Toronto Mayor John Tory lays out three priorities heading into housing meeting

Toronto Mayor John Tory turns to answer a reporter’s question as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, right, walks back into her office following a meeting in Toronto on Monday, January 30, 2017. Tory says he plans to discuss Toronto’s lagging rental supply, a vacant property tax and the lack of real estate data when he meets Tuesday with the federal and Ontario finance ministers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 17, 2017 12:19 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 17, 2017 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Mayor John Tory says he plans to discuss Toronto’s lagging rental supply, a vacant property tax and the lack of real estate data when he meets Tuesday with the federal and Ontario finance ministers to consider solutions to the city’s dwindling housing affordability.The meeting marks the first time that Tory, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and provincial Finance Minister Charles Sousa will meet in-person to discuss the issue.“Probably one of the most important things we can do is stay in touch with each other on something that is as volatile and complicated as this issue,” Tory said in an interview Monday.“You don’t want to cause undue upset in a marketplace, notwithstanding the deep concern people have about the affordability of housing.”BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said he doesn’t expect any particular measures will be announced following the meeting, adding that any changes are more likely to be unveiled as part of the provincial budget next week.For weeks, the accelerating pace of real estate prices in Canada’s largest city have alarmed and perplexed policy-makers.The average price of a detached house in the Greater Toronto Area hit $1.21 million last month, climbing 33.4 per cent from a year ago, according to the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board.The repercussions have been felt further afield, with price hikes spilling over into municipalities such as Hamilton, Barrie and St. Catharines as buyers find themselves priced out of Toronto.Sousa is expected to address the issue in his budget. A number of measures have been floated as potential solutions, including taxing speculators and foreign buyers.Last week, the head of the Bank of Canada warned of growing speculation in the Toronto housing market and said a correction there could reverberate in other parts of the country.Governor Stephen Poloz said the roughly 30 per cent increase in Toronto prices had “divorced” itself from economic fundamentals, cautioning that any market rising at such a pace is vulnerable to a correction.A sizable real estate correction in a market with as much weight as Toronto could affect people’s expectations well beyond the city limits, he added.Tory said he has had meetings with numerous housing experts and they all seem to have contradictory views about what to do. But one thing they see eye-to-eye on is evidence of speculation, he said.“There’s fairly widespread agreement that there’s an element of speculation that’s found its way in to this marketplace,” said Tory, though he added that expert opinions differ on what is causing it and what should be done to address it.In a letter to Sousa and Tory earlier this month, Morneau wrote that he convened the meeting to give them an opportunity to discuss ways to make housing in the Greater Toronto Area affordable and accessible over the long term.Morneau’s office made the invitations to Sousa and Tory public, but if any new concrete measures arrive in the coming weeks, it will likely be up to Ontario and Toronto to do the heavy lifting.Since taking office in late 2015, the federal government has twice taken steps in an effort to cool scorching housing markets, especially Toronto and Vancouver.The federal changes have included a new requirement for 10 per cent minimum down payments on homes over $500,000 and stress tests on all insured mortgages to determine whether a borrower could still make payments if interest rates rise or their incomes decline.Ottawa has also launched consultations on a policy that could see banks shoulder more of the risk for mortgage defaults.But there’s concern that expansion of blunt federal tools that have cross-Canada reach could hurt less-worrisome markets.For now, Morneau, a Toronto MP, is expected to keep the federal powder dry and proceed in the role of collaborator.Spokespeople for both Morneau and Sousa said they expect the discussion to be productive and look forward to exchanging ideas.—With files from Andy Blatchford.Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter. Toronto Mayor John Tory lays out three priorities heading into housing meeting read more

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University mourns longtime employee

Brock University is mourning the death of one of its longest-serving employees.Athletics Department Administrative Co-ordinator Marilou Iusi died Sunday in Niagara Falls after battling an illness. She was 63 years old.Iusi worked for Brock for 39 years after starting her tenure on Sept. 7, 1976, when the varsity sports teams were still known as the Generals.“She was a very hard worker,” said Assistant Athletic Director Chris Critelli. “She loved her job and she loved being around the students and coaches.”Critelli said Iusi was a key resource for coaches, who relied on her to keep track of all of their team budgets and special requests like booking buses.“Marilou had history here so she knew exactly what was going on at every level. She was very well organized and kept all of us on track,” Critelli said. “If coaches wanted any information about their program, they would go to her. She was always so happy to help. And she always did it with a smile.”Iusi is survived by her husband, Tony, and the couple’s son, Eddie.A Celebration of Life will be held at noon on Saturday, Jan. 30  at Stamford Lane United Church in Niagara Falls. In Iusi’s memory, the flags at Brock University will be lowered to half-mast Friday, Jan. 29. read more

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Two businessmen in custody for discharging firearm assaulting obstructing officers Police

Two of three businessmen who are accused of assaulting a peace officer, damaging property, discharging a loaded firearm and obstructing officers from executing their duties on Sunday evening at Kingston, Georgetown are presently in police custody.According to a press statement issued by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the incident occurred against two officers at about 20:00hrs.Investigations revealed that the two police ranks were responding to a report of simple larceny in the vicinity of Battery Road, Kingston, Georgetown when they stopped an ATV –which was traversing without registration plates.However, while the officers were reportedly engaging the driver, the three businessmen-two of whom are in custody- approached, reportedly obstructed the ranks from performing their duties and behaved in a very hostile manner against the law enforcement officials who were  forced to call for assistance.As a result, the driver of the ATV reportedly drove away, while one of the suspects allegedly assaulted one of the ranks and violently kicked and damaged one of the rear lights of the Force’s Vehicle.According to the police, the other suspect allegedly pointed a gun at the two officers, before discharging several rounds into the air.The duo then fled the scene in a motorcar, driven by the alleged shooter.However, this vehicle was pursued and intercepted.A search conducted revealed that the driver was carrying a .32 Pistol with five rounds. He also managed to produce a licence for the said weapon but reportedly escaped the scene with his vehicle, leaving the weapon with the police.His accomplice was promptly detained.Two spent shells were found at the scene by investigators.Police have also reported that at about 08:00h on Monday morning, the licenced firearm holder turned himself in at the Brickdam Police Station. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMinibus driver, conductor charged for assaulting peace officerFebruary 18, 2019In “Court”Cops hoping for major breakthrough “soon” in Festival City drive-by shootingJuly 29, 2019Similar postSmuggled AK-47 not Police property- BlanhumMarch 7, 2017In “Crime” read more

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