Toronto: Road Hockey Prohibition Lifted by City Council

Update:

The ban on ball hockey in the streets has been overturned by the City of Toronto.
The ban on ball and hockey playing in the streets has been overturned by the City of Toronto and will now become part of memory lane. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Ball hockey is now legal on Toronto streets after city council voted 35-2 on Friday in favor of overturning an earlier ban against playing the hallowed game on our roads.

The decision to scrap the ban covering hockey and basketball nets came up after about 20 families in the Bedford Park neighbourhood were threatened with $90 municipal fines if they didn’t take their equipment from the street — Esgore Drive — within 20 days last December.

The ban on nets in the street had been in place for generations, but only enforced following a complaint.

Coun. Christin Carmichael Greb first brought the issue to council where it was picked up by the public works and infrastructure committee. On Friday, she celebrated the decision, which she called a win for families.

“Most of us grew up doing it so it’s not anything that’s different. You yell, ‘Car!’ You get out of the way and then you yell, ‘Game on’ and come back and play,” she said.

Technically the city can face liabilities if someone is injured playing sports or games on streets, according to a 2010 report.

But Greb wasn’t worried about that Friday, saying playing cautiously is a matter of common sense.

“Parents need to teach their kids how to be responsible and play the game safely,” she said.

This prohibition has been overturned, as the Toronto City Council passed a new by-law, allowing road hockey, etc. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
This prohibition has been overturned, as the Toronto City Council passed a new by-law, allowing road hockey. As a result of City Council’s decision, Toronto residents can play street hockey on local roads with a speed limit of 40 kilometres or less, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. during daylight hours. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Munipalities Merge into Megacity – City of Toronto, 1998

Amalgamation occurred in 1998 when the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and its six constituent municipalities – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the City of Toronto (1834) were dissolved by an act of the Government of Ontario. A new single municipality called the City of Toronto (colloquially dubbed the “megacity“) was formed, replacing all seven governments. The “megacity” City of Toronto is the successor of the previous City of Toronto.

When these former municipalities all merged to form the City of Toronto, they all had by-laws (some dating back as far as 1978) that prohibited the playing of sports on local roads. When the amalgamation occurred on January 1, 1998 the City of Toronto developed one by-law (instead of the former six (6)) under the Traffic and Parking Municipal Code, Chapter 950 to cover all of the former municipalities.

The new by-law which applied to all of the former municipalities prohibited the playing of sports or engaging in other activities such as rollerblading or skateboarding on any public roadway in the City. Private property, such as driveways, were exempt from the by-law.  The set fine for the violation of the by-law was $90.00.

The Province of Ontario urged the City of Toronto to allow Toronto residents to play road hockey in Toronto.

http://hockeygods.com/system/gallery_images/6866/normal.jpeg?1309156584
There is nothing healthier or more enjoyable, than a good game of road hockey with friends and neighbours.

Quebec Drivers beware: 15 new photo radar spots hit Quebec roads

Update: see previous post – October 20, 2015 Quebec Drivers beware: mobile photo radar gets rolling

Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall.
Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall. (Radio-Canada)

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New photo radar zones for Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and the South Shore

The province is upping its game to crack down on motorists who speed and run red lights.

There are 15 new photo radar zones on Quebec roads as of Thursday just as construction season hits its peak.

Revenue from photo radars is on the rise in Quebec.
Revenue from photo radars: 2008-2009: 0 2009-2010: $7.3 million 2010-2011: $8.9 million 2011-2012: $8.2 million 2012-2013: $10.3 million 2013-2014: $15.4 million 2014-2015: $??.? million. Revenue from photo radars is on the rise in Quebec. photo by Peter McCabe / Montreal Gazette

Transport Québec spokesperson Nomba Danielle said some of the radars are in places where police are not always there to enforce the law. Some are placed at intersections and others will monitor construction zones.

“We need these photo radars because we have to ensure road safety,” Danielle said.

Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and the South Shore will each get two new machines.

Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall.

New photo radar zones in Montreal

  • Highway 138 East between the Mercier Bridge and Highway 20
  • Berri Street at the intersection of Henri-Bourassa Boulevard

Transport Québec has the full list on its website.

