Most Saskatchewan bike riders 12 and older never use helmets: StatsCan

Update:

Saskatchewan is the province with the highest percentage of bike riders who never use helmets: 57 per cent.

Saskatchewan is the province with the highest percentage of bike riders who never use helmets: 57 per cent. (Statistics Canada/CBC)

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Rate of non-use highest among province for those 12 and over

Of all provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest percentage of bicycle riders 12 and older who don’t wear helmets, Statistics Canada says.

Bicyle helmet lying on the road.
Bicyle helmet lying on the road.

According to a study released earlier this month, about 39 per cent of bike riders across Canada say they never wear a helmet.

However, in Saskatchewan, the rate is 57 per cent, which is highest of the 10 provinces. (The territory of Nunavut has a higher rate: 81 per cent).

hi-bikeshare-crescent valley

These young children have their helmets on, but many older bike riders in Saskatchewan never use them. (Submitted to CBC)

The statistics were collected in 2013 and 2014 as part of the Canadian Community Health Survey.

Saskatchewan’s high rate of those who never use helmets may be connected to the lack of a mandatory helmet law.

The report notes that as of 2014, bicycle helmet use was mandatory in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

In Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, the legislation only applies to children under 18.

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Victoria Day long weekend impaired driving charges at 159 by Monday morning

Update:

Ontario Provincial Police have had a busy long weekend on the roads, laying numerous impaired-driving, dangerous-driving and stunt-driving charges.
Ontario Provincial Police have had a busy long weekend on the roads, laying numerous impaired-driving, dangerous-driving and stunt-driving charges. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Ontario Provincial Police expect charges to rise as drivers hit the roads for the drive home

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cruiser. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cruiser. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Ontario Provincial Police have laid 159 impaired-driving charges so far this long weekend as drivers have hit the road for their long-weekend getaways.

In addition to the impaired-driving charges, police have pulled 25 cars off the road for stunt-driving, and laid another 16 dangerous driving charges, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CBC News.

Schmidt said he expects those numbers to rise as cottagers return to the roadways for what will likely be a long drive home.

“Don’t be in a rush,” he advised Monday morning.

“Take your time and realize that it will take longer to get home and just don’t take chances.”

photo by fightyourtickets.ca
photo by fightyourtickets.ca
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Quebec: Val-des-Monts powerboat fees sharply increase

Update:

Two men take a boat ride on Lake McGregor in Val-des-Monts, Que.
Two men take a boat ride on Lake McGregor in Val-des-Monts, Que. (CBC)

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Non-residents must pay $120 per day for boats with hefty motors — up from $150 per season

The fee to use a powerboat with a hefty motor in Val-des-Monts lakes with public docks has jumped to a whopping $120 per day — except for residents of the municipality, who are only subject to a $60 fee per year.

The cost used to be $150 per season for non-residents to launch boats with motors that are more than 100 horsepower, while it was free for residents.

Val-des-Monts Coun. Claude Bergeron said the change in fees comes after public consultations.

The new fees, which vary depending on the size of the motor, fall in line with other municipalities, he said.

Cost for public boat launches in Val-des-Monts
Type of boatResidentNon-resident
Non-motorizedFreeFree
Motors of less than 10 HP$5/season$10/day
Motors of 10-50 HP$20/season$40/day
Motors of 51-100 HP$40/season$80/day
Motors of more than 101 HP$60/season$120/day

Bergeron said the move was not meant to keep those who don’t live in in Val-des-Monts off the municipality’s more than 120 lakes. Only Lake McGregor and Lake Saint-Pierre have public docks.

Val-des-Monts Coun. Claude Bergeron
Claude Bergeron is a councillor in Val-des-Monts. (CBC)

“We’re not chasing them away, we’re aiming to control boating to protect the water quality of our lakes for future generations,” he said, adding that residents complained they could barely use lakes with public docks on weekends because there were too many boats.

Bergeron emphasized that it’s free for everyone to use non-motorized boats, and minimal for powerboats that use 10 horsepower or less ($5 annually for residents, $10 per day for non-residents).

Map of Val-des-Monts, QC
Val-des-Monts, QC

Right way to tackle problem?

Brian Hepburn said weekends bring in lots of boaters to Lake McGregor, which can be unsafe. The $60 per year fee is not ideal, but he’s willing to pay it for a better boating experience.

“As a cottager on the lake, I’m happy because I think it will reduce some of the traffic,” he said.

Val-des-Monts resident Simon Germain supports banning access to big boats with hefty motors but doesn’t feel “exorbitant prices” is the right move — especially charging residents.

