Tag Archive: points

Toronto wins 2015 Pan Am Games

November 16, 2009

Panamgames

Finally, Toronto is a winner, awarded the 2015 Pan Am Games on a first-ballot vote Friday.

The victory seems all the more sweet since the city and region have lost two Olympic bids, two Commonwealth Games bids in Hamilton and couldn’t even get a bid for the world expo off the ground.

“Our commitment, our pledge, our undertaking, our promise is to provide you with the best Pan Am Games ever,” Premier Dalton McGuinty told delegates assembled for the announcement.

“It’s an exciting time for so many of us here.”

Although Toronto’s bid backers arrived in Mexico this week both hopeful and optimistic, arguing the city had the best technical bid, organizers were reluctant to talk about a win – fearing it might jinx our chances.

Organizers took nothing for granted from offering Canadian treats like ice cream to voting delegates of the Pan American Sports Organization to running rehearsal after rehearsal for the final presentation.

And Toronto put on an upbeat, glitzy show that opened with athletes – gymnasts, volleyball players and a tennis player – bouncing into the hotel ballroom, followed by the 60-person strong delegation led by McGuinty.

Interspersed throughout the hour-long presentation were videos from athletes across the Western hemisphere emphasizing the benefits of Toronto including the world’s fastest man, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who was in town last summer.

The final video was a moving tale of what might be – youngsters from across the Americas and Caribbean – training and growing up to compete in Toronto in 2015.

Toronto’s presentation drew much applause – unlike Bogota’s and Lima’s which were more formal and featured wrap-up speeches from both their presidents – Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe and Peru’s Alan Garcia.

Politicians who spoke for Toronto’s bid – which is actually a southern Ontario bid stretching from St. Catharines to Oshawa to Barrie – included McGuinty, Mayor David Miller and federal sports minister Gary Lunn.

The $2.4 billion bid – which includes $1 billion for the athletes village in the West Donlands that will include a component of affordable housing after the games – include funding commitments from Ottawa, Queen’s Park and participating municipalities. Ontario is promising to cover any deficits.

The two-week games, held every four years, and open to athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean, will bring badly needed sports infrastructure to the region.

Toronto will get a new aquatics centre with two 50-metre pools and a separate diving tank plus a high-performance sports training facility at the U of T’s Scarborough campus.

Hamilton is a big winner with a new track and field stadium that will be used by the Tiger-Cats and a new indoor velodrome.

But bid chair David Peterson always insisted the games were about much more than just sport.

Winning the games helps Toronto shed its “loser mentality,” but the games give governments a firm deadline to complete promised projects including transit improvements like the rail link to the Pearson airport.

Lima played the sentimental card – arguing that Peru had never hosted before, and Canada has already had the games twice before in Winnipeg in 1967 and 1999, so it was their turn. Some delegates reportedly said Lima’s organizers were pulling hard on the heart strings.

But in the end, it may have been problems with the 2011 games in Guadalajara that helped put Toronto over the edge. Construction has not even begun on some of the venues, especially the all-important athletes’ village, and organizers were ordered this week to put up a multi-million dollar performance bond to ensure work gets under way.

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Toronto wins 2015 Pan Am Games

November 16, 2009

Panamgames

Finally, Toronto is a winner, awarded the 2015 Pan Am Games on a first-ballot vote Friday.

The victory seems all the more sweet since the city and region have lost two Olympic bids, two Commonwealth Games bids in Hamilton and couldn’t even get a bid for the world expo off the ground.

“Our commitment, our pledge, our undertaking, our promise is to provide you with the best Pan Am Games ever,” Premier Dalton McGuinty told delegates assembled for the announcement.

“It’s an exciting time for so many of us here.”

Although Toronto’s bid backers arrived in Mexico this week both hopeful and optimistic, arguing the city had the best technical bid, organizers were reluctant to talk about a win – fearing it might jinx our chances.

