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TOPSTORIES

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    A Toronto man, who was held in immigration detention for five-and-a-half years, has launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Ottawa.

    Abdirahmaan Warssama, 54, was detained at two maximum security detention facilities, first in Toronto and later in Lindsay, Ont., from May 2010 to December 2015 while waiting for his deportation to Somalia.

    Over 2,042 days behind bars, he underwent more than 70 detention reviews but each time an independent panel sent him back to jail, convinced he was likely to flee and fail to appear for his removal — until a Federal Court judge overturned his continued detention and ordered Ottawa to explore the possibility of returning Warssama to Somalia and consider alternatives to detention.

    “The sole purpose of his detention was to facilitate his removal from Canada to Somalia. Yet for the totality of his detention, removal to Somalia was never attempted,” said Warssama’s statement of claim against the federal government filed with the court Thursday. He is seeking $55 million in damages.

    “Despite the fact (that) he suffered from mental health issues, his detention was solely administrative not punitive, and he was not considered a danger to the public, yet at all material times, Warssama was detained in a maximum-security prison.”

    The claims have not been proven in court. The Attorney General of Canada, the defendant, has declined to comment because of the ongoing court process. No statement of defence has yet been filed.

    While incarcerated, Warssama alleged in the lawsuit, he was subjected to “humiliating and degrading experiences,” including being strip-searched, physically assaulted, robbed, denied warm clothing and health care, forced to endure freezing temperatures, unsanitary living conditions and lengthy and numerous lockdowns.

    Warssama came to Canada for asylum in 1989 but the claim was denied in the same year. He was allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds — partially due to his diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, he kept moving around and never obtained his permanent residence status.

    In 2005 and 2006, he was arrested and charged with assault, failing to appear and uttering threats, for which he received a suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation, as well as a day in jail and 87 days pre-sentence custody. Since he’s neither a permanent resident nor citizen, his criminality made him inadmissible to Canada.

    Warssama’s lawyer, Subodh Bharati, said the Canada Border Services Agency had a policy of not forcibly removing people to Somalia and would only deport someone to African country if the person was willing to sign a “voluntary statutory declaration” indicating one’s genuine desire to return.

    “He is not the same person he used to. He is angry and upset . . . He still can’t sleep properly. When he is outside, he feels people are following him,” Bharati said in an interview.

    In his statement of claim, Warssama said his “unlawful” detention was the result of malicious prosecution by the border agency and negligence by the detention review tribunal that was under the Immigration and Refugee Board.

    “The Immigration and Refugee Board ignored evidence and used detention as a means to punish the plaintiff for not signing what it knew or ought to have known was a false statutory declaration,” according to the lawsuit.

    “The infringement of (Warssama’s) liberty became arbitrary and contrary to the principle of fundamental justice that prohibits limitations that are not related to the legislation’s purpose.”

    Due to repeated jail lockdowns, Warssama claimed in his lawsuit, he was unable to contact his family and lawyer or receive visitors. On two occasions — on May 20, 2014 and August 10, 2014 — he was assaulted by other inmates causing him injury and the loss of two teeth, the lawsuit claimed.

    Warssama, who now lives with his sister, said he still suffers from physical and psychological problems: headaches, nightmares, dizziness, shock, anxiety, depression, emotional trauma, chronic pain, insomnia and weakness.

    “I still have bad dreams from the detention. It’s hard to start your life again. You just can’t get your life back,” he told the Star in an interview. Warssama is still without status pending removal and must report to the border agency every three weeks.

    He has applied for permanent resident status based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, as well as an assessment of the risk he could face if removed to Somalia. Both decisions are pending.


    Asylum-seeker sues federal government over ‘humiliating’ 5-year imprisonmentAsylum-seeker sues federal government over ‘humiliating’ 5-year imprisonment

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    Jagmeet Singh, a former criminal defence lawyer and Brampton MPP who rose to prominence as an upbeat opponent of police carding and precarious work, will lead the New Democratic Party into the next federal election.

    The 38-year-old who brashly predicted his own victory won the party’s leadership race on Sunday with a commanding 53.8 per cent on the first ballot. He will now leap into national politics without a seat in the House of Commons, as leader of a third-place party that’s still reeling from its dispiriting defeat in the 2015 election, when it appeared on the cusp of power for the first time.

    Singh, whose parents are from India, is also the first leader of a major federal party who is not white.

