Ongoing History Daily: The Lumineers’ name issues

Finding a name for your band is hard and it can take forever to come up with the right one. Sometimes, though, fate can intervene.

The two primary members of The Lumineers have always been Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. When they first started playing gigs around New York City, they used a variety of names like Free Beer, 6Cheek, and the very basic Wesley Jeremiah. Nothing was working, including all the music they were trying to make.

Then one night before another crappy club show in New Jersey, the emcee made a mistake. Another band called “The Lumineers” was scheduled to play at that same venue in a week. The emcees introduced Schultz and Fraites as “The Lumineers.”

The name stuck—and no one seems to know what happened to the band who originally had that name.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Beck’s family

We’re all familiar with the career and music of Beck, but his family has some pretty interesting history, too. His father is David Campbell, a composer and arranged—born in Toronto, by the way—who has appeared on nearly 500 gold and platinum albums, including records by Muse, Evanescence, Rush, Garth Brooks, and Harry Styles. And yes, he has done work on Beck’s records.

His mom was an actress who used to hang out with Andy Warhol’s crowd in the 1960s. She hung out with The Velvet Underground and later can be seen as a dancer in the Brian De Palma film, Phantom of the Paradise.

His grandfather on his father’s side was born in Winnipeg and was a Presbyterian minister. And the grandfather on his mother’s side is Al Hansen, a big part of the avant-garde Fluxus art moment in the 1960s, and he hung out with Yoko Ono.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Umlaut bands

Anyone who has made their way through the world of rock over the last 50 years has come across umlaut bands. These are groups who spell their name with two dots randomly placed above a letter or two. That’s an “umlaut,” a type of accent mark that was originally used in languages like German to signify how certain vowels should sound.

In the case of rock band names, the use of umlauts (or “rock dots,” as some people call them) is pretty much entirely gratuitous. It just looks cool, evil, and heavy. There’s Mötorhead, Mötley Crue, Spinal Tap (over the “n” which can’t be found in Word), The Accüsed, Green Jellÿ, and a bunch of others.

But who was the first band to use the rock dots? It appears to have been Blue Öyster Cult back in about 1970 when they were on a mission to become America’s version of Black Sabbath. The umlaut looked cool and mysterious, promising some kind of hidden power. It worked and it stuck.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Crime is on the rise: Here's where crime has increased in Winnipeg

Record homicide numbers, violent crime statistics not seen since 2009, higher numbers of youth offences and increased property crime: the Winnipeg Police Service’s annual statistical report paints a grim picture of crime in the city.

The service saw 22,433 emergency dispatches last year – a record high for the city, WPS data analyst David Bowman said in a presentation Tuesday morning.

Dispatches are ranked on a scale from zero to nine based on the severity of the call, with zero being of utmost concern. Emergency dispatches fall between zero and two.

Violent crime numbers were up 19 per cent from 2021, while property crimes were up 32 per cent. Drug crimes decreased by 21 per cent, making for an overall increase in criminal activity of 25 per cent.

The figures put Winnipeg in the number three spot for total crime severity on a national scale, behind Lethbridge, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C., and second in violent crime severity, with Regina taking the top spot.

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacted criminal activities, comparing 2022 with 2019 statistics only saw an approximately four per cent increase, with minimal increases in all categories, Bowman said.

However, violent crime was the exception.

Crimes involving the use of bear spray doubled since 2019, while robberies were up by 26 per cent since 2021 and sexual assaults saw an increase of 21 per cent. Arson numbers declined by 15 per cent year over year.

Chief Danny Smyth called the numbers “of serious concern” in the annual report, but later said a pandemic low in crime rates skews the figures.

“We were all at home during the pandemic, the opportunities for property crimes were less during the pandemic because somebody was always around. People are back and away from their homes and it provides opportunity,” he told Global News’ Marney Blunt.

Bowman cited break and enters, motor vehicle theft and shoplifting under $5,000 as the main drivers of property crime. The most common type of stolen item was found to be catalytic converters, the report said.

