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City staff urge Toronto council to request city be declared 'disaster area'

TORONTO - Toronto city council was urged Friday to ask the Ontario government to declare Canada's largest city a "disaster area" — a move required to qualify for funding to deal with the havoc wreaked by two major storms in 2013. The recommendation was made by city staff who advised Toronto to seek financial help from Ontario and the federal government for the storms' $171-million damage bill.

Ontario municipalities look to province to cover cleanup bill after ice storm

TORONTO - Ontario's opposition parties urged the Liberal government Thursday to quickly provide disaster relief money to communities hammered by the pre-Christmas ice storm that knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and small businesses. Branches, and in some case entire trees, weighed down by ice crashed down onto power lines after the storm, leaving hundreds of thousands across southern Ontario shivering in the dark for days during the holiday period.

Tories say residents outside Toronto who lost power not treated equally

TORONTO - The Progressive Conservatives say the Liberal government played postal-code politics with its relief efforts following the ice storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in southern Ontario. Opposition MPPs say they still can't find out when or how $50 and $100 gift cards will be given out to their constituents outside Toronto who lost power during the pre-Christmas ice storm.

Toronto home sales in December up from year ago, real estate board says

TORONTO - December home sales in Toronto were up almost 14 per cent compared with a year earlier, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Monday. The board said sales through its multiple listings service totalled 4,078 for the month, up from 3,582 in December 2012. Sales for all of 2013 totalled 87,111, up about two per cent compared with 85,496 in 2012. "After a slow start to the year, sales growth accelerated to a brisk pace in the second half of 2013," Toronto Real Estate Board president Dianne Usher said.

Hydro crews hoping to complete massive ice storm repair job today

TORONTO - It's been a long, cold, and often dangerous job, but hydro crews are finally near to completing their enormous task in Eastern Canada. About 2,300 customers remain without power today — about 1,300 of them in Ontario, including nearly 800 in Toronto — another 250 in Quebec, and roughly 800 more in New Brunswick. That's down from more than 600,000 at the height of the brutal ice storm that swept across southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada a week and a half ago.

Toronto deputy mayor go to person for Ontario premier on storm damage

TORONTO - Toronto's embattled mayor is trying to take a high media profile as his city grapples with power outages from the weekend's ice storm. But Ontario's premier appears to be bypassing Rob Ford as she coordinates recovery efforts with municipalities affected by the storm. Kathleen Wynne held a news conference on Sunday to talk about the province's role and she reeled off a list of mayors that either she or her office has contacted. Ford was not on the list _ Wynne said she talked to deputy mayor Norm Kelly about how the province can assist.

Four police officers fired guns in subway shooting that injured young man: SIU

TORONTO - Ontario's police watchdog said Saturday that it's believed four officers opened fire inside a Toronto subway station, wounding a man in an incident that eyewitnesses described as sending a ripple of panic through transit riders. Shots rang out inside the Queen subway station underneath the bustling Eaton Centre mall around 8 p.m. Friday, sending the 18-year-old man to hospital. Subway rider Kevin Chan described a frightening and chaotic scene onboard the train before the young man was shot.

Canada's main stock index refreshes six-week low

Canada's main stock index refreshes six-week low TORONTO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock index closed at 13,200.40 points, the lowest closing performance since Oct. 22, on fears over the Canadian banks fourth quarterly report this year. The S

Canadian police arrest Toronto man on suspicion of spying for China

By Janet Guttsman TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a Toronto man suspected of seeking to give China classified information about Canadian shipbuilding procurement policies, security officials said on Sunday. Jennifer Strachan, a chief superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a news conference that Canadian citizen Qing Quentin Huang, 53, faced two charges of attempting to communicate with a foreign entity.

Toronto mayor gets laughs in first post-sanctions speech

Disgraced Toronto Mayor Rob Ford drew laughs with self-deprecation late Thursday in his first public speech since he was stripped of most powers over headline-grabbing misconduct. Ford, who was sanctioned at the beginning of the week following his admissions of smoking crack and binge drinking, was promoting his administration's fiscal record to a largely business audience. "We've reduced Council and the mayor's budget by $6.4 million over four years," he said, adding after a pause: "Even more in the last three days."
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