    “Canadians deserve a government that understands the struggles that people are facing right now,” Singh proclaimed before an audience of party faithful at a Toronto waterfront hotel on Sunday afternoon, where his victory was met with thunderous cheers.

    “It takes an act of love to realize we are all in this together, and an act of courage to demand better, to dream bigger, and to fight for a more inclusive and just world,” he said.

    Read more:

    Jagmeet Singh’s NDP win turns the tide in more ways than one: Hébert

    What defeated NDP leadership candidates brought to the race

    5 key challenges for Jagmeet Singh

    Singh dominated the first round of voting to replace outgoing leader Thomas Mulcair, who has led the NDP since 2012, when he took over in the wake of Jack Layton’s death. Of the 65,782 members who voted — a 52.8-per-cent turnout — Singh received the support of more than 35,000.

    Charlie Angus, a veteran MP from northern Ontario, placed second with 12,705 votes representing 19.4 per cent of ballots cast. Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, who ran the most left-leaning campaign of the race with pledges for free tuition and universal pharmacare, closely followed Angus with 11,374 votes (17.4 per cent).

    Finishing fourth was Guy Caron, the lone Quebec MP in the race, who argued the province is integral to the NDP’s electoral chances and proposed creating a basic minimum income for all Canadians, among other ideas.

    But Singh, whose campaign slogan “Love and Courage” was regarded by many as a nod to the “love, hope and optimism” expressed in Layton’s last public statement, fulfilled the hopes of supporters who saw him as a fresh candidate with the potential to expand the party into new constituencies, such as Singh’s own suburban enclave of Brampton.

    In an interview with the Star on Sunday evening, Singh said his breakthrough as the first person of colour to lead a major federal party will inspire other people who feel left out or disadvantaged.

    “Because other people have broken barriers, it gave me in my life a capacity to even dream of achieving something,” he said, pointing to Rosemary Brown, the first Black woman elected to a provincial legislature.

    “Hopefully this next big step” — his leadership win — “will inspire a whole host of new leaders across the country, people who never saw themselves represented in positions of power,” he said.

    Singh highlighted four priorities for the NDP under his leadership: fighting climate change, curbing income inequality, pursuing Indigenous reconciliation and changing the electoral system. He railed against the Trudeau Liberals in his victory speech, accusing the party of campaigning as a progressive force and then failing to deliver once in government.

    Singh told the Star that he believes he can win voters on the left side of the political spectrum by actually following through on his promises.

    “Easy,” he said when asked how he will differentiate his NDP from the Liberals. He said they’ll actually change the voting system — Trudeau repeatedly promised to do so but dropped that pledge earlier this year— and stop a court challenge of a human rights ruling that ordered the government to provide adequate funding to health and family services for Indigenous children.

    “It’s going to be very easy to point out all the dreams and hopes that people had, that the Liberals touched on, and just didn’t implement,” Singh said.

    In terms of seeking a seat in the House of Commons, Singh repeated that he’s “open” to taking advice on when and where he could run, but made no commitment to try to enter Parliament before the next general election.

    Singh said he will resign his seat at Queen’s Park as soon as possible and plans to use his time to engage with Canadians across the country, comparing his situation to when Layton took over the party in 2003 and didn’t have a federal seat.

    “I’m confident I can follow in those footsteps,” he said.

    Olivia Chow, a former MP and Layton’s widow, also brushed off concerns about a seat. She told the Star after Singh’s victory that she’s certain he can be a strong advocate for NDP priorities, because he has experienced hardships that many Canadians face, such as racial discrimination and struggling with his family to make ends meet.

    “When that shapes your life, it means we have a leader who will connect and who is true to his values, and he will deliver what needs to be done,” Chow said.

    Adam Vaughan, a Liberal MP from Toronto’s west end and a former city councillor, congratulated the new leader but quickly added that his policies are “thin.” Vaughan defended the Liberals against the NDP claim that they’ve failed progressive voters. He rhymed off policies such as increased children’s payouts to most Canadian families and raising taxes on the rich.

    “I will stand with anybody in this country and put our progressive results against their promises to be a progressive opposition,” he said.

    Another issue that has dogged Singh during his leadership campaign related to state secularism and religious symbols. The issue is being debated in Quebec, a key electoral battleground for the party, where a bill is before the national assembly that would ban people from wearing religious face coverings when giving or receiving public services.