The Manitoba Home Builders Association said the increased number of property crimes is no surprise, as it’s seeing increased thefts on its job sites and elsewhere.

“It is escalating,” Lanny McInnes, president and CEO of the association, told 680 CJOB’s The Start.

Builders and contractors are finding offenders will loot show homes for fixtures and carpets.

“In some cases where our members are now putting bars on the basement windows in their show homes.”

Robberies involving youth increased over 95 per cent from 2021, while homicides involving youth spiked 85 per cent over the five-year average to 13.

Smyth said the record number of slayings seen in 2022 is taxing on police resources, which didn’t see a net increase in manpower over the year.

“When we saw a spike in the ’90s, we saw an increase in resources to reflect that. During my time as chief, we’re down about 100 officers from where we were,” he said.

The clearance rate for homicides sits at just over 80 per cent, Bowman said, with an overall rate of clearance for violent crime at 55 per cent.

Bowman noted 14 per cent of violent crimes couldn’t be solved due to the victim’s unwillingness to participate in investigations.

Offenders on bail accounted for one in five crimes in the report.

— with files from Global News’ Marney Blunt

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Beloved school bus driver, dedicated Ontario police officer mourned following fatal crash

A school bus driver and an Ontario Provincial Police officer are being remembered as dedicated professionals and family men a day after they were killed in a two-vehicle collision north of Woodstock.

An obituary for David Stewart, 71, describes him as a loving husband of 47 years, father of four, proud grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of two.

In a GoFundMe set up to help pay for funeral costs, many messages of condolences have been shared by friends and co-workers, as well as families of the kids he drove to school.

“Dave was such a wonderful man and amazing bus driver for our kids,” read one message. “We will miss him and his daily smiles and greetings dearly.”

After retiring as a mechanic, Stewart had been driving school buses for 12 years, a profession he loved, according to his obituary. And while loving Nascar, NFL and fishing, the obituary says family was everything to Stewart.

“He was greatly loved, and he will be greatly missed.”

A parent whose child was driven to school by Stewart told Global News he was a great man that was loved by all students in his care.

A few hours following the early morning collision, the OPP identified the officer involved as Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau, 35, of Perth County OPP.

“We are deeply saddened over this tragic incident, as two families mourn the loss of their loved ones. I offer my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues affected,” OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique stated.

Tourangeau served in the Huron-Perth Community Street Crime Unit and was on duty at the time of the incident, according to the Police Association of Ontario.

According to a GoFundMe organized for Tourangeau’s family, he was a married father of three young boys, a brother and an uncle.

Police associations and departments from across Ontario have offered tributes since his death.

In a tweet, the Brantford Police Service offered their “deepest condolences” to Tourangeau’s family as well as to the “family and loved ones of the civilian who died in the collision.”

Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw also posted a note on Twitter,  offering “heartfelt condolences to all members of the Ontario Provincial Police and to the families, friends and communities impacted by these tragic deaths.”

Police say at around 7 a.m. Monday, an unmarked police cruiser and school bus collided at the intersection of Highway 59 and Oxford County Road 33.

No children were aboard the school bus at the time, and Tourangeau and Stewart were the lone occupants of the vehicles.

What caused the collision is still under investigation. The London Police Service is leading the investigation, using resources from their department alongside the OPP. Evidence from the scene is being analyzed, said a spokesperson for London police.

The location where the collision occurred has been known to be dangerous, with East Zorra-Tavistock Mayor Phil Schaefer telling Global News there have been a “fair number” of collisions at the intersection just in the past year.

Schaefer says the intersection is slated to have significant improvements done in June. The intersection will become an all-way stop with overhead flashing lights, rumble strips and a reduction in speed limit 500 metres out from the stop signs.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Many landlords are losing out amid higher mortgage rates. Why renters should care

Young landlords have benefited from red-hot rental markets across Canada, and until the last year, low costs on mortgages. But now, many are struggling to cover higher borrowing costs and are rethinking their investment. Anne Gaviola reports on why current interest rates are squeezing real estate investors.

