Teenage girl charged in recruitment of Toronto high school student into sex trade

A 17-year-old girl has been charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation that police say led to a 16-year-old Catholic high school student being recruited into prostitution.

Toronto police launched an investigation on April 12 after investigators said the 16-year-old St. Joseph’s College student was recruited by the older teenager, a former student of the same school, and introduced to two men in March 2015.

Police said the two men befriended the younger teenager and told her she could make a lot of money working for them.

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READ MORE: 80 arrested, 274 charges laid in massive Ontario-wide child porn bust

The 16-year-old girl was then “controlled through intimidation and threats” and police said she was forced to work the sex trade for the two men.

Investigators said the 17-year-old took photos of the younger in various states of undress and posted them on backpage长沙桑拿, an escort website, advertising sexual services.

The 16-year-old girl was then taken by the men to various hotels in Toronto, forced to have sex with clients and handed over all of the money to the two men, who police said also sexually assaulted the girl.

READ MORE: Man, woman from Brampton arrested in human trafficking investigation

Police arrested the 17-year-old girl, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and charged her with procuring a person under 18 years of age, advertising another person’s sexual services, possession of child pornography, making child pornography and distributing child pornography.

The two men had previously been arrested and charged in the investigation, but investigators believe there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 长沙桑拿按摩论坛长沙夜生活222tips长沙桑拿, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or leave a tip on Facebook.

Alberta home insurance premiums could rise following Fort McMurray fire: analyst

Albertans and people living in wildfire-prone areas could see an increase in their insurance bills following the wildfire in Fort McMurray, according to one analyst.

“I think it’s safe to assume that the fire will become the largest insured loss in Canadian history,” said Jason Thistlethwaite, director of the Climate Change Adaptation Project at the University of Waterloo.

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    A 2011 fire in Slave Lake, Alberta, destroyed 374 properties and damaged another 32, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website. Insured damage from that fire amounted to more than $700 million.

    In Fort McMurray, more than 2,400 structures were burned, according to the most recent damage assessment.

    READ MORE: ‘Ocean of fire’ destroys 2,400 structures but 85% of Fort McMurray still stands

    While it’s hard to estimate damages until insurers can survey the area, a BMO Capital Markets analysis last week estimated losses between $2.6 billion and $9 billion.

    Almost all home insurance policies cover wildfire damage. So homeowners can expect to receive a cheque for the cost of rebuilding their home, as well as some coverage for things like living expenses while forced to flee their homes and food lost in a refrigerator or smoke damage to carpets. The size of the payout is calculated based on factors including the type of damage, value of goods in the house and the type of policy purchased.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Homeowners to face difficult choice of whether to rebuild

    However, getting the money might take a while. People in Slave Lake had to wait anywhere from eight months to over two years for their homes to be rebuilt, said Bill Adams, vice-president for the western and pacific region for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

    Insurance companies could pass along payout costs to their other customers, said Thistlethwaite.

    “Insurance is a business and when the industry suffers a significant loss, it tries to recoup those losses. The insurance industry recoups those losses by assessing for risk,” he said.

    “Everyone in Canada contributes to property insurance, so we’re all contributing to offset some of the losses associated with the damage in Fort McMurray.”

    Norma Nielson, a business professor at the University of Calgary, likens it to a pebble thrown into in a pond. “The way this works is the costs will spread out, literally around the world.

    “A little like the ripple in a pond, you might see a bigger effect in Alberta, close to the pebble dropping, but the ripples may go further out.”

    That means that most people will hardly notice a difference, she said.

    Although Thistlethwaite believes there will be a noticeable increase in the cost of insurance, he isn’t picturing a massive hike. “There will be increases in the price of insurance, particularly in the province of Alberta, but I wouldn’t expect those increases to be so significant that you’re limiting the affordability of coverage.”

    Smaller insurance companies may also decide to stop covering wildfire damage, or set a cap on the amount they will pay, he said.

