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Brain injury changes the lives of Ontario couple

When a drunk dirt bike driver crashed into a man driving an ATV in 2014, the ATV driver's and the life of his fiance would be forever changed. The woman was actually working as a nurse in the same Ontario hospital the man was brought in and she was the first to see him. He was nearly unrecognizable ashis face and head were so swollen. It turns out, he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Two months after the crash, the couple married in an Orillia hospital where the man was a patient. Today, he is still climbing back from the life-altering collision, and his wife is his full-time caregiver. Their days are filled with therapy as the man continues to progress in his journey, but what the couple wasn't prepared for was how little the general public knows about brain injury. 

2018 real estate outlook around Canada

After a turbulent few years, the housing market throughout the country looks as though it's stabilizing. With that, experts suggest, will come both opportunities and some things that will need to be braved. The world of real estate in Canada is becoming less about a single market across the country and more about localized dealings. In other words, there is no definitive real estate market in the nation, rather various deals with various attributes in different areas of the country.

There is no comparing what transpires in hotter markets like Vancouver and Toronto with those in Calgary or Regina. It's like comparing apples to oranges.The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said prices around the country are like a roller coaster. For instance, prices are rising in Ottawa while they're declining in Saskatoon. One other major issue that will play a large part in the real estate market in all areas is the federally-imposed stress test that may make home ownership more difficult for some.

Tougher laws on the horizon for Ontario distracted drivers

Soon drivers will have to be even more mindful of what they do behind the wheel of a vehicle. Distracted drivers in Ontario will have to curtail their bad habits behind the wheel if they don't want to be saddled with a maximum fine of up to $2,000 -- up from $1,000 for a first conviction. So, texting and driving will hopefully be even less attractive to many drivers who still make a habit of it.

Not only will drivers likely receive steep fines for distracted driving infractions, but they will also automatically lose their licences if they're convicted of the offense. Second convictions will see maximum fines of $2,000, while three or more convictions could cost drivers up to $3,000. The law will soon receive Royal Assent in Ontario's parliament.

Condo sales lead the pack in Canada real estate transactions

Last year was dubbed the year of the condo in high-end markets. While real estate transactions in general were a little less strong in 2017,  condominium sales continued to thrive in Ontario and in the rest of Canada. In fact, condo sales in Toronto area in 2017 were up 82 per cent from 2016, with a 59 per cent increase overall in the region.

Many urbanites are turning to condos for the lifestyle they provide. They come with party rooms, gyms, swimming pools and often communal gardens. With these added pluses, those in the market don't have the added space worry when looking to purchase. The lock it and leave it mentality has continued to flourish in larger Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Condos also continue to be seductive to the savvy real estate investor.

Drunk driver arrested with alcohol level 4 times over legal limit

A 39-year-old male was arrested after a citizen made a call describing what sounded like someone driving while intoxicated. The alleged drunk driver had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit in Ontario, according to York Regional Police who charged the man with impaired driving. Apparently, the accused driver was captured on video shot from a police helicopter.

York police recently published their impaired driving stats, showing more drivers got behind the wheel in 2017 while having used drugs. In fact, there was an increase of 21 per cent in driving charges stemming from drug use in 2017 compared to 2016 statistics, and a massive 90 per cent jump from charges in 2015. The police chief said the numbers are alarming, especially given the fact marijuana use becomes legal this summer.

Real estate market resilient in Canada in 2017

The forecast looks good. The real estate market in Canada was a real roller coaster ride in 2017. There were twists and turns; it was ascending and descending. But prognosticators are hopefully optimistic as to what awaits the housing market in 2018.

Some are predicting the full-steam-ahead days have rallied just about as much as they are going to and that a slow-down is impending. But that is not necessarily a negative. In fact, the market has shown and continues to show a great deal of elasticity or bounce back. Toronto is a prime example of that.

Cops charge 100s of Ontario truckers for distracted driving

Over five days, the Ontario Provincial Police stopped nearly 3,500 commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) on roadways in the province. The police drove big rigs themselves to be able to see if distracted driving was a problem among big rig operators in Ontario. They also used aircraft and sprinter vans to check up on CMV drivers.

Police officers laid 1,836 charges as a result of the traffic stops. Two-hundred and twenty-three of those charges were for distracted driving and 111 for following too closely. Speeding and other moving violations accounted for 336 and 185 charges, respectively. There were also charges laid pertaining to incorrect documents and faulty equipment. 

What to know about hit-and-run offences in Canada

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is stressful enough as it is. But when someone is involved in one with a hit-and-run driver, it's likely even more stressful. Drivers in Canada who leave the scene of an accident aren't only making things more difficult for others involved, but for themselves as well.

Such driver will either face Criminal Code of Canada charges or will be charged under the laws in their province or territory. And if a hit-and-run driver was the cause of the accident that injured or killed someone, he or she will likely face additional charges. The Criminal Code defines a hit-and-run as failing to stop at the scene of an accident with the intent to escape criminal or civil liability and failing to help -- or call help for -- anyone who has been hurt or injured.

Supreme Court grants real estate agents right to publish data

Sale prices of homes were somewhat off limits to the public in Toronto -- until recently. The Supreme Court of Canada has granted real estate agents the right to publish what homes have sold for. The federal court has indicated the privacy concerns that have restricted making these prices known are non-existent; however, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) isn't happy with the decision and plans to appeal.

Publishing information publicly has been off limits to TREB members, although they have been allowed to share data between each other. A TREB spokesperson said giving members carte blanche to post these figures on social media sites invades the privacy of both sellers and purchasers. The Toronto real estate governing body is planning on applying for a court order to stop any release of such information until the court decides on the appeal.

Some hospital staff suffer brain injury from patient attacks

The majority of people who work in hospitals want to help people. But there are times when the very people they are trying to help lash out at them. In certain instances in hospitals in Canada, the attacks have been violent enough to cause brain injury.

A major study, Assaulted and Unheard: Violence Against Healthcare Staff, showed that many health care workers suffered serious injuries, including concussions, fractures, broken bones, bites and sexual assaults at the hands of patients. In addition to highlighting what injuries some of these workers suffered , the study also painted a picture of how the injuries affected workers physically, emotionally, financially and interpersonally. Researchers found that many health care employees bear the brunt of patient aggression in the form of chronic pain, and many who work in various departments -- like psychiatric units, long\-term care or emergency departments -- start their shifts in fear that they might be physically assaulted by some patients.

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