Ontario platform guide: What the major parties promise if elected June 2 – The Globe and Mail

The 28-day Ontario election campaign officially kicked off May 4, leading up to the June 2 vote. The parties have been making regular announcements on policies they would implement if elected to form government.
The NDP, which served as Official Opposition for the past four years, released a full platform in April and unveiled costing details in mid-May, while both the Liberals and the Greens have released fully costed platforms. The upstart Ontario Party has its platform commitments listed on its website.
The Progressive Conservatives haven’t released a platform, but made significant funding announcements for health care, schools and transit in the latter stages of their government. The party’s 2022 budget wasn’t passed and the PCs pledge to bring those funding promises back to the table if re-elected.
The Globe and Mail will be tracking platform promises for major issues as they are unveiled throughout the campaign. Here’s what the parties have released so far on the major issues affecting Ontarians.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press
The PCs say their pitch for health care is rooted in overcoming the shortfalls of the system that came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic. As government, the party introduced what it calls A Plan to Stay Open with a focus on building more health care infrastructure and expanding the work force to ensure Ontario is better prepared for any future emergencies.
If re-elected, the PCs under Leader Doug Ford pledge to move forward with this plan that includes a $40-billion investment over the next 10 years to increase capacity across the system by building new hospitals and renewing existing facilities. They say this would include work on 50 major hospital projects, expected to add 3,000 hospital beds.
To address staffing shortages in rural communities, the party plans to spend $142-million to recruit and retain nurses and health care workers in underserved parts of the province. Up to 1,500 nurse graduates each year could have their full tuition reimbursed in exchange for committing to practice for two years in communities in need. Then, the party says the program would be further expanded in 2023 to provide upfront funding to 2,500 postsecondary students as part of a new Learn and Stay Grant.
The party has also pledged to provide nurses with a lump-sum payment of $5,000, through a $764-million investment, in an effort to retain nurses in the province. While in government, the party passed the contentious Bill 124, which limits annual pay increases for public-sector workers, including nurses, to one per cent for three years. The legislation remains in force and opposition parties have said they would repeal the law if elected.
If elected, the NDP under Leader Andrea Horwath, says it would implement a publicly funded program for mental-health care to provide therapy and counselling services through OHIP. This is expected to cost $500-million out of the gate and an additional $130-million to reduce the growing waiting list for children’s mental-health services to 30 days.
The party says a main priority would be to address the backlog of surgeries created during the pandemic by expanding operating-room hours to increase hospital capacity as well as hire more health care staff. The NDP plans to hire 30,000 nurses and expedite recognition of nursing credentials for up to 15,000 internationally trained nurses to immediately increase staffing levels. The plan also includes hiring 10,000 personal support workers and giving them a $5 raise above prepandemic levels (while in government, the PCs pledged a $3 salary increase).
Building off the federal agreement between the Liberal and NDP parties, the Ontario NDP commit to accelerate the rollout of the planned universal pharmacare and dental-care programs ahead of the five-year timeline. The first step to providing drug coverage to those without benefits is expected to cost $475-million.
The party also pledges to invest in harm-reduction strategies to address the opioid crisis as well as declare it a public-health emergency. It says this would include an expansion of supervised consumption sites in Northern Ontario and a pledge to press the federal government to decriminalize personal drug possession.
The Ontario Liberals and Leader Steven Del Duca have committed to addressing staffing shortages and other challenges that arose during the pandemic. The party says this would include hiring 100,000 new nurses, doctors and other health care professionals and ensure all Ontarians have access to a family doctor. If elected, the party pledges to increase wages for health care workers, including a minimum $25 an hour for personal support workers.
Top-ups, the party says, would also be provided to health workers on short-staffed shift work. The party commits to making it easier to access mental-health services for all medical professionals. The Liberals also pledge to expand access to mental health services including training 3,000 new mental-health and addictions professionals.
The party says it intends to provide free access to PrEP, a medication used to prevent HIV transmission, as well as reduce waiting times and barriers to gender-affirming surgeries. The Liberals say they would also spend $1-billion to clear the backlog for surgeries and set maximum waiting times for the procedures.
The Green Party, under Leader Mike Schreiner, plan to introduce a mental-health care plan through OHIP and increase spending from seven to 10 per cent of the province’s health budget.
The party also plans to reduce waiting lists to 30 days or less for children’s mental-health services and develop a three-digit dedicated crisis-response line and health-focused crisis-response teams to respond to mental-health and substance related calls in Ontario.
An Ontario Party government says it would open up private health care opportunities and allow non-profit organizations and private corporations to build, own and manage hospitals and permit citizens to hold private medical insurance. The party also pledges to provide funding to expand public hospital-bed capacity and hire thousands of health care workers.
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Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
The party is pledging to expand and introduce tax credits if re-elected, but stops short of Mr. Ford’s previous election campaign promise in 2018 to cut income taxes by 20 per cent. Instead, the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit would be expanded from a maximum annual income threshold of $38,500 to include those making up to $50,000. This enhanced credit would make about 700,000 more Ontarians eligible to receive the benefit, which would be an estimated $430.
Other incentives that the party says will put money back in the pockets of Ontarians include a new tax credit to help seniors with medical expenses, a six-month cut to gas and fuel taxes and an end to vehicle licence-plate renewal fees. The party says it is also committed to cracking down on fraud within the automobile insurance sector and exploring the potential for a fraud-reporting tool that could help prevent, detect and deter fraud.
In the budget tabled just before the election call, the PCs planned to spend $198.6-billion this fiscal year leading to an increased deficit of $19.9-billion with a plan to balance the budget by 2027-28. While in government, a minimum-wage increase of 50 cents to $15.50 was passed and is slated to be introduced Oct. 1.
