Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party


The Progressive Conservatives are banking that lapsed supporters of the party will not want to break up with Ontario-born heartthrob Ryan Gosling.

Embedded in the party’s latest fundraising appeal is a GIF of the actor from the 2013 movie Gangster Squad.

Actor Ryan Gosling prior to a news conference at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11, 2018.
Actor Ryan Gosling prior to a news conference at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11, 2018.  (Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star)

“It’s been a while. Are you still with me?” reads the email blast signed by Doug Ford, the premier and PC leader.

Clicking the purple “yes” button takes recipients to an “I’m with Doug!” page.

“Ontario has a leader for the people. Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs are cleaning up Kathleen Wynne’s mess. Add your name if you’re with Doug!” it reads, referring to Wynne, the former Liberal premier Ford defeated last June.

But clicking the red “no” buttons leads to a decidedly different direction on a page entitled “Change your Ontario PC Party email preferences.”

Underneath is a black-and-white GIF of Gosling, who was born in London, Ontario, and grew up in Cornwall.

“Don’t go,” the actor is saying to an off-screen Emma Stone.

Embedded in the Ontario PC Party's latest fundraising appeal is a GIF of actor Ryan Gosling from the 2013 movie Gangster Squad.
Embedded in the Ontario PC Party’s latest fundraising appeal is a GIF of actor Ryan Gosling from the 2013 movie Gangster Squad.  (ontariopc.ca)

“We know we email you a lot, but here’s the truth,” reads the message from the Tories below.

“It costs us $2 to call a supporter, $1 to pay for postage to mail a supporter, but it’s free to send an email,” the message continues.

“Kathleen Wynne changed the rules to fundraise. While we supported eliminating corporate and union donations, the game has changed and emailing our supporters has become the most cost-effective method to communicate with people like you.”

In 2016, following a Star exposé of Liberal fundraising practices, Wynne banned corporate and union donations, lowered maximum contribution amounts, and introduced a per-vote public subsidy of parties.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie


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Breaking the ‘significant increase’ in crystal meth addictions – Saskatoon


Tracy Muggli, the director of Mental Health and Addiction Services at the Saskatchewan Health Authority, has been working to break the cycle of crystal meth addictions by improving services to users.

The health authority is one of nearly 30 organizations working together in the Safe Community Action Alliance (CSAA). The group has been working since 2017 to improve issues affecting city residents, with the top two being the crystal meth epidemic and the other housing options.

Another mother calls for increased addictions resources in Saskatchewan

“Crystal meth is a very addictive drug. It acts on dopamine in the brain, that’s the pleasure point and so people like the high. The other factor is that it’s very cheap,” Muggli said.

Over the last five to six years, the health authority has seen a “wave” of crystal meth. The last influx was back in 2006-07.

“Almost half of the people that present to our services, present as crystal meth users. It used to be around five to ten percent, five to six years ago. That’s a significant increase,” Muggli said.

Sask. inks $5M partnership to fund crystal meth and opioid treatment

Since mid-2018 CSAA has been mapping the client experience of using crystal meth, identifying gaps in their care, and assisting interventions.

“We’re learning that treating people with crystal meth addictions is very difficult. We have to adjust our programming so that people can stay for a longer period of time in treatment,” Muggle said.

She adds that people need time to sleep and recover. Often addicts who come into detox have been up for five or six days straight.

Crystal meth eclipsing opioids on the Prairies

“One thing we know about crystal meth is that it depletes dopamine levels in your system and that can lead to depression and suicidality.”

“We’ve had to be very flexible in our treatment programs and how we address length of stay.”

“It can take a while to develop a desire to live and improve quality of life.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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The Pollcast: Six months of Doug Ford moving fast and breaking things


It’s been a tumultuous six months since Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives took office in Ontario, ousting the Liberal government after its 15 years in power in June’s provincial election.

In that time, the Ford government has been sparking outrage among Franco-Ontarians, scaring off regulators in Washington state and raising concerns about political interference in the Ontario Provincial Police. The PCs seem willing to accept that, in the process of moving fast to reshape Ontario’s government, they’re bound to break a few things.

That’s Mike Crawley’s analysis; the CBC’s provincial affairs reporter in Toronto spoke with host Éric Grenier on this week’s episode of the Pollcast.

How have the first six months of the Ford era unfolded so far? And how have Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats (newly propelled to Official Opposition status) and the badly-depleted Liberals adapted to their new roles at Queen’s Park? 

The CBC’s Mike Crawley joins Eric to break down the first six months of the Doug Ford era in Ontario. 22:20

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes of the show.


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Man in Brampton charged with sexually assaulting a woman after breaking into her home


A man faces charges after allegedly breaking into a home in Brampton and sexually assaulting the woman who lives there, Peel Regional Police said.

Clayton Alexander Williams entered a residence near Massey St. and Mallard Cres., in the area of Bovaird Dr. E. and Bramalea Rd., where he confronted and sexually assaulted the victim, police allege.

Police are also connecting the 39-year-old man from Brampton to another break-and-enter incident near North Park Dr. and Bramalea Rd.

Williams was charged with two counts of breaking and entering, possession of stolen property, sexual assault, sexual interference and breach of the sex offender registry information act.

Police are asking anyone with information to call investigators at the Special Victim’s Unit at (905) 453–2121, ext. 3460, or anonymously at Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Stefanie Marotta is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @StefanieMarotta


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