the air to know that things that are put on are accurate?
Black: Um, certainly it is the responsibility of anyone who is engaged in commenting or facilitating comments on people in a way that could affect their reputation to act responsibly and I don’t think that I varied from that at all. The fact is, it is terribly annoying to have the media snooping around your house. I’ve had it, I’ve had helicopters flying over my house at low altitudes for hours on end. It is unutterably annoying. And I have some sympathy for him. And I think the prema facia case here is that the mayor was being bothered. And I certainly take note of your view there is another version of events at drastic variance with his. As I said, if the mayor deliberately misled the viewers and did not tell me the truth, lied in fact, I would resent that very much and I’ll comment on it. But I had no reason to believe that’s the case.
Off: You had three days to find out if it was true or not and you didn’t.
Black: No. I don’t do that. I do the interview. I don’t do the rest of it.
Off: You do a lot of research. Do you not think that should be . . .
Black: Will you stop harping on that. Yes I do a lot of research. I’m writing the history of Canada right now, with thousands of footnotes. I know a lot about research. But I conduct the interviews and there are a lot of other people in that company who do the professional follow up on that.
Off: You’re passing the buck.
Black: No. I’m not passing the buck. At that particular place, Zoomer, I have a function. I do the function. I’m paid to do the function. I’m not paid to edit it.
Off: Your co-host on this program is my former boss Denise Donlan and I think that she would say it is my responsibility to make sure that what I say and what goes on the air in my interviews is accurate.
Black: I really don’t know what she said. She hasn’t said that to me.
Off: That accuracy isn’t important?
Black: No no, Carol. Please. I can scarcely credit my ears that you’re attempting to lead me into such a minefield as that. Of course accuracy is important. I didn’t say anything inaccurate.
Off: You said back in May, you did an interview with the Toronto Star and you said that Rob Ford was an embarrassment and that the city shouldn’t put up with this. Do you still believe that?
Black: Yes. I certainly believe it. I think that his conduct was very embarrassing. So does he. And of course it doesn’t have to put up with it. Where I take issue with some people is, I don’t think there is any grounds that I have been able to discern for removing him in office in mid-term other than a successful legal challenge under the statutes. And unless that can be done, the man is entitled to finish the term he was elected to serve. I gather it has been imputed to me that I am aligned with Ford and I am a supporter of his for re-election. That is not the case and I never said any such thing and that would not in fact be my view unless his opponent was somebody that was just really terribly unacceptable. But the fact is I don’t see any reason for trying to hound him from office without due legal process and I believe that to some degree that is what some people are trying to do.
Off: I think it’s fair to say you weren’t exactly channeling your inner Jeremy Paxman in this interview and it was a soft interview you would concede that, would you not?
Black: A soft interview? Yeah. Well these ones are. They are not really interviews. They are conversations and people accept my invitation to talk with me on the understanding that I am not going to try and Paxmanize them, taking up your terminology. You will recall. Paxman and I are perfectly friendly personally. And after that interview which I imagine you are referring to a year ago he asked me to sign my book for him, which I was happy to do. I don’t like that style where you get in someone’s face and you are unnecessarily belligerent and aggressive with them. That’s not what I do. I promise invitees onto our program that I won’t do that. But that does not mean that I’ll not ask them any questions, the answers to which they might find embarrassing.
Off: But at some point, were you not even curious to know about the more serious revelations in the police documents that indicate that Mr. Ford had a relationship with various underworld figures?
Black: No, I would be curious to know more about that. And I think it’s a worrisome matter.
Off: Why didn’t you ask him then?
Black: Because he volunteered that he’d had some associations that were inappropriate and I thought that since he’d volunteered that that I’d just be flogging a dead horse.
Off: Were you not curious to pursue that a bit further? It sounds like you had something maybe something that nobody else had?
Black: No, I think everyone’s had that. I think everyone who is concerned with these matters is really, perhaps I’m not overstating it to say shocked that the mayor would socialize with some of the undesirable people that he did. But since he’s acknowledged that, as I said, I didn’t see that my purpose was to humiliate him superfluously since he’d already taken it upon himself to confess and apologize for that and for a lot of other things.
Off: Lord Black, thank you for coming on the program.
