Everton are ready to do their talking on the pitch after a summer in which they have made the size of their ambitions clear.Manager Ronald Koeman has been backed heavily in the transfer market and spent around £90million to sign a host of players.Business has included bringing back the club’s former prodigy Wayne Rooney from Manchester United and landing highly-rated talent in Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen.And the Toffees are not finished there, as negotiations continue with Swansea over £50m-rated playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.Optimism and expectations are rising at Goodison Park, and although Koeman is not making bold promises about breaking into the Premier League’s top six, the Dutchman is confident.“First of all we have big ambitions,” said Koeman ahead of Saturday’s league opener at home to Stoke. “That is what we would like to show to everybody.“Like everybody knows we are still working on some targets and that is difficult, but if we can do the business we want I think we are stronger than last season.“But of course it is difficult with the big clubs. You need one or two struggling in this season and maybe you can make the next step. If all the big ones are really strong and doing what they need, it is very difficult.”Koeman says he will only be able to make a true assessment of his team after they complete their transfer business.He said: “The end of the transfer window is more realistic to speak about targets and what is possible.“We know we have spent money but everybody is spending money, everybody is looking for the best players.”The downside for Everton has been the loss of top scorer Romelu Lukaku to United – albeit in a deal potentially worth £90m – while the future of midfielder Ross Barkley remains uncertain.Lukaku scored 25 goals last term and the likes of Rooney and another new signing, Sandro Ramirez, will have a tough act to follow.Koeman said: “To replace Lukaku is really difficult. I don’t say impossible but 25 goals is a lot and we need to find other ways. We need to find productivity from other players.“We have brought some players in like Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez and we would like to bring some more in.”Everton face a difficult start to the season, with the visit of Stoke followed by games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and United.Koeman said: “We know it is a tough start but it is all about, in 38 games, getting the points.“In the Premier League if you think you have an easy start you will pay for that. And if you think it’s a really tough start maybe it is different because everybody is not on his best at this stage of the season, the end of the pre-season.” Expectation is high at Everton this season 1
TORONTO – Making thousands of mentally disabled people wait indefinitely for provincial government supports after they turn 18 amounts to pushing them off a cliff without a safety net, an Ontario Superior Court heard on Tuesday.In urging certification of their claim against the Ontario government as a class action, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued the province’s use of waitlists was arbitrary and violated their clients’ constitutional rights.“It’s not about inconvenience. It’s not about frustration,” lawyer Kirk Baert told court. “It goes beyond that.”The unproven lawsuit, which accuses the province of harm-causing negligence, seeks $110 million in damages along with a declaration the government has failed adults assessed as eligible for government help but who have instead been placed on indeterminate waiting lists.The proposed representative plaintiff is Briana Leroux, 20, of Timmins, Ont., a woman with a mental age of about three who is unable to speak and lacks the most basic ability to care for herself. Her father Marc Leroux said outside court the loss of a day program and other help for his daughter when she turned 18 caused huge stress on the family.“All those programs were just stopped, and I think there should be a transition and there just is not,” said Leroux, 46, a real estate broker. “Families should be more respected by the government.”In recent years, a select legislature committee recommended eliminating the waitlists, while the auditor general has also criticized the system. In 2016, the provincial ombudsman, who had investigated more than 1,400 complaints from families of adults with developmental disabilities, said thousands of people had been left “stranded.”In court, Justice Edward Belobaba said the issue at this stage of the proceeding was not whether the province had “made a shambles” of the programs, but whether the plaintiffs could get over the relatively low hurdle of showing the existence of a legal foundation for a class action.Baert said the case was not about eligibility for services, noting proposed class members had all been assessed and approved for supports they weren’t receiving because of what he called unreasonably managed waitlists.“Everyone who’s in the class is by definition someone who hasn’t received the services they were entitled to,” Baert argued.For its part, the province argued that disabled adults have no legal right to supports. What they receive is the result of government policy decisions that allocate about $2 billion a year to help them.Provincial lawyer Robert Radcliffe insisted clients are assessed and prioritized according to their needs, with the most urgent cases getting help even after turning 18.“My friend would have you believe they just fall of the window sill or just fall off the balcony,” Radcliffe told Belobaba. “To say it’s arbitrary isn’t consistent with the facts.”Government co-counsel, Rochelle Fox, said the plaintiffs were making a claim for a “positive entitlement” by attacking what was a “quintessentially policy decision.” The government, Fox argued, was under no obligation to provide the programs to recipients, regardless of eligibility.“It is fundamentally a claim that the government is obliged to provide you with a positive benefit,” Fox said. “(But) failure to provide is not a deprivation.”Belobaba, however, pushed back at the notion that the current situation was the result of policy decisions that are immune to such a lawsuit. Belobaba noted the list of problems the plaintiffs allege, including a failure to shorten waitlists and the cutting off of those receiving services when they turn 18.“These are real allegations of deficiencies,” Belobaba said. “It’s not the policy of the government, say the plaintiffs, to have a totally screwed-up system.”The certification hearing continues.