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Wldfire expected to grow

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The Gottfriedsen Mountain fire burning in West Kelowna is now at an estimated size of  400.00 Hectares and is classified as a new fire which will likely  grow Friday as winds pick up. Early indications are that it may have been started by lightning.

An evacuation alert has been issued for a large area near the Pennask Summit, due to the aggressively burning Mount Gottfriedsen wildfire.

The weather is expected to change over the next 24 hours with temperatures dropping to daytime highs of 24 degrees Celsius and the winds are also expected to pick up. Environment Canada also indicates there is the possibility of lightning and although there is rain in the forecast it's not expected to be significant enough to help fight the flames.

BC Wildfire Service has also upgraded their interactive wildfire map. Now in addition to displaying the locations and perimeters of active wildfires, it also displays which areas are affected by evacuation alerts and evacuation orders.

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WARMINGTON: Brampton home to Patrick Brown's big political comeback

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BRAMPTON — Patrick Brown thought he was going to take office in 2018.

Just not this office.

True, he won’t be called Mr. Premier — but instead Mr. Mayor.

Mayor of Brampton, that is.

The 40-year-old former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party was successful in knocking off incumbent Linda Jeffrey.

And was he ever emotional when he took the stage with new wife Genevieve Gualtieri, in what was a remarkable turnaround in a turbulent year.

Just call him the comeback kid.

And what a comeback it was — one from not only the depths of politics, but personally too.

One day they will write books about Patrick Brown’s 2018.

In a way he was like the Pete Best of the political world, in that he missed the big show by mere months — same as the former Beatles drummer.

With Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne failing in opinion polls, the smart money was on Brown to be the province’s next premier.

But an alleged sex scandal which later fell apart, a party coup and public shaming left the man on the verge of winning the top job, out of a job.

It was a massive fall from grace. He should have been the king of Queen’s Park, but ended up in the back benches — shunned and shamed.

He kept on fighting. Now he promised to fight for Brampton, sending a message to Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau that if “you want to visit Brampton. we deserve investment that comes with that visit” and “we want our share.”

Interesting times are ahead.

Ending up as Brampton’s mayor was not on anyone’s script — not even his own. His eye was on being the Peel Regional chair.

But the new boss changed the game and eliminated elected regional chair positions along with the shrinking the size of Toronto city council. Brown hustled to get his name on the ballot for mayor of Brampton, a place his background in was limited but a centre where a lot of his supporters hailed from.

What a campaign they ran. When the votes were counted, Brown had about 44% compared to Jeffrey’s 41% — a three per cent win.

What a year it’s been for Brown, who was up and down and then back up again. Now not only is he a married man (our honeymoon was knocking on doors, he joked) but now the mayor of one of the GTA’s most important cities.

Meanwhile in another key city, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie won a second term easily with more than 75% of the vote, with closest rival Kevin J. Johnston gaining just 13%.

“I am proud to be the Mayor of Mississauga and to lead our City into its next chapter,” said Crombie in an online message. “I hope you will join me as we work together to build Mississauga into an even better place to call home.”

For Crombie, it’s big because it marks a re-election to a second term. She was ecstatic with her huge reaffirmation.

But the big story of the night was Brown, who may not be premier but will instead be dealing with Premier Ford in his new role as mayor of Brampton.

TIMELINE OF PATRICK BROWN’S RISE, FALL AND RISE

Jan. 24, 2018: Brown denies a pending news report about sexual misconduct when he was a federal MP.

Jan. 25: Brown says he will step down as Progressive Conservative party leader to focus on clearing his name.

Jan. 29: Former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, brother of the notorious late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, declares his candidacy for the party leadership.

Feb. 6: Brown breaks silence in a tweet reaffirming his denial of sexual misconduct and says the “truth will come out.”

Feb. 9: Brown says in a Postmedia interview that he’s contemplating legal action for the ”absolute lies” said about him.

Feb. 11: Brown publishes the first of several Facebook posts in which he vows to clear his name and questions the credibility of his women accusers.

Feb. 16: Interim Progressive Conservative leader Vic Fedeli says Brown has been kicked out of the caucus. Brown joins leadership race at last minute.

Feb. 21: The party gives Brown green light to contest leadership.

Feb. 24: Brown files a notice of libel against CTV News.

Feb. 26: Brown withdraws from the leadership race.

July 3: Brown announces his candidacy for regional chair of Peel Region.

July 27: Premier Doug Ford announces cancellation of elections for regional chair in Peel. Brown announces mayoralty bid for Brampton.

Oct. 22: Brown is elected mayor of Brampton.