The party is pledging a four-year income-tax freeze for individuals making less than $200,000 annually (subject to a household threshold that hasn’t been determined). Ms. Horwath has said that many low and middle-income families are struggling financially and can’t afford to pay more taxes. Instead, the party says it would raise income taxes by one per cent for people making more than $220,000 and two per cent on annual earnings of more than $300,000. The party also vows to raise the corporate tax rate back to 13 per cent but maintain the 3.2-per-cent rate for small businesses.
If elected, the NDP says it would work to bring down auto-insurance costs by banning postal-code discrimination so rates aren’t based on where someone lives. The party also pledges to increase wages for registered early childhood educators to $25 an hour and $20 an hour for all other child-care staff in order to support the $10-a-day child-care plan in conjunction with the federal government.
In a commitment to protect consumers, the NDP says it would direct the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale markup of gas to end gouging at the pump, especially on weekends. An independent consumer watchdog would also be formed to handle complaints of price gouging and investigate businesses that violate consumer protection laws.
The NDP plans to raise the minimum wage by $1 an hour every year until it hits $20 an hour in 2026. The party says the wage hike would include “targeted supports” for small businesses who need help increasing wages for employees.
In the Liberal Plan for Economic Dignity, the party pledges several incentives to benefit workers including 10 paid sick days, an increase of the minimum wage to $16 an hour in 2023, as well as creating a portable benefits package for all workers without coverage. The party also says it commits to pilot a four-day work week (as does the NDP) to study the potential and possibly expand. A “living-wage structure” would differentiate wages based on regions across the province to recognize the added expense of living in certain areas.
On the tax front, the Liberals say they would halt corporate income taxes for small businesses that lost more than 50 per cent of revenues as a result of the pandemic. This suspension would last for two years and is expected to cost $500-million. The party also promises to remove the eight-per-cent HST on all prepared food under $20. The party says this would be funded through a one-per-cent surtax on companies with an annual profit of more than $1-billion and a two-per-cent income-tax increase for individuals making more than $500,000.
To support seniors, the party says it would double the Old Age Security top up and increase amounts by up to $1,000 a year. The income eligibility threshold would also be increased to $25,000 for single seniors and $50,000 for couples.
The Green Party is pledging to immediately double Ontario Disability Support Program payments, more than any of the other parties. Both the Liberals and NDP are promising a 20-per-cent increase from the current rate, while the PCs pledge a five-per-cent hike. The NDP has since modified its plans to then double the ODSP rate in the second year.
The Ontario Party hasn’t released a position on taxes if elected, but the platform does focus on protecting property rights of residents. The party says it would limit the interference of conservation authorities on private property by requiring them to receive permission or a court order before entering any privately owned property.
Further, the party pledges to remove the ability of conservation authorities to halt the construction of buildings and other structures on private property where all building permit requirements have been met.
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Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press
The recent PC budget has a section dedicated to building roads, transit infrastructure and bridges (the front page of the document shows cars travelling across dozens of lanes of traffic on Highway 401). A main pillar of the party’s re-election bid is a $25.1-billion investment over the next 10 years to build roadway infrastructure including the contentious Highway 413 (which opposition parties said they would halt) and the Bradford Bypass. Other projects announced in the budget include moving forward on the widening of Hwy. 402 east of Pickering and the QEW Garden City Skyway rehabilitation project.
If re-elected, the party pledges to continue work on planned transit projects by spending $61.6-billion over 10 years for public transit including working on the rapid transit Ontario Line and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, which would connect to the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Planning work would also be advanced on a Sheppard Subway Extension connecting to the existing Don Mills Station.
While in office, the PCs removed tolls on the 412 and 418 highways and also eliminated double fares for most local transit services when also using GO Transit. Fare discounts for youth and postsecondary students using the PRESTO system increased to 40 per cent off the full adult fare.
The NDP pledges to scrap Highway 413 and instead focus on already existing roads by designating the 11 and 17 highways as Class 1 roadways so they would be cleared of snow within eight hours. The party says it would also focus on expanding Hwy. 7 between Kitchener and Guelph and constructing the Morriston Bypass. The NDP pledges that funds currently earmarked for the Hwy. 413 and Bradford Bypass transportation projects would be redirected to social and health infrastructure.
On transit, the NDP says it would increase funding for municipal public-transit services to 50 per cent of net operating costs as well as implement a two-hour, flat-rate fare across transit services in the GTA. The party commits to improving all-day GO Train service between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto as well as extending the Hurontario LRT line to downtown Brampton.
As part of its projected revenues, the NDP plans to introduce a surtax on luxury vehicles of five per cent that have a cost between $90,000 and $100,000 and seven per cent on vehicles of more than $100,000.
Mr. Del Duca and the Ontario Liberals are campaigning on a “buck-a-ride, provincewide” promise that they say would cut fares for every transit system across the province to $1, no matter the length of the trip, and make transit service free for veterans. The commitment is time-limited until Jan. 2024. At that point, Mr. Del Duca said his team would work with municipalities to keep transit costs as low as possible. The goal, the party says, is to increase ridership closer to prepandemic levels and move people away from commuting by cars (the party estimates this will take an average of 400,000 vehicles off the road each day).
This proposal is expected to cost $1.8-billion with an additional $375-million in annual operating funding to increase service levels and the amount of routes to ensure demand for the program can be met. The party also pledges to halt Hwy. 413 and invest $10-billion (a projected cost for the project) into building schools and reducing the repair backlog.
The major parties have also committed to reinstating the Northlander train service in Northern Ontario, which the Liberals ended a decade ago. (Mr. Del Duca wasn’t an MPP when the decision was made but later served as transportation minister.) The party says it intends to reinstate the service from Toronto to North Bay within two years.