This interview was edited for length.
December 11 2013 07:06PM
Canada Post unveiled sweeping changes Wednesday that will end all home mail delivery within five years and replace it with communal mailboxes, leaving some Toronto residents wondering where new boxes will fit in their densely packed neighbourhoods.
The national postal service doesn’t know yet.
Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier said Wednesday it has yet to determine where the new boxes go, how far people will have to travel to get their mail, or how many households each box will serve.
“All of this is under planning as of today,” said Losier, hours after the changes were announced.
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In Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, where century-old houses are wedged together and street parking is scarce, residents were hard-pressed to point out a spot to install a communal mailbox.
“I have no idea where they would do that,” said Adam Thom, 32, standing on Brunswick Ave.
Thom said space is already at a premium, and to put a mailbox on one of the side streets would mean carving out space on somebody’s lawn.
“Are they going to put it right on the corner of Bloor St. and Brunswick, where I live?” he asked.
Lynn Spink, who lives on Albany Ave. just north of Bloor St., said area parks are the only place she can imagine new boxes fitting in. “And there certainly would be an outcry from the neighbourhood, which is very defensive about maintaining the parks as quiet sitting places,” she said.
“Green space is scarce enough in the city.”
Losier said the specifics of the mailbox rollout will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, and that Canada Post will consult municipalities to find proper locations for them, with safety and accessibility as determining factors. The first neighbourhoods making the switch will be announced in the latter half of 2014.
Wednesday’s announcement also included plans to raise the price of stamps, “streamline” business, open more retail outlets and cut up to 8,000 jobs, all with a view to bringing the postal service in line with a marked decline in mailed letters, the agency said.
The measure to kill off home delivery, however, heralds the end of a 20th century institution with established stereotypes, including the heavily bundled mailman dodging mean dogs, and children on staircases waiting for letters to flop through the front door.
The first chink in the home mail delivery regime opened in the mid-1980s, when Canada Post stopped slipping mail through the doors at new housing developments. Three decades later, two-thirds of Canadians, representing 10 million households, are already outside the reach of home mail delivery, according to Canada Post.
People at these addresses rely on lobby mailboxes, curbside or rural mailboxes and well-established community mailboxes, use of which Canada Post says is a “more secure, convenient and cost-effective” way to deliver the mail.
People in Scarborough aren’t so sure.
Chris D’Arcy, who put his Christmas cards in the mailbox Wednesday morning, said the news was disappointing. He questioned the security of the community mailboxes, their accessibility, and the job losses that could result.
“What about the handicapped and the elderly? We can get by. We can change, though we don’t really want to,” he said.
His wife, Rita, expressed surprise at the announcement, and said going to a community mailbox is a pain.
“We’re older, my husband and I. We’d rather send by mail,” she said. “It’s why people live in the city — for the conveniences.”
Camay Dyal, who has lived nearby on Camrose Cres. for 40 years, said she expects home delivery to be a convenience of urban living.
“If we wanted to live outside the city, we’d be there,” she said. “I love being able to go to my mailbox and the mail is there. Even in bad weather, you have to get your mail at some point.”
West of the city, in Mississauga, Riaud Abdul and his family have relied on a community mailbox for more than six years. He said going there isn’t a trial; it’s a reason to rub shoulders with the neighbourhood.
“They’re right around the corner. It’s always been a convenient way to go out and get your mail,” said Abdul, 19.
“When you’re out there, you run into each other,” he added. “It’s a little bit of an excuse, or a push, to socialize with each other.”
December 11 2013 04:45PM
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five thing to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop by here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finish.
Create-a-Caption: "Goaltender Tim Thomas #34 of the Florida Panthers talks to linesman Jonny Murray #95 prior to the start of the shootout against of the Detroit Red Wings at the BB&T Center on December 10, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida."
Preview : Los Angeles Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview : Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. ET
Preview : Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks, 10:30 p.m. ET
Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1. Martin Jones screwed up the narrative. Tonight was supposed to be the 'clash of the former backups traded in the off-season facing their former teams for the first time' battle but no, Darryl Sutter decided to go with the hot hand. Instead of starting former-Maple Leaf Ben Scrivens, the Kings will go with backup-to-the-backup Martin Jones. Jones is 3-0-0 in his first three NHL starts with a 0.65 GAA. At the other end of the ice is former-King Jonathan Bernier.
