The number of flu cases continues to spike across Canada, suggesting the peak of the season could still be weeks off. Infectious-disease experts describe this influenza season as “unusual,” citing the mix of two strains that are dominating this year’s flu epidemic. Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario says the dominant influenza A strain still out there, but it’s mixing with the much earlier-than-usual circulation of a B strain.
Provincial police says 587 motorists were charged with impaired driving during its annual festive RIDE campaign. The O-P-P says another 366 drivers were issued suspensions and had their licence suspended for having a blood alcohol level between point-zero-five and point-zero-eight. That’s an improvement over last year when 623 drivers were charged and 407 warn range suspensions were issued. Provincial police say 44 people died on O-P-P-patrolled roads in drug and alcohol-related collisions last year.
A P-C critic is accusing the Liberal government of making business the bogeyman in a public debate over the minimum wage. The Ontario government says it’s going to crack down on companies that break labour laws while trying to offset the costs of a higher minimum wage. N-D-P Leader Andrea Horwath says her party has been pushing for a 15-dollar minimum wage for years and the Liberals should have started making increases long ago. Ontario’s minimum wage increased on January 1st from $11.60 anhour to 14 dollars and is set to rise again to 15 dollars in 2019.
Former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle is due back in an Ottawa court next week after a brief video appearance on a string of assault charges. It remains unclear when a bail hearing will take place for Boyle, who was arrested by Ottawa police late last month. He faces 15 charges, including eight counts of assault, two of sexual assault, two of unlawful confinement and one count of causing someone to take a noxious thing. The couple, and the three children they had during their five years in captivity, were freed by Pakistani forces in October.