The Green Party says it would cut transit fares in half for at least three months as part of a plan to triple public-transit use by 2030. The party says it would create dedicated truck lanes on Hwy. 407 to reduce congestion and the need for more highways, as well as triple the amount of dedicated bus lanes in the province by 2025.
The party has yet to release a platform on transportation and infrastructure plans.
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David Jackson/The Globe and Mail
The Ontario PCs promised significant spending in mining and electric-vehicle production in its recent budget. In the latter stages of the party’s term, Mr. Ford and the PC government made several funding announcements in partnership with the federal government to manufacture EV batteries and build electric vehicles in Oshawa, Windsor, Alliston and Brampton. The PCs are touting that the government secured $14-billion in auto sector investments during the last term.
The party is also pledging $91-million to make EV chargers more accessible across the province by adding them at highway rest stops and hubs like carpool lots and provincial and municipal parks. While in office, the PCs cancelled rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles.
In the budget, the PCs promise to create a new provincial park in Ontario, but there are no details on the location, timeline or cost of the proposal, which is in its early stages. The party has also committed to adding 13 urban river valleys to the province’s Greenbelt, but stopped short of including other areas such as the Paris Galt Moraine, in order to further study how this could impact the creation of housing.
On climate change, the party’s emissions-reduction target falls short of the others, hoping to achieve a 30-per-cent reduction by 2030.
If elected, the NDP says it would enact its Green New Democratic Deal pledging to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. To meet the targets, the party promises to bring back a provincial cap-and-trade carbon pricing plan (scrapped by the PCs) to ensure large corporate polluters pay fairly for their emissions. The party says at least 25 per cent of the revenue would go to supports for rural, Northern and low-income families.
Other elements of the party’s climate policy include planting one billion trees by 2030, creating a Youth Climate Corps that it says would provide landscaping jobs for students and expansion of the Greenbelt to include more waterways. The party also commits to launching a provincial water strategy with the goal of ending all drinking-water advisories across Ontario.
After the platform was released, Ms. Horwath also announced plans to provide grants and zero-interest loans for families making energy-efficient upgrades on their homes. This retrofit program for public, commercial and residential buildings is expected to create 100,000 jobs and add more than $15.2-billion in economic activity by 2030. The party says its goal is to retrofit five per cent of buildings in Ontario per year.
The Ontario Liberal climate-change policy includes similar targets (50-per-cent emission reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050) to that of the NDP, but proposes different actions to get there. The party plans to create five new provincial parks, plant 800 million trees over eight years as well as ban new natural-gas plants and phase out the reliance on those already in existence.
The party says it is also committed to expanding the Greenbelt and designating 30 per cent of land as protected areas, up from the current 10 per cent. The Liberals say they would provide grants, up to $3,000 each year, for businesses and families making energy-efficiency upgrades to buildings and homes.
Much of the party’s climate plan is focused on the expansion of transit to encourage people to reduce their use of gas-powered vehicles (the buck-a-ride plan is expected to eliminate an estimated 400,000 car trips each day). An electric vehicle rebate plan, up to $9,500, is intended to entice residents to make the switch and the party would require all new passenger vehicles sold in Ontario to be zero-emission by 2035.
The Green Party says it has a comprehensive climate plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2045 (five years earlier than the NDP and Liberals have pitched). The plan includes adopting a “zero carbon law” and replacing fossil-fuel vehicles completely with electric vehicles and transit by 2040. The party says it would implement a carbon price that rises $25 per tonne annually until it reaches $300 a tonne.
The party pledges to permanently protect wetlands and prime farmland by expanding the Greenbelt to include a “Bluebelt” that would safeguard waterways from nearby development. The Greens promise to phase out gas plants in the province and use $2-billion per year through a Climate Adaptation Fund to help municipalities with building retrofit costs.
The party’s plan for a “new climate economy” has a four-year price tag of $65-billion, which would include financing electric-vehicle rebates of up to $10,000.
The Ontario Party doesn’t yet have a platform plank on the environment.
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Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
The budget tabled just before the election campaign began allocated $14-million in capital grants over 10 years to build and renovate schools. This would also include a pilot program to work with school boards to expedite construction of new schools with modular structures.
To address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education system, the PC government spent $597-million for tutoring and additional staff to aid in learning recovery for students. But the government did lay out $1.3-billion less in 2021-22 than initially budgeted. This was attributed to reduced enrolment during the pandemic and a reduction in community use of schools.
The government also decided to freeze postsecondary tuition fees for a third straight year and spend $42.5-million over two years to expand undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training in Ontario.
The NDP says it would hire 20,000 teachers and education workers in an effort to help students recover after two years of learning disruptions. The addition of teachers would also be used to cap Grade 4 to 8 class sizes at 24 students and reduce the size of high-school classes.
Ms. Horwath said an NDP government would focus on eliminating the school repair backlog within 10 years, currently priced at $16.8-billion. The party says it would also invest in mental-health workers and child and youth workers in schools.
In terms of changes to the teaching structure, the NDP vows to end the standardized EQAO testing as well as the mandatory requirement for two online courses brought in under the Ford government.
The Liberal Party has released a number of details over the past week on its plans to revamp the public education system. Notably, Mr. Del Duca and his party are proposing a temporary optional reintroduction of Grade 13 for four years to support students impacted by the pandemic who feel they need another year before entering postsecondary studies. New courses under the Grade 13 curriculum would include personal finances, civics and mental health and well-being.