2. Lupul returns, Phaneuf sits. Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul is returning to the ice after missing seven games with a 'Grade 2' groin strain. Lupul and his Toronto teammates will be without the Dion Phaneuf on the blueline. Toronto's captain will be serving game one of his two-game suspension for his hit from behind on Boston's Kevin Millar Kevan Miller.
3. Antti Raanta still No. 1 for Chiicago Blaackhawks . Corey Crawford isn't coming back any time soon and neither is his backup Nikolai Khabibulin thus continuing the Raanta administration .
4. Dany Heatley plays on the fourth line for Minnesota. Dany Heatley. $7.5 million-dollar cap-hit. Fourth line.
5. Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are the three best friends anyone could have. The reunited PPG line has produced 95 combined-points for the Ducks, second in the NHL to Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with 112.
Bold Prediction: Chicago beats Philly thanks to goals from players with extra letters in their last names: Brandon Saad, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Kris Versteeg and Anttii Raanta (empty netter).
December 11 2013 03:07PM
There are Ontario municipal councils “addicted” to secrecy going to great lengths to keep their residents in the dark, ombudsman André Marin says.
Marin’s second annual report on local government transparency delivered Wednesday found that 19 of 96 meetings investigated by his office were found to be illegal because they violated the Municipal Act guidelines.
“There is, in my view, a putrefactive decay in democracy at the municipal government level due to the insistence on officials to continue conducting city business secretly and illegally,” Marin told a Queen’s Park press council.
Marin said not only are there no consequences in the law for holding secret meetings, he accuses the province of enabling the practice by not introducing penalties. And he added that municipalities that don’t like him sticking his nose into their business can opt out of his jurisdiction.
“Meanwhile, hanky-panky continues to take place in the backrooms, and councils are continuing to cling to cloak-and-dagger old-school boardroom politics,” he told reporters.
“Unfortunately, some councils appear to be addicted to secrecy.”
The general rule of thumb is that in-camera meetings can only be held when dealing with property and personnel.
The most complaints filed with the ombudsman’s office dealt with municipal councils in London (64), Sudbury (54), Lambton Shores (13), Oshawa (eight) and Fort Erie (seven).
Of the 444 municipalities in the province, only 191 have agreed to ombudsman oversight. Sudbury dropped out after Marin took council there to task publicly for secret meetings.
Marin explained that complaints more than doubled from last year’s total of 128. Nearly six years ago, the province amended the Municipal Act to introduce a public complaints system to enforce the open meetings requirements.
Pat Vanini, executive director for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, downplayed Marin’s findings, noting that municipalities host 22,000 meetings a year to discuss more than 100,000 agenda items.
“Closed meeting investigations reflect concerns about less than 1 per cent of all municipal agenda items,” Vanini said in an email statement.
“Municipal governments are infinitely more open, transparent and accountable than provincial and federal governments,” she said.
Marin said his investigators have found some municipal councillors will try every “trick” possible to hold secret meetings, including posting wrong times for meetings, gathering at off-site locations and using electronic communications.
The ombudsman’s report even noted that the Township of Leeds and Thousands Islands council argued that an unscheduled meeting held about a year ago wasn’t secret because the door was left open.
“I issued a report last Friday reprimanding them . . . and they proceeded on Monday to oust my office’s jurisdiction. I can’t think of any line of work where you can simply shoot the messenger and get rid of oversight,” he said.
“I say that’s no good for democracy, that’s not good for accountability at the municipal level.”
The report also cites the case of London, Ont., Mayor Joe Fontana and six councillors holding a secret meeting in a restaurant, then later arguing the gathering was mere happenstance. Cellphone records and other evidence proved otherwise.
Marin noted that he has no jurisdiction in Toronto, but that did stop him from poking fun at the goings-on at city hall with troubled Mayor Rob Ford.
“It (the ombudsman’s report) can’t begin to match the headlines coming out of Toronto city hall and it isn’t going to mentioned on any late-night comedy shows,” said the outspoken Marin.