Organizers took nothing for granted from offering Canadian treats like ice cream to voting delegates of the Pan American Sports Organization to running rehearsal after rehearsal for the final presentation.

And Toronto put on an upbeat, glitzy show that opened with athletes – gymnasts, volleyball players and a tennis player – bouncing into the hotel ballroom, followed by the 60-person strong delegation led by McGuinty.

Interspersed throughout the hour-long presentation were videos from athletes across the Western hemisphere emphasizing the benefits of Toronto including the world’s fastest man, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who was in town last summer.

The final video was a moving tale of what might be – youngsters from across the Americas and Caribbean – training and growing up to compete in Toronto in 2015.

Toronto’s presentation drew much applause – unlike Bogota’s and Lima’s which were more formal and featured wrap-up speeches from both their presidents – Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe and Peru’s Alan Garcia.

Politicians who spoke for Toronto’s bid – which is actually a southern Ontario bid stretching from St. Catharines to Oshawa to Barrie – included McGuinty, Mayor David Miller and federal sports minister Gary Lunn.

The $2.4 billion bid – which includes $1 billion for the athletes village in the West Donlands that will include a component of affordable housing after the games – include funding commitments from Ottawa, Queen’s Park and participating municipalities. Ontario is promising to cover any deficits.

The two-week games, held every four years, and open to athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean, will bring badly needed sports infrastructure to the region.

Toronto will get a new aquatics centre with two 50-metre pools and a separate diving tank plus a high-performance sports training facility at the U of T’s Scarborough campus.

Hamilton is a big winner with a new track and field stadium that will be used by the Tiger-Cats and a new indoor velodrome.

But bid chair David Peterson always insisted the games were about much more than just sport.

Winning the games helps Toronto shed its “loser mentality,” but the games give governments a firm deadline to complete promised projects including transit improvements like the rail link to the Pearson airport.

Lima played the sentimental card – arguing that Peru had never hosted before, and Canada has already had the games twice before in Winnipeg in 1967 and 1999, so it was their turn. Some delegates reportedly said Lima’s organizers were pulling hard on the heart strings.

But in the end, it may have been problems with the 2011 games in Guadalajara that helped put Toronto over the edge. Construction has not even begun on some of the venues, especially the all-important athletes’ village, and organizers were ordered this week to put up a multi-million dollar performance bond to ensure work gets under way.

SOCIALIZE with Abrams & Krochak

Toronto wins 2015 Pan Am Games

November 16, 2009

Panamgames

Finally, Toronto is a winner, awarded the 2015 Pan Am Games on a first-ballot vote Friday.

The victory seems all the more sweet since the city and region have lost two Olympic bids, two Commonwealth Games bids in Hamilton and couldn’t even get a bid for the world expo off the ground.

“Our commitment, our pledge, our undertaking, our promise is to provide you with the best Pan Am Games ever,” Premier Dalton McGuinty told delegates assembled for the announcement.

“It’s an exciting time for so many of us here.”

Although Toronto’s bid backers arrived in Mexico this week both hopeful and optimistic, arguing the city had the best technical bid, organizers were reluctant to talk about a win – fearing it might jinx our chances.

Organizers took nothing for granted from offering Canadian treats like ice cream to voting delegates of the Pan American Sports Organization to running rehearsal after rehearsal for the final presentation.

And Toronto put on an upbeat, glitzy show that opened with athletes – gymnasts, volleyball players and a tennis player – bouncing into the hotel ballroom, followed by the 60-person strong delegation led by McGuinty.

Interspersed throughout the hour-long presentation were videos from athletes across the Western hemisphere emphasizing the benefits of Toronto including the world’s fastest man, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who was in town last summer.

The final video was a moving tale of what might be – youngsters from across the Americas and Caribbean – training and growing up to compete in Toronto in 2015.

Toronto’s presentation drew much applause – unlike Bogota’s and Lima’s which were more formal and featured wrap-up speeches from both their presidents – Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe and Peru’s Alan Garcia.

