As winter approaches, Toronto’s shelters at 95% capacity
With winter rapidly approaching, shelter capacity problems could become a serious issue in Toronto.
For yet another night, daily shelter occupancy in Canada’s largest city remained at roughly 95% on average, hitting 100% for women.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled his trip to the Caribbean after receiving backlash online on Sunday after it was reported he was still planning to go on the trip, despite Canadian cargo and passenger trains being shut down for the greater part of two weeks.
The Canadian Press reported Sunday afternoon Trudeau was still intending to go on the trip to the Caribbean, so it appears Trudeau backed out last minute.
The Prime Minister’s Office released a press release Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before his flight was supposed to take off to Barbados.
The PMO stated that Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will go to represent Canada instead.
Trudeau was planning to continue his world tour to try and secure Canada a seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Last week Trudeau was in Africa and Europe trying to drum up support from foreign countries for the UN vote on who will get the seat. The prime minister was criticized throughout the week, including when he indicated Canada would be willing to help develop an African country’s oil and gas sector at the same time Canadian protesters are trying to shut down parts of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Trudeau was also criticized roundly for shaking and bowing to Iran’s foreign minister a month after the country shot down a plane killing 57 Canadians and for not returning home sooner as the #ShutDownCanada protests continued to go on unabated.
Grocery, agriculture, retail sectors have all been affected by the protests. Some major cities also receive their chlorine for water treatment from CN Rail trains, which could mean drinking water in major cities may run out. Other cities rely on getting their propane to heat homes from trains.
Via Rail predicts over 83,000 passengers were affected and over 400 trains trips were cancelled due to the protest blockades over the past two weeks.
The Trudeau government has said that they will not revoke $372.5 million that they gave to Bombardier, even after the corporation said it is leaving commercial aviation, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
The Liberal Minister for Industry Navdeep Bains said in a statement that “Our government has been steadfast in its support for the Canadian aerospace industry and its workers … we will continue to engage with all relevant parties to ensure that previous commitments are honoured.”
The Trudeau government gave an intrest-free loan of $372.5 million to Bombardier in 2017 to help with their production of the C-series aircraft. Soon after this, Bombardier cut 14,500 jobs, sold a majority of the C-series aircraft shares, and moved the production of the aircraft to Alabama.
Despite the huge redundancies, Bombardier executives saw it fit to grant themselves a 48 percent pay raise for six senior managers. These raises, however, were soon revoked after protests and condemnation.
Despite government support, Bombardier managed to lose $1.6 billion last year.
Speaking in the Senate, Conservative Senator Leo Housakos said that “The terms of the agreement were not fully disclosed to Parliament or the public … we still don’t know today if that $400 million was a grant or a loan, or when it will be repaid.”
A huge group of anti-pipeline protestors swarmed the Toronto subway and blocked major train tracks on Saturday to spread their message of solidarity with demonstrators in northern B.C. who oppose the building of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
After riding the subway from Matt Cohen Park to Pioneer Village, chanting with megaphones the entire way, the protestors arrived at major train track near York University where they proceeded to set up a blockade.
Police served an injunction to the anti-pipeline protestors, who proceeded to burn it in defiance. Protestors also threw rocks at drones that were monitoring the situation.
The emergency action was organized by Rising Tide Toronto and Porcupine Warriors and had 684 confirmed participants on Facebook. The actual number was closer to 200.
Via Rail announced on Thursday afternoon that they are suspending all train travel across Canada as a result of the ongoing anti-pipeline blockades. Most of CN Rail traffic has been affected as well
Liberal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he “very concerned” by the anti-pipeline protestors, but has taken no action to remedy the situation thus far. There has been no definitive action taken by the Canadian government to clear the rails as of yet.
The protests and blockades began as a response to the raid of an anti-pipeline camp in Northern British Columbia that was set up to oppose the building of the Costal Gaslink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council supports the pipeline project.
The drop in temperature has been a bit much for many, including the earth’s surface. Toronto experienced what are known as “frost quakes” Friday, a rare weather phenomenon.
“My girlfriend and I were sleeping—and my girlfriend is a very heavy sleeper—but this boom woke up the two of us,” said Joel Lopez, who lives near Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue to the Toronto Star.
“It was really loud.”
Lopez described the crack as sounding like a water pipe burst which he heard around 2 a.m. and again at around 7 a.m. Lopez heard another crack that he said sounded like someone dropping a dumbbell through his bathroom vent which seemed to cause a vibration.
The scientific name is “cryoseism,” and it occurs when there is a sudden drop in temperature that goes from above freezing to below 0 degrees Celcius which causes the water in the ground to freeze.
Kelly Sonnenberg a Weather Network meteorologist, explained the process of frost quakes, “The rapid cool-down allows groundwater to freeze and then expand causing loud cracking or popping sounds of the ground splitting,” Sonnenburg said. “Even minor shaking or rattling can be occasionally felt.”
Sonnenburg said that quakes are most common during midnight and dawn, when the temperatures hit their lowest overnight lows. Soil and rock that are saturated with water begin to expand which puts pressure on the soil and rock until an explosion occurs.
An extreme cold alert for Toronto has been issued by Environment Canada for Friday. Temperatures are expected to drop to -30 C with windchill for the GTA.