http://www.thestar.com/

TORONTO STAR

In scathing pre-election report, Ontario auditor general says deficit is $11.7B, not $6.7B (mer., 25 avril 2018)
Ontario’s fiscal watchdog is again questioning the government’s accounting, warning the province’s deficit projections are far greater than outlined in last month’s budget. Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk, who has an ongoing accounting dispute with Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, said Wednesday that this year’s shortfall is $11.7 billion, not $6.7 billion, as Finance Minister Charles Sousa forecast March 28. “When expenses are understated, the perception is created that government has more money available than it actually does,” Lysyk wrote in a scathing 27-page pre-election report to the Legislature. “Government decision-makers might, therefore, allocate money to initiatives and programs that is actually needed to pay for expenses the government has failed to record properly,” she continued. Lysyk calculated that the deficit forecast for next year is $12.2 billion, not the $6.6 billion Sousa predicted, and for 2020-21 it’s $12.5 billion, not $6.5 billion. “More money will need to be borrowed to pay for the unrecorded expenses even when the government reports an annual surplus or a balanced budget.” Her report is a political gift to Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath as Ontarians head to the polls in six weeks. The accounting disagreement stems from whether around $11 billion in the government co-sponsored Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Plan and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan can be counted toward the bottom line. While Lysyk and her predecessors had booked the pension holdings as an asset starting in 2002, she changed her mind two years ago. “I had my staff review that asset much more than in past years,” she told the Star at the time. She concluded that they should not be considered assets, because the government doesn’t have ready access to the funds. It is unclear whether the Progressive Conservatives or the New Democrats would adopt Lysyk’s accounting practice and not count the pension funds if either party topples the Liberals in the June 7 election. Wynne conceded Wednesday there is an “ongoing discussion” with the auditor general over the accounting “disagreement.” “I know one of the discussions is over the Fair Hydro Plan. We made a decision that we needed to reduce electricity bills by 25 per cent. We have done that,” said the premier. “We’ve kept that debt within the electricity system. That is the responsible step that we have taken,” she said. Lysyk has had a fractious relationship with the governing Liberals in recent years. Aside from being at odds with the government over its Fair Hydro Plan scheme to borrow money to reduce electricity rates by 25 per cent, she has railed against the Liberals diminishing her authority when it comes to overseeing government advertising.
>> Lire la suite

Shree Paradkar: After van rampage, Toronto must go beyond momentary compassion (mer., 25 avril 2018)
This is a city that embraces pluralities not just among its populace, but even in its monikers: Toronto the Good, Hogtown, The 6, The 416 and simply YYZ, among others. On Monday, within hours of witnessing a senseless 26-minute carnage after a van plowed into pedestrians, leaving 10 citizens dead and 14 injured, a new descriptor became apparent: Toronto The Giving. That giving by helping began even as events were unfolding: Henry Yang, who was driving behind the Ryder van just after it jumped to the sidewalk, who began honking and making noise to alert people to get out of the way. Later, family offering water to those walking up the streets because public transit was shut down. Today, a florist offered free flowers to passersby to make “the world feel better,” my colleague Tamar Harris reported. Read more: Most victims in van rampage on Yonge St. were women, police say Opinion | Emma Teitel: It’s hideous to think that right-wing media were hoping for a Muslim villain after the van rampage Opinion | Martin Regg-Cohn: Toronto’s diversity offers a degree of immunity during times of terror In the face of sudden tragedies, kindness prompts people to allay a feeling of helplessness. After my yoga class Tuesday that the teacher dedicated to the victims, I overheard three women who were heading out to volunteer at a women’s aid agency. “We have so much,” one of them said. “We’re blessed. We’re alive.” Organizations sprung up to raise funds. Canada Zakat has raised more than $50,000 since yesterday. It helped raise more than $800,000 after last year’s mosque shooting in Quebec City. The Islamic Relief Canada also launched a fundraiser. The group raised tens of thousands of dollars after the Fort McMurray wildfire and thousands after the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. If you, like me, were fortunate enough to avoid much of social media Monday, you would likely be able to process the tragedy with a purer sense of grief, spared from feeling anger at the indecent, the ones who opportunistically exploited the tragedy for their personal gain. Some jumped in with a nudge-nudge description of an “angry”, “Middle Eastern man.” Others vulgarly denounced Muslims and called it a “terror attack” — all this before the police even had a chance to speak to the public. On CBC radio Tuesday morning, commenter Jesse Wente aptly called this behaviour “speculative hate.” A vehicle being deliberately driven to kill people strikes terror no matter what the motive is. That doesn’t always make the killers “terrorists.” But since 9/11, the politicization of the word “terror” and its interchangeability with “terrorism” has meant it is selectively used to enhance a clash-of-civilizations narrative. An attacker who reads Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) pamphlets or follows them digitally is just as much of a “terrorist” or a “lone wolf” or a “depressed individual” — as the selectively applied nomenclature goes — as one who follows white supremacist teachings or the apparently misogynistic and racist ideologies of Alek Minassian, the driver now facing multiple charges of murder and attempted murder. That is never apparent to social media parasites who feed off grief and on Monday were keen to blame the tragedy on multiculturalism — as if the coexistence of more than one race of people is cause for alarm. As if homogenous societies anywhere exist without violence. Thoughtful Torontonians pushed back against the hatemongers. My colleague Victoria Gibson offered this antidote with a photo of a poster of condolence notes on the sidewalk south of Yonge St. and Finch Ave. “Something lovely,” she tweeted. “Take note of how many languages these condolence notes are written in.” She saw at least three or four different scripts there. “Thought it was a great little slice of sweetness in all this,” she told me Tuesday. That heterogeneity is in Toronto’s DNA, here to stay, resisting the calls of the fearful to return to a past when the humanity of others didn’t have to be considered. Toronto police Const. Ken Lam, who arrested Minassian, showed courage and composure. But as the cop himself said, he was just doing his job. Yet, we live in a time when the restraint he showed is not the norm. It comes against a backdrop of Toronto police shooting down, among others, 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in 2013 and 45-year-old Andrew Loku in 2015. Both mentally ill men, one wielding a knife, the other a hammer. They hadn’t killed anyone nor was anyone in imminent danger of being killed. Could Torontonians, who have shown such heart after the Yonge St. and Finch Ave. horror, be persuaded to extend their compassion to marginalized communities repeatedly torn apart by tragedy that is often inflicted by law enforcement? To not see protestations against violence as divisive or the violence as deserved? In our moment of vulnerability, are we able to empathize with the perpetually vulnerable? Correction - April 25, 2018: This article was edited from a previous version that misstated the name of Islamic Relief Canada. Shree Paradkar tackles issues of race and gender. You can follow her @shreeparadkar
>> Lire la suite

Autopsy confirms body found in Grand River is missing 3-year-old Kaden Young (mer., 25 avril 2018)
The OPP are confirming that remains found last Saturday are that of Kaden Young, a three-year-old boy who had been missing since being swept from his mother’s arms during a flood on Feb. 21. A fisherman had found the remains of a boy in the water near a bridge in Belwood, Ont., about 30 kilometres north of Guelph. A post mortem was conducted Monday in Toronto where the remains were positively identified. His mother, Michelle Hanson, posted on “Bring Kaden Young Home to His Family”— a Facebook page used since Feburary by the public to aid in his search, announcing funeral plans. “There will be a public funeral on Saturday May 5th at 11am at the Compass Church (246289 Hockley Rd. Mono L9W6J4),” she wrote. “Thank you for being patient.” Kaden was swept out of his mother’s arms when their vehicle entered the Grand River during a flood. Police, along with hundreds of volunteers, have been searching the river each day since the boy disappeared. “After 2 months of searching, we can finally #BringKadenHome,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes on Twitter. “Thank you to the tireless efforts of #OPP members, emergency crews and countless volunteers, who never gave up hope.” Wtih files from Annie Arnone
>> Lire la suite

Ontario real estate tax curbs foreign buyers (mer., 25 avril 2018)