    Singh, who wears a turban and kirpan knife as a practising Sikh, is staunchly opposed to the bill, arguing it would breach individual rights. His stance has drawn opposition from the NDP’s federal caucus; Quebec MP Pierre Nantel recently suggested he may sit as an Independent if the next leader doesn’t respect the will of Quebecers on secularism.

    On Sunday, Singh told the Star that his NDP will present a “united front” on these issues, ensuring that members of his party would support individual rights and social democratic values.

    Near the back of the hotel ballroom where Singh was declared leader, a 48-year-old Toronto man named Binder Singh watched with a smile. He said he needed to be here “watching history happen,” even though six weeks ago he had bypass surgery on his heart.

    “It’s about the dream,” he said, describing Singh’s victory as proof that anyone can achieve greatness in Canada, regardless of their religion or appearance.

    “Canadian politics needed a shift. They needed fresher, younger faces to come in now. And Jagmeet is part of that change,” he said.

    “A beard or a turban means nothing now.”

    Key facts about Jagmeet Singh

    Age: 38

    Hometown: Singh was born in Scarborough; lived in St. John’s, N.L., until he was 7; and then moved to Windsor, Ont.

    Family: He is the oldest of four kids in his family. He is not married and doesn’t have children.

    Occupation: Before entering politics with a failed bid for a federal seat in 2011, Singh worked as a criminal defence lawyer in the Toronto area, after graduating from Osgoode Hall and passing the bar in 2006. He later opened his own law practice.

    Political trajectory: Singh was elected provincially as an MPP from Brampton just months after losing in the federal campaign, and still holds that seat at Queen’s Park. He stepped down as the Ontario NDP’s deputy leader after entering the federal leadership race.

    Hobbies: Singh is known for his proclivity for martial arts: he’s into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has competed in the past. He’s also a big bike rider. His rides in different parts of the country through various places across the country are often featured on his Snapchat and Instagram feeds, which he updates constantly. In 2012, he told the Mississauga News that he’s an avid reader, saying he went through more than a dozen novels that year.

    Signature policies

    • He thinks all drugs should be decriminalized and calls addiction a public health rather than a law enforcement issue.

    • If he becomes prime minister, he promises to create a federal ban on racial profiling. This would apply to institutions under Ottawa’s control, such as the RCMP, he says.

    • Singh is taking aim at temp contracts and proposing to force businesses to hire workers on staff after they’re employed full-time for six months. He also wants to ban unpaid internships and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for workers under federal jurisdiction.

    • He wants to hike taxes by 2 to 4 per cent on people earning more than $350,000 per year, create a 40-per-cent estate tax on properties — other than primary residences — worth more than $4 million, and bring the federal corporate tax rate back to 19.5 per cent from the current 15 per cent put in place by the previous Conservative government.

    • Singh vows to meet Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 instead of 2030, which is the Liberal government’s target. To do this, he wants a national transit strategy with long-term funding for projects, and to phase out subsidies to oil and gas companies by 2020, among other proposals.

    • A Singh government would change the way people vote in federal elections to a mixed-member proportional system with regional lists of candidates. After two elections, the new system would be put to a national referendum.

    ‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win

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    Monarch ceased operations after failing to reach a deal with regulators to extend the company’s license to sell package holidays to overseas destinations.

    U.K. scrambles to bring home 110,000 travellers after Monarch Airlines collapsesU.K. scrambles to bring home 110,000 travellers after Monarch Airlines collapses

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    City Logger will run in the background collecting location and time information, and will prompt users about the nature of their various trips

    U of T app will capture transit-use data down to fine detailsU of T app will capture transit-use data down to fine details

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    Malvern Collegiate Institute wants to remove particular comments from dressing room, but protesters say it will ruin a decades-long tradition.

    Drama students at Malvern Collegiate fight to preserve ‘yearbook’ wallDrama students at Malvern Collegiate fight to preserve ‘yearbook’ wall

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    Abdulahi Hasan Sharif faces five counts of attempted murder, five counts of dangerous driving and one weapons-related charge. Although police have said that terrorism charges are expected, none have been laid so far.

    Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015

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    Much of the criticism directed at DeVos has focused on her positions on public schools, with critics saying she prioritizes the needs of private schools. Devos’ public schedule shows she is set to visit the province Thursday and Friday.

    Trump’s controversial education secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Ontario to learn about public school systemTrump’s controversial education secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Ontario to learn about public school system

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    Tyler McLean and Amir Jamal were killed during a confrontation in the nightclub’s parking lot early Sunday.

