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MORE: Best of Your Saskatchewan 2014
Your Saskatchewan: December 2014
Your Saskatchewan: November 2014
Your Saskatchewan: October 2014
OTTAWA – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is in the nation’s capital today to deliver a speech on energy strategy, climate change and infrastructure spending ahead of a meeting with her counterparts at the end of the month.
Wynne, set to make the keynote address at a Canada 2020 luncheon, will propose a new infrastructure partnership between the federal government and the provinces.
An official in Wynne’s office says energy and climate change will also be on the premier’s agenda.
Her speech, entitled A Vision for Canada at 150: Building a Real Economic Union, comes in advance of the premiers’ meeting in Ottawa on Jan. 30.
Wynne recently invited Prime Minister Stephen Harper to attend the meeting after the two met on Jan. 5 for the first time in more than a year.
The Prime Minister’s Office says Harper won’t attend, saying he meets regularly with the provincial premiers one-on-one.
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TORONTO – As the Toronto Maple Leafs returned from a winless Western Conference road trip, they found the friendly confines of Air Canada Centre to be not so welcoming.
A few fans threw jerseys onto the ice, a couple wore bags over their heads and many more voiced their displeasure by booing. In the game itself, it was much more of the same as the Leafs were thoroughly outclassed by the lowly Carolina Hurricanes in a 4-1 loss Monday night.
It was Toronto’s fifth loss in a row with just two goals to show for 300 minutes of hockey.
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“It’s a similar answer that we’ve been saying for now the past five games: We haven’t found a way to put pucks in the net,” captain Dion Phaneuf said. “The bottom line is that we had our chances and we’re having a tough time putting the puck in the net. That’s very evident.”
The only thing that kept the Leafs (22-22-3) from being shut out for the fourth time in five games was a power-play goal by Nazem Kadri in the third period. That ended a goal drought of 162 minutes 14 seconds.
Before that point, they fell behind by three thanks to goals by Brad Malone, Elias Lindholm and Eric Staal. Interim coach Peter Horachek tried to convince his players to get back at it after falling behind, but it was hard to shake the feeling.
“I get the sense like there’s a big letdown,” Horachek said.
Carolina (16-25-5) capitalized, chasing goaltender Jonathan Bernier with three goals on 13 shots. Anton Khudobin stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced as the Hurricanes improved to 6-2-1 since the calendar flipped to 2015.
“We weren’t perfect, though we played hard and we competed,” first-year coach Bill Peters said. “Back-to-back wins on the road for the first time for us this year, so things are going in the right direction.”
Things appear to be going in the wrong direction for the Leafs, who are 1-6-0 under Horachek and have lost 13 of 16 dating to the inconsistencies that cost Randy Carlyle his job. Horachek has tried to instill a tough, defensive mentality, but his team has been outscored 24-9 since he took over.
And though the Leafs’ overall defensive play may have improved, the results aren’t there.
“When you give up that many chances and you win hockey games (earlier in the season), sometimes that comes back to haunt you,” said Phaneuf, who fought Eric Staal in the second period. “And right now we’re just having a tough time on the other side of the puck because we’ve cut down our chances against but we haven’t been able to put the puck in the net.”
Unable to find a happy medium between defensive responsibility and offensive power, the Leafs again fell into the trap of trying to sacrifice one for the other. Horachek said his team “cheated” too often after falling behind.
By the time the Leafs were down 3-0 in the second period, one fan threw a jersey onto the ice.
“We don’t appreciate that, obviously,” winger Phil Kessel said. “We’re trying. I don’t know if people see that. We are trying. I don’t know. We can’t find it right now.”
When the Leafs were trying and even had possession of the puck, another jersey came flying.
“I don’t know how that happens or what security or the ushers are doing,” Kadri said. “It seems like we’re giving the guy an extra couple minutes to flip everybody off and to mock our real fans. I don’t know how that guy’s not taken by his shirt and dragged out of there, but what do I know.”
Frustration was evident throughout the game, even from the Hurricanes. Eric Staal, who got into only his second career NHL fight with Phaneuf after the Leafs’ captain hit brother Jordan, wound up and fired a slap shot from close range into an empty net to seal it.
Staal seemed intent to either let the puck drill Phaneuf or the net.
“I was ready,” Staal said. “One of those plays where you just react and you’re into the emotion of the game, you’re into the energy and I knew I wanted to get it in so I made sure I got a hold of it.”
Staal scored more goals Monday night than Leafs forwards have in the past five games. This latest loss was just more strife in a season that has gone bad quickly.
“We didn’t play our best tonight,” Kessel said. “We had good spurts in there, we had some chances and it’s not good enough.”
Notes – Kadri’s goal snapped Carolina’s streak of consecutive penalties killed at 36, which dated to Dec. 21 against the Rangers. Peters said it was “an opportunity to start a new streak.” … Leafs backup James Reimer stopped all 18 shots he faced in relief and could start Wednesday at Ottawa in the final game before the all-star break. … Forwards Leo Komarov (shoulder) and Troy Bodie (healthy) and defenceman Stephane Robidas (upper-body injury) were scratches for the Leafs. Matt Frattin made his eighth appearance of the season in Bodie’s place. … Winger Alexander Semin and former Leafs defenceman John-Michael Liles were healthy scratches for Carolina.
WATCH: Global’s Dave Trafford breaks Mayor Tory’s first budget.
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory is proposing a 2.25 per cent property tax increase in the 2015 budget.
The increase however, does not include a 0.5 per cent levy for the Scarborough subway extension, which was previously agreed upon by council.
