A/C jet urgent landing as 35 passengers hurt in turbulance

Nearly three dozen passengers and crew sustained minor injuries Thursday when an Air Canada 777-200 carrying 284 passengers struck severe turbulence on its way to Sydney. The plane landed at Honolulu. Flight AC33 was about two hours past Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean early Thursday morning when unexpected and sudden turbulence triggered a turnaround and caused “minor injuries” for about 35 travellers, the airline said in an email. Eyewitnesses described a gut-churning drop in altitude that slammed passengers and flight attendants into the ceiling. “We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof and everything fell down, and stuff… people went flying,” passenger Jess Smith told local station KHON in Honolulu.


“I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane,” said Alex MacDonald. “A couple of the air hostesses were bringing food out at the time, and they hit the roof as well. But as a whole people seem to be OK, didn’t seem to be any major injuries.” MacDonald added that staff and ground crew were “amazing” in the wake of the incident. The turbulence happened at about 10,970 metres 966 kilometres southwest of Honolulu, said U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

Tristan Warkentin trial set over to Aug. 8, reasons unknown

The case of a Tristan Warkentin has been put over to August 8. Warkentin is charged with mischief in the operation of property by interrupting a CP24 live report on Raptors celebrants. There is no explanation for the delay. Just filth or felonious too? Watch for Tristan’s mischief trial.

Grocer is reconciled to huge embarrassing bags boomerang

Vancouver grocer David Kwen thought he would embarrass customers into bringing cloth bags by putting their groceries into plastics bags with humiliating slogans. The bags shouted stuff like Wart Ointment Wholesale, Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium and The Colon Care Co-Op. Instead, demand for the bags soared, with one request coming in from Australia. Some people said they’d like to see the slogans on cloth grocery sacks. Kwen is philosophical about the bag boomerang: “The underlying thing is that it creates conversation and that’s what we actually wanted to get across to the general public,” he told NPR. Now, in an effort to meet customer demand while also being environmentally conscious, Kwen will print the slogans on canvas tote bags so shoppers can reuse them.

Hoggard preliminary, change-room peeper, senior extortion

Left, a preliminary hearing Thursday has heard that Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard will be heard by a judge and jury if the case goes to trial. Hoggard, who was in a Toronto court for a two-day preliminary hearing, made the request through his lawyer. He also pleaded not guilty to sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual interference. The charges relate to three separate incidents involving a girl under the age of 16 and a woman that took place in the Toronto area in 2016. At centre, Sohanthen Udayashankar, 22, of Toronto is charged in the change-room recorder incident last week at the Eaton Centre. Women were recorded as they changed but one saw the device and told management. At right is Abdie Dirie, 27, is wanted for the assault and extortion of a man, 77, Liberty Village. Mr. Dirie is considered violent and dangerous and believed to be in the Toronto area.

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for GTA Thursday

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued at 10:04 Thursday 11 July 2019

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain. Severe thunderstorms are possible late this morning and afternoon. These thunderstorms may be capable of producing very strong wind gusts of 100 km/h, heavy downpours and hail.


Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Remember, severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall. Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ONstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ONStorm. For more information: http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/beprepared/beprepared.html.

150 fired at Baycrest as well-known orthotics racket exposed

Media reports are saying more than 150 employees have been fired or otherwise terminated in a multi-million dollar benefits fraud at Baycrest Hospital for Geriatric Care on Bathurst St. The National Post speculates it could be “one of the largest and longest-lasting benefits fraud schemes ever discovered in Canada.” It says the geriatric hospital released the staff members Wednesday for falsely claiming as much as $5 million in benefits over an eight-year period. “It appears to be organized,” said William Reichman, president and CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences. “It had to be done in such a way that it would escape at least detection by the benefits administrator… It’s a betrayal of trust.” As in previous scams of comparable size, such as the one discovered last year at the Toronto Transit Commission, this one involved misuse of prescription coverage for orthotics, knee braces, and compression stockings, but also physiotherapy. The Post account contains a number of hair-raising interviews with perpetrators and a police comment that there is unlikely to be any criminal action unless the hospital makes a formal complaint.

