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Vancouver city council approves additional ridesharing fees to manage congestion – Global News

October 2nd, 2019

Vancouver city council has approved new measures to manage ridesharing in the city, including some controversial fees that advocates say will be prohibitive.

Council voted to approve recommendations in a staff report Wednesday to adopt a 30-cent pick-up and drop-off fee to manage congestion in the city’s core, as well as a $100 annual licensing fee for ridesharing drivers.

Staff said Vancouver only has the power to regulate street use management and licensing for vehicles and businesses. All other ridesharing regulations — including fleet size and boundaries — are under provincial jurisdiction.

2:07Lyft to help prospective drivers get Class 4 licences

Lyft to help prospective drivers get Class 4 licences

But given the province’s plans to have ridesharing running by this Christmas, the city’s transportation director, Lon LeClaire, said council had limited time to get municipal regulations in place.

“Just given the time available between understand the legislation and the services being implemented, we had to act quickly to get something in place to maximize the chances of a successful launch,” LeClaire said.

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READ MORE: Class 4 licence written test required for ridesharing drivers has no mention of ridesharing

City manager Sadhu Johnston repeatedly cautioned councillors against deferring the vote or referring the report back to staff, saying any delays could allow the ridesharing industry to begin operating in an unregulated environment.

The 30-cent congestion and curbside management fee will be applied to all pick-ups and drop-offs within the Vancouver core from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Zero-emission and accessible vehicles will get a 50 per cent and 100 per cent discount, respectively, on the fee.

1:52Delta councillor comes out against ride-sharing

Delta councillor comes out against ride-sharing

The city says the $100 licensing fee will stay consistent for all ridesharing vehicles, along with taxis and limousines, creating a level playing field.

But Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung — the only city councillor who voted against the plan — said the fees could end up hurting the ridesharing industry regionally.

“What I did not support is a Vancouver-only model that moves ahead without looking at an inter-municipal approach,” she said.

“What that smacks of to me is the taxi approach, where we are creating false challenges to having vehicles go across municipal boundaries.”

READ MORE: Delta council motion asks B.C. transportation board to scrap ridesharing rules

Staff said they will revisit the $100 fee in six months, and that other regulations could be changed after their effects can be seen on the industry.

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Representatives for Uber and Lyft told council they don’t support the $100 licensing fee, saying it could end up being prohibitive for drivers.

A statement from Lyft voiced support for congestion pricing, but warned it should be applied to all vehicles in order to be successful.

“When looking to implement congestion pricing, it’s critical that all vehicles are accounted for, including commercial and personal vehicles and continuing to incentivize the use of shared rides,” a spokesperson said.

READ MORE: Lyft reminds B.C. not to impose limits on ridesharing after minister’s letter to PTB

The company also said congestion pricing should only be applied to high-occupancy trips and promote clean transportation.

Lyft and Uber have both applied to operate within the Metro Vancouver region, along with more than half a dozen other companies.

The provincial Passenger Transportation Board has recommended no cap on ridesharing fleet sizes and that Metro Vancouver operate as a single regional boundary.

1:53Metro Vancouver taxi drivers vow to fight ridesharing

Metro Vancouver taxi drivers vow to fight ridesharing

The recommendations have prompted a legal challenge from the Vancouver Taxi Association, who argue the rules would create an unfair advantage for the ridesharing industry.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena raised those concerns with the board in a letter last month.

The province is also requiring ridesharing drivers to carry a Class 4 licence, which ridesharing companies and advocates say will lead to fewer drivers on B.C.’s roads.

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The rule was cited as a reason why Uber and Lyft have not applied to operate elsewhere in B.C.

— With files from Nadia Stewart

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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R. Kelly news: Judge denies bail for R&B singer R. Kelly in NYC sex-abuse case today – CBS News

October 2nd, 2019

R. Kelly denied bail

Beleaguered R&B singer R. Kelly was denied bail Wednesday in his New York City sex-abuse case after a judge agreed with prosecutors that freeing him from jail would create a risk of him fleeing or tampering with witnesses. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied a defense motion asking to release him on bond and allow home detention. She set a May 18 trial date.

