Rick's Top 5
5. REDBLACKS Home Opener
After years of political squabbling, planning and construction, today is Touchdown Day for a revitalized football stadium and a reincarnated CFL franchise in Ottawa. Tonight, the Ottawa REDBLACKS will take to their new home-field for the first time in front of a sold out crowd. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group says it’s ready to welcome an enthusiastic fan base to a stadium that will surely earn a quick reputation as among the most beautiful and accommodating homes in the CFL. Other portions of Landsdowne Park are still under construction but we are assured the stadium is ready for football tonight and - this weekend - the Ottawa Fury professional soccer team. Fans are being encouraged to leave the car at home and walk, jog, bike or take advantage of a network of shuttle buses set up for the occasion. Please check the REDBLACKS website for bus times and locations before you head out.
4. Shark Stunt Earns A Scolding
Premier Kathleen Wynne is scolding Bell Media for a marketing stunt that left some people wondering if the waters of Lake Ontario had been invaded by sharks. The stunt involved a fake video that purported to show a young fisherman catching more than he bargained for while fishing off a wharf on Wolfe Island, near Kingston. The video caused a sensation when it went viral on the Internet and even prompted Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro to warn people to stay safe and report any shark sightings. Bell Media later admitted it created the video to promote the Discovery Chanel’s scheduled Shark Week. Wynne suggested people should more common sense when considering marketing stunts that might actually scare people.
3. Duffy Charged
An RCMP probe into the activities of Mike Duffy will have far reaching consequences for the suspended Conservative senator and possibly for the party and the prime minister who appointed him. The RCMP laid out a breathtaking array of 31 criminal charges against the popular former TV journalist yesterday, alleging numerous cases of expense claims fraud, illegal contracting and bribery. The inevitable trial -- almost certain to be sensational -- could land amidst next year’s general election, a worrisome prospect for a prime minister who has been anxious to distance his party and government from the man who was previously seen as a prized catch when appointed to the Senate six years ago. The RCMP said its investigation began with a request to look into a questionable expense claim but it soon took them down other avenues, specifically:
- Claims related to costs for a secondary residence Ottawa;
- Expense claims for travel and partisan reasons that had nothing to do with his Senate work;
- Consulting contracts awarded over a four-year period for which Duffy is accused to have, among other things, benefited personally
- And lastly, allegations of accepting a bribe in taking $90,000 from then Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Nigel Wright, to repay residency expense claims.
In a preview of his planned line of defence, Duffy’s lawyer Don Bayne has questioned how his client could be charged for taking a bribe when the person who wrote the cheque is not charged. Speaking for his client, Bayne said Duffy is innocent of any criminal wrong-doing, an assertion he says will be supported by a mountain of evidence. Duffy is scheduled to appear in court September 16, the day after Parliament resumes after a summer break.
2. Boots on the Ground in Gaza
Israel troops and tanked poured into Gaza late yesterday in a ground offensive intended to root out Hamas rocket-launching sites. The move followed 10 days of aerial bombardment that had failed to quell rocket fire that has left large portions of Israel under siege. There is speculation the primary objective of the ground offensive is to destroy tunnels constructed by Hamas to sneak heavily-armed Palestinian fighters into Israel. Whatever the plan, it marked a dangerous new chapter in the fast growing crisis and came following a brief humanitarian ceasefire intended to allow medical and other relief for an embattled civilian population. Israel claimed it had no other option but to launch the ground offensive after what it claimed was the refusal of Hamas to accept multiple offers to de-escalate the situation.
1. Passenger Jet Shot Down Over Ukraine
Rescue workers are combing through the debris of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet strewn across a wide area of eastern Ukraine this morning. They are searching for the remains of 298 passengers and crew and for clues that might confirm widely held accusations the aircraft had been shot down by an anti-aircraft missile fired, allegedly, by Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels. The disaster adds to a growing crisis as Ukraine accuses the Russians of culpability for arming rebels with such weaponry. Russian President Vladimir Putin has vehemently rejected the accusations and blamed Ukraine for the downing, saying it was responsible for the growing unrest in Russian speaking regions of the country. U.S. authorities say they have evidence that a surface-to air missile was responsible but at this point were not certain who fired it.The majority of dead are reported to be Dutch. One Canadian is reported to have been among the nearly 300 dead.
Coming up today on Madely in the Morning:
7:10 The latest breaking news from Gaza and Kiev, Ukraine
7:15 CFRA's Sarah Anderson at TD Place
7:40 Rick's Top 5 with CTV News Channel's Don Martin, host of Power Play
7:55 The News Challenge Contest. You could win:
- A $25 gift certificate for Tinseltown, Ottawa's year round Christmas store.
- A $50 gift card for St. Hubert BBQ Restaurant
8:10 Your Weekend Entertainment Guide
8:20 Mayor Jim Watson
8:40 CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon
Coming up today on CFRA:
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Late Night Counsell
It's Friday Frenzy! John Counsell is your Master of Ceremonies for the best radio trivia game in Ottawa.