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Civil liberties group urges midtown school to drop breathalyzer tests before prom

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging a Toronto secondary school not to make its students take a breathalyzer test before they can get into their upcoming prom.

According to a report on the Post City website, the CCLA sent a letter to Ron Felsen, the principal of Northern Secondary School, on Friday to say the policy is unconstitutional.

Northern adopted the plan because of problems with students drinking at past proms and other events.

Any student with alcohol on his or her breath will be denied entry into the May 29 event at the Eglinton Grand. The school will also notify the student’s parents.

The move has the support of the parent council, but students who believe their rights are being infringed upon asked the CCLA to weigh in.

Malvern Collegiate Institute has had a similar policy in place for 14 years and said it has worked to curb drunkenness and ensure a safe event for students.

With files from CityNews.ca

Toronto to proclaim Monday as ‘Raptors Day’

Winston Sih | posted Monday, May 12th, 2014

The Toronto Raptors won’t be bringing home a championship this year, but Toronto is still paying tribute to the team by declaring Monday as Raptors Day.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will make the proclamation at Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 a.m.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey will also be on-hand for the announcement and celebration, along with point guard Greivis Vasquez.

Councillors and other members of the public have been invited to take part in the celebration.

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The team was very close to making it into the second round of the NBA playoffs, losing Game 7 to the Brooklyn Nets by just one point.

However, the Raptors still set a new franchise record for wins and captured the Atlantic Division title.

During the playoffs, fans descended on Maple Leaf Square (dubbed Jurassic Park) to watch the game and cheer on the team. The fans not only inspired the team but also drew praise from the Nets.

Reel Fresh Toronto posted The Northern Uprising: A Video Essay on YouTube. Watch it below:

Will you be attending the event? What’s your favourite memory from the season?

With files from CityNews.ca

Week of May 12, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, May 11th, 2014

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Shannon Tweed‐Simmons–Gene Simmons better half–and their daughter, Sophie, will be here with a candid look at life in L.A.

On Wednesday, restauranteur and chef Mark McEwan stops by.

And don’t forget, we’re on the road next Friday from the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Mother’s Day in the GTA: Ideas & events

BT Toronto | posted Friday, May 9th, 2014

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Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and while we all have our own ways of telling our moms how much they mean to us, below are some ideas and events that may raise the bar for your siblings — and next year.

According to 680News meteorologist Jill Taylor, the forecast calls for sun and cloud and a high of 20 C. There is a slight chance of showers.

Mother’s Day buffet at Old Mill Inn

Enjoy a traditional brunch or dinner buffet at the historic and charming Old Mill Inn in Toronto. There are an abundance of items to choose from, including shellfish, pastas, salads, delicious cakes, mousses, and pastries.

Click here for brunch/dinner times and pricing information.

Mother’s Day tea & truffle pairing

Does your mom like tea and chocolate? If she does, you are in for a treat! The Toronto Botanical Garden is hosting an afternoon of tea and truffles, including one indulgence that combines the two: chocolate infused in your cup of tea.

A certified tea sommelier will also show what teas are paired well with chocolate.

It will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Click here for pricing and other information.

Mother’s Day Walk

Spend Mother’s Day taking part in an annual charity walk while wearing “pink it up” costumes. The Breast Cancer Society, in partnership with clothing store Cleo, is holding the event in various cities in Ontario, including at Mississauga’s Memorial Park.

The walk starts at 11 a.m. but pre-registration is required.

Click here for more information.

Chocolate tour

If you mother has the ultimate sweet tooth, consider venturing down to the Trinity Bellwoods area for a chocolate tour.

You’ll can take a stroll in the Queen Street West and Dundas Street West area and sample chocolates and other chocolatey treats from five different stores. The tour also features a history of chocolate and why we crave it.

The times on Saturday are already booked up but, as of publishing, there are spaces available for Sunday.

Click here for pricing and other information.

Cooking workshop

Enjoy an afternoon of cooking with your mom without getting into trouble for messing up the kitchen at home.

The Petits Chefs Academy in Vaughan is offering a Mother’s Day workshop where you can cook brunch with mom and then eat it afterwards. The menu includes healthy pancakes with blueberry syrup, vegetable fritatta, fresh fruit salad, freshly-squeezed orange juice, coffee and tea.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.

Click here for registration and pricing information.

Mother’s Day cruise

With a warm and sunny day in the forecast on Sunday, a cruises might just be in order after his miserable winter.

You and your mum can enjoy a delightful cruise on the Toronto waterfront and then partake in a buffet brunch that consists of a waffle station, a roast beef carving table and a selection of hot and cold dishes.

The cruise and brunch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Click here for pricing and reservation information.

With files from Patricia D’Cunha, 680News.com

4 Georgina high school students accused of assaulting black student

CityNews | posted Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Four male teens are accused of beating a black student last month as onlookers yelled racist remarks outside a York Region high school where last year some students were seen sporting the controversial Confederate flag.

The fight, which was caught on video and uploaded to Youtube on Monday, shows two teens punching each other in the face outside Sutton District High School in Georgina as an onlooker can be heard saying, “Pound that n***a.”

Another male voice can be heard taunting the white teen by his name and saying, “Get up. Come one. You’re losing to the black kid. You f****n’ h**o.”