Politicians who spoke for Toronto’s bid – which is actually a southern Ontario bid stretching from St. Catharines to Oshawa to Barrie – included McGuinty, Mayor David Miller and federal sports minister Gary Lunn.

The $2.4 billion bid – which includes $1 billion for the athletes village in the West Donlands that will include a component of affordable housing after the games – include funding commitments from Ottawa, Queen’s Park and participating municipalities. Ontario is promising to cover any deficits.

The two-week games, held every four years, and open to athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean, will bring badly needed sports infrastructure to the region.

Toronto will get a new aquatics centre with two 50-metre pools and a separate diving tank plus a high-performance sports training facility at the U of T’s Scarborough campus.

Hamilton is a big winner with a new track and field stadium that will be used by the Tiger-Cats and a new indoor velodrome.

But bid chair David Peterson always insisted the games were about much more than just sport.

Winning the games helps Toronto shed its “loser mentality,” but the games give governments a firm deadline to complete promised projects including transit improvements like the rail link to the Pearson airport.

Lima played the sentimental card – arguing that Peru had never hosted before, and Canada has already had the games twice before in Winnipeg in 1967 and 1999, so it was their turn. Some delegates reportedly said Lima’s organizers were pulling hard on the heart strings.

But in the end, it may have been problems with the 2011 games in Guadalajara that helped put Toronto over the edge. Construction has not even begun on some of the venues, especially the all-important athletes’ village, and organizers were ordered this week to put up a multi-million dollar performance bond to ensure work gets under way.

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Indian police uncover fake Canadian visa scam

November 6, 2009
fake visascam
Anil Kumar allegedly heads a ring that may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000.
TORONTO STAR/NEW DELHI POLICE
New Delhi – Indian police say they have cracked a ring of criminals who conspired to operate one of the biggest fake visa scams in years involving Canada.
The alleged crooks lurked on the leafy streets outside Canada’s diplomatic mission in New Delhi, as well as in the office of a bogus travel and tourism company in Punjab, a state in northwestern India.
The Star has learned Indian police have made three arrests in New Delhi and two more in Punjab, charging five men with making false documents, passing fake documents as genuine and criminal conspiracy. Police are still searching for at least three others.
The fake visa service charged Indians as much as $21,000 to obtain bogus visas, police said, adding they believe the ring operated through a company called Kaavi Tour and Travels in Chandigarh, Punjab’s capital city.
Documents and files seized by police indicate the ring, allegedly headed by a man named Anil Kumar – who has at least three aliases – may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000. That would make it one of the biggest visa fraud operations police here have exposed in years.
“People in Punjab are so desperate to get to Canada for work, that’s why they fall into this,” New Delhi police sub-inspector M.P.
Saini said.
Canadian High Commission staff say privately that immigration consultants such as Kumar continue to be a vexing problem. Immigration agents are not regulated and the business has become huge, particularly in Chandigarh, where Canada is the only foreign country with a visa-granting office.
“This latest one is big,” said a Western diplomat familiar with the Kumar case. “It’s a huge ball of yarn. We keep unwinding it and finding more leads to more victims and more crooks.”
New Delhi police said they learned about Kumar’s alleged criminal operation on Oct. 13 when a 22-year-old Punjabi man named Sukhdeep Singh filed a complaint, saying that he and three relatives had been fleeced out of $32,000.
In late August, Singh went to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to apply for a visa to Canada. He said a man named Sandeep Kaul approached him on the street outside the high commission and told him he could guarantee Singh a visa for
$16,000.
Singh and three relatives paid Kaul a collective $32,000 – half his asking price of $64,000 – in advance. A day later, Kaul filed
visa applications on behalf of Singh and his relative. When an immigration agent denied those applications, Kaul put Singh and the others in contact with Kumar, the scam’s alleged ringleader in Punjab.
Singh and his relatives were later told Kumar has secured visas for each of them as promised and, indeed, they were given their passports with what appeared to be visas. But Singh learned the visas were fake after taking them to the Canadian mission in Chandigarh to confirm their authenticity.
Instead of paying the remaining $32,000, Singh called police, who set up a sting operation.
Kaul and two other Delhi men, Jassi Khassria and Lakhander Singh, were arrested in New Delhi near the Nehru Park metro station as they waited, police say, for Singh to show up with their money.
Police raided Kaul’s apartment and discovered an embossing machine, colour photocopier, fake income tax returns and school records – one document the Star reviewed was an “Employemant Agreement” with an Alberta company called “IS2 Staffing Services” – that probably would have been used to try to obtain visas.
Police continue to hunt for Kumar.
Roughly 30 visa applications have been linked to Kumar, who used the same mobile phone number as a contact on various applications.
Kaul and the other men have not yet had bail hearings or submitted their pleas.
Their next court appearance is Nov. 14. The five are being held at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail and face at least seven years in prison if convicted.