    Steve Kee, director for media and communications with the Insurance Bureau of Canada said he can’t speculate on insurance rates and it’s too early to tell what the fire’s effect will be.

    “Insurers set their rates based on the projected costs. One isolated event won’t affect rates that much, if at all. Insurers look at trends over several years,” he said.

    “Our members are all going to have different experiences and different exposure in these regions. It is too early to speculate on rates as we haven’t even got the numbers in on damages. Some consumers may alter coverage, raise deductibles, etc. to maintain consistency on premiums but really it is too early to tell.”

    This is just how insurance works, said Nielson. “That’s the deal we make when we buy insurance: that if we’re lucky enough not to have our house burn, the money gets used to pay people who did.”

    Loss prevention

    Thistlethwaite hopes that following the fire in Fort McMurray, governments pay more attention to what can be done to prevent massive losses, rather than just relying on insurance to cover them.

    It might be better to encourage people to build in less-risky areas, like further from the tree line, he said, or funding municipalities to put in safeguards.

    “The more money that we put into reducing our vulnerability to extreme weather and natural disasters, the cheaper our insurance will be. It’s that simple.”

    With files from the Canadian Press

New Trudeau airport jetty embraces distinct Montreal look

MONTREAL – Pierre-Elliott Trudeau airport unveiled its new international jetty Thursday.

At a cost of $350 million, the goal was to create an area that would be “distinctively Montreal.”

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    “We want people to come here and sense, when you’re in this airport that you’re still in Montreal,” said James Cherry, CEO of Aéroports de Montréal.

    “I used to find that when I travel in an airport I’d say ‘I see the same stores everywhere, I could be in Winnipeg or Denver or St. Louis or Minneapolis’ and I couldn’t tell from inside the airport.”

    “We want people to come into our airport and say ‘this is definitely Montreal.’”

    In addition to a signature Montreal food truck, there are new shops and boutiques, as well as 1,000 chairs equipped with charging stations.

    Outside, there is room for new wide-body aircraft, including the Airbus a-380, the largest airliner in the world.

    READ MORE: Residents concerned about noise levels near Trudeau Airport want to be heard

    Cherry said the improvements provide more space for passengers.

    Trudeau airport’s new international jetty opens to passengers on Thursday.

Cannes on high alert ahead of glitzy film festival

CANNES, France – Coming six months after the Paris attacks in November, the 69th Cannes Film Festival has elevated security measures, swarming the French Riviera resort town with an increased police presence. But particular care has been made, festival organizers say, to preserving the spirit of the annual cinema celebration.

READ MORE: French police simulate attack ahead of Cannes Film Festival

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Bomb sweeps and bag checks have been stepped up. A dramatic, unnerving drill was held last month in which mock gunmen stormed the festival’s palace hub. And festival president Pierre Lescure has said that about 500 highly-trained security agents will be on guard around Cannes’ red-carpeted headquarters, the Palais des Festivals. That’s in addition to around 200 police and extensive surveillance cameras throughout Cannes.

But the festival, which opens Wednesday, has also sought to counter the heightened state by continuing with business as usual. The party will most definitely go on.

“The atmosphere is good,” festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview Tuesday. “Cannes is a celebration of life, of cinema.”

“These films have a big fighting spirit,” he added. “This is also what makes Cannes and we still want to show that.”

Perhaps signalling that maintaining such a balance will have its difficulties, moments after Fremaux spoke, alarms rang out inside the Palais, forcing an evacuation.

WATCH: Trudeau pays tribute to Paris attack victims 

But on the eve of Wednesday’s opening festivities — including a new “welcome party” for festivalgoers on the beach — beefed up security was far from omnipresent. The most striking change, as many noted, weren’t security agents but a wardrobe change for the ubiquitous festival ushers. To glowing reviews from critics, their traditionally beige suits have been replaced with blue ones.