    Friends mourn victims of Rebel nightclub shootingFriends mourn victims of Rebel nightclub shooting

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    Alexandre Bissonnette, the man accused in the slayings of six men at a mosque in January, will bypass his preliminary hearing.

    Quebec City mosque shooting suspect to go straight to trial, Crown saysQuebec City mosque shooting suspect to go straight to trial, Crown says

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    Four years after he was killed on a Toronto streetcar, and with an appeal hearing set to begin for the police officer who shot him, Sahar Bahadi says she doesn’t want her son to be defined by the way he died.

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    Singh, only 38 and the first leader of a major federal party who is not white, brings an undeniable shift in style and leadership for the New Democrats.

    Can new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh resonate with millennials — and become our next PM?Can new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh resonate with millennials — and become our next PM?

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    The 53-year-old former astronaut is one of the youngest Canadians to take on the title of Governor General. Payette arrived on Parliament Hill at mid-morning on Monday, the start of a day filled with pomp and circumstance.

    Julie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor GeneralJulie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor General

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    'What I said was both foolish and… hurtful,' Michael Marrus says in stepping down as a senior fellow.

    Massey College professor resigns over ‘master’ comment to Black studentMassey College professor resigns over ‘master’ comment to Black student

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    As one might expect, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked at the daily briefing about the overnight massacre of more than 50 people at a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. As one might also expect, some of those questions focused on the debate over new gun control legislation and whether President Donald Trump was considering new regulations in light of the mass shooting.

    “We haven’t had the moment to have a deep dive on the policy part of that,” Sanders said. “We’ve been focused on the fact that we had a severe tragedy in our country. This is a day of mourning, a time of bringing our country together and that’s been the focus of the administration this morning.”

    “Can you explain why that’s different than Orlando, though, Sarah?” NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked. “That day, he was talking about the travel ban and saying he didn’t want congratulations essentially. Why is what’s happening now ...”

    Sanders cut her off. “There’s a difference between being a candidate and being the president,” she said.

    Read the latest news on U.S. President Donald Trump

    What Jackson was referring to was this tweet from Trump, sent less than 12 hours after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year — until Sunday night the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

    He tweeted at the time “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

    A bit later, he was explicit about tying that attack to the need for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, tweeting “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough”

    (The perpetrator of that attack, incidentally, was an American born a few miles away from where Trump grew up.)

    Read more:

    B.C. man, Alberta woman among 58 killed in Las Vegas concert shooting

    What we know about Stephen Paddock, the high-stakes gambler behind the Las Vegas massacre

    Donald Trump condemns Las Vegas shooting as ‘act of pure evil’

    This was candidate Trump, Sanders is arguing, free to make the case for his preferred policy without taking a day to mourn the 49 people who had been killed. As president, Trump refuses to jump into the debate over policy (that he opposes) because it’s just not right.

    Undercutting Sanders’s claim, though, is that Trump has also jumped to policy solutions in the response to other tragedies since January 20.

    There was the attack at London Bridge in which Trump tweeted about the need for a travel ban even before the metropolitan police in that city had identified it as terror-related.

    He tweeted “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

    More recently, the president seized on an attempted bombing of a subway in London to argue that “the travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific.”

    These attacks do have the distinguishing characteristic of not being in America, in case that was a critical component of Sanders’s argument. (British leaders were not appreciative of Trump’s input.)

    The last tragedy the nation faced — excluding the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico — was the twin devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At that point, Trump took a stand on one matter of policy, downplaying any link to climate change since there have been big storms before those. (Before the storms hit, he repeatedly talked up the scale of the storms, in keeping with his affinity for hyperbole.) That response, though, came well after the storms hit. As for Puerto Rico, Trump’s been adamantly defending his administration’s response as fully adequate even as the island struggles to recover.

    Incidentally, Sanders — Trump’s official spokesperson — is herself bound by the candidate rules and not the presidential ones.

    “I think one of the things that we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t create — or stop these types of things from happening,” she said in response to a question during Monday’s briefing about whether Trump would advocate for a bipartisan response on guns. “I think, if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

    That claim about Chicago’s gun laws isn’t entirely true, for what it’s worth, and lax gun laws nearby make it easier to obtain weapons. But, then, we understand that this is a day for mourning, not political arguments.


