Toronto police issued 4,352 parking tickets during ‘zero tolerance’ traffic blitz

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Thousands of parking tickets were issued and hundreds of vehicles towed during a recent weeks-long crackdown on motorists who were were blocking traffic, Toronto police figures show.

Police said in a new release sent out Monday that 4,352 tickets were issued and 753 vehicles were towed from Jan. 14 to Feb. 1.

“The enforcement of the city’s rush hour routes and other traffic and parking offences continues to be a priority,” police said.

The campaign focused on stopped drivers blocking traffic on major streets, not congestion within major intersections, also known as “blocking the box.”

The stats that were released Monday don’t include numbers for tickets issued for distracted driving, a crackdown that was running at the same time.

When the campaign was announced, police spokesperson Brian Moniz said that officers will be taking a “zero tolerance” approach to drivers blocking traffic on major routes during rush hour in an attempt to combat congestion.

According to Moniz, a ticket for blocking traffic during rush hour is $150 and a tow is an additional $250.

On average, police issue 70,000 tickets per year during rush hour, or roughly 275 per day.

Police tow about 15,000 a year, or around 60 a day, Moniz said.

Ilya Bañares is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ilyaoverseas

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Fly there faster? New satellite coverage promises to revolutionize air traffic control

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OTTAWA—The aircraft symbols inch their way across the computer monitor — Air France 378 en route from Paris to Detroit; Delta 85, a Boeing 777 headed to Atlanta; and Lufthansa 412, an Airbus A350 flying Munich to Newark.

At first blush, there’s nothing exceptional about the air traffic control display — except for the piece of airspace it depicts.

These aircraft over the North Atlantic are far beyond the range of ground-based radar. What makes this real-time depiction of oceanic air traffic possible is a new constellation of satellites now orbiting the Earth, giving controllers a window on flights they’ve never had before.

It promises to revolutionize air traffic control, providing a view of air traffic in areas such as oceans, deserts, and mountainous and remote regions where ground-based radars are currently unable to provide surveillance.

With improved surveillance comes the promise of more efficient routing, potentially shorter trips and millions of dollars in fuel savings.

“It’s the greatest thing since the advent of radar,” spokesperson Ron Singer said.

Earlier this month, a SpaceX rocket carried the final 10 Iridium satellites into space, completing a constellation of 66 satellites and nine spares in low-earth orbit, to replace an existing network of communications satellites.

Aireon, a U.S. company, saw an opportunity to piggyback technology on the satellites that would be able to track aircraft from space.

The technology utilizes equipment — known as automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B)— now being installed on aircraft that transmits GPS location, altitude, speed and other information.

Those signals are detected by satellites overhead, relayed to ground stations and on to air traffic control agencies.

Nav Canada is a partner in Aireon, along with the air traffic control operations in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy. Other agencies are expected to sign on to use the technology to better manage air traffic in their regions.

At a Nav Canada technical centre at Ottawa airport, Steve Bellingham, manager navigation systems engineering for the company, walks a visitor through a demonstration.

On a computer display, he calls up a real-time display of air traffic in Canadian airspace using the satellite data and highlights flights over the ocean — where Nav Canada shares responsibility for air traffic control — and in Canada’s far north that until now has been out of view for controllers.

“These ones for sure we would not see,” he said. “It changes how you do your business.”

Ground-based radar has many limitations. It’s based on line of sight, meaning that anything beyond the horizon is lost to its electronic view. It requires antenna installations, which are costly to build and maintain.

But the main problem is that vast parts of the globe have no radar and hence there’s no accurate picture of the air traffic in these areas.

As a result, to keep aircraft safely separated in these areas, controllers resort to procedures using position reports sent from aircraft via datalink every five or 10 minutes.

It’s not unsafe. But it’s inefficient, with aircraft spaced far apart to provide an extra margin of safety. Space-based ATC will change all that.

“You know exactly where these guys are,” Bellingham said.

“You can have aircraft a lot closer here with confidence than you could when you only getting a report every few minutes.”

Having a more accurate depiction of air traffic will enable aircraft to fly closer together and thus increase the capacity of airspace. It will also allow controllers to better accommodate pilot requests for the best routing and altitude to reduce fuel burn, something that’s not always possible now.