The Liberal plan also includes hiring 10,000 teachers and building 200 news schools as well as repair more than 4,500. Mr. Del Duca said this would be funded be redirecting funding of the projected $10-billion cost of building Highway 413. Like the NDP proposal, the party says it would also end EQAO testing and eliminate the two online course requirement.
The party pledges to also cap class sizes across the board at 20 students and hire 5,000 additional special education workers. If elected, the Liberals says they would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the compulsory immunization list for children in schools (the vaccine is currently available for those five and older). Like the other vaccines, the current exemptions for medical reasons or conscience and religious beliefs under the Immunization of School Pupils Act will apply.
The Green Party applauded the recent move to include climate education in the Ontario curriculum. The party has also called for class sizes to be lowered and for a focus to be put on student mental health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greens have also pitched improvements to the system including lowering class sizes to 15 students. The party says it would also implement a provincewide school lunch program.
The Ontario Party is promising to provide $12,000 in funding per student no matter where they go to school – public, private, charter or home school. The party says it would also overhaul the curriculum and remove areas “not specifically tailored to core academic competencies,” but specifics haven’t been provided.
The party, under Leader Derek Sloan, says it would establish a government office empowered to investigate and discipline school personnel who breach new education legislation.
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Mark Blinch/Reuters
Housing affordability is a major issue facing Ontarians as the supply is low across the province. Just prior to the election, the PC government passed legislation in an effort to increase the amount of homes across the province. It includes increasing the non-resident speculation tax to 20 per cent, setting a deadline for municipalities to approve zoning changes and spending $19-million to curb the backlog at the Ontario Land Tribunal.
The legislation is built off recommendations of a housing task force but doesn’t act on all of the suggestions including ending exclusionary single-family zoning in certain neighbourhoods in order to rapidly increase the amount of housing. The party said it is committed to make that change but needs more time to engage with municipalities. The housing task force proposes a target of 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.
The PCs say they are also committed to addressing unethical behaviour from developers by increasing fines and administrative penalties if projects aren’t completed in line with professional standards.
In an effort to address the housing crisis, Ms. Horwath and the NDP pledge to end exclusionary zoning to increase the supply of affordable housing. They plan to establish an organization titled Housing Ontario to finance and build at least 250,000 affordable and nonmarket rental homes over the next 10 years.
The NDP also pledges to reintroduce rent control and ensure new tenants pay what the last tenant paid. Rent control for buildings built after 2018 was scrapped by the PC government. The plan includes a focus on social housing by building 100,000 units and updating an additional 260,000.
The party also commits to cracking down on speculation by introducing a speculation and vacancy tax on residential property that’s not lived in. The rate would be two per cent of the assessed value and be phased in over two years.
The Liberal Party was the last to release its housing plan in its recent platform, promising a five-per-cent tax on vacant homes for foreign buyers and two per cent for Canadian owners. The party says the revenue, projected at $450-million a year, would go toward affordable housing projects.
The party said it supports the provincial housing task force’s target of building 1.5 million homes within the next 10 years and will strive toward the same goal. The Liberals also pledge to reinstate rent control for all buildings in the province, meaning landlords can only raise rents each year by a small regulated amount.
Mr. Del Duca’s Liberals are also promising to build 138,000 “deeply affordable” homes that would include supportive housing and homes for Indigenous people. To speed up housing construction, the Liberals plan to give municipalities $300-million over the next five years in an effort to expedite planning processes.
The Ontario Greens commit to building 160,000 affordable community rental homes in partnership with co-op and non-profit housing providers. The party’s housing-affordability strategy also includes building 22,000 Indigenous-owned and operated permanent homes and investing in developing 15-minute neighbourhoods.
The party says it intends to launch a Green Building Program to construct sustainable, energy-efficient developments. The Greens have also proposed a 20-per-cent tax on domestic buyers of multiple homes. The party says it would introduce a first-time home buyer support plan that would make sellers pay for home inspections as well as implement a provincewide multiple home speculation tax and vacant home tax.
The party says it is committed to adjusting exclusionary zoning by giving property owners more freedom to construct two- and four-unit residential buildings in existing neighbourhoods of single-family homes. The party also pledges to establish a foreign purchasing ban on residential homes and strike a money-laundering task force to investigate corruption in the industry.
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Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
The PCs are proposing a $1-billion investment in home care over the next three years if re-elected as well as a new tax credit to provide support for medical expenses. The party says the new credit would provide an estimated $110-million to about 200,000 senior families.
The party also plans to build 30,000 long-term care beds by 2028, through $6.4-billion in targeted funding since 2019.
The NDP is committing to make the long-term care system public and end privately operated homes. The party says it also plans to add 50,000 new beds to the system by 2030.
Along with spending $1-billion in home care, the NDP pledges to implement a property-tax deferral program for seniors that would allow the homeowners to defer paying taxes until the sale of the home. The party says it would also implement a caregiver benefit of $400 a month.
The Liberals plan to end for-profit long-term care and create 58,000 public long-term care spaces. The party says it would also provide home care for all who need it, estimated at helping 400,000 more seniors by 2026. (The Liberals say they would increase funding for home care by 10 per cent in order to meet the need).
The party pledges to expand a tax credit to help seniors pay for home repairs and equipment such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, ramps and lifts so residents can stay at home as long as possible.
The Greens plan to increase home-care funding by 20 per cent if elected and introduce a minimum wage of $25 an hour for personal support workers. The party also pledges to build 55,000 long-term care beds by 2033 and increase base funding by 10 per cent.
The party doesn’t have a platform plank dedicated to seniors.
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The Edmonton Oilers finally break out of their Peter Chiarelli-induced mire: 9 Things – Edmonton Journal