    After Pulse shooting, Trump tweeted about travel ban. In wake of Las Vegas, White House won’t discuss gun policyAfter Pulse shooting, Trump tweeted about travel ban. In wake of Las Vegas, White House won’t discuss gun policy

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    EDMONTON—The case of a Somali refugee accused of attacking a police officer and running down four pedestrians has been put over so he can find a lawyer.

    Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday on 11 charges, including five of attempted murder, that were laid after a driver hit an Edmonton police officer with a speeding car, stabbed him and then mowed down pedestrians with a cube van during a downtown police chase.

    Tactical officers forced the van on its side and arrested a suspect after using a stun grenade and a Taser.

    Sharif, 30, appeared on closed-circuit TV and followed the proceedings with the help of an interpreter. The accused spoke briefly with a lawyer who stepped forward to help.

    The case was put over until Nov. 14, but could be called back sooner if Sharif can hire a lawyer before then.

    Edmonton police have raised the possibility of terrorism charges against Sharif because there was a Daesh, also known as ISIS and ISIL, flag in his car and he was investigated two years ago for espousing extremist views.

    The RCMP has said the investigation is complex and no terrorism charges have been laid.

    Mahamad Accord, a member of Edmonton’s Somali community, said he will do what he can to help Sharif apply for legal aid if he can’t afford to hire his own lawyer.

    “As you know Canadians — everyone has the right to a fair trial,” Accord said outside court.

    Read more:

    Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015

    Edmonton attacks are instances of ‘unstoppable terrorism,’ experts say

    ‘Women will bear the brunt of the racism’: Edmonton Muslim community feeling backlash after Saturday attack

    He said there has been lots of hearsay about Sharif, including reports that he has a brother in Toronto, but no first-hand information.

    Ahmed Ali, a man who described himself as a spokesperson for the city’s Somali community, said Sharif will get help with an interpreter, but wouldn’t comment about helping him get a lawyer.

    Ali also declined to answer questions about Sharif’s background or whether Somalis are facing any backlash over the attacks.

    “I would be lying if I told you that members of our community are feeling threatened, scared or concerned, because the EPS (Edmonton Police Service) has been doing a fantastic job, and so have the RCMP,” he said outside court.

    Sharif also faces charges of dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

    Police have said they believe the suspect acted alone and without conspirators.

    Const. Mike Chernyk was handling crowd control at a Canadian Football League game Saturday night when he was hit by a car that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying. The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Chernyk.

    The constable was treated in hospital and released.

    As of Monday, two of the pedestrians remained in hospital, one with a fractured skull.

    Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said Sharif crossed legally into Canada in 2012 at a regular border crossing and obtained refugee status.

    RCMP have said Sharif was checked thoroughly in 2015 after police received a report that he may have been radicalized, but investigators determined that he did not pose a threat.


    Edmonton attack suspect’s case postponed so he can find a lawyerEdmonton attack suspect’s case postponed so he can find a lawyer

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    WASHINGTON—House Republican leaders called for unity and prayer Tuesday after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, but offered no new legislation to tighten gun laws and said a bill to ease regulations on gun silencers would be shelved indefinitely.

    “We are all reeling from this horror in Las Vegas,” Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference. “This is just awful.”

    Ryan said there’s no plan for the House to act soon on a National Rifle Association-backed bill to ease regulations on gun silencers. A House panel had backed the bill last month and lawmakers were expected to move ahead on the measure.

    The bill is “not scheduled right now. I don’t know when it will be scheduled,” Ryan said.

    Instead, Ryan and other GOP leaders urged prayers to unify the country and said a positive way to respond to the shooting is to donate blood. Ryan said the actions of the gunman who killed at least 59 people and wounded hundreds more will not “define us as a country. It’s not who we are.”

    Ryan’s comments came as Democrats renewed calls for gun safety legislation.

    Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, pushed Congress to pass a universal background checks bill and “commonsense gun laws” to help prevent the next mass shooting.

    “We can’t stop the shootings that have already happened in Las Vegas, Chicago, Roseburg, Oregon, and across the nation. We failed to respond in time for those victims and their families. But if we work together, we can stop shootings in the future,” Durbin said.

    Read more:

    Las Vegas hospitals overwhelmed after mass shooting left 59 dead, 527 injured

    What was Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s motive? Investigators struggle to piece it together

    Jimmy Kimmel calls for gun control after Las Vegas shooting

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that the GOP-backed silencer bill could have deadly consequences.

