5 Things To Know Today
OPP urging drivers to be careful on morning commute. Supreme Court of Canada releasing decision on physician-assisted suicides. Liberals Sudbury byelection win smells. MacLeod to pull out of PC Leadership race. Former Brampton mayor Susan Fennell cleared of wrongdoings. Today is Bob Marley day in Toronto. Gas prices drop 5 cents.
OPP URGING DRIVERS TO BE CAREFUL ON MORNING COMMUTE
There was some light snow, and more expected in the days to come, but the OPP are once again reminding drivers to be careful, stay safe and slow on the roads. “We’ve had a couple of crashes, mostly in the west end, we currently have the westbound lanes closed near Highway 6 due to a couple transport trucks that are jack-knifed,” Sargent Kerry Schmidt told AM640. He says they’ll likely re-open around 7am. On the good side, though, there were no reported injuries. Schmidt says the roads are pretty slick. Plows were out and about overnight, but he says it’s still up to the drivers to be careful. Environment Canada says there will be a lot of snow in for the weekend, mixed with ice pellets and snow, making travel and visibility difficult as well.
SUPREME COURT RELEASING DECISION ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDES
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada will be making a landmark decision on the controversial issue of physician assisted suicide. The Canadian Medical Association says they hope to play an integral role in striking down the current law, saying the act is “appropriate” in rare cases of extreme suffering. CMA president Dr. Chris Simpson told reporters Thursday that if the existing bans are removed, he feels the CMA should be at the table in drafting new laws and guidelines for physicians in the handling of the suicides. The decision will be revolving around a recent case of a B.C. woman who traveled to Switzerland to undergo physician assisted suicide. The courts today have the option of upholding the current laws, or strike it down and suspend the ruling, giving Parliament time to write a new law on the issue. If the existing law is overturned, it doesn’t necessarily mean doctors are required by law to fulfill a patients request to die, it just makes them not criminally responsible if they choose to do so. The Harper government are opposing its legalization, saying all human lives are protected, while the opposition have not announced an official position on the case.
LIBERAL BYELECTION WIN SMELLS
Liberal Glenn Thibeault has been elected as Sudbury’s new member of the Ontario Legislature amid controversy an an investigation into possible criminal code violations. Poll numbers were released Thursday night, saying Thibeault won with 41.2 percent of the vote. Thibeault left the New Democrats to run for the provincial Liberals, beating out NDP candidate Suzanne Shawbonquit and independent Andrew Olivier. Shawbonquit came in second, with 34.9 percent of the vote. Shawbonquit says she respects the outcome of the election, saying, “If he is looking for an ally to get Sudbury’s voice heard in Toronto, he will find one in me.” Liberals had held the seat in Sudbury for almost 20 years, until the last election, when they lost to the NDP’s. The byelection had been riddled with controversy, ever since Olivier alleged the Liberals had offered him a job in exchange for stepping aside for Thibeault. OPP and Elections Ontario are investigating the claims, under the belief the actions could have violated the criminal code. Olivier had run as a Liberal candidate in June 2014, intending to run again, but Liberal Party appointed Thibeault instead. Premiere Kathleen Wynne was in Sudbury for the election, saying “I look forward to welcoming Glenn to the Ontario Liberal caucus as we continue to implement our plan to build Ontario up. As a proven leader in his community, Glenn will be a strong voice for Sudbury and the North at Queen’s Park.”
MACLEOD TO PULL OUT OF PC LEADERSHIP RACE
Lisa MacLeod is expected to pull out of the Ontario PC leadership race. The Canadian Press reports MacLeod will make the official announcement, Friday, at 11 a.m., at her campaign headquarters. It’s unclear if MacLeod will run federally, for the soon-to-be vacant Ottawa West-Nepean seat held by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. According to CP, MacLeod hinted the landscape changed, this week, following Baird’s resignation announcement, and after rival PC leadership candidate Vic Fedeli pulling out of the race to endorse Christine Elliot.
FORMER BRAMPTON MAYOR SUSAN FENNELL CLEAR OF WRONGDOINGS
The Toronto Star says former Brampton mayor Susan Fennell is being cleared of any wrongdoings allegedly committed during her run in office. According to the Star, OPP are concluding their probe, recommending no further investigation. This, one day after Fennell announced she would be seeking $450,000 in damages from the city. Prior to October’s election, when Fennell was ousted by Linda Jeffrey, an audit by Deloitte found Fennel and her staff broke spending rules 266 times over seven years, totaling $172,608. Council voted in favour of Fennell being punished by docking her three months pay, and ordering her to repay $144,000 spent on limo rides. Fennell provided the following statement to the Brampton Guardian on Thursday, saying, “I’m grateful that the police have reached this conclusion. I said, many months ago, that I welcome their involvement, and I stated that I would be exonerated. That has now happened. It has been a very difficult time for both my family and I. We are grateful, however, for the support we have received from our many friends in Brampton.” No date has been set yet to deal with the issue.
Today is Bob Marley day in Toronto. Mayor John Tory will make the declaration this morning, the 24th straight year Toronto has honoured the reggae great for his work towards peace.
That hike at the pumps was short-lived. On Thursday morning gas prices went up 2 cents a litre in the GTA, but by midnight it dropped again. Gas prices are down across the GTA, with the average in Toronto now 95.6 a litre, a dip of 5 cents overnight. Some areas though, like in Brampton, prices are as low as 86.9 a litre.
Toronto Public Health has now confirmed that a fifth case of measles has been diagnosed. Officials say the fifth person infected, does not, and has not had any contact with four other persons currently carrying the disease.