The Edmonton Oilers earned their first home ice Game 7 playoff win in 32 years Saturday, with a 2-0 shutout of Los Angeles.

The series victory over the Kings, while certainly just one (albeit significant) step along the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff journey, has already become a critical touchpoint for the franchise after too many years of wandering in the post-season wilderness

Exactly what I mean by that can be found in this week’s edition of…

9. I love the NHL’s end-of-series handshake. It helps set our game aside from all others. It is pure class and demonstrates appropriate sportsmanship and mutual respect between elite-level athletes. Hockey at it’s best.

8. Connor McDavid is once again one of 3 nominees for the Hart Trophy. And for the first time in the NHL award’s 98-year history a former winner voted (Wayne Gretzky). I somehow expect #99 cast a ballot for #97. Surely he of all people recognizes just how special of a player Connor is. I hope that rubs off on a few others.

7. I have issues with some select Toronto media in regards to the Maple Leafs. But I have zero issues with their players. Seeing the hurt in their eyes after their Game 7 loss is a reminder that these guys are human and it is hard to lose. And to those select few individuals who ridiculed Zach Hyman for “leaving a team that can’t win a playoff series for a team that can’t win a playoff series” …

6. The hockey fan in me would like Calgary to win that other Pacific Division series. Another proper Battle of Alberta would be great for hockey. But as tough as an out as Dallas would surely be, I think the Oilers would still match up with them better. Either way, though, I am glad that series is going 7 so that they will have knocked the stuffing out of one another before they have to play Edmonton.

5. With Bakersfield out of the AHL playoffs I expect a flight of black aces to head North to Edmonton in the next day. On my list: Dylan Holloway (who was terrific in the Condors’ final, elimination game), Phillip Broberg, Stuart Skinner, and Marcus Niemelainen. As a dark horse…perhaps veteran Brad Malone. Malone can play all 3 forward positions and his leadership could be helpful on a taxi squad.

4. If you will pardon me for being a little bit personal about the victory Saturday: Our family had Oilers season’s tickets for years when my kid was just a little guy. He was still in a car seat when he watched his 1st NHL game…Game 6 of the Detroit Series in 2006. But while it is always a privilege to be in an NHL arena, we sat through one hell of a lot of losses. My son Brandon (now 21) commented last night how this win sure feels good when you look at it through that lens. I am sure we are not the only family that thinks that way today.

3. I am specifically happy for Mike Smith. Who in this life is even the slightest bit o.k. being told that you are too old to continue doing something you love? I in fact am of the age where I realize that day may come for me…and let me tell you that is not a happy thought. I have been consistent in my writings that if Smith could stay healthy, he could still perform at a high level. Well, Mike Smith is now 1 of 2 NHL goalies to ever register a Game 7 shutout at 40 years or older. The only other was Duane Roloson in 2011. Not even Johnny Bower did that!

2. I’ve had a high ankle sprain. If indeed that is what Leon Draisaitl was dealing with on Saturday, then I wonder if the same figure-8 & stirrup tape job was used to keep his ankle game-worthy. In the hands of a great trainer, you can compensate for the lack of stability. But in my case, I had virtually no push off or “snap” with my ankle at all. My stride was “all leg.” It cost me a lot of mobility. That hopefully drives home not only how impressive it was that Draisaitl managed it, but that he did so while playing 22:38 at a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7 level. What a gutsy performance. Can we now permanently put to bed those ridiculous “lazy” comments?

1.Watching Kings Head Coach Todd McLellan in the handshake lineup Saturday night brought full circle for me a consistent thought I have had about this franchise over the past 5 years. Now seems as good as any to bring it up and flesh it out a bit. I wrote at the time in this very space that I felt that Todd’s firing in Edmonton was wrong (and I didn’t much like how it went down, either). I just didn’t think he was the problem, certainly not the main one. And when you see the job McLellan has since done with the rebuilding Kings, it is hard to not to see why. He deserves Coach of the Year votes. And I was not at all surprised how classy Todd was with his old players in that line Saturday.

I believed that then Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli totally overreacted to the loss to Anaheim. Concurrently, Chiarelli mis-read the direction the NHL game was headed. That view led to the construction of the “heavy hockey” Oilers roster that left McLellan with a lineup too slow and short on skill to compete at the same level. Those 2 critical errors (on top of a myriad of others) were a huge factor in what ultimately cost McLellan his job in Edmonton, Chiarelli his…and sent this Edmonton franchise into a 5-year tailspin.

By now moving onto the 2nd Round, the Edmonton Oilers have finally been able to scratch their way back to the point where we left off after the 2017 loss to Anaheim. But it has taken 5 years, 4 coaches, a lot of hard miles and bitter pills to put it behind us and just get back to “even”. To be clear, I give the Oilers players of 2022 most of the credit. They are the ones that laced up the skates & played the games. And this is far from done. There is another tough series (& hopefully more) still to come this season and in the years to come.

But I won’t forget that it was the much-maligned Ken Holland who wanted to see how this team looked with both goalies healthy before making wholesale changes. It was Holland who used his personal currency to land Evander Kane. Holland saw Cody Ceci as a Top-4 D when others didn’t. Believed Duncan Keith still had something left in the tank. That Brett Kulak was worth the acquisition cost. Went against his own resume of work and changed coaches to Jay Woodcroft mid-season. It’s…almost like Ken had on-the-job experience. Crazy, right?

And look, we all get to fan. We get to have opinions. It’s part of the fun. But when it comes to running a multi-multi-million-dollar business, there is an old saying that a very smart man used to share with me when I helped run his: “Judge the quality of the advice you get by who you get it from”. Sure, Ken made some mistakes along the way too…just like he said he would when he was first hired.

As I said, there is still much to accomplish by these Oilers. But today Ken Holland has finally helped dig this franchise back out of the mud. They are a Stanley Cup contender. A Top-8 team. We can all be thankfrul for that.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

McCURDY: The Edmonton Oilers win Game 7, advance to Round 2

LEAVINS: The Oilers force a Game 7 back home in Edmonton

McCURDY: The Oilers falter in Game 5

STAPLES: Oilers crushed in Game 4

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Firing Bank of Canada head would spark global ‘shock wave’: ex-budget watchdog – Global News