    “One of the few ways the police had to go after this shooter was they could look for the sound, try to hear the sound of where the guns came from,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Thank God our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have pulled back on this bill.”

    Schumer and other Democrats noted that Republicans postponed a hearing on the silencer bill in June when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at a congressional baseball practice.

    “When two mass shootings force you to delay a bill that would make those mass shootings harder to detect and stop, maybe that’s a sign you ought to let go of the bill go, once and for all,” Schumer said.

    Besides the silencer measure, House GOP leaders had been moving forward with a bill to allow people with concealed-carry permits to take their weapons to other states. Republicans had been upbeat about prospects for legislation, but votes on both measures seemed unlikely.

    Sen. Chris Murphy who favours gun control, said Monday it was “time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.” In an outdoor news conference Monday, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 attack, turned to the Capitol, raised her fist and said, “The nation is counting on you.”

    But no action was expected, as other mass shootings in Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida, and even attacks on Gifford and Scalise, failed to unite Congress on any legislative response. A bipartisan bill on background checks failed in the Senate four years ago, and since then Republicans have usually pointed to mental health legislation when questioned about the appropriate congressional response to gun violence.

    House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday asked Ryan to create a select committee on gun violence to recommend legislation. A group of Democratic lawmakers asked Ryan to remove the silencer bill from the House calendar indefinitely.

    In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Ryan said Congress needs to fund mental health reforms. “But if you’re saying that this Republican Congress is going to infringe upon Second Amendment rights, we’re not going to do that,” he said.

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said lawmakers should remember the good feelings they shared when Scalise returned to the Capitol last week, more than three months after the June 14 shooting.

    “It’s really a time that we have to heal. It’s really a time to find what divides us” and put it aside, he said. “We need to find that we are stronger. We cannot allow this terror to win.”


    Paul Ryan says NRA-backed gun bill on silencers shelved indefinitelyPaul Ryan says NRA-backed gun bill on silencers shelved indefinitely

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    Two men have been charged with second-degree murder in a double shooting outside the Rebel nightclub early Sunday that left two other men dead.

    Police found the victims at the scene, near Cherry and Polson Sts., around 3:10 a.m.. One man was pronounced dead on scene, and the other was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries.

    On Tuesday, police formally identified the victims as Tyler McLean, 25, and Zemarai Khan Mohammed, 26. Mohammed was also known as Amir Jamal.

    Police also said Abdirisaq Ali, 23, of Toronto, and Tanade Mohamed, 24, of Edmonton, had been arrested on charges of second-degree murder. They were scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Tuesday.

    The arrests came after officers executed search warrants in the York Mills Rd. and DVP area on Monday, police said in a news release.

    Friends and family of the victims were left reeling by the deaths. A Gofundme page raising money to ship Jamal’s body back to his family in Afghanistan called him “the most genuine and kind person.”

    Adam Mahgoub, a friend of McLean, said he was “very well respected, very well liked.”

    McLean was a promoter for the nightclub who had just returned from a vacation, according to a coworker. Jamal had been sending money back home to his family. The two men were friends.

    The deaths are listed as Toronto’s 44th and 45th homicides this year.

    With files from Alanna Rizza and Samantha Beattie


    2 men arrested in Rebel nightclub shooting deaths2 men arrested in Rebel nightclub shooting deaths

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    MONTREAL—The election of Jagmeet Singh as leader was a watershed moment for the NDP and for Canadian politics. But the blow dealt to runner-up Charlie Angus on the first and only ballot of the campaign was also revealing of the party’s mood.

    On Sunday the Timmins-James Bay MP lost both in the real world and on the field of expectations. Angus did not expect to become the NDP’s new leader on that day. But nor was his team prepared for a crushing and definitive defeat.

    By the time the Liberals picked a leader in 2013, the men and women who had run against Justin Trudeau knew they would be little more than extras on the set of a coronation.

    By comparison, Angus entered the weekend of the vote cast as one of two front-runners in the campaign to succeed Thomas Mulcair only to emerge as a distant also-ran.

    A well-respected MP with more parliamentary experience than any of his three rivals, Angus had cause to hope his promise to reconnect the NDP to its roots would resonate with the party base.

    He had not recruited as many new members as Singh, but polls suggested he was the popular choice among New Democrats of longer standing.