Kelly, 52, didn’t attend the hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. He remains behind bars in Chicago awaiting a trial on related charges that’s scheduled for April 27.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Kelly, pleaded not guilty in August to the New York charges accusing him of using his fame to recruit young women and girls for illegal sexual activity. The defense has labeled the accusers disgruntled groupies. 

In court papers filed Monday, Kelly’s attorneys claimed he’s so broke he couldn’t afford to flee. The papers also complained he’s only able to receive visits in jail from one of two previous live-in girlfriends at a time.

“No other friends or professional colleagues are allowed to visit,” the papers said. “That is not right.”

R. Kelly’s crisis manager resigns after “CBS This Morning” interview

The government responded in a memo by calling Kelly’s claims of poverty misleading. It said he “continues to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in connection with the royalties he is owed for his music.”

The memo also said that prosecutors have evidence that Kelly last year threatened to “release compromising and potentially embarrassing photographs” of an unnamed victim unless she dropped a lawsuit against him.

Kelly was charged after an explosive interview with Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” where he insisted his accusers are “lying on me!” 

“Everybody says something bad about me,” Kelly told King. “Nobody said nothing good. They was describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer.”

The Gayle King Interview with R. Kelly

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OPP charge former Vaughan mayor Di Biase with breach of trust, municipal corruption – CBC.ca

October 2nd, 2019

Ontario Provincial Police say they have charged former Vaughan mayor Michael Di Biase with breach of trust and municipal corruption after an investigation that’s lasted four-and-a-half years.

Di Biase, 71, of Woodbridge in Vaughan, is due to appear in a Newmarket courtroom on Oct. 30. 

The investigation by the OPP’s economic crime and corruption squad began in April 2015, following a referral to police by the city’s integrity commissioner and a complaint by local Vaughan activist and Di Biase political rival Richard Lorello. 

Lorello had raised concerns that it appeared Di Biase was getting help building his family cottage from a construction firm called Maystar General Contractors — a company that has received more than $150 million in business from the City of Vaughan since 2002.

Last year, the OPP commander overseeing the investigation told CBC News that officers were focused on “the circumstances surrounding the construction and expert consultation, and the payment for those services,” on Di Biase’s cottage.

Court filings obtained by CBC News show investigators had been looking into any “advantage or benefit” Di Biase might have received from Maystar General but also another construction company and an architecture firm.

Maystar General Contractors has consistently denied it had any hand whatsoever in the building of the cottage, and the OPP has previously said that the companies it was interested in were “simply being viewed as witnesses” and were never subjects of the investigation.

The cottage is located on Orr Lake, about 25 kilometres north of Barrie.

The OPP said it won’t comment further on the charges.

Michael Di Biase, 71, is due to appear in a Newmarket courtroom on Oct. 30. (City of Vaughan)

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Conservatives call Trudeau a ‘hypocrite’ for boasting environmental creds while flying 2 campaign planes – CBC.ca

October 2nd, 2019

The Conservatives are calling Justin Trudeau a “carbon hypocrite” for flying two planes during the 40-day election campaign, emitting double the carbon emissions of other campaigns.

The Conservatives issued a news release — including travel logs and photographs of the two planes — during the French language debate hosted by TVA,

“Despite marching in climate strikes, lecturing everybody else on lowering emissions and imposing a carbon tax on hard-working Canadians, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are secretly using two aircraft to campaign in this election,” the release says.

In a news conference after the Montreal debate, Trudeau confirmed the Liberal Party is using a cargo plane as well as a regular plane, as it did in the 2015 campaign.

“It allows us to do more events in more parts of the country and meet more Canadians,” he said. “It’s an important part of our national campaign to meet as many people as possible.”

Carbon offsets

Trudeau said the Liberals will purchase carbon offsets for all of the campaign transportation on planes and buses.

“I will highlight that Andrew Scheer and his Conservatives did not purchase carbon offsets for their transportation because they think pollution should be free,” he said.

Scheer said he couldn’t understand why the Liberals needed two planes, since the single Conservative aircraft has ample space for luggage and equipment.

“I don’t know what types of props or costumes or camping equipment he’s bringing along, but he’s made his choice. If he thinks it’s okay to emit far more emissions than our campaign is emitting, we’re going to hold him to account for his hypocrisy,” he said. 