It brings another benefit. Aircraft equipped with the technology will never be out of view, reducing the changes of another Malaysia Flight 370, which went missing in 2014 during a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. It’s presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean but the exact site has never been found.

Over the coming months, Nav Canada controllers will begin putting the space-based data to use, starting with flights over the North Atlantic and Canada’s northern region.

“They’re now getting spooled up on how to take advantage of that space-based ADS-B to provide safe but efficient tracks,” Bellingham said of controllers.

“They’re going to do it phased but from day one, they’re going to be separating aircraft closer than they are today.”

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier

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Canadian air traffic controllers send pizzas to U.S. counterparts working without pay

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Air traffic controllers from Atlantic Canada directed a fleet of special arrivals into the New York Air Traffic Control Centre on Friday night, as a gesture of solidarity and respect.

And each was covered in a layer of gooey melted cheese.

The Canadian Air Traffic Controller Association units in Gander, N.L., and Moncton, N.B., ordered pizzas for all of their colleagues at the control centre in New York, who have been working without pay since the partial U.S. government shutdown began on Dec. 22.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a border wall with Mexico, and says he won’t put through a bill to cover the cost of operating parts of the government until he gets it. The Democrats have put forward a funding bill, but don’t support the wall. 

« It’s been so overwhelmingly negative and it’s nice to see that there’s solidarity out there. There’s people out there who are just saying, ‘Hey, I work with you as a friend or a colleague and here’s a nice gesture of friendship, that we care,' » said David Lombardo, a former air traffic controller who lives in Long Island and runs a social media site for people in the industry.

He posted a notice to Reddit ​about the impending pizza arrival seen in the hallways of the New York control centre. 

« Aviation is a really tight-knit group of people, it’s like a family. And plus, it goes against the whole rhetoric here that we’re talking about because it’s an international boundary! »

Sometimes solidarity comes with a soft crust and a layer of melted cheese. (Dave Lombardo/Reddit)

Air traffic controllers provide essential services and are unable to suspend work or take any other job action during the government shutdown, he said. As a result, with no other government services running, they’re working without paycheques.

« They’re worried about their mortgages, their medical bills. It’s one thing to have a date set and say, ‘Hey you’re going to get your back pay in a week or two,’ but they have absolutely no idea when they’re going to get paid, And you can imagine that’s pretty disheartening and pretty scary for many people. »

A Canada-wide effort

The pizza-delivering task force from the Gander and Moncton crews is part of a national effort on behalf of Canadian air traffic controllers to show support for their American counterparts, said Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA). 

Duffey said local unions have been asking the national union what they could do to help since the U.S. government shutdown began. On Thursday evening, controllers in Edmonton had the idea to send pizzas across the border to controllers in Alaska.

It snowballed from there. As of Sunday morning, Canadian units have sent pizzas to 35 different units in the U.S.

« This is as grassroots as it gets, with our members just jumping on board this like crazy, » he said. « I couldn’t be more proud of what my members are doing. »

‘We’re all taking care of the skies over North America’

Duffey echoed Lombardo’s sentiment that air traffic controllers keep each other close, even though they don’t work side-by-side and often only hear each other’s voices in headsets.

« We always stand together, especially with our American counterparts, » he said. « Our members just want to reach out to those people that they consider to be co-workers. We’re all taking care of the skies over North America. »

Canadian air traffic controllers have been sending pizzas to control towers and centres in the U.S. to show solidarity with their American colleagues, who are working for free. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The nature of the job also builds a strong bond, he said.

« We always say that we have to be 100 per cent correct, 100 per cent of the time, with zero room for error. That’s the nature of our job. To have somebody have to report to work with the added pressure of knowing they’re now into their second period of work with no paycheque, they don’t need that kind of added stress and pressure. We just want to send them a message that says, ‘Hey we’re with you, we stand with you, and we’re sorry that this is happening to you.' »

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Winnipeg man arrested after Ontario police find $800K worth of cocaine during traffic stop

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The cocaine was found during a traffic stop on Highway 17 near Dryden, Ont., Friday, police said.

Officers found 8 kg of drug after vehicle pulled over on Highway 17 near Dryden, police say

Ontario police have arrested a Winnipeg man after officers found eight kilograms of cocaine during a traffic stop near Dryden, Ont., Friday. (CBC)

A Winnipeg man is facing drug charges after police say they found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine during a traffic stop in northwestern Ontario Friday.