Ontario: Offers Gender-Neutral Driver’s Licences and Health Cards

Update:

Stained Glass Ceiling of Queen's Park. ServiceOntario offices will begin issuing gender neutral driver's licences next year.
Stained Glass Ceiling of Queen’s Park. ServiceOntario offices will begin issuing gender neutral driver’s licences next year.

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Province already issuing health cards that no longer display information about a person’s sex

Ontario is introducing gender-neutral driver’s licences and health cards.

Beginning in early 2017, drivers will be able to select X, instead of an M for male or F for female, for their licences.

This month the province started issuing health cards that no longer display information about a person’s sex on the front of the card.

Those who want a new health card without the sex identifier before their regular renewal date can obtain one immediately through ServiceOntario at no cost.

The Liberal government said it is making the changes “to ensure the fair, ethical and equitable treatment of people with trans and non-binary gender identity.”

Ontario will also launch public consultations this summer to develop policies on how the government collects, uses and displays sex and gender information on government forms and products.

Ontario: New Law Limits Level of Window Tinting, Cyclists Rejoice

Update: see previous post – January 16, 2010 Tinting Motor Vehicle Windows

Row of parked bicycles.
Row of parked bicycles.

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Cyclists in Ontario are applauding new laws that go into effect today and will reduce the amount of allowable window tint on vehicles.

New laws prohibit the front windshield from being tinted after market and stipulate windows to the right and left of the driver must not block more than 30 per cent of light.

There will be no new limit for rear windows.

While the law technically goes into effect today, they only affect cars built after Jan. 1, 2017.

Oliver Swainson, who manages City Cyclery in Windsor, Ont., says tinted windows make it difficult for cyclists and pedestrians to know whether the driver sees them.

So, he approves of the changes.

“You can’t tell that that driver is seeing you and it’s almost like Russian roulette as you pass in front of that car,” he said. “If you can see that they see you, it’s a sign of recognition that you’re both aware of each other, you’re not going to hit each other.

“When you can’t make that visual eye contact, it’s very nerve-wracking for both.”

It’s a view shared by police in Ottawa.

A police board report issued in March called the current Ontario laws regulating window tint “vague and problematic.”

“Windows that have too much tint can obstruct the view of the drivers and can make it difficult for pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers prior to stepping off the sidewalk to cross the road safely,” the report reads, in part.

Police also say less tint makes it easier for them to look for distracted drivers, who may be on their cellphone, for example.

Also known as light or tint meters, photometric meters are used to determine how much light passes through a car window.

A police officer in Gatineau, Que., uses a light meter to test the tint of a car window. A report coming before the Ottawa Police Services board on Monday will urge Ontario to match its rules with those that exist in Quebec.
A police officer in Gatineau, Que., uses a light meter to test the tint of a car window. A report coming before the Ottawa Police Services board on Monday will urge Ontario to match its rules with those that exist in Quebec. (CBC)

In Quebec, drivers can be ticketed anywhere from $154 to $525, depending upon the size of their vehicle, if their front side windows fail to let in at least 70 per cent light.

Not ‘end-all, be-all’ solution

Some cyclists say the new laws could prevent “dooring” incidents because they may now be able to see inside the car sooner as they approach — even though changes will not be made to rear window tint.

“If you can’t see effectively out those side mirrors, you have increased risk of striking a cyclist,” Swainson said.

Swainson said the new laws are “not the end-all, be-all” solution.

“It’s one more small step in making our streets safe,” said Swainson, who has been struck at an intersection in the past.

The last update to the province’s laws around car window tinting was in 1990.

Nationwide, approximately 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured every year in Canada, according to CAA. Sixty-four per cent of cyclist deaths from traffic crashes occurred on city roads — those with a speed limit up to 70 km/h. The remainder occurred on rural roads.

Mr. Rajneesh Dutta Violates Server’s Ontario Human Rights

Update:

As a result of his ignorance, drinking habits, offensive and inappropriate behaviour, and his unbelievable testimony in front of the Human Rights Tribunal, Mr. Rajneesh Dutta (co-owner of the Houston Avenue Bar & Grill in Barrie) he was found guilty of violating an employee's Human Rights and ordered to pay $20,000 in damages and interest on top and $9,440.52 in lost wages and interest on top.
As a result of his ignorance, drinking habits, offensive and inappropriate behaviour, and his unbelievable testimony in front of the Human Rights Tribunal, Mr. Rajneesh Dutta (co-owner of the Houston Avenue Bar & Grill in Barrie) he was found guilty of violating an employee’s Human Rights and ordered to pay $20,000 in compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect and $9,440.52 in lost wages, as well as interest on both amounts. photo by fightyourtickets.ca.

