Families of Montreal fire victims could face long wait for answers, police say

WATCH: The fallout continues following a fire in Old Montreal last week that killed at least one person and has the families of six others fearing the worst. Authorities continue to search the wreckage for the remains of six missing people as Montreal’s mayor lashed out at AirBnB. As Global’s Dan Spector reports, she is demanding stricter rules for short-term rentals. Global's Dan Spector reports.

Police say the families of the presumed victims of a deadly fire in Old Montreal could be facing a long wait for answers, as investigators are working to enter a building described as a “scene of destruction.”

Insp. David Shane told reporters Tuesday that the unstable structure of the building and the difficulty of recovering bodies could mean an agonizing delay for the loved ones of the people missing.

One woman has been found dead and six people remain missing after a fire swept through the historic building in Old Montreal last Thursday.

Shane says several floors of the building collapsed on each other, and because of the risk of further collapse, recovery teams will have to be lifted by crane into the building.

Fire and police investigators explored the scene Monday with the help of cameras and visual inspections from the outside but did not recover any more victims.

A spokeswoman for the city’s forensics lab says the process to identify victims could also be complex, and could rely in part upon dental records and DNA, which will be matched to samples provided by the victims’ families.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Edmonton ranked best Canadian city to live in during a zombie apocalypse

HBO's smash hit 'The Last of Us' was filmed in Alberta, and that has fans of the series flocking to the province, specifically sites featured prominently in the show. Heather Yourex-West looks at the boost to the economy, and the next wave of tourist dollars which appears to be on the way.

Using Statistics Canada data in five categories — vulnerability, hideouts, supplies, safety and mobility — Rentola determined the best place to be if people started turning into zombies.

The rental home search engine ranked each city based on its score in each of the five categories.

Edmonton came out on top with a total score of 7.96. Saskatoon was second, with an overall score of 7.95 and Guelph, Ont., was third at 7.00.

Rentola ranks the best Canadian cities to live in during a zombie apocalypse.

Rentola ranks the best Canadian cities to live in during a zombie apocalypse.

courtesy: Rentola

Vulnerability included indicators like population density, perceived physical and mental health and visits/tourism to the area.

Hideouts considered average household size, parks and green space and housing vacancy rates.

Supplies looked at stats around food, fuel, tools and weapons — are there barrels, cisterns, gardens, trees and shops?

Safety examined the crime rate per 100,000 population, total firearms, total weapons violations, specialized stores and military bases.

Mobility considered transport options — walking, jogging, running, hiking, bicycling and also built-up areas like roads, natural and semi-natural water, and moveable dwellings.

Edmonton earned a score of 10 in both hideouts and mobility. Its vulnerability score was 7.04, and it got 6.33 for supplies and 6.44 for safety.

The worst city for surviving a zombie apocalypse was determined to be Saint John, N.B. Its overall score was a lowly 3.18, but it scored particularly poorly in the hideouts and safety categories (1.0).

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Police respond to pair of morning bomb threats at Hamilton public schools

Police responded to two separate bomb threats at two Hamilton public schools Tuesday morning, creating short-term evacuations at both.

A Hamilton police spokesperson said the first of the incidents was just before 8 a.m. at Glendale Secondary following a threat made via email to a staff member from the school.

The school was temporarily vacated as a precaution before students and staff were allowed to return about a half-hour later.

It’s the second time in just under a month the Rainbow Drive learning facility has had to be cleared due to a threat.

That Feb. 27 occurence closed Glendale shortly after 8 a.m. before police cleared students and staff for a return around 9 a.m.

The second threat Tuesday was also made to a staffer via email at Westmount Secondary School on Montcalm Drive.

The incident shut down the school just after 9:30 a.m. after the message was discovered in a junk mailbox.

Hamilton police also gave an all-clear for students and staff at the Mountain school to return just before 11 a.m.

Investigators say both emails were sent at essentially the same time, around 8 a.m.

However, no connections so far have been confirmed between the two threats.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kitchener pledge will see 35,000 new homes built in city by 2031

Kitchener council approved a pledge Monday night that says it will support building 35,000 new homes in the city over the next eight years in response to Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, which was passed by the Ontario government last year.

The city says it recently conducted a poll of its residents that found that housing is one of their top priorities.

“Tackling the housing crisis locally means everyone needs to work together — building on our proven barn-raising approach stated that includes all orders of government, the private sector, not-for-profit, educational institutions, and most importantly, all Kitchener residents to help build a stronger Kitchener and a stronger Ontario,” Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said.

“Although the Province’s housing forecasts for municipalities are ambitious, Kitchener is well-positioned to meet these targets thanks to the proactive work we have done and our strong collaboration with partners.”

The pledge includes a number of initiatives, including updating the land use and zoning for areas around major transit stations as well as working with builders and other groups to identify costs, timing, market conditions and capacity.

The city also intends to work with other levels of government to create strategies to increase the housing supply including the consideration of the funding required to meet these needs.