“My commitment was on the property tax increase I can control in terms of putting together the 2015 budget,” Tory told reporters prior to presenting the city’s spending plan to the budget committee Tuesday morning.
“The point-five per cent was always there, long before we got here for this term.”
The mayor maintains the property tax increase is “well below” the city’s rate of inflation of 2.6 per cent despite the total, including the levy, being higher.
“The rate of inflation will be what it is and it presently stands at 2.6 per cent,” he said.
Avg Toronto house assessed at $524,833 will pay $92.79/yr in new tax. That includes new property tax, Scarb subway levy and Education tax.
— Dave Trafford (@DaveTrafford) January 20, 2015
Tory said he is also proposing to invest an additional $75 million into the operation budget to improve city services — with nearly half of it going towards public transit.
“Whether by foot, bike, or public transit, we’re investing in public transit to get this city moving,” Tory explained.
WATCH: Mark McAllister reports on two of the campaign promises Mayor Tory has already failed to keep.
Transit and infrastructure were expected to be front and centre in Tory’s first draft budget, which also includes $14.4 million to support Toronto’s most vulnerable by adding more shelter beds. Tory is also setting a target of $80 million for city efficiencies.
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The city’s budget relies on $86 million from the province to achieve balance – a number which the city is still negotiating.
“Historically the province chips in way more money, this is really a year when we’re asking for a first installment,” Councillor Joe Mihevc told reporters Tuesday. “This actually marks a change from the Ford years by saying ‘province, we need you as partners, in funding good public services at the city level. $86 million is a start, I suspect in 2016 and beyond we’ll be asking for that partnership to deepen and be broader.”
But much of the proposed budget is subject to drastic change through several rounds of meetings including public deputations, and executive committee meetings before returning to council for final approval in March.
The TTC, Toronto Water and the Toronto Police Service have the largest budgets, together contributing to nearly 35 per cent of the total budget.
The #CityofTO staff recommended operating budget is $11.5 billion. Learn where the money goes. pic.twitter苏州夜网/wStosiRHps
— City of Toronto (@TorontoComms) January 20, 2015
The Toronto Police budget is targeting a zero per cent increase. Councillor Gary Crawford told reporters that number could change through the ongoing round of collective bargaining but the city has already put aside some money in case they have to pay higher salaries.
“It is a zero per cent increase but they’re not including collective bargaining mandated increases,” Crawford said.
VIDEO: Tory wants new budget to address poverty, homelessness
Traditionally, new mayors don’t have much input into the first operating budget, which is said to be close to $10 billion.
While campaigning, Tory promised to freeze TTC fares and keep residential taxes at or below the rate of inflation.
On Monday, Tory announced a 10 cent TTC fare hike and that children under 12 years will be allowed to ride for free.
BRIDGEWATER, NS – A lot of people go South this time of year to escape the Winter for some rest and relaxation. At the end of January more than 400 young baseball players from Atlantic Canada will be travelling to sunny Cuba, to enjoy the sun and spread some goodwill.
It’s called the Goodwill Tour. The idea is to play some baseball, and grow a friendships and support the Cubans in growing their baseball system and school programs.
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The sound of baseball hitting metal bats and the smack of balls entering gloves rang out around the indoor facility in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, where about 40 players were training for their upcoming trip. The Goodwill Tour has grown from two Nova Scotia teams in it’s first year, to five from this province – two of them female – plus two from PEI, and one each from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Winnipeg. The players from 10 to 16 years of age will play baseball over a three week period in February at Matanzas, Cuba.
“It’s one of the safest places I’ve ever seen and one of the most passionate places I’ve ever been in regards to baseball,” says Dennis Woodworth, when asked why the group chose to go to that region.
Woodworth is the Program Developer of the Goodwill Tour. He says to grow the sport, Cuba needs fields and equipment, and he wants Canadians to learn how fortunate they are in this country.
Third baseman Marcus Bishop went to Cuba last year and saw the needs first hand. “Kids playing with like a piece of wood and a rock or something, just playing baseball on the side of the road,” he recalls. “They don’t have a field or nothing down there.”
Each of the 450 players raised about $1,800. for the trip. They’re not all-star teams, notes Woodworth. “We pick the players on their level of sportsmanship. They’re pro-active individuals in their community and their school programs.”
Besides playing ball each day, Woodworth has other plans for the Cubans and Canadians. “We have bus tours throughout the week,” he says. “We have Cuban kids coming to our resorts on Thursdays, we visit schools on Wednesdays, so we give a real depiction of what it’s like to live in a third world country.”
Last year the Nova Scotian teams presented the Cubans with 15-thousand dollars worth of baseball equipment. “You feel really good to give people all that stuff down there, since they’re less fortunate and everything,” says Bishop. “It’s a great experience. I can’t wait to go back down.”
This year, Canadian teams will hand out $75,000. worth of baseball equipment and school supplies, donated by companies and minor baseball associations across the Maritime provinces.
Hannah Shea is a pitcher and infielder. She’s proud to be taking part in the program. “Being the first girls team to go down there and getting all that started with the girls teams will be a wonderful experience,” she says. “I can’t wait to be able to give school supplies and being able to see the looks on their faces.”
Woodworth adds, “We’re not only helping people in the world, but we’re also learning how to be great humanitarians.”
A bonus for the Canadian team: former major league players Bill Lee and Devon White will be guest coaches with the teams during the first week of the tour. In March, the organization will hold fund-raising dinners in hopes of bringing a Cuban team to the Maritimes in late June.
The first group of players heads out on Jan. 31.