READ MORE: Xavier Dolan will compete at Cannes Film Festival with movie ‘It’s Only the End of the World’

“The French public statement was very clear, is very clear,” Fremaux said. “The festival is as usual, the same way as usual, so everything will be fine.”

That was consistent with earlier statements made by Lescure, who pledged that “the maximum” has been done to balance security and ensure “that the festival remains a place of freedom.”

Others have emphasized that Cannes, the world’s pre-eminent film festival, must be diligently guarded.

“We must keep in mind as we prepare to open this festival that we are faced with a risk which has never been as high, and faced with an enemy determined to strike us at any moment,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday in Cannes.

“We must demonstrate extreme vigilance at all times,” he said.

Security was also increased last year following the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015. But after 130 were killed in the Paris attacks, France remains in a state of emergency.

“Cannes must be protected not because of the cocktail parties, but because it is a professional event of a high level which brings honour to France,” Mayor David Lisnard said.

READ MORE: Security increased at European airports after Brussels attacks

Traditions rigorously guide Cannes, which runs through May 22, culminating with the presentation of the Palme d’Or. Onlookers will be paying close attention to see if the customary pageantry of the festival red carpet changes even slightly.

Kicking off the festival Wednesday will be Woody Allen’s 1930s Hollywood comedy “Cafe Society.” On tap are films from Steven Spielberg (“The BFG”), Jodie Foster (“Money Monster”), Pedro Almodovar (“Julieta”) and Jim Jarmusch (“Paterson”). Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart and Russell Crowe are among the stars expected to attend.

Outside the Palais on Tuesday, festivalgoers voiced support for any necessary security measures.

“We can’t stop doing things just because there is potential danger,” said Cecil Brown of Paris. “We will just continue.”

Robert Willington of Cannes asked, “What, we should stop having concerts and playing music and enjoying ourselves and doing what we love? I don’t think so.”

Wayne Reilly, from Indiana, also said he was undeterred.

“I’m willing to put up with more security, that’s OK,” said Reilly. “I’d prefer not, but it’s all right so we can keep doing these things. But I’m not going to let what they are doing stop me. It’s too beautiful here to miss it.”

___

Associated Press journalists Zara Eldridge and Adam Egan contributed to this report.

Quicker recipe for lentils tested at Canadian Light Source

SASKATOON – A team of researchers from the University of Manitoba have cooked up a simple but new technique. The Canadian Light Source (CLS) facility was used to help by performing experiments on microwaved lentils, all in the name of science.

Lentils are an excellent source of nutrients and a key part of diets worldwide so reducing their somewhat-long cooking times is desirable.

“Long cooking time is one of the drawbacks of pulses,” lead researcher Dr. Digvir Jayas said.

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    “People soak their pulses to reduce their cooking times and teams have looked at infrared and other treatments to help, but no one had looked at microwaves.”

    READ MORE: Protein-packed pulses take prominence

    The effect of microwave treatment to speed up the cooking times of red lentil, chickpea, pigeon pea, mung bean and pinto bean were determined in the study.

    Researchers found that the cooking times of microwave-treated pulses were significantly lower than that of the control samples.

    In order to refine and to understand the effects on a chemical and molecular level, the team brought their treated pulses to the national research facility in Saskatoon.

    “Projects like this show the world that unique infrastructure in Canada can be used for unique studies,” Jayas said.

    Using advanced imaging techniques at CLS, the team pinpointed how proteins, carbohydrates and fats shifted due to the microwave treatment, indicating exactly how faster cooking times were achieved.

    CLS said similar data could be used to ensure that microwaves have no negative effects on the nutrient profile of pulses.

    READ MORE: Better Winnipeg: Researchers serve-up unique study on food

    Next up the menu, the team plans to conduct a study on preparation times of pulse crops impacted by freezing. The results would be particularly useful to Canadian farmers who grow around 65 per cent of the world’s supply, mainly in Saskatchewan.

    CLS has hosted researchers from 28 countries and provided a service critical in over 2,900 scientific publications.

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