Under Bill 23, the Ontario government had required some municipalities to submit these types of pledges to ensure that the province could track progress on building new housing.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Brampton, Ont. man charged with dangerous driving after failing driving test

Guelph Police say a 36-year-old Brampton man faces charges of dangerous driving and stunt driving after failing his driver’s test on Monday afternoon.

Police said officers were called to the Woodlawn Road Plaza just after 4 p.m.

They said a man was angry after failing his driving test and began yelling at staff, and then got into his vehicle and began speeding through the parking lot.

The accused then narrowly missed four people after allegedly trying to drive through a pedestrian walkway.

They said he did a number of burnouts in the parking lot before officers found him in the driver’s seat.

In addition to the charges, they said the man has also been banned from driving for 30 days and his car has been impounded for 14 days.

He has a court date scheduled in Guelph for May 5.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man arrested in 'violent' Pickering home invasion where victim was pistol-whipped: police

A man has been arrested after a “violent” home invasion in Pickering last month in which the victim was pistol-whipped, police say.

Durham Regional Police said officers were called to a home on Engel Court at around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 after two males broke inside and pistol-whipped a female.

The suspects also stole “a quantity of items” and may have fled in a blue Honda Civic, police said.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Police believe at least three people were involved in the incident. A man has since been arrested in connection with the incident, police announced Tuesday, though two suspects remain outstanding.

Toronto resident Emmanual Missah, 26, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and was held for a bail hearing.

Anyone with new information on the case was asked to contact police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2529 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Rupert Murdoch, 92, to marry for the 5th time: 'I knew this would be my last'

Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch is getting married for the fifth time — and this time, he’s said it’s for good.

Murdoch, 92, announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, 66, via his own publication, The New York Post. He told the outlet that he met Smith, a former police chaplain, at his California vineyard last September.

“I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her,” Murdoch told the Post.

Murdoch, who said he is “one-fourth Irish,” proposed in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. He presented Smith with an Asscher cut diamond solitaire ring that he personally selected.

“I was very nervous,” he said. “I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”

“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” Murdoch said.

Smith was formerly married to the late Chester Smith, an American country singer and TV executive. She called the engagement to Murdoch “a gift from God.”

She added that because of her former husband’s work in the media business, she and Murdoch “speak the same language.”

“We share the same beliefs,” she said.

Murdoch and Smith plan to tie the knot in late summer.

Australian-born Murdoch owns News Corp., a multinational mass media group that possesses hundreds of local, national and international media assets, including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and book publisher HarperCollins. His net worth is estimated at US$17.2 billion.

Murdoch has been married four times. He first wed Australian flight attendant Patricia Booker in 1956. They divorced in 1967. Also in 1967, Murdoch married journalist Anna Mann, though they divorced in 1999.

That same year, Murdoch married Chinese-born entrepreneur Wendi Deng and later had three children. The couple divorced in 2013. Most recently, he married model Jerry Hall in 2016. They were together for six years until their divorce was finalized in August.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Vote on Telford foreign interference testimony will not be a confidence matter: Trudeau

WATCH - Conservatives push for Katie Telford's testimony on election interference, question NDP stance

The minority Liberal government will not make a Conservative motion calling on the prime minister’s chief of staff to testify on foreign election interference a matter of confidence, Justin Trudeau says.

For weeks, Conservatives have tried to get Katie Telford to appear as a witness at a parliamentary committee investigating foreign election interference. After failing to reach a vote on their motion, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre tabled a motion in the House of Commons on Monday that calls on Telford and several other officials to appear as a witness at a different committee studying the same subject.

Conservatives say Telford has valuable information regarding when Trudeau was briefed on allegations of Chinese interference in Canadian elections and society, an issue that has been captured in ongoing reports published by Global News and The Globe and Mail.

A vote on the motion in the House of Commons is expected after question period on Tuesday afternoon.

“No, it’s not going to be a confidence motion. Obviously, it goes to how important the issue of foreign interference is, and I’m actually pleased to contrast the approach that we’ve taken,” Trudeau said.

He added that the terms of reference for the special rapporteur position the government announced last week would be coming out on Tuesday. Former governor general David Johnston was named to the post, and will, among other things, assess whether a public inquiry into the allegations is needed. Trudeau has been under pressure to call one, but has passed off that decision to Johnston.

“People will see that there is an expert process that will dig in to this in a nonpartisan way, and people can contrast this with the kind of political circus that Mr. Poilievre is trying to generate.”

Conservatives argued Telford, who has been a top aide to Trudeau since before he became prime minister in 2015, can answer key questions about briefings on election interference Trudeau received and what actions — if any — he took in response.

The Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois both seem prepared to vote in favour of the motion.

But the New Democrats, who are supporting the Liberals through a supply-and-confidence agreement, have not committed to doing the same — despite its members agreeing Telford must testify.

