5 Things To Know Today
Snowfall causes many cashes and closures on all Toronto HWY’s this morning. Ontario to clamp down on contraband cigarettes. By-Election in Whitby-Oshawa today will be a close one. Mississauga TransitWay begins phase 1 today. Band Aid 30 debut ”Do They Know It’s Christmas” video.
SNOWFALL CAUSES CRASHES AND CLOSURES ON ALL TORONTO HIGHWAY’S
Brace yourself for a shock Toronto, you’ll need to brush the snow off your car this morning as well as your teeth. We got up to 5cm of snow overnight and can expect another 2 to 4cm today more of the same throughout the week. Toronto could see 15cm of total accumulation by Thursday. The first significant snowfall of the season in the city means the need for commuters to re-learn how to drive in winter conditions. Slow down, drive to the slick conditions, leave extra time, all the usual warning from the various police forces. Out in the Guelph area this morning, the westbound-401 is completely shutdown because of several crashes involving tractor-trailers. Some have spun into the ditch, others have jack-knifed, there’s a diesel spill and minor injuries. The westbound-401 is closed from Guelph Line to Highway-6. Just after midnight a multi car crash on the westbound Gardiner Expressway caused a closure of all lanes just west of the DVP. There were only minor injuries and the closure lasted just over an hour. While around the same time the slippery road condition saw officials close the southern portion of the DVP in both directions. Northbound was closed from the Gardiner Expressway while the southbound lanes were closed from Richmond St. to the Lakeshore until salt trucks could be brought in. There were also a number of other accidents across the city including crashes on the 427, QEW, 401 and 403 with several cars going into the ditch that prompted the OPP to remind drivers to adjust to the road conditions. The wintery weather isn’t just for Canada. this arctic blast is dipping way down to Arizona and northern Texas. In Tupelo, Mississippi they’re expecting the mercury to dip down to -13° Celsius tonight.
ONTARIO TO CLAMP DOWN ON CONTRABAND CIGARETTES
The underground economy is about to face the scrutiny of Ontario’s Finance Minister as Charles Sousa will be releasing the province’s fall economic statement today, which the Toronto Star is reports will clamp down on tax cheats; targeting those who buy contraband tobacco. Roughly 40% of cigarettes smoked in the province are untaxed, because they`re manufactured on First Nations Reserves, then illegally distributed throughout the province. Sousa also wants to put an end to “cash-only” transactions that are often used to dodge taxes. He’ll be making the announcement in the Legislature at 1:15 this afternoon then meet with reporters afterwards.
BY-ELECTION IN WHITBY-OSHAWA TODAY WILL BE A CLOSE ONE
Voters in Whitby-Oshawa today will choose a replacement to fill the seat once held by former Tory Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. The close race, and turning a bit nasty. In the 2011 election the late finance minister won the seat with 58 per cent of the vote. Today’s race is expected to be a lot tighter with polls revealing Conservative candidate Pat Perkins has a slight lead over Liberal hopeful Celina Caesar-Chavannes. The media has been tipped off to documents that raise questions about Perkin’s expenses while she was mayor of Whitby, including foreign travel. The Tories are accusing the Liberals of running a smear campaign. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has campaigned frequently with Caesar-Chavannes, while Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently chose Whitby as the location for a tax credit announcement.
MISSISSAUGA TRANSITWAY BEGINS PHASE 1 TODAY
10 years of planning and nearly half a billion dollars later Mississauga’s new TransitWay transit plan is opening four stations today. The TransitWay will offer dedicated bus lanes along the 403 creating greater ease for buses trying to get downtown. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2017 with travel times from Mississauga to Pearson Airport reduced by half. Close to 40% of the expected ridership are students commuting into Toronto for school. The project received funding from all three levels of government with the municipality giving over 300 million dollars for 460 million dollar lane-way.
BAND AID 30 DEBUT NEW “DO THEY KNOW IT’s CHRISTMAS” VIDEO
After spending the weekend recording it, the 30th anniversary edition of the Band Aid charity single is out. British musicians including U2’s Bono, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and the boy band One Direction re-jigged the lyrics of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to outline the Ebola fight in West Africa. Money raised will go toward battling the disease.