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Giorgio Mammoliti out as councillor as incumbents fought for political lives in Toronto

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One of the more interesting city council races of this year's Toronto election has ended with long-time councillor Giorgio Mammoliti out of a job, as fellow incumbent Anthony Perruzza beat him in Ward 7 (Humber River-Black Creek).

Mammoliti, long a controversial councillor who advocated dismantling community housing during this campaign, secured about 24 per cent of the vote, according to CBC Toronto's projections. Perruzza, meanwhile, who won his ward in the 2014 election with a whopping 70 per cent support, took about 37 per cent support tonight.

In another hard-fought race between incumbents, Josh Matlow beat Joe Mihevc by about 11 percentage points in Ward 12 (Toronto-St. Paul's).

Matlow has been a sharp critic of Mayor John Tory on council, and the mayor endorsed the more left-leaning Mihevc. Late Monday, Matlow noted that Mihevc has "a wonderful legacy" as a "social justice warrior for many years.

"I intend to reach out to Joe and I hope he continues the work in a community that loves him."

In another faceoff between political veterans, incumbent and former Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis beat incumbent and Drake pal Norm Kelly with 47 per cent support in Ward 22 (Scarborough-Agincourt).

Over in Ward 3 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), another controversial councillor, Mark Grimes, handily won re-election despite a challenge from progressive candidate Amber Morley. Grimes, a long-time Tory supporter who secured the mayor's endorsement ahead of Monday's vote, has faced questions about his council attendance record, as well as his relationship with developers.

Other long-time Toronto councillors kept their jobs Monday night after a hard-fought campaign marred by a protracted legal battle over the size of city council. These include:

  • Gord Perks won handily in Ward 4 (Parkdale-High Park), as did Ana Bailao in Ward 9 (Davenport).
  • Joe Cressy took Ward 10 (Spadina-Fort York), Mike Layton won Ward 11 (University-Rosedale) and Michael Thompson handily won Ward 21 (Scarborough Centre).
  • Despite a challenge from former provincial Liberal deputy premier George Smitherman, Kristyn Wong-Tam won Ward 13 (Toronto Centre), while Paula Fletcher took Ward 14 (Toronto-Danforth) over fellow incumbent Mary Fragedakis.​
  • Denzil Minnan-Wong fought off a challenge from another former provincial Liberal cabinet minister, David Caplan, in Ward 16 (Don Valley East), while Shelley Carroll took Ward 17 (Don Valley North).
  • Paul Ainslie, a Scarborough councillor who has opposed the subway extension into his area, easily won re-election in Ward 24 (Scarborough-Guildwood).

There were only two open wards in this election, and both ended in close votes. Realtor Cynthia Lai took Ward 23 (Scarborough North) with 27 per cent support, while Brad Bradford, who worked with losing mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat in the city's planning department, eked out a victory in Ward 19 (Beaches-East York) over former NDP MP Matthew Kellway. Bradford took 39 per cent of the vote, according to CBC Toronto's projections, to Kellway's 38 per cent.

Bradford, who rang a strong grassroots campaign and received an endorsement from Tory and the outgoing councillor for the area Mary-Margaret McMahon, thanked his supporters on Twitter.

"I'm inspired by the engagement of this community and by the belief we share in community-led change," Bradford tweeted. "I can't wait to get to work for everyone in Beaches-East York."

Vote followed legal battle

Toronto's municipal election came just over a month after a court decision paved the way for a 25-ward vote. The city clerk had been planning for a 47-ward election, but legislation from the PC government — the Better Local Government Act — slashed council just three months before voters were set to go to the polls.

An Ontario Superior Court judge blocked the legislation, prompting Premier Doug Ford's government to announce its intention to invoke the constitutional notwithstanding clause to override the ruling. But on Sept. 19, a three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal granted a stay of the Superior Court ruling, meaning the 25-ward vote could go ahead.

In one of the more packed ward showdowns, incumbent John Filion beat nearly 20 other candidates, including taxi industry representative Sam Moini and former councillor Norm Gardner, in Ward 18 (Willowdale).

In other council races that were battles of incumbents, Ward 1 was an interesting showdown between two incumbents who were also supporters of the premier: his nephew Michael Ford and Vincent Crisanti. Ford won handily with 42 per cent support to Crisanti's 34 per cent. In Ward 2, Stephen Holyday prevailed over John Campbell, while in Ward 5, council Speaker Frances Nunziata beat Frank Di Giorgio.

In Ward 6, James Pasternak prevailed over Maria Augimeri; in Ward 15, Jaye Robinson defeated Jon Burnside; and in Ward 20 budget chief Gary Crawford ousted Michelle Holland-Berardinetti.