Instead, they tabled their own motion on Monday that seeks a broad public inquiry into foreign interference that looks beyond China to other alleged meddling by actors like Russia and Iran. Conservatives have rejected calls to expand the probe.

Poilievre and other Conservative MPs on Monday challenged NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on whether he will support their motion or continue to help the Liberals with their “cover-up.”

Speaking to reporters outside the House of Commons on Monday, Liberal House Leader Mark Holland wouldn’t rule out the possibility of turning the Conservative motion into a confidence vote. That would force the NDP to choose whether to throw out the supply-and-confidence agreement over compelling Telford’s testimony.

The agreement, reached in early March 2022, does address situations in which the government declares a confidence vote on other matters. It requires the Liberals to inform the NDP of a confidence vote as soon as possible, and the NDP to discuss with the Liberals how its MPs intend to vote before announcing so publicly, “to permit discussions” to take place.

The Liberal government has been under immense pressure to explain what it knew about foreign interference in the 2021 election after The Globe and Mail reported last month that intelligence sources said China attempted to interfere in that campaign to help the Liberals win another minority government.

That report came after months of revelations from Global News about allegations of Chinese interference in the 2019 election.

— with files from Sean Boynton

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ottawa must ‘recapitalize’ the Canadian Armed Forces, Anand says ahead of budget

WATCH - JTF 2: Canada's elite special forces unit gets a $1.4 B upgrade to their training centre

The federal government must “recapitalize” the Canadian Armed Forces amid “this changing world,” National Defence Minister Anita Anand says.

Her comments Tuesday came after she announced $1.4-billion in funding to upgrade the Dwyer Hill Training Centre in Ottawa, a military base used by Canada’s special operations forces unit, Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2).

This 10-year construction project, which will begin in May, will provide more than 100,000 square metres of space for JTF2 training and high-readiness operational needs. The work will include replacing more than 89 aging structures with 23 new facilities, renovating seven buildings and upgrading the site’s utilities.

The Canadian government has been under pressure from its allies to increase its defence spending, and Anand said that Tuesday’s announcement is evidence that “there is an upward trajectory in our defence spending.”

“We see the increasing need to make investments of this sort and we see the need to continue to recapitalize the Canadian Armed Forces,” she said.

“We are moving forward on a number of fronts, including enhancing infrastructure here at home for JTF2, but also in international theatres, be it Latvia, be it the Indo-Pacific. We need to continue to do whatever is necessary in this changing world.”

Anand’s comments also come ahead of the government budget for 2023, which will be tabled on March 28. Last year, the Liberals boosted the budget for the Canadian military by roughly $8 billion, on top of billions in already scheduled increases.

But even with that increase, Canada was not expected to hit the two per cent NATO spending target. The military alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, called upon member nations again Tuesday to commit more dollars to defence spending, and said he expects them to commit to doing so at a NATO meeting in July.

On Sunday, Canada’s ambassador to the United States said she’s seen a change of tone in how Washington views its northern ally’s commitment to defence thanks to a slew of new spending — reducing a potential thorny point of discussion ahead of this week’s presidential visit to Ottawa.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday will make his first trip to Canada since being sworn into office more than two years ago, sitting down with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss a range of issues before addressing Parliament.

North American defence is sure to be a top priority for the summit after the recent flight of a Chinese spy balloon over the continent last month and incursions by China and Russia in the Arctic, along with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

But after years of calls from Washington for Canada to meet its defence spending obligations and modernize its military, Ambassador Kirsten Hillman said she’s beginning to see a shift.

“There is no doubt that the U.S. will always be looking to Canada and other allies to do as much as they can,” she told Mercedes Stephenson on The West Block Sunday.

The federal government has committed nearly $40 billion in funding over the next 20 years to modernize NORAD, something Canada’s military brass and Anand pointed to as crucial in the wake of the Chinese spy balloon and the subsequent detection and shootdown of three other unidentified objects over North American airspace in February.

However, it remains unclear how much of that spending is actually new money.

— with files from Sean Boynton

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Zendaya Flashes Gold Ring With Boyfriend Tom Holland’s Initials

Zendaya keeps Tom Holland’s name close.

On Monday, nail artist Marina Dobyk shared a video of the “Euphoria” star’s latest manicure, but fans were more interested in the gold ring Zendaya was wearing.

Showing a close-up of the actress’ glossy bubblegum pink nails, people noticed an engraving on the ring that appeared to be the initials “TH”, for her “Spider-Man” co-star and boyfriend.

Some fans did argue in the comments that the initials looked more like “ZH”, which would be a combination of her first name and Holland’s last.

Zendaya and Holland first started dating after meeting on the 2016 film “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.

They kept their relationship mostly out of the public eye, but in 2021 went Instagram official, and began walking red carpets together.

In November 2021, Holland talked to GQ about their relationship, explaining that “privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world.”

Zendaya also told the outlet, “The equal sentiment is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own.”

© 2023 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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