 

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Indian police uncover fake Canadian visa scam

November 6, 2009
fake visascam
Anil Kumar allegedly heads a ring that may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000.
TORONTO STAR/NEW DELHI POLICE
New Delhi – Indian police say they have cracked a ring of criminals who conspired to operate one of the biggest fake visa scams in years involving Canada.
The alleged crooks lurked on the leafy streets outside Canada’s diplomatic mission in New Delhi, as well as in the office of a bogus travel and tourism company in Punjab, a state in northwestern India.
The Star has learned Indian police have made three arrests in New Delhi and two more in Punjab, charging five men with making false documents, passing fake documents as genuine and criminal conspiracy. Police are still searching for at least three others.
The fake visa service charged Indians as much as $21,000 to obtain bogus visas, police said, adding they believe the ring operated through a company called Kaavi Tour and Travels in Chandigarh, Punjab’s capital city.
Documents and files seized by police indicate the ring, allegedly headed by a man named Anil Kumar – who has at least three aliases – may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000. That would make it one of the biggest visa fraud operations police here have exposed in years.
“People in Punjab are so desperate to get to Canada for work, that’s why they fall into this,” New Delhi police sub-inspector M.P.
Saini said.
Canadian High Commission staff say privately that immigration consultants such as Kumar continue to be a vexing problem. Immigration agents are not regulated and the business has become huge, particularly in Chandigarh, where Canada is the only foreign country with a visa-granting office.
“This latest one is big,” said a Western diplomat familiar with the Kumar case. “It’s a huge ball of yarn. We keep unwinding it and finding more leads to more victims and more crooks.”
New Delhi police said they learned about Kumar’s alleged criminal operation on Oct. 13 when a 22-year-old Punjabi man named Sukhdeep Singh filed a complaint, saying that he and three relatives had been fleeced out of $32,000.
In late August, Singh went to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to apply for a visa to Canada. He said a man named Sandeep Kaul approached him on the street outside the high commission and told him he could guarantee Singh a visa for
$16,000.
Singh and three relatives paid Kaul a collective $32,000 – half his asking price of $64,000 – in advance. A day later, Kaul filed
visa applications on behalf of Singh and his relative. When an immigration agent denied those applications, Kaul put Singh and the others in contact with Kumar, the scam’s alleged ringleader in Punjab.
Singh and his relatives were later told Kumar has secured visas for each of them as promised and, indeed, they were given their passports with what appeared to be visas. But Singh learned the visas were fake after taking them to the Canadian mission in Chandigarh to confirm their authenticity.
Instead of paying the remaining $32,000, Singh called police, who set up a sting operation.
Kaul and two other Delhi men, Jassi Khassria and Lakhander Singh, were arrested in New Delhi near the Nehru Park metro station as they waited, police say, for Singh to show up with their money.
Police raided Kaul’s apartment and discovered an embossing machine, colour photocopier, fake income tax returns and school records – one document the Star reviewed was an “Employemant Agreement” with an Alberta company called “IS2 Staffing Services” – that probably would have been used to try to obtain visas.
Police continue to hunt for Kumar.
Roughly 30 visa applications have been linked to Kumar, who used the same mobile phone number as a contact on various applications.
Kaul and the other men have not yet had bail hearings or submitted their pleas.
Their next court appearance is Nov. 14. The five are being held at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail and face at least seven years in prison if convicted.