“It’s always the same with this guy. He’s always very quick at giving lessons and lectures and sermons about how everyone else should live their lives, but when it comes to his own personal behaviour, he’s a complete hypocrite.”

A Conservative party spokesman, Simon Jefferies, said in an email to CBC News the Conservatives are not purchasing carbon offsets for their plane.

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Stephen King, Ewan McGregor Talk Danny’s Trauma in New ‘Doctor Sleep’ Interview – Rolling Stone

October 2nd, 2019

Stephen King discussed the impetus behind his 2013’s novel, Doctor Sleep, the sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining, which has been adapted into a film of the same name that opens on November 8th. Director Mike Flanagan and Ewan McGregor joined King for a behind-the-scenes interview for Entertainment Weekly.

“I always wondered what happened to Danny when he grew up,” King says of the young character with psychic powers at the center of his book The Shining and later adapted into the 1980 Stanley Kubrick-directed film. “And I felt I had a story to tell.”

Flanagan, who said he was unprepared and never the same after watching The Shining at a slumber party, explained that for Doctor Sleep, an adult Danny Torrance continues to be haunted by what took place at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago. “‘The shining’ refers to psychic ability, the people who actually affect the physical world with their thoughts, read the minds of others,” he says. “Danny is so traumatized by what he’s been through, he has no idea how to deal with this.”

King said what he wanted to see conveyed in the film is a man who was at the end of his rope. “You can’t really recover until you’ve finally reached your bottom,” he says. “And I wanted to see that in Dan on the screen.”

The clip weaves their interviews in between footage from the film. In one scene, the adult Danny, portrayed by McGregor, is chugging liquor from a bottle. “Dan Torrance’s philosophy early on in the story is not to use ‘the shining,’” McGregor explains. “He’s drunk to suppress the horrible visitations, the spirits that are from the Overlook Hotel.”

Doctor Sleep costars Rebecca Ferguson, Jacob Tremblay and Kyliegh Curran.

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Ottawa Catholic School Board to decide by noon Thursday whether to close schools in event of strike – Ottawa Citizen

October 2nd, 2019

A empty teacher’s desk is pictured in an empty classroom. JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Ottawa Catholic School Board was to decide by noon Thursday whether to close schools if education workers go on strike on Monday, while three other area boards have not yet announced plans.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees announced Wednesday that its 55,000 education workers were preparing to strike Monday, although bargaining will resume on Friday.

At the Catholic board, spokeswoman Sharlene Hunter said the board hurried to make plans as soon as it heard CUPE’s announcement.

“At this point there isn’t any plan to close schools, but that could change,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

The board has 2,300 CUPE members — school office staff, educational assistants, early childhood educators, library technicians and a few staff at the board office. (Unlike other boards with CUPE members, the OCSB’s custodians are not in CUPE and would not be on strike.)

She cautioned that the Ottawa School Transportation Authority (OSTA) will make its own decision about whether to bus students if there’s a strike.

The Upper Canada District School Board said it had not decided what to do but “will continue to assess the situation daily.”

The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est referred questions to its provincial association, which says schools are still making plans and the situation is “fluid.”

Ottawa’s English public schools are unaffected. The other board that would be affected by a strike is the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, which has not yet replied to questions about its plans.

The CUPE workers started a work-to-rule campaign this week.

Custodians have stopped cleaning hallways and emptying garbage cans outside schools, clerical workers have stopped finding replacements for absent staff, and education workers have stopped working overtime.

The union says it is willing to return to the bargaining table to avoid a full strike.

Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s education minister, says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau should put the interests of children in the province ahead of his own political self-
interest.

“That is my message to the prime minister and anyone who seems to want to inject and infuse a needless partisanship at a time when parents want it to be a focused resolution-oriented table that gets deals that ultimately keeps our kids in class,” he said.

Lecce made the comment   after CUPE announced that its 55,000 education workers are preparing to go on strike Monday.

Trudeau said earlier this week that Premier Doug Ford should spend as much time focusing on children’s education as he does on helping his federal counterparts.