    Indeed, at the time of the previous NDP leadership vote in 2012, Angus’s decision to rally Mulcair’s camp after his own preferred candidate, Paul Dewar, was eliminated, had been considered one of the more significant developments of the day.

    And yet, in the end, the result was not even close. Angus — with 19 per cent of the vote — not only finished more than 30 points behind Singh, he barely beat Niki Ashton (17 per cent) for second place.

    Angus might have fared better under a riding-by-riding weighted system such as that of the Liberals and the Conservatives. The one-member-one-vote NDP formula does play to regional strengths at the potential expense of broader national appeal. Singh’s support was unevenly distributed across the country with a heavy emphasis on the GTA and the larger Vancouver area.

    But the final score suggests that a significant part of the party base Angus was counting on to keep his campaign alive and get to fight another ballot was in Singh’s corner.

    The appetite for a trip back to a future that stood to again feature permanent opposition as an NDP way of life turned out to be limited.

    This is the same party that shocked the country’s political class by summarily handing Mulcair his walking papers a year and a half ago.

    “I did not think we were that kind of people,” one New Democrat had told me in the hours after Mulcair’s leadership had been disposed of.

    Angus’s results suggest the New Democrats are indeed that kind of people. Jack Layton spent his tenure urging New Democrats to set their sights on forming a government. In the pursuit of power they are no less cold-blooded than their Conservative and Liberal counterparts.

    And then it is not a reflection on Angus’s merits to note that his path to victory had the potential to poison both the New Democrat well and that of his leadership. A winning scenario for his campaign featured mostly terrible optics stretched out over two and possibly three divisive weeks.

    As proud as the NDP was of the demographic diversity of its leadership lineup, it had the potential to backfire on the party.

    Here is how the vote would likely have had to unfold for Angus to win.

    On the first ballot, Guy Caron would have been struck from the lineup.

    On Sunday, Caron finished last with 9 per cent of the vote. There is no guarantee his supporters would have even bothered to vote for one of the surviving contenders on subsequent ballots.

    On week two, Niki Ashton would have been voted off the island. It might then have taken yet another week and another round of voting for Angus to prevail over Singh.

    Having beaten in succession a francophone Quebecer, a woman and a runner-up issued from the ranks of Canada’s visible minorities and done so over weeks rather than mere hours on a convention floor, Angus would have his work cut out for him trying to convince Canadians that he was taking command of a forward-looking NDP.

    Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer. Her column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


    In NDP leadership race, Charlie Angus was dealt the hardest blow: HébertIn NDP leadership race, Charlie Angus was dealt the hardest blow: Hébert

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    A single vehicle rollover on the QEW at Guelph Line has sent eight people to hospital and also closed down all lanes leading into Toronto.

    Emergency services responded to the scene of the accident around 2:30 p.m. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police said a minivan skidded across the lanes and “came to rest on its roof in the left lane,” leaving “debris all across the highway.”

    Eight people have been rushed to hospital, two with critical and one with serious injuries. The injuries to the others are unknown as yet.

    Several people were “ejected” from the vehicle during the accident and came to rest on the road, itself, in “different locations” across the highway, Schmidt said.

    “That is obviously concerning for us,” he said, adding that the investigation into the crash would likely be lengthy.

    Some of the possible factors at play the police are investigating include mechanical issues, human error, and whether seatbelts were used, he said.

    One westbound lane of the QEW is getting by. But Schmidt said the best thing to do is avoid the area and get off the highway if possible. Anyone who witnessed the accident is encouraged to contact police.


    QEW crash at Guelph Line sends eight to hospital, closes lanes into TorontoQEW crash at Guelph Line sends eight to hospital, closes lanes into Toronto

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    Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul has failed his second medical, according to a report by Sportsnet.

    The result, based on an independent medical examination ordered by the NHL, allows the Leafs to place the winger on long-term injured reserve for this season.

    Lupul is owed $5.3 million this season, and it will not count against the cap, thanks to the result of his medical.

    That means Toronto has about $4.7 million of potential cap space, depending on the makeup of its season-opening roster, which was due to be submitted to the NHL by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    Lupul spent the entire 2016-17 season on LTIR; he failed his initial medical at the opening of training camp, but a second, independent exam was ordered after Lupul’s controversial post on his instagram account, which brought the original medical into question.

    Lupul quickly apologized for the post and removed it from the account.


    Leafs' Joffrey Lupul fails second medicalLeafs' Joffrey Lupul fails second medical

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