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Ontario bans fees, deposits to put children on wait list for licensed day care

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2016

TORONTO – Day care operators in Ontario will no longer be allowed to charge parents a fee to put a child on a waiting list as of Sept. 1.

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter says the ban on what she calls unfair fees and deposits will apply to licensed child care centres and home child care agencies.

Hunter says Ontario will be the first province to ban wait list fees for child care.

Child care providers have until Jan. 1 to develop a public wait list policy that clearly explains how children on the list are offered admission.

They will also have to make the wait list available to families while at the same time protecting the confidentially of their personal information.

Ontario spends over $1 billion a year on child care, and has nearly 351,000 licensed child care spaces.

Progress in the making: Bike lanes being installed on Bloor

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2016

It is going to be a tight squeeze for traffic and cyclists as work begins Tuesday to install the new separated bicycle lanes along a section of Bloor Street West.

During the construction, Bloor from Shaw Street to Avenue Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

All on-street parking in the area has been removed and will remain that way for the first few days of construction.

The installation work is expected to take around two weeks. The estimated cost of the project is around $500,000.


Related stories:

City council approves 10-year bike plan for Toronto

Bike lanes on Bloor no longer just a slogan, thanks to pilot project

Video: Study finds streetcar tracks pose significant danger to cyclists


In May, city council approved a pilot project to install separated bike lanes along a 2.6-kilometre stretch of Bloor between Shaw and Avenue.

The pilot project will go for one year before it is reassessed in the fall of 2017. At that time it will be determined if the bike lanes will be modified, made permanent or removed.

New separated bicycle lanes being installed on a portion of Bloor Street West on Aug. 2, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy
New separated bicycle lanes being installed on a portion of Bloor Street West on Aug. 2, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy

 

A sign indicating that bicycles won't be able to lock their vehicles during the bike lane construction on Bloor Street West. The work started on Aug. 2, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy
A sign indicating that bicycles won’t be able to lock their vehicles during the bike lane construction on Bloor Street West. The work started on Aug. 2, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy

Man denied Air Canada flight due to the size of his wheelchair

Faiza Amin | posted Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2016

A Toronto man is accusing Canada’s national airline of the most blatant discrimination he’s ever experienced, saying reps even compared him and his wheelchair to luggage.

Tim Rose had plans to fly to Cleveland this September, but on Sunday, he says Air Canada told him his flight would be refunded because he couldn’t fly on the plane due to his wheelchair being five inches too tall for the cargo area.

“I felt like an oversized piece of luggage,” he told CityNews. “They even said to me at the time if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit – it’s like an oversized piece of luggage.”

The 31 year old was born with Cerebral Palsy and has been in a wheelchair his whole life, it’s something he’s proud of.

Ironically, he was on his way to Cleveland to speak at a disability forum in September.

“The biggest thing is if Air Canada cannot accommodate a person of a certain disability on a plane, they should not be flying that plane,” he said.

Rose claims the airline didn’t offer any alternative solutions, and so he took his battle against Air Canada to social media, using the hashtag #Wheelchairsarentluggage.

Tim Rose once travelled on Air Canada but is now being denied travel because of the size of his wheelchair. Photo by Natalie Rose

Tim Rose once travelled on Air Canada but is now being denied travel because of the size of his wheelchair. Photo by Natalie Rose

In a Facebook video that’s already been viewed more than four thousand times, Tim says “I, like every other Canadian with a disability, want equal treatment on the same bases as everyone else.”

“What I’d like people to know the most is how far we need to go to make this a truly inclusive country, because it certainly isn’t right now,” he adds.

In a statement to CityNews, an Air Canada spokesperson said “this is an unfortunate circumstance that has arisen due to the type of aircraft that we use on this route. It has a cargo hold door smaller than the height of the chair the customer uses and we are working to see if there is a way to safely carry this particular sized wheelchair without causing damage.”

The whole ordeal has been shocking for Rose and his wife Natalie, who say they’ve boarded the same AC flight to Cleveland in previous years, including just last spring.

“Air Canada is a multibillion company, are they trying to tell me that they can’t accommodate me for two flights, one there and one back, with a different airplane on that route for that day,” Rose said.

After he announced his story would be airing on CityNews Monday, Air Canada reached out to Rose over Facebook, telling him in a post, “we’ll be in touch separately to ask for some more information so we can conduct a test tomorrow to determine whether it can be safely loaded at an angle and stored.”