A year after Ontario launched its foreign buyers’ real estate tax, the province has raised about $41 million and steadily reduced the number of off-shore property transactions in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area to about 1.6 per cent in February 2018, from about 4.7 per cent in May. New numbers released by the Liberal government on Wednesday show nearly half of the non-resident speculation tax collected in the province — $18.9 million — between Nov. 18 and Feb. 16 was in the City of Toronto. York Region accounted for another $13.1 million. Less than 1 per cent was collected outside the Toronto area. The number of real estate transactions involving at least one foreign entity has been dropping since the 15 per cent tax was introduced April 20, 2017 as the cornerstone of Ontario’s Fair Housing Policy, which was aimed at cooling the scorching Toronto-area housing market. Read more: GTA housing market poised for spring thaw Couple ordered to pay $470,000 after reneging on Ontario home deal GTA home sales down 40 per cent in March compared to last year, report shows Although the number of foreign transactions was relatively small when the market peaked last March with a 34 per cent year-over-year price gain, the psychological effects of the policy have been enormous. The number of homes sold in the Toronto area in March this year was down 40 per cent compared to a year earlier. The average price was 14 per cent lower, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, dropping to $784,558 from $915,126. In York region, which previously topped the list of foreign buyers in the province, the number of affected transactions has been more than halved, from 6.9 per cent between May and August to 3.2 per cent between August and November. In the City of Toronto where the level of foreign transactions was previously 5.6 per cent, the number of transactions has dropped to 2.5 per cent, according to the latest figures. Of the 66,307 real estate transactions in Ontario between August and November, 1,099 or 1.7 per cent involved at least one foreign entity. The province has no data on the number of foreign transactions prior to the introduction of the tax. But a study from the Toronto Real Estate Board released prior to the tax showed 4.9 per cent of transactions in the area involved a foreign party. The tax isn’t entirely to blame for the slowdown in the Toronto market. Interest rate hikes and new mortgage stress tests by Canada’s bank regulator have also slowed home sales. Foreign students and those applying for landed immigrant status are exempt from the tax, which was aimed at investors rather than those planning to live in the property they purchased. A recent study by Toronto real estate broker John Pasalis suggested that the downturn in the housing market has cost about 1,000 homeowners about $136 million when buyers walked away from homes they had purchased prior to the drop in property values.
>> Lire la suite

Bruce Arthur: Leafs prepare for Game 7 of their lives with clean sheet (mer., 25 avril 2018)
“I thought it was over, actually. I was going through different scenarios, wondering what would be next.” — Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins defenceman, on Game 7 against Toronto, 2013 “Game’s not over. Game’s not over.” — Then-Leafs general manager Dave Nonis to people trying to congratulate him during the third period of that Game 7 “Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup, so you’ve got to go through everyone.” — Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner Tuesday afternoon The Leafs will be in Boston to play Game 7 on Wednesday night. They have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series. They survived a shelling in Game 5, and were much better in Game 6. The Bruins are the favourites. The Leafs can win. “There’s guys in this room that have never played in a game like that, so it’ll be a learning experience,” said Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly. “But we’re going in with the mindset that we have a chance to win the series, and that’s what we’re going to do.” “I mean, there’s nothing we can do now that’s going to change what’s going to happen during the game. I mean, we know what they like to do. We’ve got hours of video. We know who they got, we know what they like to do. They know who we got. So it’s just a matter of going out there, playing hard, playing like you want it.” Some people are sick of talking about 2013, and the blown 4-1 lead in the third period. The Leafs are. As Nazem Kadri said, asked if Game 5 this time reminded him of a near-identical Game 5 last time, “Uh, not really. That’s in the past, and I think it’s about time we just turn the page on that one.” But here they are again. “Obviously there were thoughts creeping into your mind, that we might be advancing to the second round, but at the end of the day we couldn’t handle the pressure that was given.” — Kadri after Game 7, 2013 “It’s tough to stay composed in that situation, I guess.” — Then-Leafs defenceman Cody Franson after Game 7 “You thought they were susceptible. If it is going to happen against anyone, it’s going to happen against a younger team that doesn’t have the experience. You’re thinking it can happen, but you’re not putting money on it in Vegas, that’s for sure.” — Seidenberg, looking back On Monday night the Leafs beat Boston 3-1 to force Game 7. From game to game in this series, they have improved. The Leafs were demolished in Games 1 and 2; they were even in Game 3. They didn’t capitalize in Game 4, but did in Game 5. They held a lead in panicky hands in Game 5, and handled that situation coolly in Game 6. Game 7 will be different. How they handle that pressure, the Garden, the moments where things go wrong, will define their season. As coach Mike Babcock puts it, they’re so much better than they were in the first round when they lost to Washington. But they’re still young, still learning on fast-forward. And