Gripping exchanges between the Crown and PC Forcillo

There has been a gripping exchange of questions and answers as Crown Attorney Milan Rupic cross examines PC James Forcillo at his trial for the shooting death of Sammy Yatim.  The media are reporting this compelling extract:

“In your mind, officers are entitled to bark orders and make demands and expect people to follow, and you were amazed when someone didn’t follow,” said the Crown.

“Police officers are entitled to choose what they think will work best in a particular situation,” Forcillo contended.

“Your job is not to win but to resolve the situation with the least amount of force necessary,” Rupic later went on.

“My job is to get the situation resolved,” Forcillo said firmly. “But one way or the other, Mr. Rupic, I’m going home that night.”

Rupic also said that Forcillo intended to kill Yatim when he fired nine times.

“Are you suggesting that firing nine bullets at somebody is not likely to kill him?” Rupic asked.

“I fired the bullets at him because I thought he was a threat to my life,” Forcillo said.

“I’m asking if you knew you were likely to kill Sammy Yatim,” Rupic asked.

“I am not considering whether these bullets are going to kill him. I’m considering whether or not they’re going to stop him.”  The trial continues Monday

Police seek 200 falsely labelled clay tandoori gas ovens

oven inset

Police are seeking as many as 200 tandoori ovens in the Indian community and among restaurant owners which were given false label plates stating them to be approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The concerns relate to improper installation of gas fittings which were done in Canada after the clay ovens were imported from India. Police say the owner of three Kitchen Queen appliance stores across the GTA imported upwards of 300 of the ovens and about 100 have been found. According to police the accused, Gautham Mashetty, 57, (inset) brought the large clay ovens into the country and then added fittings to them so they could be hooked up to natural gas lines. He faces charges of possession of property obtained by crime and passing off wares. Some of the fittings were made using pipes intended to carry water and not natural gas. They are a serious safety risk, experts say. Police began their investigation into the ovens after the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), acting on a tip, purchased one of them and determined that it did not meet Canadian safety standards and was outfitted with a fake CSA sticker. In an effort to track down those ovens, police say that they are reviewing documents taken during the execution of the search warrants for information about customers.

Guelph man spends $1.5 million to sponsor Syrian families


Jim Estill

There has been an extraordinary act of kindness on the part of a wealthy Guelph businessman who will spend at least $1.5 million of his own money to sponsor 50 Syrian families and re-settle them in the Guelph area. He is Jim Estill, owner of Danby, a manufacture of kitchen appliances.  Estill is required under the private refugee sponsorship program to commit to meet all of a newcomer’s needs for the first few months of their time in Canada. Amazing generosity. CBC


Development pressure at Eglinton West and Avenue Road


The life-altering Eglinton Crosstown LRT is changing life in Forest Hill just as it is in Leaside. Terranata Developments wants to build a 15-storey condominium on a site right beside the new LRT station at the corner of Eglinton Ave. W. and Avenue Rd. The station will sit on the space now occupied by Mac’s and the Subway sandwich store. The highrise would take out the time-honoured and much-loved Yitz’s Deli plus two other properties which are now vacant. Together they make up the working name of the project — 346, 350, 352 and 356 Eglinton West. Two of those numbers — 352 and 356 — represent the former Oink Oink. Only Yitz’s is still occupied and doing business. A community meeting Tuesday, November 24, 2015, saw a litany of complaints about the height, location and increase in density that would flow from a 112-unit building. Funny how the world did not see this coming when the TTC said it must have a transit line across Eglinton. Councillor Chrstin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16) has been fielding a lot of complaints. Her office is saying the concept is way too high. Zoning permits as many as seven storeys but, as we have seen on the east of Yonge, that is no restriction in the minds of developers. Pressure is intense to go higher especially at major intersections.  Yitz’s is in place for the forseeable future, according to management. But sooner or later — it might be five years — Yitz will have to move or call it a day.

Community Canned Food Drive is Saturday, November 28

Organizers at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church are reminding everyone who wants to help with the Community Canned Food Drive that they can be assigned a route to help pick up donations. Just go to the  Church side entrance (opposite Humphries Funeral Home) or to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church at the corner of St. Clair Ave E and Clifton Rd, near Mount Pleasant. Be there by 9.30 a.m. tomorrow. It is a good way for students can earn volunteer hours.


And you can donate by leaving your canned goods for pickup on the front porch by 9.30 tomorrow. The food drive is an ecumenical effort of local churches: Leaside Presbyterian, Leaside United, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rosedale Presbyterian, Rosedale United, St. Anselm’s, St. Augustine’s, St. Cuthbert’s and Northlea United.

st cuthberts

Pre-dawn dark claims another pedestrian under tanker

A woman said to be 21 has died under the wheels of a tanker truck in pre-dawn darkness at Eglinton Ave. E and Bathurst St. The late arriving daylight has seen several people killed on their way to work in the past few weeks. In this case, the tanker driver is said to be in shock, having learned only later that he hit someone as he turned south onto Bathurst off Eglinton. It is an extremely busy corner. Police were called to the scene about 5:30 a.m., where the woman was found lying in the street. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver kept on going. “He was stopped by one of the witness vehicles and brought back to the scene,” said police “He might not have even known that he struck her, especially with the weight of that vehicle.”


VIDEO: White lions, pandas are growing up at the Zoo


Four brothers pose for picture at Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo has released pictures and video of both four white lion cubs and two Giant Pandas as they grow to a larger size. The white lion cubs seem to be growing faster and are shown in video (below) playing and yawning. The zoo said a checkup has confirmed that all four cubs born to four-year-old mother Makali are healthy. They are all male. The cubs were born on Sept. 26 and 27. This is Makali’s first litter of cubs. The Giant Panda cubs of mother Er Shun Zoo are looking much more like pandas now. Video below

Police find Simone Reid’s father dead at wheel of minivan

winston 550 w words

Police have found Winston Reid, 49, dead.  He was the father of the late Simone (Shanni) Reid, 18, and was being sought by police as a person of interest in his daughter’s death. Mr. Reid’s body was found in a minivan parked near Kennedy Rd and Elgin Mills Road in Markham late Tuesday. There has been a post mortem but no results have been released. Ms. Reid was found dead in Scarborough on November 13, 2015 and it is said that her father was the last one to see her alive. Previous with picture  

Ontario on course to eliminate deficit by 2017 says Sousa

The Finance MInister’s Fall Economic Update is optimistic but the Opposition says the government is using money from the sale of Hydro One and other reserves to make this scheme work. But the minister says no and prefers instead to look toward the “underground economy” for hidden tax goodies. CBC

Liberals reverse witless “clerks as smoking cops” plan

Ontario’s rather surprising plan to let medical marijuana smokers light up just anywhere has received a not too surprising slap down. The health department at Queen’s Park has quickly reversed course after word spread yesterday that smoking marijuana — for one’s health of course — would be legal wherever a user decided to light up.  The opportunities for abuse were very clear.  Many former tobacco smokers, happy survivors of the war on the cigarette, said they felt betrayed. Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla announced the backtrack within hours apparently. “We will consider this feedback, look at it very carefully and see what we need to do,” she told reporters.


 “It’s too early to say whether this was a failure or not,” Damerla added. “It’s important that governments be responsive.” About 23,000 Canadians use medical marijuana under doctors’ prescriptions. A critical failure of the scheme was the decision to make business owners responsible for telling marijuana smokers that they had to butt out. This translated to the witless expectation that people on the ground  — theatre ushers, wait staff, clerks and others  — would have to order people to stop smoking in the name of their employer — not the government.