 

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Indian police uncover fake Canadian visa scam

November 6, 2009
fake visascam
Anil Kumar allegedly heads a ring that may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000.
TORONTO STAR/NEW DELHI POLICE
New Delhi – Indian police say they have cracked a ring of criminals who conspired to operate one of the biggest fake visa scams in years involving Canada.
The alleged crooks lurked on the leafy streets outside Canada’s diplomatic mission in New Delhi, as well as in the office of a bogus travel and tourism company in Punjab, a state in northwestern India.
The Star has learned Indian police have made three arrests in New Delhi and two more in Punjab, charging five men with making false documents, passing fake documents as genuine and criminal conspiracy. Police are still searching for at least three others.
The fake visa service charged Indians as much as $21,000 to obtain bogus visas, police said, adding they believe the ring operated through a company called Kaavi Tour and Travels in Chandigarh, Punjab’s capital city.
Documents and files seized by police indicate the ring, allegedly headed by a man named Anil Kumar – who has at least three aliases – may have cheated victims out of more than $650,000. That would make it one of the biggest visa fraud operations police here have exposed in years.
“People in Punjab are so desperate to get to Canada for work, that’s why they fall into this,” New Delhi police sub-inspector M.P.
Saini said.
Canadian High Commission staff say privately that immigration consultants such as Kumar continue to be a vexing problem. Immigration agents are not regulated and the business has become huge, particularly in Chandigarh, where Canada is the only foreign country with a visa-granting office.
“This latest one is big,” said a Western diplomat familiar with the Kumar case. “It’s a huge ball of yarn. We keep unwinding it and finding more leads to more victims and more crooks.”
New Delhi police said they learned about Kumar’s alleged criminal operation on Oct. 13 when a 22-year-old Punjabi man named Sukhdeep Singh filed a complaint, saying that he and three relatives had been fleeced out of $32,000.
In late August, Singh went to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to apply for a visa to Canada. He said a man named Sandeep Kaul approached him on the street outside the high commission and told him he could guarantee Singh a visa for
$16,000.
Singh and three relatives paid Kaul a collective $32,000 – half his asking price of $64,000 – in advance. A day later, Kaul filed
visa applications on behalf of Singh and his relative. When an immigration agent denied those applications, Kaul put Singh and the others in contact with Kumar, the scam’s alleged ringleader in Punjab.
Singh and his relatives were later told Kumar has secured visas for each of them as promised and, indeed, they were given their passports with what appeared to be visas. But Singh learned the visas were fake after taking them to the Canadian mission in Chandigarh to confirm their authenticity.
Instead of paying the remaining $32,000, Singh called police, who set up a sting operation.
Kaul and two other Delhi men, Jassi Khassria and Lakhander Singh, were arrested in New Delhi near the Nehru Park metro station as they waited, police say, for Singh to show up with their money.
Police raided Kaul’s apartment and discovered an embossing machine, colour photocopier, fake income tax returns and school records – one document the Star reviewed was an “Employemant Agreement” with an Alberta company called “IS2 Staffing Services” – that probably would have been used to try to obtain visas.
Police continue to hunt for Kumar.
Roughly 30 visa applications have been linked to Kumar, who used the same mobile phone number as a contact on various applications.
Kaul and the other men have not yet had bail hearings or submitted their pleas.
Their next court appearance is Nov. 14. The five are being held at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail and face at least seven years in prison if convicted.

 

Take our FREE Online Assessment Today!

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