they’re still in the first round. “It says a lot that our goal isn’t to play a perfect game, because we’re going to make mistakes, but how do you react to those mistakes? What do you do? How hard do you cover up for your buddy who screwed up? On some teams that probably aren’t as successful, a guy makes a mistake and everybody probably goes, oh f---. You know? It’s a really small difference between playing great hockey and just okay. A couple pieces being out of sync can mess up the whole machine.” — Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference, 2013 “Just, as the series goes on and as the playoffs go on the game is dummied down, and what I mean by that is, it’s just simplified. And so simple plays, and spend as much time in the offensive zone as you possibly can, is what you want to do ... what we’re going to ask of each guy is just their individual part. So know your job and do it. I mean, this might be boring to you, but it’s the facts. Do your job and we’ll be fine.” — Babcock Tuesday On Wednesday the Leafs get a chance to avenge 2013. Maybe it would be more for the Leafs fans who watched the chasm open up and swallow them in 2013 than it is for the five Leafs left from that game. But it has to linger. After the game, then-Leaf Clarke MacArthur said afterwards he would have preferred to lose 7-0. Now, this young generation gets to find out what it has in the biggest moment of their young hockey lives. Mitch Marner has been Toronto’s best player. Auston Matthews has not been what he believes he can be. William Nylander is finding his way. They have a chance. And they will win or they will lose, and they won’t ever forget it. “You know, when you go through the season and a goal goes in — or someone scores in overtime, shootout, whatever, whatever deciding goal it is — it sucks, but you know, you’ll get ’em next time. And in the case like tonight, you know, there is no next time. There’s just next year, and really, it’s just an empty feeling.” — Then-Leafs goaltender James Reimer after that Game 7 “It’s do or die. You’re either a hero or an a---.” — Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask on overtime in a Game 7 Boston, Toronto. Bruins-Leafs, Game 7. It has a chance to be something great.
>> Lire la suite

Woolworth’s building to get a makeover (mar., 24 avril 2018)
Cadillac Fairview has unveiled plans for a makeover of 2 Queen St. W., a project that will restore the former Woolworth building’s original 1885 brick façade and open a “gateway” from Yonge St. to the south entrance of the Eaton Centre. The Toronto-based commercial property developer said the expansion and restoration project aims to enhance retail and office space — and will add three more storeys to the building, including a top floor designed to accommodate a restaurant with an outdoor terrace. It said the project will improve the quality and utility of the property “while preserving its unique architectural features.” Overall, the redevelopment comprises 23,150 square feet of office space and 22,011 square feet of retail and storage space, along with mechanical, structural and electrical upgrades. The value of the project was not disclosed. The façade of the building on the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen Sts. had been obscured for more than 50 years, with the exterior covered in white aluminum after several renovations. Since 1895, the site had been occupied by the old Jamieson Clothiers store but was best known as the building Woolworth’s anchored for 65 years. “But after the five-and-dime moved out in 1980, the worn-out structure became a succession of no-name retail outlets and seemed headed for oblivion. It was one of the shabbiest downtown addresses,” Star columnist Chris Hume wrote in 1987. “The outside was in equally bad shape. The bricks suffered serious damage in the ’40s as a result of being sandblasted. To make matters worse, all the cornices and protuberances were cut off when aluminum siding was added.” In 1985, the building was bought by Guarantee Realty Trust and Karas Corp. which decided to develop it. The co-owners hired the Toronto architectural firm of Alter & Ireland to renovate. The building was restored in the 1990s and replaced with the Tower Records Superstore, while more recently a sports store and gym have served as the main tenants as the site housed retail and office space. Cadillac Fairview said the undertaking complements its continuing investment in its owned and managed Eaton Centre complex, which underwent a two-year, $120 million renovation started in 2010. The company, controlled by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, in 2017 completed installation of a new Queen St. pedestrian bridge connecting the Eaton Centre to Hudson’s Bay. It has also partnered with BMO to develop an “urban campus” that will take over a portion of Sears Canada’s former office space at the downtown mall and house 3,500 high-tech employees when it opens in 2021. Rory MacLeod, development vice-president, said the company “is proud to be restoring 2 Queen St. W. to its original glory. Cadillac Fairview is absolutely committed to our responsible investment in the heritage properties under our stewardship,” he added.