Ford has repeatedly said he is staying out of the federal election.

Lecce says the education bargaining process needs to be depoliticized, and no one should be injecting needless partisanship.

He called on CUPE to return to the bargaining table and reach a deal.

“Let’s move forward and get back to the table to resolve this regrettable situation and unnecessary disruption for our students,” he said. “Deadline bargaining is part of the process. This is not unique.”

Lecce said he expects students to remain in classrooms even if a strike occurs.

“I expect education workers and teachers in the province of Ontario to be in class with their students, educating their kids.”

tspears@postmedia.com

twitter.com/TomSpears1

With files from The Canadian Press


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Kim Shattuck Dies: Leader Of The Muffs And LA Music Stalwart Was 56 – Deadline

October 2nd, 2019

Kim Shattuck, who made an impact on the Los Angeles music scene with her band The Muffs and several other projects, died today after a two-year battle with ALS.  She was 56 and her death was announced in an Instagram post by her husband, Kevin Sutherland.

The Muffs were planning to release their first album in five years, No Holiday, in two weeks. 
“We are very sorry to announce the passing of our bandmate and dear friend Kim Shattuck,” the Muffs’ Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald said in a statement. “Besides being a brilliant songwriter, rocking guitarist and singer/screamer extrodinaire, Kim was a true force of nature. While battling ALS Kim produced our last album, overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork. She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor. Goodbye Kimba. We love you more than we could ever say.” The Muffs’ next album No Holiday is set for an October 18 release.
Shattuck and best friend Melanie Vammen were members of the Pandoras, then moved to the Muffs after that act broke up. They issued a 1992 single on Sub Pop, I Need You, with their self-titled debut album released on Warner Bros. Records.
That major label stint led to the band’s cover of Kim Wilde’s Kids in America, which appeared on the Clueless soundtrack in 1995. After that, The Muffs issued four albums, going on hiatus after 2004’s Really Really Happy. 
Shattuck was also briefly a touring member of the Pixies following Kim Deal’s departure from the band.
Following her departure from The Pixies, The Muffs came back and released 2014’s Whoop Dee Do. Shattuck and Vammen also collaborated in a new band, The Coolies, which released an EP earlier this year titled Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies. Proceeds went to ALS research.

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Contractors say they were told to lie while collecting Pixel 4 face scans – Engadget

October 2nd, 2019

Sparks fly in French-language election debate – Toronto Star

October 2nd, 2019

OTTAWA—Wednesday night’s French-language leaders’ debate, the first debate of the campaign in which Liberal Justin Trudeau took part, plunged into hot-button issues like abortion, medical assistance in dying, the urgency of climate change and Quebec’s controversial provincial law against religious symbols.

And although there was no clear winner, there were clear lines drawn between the left-leaning party leaders and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer — and over who could claim to best represent Quebec’s interests in Ottawa.

Trudeau emerged largely unscathed, but was on the defensive over his handling of SNC-Lavalin and the free trade talks.

But it was Scheer who was challenged on all sides, starting right off the bat by Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet. Soon the others joined in, clashing with the Conservative leader over his “ambiguous” stance on abortion, over his reluctance to tackle climate change and his plans to build an energy corridor that Quebecers don’t want.

Scheer insisted he would not reopen the debate on abortion, just as the previous Conservative government had not done.

“Canadians can have confidence … I will not reopen it. Nothing will change on access” to abortion, he said.

Scheer said the only ones reopening the issue of abortion are the Liberals.

On climate change, Trudeau was targeted for the Liberal purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, while Scheer was accused by his opponents of having a weak plan to slash emissions. The Conservative leader responded by claiming the federal carbon price “isn’t working” and trumpeted his pitch for a pipeline and hydro corridor across Canada as a “win-win.”

But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh shot back, stating it’s “not winning to impose a project on the nation of Quebec.”

Scheer defended his party’s position on energy and the environment, saying the BQ might want all-electric vehicles, but Quebecers’ favourite vehicle is the F-150 pickup truck. He said the Canadian economy and Quebec jobs in the energy sector must be protected.