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It never ceases to amaze, the bosses who think their female employees are there to be handled like some ripe peach. But she wouldn’t stand for it.

And now a bar owner’s drunken groping of his head server has cost him and his company almost $30,000.

MARK?WANZEL PhotoBarrie's newest restaurant, the Houston Avenue Bar, located on Bayfield Street North, celebrated its official opening night with a big party Wednesday.
The Houston Avenue Bar & Grill in Barrie on its opening night on June 13, 2102. Photo by Mark Wanzel of the Barrie Examiner.

“I am standing for all people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted,” explains De Anna Granés, 33. “I’m speaking up for those who were too afraid come forward.”

Granés worked at Houston Avenue Bar & Grill in Barrie to save for her nursing education. She was good at her job and enjoyed working there. That changed dramatically on Feb. 1, 2014.

A decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario released this month details that night.

De Anna Granés, 33

Co-owner Rajneesh Dutta was sitting at the bar at the start of her 5 p.m. shift and announced that he was going to try every drink on the cocktail menu, Granés told the tribunal. She gently advised her boss that it wasn’t a great idea. As the night progressed, she realized he hadn’t taken her advice.

Dutta was slurring his words, swaying and incoherent, she testified. But worse, he became increasingly “all over her.”

“My back was turned,” she testified, “(he) came up beside me, put his arm on my arm and grabbed my right boob – (it) wasn’t a graze”.

While Granés was using the computer, she told the tribunal that Dutta came up behind her and started pawing her arms, thighs and stomach. She moved to another computer. He followed her around telling her, “At the end of the night we are going to have our own party” and “I want to take you home.”

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/custom_covers/216x146/390757773857526637_1347390124.jpg
Two servers at the Houston Avenue Bar & Grill, Barrie on opening night on June 13, 2012.

Granes asked him to stop.

While serving a large party in the lounge, he came up behind her. “He was feeling me, his hands on my thighs, (I) felt embarrassed because I saw people watching,” she testified. “I pushed him aside and walked away.”

He still didn’t get the message.

When Granés went to drop off dishes in the back of the restaurant, she testified that Dutta grabbed her, whispered in her ear and tried to kiss her. She told him to stop.

At the end of the night, when it looked like he was going to drive drunk, she told the tribunal that she grabbed his keys. Dutta pushed her against the wall and grabbed her wrist, she said, while she repeatedly told him he was hurting her. The struggle ended when she threw the keys to a colleague behind him.

Another waitress confirmed to the tribunal Dutta “was drunk, and touchy feely – he put his arms around me, caused me discomfort” but she didn’t think it was a big deal.

“I’ve had a lot worse happen to me,” she later told Granés in a text.

Which is sad in itself.

Toronto’s Houston Avenue Bar & Grill opened up at 33 Yonge Street, Toronto.

Granés, for her part, could not brush it off. She was so distraught that she couldn’t drive home and when she returned to work the next day, she had a panic attack and had to leave. She told her father about what happened and they called Barrie Police.

But it was her word against his and no charges were laid. According to the officer who testified at the hearing, Dutta told him he was ashamed of being drunk and unprofessional and pledged not to drink at work again.

Dutta, however, insisted the cop was lying, nothing happened and “he did not have a drop of alcohol” that night. Adjudicator Josée Bouchard said she didn’t find him credible.

When Granés returned to work on Feb. 10, Dutta and the other co-owner asked to speak to her. “We just want to move forward,” she said they told her, “so we want you to put on that pretty little smile of yours and do your job.”

Boors to the end.

Granés quit and after much consideration launched her human rights complaint.

“I’m taking back what’s mine. I’m taking back control of My body and My basic human rights to make My own decisions regarding my body,” she explained in an email. “I’m taking back My happiness.”

And good for her. The tribunal awarded her $20,000 in compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect and $9,440 for lost wages. “When I saw the decision,” she said, “I was at peace.”

As for the restaurant, it closed its doors more than a year ago.

Cover photo. Links to Human Rights 101 (2014 ed.)
Introduction to human rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code (revised 2014).