>> Lire la suite

Maple Leaf Square hosting tailgate party for Leafs, Raptors and and Toronto FC tonight (mer., 25 avril 2018)
If you’re having trouble deciding what sport to follow while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors duke it out in the playoffs on Wednesday night, consider watching them all at once. A combined tailgate party held in Maple Leaf Square will be streaming the Raptors game 5 and Maple Leafs game 7 games live, as well as the Toronto FC CONCACAF final matchup. “This is a big night for the Maple Leafs, Raptors and TFC; for our fans and for our city,” said Nick Eaves, Chief Venues and Operations officer with MLSE in a press release. “This is a logistical challenge that we are thrilled to face and an experience that we are excited to deliver for our fans. As always, we are thankful to our partners at the City of Toronto and Toronto Police Service for their help delivering a safe and positive event for our fans to celebrate our teams and our city.” The event will be held at the southwest corner of the Air Canada Centre, and an alternate entrance will be located at York St. and Bremner Blvd at 5 p.m. Commuters and pedestrians should be aware of concrete barriers that have been erected around major intersections. The barriers have been installed in front of Union Station. Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins stated in an email to the Star that the barriers are specifically designed to prevent vehicles driving down pedestrian access areas. “Union Station is the busiest transit hub in the country and hundreds of thousands of commuters walk every day in these wide open pedestrian areas,” Aikins said. “So far I’m not hearing complaints from commuters that the barriers are impeding the flow of pedestrian traffic.” Where to go: Raptors vs. Washington Wizards: Main screen outside of the arena. Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins: Screens will be positioned at the end of Bremner Blvd. and York St. Toronto FC vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Central Maple Leafs Square.
>> Lire la suite

Family of reputed mobster Rocco Zito not sure how he earned $1M he had in bank account, court hears (mar., 24 avril 2018)
Alleged mob boss Rocco Zito had $1 million in the bank, but how he earned it was a mystery to some close family members, court heard. “What did your grandfather do for work before he retired?” defence lawyer Morgan Ross asked Zito’s granddaughter, Maria Scopelliti, 24, at the University Ave. courthouse Tuesday. Her father, Domenic Scopelliti, 54, is charged with murder in Zito’s shooting death. “I don’t know,” she replied. Read more: Reputed mobster Rocco Zito’s household was tense before he was shot dead, court hears Slain reputed mobster Rocco Zito had guns, cash hidden all over house, court hears Reputed mobster Rocco Zito was killed in domestic dispute, not mob hit, court told Zito was shot to death on Jan. 29, 2016 in the brick bungalow he shared with eight relatives on Playfair Ave. near Caledonia Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W. Court has heard that the mortgage on Zito’s home was paid off and he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash stashed in his home, in addition to the seven-figure bank account. “I know it was an investment account,” Maria Scopelliti said of the $1 million in the bank. “We would get statements monthly.” “Did you ever know your grandparents to be legitimately employed?” Ross asked. “I don’t know,” she replied. Laura Scopelliti, daughter of Zito and the former wife of the accused, said her father once told her he had worked as a tile salesman. Maria Scopelliti said she only learned by reading news reports after his death that her grandfather was considered a senior organized crime member and had a criminal record that included manslaughter in a debt collection. The agreed statement of facts in the case notes that Zito was convicted of manslaughter in October 1986 in a killing over a debt. “It was suspected that throughout his life he had been, and remained at the time of his death, a figure of significant power and authority within organized crime, specifically the Italian Mafia,” the agreed statement of fact said. “Further to his reputation, it was generally known and understood that throughout his adult life, Mr. Zito had access to weapons, including firearms and ammunition.” Maria Scopelliti described her grandfather as a confused, often angry man in his final years. “He was experiencing some early signs of dementia,” she told court. “Almost every night wandering around confused .” She said her grandfather could still walk but avoided stairs and that he also suffered from severe diabetic attacks. He had taken to sleeping on a couch rather than his bed because he found it more comfortable, she said. She described her mother, Laura Scopelliti, as the primary caregiver in the home, taking care of Zito, his wife Giuseppa, and daughter Franca, who coped with schizophrenia and manic depression. Caring for the home’s residents was a major challenge, court heard. “The brunt of it fell on your mother?” asked Crown attorney Anna Stanford. “Yes,” Maria Scopelliti said. Court heard Domenic Scopelliti lived in the family home with his ex-wife and four children in Zito’s home. Maria Scopelliti said she did not hear gunshots the day her grandfather was shot dead. She said she was taking a nap and was awoken by screaming and crying. She said her grandfather, lying motionless on the floor, was surrounded by screaming, crying women. She said her grandmother, Giuseppa, sobbed by Zito’s body, ignoring police requests to leave. “She was not leaving my grandfather’s side,” she said. “She was just crying over him.” “She was shouting his name. ‘My Rocco! Disgraceful act.’” She said her grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease and appeared to forget the shooting of her husband just hours later.
