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Ontario minister says she apologized after giving ‘feedback’ to Sens owner

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An Ontario cabinet minister said Friday that she apologized to the owner of the Ottawa Senators for being “blunt” — which came after she reportedly hurled a profane tirade at Eugene Melnyk at a Rolling Stones concert.

Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod described the encounter as her giving Melnyk “feedback” on the management of the hockey team.

“Let me set the record straight, I gave (Melnyk) some feedback at the Rolling Stones concert and I apologized to him for being so blunt,” she wrote on Twitter. “I have serious concerns about the state of our beloved Ottawa Senators! We need to get our team back on the road to winning the cup!”

The Ottawa Citizen reported that MacLeod saw Melnyk at Saturday’s concert near Barrie, Ont., yelled at him that she is his minister and swore at him.

“I am your minister and you’re a f—ing piece of s–t and you’re a f—ing loser,” MacLeod said, as recounted by Melnyk to the newspaper.

The Citizen reported that Melnyk complained to the premier’s office and that both MacLeod and Premier Doug Ford later called him. Ford’s office told The Canadian Press that it had no comment beyond MacLeod’s tweet.

The Senators said Melnyk stands “firmly” by the account of the incident he gave to the Citizen.

“He has received a call from and had a very positive conversation with the premier of Ontario, which he intends to keep private, but he is grateful for the leadership the premier showed and was impressed with how he approached this difficult situation,” the organization said in a statement.

MacLeod was recently demoted from Children, Community and Social Services after her handling of the autism program sparked outrage.

The Liberals called on Ford to fire MacLeod as minister and suspend her from caucus, noting she also had to apologize after autism therapists said she and her staff told them it would be “four long years” for their organization if they didn’t provide a positive quote to help promote her new program.

“For months now, parents, professionals and concerned citizens have warned the minister’s conduct is inappropriate and unbecoming of a cabinet minister,” Michael Coteau wrote on behalf of the Liberal caucus.

Coteau noted that Ford suspended Randy Hillier from caucus for saying “yada, yada yada” to parents of children with autism — Hillier maintains the remarks were directed at the NDP.

“Surely he can see that Minister MacLeod’s pattern of behaviour is much worse than an offside comment,” Coteau said. 

Hillier was later kicked out of caucus for not being a “team player,” though he says it was because he clashed with Ford’s now former chief of staff Dean French.

New Democrat Marit Stiles noted Friday that MacLeod has previously said she wouldn’t tolerate bullying when dealing with criticism over the autism program.

“I don’t know why she thinks that it’s OK for her to bully and use that kind of language with a private citizen,” Stiles said.

Ford will have to make a decision about what behaviour he will tolerate from his ministers, she said.

“At the end of the day, this is Mr. Ford’s government,” Stiles said. “He is the premier of this province. He needs to make a call on this and I would say he needs to set the bar a whole lot higher than this.”

Melnyk’s hockey team has endured a series of on- and off-ice controversies since coming within a goal of making the Stanley Cup final in 2017.

Melnyk himself has been the target of criticism among some Ottawa fans. Months after he criticized fan support and said the team could move elsewhere if support doesn’t improve, four billboards went up across the city with the hashtag #MelnykOut.

Earlier this year, a plan to develop land near downtown Ottawa featuring a new arena for the Senators fell apart after Melnyk and business partners failed to solve a dispute.

On the ice, the Senators finished last in the NHL standings this past season after going into rebuilding mode following the trade of captain Erik Karlsson on the first day of training camp.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press



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PARKER THOMPSON BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH INCREDIBLE TWO SERIES WEEKEND AT TORONTO INDY

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Parker Thompson representing Abel Sports in Toronto Indy

From Parker Thompson Racing

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Parker Thompson may be the busiest road racing driver on the continent. Since March, the young Alberta native has raced 27 times in four different series. Challenging for championship titles in both open-wheel race cars and sports cars, Thompson has shown incredible skill and versatility. That was most evident this weekend when Thompson raced in both the Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires series, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event. With four alternating races, Thompson demonstrated an adaptability seldom seen in motorsports. In an incredible performance, he earned three podium finishes and the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger award. The result puts an exclamation mark on his accomplishments so far this year, and further reinforces his status as one of the continents top young drivers.