Ontario Provincial Police say they pulled the vehicle over around 11 a.m. on Highway 17, east of Dryden, for Highway Traffic Act offences.

During the stop, police found eight kilograms of cocaine, with an approximate street value of $800,000.

A 29-year-old Winnipeg man is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine and trafficking cocaine.

He remains in police custody.

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Indigenous convoys slow Ontario highway traffic in solidarity with B.C. pipeline protest

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Two convoys of vehicles slowed traffic on stretches of Canada’s busiest highway Friday morning in Ontario in a show of solidarity with an anti-pipeline protest in British Columbia. 

One rolled westbound from the eastern part of the province, while the other began in southwestern Ontario and headed east. Both left before dawn and disrupted traffic during the morning rush hour.

One fleet left from the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, about 86 kilometres southeast of Ottawa, and travelled about 50 km/h as it moved toward Belleville, Ont. People from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, just south of Montreal, joined those from Akwesasne.

Provincial police cruisers formed a buffer around the eight trucks and SUVs and surrounding traffic. 

Brandon Bigtree, who was driving one of the vehicles, said the demonstration was to show support for protesters at the Unist’ot’en camp — the site of a fortified checkpoint preventing people set to work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline project from accessing the Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Wet’suwet’en and police have agreed to allow the company access to do pre-construction work as specified in an interim injunction order for the time being, following arrests on Monday.

« We’re standing strong with our brothers and sisters out west. What’s going on out there isn’t right, » Bigtree said.

He said Indigenous communities across the country feel the federal government and provinces are failing them.

« We just need to let [the federal government] know that we’re all united. »

Those in the convoy from the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne are also trying to raise awareness about local governance issues. Some in the community are frustrated with how the elected band council has handled negotiations over a 130-year-old land grievance along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. They are advocating for the nation’s hereditary leadership to play a larger role in the process.

The convoy hopes to make it to ​the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory today. 

A second fleet of vehicles headed east from the Oneida Nation of the Thames in southwestern Ontario. (Submitted by Brandon Doxtator)

Meanwhile, the second convoy left the London area before dawn to slow Highway 401 traffic in the southwestern region of Ontario.

People from the Oneida Nation of the Thames and Chippewa of the Thames First Nation were riding in the dozen vehicles that made up the motorcade. The action caused considerable slowdowns for commuters. 

« We’re doing this rolling blockade as a peaceful reminder to Canadians that First Nation people have rights to the land, » said Brandon Doxtator, who was in one of the vehicles.

The convoy from Oneida was heading to the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River, south of Brantford, Ont., where a rally was planned for later on Friday.

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New transmission line to cause traffic delays from Pasqua to Swift Current – Regina

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Some traffic delays are expected in the coming weeks as SaskPower works on the new Pasqua to Swift Current transmission line.

From Jan. 8 to 11, weather permitting, Highway 2 north of Moose Jaw will have a reduced speed limit of 60 km/hr. There will also be several short traffic stoppages on Jan. 9 to let helicopter string lines across the roadway.


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Highway 1 west of Rush Lake will also see speed reductions from Jan. 14 to Feb. 5, with traffic stoppages scheduled for Jan. 19-21.

Locations near Moose Jaw and Chaplin will also experience temporary delays early in 2019. Details will be announced at a later date.

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

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Woman arrested after shots fired at first responders following N.B. traffic accident

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A woman has been arrested after she allegedly opened fire on emergency workers responding to a motor vehicle crash in Dieppe, N.B., on Saturday afternoon, police said.

According to an RCMP news release, a car went off the road on Adélard-Savoie Boulevard, about a half kilometre from the Moncton airport at approximately 2:30 p.m.  

When firefighters, paramedics and police responded to the scene, the woman fired shots at them, according to the RCMP.

None of the emergency workers were injured. Several streets were then closed to traffic to « ensure the safety of first responders. » 

After about 45 minutes, the woman was taken into police custody and taken to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during her arrest. Police have not released any details about the extent of the woman’s injuries, or whether she’s still in hospital. 

Police would not say how many shots were fired during the incident on Saturday. (Submitted)

Police declined to provide any additional information when contacted by CBC News on Saturday evening.  

Several roads in the area remain closed as the investigation continues. 

Ron Legere of the Serious Investigative Response Team confirmed to CBC News that SIRT has received a request to investigate the incident. 