>> Lire la suite

PREGAME: Leafs, Bruins tinker with lineups (mer., 25 avril 2018)
BOSTON -- It sounds like Leafs coach Mike Babcock might make a small change to his lineup, but he's keeping it to himself. "We'll see at game time," said Babcock. During the morning skate, Nazem Kadri skated back on his usual line between Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner, with Tomas Plekanec between William Nylander and Andreas Johnsson. Since Kadri returned from suspension, he has spent the morning skates with Marner and Marleau, but come game time, he's flipped lines with Plekanec. Could be nothing but head games for Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who has been doing some line manoeuvring of his own, notably moving Rick Nash off Boston's second line to its third. Rookie Danton Heinen will take Nash's spot on the second line, with Tommy Wingels scratched. Babcock said the key for the Leafs is to withstand the first 10 minutes, when Boston will come out strong with the support of the TD Garden crowd, and stay out of the penalty box. "You want to come out and be poised and execute early," said Babcock. "That's criticial to having success. Scoring first is important as well." But his key pregame message was a bit more poetic: "But there are only certain moments in your life that turn into memories. This is one of them. Make it a great memory. We have an opportunity to enjoy ourselves, to embrace the situation, to play well, to play hard. Let's do that." THE PLAYERS ON GAME 7 Mitch Marner: "We played the whole season for this moment. It's exciting. We've to be ready to play." Nazem Kadri: "This is something you don't an opportunity for every single year. Game 7, there's not much more to be said." David Backes: "I compare it almost to a 60-minute overtime type of game. The playoffs is a notch up, and a Game 7 is even another notch up" LOOSE LEAFS: There are some Leaf fans wandering around Boston. These guys seem to be ... well. ... having a good time. Stay safe fellas. COMMENT: Good day Kevin: I read with great chagrin that I read the suggestion of one of your readers:  Matthews be dealt for a big return.  I cannot understand how anyone could think this - I totally agree with you.    Matthews is one of, if not the best, skilled player that has ever played on the Leafs and that is saying something with the likes of Clark, Salming, Sundin et al.  The blindness that some fans (who say “I want this and I want it now") is discouraging.  This Leaf team is a work in progress:  it is but year two of a 5 or 6 year plan.  Matthews is in his sophomore year and has been injured - he still put up excellent numbers.  He is a game changer, arguably a generational player.  Take a deep breath impatient Leaf fans.  When the Leafs are bumped from the playoffs (and they will be sooner than later - this is not their year), it will be sad, but remember - this is a work in progress and these playoffs, like last year’s, are collective learning experiences. Regarding another comment one of your readers made:  the Leafs do not look like the Olympic teams Babcock coached.  As your reader recognized, the Olympics attract the best in the world.  It is inconceivable that and NHL team could ice anything close to assembling such a team.  However, one trademark of Babcock’s Olympic teams was how they changed lines.  Players came to the bench skating at full tilt, none of this coasting stuff.  Players on the bench saw the upcoming change, formulated a plan, and hit the ice hard and fast - Toews was always at full speed in two strides - and was in middle of the play very quickly.   Speed is everything in today’s game and this seems to me to be a simple adjustment that will give the Leafs more of advantage without changing lines or personnel.  I know the players  are gassed at the end of a shift.  Suck it up, make shorter changes if need be.  Just skate boys, as fast as you can, both to and from the bench.  It will be a significant free advantage over most teams who lallygag to and from the bench.  I am at a loss to know why more teams do not subscribe to line changes with this style. Dave B RESPONSE: You're dead right, Dave. Speed on line changes, especially at this time of year, is paramount. I hate when guys float on a line change. I heard one story about Marc Savard's early career, and that he'd hold his hand up and to signal he was coming off, from about 100 feet away and glide back. His coach told him never to do that. He said Wayne Gretzky used to do it. The coach said: "You're not Wayne Gretzky." ... COMMENT: Kevin, I’m shocked that The Star would even print that question.  