Many renters in some of Canada’s biggest cities have already been paying record-high amounts to their landlords as of late, but a new report suggests pressure facing real estate investors might ratchet up the pain in the rental market in the coming years.

The report, released Monday from CIBC and Urbanation, shows that for a majority of real estate investors in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the business case for their rental properties is falling apart. Industry observers say similar pressures are being felt in other major cities like Vancouver.

While tenants might have little sympathy for the landlords who, in many cases, have been rapidly raising their monthly rents in recent months, experts who spoke to Global News say investors are critical to the supply of units in the rental market.

With investor demand for new builds potentially dampening, renters could face even steeper costs in the year ahead, says Urbanation’s Shaun Hildebrand, one of the authors of this week’s report.

Urbanation and CIBC found that, for the first time since it undertook the annual study in 2017, the majority of investors (52 per cent) in the GTA were cash flow negative for their properties in 2022.

What that means is that the income generated by rents didn’t cover off the owner’s mortgage, property taxes and condo fees, and the investor likely loses money on a month-to-month basis.

Hildebrand says while Urbanation’s formal probe into these questions only began in 2017, last year was likely the first time in the “modern era” of condo investing over the past two decades or so that most investors started to see negative cash flows.

He tells Global News there was one fundamental shift in the market that led most investors to swing to a loss: the Bank of Canada’s rapid rise in interest rates, which has seen borrowing costs soar for many mortgage holders.

A Royal LePage survey published last week showed that nearly one in three investors are considering selling off a property amid higher interest rates.

While 2022 marked a tough year for Toronto’s investors, Hildebrand expects 2023 has been even worse so far.

Investors typically agree to purchase property at market prices when they buy and pay that price a few years later when the unit is completed. The hope is that property values rise over the course of the construction period, and that an investor ends up paying below market value and renting the unit at today’s rates, netting them a solid cash flow.

But with a steady housing correction over the past year and rising interest rates, and investors taking out mortgages today on properties they agreed to buy at the market’s peak, Hildebrand says the business case is much harder to square.

At this point, most renters might be calling foul, as rent prices have surged across Canada in recent years at the same time as landlords adjust to higher interest rates. data for April showed average rents in Canada were just over $2,000 monthly last month, up nearly 10 per cent year over year and 20 per cent from the pandemic low in April 2021. Ontario saw the steepest annual rent inflation last month, up 16.7 per cent year over year to an average of $2,421; British Columbia’s increase was the lowest for any province at 5.6 per cent.

While Hildebrand acknowledges rents have risen quickly to offset the pain facing landlords with variable-rate mortgages or those renewing their fixed terms, it simply hasn’t been enough to sustain the business model for most, he says.

“Even with rents reaching all-time highs and then rising extremely quickly over the last couple of years, unfortunately it hasn’t been enough to offset those ownership costs,” he says.

Investors being confident that they can profit off of their properties isn’t just a concern for them — it matters for the health of the rental markets in Canada’s biggest cities, experts say.

Rental investors account for nearly three of every five condo units built in Toronto from 2016 to 2020, up 20 percentage points from a decade earlier, according to Statistics Canada. For Vancouver, the rental investors account for almost half of all condo builds with a similar increase over the timeframes.

The Urbanation-CIBC report says investors are crucial for Toronto’s rental supply, with a lack of purpose-built rentals to accommodate renters in the GTA.

“Investor demand is therefore of critical importance for the supply outlook – if investors aren’t buying, developers aren’t building,” the report reads.

Hildebrand says that if investors are turned off from the pre-construction market as their cash flows worsen, they might be less keen to put money down on new builds or could sell off their existing properties.

Most investors buy pre-construction rather than from the resale market, according to Urbanation, meaning if an investor sells, that property is likely going to enter the ownership market.

While that might be welcome news for buyers struggling to break into Toronto’s expensive housing market, Hildebrand doesn’t think there will be a flood of investor properties up for grabs that would meaningfully boost supply and lower prices in the city.

