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Broncos truck co. in court



The owner of a Calgary trucking company involved in the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash has made his first appearance in court.

Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking has not retained a lawyer and was represented by duty counsel, who asked the matter be set over to Nov. 30.

Singh, who is 36, did not speak to anyone on his way into court.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured in rural Saskatchewan when the Broncos team bus and a semi-truck owned by Singh collided last spring.

Singh faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with various federal and provincial safety regulations.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who was driving the semi unit, is charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

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Sentencing submissions begin for serial killer Dellen Millard in father's murder




Six years ago this month, Dellen Millard shot his father in the face. Today, sentencing submissions begin in a Toronto court that could all but guarantee he spends the rest of his life in prison.

The proceedings mark an end to a journey through the courts for Millard, 33, for a series of brutal murders in recent years that made international headlines and shocked southern Ontario — capped off with his most recent trial for the death of his father, Wayne.

Now Millard, who is already serving time for the murders of Hamilton man Tim Bosma and Toronto woman Laura Babcock, is staring down yet another life sentence.

His third conviction carries an automatic sentence of 25 years without a chance of parole. Now, Justice Maureen Forestell must decide whether or not the Toronto man will serve that sentence consecutively, or concurrently to his previous sentences.

The Crown says it is seeking a consecutive sentence, which would tack on another 25 years to Millard's imprisonment. That would effectively guarantee he spends the rest of his life behind bars, as he currently isn't eligible for parole until 2063.

Forestell will hear sentencing submissions from the Crown and the defence on Friday. It's expected that she will then reserve her decision until a later date.

Millard was found guilty of killing his father at a judge-alone trial that concluded in Superior Court in Toronto back in September. In her decision, Forestell said Millard carried out a "planned and deliberate killing" of his father.

"I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Dellen Millard killed his father by shooting him in the left eye as he slept," the judge said.

Death originally ruled a suicide

Wayne Millard's death was originally ruled a suicide. His body was found at his home at 5 Maple Gate Crt. in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke on Nov. 29, 2012. At the time, Dellen Millard was living at his father's home.

Millard wasn't charged in his father's death until 2014, after police started investigating the slayings of both Bosma, a husband and father from the Ancaster area of Hamilton, and Babcock, a Toronto woman who had been involved with Millard.

Dellen Millard has been found guilty of killing his father, Wayne Millard. 8:15

Once the Wayne Millard case was reopened, investigators discovered that his son's DNA was on the gun used to shoot his father, and his cellphone had pinged off nearby cell towers around the time the older man died.

Whether he killed himself emerged as the trial's key question as the evidence unfolded.

The Crown argued that Millard shot his father to escape a legacy and business being built for him that he didn't want, as his father was using family funds to expand an aviation business.

A single bullet was found lodged in the brain of 71-year-old Wayne Millard. (Court exhibit)

His defence team, led by lawyer Ravin Pillay, discounted the Crown's motive in its closing submissions.

"Not a single witness came before this court and suggested there was any discord between Mr. Millard and his father," said Pillay. "There is nothing in the record before you that supports this one way or another."

Millard is appealing his conviction in both the Bosma and Babcock murders. It is unclear if he plans to appeal his latest conviction.

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Highlights of the Ontario government's fall economic statement




TORONTO — Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government presented an update on the state of the province’s finances on Thursday, their first major fiscal plan since wining a majority in the spring election. Here are some highlights from the 156-page document:

Reduced deficit: The government says it has reduced the 2018-19 deficit by $500,000 to $14.5 billion. That was achieved through cutting $3.2 billion in expenses with measures such as a freeze on hiring and limits on discretionary spending in the public service. However, much of those savings were cancelled out by the loss of $2.7 billion in revenue, largely due to the dismantling of cap and trade and scrapping planned tax increases.

Relief for low-income workers: Those earning $30,000 or less will no longer have to pay provincial income tax starting next year, and those earning between $30,000 and $38,000 will get a tax cut. The government says some 1.1 million Ontarians will get relief through this program. The fall economic statement says that translates to savings of about $850 a year for a person who makes about $30,000. But critics say it would help low-income workers more if the government reinstated a planned increase to the minimum wage that would see it rise to $15 an hour next year.

Tax changes: The government is halting planned tax increases for various groups including small businesses. Those taxes would have poured some $308 million into the public purse, according to the document. The Progressive Conservatives are also reversing tax changes brought in by the Liberals in the last budget, which included the creation of two new tax brackets and an increase in tax rates for the province’s highest earners.

Consolidation of oversight: Three of the province’s independent oversight offices — the environmental commissioner, the child and youth advocate and the French language services commissioner — are being consolidated into either the existing auditor general’s or provincial ombudsman’s offices. The government did not say how much that is expected to save nor what would happen to those currently in those offices, but Finance Minister Vic Fedeli repeated the government’s promise that no jobs will be cut.

French university: Plans for a standalone French-language university were scrapped, despite the government’s assurances this summer that it was “fully committed” to the project. The finance minister did not say how much money the province expects to save as a result of that decision.

Alcohol sales: Starting Dec. 2, the LCBO and Beer Store will be allowed to stay open until 11 p.m. seven days a week. The fiscal update also repeats the premier’s plan to expand sales of beer and wine to corner and big box stores.

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Police investigate graphic video of alleged sexual assault filmed at St. Mike's school




This article contains graphic content.