Auston is the arguably the best thing that ever happened to the Leafs organization. I see you answered the question correctly but we should twice about even airing that question. The last thing we want is for Auston to not think he’s loved by Leafs Nation. Thanks, Ashton M. RESPONSE: It's not my place to censor what readers think, but simply to curate the conversation. How Auston Matthews deals with criticism from the fans is entirely up to him. COMMENT: Lance, Since Saturday morning, we have been flying the Maple Leafs flag outside our home in Houston, Texas. Some of our neighbors and friends asked what country has that flag  We said, "The nation of Nazem Kadri." Confused, they asked "But it says 'Toronto' on it. Isn't that in Canada?" Our answer, "Same thing." We are seeing Game 7 with friends back at the same home we saw the Game 7 Meltdown. Once experienced, it won't happen again. And the Leafs needed to go through that to know that now. If you would have told us then that the Leafs would have a second chance to re-play the game five years later in Boston, it would have seemed like an impossible miracle. Made them more resilient late in these last 2 games. After Game 2, we again thought the same. Just to see the Leafs play for 30 seconds, win or lose, will be so satisfying, a bonus, a dream come true. Already, it will be a highlight in cheering for the Leafs all these years. Remember, five of today's Bruins had a 3 goal lead in 2013 Game 7 and lost. Learn from other people's mistakes. Pressure, the more you get, the more you're gonna love it. This is what it is all about, why you learned to skate and play the best game on earth, in front of the most dedicated and greatest fans at home, or anywhere, worldwide. Please don't watch the clock. Regulation or overtime, don't sit back thinking your goals will just happen ... make it happen!! Hoping the Marlies win too in Utica, Remembered watching 1967 and 1993, Roman C. RESPONSE: I edited this a little bit, because it was 2013, not 2010, but I had to leave your opening "Lance" because it made me laugh. I'll pass this along to the Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun. He'll have a wittier answer because he's funnier than me. ... I'm Starsky. He's Hutch. ... Enjoy the game. GOT A QUESTION? Email me at askkevinmcgran@gmail.com and I'll answer it in Friday's mailbag.
>> Lire la suite

Liberals rally with Jean Chrétien in Vaughan (mer., 25 avril 2018)
Emotions were high as about 1,000 Liberals rallied in Vaughan with former prime minister Jean Chrétien. Grits gathered Tuesday night for Economic Development Minister Steven Del Duca’s nomination meeting in the new riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, where Chrétien struck a reflective tone. One day after the Yonge St. van attack that left 10 people dead and 14 injured, the former prime minister said despite the “sad” and “terrible” events, he was heartened by how Torontonians have reacted. “We live in a big land separated by mountains, prairies, and rivers — separated sometimes by language, sometimes the colour of the skin and religion,” Chrétien said. Read more: Kathleen Wynne blasts Doug Ford as a ‘bulldozer’ in a china shop in post-budget speech Ontario budget to fund free child care for preschoolers as part of $2.2B plan Kathleen Wynne announces $2.4B for Sick Kids’ patient care centre “We are all together in good times, in bad times. In days like yesterday, all the people of Toronto came together,” said the man who governed from 1993 until 2003. At the packed Montecassino Place Banquet Hall, Del Duca urged attendees to “pause and reflect” on Monday’s horrific events. “It is so important for communities … to come together,” the minister said, appealing to the crowd to help. “If you’re able and willing, help donate blood to the cause,” he said, pointing out signs placed throughout the hall directing people on how to donate blood to Sunnybrook hospital and Canadian Blood Services. Despite public-opinion polls suggesting Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford could topple Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in the June 7 election, Del Duca implored supporters to work hard. “There are ebbs and flows to every campaign, there are ups and downs,” said Del Duca, praising Wynne for helping deliver the subway extension to Vaughan as well as a new hospital, while also raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour while also delivering free tuition for hundreds of thousands of college and university students. Chrétien also touted the premier, who has been in office since 2013. “She has shown a lot of courage in front of very difficult files,” he said. But not everyone was in Vaughan to boost the governing party Outside the hall, several hundred members of LiUNA Local 183 protested labour changes in last month’s budget bill that open up some of the work sites to unionized carpenters. They also demonstrated Monday morning at Queen’s Park.
>> Lire la suite