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If any Canadian government were to fire the head of the Bank of Canada, the result would be a “global financial shock wave,” warned the country’s former budget watchdog.
In an interview with The West Block guest host Eric Sorenson, former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page said the Bank of Canada’s reputation is one as a “strong” and “transparent” institution.
“We’ve gotten used to, over the past three decades, having an independent central bank that is independent — making decisions on these policy interest rates that is divorced from the political environment,” said Page, now president and CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.
“It would be quite a shock wave, a global financial shock wave, to have a government literally remove a central banker who, by all intents, seems to be doing a fine job — but is doing a very difficult job.”
Page had been asked what the effects could be if a Canadian government were to fire a central banker.
That comes as Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has been leading a campaign of criticism centring on the Bank of Canada’s handling of rampant inflation, which sits at 6.7 per cent.
The domestic target is two per cent per year.
Read more: Canada’s treasury ‘depleted’ as budget weans COVID spending, eyes uncertainty
As part of his criticism of the central bank, Poilievre has vowed that he would fire Tiff Macklem, governor of the Bank of Canada, if elected prime minister. That comment triggered rapid criticism over concerns it signalled an intent by the perceived leadership frontrunner to interfere with the bank.
Long-standing tradition is that the Bank of Canada operates independently of political decisions, with governors appointed on seven-year terms.
Officials have emphasized that those longer terms are what allows them to operate with a “measure of continuity over economic cycles — not electoral cycles — and allows for decision making that considers the long-term economic interests of Canadians.”
The Bank of Canada has opted to keep interest rates at rock-bottom during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is among the factors experts say have fuelled skyrocketing home prices. And as inflation keeps pushing the cost of living higher and higher, critics of the central bank like Poilievre have pointed the finger and argued its low rates are powering domestic inflation.
Canada, however, is far from alone.
Read more: Conservative leadership hopefuls debate future of party, trade Netflix suggestions
Inflation is rampant around the world right now, with no clear end in sight.
High consumer spending amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has combined with supply chain shocks worsened both by factory closures caused by the reality that the virus is still circulating in high numbers, as well as the sharp shortages in supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I think it’s a very simplification to assume that if we just change the leader, that somehow this sort of global environment — and inflation truly is a global issue — just somehow disappears,” Page said.
Sorenson asked: “Can the Bank or the Canadian government on their own bring inflation down in this country?”
Page said: “No.”
“This is a global phenomenon. A lot of it is supply-related, and it’s because of those very strong supports that went in 2020 to help during the lockdown,” he added.
“The economy’s come back really fast and eventually markets will adjust.”
So when might Canadians expect to see inflation back in a more normal range?
Page said the Bank of Canada’s moves to raise interest rates will play a role in helping slow the economy.
“I think over the next couple of years we could see inflation back maybe in that three per cent range.”
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2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 results: Flames and Rangers both move on after thrilling overtime wins – CBS Sports

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After three Game 7s on Saturday, the thrilling first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs wrapped up with two overtime Game 7s on Sunday. Both games were high on drama and heroics from each team. 
In the early game, Artemi Panarin sent a shot to the right side of Tristan Jarry’s net to put the New York Rangers into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Panarin was assisted by Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad on the overtime game winner. Zibanejad was key for the Rangers’ success late in the game as his goal at the 14:15 mark in the third period was what sent it to overtime. 
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was 3-0 in Game 7s coming into this game. His team finished the night with a 45-30 shots-on-goal advantage. Sidney Crosby did play in the game after missing Game 6, and recorded an assist in the loss. The Rangers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.
In the late game, the Calgary Flames got their first playoff series win since 2015 with a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Flames finished the night with a 67-28 shots-on-goal advantage but still had a tough time dealing with a persistent Dallas team that countered with a solid goaltender in Jake Oettinger. He registered 64 saves and the Flames spent some extra time after the game in the handshake line to congratulate him on a terrific performance. 
Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau took seven shots on the night and got the winning goal from a difficult angle at the 15:09 mark of the first overtime period after collecting a rebound, with Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk getting the assists. Gaudreau also registered an assist on a Tkachuk goal in the second period that tied the game. Up next, the Flames are taking on the Edmonton Oilers, who advanced after a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings in their own Game 7 on Saturday.  
Calgary got its first playoff series win since 2015 with this overtime victory. The Flames finished the night with a 67-28 shot on goal advantage but still had a tough time dealing with a persistent Dallas team that counted with a solid goaltender in Jake Oettinger. He registered a total of 64 saves and the Flames lined up to congratulate him on a terrific performance after their win. Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau took seven shots throughout the night and got the winning goal from a difficult angle after collecting a rebound at the 15:09 mark. Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk got the assist. Gaudreau also registered an assist on the Tkachuk goal in the second period that tied the game. Up next, the Flames are taking on the Edmonton Oilers, who advanced after a 2-0 win over the LA Kings in their own Game 7 on Saturday.
Calgary’s Johnny Graudreau gets the winning goal. He took seven shots throughout the night and finally got one from a rebound at the 15:09 mark in overtime. He was assisted by Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk. 
A hard fought battle.#OneStateOneTeam | #TexasHockey | #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/qYutJqq3nW

With their #Game7 victory, the @NHLFlames have punched the League’s final ticket to the Second Round!#StanleyCup Series win presented by @NavyFederal pic.twitter.com/RxPm2c5Ama
JAKE FRICKIN’ OETTINGER pic.twitter.com/Z8176EsMMs

⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇ https://t.co/Ykbi7HRL6d
Y’all Otter believe it!!!!!

📺: @BallySportsSW | #OneStateOneTeam | #TexasHockey | #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/SVlVayDrXQ
*deep breaths*
Calgary gets an overtime power play after Tyler Seguin gets a minor for hooking at the 5:08 mark of the extra period. 
53rd save of the night for Oettinger #StanleyCup #Game7 pic.twitter.com/X9MmwYAicE
Don’t worry, we’ll get y’all a note for your bosses and teachers to excuse you from work and school tomorrow.#OneStateOneTeam | #TexasHockey | #StanleyCup

OT #letsgooooooo @NHLFlames pic.twitter.com/vCsGTKQbqJ
OVERTIME, LET’S DO THIS! pic.twitter.com/8PlM29IXl7
Overtime. pic.twitter.com/g8QyIlc1Mk
This city ❤️ Nothing beats the #CofRed. pic.twitter.com/rQ7Sv6tjwi
Third intermission joke? YOU KNOW IT!

What do you call a blind dinosaur?