Toronto police said Thursday they were not aware of the extent of an alleged sexual assault, which was filmed at a prestigious all-boys private school and shared on social media, until they were contacted by media and began investigating.

Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said the local police division was contacted by St. Michael’s College School on Monday about an “incident.” But it was not what is now the subject of an investigation: a 22-second video that police have described as “meeting the definition of child pornography.” Police provided the school with advice Monday and “no further information was received.”

“On Wednesday, we were made aware of a completely different incident from the media, and that is the incident we are now investigating,” said Gray, referring to the videotape of the alleged sexual assault, adding no charges have been laid.

That same day, the school released a statement to its community members about “two very serious incidents that recently occurred on our campus.” It acknowledged the administration was “informed about these incidents on Monday of this week and immediately began an internal investigation that included informing police and meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.”

The Star reached out to the school’s administration repeatedly for comment on Thursday, but was unsuccessful. Multiple sources have told the Star at least 10 students were expelled.

Read more: Police investigate alleged sex assault at Toronto private school

The police’s comments come as members of the school community are still reeling over the chilling allegations. Current and former students say the disturbing incident is not representative of the school, but at least one has described a toxic culture of bullying at the elite all-boys school.

Police were at the school on Thursday investigating an unspecified threat. They say anyone who has a copy of the video should immediately delete it.

The Star has seen two cellphone videos that were circulated online late last week. In the chaotic 22-second video, a young teenager is squirming as he’s held down by several boys in what appears to be a locker room and is sexually assaulted by two boys with what looks like a broomstick. Someone is heard yelling, “Get it in there,” and “Put it in” and, “Chill, chill, chill.”

In another video, 49 seconds long, a different boy in his underwear is thrown into a sink and slapped by a group of young teens. The victim is seen emerging from the sink wet but doesn’t seem hurt.

“It’s horrifying,” said a student, as he walked into school Thursday morning, adding he’d never heard of anything like that happening at St. Mike’s before.

The boy, who the Star is not identifying because he is a minor, said staff haven’t given students many details about what transpired.

Former student Kyle Fraser, who’s now studying at Bowling Green University in Ohio, wasn’t shocked by the allegations — just that the videos were posted on social media.

“For kids to be there recording it and not doing anything even though they know it’s not right, it blows my mind,” he said.

Fraser, now 21, attended the school from 2009-2013, for Grades 7 to 10, but left because he was verbally bullied.

He described a culture of “privilege’” and “toxic masculinity,” where “everybody wants to be the best.”

“There are very high egos, especially with it being an all-boys school,” he said.

Michael Nituda, who attended the school between 1994 and 1999 was “aghast” at hearing about the allegations.

“For me (St. Mike’s) was fantastic,” said Nituda, who played basketball and volleyball. “My son is 8 and I was thinking of going the St. Mike’s tradition … Now, I have mixed emotions. I love the school, but (the allegations) are pretty egregious. I’m a little sickened.”

This isn’t the first time the school has made headlines. In 1999 the Star reported on a hazing incident in which five members of the school’s senior football team tied a naked player to a goalpost after a team practice and pelted him with raw eggs. The players apologized to the victim and his family and the team wrote a charter emphasizing the importance of respecting and supporting teammates, coaches and the rules of the game, and denounced any form of initiation.

The Grades 7 through 12 school, run by the Basilian Fathers, a Roman Catholic religious order, is famous for its sports programs and prominent alumni including Dave Keon and Tim Horton. Annual tuition costs are about $21,000.

Cardinal Thomas Collins, who does not oversee the school but is the spiritual leader of Toronto’s two million Catholics, learned of the incidents through recent media reports.

“He is deeply disturbed by the allegations and encourages anyone with information on this situation to work with both the police and school officials as they investigate this further,” said Neil MacCarthy, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

D’Arcy McKeown, who attended St. Mike’s for Grades 11 and 12 and graduated in 2005, was shocked to hear what happened, saying the school was always “a very welcoming place.”

“Nothing like this ever happened when I was there,” says McKeown, 31, who played senior football and was on the track team there.

In August 2005, he went to McGill University’s football training camp and found himself, as an incoming freshman, subjected to constant threats by other players.

“Dr. Broom is going to give you a proctology exam,” the older players would say, warning if he didn’t do well, “That’s another inch with Dr. Broom.”

“The fact that they threw it around so freely is what made me truly believe that it was nothing more than a threat, that they were just messing around with us.”

But one night in a squash court, away from coaches and staff, his teammates sodomized him with a broom handle as 30 to 60 players watched and cheered.

McKeown was stunned to learn that what happened to him at McGill, where he successfully pushed for a campus-wide ban on hazing, could happen at St. Mike’s.

“The long-lasting mental impact that these things can have is extremely dangerous, especially at a place where the whole goal is to mold young minds …. It’s utterly shocking that this went on.”

After the McGill incident, McKeown returned to Toronto, and for a few months helped coach football at St. Mike’s. He credits the staff there with helping him get through that difficult period and feeling comfortable enough to play football again, which he eventually did at the University of Toronto.

Given his experience with St. Mike’s, McKeown is hopeful staff there will do its best to help the young victim.

“If he ever needs someone to talk to, I know what he’s going through,” says McKeown. “The most important thing right now is getting that kid to feel safe again.”

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