With a busy ten session schedule over the three day weekend, Thompson could often be seen hurrying between the Porsche GT3 and Indy Pro 2000 paddocks located at opposite ends of the event site in downtown Toronto. Competing in two series during the same event presented a variety of challenges not typical of most race weekends.

“There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into every single session we do on the race track. Balancing two different series this weekend would never have been possible without incredible support from my teams, Abel Motorsports [Indy Pro 2000] and Sports Car Boutique [IMSA GT3 Canada]. Getting the maximum out of two very different cars was a tremendous challenge. The Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and the Tatuus PM-18 Indy Pro 2000 car are not only very different in size and handling characteristics, but they also require a very different strategy and approach during race action. Going back and forth between vehicles, and jumping straight into race pace really tested my concentration and ability to remember key markers and set-up notes for this very unforgiving Streets of Toronto track. This was probably my most stressful weekend of racing ever, but I’m overjoyed by our results! In these two highly competitive series, I always feel blessed to stand on the podium. Doing that three out of four times this weekend feels like a huge achievement.” – Parker Thompson

The first of three podiums came with Abel Motorsports in Indy Pro 2000, where Thompson began his first race of the weekend from seventh position in the thirteen car line up. Navigating traffic and multiple yellow flag incidents on the challenging street course, Thompson maneuvered the #8 Abel Motorsports car to a 3rd place finish.

Race 2 in Indy Pro 2000 featured a relentless duel between Thompson and championship leader Rasmus Lindh. Starting in P3 and P2 respectively, the two drivers exchanged places multiple times early in the race. Thompson would make a final pass in turn 3 of the Toronto street course, and hold off Lindh for the remainder of the race to earn a second place finish.

Parker Thompson Toronto Indy 2nd Place

In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson began Race 1 from 7th position after a heavy rain prior to race start created conditions that challenged a variety of drivers and teams. In a clear demonstration of car control, Thompson navigated the #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Centre Victoria car around the drying track, executing four passes in the first seven laps. The performance earned him the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger Award, and the final step on the podium.

Parker Thompson 3rd place in Toronto

In Race 2 of GT3 Canada, a rare mistake from Thompson saw his Porsche make contact with a tire wall in turn eight. Continuing the race from the back of the field, a lengthy yellow flag resulting from a crash between drivers Metni and Dussault allowed Thompson to rejoin the main group and improve his position. Piloting a car with front end damage, he would work his way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.

This incredible weekend marked the 100th race of Thompson’s young career, and performing double duty was a fitting celebration of that milestone. Since 2015, Thompson has had a steady career, earning wins in every type of car he has raced. In one-hundred races, he has earned 55 podiums and 26 race wins. His lifetime winning and podium percentages are outstanding by any measure, but Thompson’s numbers this season are even more impressive. In 2019, he has won exactly a third of his races, and placed on the podium more than three quarters of the time.

After one weekend off, Thompson will resume his busy schedule on July 26th with three consecutive race weekends in Indy Pro 2000, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. He is currently second place in overall championship standings for Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Canada, and he is leading the Canadian Touring Car Championship GTS standings.

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Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Innisfail hosts Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament August 8th- Reserve your spot!

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As your plans and commitments for this summer start to fill your calendar, we hope that you have had a chance to set aside August 8 for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum annual golf tournament.

On August 8, 2019, we will be having our annual golf tournament at Innisfail Golf Club. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has strived to preserve and celebrate Alberta’s exceptional athletes, builders, pioneers, and teams for over 62 years. Each year the Golf Tournament brings together our Honoured Members, Inductees, sporting organizations and the community for a great day of golf and networking. The Golf Tournament is a major fundraiser for ASHFM and allows us to continue to bring sports history and education to Albertans and inspire the future Hall of Famers. Your support in the past few years is very much appreciated and we hope that you will be one of our special guests this year.  I have enclosed the tournament sponsorship opportunities and a golf registration if you would like to join us for our Golf Tournament this year.

Please call Kayli at 403-341-8614 if you have any questions or concerns regarding our golf tournament sponsorship or participation.

Click to visit the website.

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