“The bigger issue that it will have is an increase in rents because there’s going to be a restriction in the amount of supply. And unfortunately this is going to cause further affordability issues for renters,” he says.

It’s not just a problem in Toronto, either. Andy Yan, director of the city program at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, says Vancouver landlords are “very much so” facing similar pressures to their Toronto counterparts.

The “secondary market,” which Yan says includes condos and other units rented out in an owner’s home, now makes up the bulk of Vancouver rentals as well.

Both Yan and Hildebrand say there are not enough purpose-built rental apartments in the construction pipeline to offset a possible drop in investor-driven activity.

“Purpose-built for rental housing hasn’t necessarily caught up with the demand for rental housing across the country,” Yan says.

“There is now profound pressure in our rental market.”

Thomas Davidoff, real estate economics professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, tells Global News that while the business case for investors has worsened in recent years, in the long run, it has been and should continue to be strong.

Constrained housing supply in both the rental and ownership markets of Vancouver has kept upward pressure on rents, Davidoff says. Those who have been able to hold on to their properties in the long term, as property values and rents rise, are likely making “fantastic returns,” he says.

Tenants who are unable to keep pace with higher borrowing costs in Canada’s most expensive markets are therefore likely to be stuck in the increasingly crowded rental market, Davidoff says, which is expected to keep ratcheting up the pressure on rents and improving the business case for investors.

“That means you’ve got affluent people who’d like to get into the ownership market unable to do so and are put into the rental pool, which is lousy for the people competing with them,” Davidoff says. “But great for landlords.”

As investors’ business models deteriorate in the short term, however, experts such as Yan and Hildebrand say there will be a reckoning for renters.

Yan says much of the pressure is going to come from Ottawa’s lofty immigration targets. Canada welcomed a record number newcomers in 2022, with urban centres acting as major immigration hubs for the country.

Yan says newcomers are more likely to rent than own when they first arrive in Canada and are set to face “tremendous challenges” between rental rates in the cores of big cities or transportation costs to commute to their jobs from further afield.

Immigrants come to Canada “to really start their Canadian dreams,” he tells Global News.

“And the fact of the matter is we’re exposing now them to the Canadian housing nightmare.”

Hildebrand says there’s an “intention” from larger, institutional investors to build more rental housing in Canada, but the high interest rate environment and cost pressures in the development process are turning them off.

Governments at every level will have to take a look at where they can address the pain points, Hildebrand argues, whether it be through reducing fees, taxation, or speeding approval processes or allowing for greater density in cities to sweeten the business case in the near term.

“It’s not just individual mom-and-pop condo investors that are seeing challenging times to buy and hold rental investment. It’s the larger institutional organizations as well,” he says.

“And if they aren’t building, we’re going to end up with a significant supply gap.”

— with files from Global News’ Anne Gaviola

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Waterloo Catholic school board won't hold byelection to fill vacancy

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board did not finalize plans during its trustee meeting on Monday night to fill the open trustee role.

A spokesperson for the board told Global News the trustees are seeking further legal counsel on how to proceed.

It will not be holding a byelection to replace Wendy Ashby, who announced that she was resigning two weeks ago after a controversial few months in office.

Ashby came to the forefront after a tweet of hers began to circulate around the internet. She has since deleted her account but police were called to a recent school board meeting to deal with protesters calling for her removal.

Screen captures that show Ashby’s now-deleted tweet reveal that it said, “the most dangerous creature on the planet is the white Christian male.”

She then issued an apology while the WCDSB moved to distance itself from her while also noting that it was launching a formal review of her actions.

At the same time, the board also announced it would be conducting an investigation into the incident.

The controversy continued as Ashby said she had been harassed and bullied by those with opposing viewpoints when she announced she stepping down.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Carnival cruise quickly turns into nightmare as boat rocked by raging storm

Cruise ship Carnival Sunshine was rocked by a storm on May 26, delaying its return to Charleston, S.C., and frightening passengers and crew. Video taken from the ship and posted to Twitter shows water and objects flowing down interior hallways.