CityNews followed up with Rose hours later and he said the airline has yet to follow-up on that testing.

Jays acquire Francisco Lirano, assuring Aaron Sanchez will move to bullpen

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2016

Fans celebrate following the Toronto Blue Jays series win over the Texas Rangers after game five of American League Division Series baseball action, in Toronto on Oct. 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

TORONTO – The addition of veteran pitcher Francisco Liriano assures that all-star Aaron Sanchez will be heading to the Blue Jays bullpen.

The 32-year-old Liriano was acquired by Toronto in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in exchange for right-hander Drew Hutchison.

The Jays were already discussing moving the 24-year-old Sanchez out of his starting role. General manager Ross Atkins says that acquiring Liriano makes the move a guarantee.

“A big part of Aaron is we feel like with transitioning him to a relief role will be the best thing for us being in a Game 7 of the World Series,” Atkins said on a conference call. “We’re still working through the timing but this (trade) allows us to do that.”

“The best chance for us to win a World Series is if Aaraon Sanchez is part of the team, and we felt like the best odds of him being part of the team was at some point some transition to the bullpen. With that in mind, we now have the option to do that.”

Toronto also got two prospects in the deal, catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

“The other opportunity of adding prospects just presented itself, not our sole focus,” said Atkins.

Liriano has a 6-11 record this season in 21 starts with a 5.46 earned-run average and 116 strikeouts. The best season of Liriano’s 11-year career came in 2013 with the Pirates, while he was an all-star at 22 with Minnesota in 2006. Atkins believes that Liriano’s experience outweighs this season’s numbers.

“I think his experience and talent, what he’s accomplished his entire career, we feel like it gives us a chance to have someone that could be pitching in Game 2 or 3 or 4 in a World Series run,” said Atkins.

“The fact he’s been there before in a playoff chase, pitched in a major playoff game, and still has very good stuff. We’re hopeful that if we get him back to just close to where he was then it’s better than our alternative.”

Liriano had a 16-8 record with a 3.02 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 2013 with Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin as his primary backstop. Atkins says the relation was more of an added bonus than a primary factor in making the deal.

“No question, I think that Francisco will benefit from a veteran catcher, the experience of Russ and the familiarity, I think if we come up with a plan that we should expect some correction, but this is not on Russ Martin by any means. But we did see that as an added benefit.”

Sanchez is still scheduled to start Friday against Kansas City while its unclear when Liriano will make his debut. Sanchez is 11-1 with an American League-leading 2.71 ERA in 21 starts this year.

In other deals on Monday, Toronto acquired right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman from the Houston Astros in exchange for pitching prospect Gaudalupe Chavez. The Blue Jays also got righty Mike Bolsinger from the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever Jesse Chavez and cash considerations.

Feldman has appeared in 26 games for the Astros this season, including five starts, posting a 5-3 record with a 2.90 ERA. Since his move to the bullpen at the end of April, Feldman has recorded a 2.41 ERA over 37.1 innings. In his 12th Major League season, Feldman is 69-76 with a 4.35 in 307 games (183 starts) for Texas, Chicago Cubs, Baltimore and Houston.

Bolsinger, 28, has made six starts for the Dodgers, posting a 1-4 record with a 6.83 ERA. In 13 games (two starts) with Oklahoma (PCL) Bolsinger is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings. He was 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA over 21 starts in 2015 and owns a career mark of 8-16 with a 4.61 ERA in 37 games (36 starts).

“We were in on every single starting pitcher that was rumoured available, and many that weren’t rumoured available. Acquisition cost is always a part of it. Our focus was how do we make our team better, increase our depth, increase our experience and net talent?

“We feel like we did that with the acquisition cost, also bringing young talent into our system that we didn’t plan on as a focus, but we were opportunistic when it presented itself.”

The 18-year-old Gaudalupe Chavez is in his third professional season and second with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. He is 4-1 with 1.69 ERA in six starts this season.

The 32-year-old Jesse Chavez is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in 39 relief outings for Toronto. Over nine seasons, Chavez sits with a 25-40 record with a 4.55 ERA in 292 games, including 49 starts.

Hutchison has one win in 12.2 innings pitched as both a starter and reliever for Toronto this season. He has a 4.97 ERA with 12 strikeouts.

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