5 Things To Know Today
Pilot locked out of cockpit on Germanwings flight, Co-pilot intentionally crashed plane. Hydro costs to go down for low-income earners. Striking U of T workers to vote on arbitration pitch Thursday. City Re-Opening Debate on Expanded Gambling at Woodbine. CFIA issue recall of Lilydale chicken breast. +**Rob Ford scheduled for surgery in early May.** Raptors clinch playoff spot.**
GERMANWINGS CO-PILOT INTENTIONALLY CRASHED PLANE, PILOT LOCKED OUT OF COCKPIT
Some stunning new information has come out of the Germanwings jet crash investigation. A French prosecutor says the co-pilot appeared to want to “destroy the plane.” That information was pulled from the cockpit voice recorder. The prosecutor also confirms the pilot was locked out of the cockpit, knocked on the door to be allowed back in, then tried to break down the door, but the co-pilot ignored him, and deliberately activated descent. Officials say it’s not clear at this point why the pilot, who had 6, 000 hours of flying time, left the cockpit. The A320 began to descend midway through its flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf and crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. The co-pilot has been identified as Andreas Guenter Lubitz, who was recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration 2 and a half years ago for exceeding the educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA.
HYDRO COST TO GO DOWN FOR LOW-INCOME EARNERS
Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli will be announcing a new initiative that would give lower-income households a break on their hydro bill. According to reports, eligibility starts at the annual income of $50,000/ year, and the hydro reduction would be based on family size. However, the average bill with the reduced rates factored in would amount to around $30/month. Those ineligible would see a slight increase in their bill to fund the program, but the hike would be less than one dollar a month. The announcement will be made at 9:30 am Thursday morning in Toronto.
U OF T SEEKS BINDING ABITRATIONS TO END TA STRIKE
The president of the University of Toronto is calling for binding arbitration to end the ongoing strike by teaching assistants at the University. Members of CUPE 3902 will be voting Thursday, however, a representative with the union says it was rejected at noon on Wednesday. The TA’s have so far rejected multiple contract offers since beginning strike action on February 27th last. Meric Gertler told a news conference on Wednesday that binding arbitration would be see the teaching assistants return to work immediately and that it would be the ‘most expeditious’ way of resuming classes. He also said that they are working very hard to ensure that students can complete their courses by the end of the semester and that they can graduate on time. According to President Gertler, no time limit has been set, and the offer stands ‘today, tomorrow and next week’.
CITY REOPENING DEBATE ON EXPANDING GAMBLING AT WOODBINE
City Council is re-opening the debate on expanded gambling at Woodbine Racetrack. Councillors voted almost unanimously on Wednesday on approving a review that would examine the requirements, risks, and merits associated with increased gambling at the venue. It was only just in 2012 when the previous executive committee voted 24-20 in favour of banning a gambling expansion at Woodbine. The rejection came following a tense meeting where the more controversial idea of building a large downtown casino was ultimately shot down 40-4. Speaking with reporters, Tory said he thinks its worthwhile to review the possibility of putting a casino in the Rexdale area of Etobicoke, calling it a “catalyst” for economic development. Councillor James Pasternak was the only nay vote, while Councillor Mike Layton did raise some concerns, saying he believes the city should ensure any new jobs are “good jobs” and not just “jobs.” According to City Staff, they would need to decide on whether or not they support a casino by this fall in order to align with the OLG’s process.
CFIA RECALLING PACKAGED CHICKEN OVER LISTERIA CONCERNS
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling a chicken product warning of a possible Listeria contamination. According to the CFIA, the product is Lilydale Inc. Oven Roasted Carved Chicken Breast in the 400-gram packages. Best-before date is April 28, 2015. No illnesses have been reported linked to the product, the recall is a precaution. The product has been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Symptoms associated with ingesting Listeria-contaminated foods include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.
A tentative date has been set for Rob Ford’s cancer surgery. The former mayor is due to have diagnostic tests carried out on April 30th. If the scans reveal that the tumours in Ford’s abdomen and back have shrunk enough to be operated on, he has confirmed that he will go under the knife just a week later on May 7th. Ford has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment to shrink the tumours since he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year. The diagnosis forced Ford to withdraw from the Mayoral race, he instead ran for his old council seat and was elected last October.
The Raptors dropped another one, 116-103 to Charlotte their 13th loss in 18-game. However, due to their sizzling first-half of the season, the y have already secured a playoff spot with 10-games left in the season. Both Boston and Charlotte lost their games last night, meaning the Raptors can finish no worse than 8th in the east.