It was a terrifying scene aboard a cruise ship late last week, when a huge storm rocked a Carnival Cruise Line vessel, delaying the ship’s return to port and leaving passengers frightened for their lives.

The boat, Carnival Sunshine, was returning to Charleston, S.C., on Friday, May 26, when it encountered a storm.

Torrential rains caused the boat’s hallways to flood with water and the boat’s furniture was flung around inside the ship by the rough conditions of the sea.

The cruise ship was returning after a six-day cruise of the Bahamas and Carnival confirmed the storm delayed the boat’s return to port and it arrived about nine hours behind schedule.

“Carnival Sunshine’s return to Charleston was impacted by the weather and rough seas on Saturday,” Carnival said in a statement. ”The weather’s prolonged impact on the Charleston area delayed the ship’s arrival on Sunday and as a result, the next voyage’s embarkation was also delayed.”

Video and photos taken by passengers show water sluicing through hallways, retail display areas strewn with debris that fell from shelves, broken glass, doors knocked from their frames and huge waves smashing against the side of the vessel.

“It was terrifying,” passenger William B. Blackburn told CNN of the nightmare experience, saying he and his family took shelter in their cabin and prayed.

“(We) discussed the fact that it would be very unlikely to survive in the water even with life-jackets and doubted that lifeboats could even be launched in those conditions,” he said.

Sharon Tutrone, a passenger and professor at Coastal Carolina University, shared on Twitter that the cruise ship “didn’t wait it out.”

“We sailed right into (the storm) and spent 11 hours pitching, diving, and rolling,” she said.

In a followup tweet, she added that the ordeal lasted for 14 hours and, at one point, “the ship took a hit from a wave that sounded like the ship split in two.”

Another traveller, Daniel Taylor, told The Daily Mail he went to check out the onboard entertainment after the captain announced they would be charting through a storm.

“Stage lights mounted on the ceiling began to shake, the disco ball started swinging and the LED wall on the stage began rolling side by side on its own.”

In an additional statement to FOX Weather, Carnival said that “the weather and rough surf led to some crew cabins being temporarily taken out of service while we clean up water damage. All the public areas of the ship are open and in service and Carnival Sunshine is currently operating its next cruise, a five-day Bahamas sailing.”

As of this writing, there are no reports of any major injuries to passengers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Calgary police introduce hotline for sex workers to report abusive customers

BC is leading the way in launching a 'bad date' reporting system. Lyra McKee of the PACE Society explains what that is and how it works.

Calgary police have a new way for sex workers to report violence and other safety concerns.

Called the Bad Date Line, it allows those in the sex trade to report harmful, violent or abusive customers.

A dedicated phone number and email address are available for people to report information to police in a less formalized way.

Police say the information will not be used to target sex workers and will instead be used to investigate perpetrators.

The move comes after police arrested and charged a man with kidnapping and sexually assaulting women in Calgary’s sex trade.

Police said several women allege they were approached by a man, then drugged and taken to another location, where they were physically and sexually assaulted.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Toronto man charged after Montreal woman brought into sex trade: police

A man has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Toronto.

Toronto police said in November 2022, officers launched a human trafficking investigation after a woman from Montreal was allegedly recruited and brought to Toronto to work in the sex trade.

Police said through the use of “deception and coercion,” the woman was allegedly sex trafficked over a five-day period at “numerous” adult entertainment clubs in the Toronto-area.

“All of the money earned throughout the trafficking period was turned over,” police said in a news release.

Officers said the woman escaped the situation and contacted police.

On May 15, a 38-year-old Toronto man was arrested.

Officers said he has been charged with trafficking in persons by exercising control, trafficking in persons by recruiting, financial or material benefit of trafficking of a person over 18, procuring or exercising control and material benefit from sexual services.

The accused was scheduled to appear in court on May 15.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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