A do-you-think-he-saw-us 🦖

(yes, your atNHLFlames admin is a big Jurassic Park fan)
The second period saw three goals, but the third didn’t see goals or power plays. Dallas had a better offensive period outshooting the Flames 11-9, however, Calgary still finished regulation time with a 52-23 shot on goal advantage. Jake Oettinger is having an outstanding performance for Dallas. He registered 50 saves in regulation time, which is the most amount of saves ever during a Game 7 with no overtime period. This is the second Game 7 today, and only the second time ever that two Game 7s go into overtime on the same day. 
The most fitting end to the 2022 First Round “Mayhem” – not one, but two #Game7 overtimes.#NHLStats: https://t.co/VCFCwpBEFQ pic.twitter.com/HtV8uT2Oo5
Y’all ready for OT? pic.twitter.com/XVCcI0GIeF
And so it comes to this.

Game 7 Overtime. #OneStateOneTeam | #TexasHockey | #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/5YHQr9nBp8
Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger’s 46 saves so far tie for the most saves in a non-overtime Game 7.  Ken Dryden registered 46 for the Montreal Canadiens in 1971.
Tkachuk Cam. pic.twitter.com/Z2D1ojKEoq
Jake Oettinger already has 41 saves through only two periods. 🤯

The only goaltender in @DallasStars history with more in a #Game7 is Ben Bishop (52 saves), who did so in a double OT contest during the 2019 Second Round.#NHLStats: https://t.co/VCFCwpBEFQ pic.twitter.com/3tTG9gz0GH

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Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 82 of the invasion – The Guardian

Sweden follows Finland in application to join Nato; Nato pledges open-ended military support to Ukraine; British intelligence estimates Russia has lost a third of invasion force
Sweden has indicated it will follow Finland in applying for Nato membership. The two countries’ move abandons decades of military non-alignment triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and would redraw the security map of Europe.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would look to provide both countries with interim security guarantees while the applications are processed, including possibly by increasing troops in the region.

In apparent retaliation, the Kremlin has pulled the plug on electricity supplies to Finland, with which it shares a 1,300km (800 mile) border.

Nato pledged open-ended military support for Ukraine on Sunday. At a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany’s Annalena Baerbock said it would provide military assistance “for as long as Ukraine needs this support for the self-defence of its country”.
British intelligence revealed that Russia may have lost as much as a third of the invasion force, as more than 400 Russian soldiers were estimated to have been killed or wounded last week trying to cross the Donets river. UK defence chiefs said Russia’s offensive in the eastern Donbas region had “lost momentum” and that Moscow’s battle plan was “significantly behind schedule”.

Ukraine’s president Volodymr Zelensky has warned that the military situation in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbas region is “very difficult” as analysts say Russian president Vladimir Putin has his sights on annexing southern and eastern Ukraine in the months ahead.

Russia’s defence ministry claimed it had carried out “high-precision” missile strikes on four artillery munitions depots in the Donetsk area in the east of Ukraine. The ministry also claimed airstrikes had destroyed two missile-launching systems and radar, and 15 Ukrainian drones around Donetsk and Lugansk.

As Russian forces struggle in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces made inroads. The first Ukrainian battalion reached the Russian border in the Kharkhiv region today.

Ukrainian authorities are conducting at least 10 active rape investigations involving Russian troops, and are calling for other victims to come forward.

Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision last night for Ukraine, is auctioning off the statuette to raise funds for the Ukrainian army and Ukraine. The win has lifted spirits around Ukraine.

Zelenskiy has warned that the war in his country risks triggering global food shortages and has urged international intervention to prevent global famine. Before the invasion, Ukraine supplied 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.

A cyberattack on the Lviv city council website resulted in stolen data that ended up published in Telegram channels linked to Russia. This happened the same weekend Italian police thwarted hacker attacks by pro-Russian groups on the Eurovision song contest.


Residents of Ukrainian city of Kharkiv pause for breath as Russian forces recede – CBC News

  1. Residents of Ukrainian city of Kharkiv pause for breath as Russian forces recede  CBC News
  2. Ukraine: Kharkiv hosts secret concert as Russians retreat  CTV News
  3. In Kharkiv, Ukrainians ‘will need to relearn how to live’ in wake of Russian retreat  The Globe and Mail
  4. Sheltering Ukrainian Children Continue Learning In Kharkiv Subway Station  NBC News
  5. View Full coverage on Google News


Gas prices reach another record in the GTA after six cents per litre increase overnight – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

A woman fills up her with gas in Toronto, on Monday April 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Chris Fox, CP24 Web Content Writer
Gas prices have reached yet another new record after rising six cents per litre overnight.
As of midnight the average price of a litre of fuel across the Greater Toronto Area is now 208.9 cents per litre, according to Canadians for Affordable Energy President Dan McTeague.
The latest jump means that gas prices have now risen 11 cents per litre since Friday, with no real relief in sight due to supply shortages brought about by Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and the international sanctions that have been imposed a result.
“When you look at the fundamentals, supply and demand for diesel and for gasoline going into the summer driving season, not only is it low or critically low and that is one of the main reasons why prices are going up but the second factor is the Canadian dollar,” McTeague told CP24 last week. “It continues to show weakness despite the fact that in the old good old days when oil was $100 a barrel we would be on par with the U.S. dollar. The fact that we’re not is costing you 33 cents a litre.”
Gas prices have risen by about 60 per cent since last May, when drivers were paying around $1.30 per litre to fill up.
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David Milgaard, who spent decades behind bars for a crime he didn't commit, dies at 69 – Toronto Star