The victim’s mother told CityNews it was hard to watch the video.

“Seeing your child’s head kicked is a difficult thing to watch,” Desiree Makuto said.

“Hearing the words in  the background — it was awful.”

Charles Makuto, the father of the 17-year-old victim, said his son suffered a broken hand and the tendons in his finger were also broken in the April 8 incident. The teen has returned to school, according to school and police officials.

York regional police say they have completed their investigation but declined to comment on the video, saying the evidence collected by its hate crime investigators was now before the courts.

The four accused students, two of whom are 14 years old while the other two are 17 and 18, face assault charges and are expected in court next week.

School principal Dawn Laliberté said the alleged assault and slurs were “completely unacceptable and not tolerated” and that the accused youths were suspended from school but have since returned to class.

“This should never have happened. There’s no question. It was unfortunate a small group of students who chose to use some very, very inappropriate words,” she said.

Laliberté has been in contact with the victim’s family and said there are adults and advocates available to the student in the building to “ensure he feels safe.”

She said the school has “to educate and make them more aware of the impact of their statements.”

After two or three kids who wore the Confederate flag on their clothing and their backpacks last year, the school educated them on how it’s a racist symbol and that there have been no such further incidents, she said.

Sutton high school student Daniel told CityNews it was “devastating” to hear about the latest incident.

“I was completely shocked at first to actually hear that. But I know that our school, the community, the students and the administration are doing everything they can to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The victim’s mother said she’s from South Africa and has never heard such racist slurs.

“Wherever I’ve lived everyone has been courteous. Everyone has observed some of the parameters of living in a civilized society. I’m really disappointed by what’s happened,” she said.

With files from Showwei Chu, CityNews.ca

Week of May 5, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, May 4th, 2014

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

The Antiques Roadshow will be stopping by on Monday. Can you tell the difference between a $500-dollar painting and $50-thousand dollar painting?

And on Thursday, Nikki Yanofsky is back with a new sound and a new mentor in Quincy Jones.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Ontario heading to polls, Horwath won’t support budget

CityNews | posted Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne decided Friday it was better to call a June 12 election instead of waiting to see her minority Liberal government defeated in a confidence vote on its budget.

Wynne visited Lt.-Gov. David Onley on Friday afternoon to ask him to dissolve the legislature after the New Democrats announced they had lost confidence in the Liberals and would vote with the Progressive Conservatives to defeat the budget.

Voters should not consider veering to the political left or right, warned Wynne, who said people will have a choice between a balanced Liberal approach to job creation and economic growth and the “reckless schemes” of the opposition parties.

“They’ll have a choice, in fact, between safe hands and risky tactics,” she said.

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The premier took several shots at Prime Minister Stephen Harper for failing to fund infrastructure projects like Ontario’s Ring of Fire or help improve retirement income for people without a workplace pension plan, but reserved most of her vitriol for the NDP and Tories.

“The NDP make pie in the sky promises but they won’t say how they’ll pay for them,” complained Wynne. “So now is not the time for pipe dreams.”

The Tories would “roll back the clock” in Ontario by “declaring war” on organized labour and slashing government programs people rely on, added the premier.

“Their cuts would devastate crucial public services in health and education,” she said. “Their cuts would take us along a path towards a low-wage, low-growth economy.”

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said earlier Friday that she could not continue to prop up a government that was plagued by scandal after scandal, and could not trust the Liberals to keep all the promises in Thursday’s budget.

“I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don’t trust anymore,” said Horwath. “This budget is not a solid plan for the future. It’s a mad dash to escape the scandals by promising the moon and the stars.”

It wasn’t just the budget but the gas plants scandal, the police investigation into the Ornge air ambulance and faulty girders being installed in the Windsor parkway that prompted the NDP to stop supporting the Liberals, said Horwath.

“It’s one scandal after another, it’s continued behaviour from a government that hasn’t seen the way to change their path, and so it wasn’t only the $1.1 billion scandal itself, but it’s the continuous cover up of information,” said Horwath.

“The leopard is not changing its spots.”

Rather than see the government face weeks of criticism in the legislature until the budget vote, Wynne opted to call the election herself.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak called the New Democrats hypocritical for taking so long to decide to defeat the Liberals, something he said they should have done at least a year ago.

“If you’re looking for who’s going to be the best actor on the stage, if you’re looking for someone who’s running a popularity contest by promising funding on all kinds of projects but they don’t have the cheques to cash in, well then vote for the Liberal leader or the NDP leader,” Hudak said in Ottawa.

“But if you want a turnaround plan to get Ontario working again, look at me, look at my team, look at my plan.”

By tradition Ontario elections are called on a Wednesday and held on a Thursday four weeks later, but this campaign will go five weeks because of a Jewish holiday on Thursday, June 5.

Even though Wynne asked to have the legislature dissolved on Friday, and it won’t sit again until after the election, the campaign period doesn’t officially begin until next Wednesday.

The dissolution of the legislature also means there won’t be any finding of contempt against the Liberals for the deletion of emails and wiping of hard drives in the premier’s office because the committee that was looking into the gas plants scandal is now disbanded.

With files from The Canadian Press

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