Boys, grandad safe as van spotted on Lake Shore Thursday

Two young brothers and their grandfather are safe after a night of searching by GTA police. The Pontiac van in which they were reported missing was seen early Thursday by Toronto police on Lake Shore Boulevard and pulled over. All are in good condition. The disappearance is being attributed to “vulnerability” on the part of the grandad. He is said by police to be confused. Police previously said the man dropped his wife off at a plaza across from Southlake Regional Health Centre near Davis Dr. and Lundy’s Lane in York Region at around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was supposed to park the car and bring the boys to the clinic to wait for their grandmother. But instead, he drove away with the two boys in the vehicle. An Amber Alert was issued in the middle of the night in a desperate attempt to locate the boys and the man.

Nicholas Kasirer, 59, named to Supreme Court of Canada

Nicholas Kasirer, 59, has been nominated by Prime Minister Trudeau to fill a pending vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Kasirer is a graduate of McGill University and was a professor at McGill’s faculty of law between 1989 and 2009. He taught classes on the law of obligations, property law, family law, and wills and estates law in both civil and common law. He served as the dean of the McGill Faculty of Law from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, the former Conservative government appointed him to serve as a judge on Quebec Court of Appeal, the province’s highest court. Kasirer, said to be among Quebec’s most respected jurists, was also suggested as a possible Supreme Court pick in 2014 after the top court rejected a different Conservative appointment, Justice Marc Nadon, for a job on the bench. That decision was related to the obligatory representation of Quebec on the high court. Members of the Quebec bar or superior judiciary, by law, must hold three of the nine positions on the Supreme Court. Kasirer is poised to replace Justice Clément Gascon as one of three judges from Quebec on the high court. Gascon has said he will retire from his post early in September.

Kyle Main, 31, of Keswick, charged in Peter Lu kidnapping

Kyle Main, 31, of Keswick, is facing nine charges, including kidnapping, forcible confinement and assault with a weapon in connection with the kidnapping of Wanzhaen (Peter) Lu in March. Main is the fourth accused in the outrageous snatching of Mr. Lu from an underground garage last March in York Region. A fifth wanted person is Muzamil Addow, 28, of Toronto on similar charges.


Police have charged Shawn Vassel, 35, of Toronto with second-degree murder and other crimes in the death of Justin Kyle Ezeard, 32, of Etobicoke last May. This occurred at 111 Millwick Drive. The charges:

1. Second Degree Murder
2. Discharge Firearm with Intent
3. Careless Use of Firearm
4. Unauthorized Possession of Firearm
5. Possession of Prohibited or Restricted Firearm
6. Possession of Firearm Contrary to Prohibition Order x 2

“Soccer suffragette” delivers a stemwinder on being kind

Megan Rapinoe, ballsy midfielder of the championship US Women’s Soccer Team, is best known for demanding equal pay for women soccer players. But on Wednesday she made an impassioned address to celebrants in New York urging them to love more and hate less. Then, an enormous international crackdown on the trafficking of both animals and animal-parts. The coverage is a bit short on the customers who buy these creatures but a shipment of dead pangolin turtles was on its way to China where the scales are boiled to make a medicine that allegedly stimulates lactation, helps drain pus and relieve skin diseases or palsy. Uh-huh. Then, revenge of Big Data at the LCBO where an “improved supply system” is leading to the opposite — empty shelves. Finally, it’s the invasion of the giant goldfish, an apparent result of spillage from ponds and aquaria. Burlington Bay is said to be full of them.

BoC leaves bank rate at 1.75% amid wait-and-see economics

The Bank of Canada is leaving its key interest rate unchanged in an announcement that balances domestic economic improvements with an expanding global slowdown caused by trade conflicts. The decision keeps the interest rate at 1.75 percent for a sixth-straight meeting — and governor Stephen Poloz appears to be in no rush to make a move even as policy-makers in the U.S. and Europe signal they may introduce cuts.

Huge seizure of fentanyl, cash and weapons in Project Oz

Toronto Police Inspector Don Belanger of the Drug Squad Tuesday revealed the cracking of a large drug distribution ring that was operating in the Greater Toronto Area and Windsor. The investigation was called Project Oz by police. Project Oz yielded the seizure of powdered cocaine, fentanyl, crystal methamphetamine as well as firearms and more than half a million dollars in cash. These were found hidden in secret compartments under the floor of three SUV vehicles. Three men and two women are charged. Three men are said to remain at large but only two are named. They are Sebastiano Profetto, 30, of Windsor and Jaidyn Downes, 33, of Cobourg. Names of the accused and charges are here.  Inspector Belanger said the source of fentanyl is China and Mexico.