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David Milgaard could see I was a tad uneasy when he dropped by the Toronto Star newsroom unexpectedly in July 1993, dripping wet and half-naked.
It was a year after he had been freed from prison — having spent nearly 23 years behind bars as the victim of one of Canada’s most notorious miscarriages of justice.
Milgaard, then 40, was wearing no shirt or shoes when he made his surprise visit to the Star’s newsroom to say hello and thank you for reporting on the case.
He was dripping rainwater on the newsroom floor and beaming.
Milgaard said he shed his shirt and shoes because he wanted to feel the sun and rain on his back and the pavement under his feet. He said he missed those things while behind bars.
Perhaps he needed to remind himself that he was finally free.
Milgaard died on Sunday of natural causes after a short illness. He was 69.
When he showed up at the Star that day in 1993, after accepting a free Blue Jays souvenir T-shirt, he had a piece of pie and some juice and stared out at boats in the Toronto harbour. A passing canoe caught his eye, and he talked of relaxing in northern Manitoba, away from everything except his thoughts and nature and maybe a few friends.
At that point, Milgaard was already doing a little work with a social justice group based in Saskatoon that helped prisoners who claimed they were wrongfully convicted.
After leaving the Star, he shed the shirt again and went running up Yonge Street in the rain, his arms outstretched as if he were going to fly.
He smiled much easier that day than when I visited him in Stony Mountain Penitentiary in November 1991.
He’d almost walked away from that first interview, after I asked him why he didn’t just say he did the killing so that he could display the remorse necessary to be granted parole.
At that point, he appeared to have little hope of ever clearing his name.
Milgaard had been a skinny 16-year-old when he was arrested for the 1969 rape and murder of Saskatoon nurse’s aide Gail Miller.
He told me he could never lie that he attacked Miller — even if a false confession meant his freedom.
“If someone asked you to admit to something and you didn’t do it and it’s really terrible, I’m sure you wouldn’t say you’re guilty,” he said. “Because you’re not.”
Milgaard grew from a teen to a middle-aged man in Canada’s roughest prisons, where he protested his innocence to anyone who’d listen.
He was raped, had his teeth punched out and often demanded to be put in solitary confinement just so that he could escape everything.
His arms became scarred with about a dozen slashes. They were about an inch long, ugly and deep. Some were from suicide attempts and others were just the slashing that’s common in prison, when prisoners choose pain over the dull feeling of being one of the living dead.
On top of the slashing scars on his arms were a couple of large rose tattoos, also from prison.
He said he hated it when strangers looked at him because he thought they saw him as a rapist and a killer.
“It was a nightmare,” Milgaard once said. “People do not have much love and care inside those walls.”
Milgaard’s conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992 and the Saskatchewan government stayed the charges.
Serial rapist Larry Fisher was eventually convicted of the Miller murder through DNA evidence.
Milgaard’s mother, Joyce, fought tirelessly with a team of lawyers, including David Asper and Hersh Wolch of Winnipeg and James Lockyer of Toronto, to win his release from prison.
Lockyer, who helped found the organization Innocence Canada, confirmed the death after speaking with Milgaard’s sister on Sunday.
Milgaard was finally exonerated in July 1997 after DNA tests proved that semen found at the crime scene didn’t match his.
Fisher was convicted in December 1999 of first-degree murder in Miller’s death and sentenced to life in prison.
The Saskatchewan government eventually issued Milgaard a formal apology and awarded him a $10-million compensation package.
Milgaard shared the money with his family because he said they suffered, too.
The compensation package allowed his older sister and brother to go back to school, his baby sister to buy a house and his father to finally retire, at age 69.
“My whole family, as far as I’m concerned, were in prison, just like I was,” he told the Star in 1993. “They deserve compensation.”
Ron Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, said Milgaard could have “turned inward and been very soured on life, but he didn’t let that happen.”
He could have walked away from his advocacy after clearing his name, but he “chose to look over his shoulder at the people left behind, the people who were going through suffering,” said Dalton, who was wrongfully convicted and later exonerated in his wife’s death more than 30 years ago.
Milgaard hurt his parole chances by escaping twice — once, for two months in 1980, when he lived in Toronto selling encyclopedias.
He was shot during one escape attempt.
He also attempted escape through suicide.
At the time of his trial in 1970, the Crown argued that Milgaard raped and knifed Miller to death in a purse-snatching gone wildly awry, after the youth from Langenburg, Sask., pulled into Saskatoon early one morning looking for a friend’s home.
Milgaard didn’t know Miller or Fisher.
Fisher was sentenced to 13 years in prison in December 1971, after being convicted on two counts of rape in Winnipeg, and three counts of rape and one of indecent assault in Saskatoon.
By that time, Milgaard had already spent two years behind bars.
Nine years later, on Jan. 6, 1980, Fisher was released on parole and living under the custody of his mother in North Battleford, Sask.
On March 31, 1980, Fisher was charged with the rape of his mother’s neighbour.
Milgaard constantly stressed that Fisher deserved a fair shake from the justice system that wrongfully convicted him.
There was a public inquiry into his wrongful conviction, beginning in January 2005.
In Milgaard’s later years, he helped to raise awareness about wrongful convictions and demanded action on the way Canadian courts review convictions.
“I think it’s important for everybody, not just lawyers, but for the public itself to be aware that wrongful convictions are taking place and that these people are sitting right now behind bars and they’re trying to get out,” Milgaard said in 2015.
“The policies that are keeping them there need to be changed. The wrongful conviction review process is failing all of us miserably.”
Lockyer, Milgaard’s former lawyer, said the two met with Justice Minister David Lametti just over two years ago in Ottawa to push for the creation of an independent body to review claims of wrongful convictions.
Lockyer said it’s up to Lametti to “get moving” on creating the commission.
“They owe it to David Milgaard and they owe it to the wrongly convicted across Canada.”
After Milgaard’s release, he married a woman who had grown up in Saskatoon, once believing that Milgaard was a killer.
He had a special arrangement with his wife. When he needed to get away, he simply left, but let her know so that she didn’t worry.

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Josh Anderson leads Canada past Italy at men’s world hockey championship – Sportsnet.ca

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  2. Highlights | Italy vs. Canada| 2022 #IIHFWorlds  IIHF Worlds 2022
  3. Canada looks strong early at men’s hockey worlds, routing Italy for 2nd win  CBC Sports
  4. Canada wins Sunday matinee  IIHF
  5. US edges Austria in OT, Canada routs Italy at hockey worlds  Toronto Star
  6. View Full coverage on Google News