When Trudeau alleged Scheer is misleading Canadians about the government’s carbon price-and-rebate plan, Scheer fired back: “You’re a hypocrite on the environment. There’s only one leader here who had two planes in this campaign: one for the media and one for you and all your costumes and canoes.”

The Liberals later confirmed the party has hired two planes for its cross-country tour, as it did in 2015. One carries the advance team and equipment needed to set up for rallies and events, the other carries the leader and media entourage. Liberal spokesman Joe Pickerill said the Liberal campaign has purchased “carbon offsets” for its planes and campaign buses, while the Conservative campaign confirmed it did not do so for its leader’s tour.

As expected, Trudeau was challenged early on over his opposition to Quebec’s secularism law, which bars certain provincial public servants from wearing visible signs of their religious beliefs, such as Christian crucifixes, Jewish yarmulkes, Sikh turbans or Muslim hijabs.

Trudeau defended his decision not to intervene immediately in a legal challenge underway but to allow groups who are fighting the provincial statute to apply for financial aid for their lawsuit. Blanchet, however, said it showed a profound disrespect towards Quebec that the federal taxes they pay could go to support challenges of a law that most support.

Trudeau stumbled when he appeared to link the support of far-right groups to those who support a secular state.

“We will be there to defend the rights of minorities and the secularism of the state. It’s important to have a secular state. My father fought for that in the Quiet Revolution,” Trudeau said.

“For me, the big threat that one sees in the secularization of the state, it’s with the groups of the far-right who are pushing an agenda, anti-women, anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, and that is beginning is to come into this,” he said, before Blanchet interrupted him to ask if Trudeau viewed Quebecers as far-right or racist sympathizers.

“Not at all,” said Trudeau. “Quebecers see secularism as a protection, but I find that a free society that permits discrimination against someone because of their religion, there are questions nonetheless that can be asked.”

Trudeau defended his actions in the SNC-Lavalin affair, claiming he acted to protect Quebec jobs over the objections of Scheer who said he lied throughout.

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Trudeau was also grilled about the law on medical assistance in dying, after a Quebec court declared that federal requirements that a patient’s death be imminent or reasonably foreseeable are unconstitutional, because they lead to unnecessary suffering. Only when he was pressed did Trudeau say a Liberal government will not appeal, and would revise the law to comply with the Quebec court.

Debating for a francophone audience on one of Quebec’s major TV networks, the leaders also tried to position themselves as in tune with the unique values of what they agreed was a “nation” of its own.

Scheer and Singh praised their passion for the “language of Molière,” while Trudeau — like Singh — insisted he shared Quebecers values for secularism, marriage equality and access to abortion.

Trudeau and Singh, meanwhile, attacked Scheer as not being aligned with Quebecers’ “values” on the issues.

The three leaders of federalist parties turned on Blanchet, the separatist party leader, to accuse him of trying to divide Quebecers from Canadians for his political gain. Blanchet bristled when Singh said it is “disgusting” Blanchet supported restrictions on Quebecers wearing the niqab.

“You don’t want divisions?” Blanchet said to his opponents. “I have a solution: Respect the jurisdiction of the National Assembly.”

When Scheer said a vote for the BQ was useless because it would not elect a government that could deliver for Quebecers, Blanchet shot back. “If not being an MP in government is useless, you were useless for the last four years, and you may be useless after Oct. 21,” he said. “Only one of you three is going to be elected prime minister.”

The two-hour debate on the Quebecor-owned TVA network and its all-news arm was broadcast live in French only.

The network, which has a large francophone audience outside Montreal, had invited only leaders of parties that had elected MPs in Quebec.

That excluded Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Maxime Bernier, who holds a seat in the Quebec riding of Beauce but was elected in 2015 under the Conservative banner, before he broke ranks to form the far-right People’s Party of Canada.

May griped on Twitter about her party’s exclusion: “In Canada, all parties represented in Parliament should be included in debates. By excluding a Green voice, TVA fails to offer the full picture that voters are facing at the polls this election.”

Before the debate got underway, Trudeau quipped with an interviewer that an early morning boxing session had helped him “relax.”

Tonda MacCharles
Alex Ballingall

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Report: In search of Pixel 4 face data, Google contractors ‘targeted’ homeless people – 9to5Google

October 2nd, 2019