SIRT is a Nova Scotia-based independent police oversight body. They can be called in to investigate matters that involve death, serious injury, sexual assault and domestic violence or other issues of significant public interest that may have arisen from the actions of any police officer.

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Alberta traffic tickets mailed after Canada Post delays

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If you’ve been expecting a speeding ticket in the mail, fear not — deliveries are back up and running.

With Canada Post’s rotating strikes over, an estimated 120,000 tickets are being mailed out after Calgary and Edmonton stopped sending them in mid-September.

The Alberta government said if you receive a ticket for an offence that allegedly happened months ago, it’s due to the disruption in postal service and because tickets that weren’t mailed from Sept. 20 to Dec. 3 are now being sent.

The date the ticket was mailed determines the deadline to pay or plead not guilty to the ticket, the province said.


READ MORE:
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For some people, this means receiving more than one ticket in the new year.

“The biggest concern we’re seeing is people are getting multiple tickets during that time,” said Andrew Ashton, the founder and CEO of Rooco, a Calgary-based traffic ticket app with which you are guaranteed to pay 10 to 15 per cent less than the fine amount on your ticket.

“So maybe someone would have got one or two or more tickets during that stoppage,” he added. “Sometimes when you get a ticket it reminds you to slow down… and now they’re getting two tickets over a course of a week from that same spot, so they weren’t getting that notice that maybe you would’ve gotten at other times.”

An estimated 120,000 tickets are being mailed out now that Canada Post’s rotating strikes are over.

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In Alberta, the statute of limitations allows authorities to send that offence notice within six months of the infraction, he said.

“It’s hard to know exactly how quickly they are going to release that backlog of tickets,” Ashton said. “The system is simply not designed to handle that many tickets all at once. It will be a process of releasing more and more tickets throughout the year to try and catch up that backlog.”

He said about $20 million in tickets are backdated through this.


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Many of the backlogged tickets will likely be going to drivers in Edmonton, since Calgary authorities decided to hand-deliver tickets during that time period. The Calgary Police Service said some tickets were couriered to avoid a big backlog.

“You can imagine how going from mailing potentially hundreds of tickets per day to now individually serving addresses, it was quite a slow process, but they were still getting some tickets out,” Ashton said of Calgary’s ticket workflow.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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ICBC cutting annual advertising budget in half to fund police traffic enforcement

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The Insurance Bureau of British Columbia (ICBC) is moving money out of its advertising budget and into police traffic enforcement.

ICBC says it will be cutting the annual advertising budget in half to cover the additional policing costs.

“Drivers in British Columbia who insist on high-risk driving are clearly not following ICBC’s general road safety advertising messages,” Attorney General David Eby said. “Redirecting ICBC advertising dollars to increase enforcement will give police officers more opportunity to deliver a specific and personal advertising message directly to more reckless drivers at the side of the road. That’s a good thing.”


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An additional $2.4 million will be moved to enhanced traffic enforcement throughout the province. After the reallocation ICBC’s total annual investment in road safety traffic enforcement will be $24.8 million.

“ICBC is facing significant cost pressures that really start from one place — crashes,” ICBC CEO Nicolas Jimenez said.

“With crashes at an all-time high in our province, we’re committed to doing what we can to reduce claims costs and relieve the pressure on insurance rates.”


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According to ICBC, there were a provincial record 350,000 crashes in B.C., or about 960 per day, last year.

ICBC will retain approximately $2.4 million in its advertising budget for the next fiscal year. The money will be spent educating British Columbians on the changes taking place to B.C.’s auto insurance system over the next 12 months, along with support for road safety enforcement campaigns.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Traffic stop in Hamilton results in 3 arrests, drug seizure – Hamilton

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A traffic stop in Hamilton has resulted in three arrests and the seizure of drugs.


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2 killed in overnight plane crash at Brantford airport

Around 8 p.m. Monday, Hamilton police stopped a vehicle without headlights on Upper Ottawa Street, near Mohawk Road.

Police say the three occupants became evasive and the driver failed to properly identify himself, so he was arrested.

Officers conducted a search of the vehicle, which they say turned up a quantity of drugs, including methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy) and ketamine.


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The two occupants were taken into custody.

Two Hamilton men, aged 27 and 31, and a 25-year-old Haldimand woman are facing charges including possession of a controlled substance.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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