5 Things To Know
Canada to add biometric testing to travel security measures. Ontario to add 15 MPP’s. Budget passing sets stage for Hydro One sale. Tory, cops urged to end police carding. Planned expansion of Toronto bike share delayed – won’t be ready for Pan_Am Games.
CANADA TO ADD BIOMETRIC TESTING TO TRAVEL SECURITY MEASURES
Prime Minister Harper is expected to announce changes today to boost security for the many people who come to Canada. It includes biometrics, possibly iris scans or fingerprint records for people arriving who also need a visa to get into the country. The security measures are already in place for people coming from some countries, like Syria of Afghanistan but the changes would add more than 100 other countries to the list.
ONTARIO TO ADD 15 MPP’S
Premier Wynne is expected to announce today that 15-ridings will be added in the province. That will bring the total to 122 ridings, almost matching the 121 federal seats, with the extra provincial seat being in northern Ontario. Areas with growing populations including Toronto, York, Brampton, Halton and Durham will see boundary changes and additional MPP’s.
BUDGET PASSING SETS STAGE FOR SALE OF HYDRO ONE
The majority Liberal government passed the 2015 budget bill yesterday, allowing the sale of up to 60% of Hydro One, starting with a 15% stake in the company. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and her party members stood with their backs turned to the government as they voted. Horwath has a conference scheduled for today to demand a public referendum on the sale and future of Hydro One.
TORY, TORONTO POLICE URGED TO END ‘CARDING’ PRACTICE
Mayor John Tory is standing steady on the controversial practice by police of carding. Tory says carding in Toronto is here to stay, but when it returns from its hiatus, the process will be reformed and in a much friendlier form. He was not swayed by a group of well-known Canadians who have gathered to demand an end to the policy that has earned Toronto Police praise and scorn. Stephen Lewis (Former Ambassador to the UN), Barbara Hall (ex-Toronto mayor & former Ontario Human Rights Commissioner) and Roy McMurtry (former Chief Justice of Ontario) threw their voices behind a push against the policy that allows police to stop citizens without a warrant. They’re also allowed to record information gleaned from the stop in their records. Concerned Citizens to End Carding held a press conference at Toronto City Hall Wednesday. Their statement indicated that “carding has led many in our city to distrust and disrespect our police. We are offended by the notion of casually and routinely stopping citizens, outside of police investigations of actual criminal acts that have occurred, to question and record, and then store personal data in police files.” They feel that the practice violates human rights and violates our Charter Rights. Toronto Police chief Mark Saunders has indicated that he will not kill carding, but will instead do all he can to make sure the men and women under his command don’t abuse the approach.
PLANNED EXPANSION FOR TORONTO BIKE SHARE WON’T BE READY FOR PAN-AM GAMES
Here’s another planned project that’s not going to be ready for next month’s Pan-Am Games. Toronto’s bike share program has been dealt a bit of a setback. A planned expansion won’t be ready in time for the Pan Am Games. The plan was to add 22 new stations but a technical issue has forced the delay. The problem revealed that the whole system will have to be either refurbished or replaced before it can be expanded due to outdated software. Bike Share is still the same size as when it launched in 2011. 80 stations and 1,000 bikes.