The municipality had “good intentions” to protect the lakes, added Val-des-Monts resident Luc Lanoix, but he wondered if it would limit the number of tourists and boaters who aren’t well-off financially.

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Toronto: Pot Shops Under Attack

Update: see previous post – April 30, 2016 Toronto: May Soon Crack Down on Cannabis Dispensaries

Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets
The City of Toronto has decided to crack down on approximately 75 unlicensed cannabis dispensaries. Sixty-four landlords have now received warning letters about renting space to tenants selling marijuana in unlicensed storefront operations across Toronto. Property owners are told they have three days to shut the businesses down or potentially face stiff fines for contravening zoning bylaws. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

source

City officials and police have now sent 64 warning letters to landlords telling them to shutter pot storefronts.

The Trudeau government promised during last year’s Federal election, that if the Federal Liberal party was elected, they would legalize marijuana. Recently the Federal Liberals announced that legislation would be put into place by April, 2017 legalizing marijuana.

In British Columbia many business owners, aniticipating the inevitable legalization of marijuana, opened “medical cannabis dispensaries” to provide marijuana to those who possessed a prescription for medical marijuana.

Many of those entrepreneurs headed east and landed in Toronto where they decided to open up shop. Health Canada insists that “dispensaries and other sellers of marijuana who are not licensed under the current law are illegal.”

On December 5, 2015 after Trudeau’s appointment as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, businesses were moving into the GTA at an accelerated pace.

Suddenly there was almost 75 medical marijuana dispensaries or cannabis dispensaries with large green signs in Toronto.

Some of these cannabis dispensaries demand to see a prescription for medical marijuana before selling pot. Others will sell a bag of weed to clients after they have had a discussion with what the dispensaries call a “health professional” on staff. The price for a gram is about $10 — or $225 for an ounce.

While medical marijuana is legal, it is supposed to be available only with a prescription from a medical doctor. Even then it must be obtained from one of 31 producers licensed by Health Canada via registered mail — not through storefront shops.

Health Canada takes the position that dispensaries and other sellers of marijuana who are not licensed under the current law are illegal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vow to legalize recreational use has left ambiguity around Health Canada rules, as has a court decision on patients growing their own plants. The rules say only federally-licensed producers can distribute pot, by delivery, to prescription-holding patients.

Last February a B.C. federal court judge, Justice Michael Phelan, struck down restrictions on medical marijuana users growing their own plants. He gave the government six (6) months to pass new rules on medical marijuana. Amid the legal uncertainty that followed, dispensaries have spread like wildfire.

Toronto’s licensing department is planning a crackdown on medical pot dispensaries operating without federal approval and in neighbourhoods not zoned industrial. The letters have already been generated and sent to the businesses and landlord of the property in which the business operates out of.

Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets
Right now, only licensed producers authorized by Health Canada — just 15 in Ontario and 27 across the country — are allowed to sell pot through the mail to those with verified prescriptions. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets
In a sweeping crackdown, Toronto officials say that, by month’s end, every single one of the city’s growing number of marijuana dispensaries – estimated at up to 100 storefronts across town – will be facing charges for violating zoning rules and up to $50,000 in fines. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets
Toronto’s zoning bylaw, he said, does not allow for marijuana dispensaries, and a conviction for operating a business without zoning carries a $50,000 fine for a corporation and $25,000 for individuals. The City of Toronto also warned that landlords could face similar charges for allowing tenants to operate illegal businesses. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets
In Kensington Market alone, there at least six dispensaries selling medicinal marijuana within a one-kilometre radius. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Photos of other Cannabis Dispensaries on the Danforth:

The Green Rhino, a store offering medicinal cannabis to clients on the Danforth.

A recently opened Medical Cannabis Dispensary "The Green Rhino" on the Danforth.

Another shop "WEEDS" has opened up on the Danforth. Trudeau has announced that his government will be launching a task force within the next few weeks to closely examine and evaluate every aspect of their goal to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.

The Danforth has seen three (3) stores recently open up, all in close proximity to each other. The Green Rhino, WEEDS and S.H.E.D.

S.W.E.D. Dispensary has opened up on the south side of Danforth Ave., close to WEEDS and the Green Rhino. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Cannabis Dispensaries in close proximity to each other. S.W.E.D. is located at 333 Danforth Ave, further east is WEEDS at 341 Danforth Ave and the Green Rhino is located at 393 Danforth Ave. All expect a booming business.

Cannabis paraphernalia. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Ontario: Jurors Excused Over Potential Trauma from Evidence in Murder Trial

Update:

There were delays in selecting a jury in the murder trial of Bhupinderpal Gill, 40, and Gurpreet Ronald, 37, because jurors asked to step down out of fear they would be 'traumatized' by the evidence. The Ottawa trial finally starts today.