Other incumbents who were tossed from office include Christin Carmichael Greb in Ward 8 (Eglinton-Lawrence), who lost to former Liberal MPP Mike Colle, and Neethan Shan, who suffered an extremely narrow loss of about 150 votes to Jennifer McKelvie in Ward 25 (Scarborough-Rouge Park).

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Voters choose from competing transit visions in Hamilton, London, Ottawa

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Voters weighed in on the future of major public transit projects in cities across Ontario Monday, where mayoral candidates offered competing visions for how citizens will get around.

Several races focused on whether to proceed with existing transit plans or to scrap them in favour of alternatives.

Meanwhile other municipal campaigns – including in Whitchurch-Stouffville – offered voters a chance to weigh in on ethics controversies that have dominated local politics.

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Voting night also exposed problems with the growing use of remote electronic or phone voting. Some municipalities that adopted the technology – including Bracebridge, Collingwood, Sudbury and others – were forced to extend their voting hours into Tuesday.

OTTAWA

In the nation’s capital, Mayor Jim Watson easily won a third consecutive term as voters endorsed his pitch as the “steady hand” that can guide the city through major new development projects over the coming four years.

The veteran politician had more than 70 per cent of the vote more than an hour after polls closed.

Mr. Watson’s main challenger, former city councillor Clive Doucet, ran on a campaign focused on bringing a GO-style regional heavy rail system to the national capital region that would include a link to Western Quebec communities.

Mr. Doucet had also accused Mr. Watson of putting developers ahead of citizens when it came to issues such as maximum building heights, but that message ultimately earned him about 22 per cent of the vote.

Mr. Watson’s transit pledge is to stick to the plans approved by the city to extend the light rail system to the suburbs. The new light rail system – which will be called the O-Train Confederation Line – was scheduled to be ready in November, but it has been delayed until the first quarter of 2019.

Another big decision facing the city is the proposed development of LeBreton Flats, an open field near the centre of the city that the National Capital Commission is proposing to sell to developers as part of of a plan that would include a new arena for the Ottawa Senators.

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HAMILTON

Hamilton voters re-elected Fred Eisenberger and his pro-light-rail stand after a campaign that placed the future of the $1-billion transit project in question.

Mr. Eisenberger faced a strong challenge from Vito Sgro, who ran on a pledge to “Stop the train: Fix infrastructure.”

At deadline, Mr. Eisenberger had more than 54-per-cent support, followed by 38-per-cent support for Mr. Sgro.

Mr. Sgro’s campaign message received a boost from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who said the province’s $1-billion contribution to LRT could be diverted to other priorities if the city wishes.

Construction of the 17-stop LRT is scheduled to take place from 2019 to 2024. It would run from McMaster University in the west to Eastgate Square in the east, with a connection to the Hamilton Go Centre Station.

LONDON

In London, where Mayor Matt Brown opted not to seek a second term, the future of the city’s $500-million Bus Rapid Transit plan was a hot election issue.

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Bus Rapid Transit involves dedicated lanes where buses do not mix with regular traffic. Polls suggested public support for the project is fading and several candidates campaigned hard against the plan.

London is also the first Canadian city to use ranked ballots to select municipal leaders. Voters were asked to select their top three choices. The race attracted 14 candidates for mayor. A winner may not be declared until Tuesday or even Wednesday, depending on how much time it takes to roll out the results of each round of counting as the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped and the alternate choice of those voters is redistributed.

The three most prominent mayoral candidate critics of the BRT plan include former Conservative MP Ed Holder and business people Paul Paolatto and Paul Cheng. City councillor Tanya Park emerged as the most prominent mayoral candidate in favour of BRT.

WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE

Incumbent mayor Justin Altmann lost his position Monday evening after months of controversy – including over an unusual photo montage he posted on the wall of his office’s private washroom.

The photos of other council members, city staff and others were viewed as intimidation by some and led to an integrity commissioner’s report that concluded it was “vexatious and disturbing to staff.”

Mr. Altmann had defended the photo wall as a personal attempt to understand who might be behind what he alleged was a bullying campaign against him.

Mr. Altmann faced four challengers, including Iain Lovatt, who was a councillor during the last term; former councillor Phil Bannon, business person Anand Date and former NHL player Keith Acton.

At deadline, Mr. Lovatt was in the lead with 38-per-cent support, followed by Mr. Acton with 31 per cent of the vote.

THUNDER BAY

Eleven candidates ran for mayor of Thunder Bay. Two-term incumbent mayor Keith Hobbs was not running for re-election. He faces charges of extortion and obstruction of justice, which he is challenging in court.

Thunder Bay was among the municipalities that allowed online voting and results were initially delayed.

When they did appear, a two-person race emerged. At deadline, former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister Bill Mauro was narrowly in front of city council veteran Frank Pullia, but no winner had been declared.

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