There were delays in selecting a jury in the murder trial of Bhupinderpal Gill, 40, and Gurpreet Ronald, 37, because jurors asked to step down out of fear they would be ‘traumatized’ by the evidence. The Ottawa trial finally starts today. (CBC)

see source

3 jurors excused from trial of Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald on mental health grounds

A first-degree murder trial centred on allegations of a deadly love triangle begins today in Ottawa after unusual delays because some jurors, chosen from a pool of 500, stepped down for fear they’d be traumatized by the evidence.

The trial of Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald was supposed to start earlier this week, but was pushed back twice after several jurors asked to step down.

Gill’s wife, Jagtar Gill, a 43-year-old mother of three, was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in 2014.

Jagtar Gill homicide January 2014 victim

Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in her home on Jan. 29, 2014. (Courtesy of Gill’s family)

On separate occasions, three female jurors told the judge they were afraid of being traumatized by the expected graphic evidence, and asked to be excused from their civic duties.

After hearing their concerns, Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett agreed to let them go, forcing the court to scramble to find replacements.

Concerns fear being used to shirk jury duty

The president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, Anne London-Weinstein, says she has never seen so many jurors use the same excuse to be removed from their duties.

“Three in one trial? I wonder if they were within earshot of each other during the jury selection process,” she said.

London-Weinstein doesn’t think the evidence will be especially violent, and says she’s concerned about the general unwillingness of the public to serve on juries.

“People are reluctant to do their civic duty because it’s a big interruption in your life,” said London-Weinstein.

The trial is expected to take seven weeks. Although some lawyers are concerned fear of trauma is being used as an excuse to shirk jury duty, the courts must take it into account.

The emotional state of one juror can have an impact on the outcome, says criminal defence lawyer Norm Boxall, who has been involved in many high-profile murder and terror trials over the past 30 years. He says he’s seeing more people get exempted from jury duty because of mental health concerns.

“If a person, for whatever reason in their makeup or background or personality, doesn’t feel like they can do a proper job and do the job impartially, then they should be excused,” said Boxall.

“No one — not the Crown, the defence or the judge — want a juror who won’t be able to do the job.”

http://fightyourtickets.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/P5110772_6398_edited-1-e1431404473431.jpg
This work of art is called “Pillars of Justice”. The people of our community participate in the legal system by serving on the Jury. We are the Pillars of Justice. The missing pillar invites you to imagine that your are the twelfth juror.

Lawyers can’t probe deeper to verify truth

Although Boxall believes anxiety is a valid reason to get out of jury duty, he says it’s impossible to verify a person’s state of mental health. The only information provided to the Crown and defence about potential jurors are their names, addresses and occupation.

Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald

Bhupinderpal Gill, left, and Gurpreet Ronald have both been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill. They have pleaded not guilty. (CBC)

Usually lawyers aren’t allowed to pose questions to potential jurors, but sometimes the court clerk can probe for prejudice.

During this trial’s jury selection process, the clerk asked participants who were under oath if they were biased against Sikhs and if they had knowledge of the case through media reports. If they passed that initial test, both the prosecutor and the defence had the right to refuse. The defence teams for Gill and Ronald each had 20 vetoes, while the Crown could issue 40 challenges.

A total of 480 potential jurors were vetted, and most were excused for personal reasons, other than mental health concerns. Some were let go because of sickness, lack of child care or lack of English skills. Others were dismissed because their employer wouldn’t pay them while they were on jury duty, or if they knew one of the witnesses who would be testifying.

It took a total of four days — about twice as long as usual — to get a jury together.

Starting Friday, seven men and five women will hear opening statements.

Qualifications for Jury Duty

Persons in the following professions do not qualify to serve as jurors:

  • A legally qualified medical practitioner, coroner or veterinary surgeon who is actively engaged in practice
  • A police officer
  • A firefighter regularly employed by a fire department
  • A superintendent, jailer or keeper of a prison, correctional institution or lockup
  • The warden of a penitentiary
  • A sheriff or a sheriff’s officer
  • Armed forces personnel of the regular and special forces and members of the reserve forces on active service
  • A barrister and/or solicitor or a student-at-law
  • An officer of a court of justice
  • A judge or a justice of the peace
  • A member of the Privy Council of Canada, the Executive Council of Ontario, the Senate, the House of Commons or the Assembly

For further information about Jury Duty

If you have questions about attending for jury duty, contact the court office. The address and phone number for the court office are on the upper left corner of the Summons.

You can also find a listing of court addresses at the following site:
www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/Court_Addresses/

For information about the Juror Questionnaire

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