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Teacher fired after toddler wanders away from GTA daycare

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 25th, 2017

A teacher has been fired and a Keswick, Ont., daycare says it is implementing new protocols after a toddler managed to open a door, leave, and make it all the way home.

The three-year-old was not hurt.

However, it could have been worse, as he managed to leave his daycare without anyone at the school noticing. A viewer contacted CityNews after seeing a Facebook post by the child’s mother on Tuesday. Katelin Deborah posted about the incident expressing her outrage at the daycare.

CityNews spoke to a supervisor at Little Red School House Daycare, who did not want her name used but did confirm the incident occurred. They said the incident was serious, and the daycare was very concerned about the situation.

“The incident of child leaving the site unsupervised yesterday has left many of us in huge shock, with mixed emotions and questions of the quality of the service we provide to the local community of Keswick,” the daycare said in a letter to parents.

“We deeply regret that this incident happened and we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety, security and quality of care are maintained — and that something like this is to never happen again.”

The supervisor said the teacher has been fired, and an assistant staffer has also been removed from the room.

The daycare has also changed protocols for their doors. All doors must be locked at all times. All exits now have magnetic sensors and beep if the doors are opened.

They’ve also notified the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) and the Ministry of Education.

“The ministry is conducting a joint visit with the local CAS of this centre to follow-up on this incident,” a ministry spokesperson said. “The centre has seven exits, two with magnet alarms. It is our understanding that the centre has ordered five additional alarms for the remaining exits.”

The centre has been licensed since May 1998 and has had three complaints since then.

Deborah said her child will be switching daycares on Monday.

Review of controversial SRO program goes ahead despite angry opposition

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Aug 25th, 2017

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Police services board meeting, Thursday, August 24, 2017
Toronto’s police services board has approved a review of a controversial program that places police officers in certain schools in the city.

The board voted unanimously on Thursday to review the School Resource Officer program, with the assessment to be carried out by researchers at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

Toronto police first assigned officers to 30 high schools around the city in 2008 to improve safety and perceptions of the police. Thirty-seven Toronto officers are currently assigned to 75 schools in the city.

The meeting was interrupted several times by critics who claim minority students are intimidated and targeted by uniformed officers in their schools.

“Suspend the SRO program first, so that no other students have to be saddled with the burden of a discriminatory police force that’s in their schools,” said one of the deputants.

Others question if Ryerson University is the right choice for the review.

“It’s very curious to me that you’ve chosen Ryerson to conduct a review of this program when its the only university in Toronto that does not have a faculty of education.

Mayor John Tory says an independent review is the right thing to do.

“I do not believe it is a responsible way to make decisions to just decide we should close the program based on the say-so of people who come to the police services board and say that’s their view,” said Tory.

“If there are flaws in this program, which I acknowledge there probably are, then I trust that this study will identify those and we will be able to make the changes to the program as appropriate. But I support the program.”

The police chief says having officers in schools builds trust with students.

An interim report on the review’s findings is expected to be released in January.

Ontario announces $657M investment to social housing

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 25th, 2017

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Mayor John Tory and Housing Minister Peter Milczyn announce provincial investment in social housing, Aug. 24, 2017. CITYNEWS
The province has announced a multi-million dollar investment in social housing.

Ontario is putting up to $657 million over five years toward social housing repairs and retrofits, with about half of the money going to Toronto.

Mayor John Tory said it’s money the city badly needs and these new funds will allow the city to upgrade both the living conditions and the well-being of those who live in social housing.

“Fundamentally, it is about a basic standard of living for some of our most vulnerable citizens. That’s what it’s been about since the beginning of the discussions,” Tory said on Thursday.

“Living in a properly repaired home, having a safe place to raise your family, feeling safe in your community, [and] feeling that your governments, plural, are showing you respect as a fellow citizen.”

Coun. Ana Bailão, Toronto’s housing advocate, said she welcomes the province’s efforts to be a part of the solution to the social housing repair crisis.

“This investment is an important step forward for the province in recognizing their key role in funding the repair and revitalization of social housing in Toronto”, Bailão said in a statement on Thursday.

“I welcome the province’s efforts to step-up and be part of the solution to the repair crisis in social housing. I look forward to working with Minister Milczyn in ensuring this program provides the necessary flexibility to directly respond to Toronto Community Housing’s urgent repair needs.”

Housing Minister Peter Milczyn said the money will come from cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which must be used for green programs.

“To keep people at the core of the decisions that we make as governments, we have to think in the long term. We have to invest in the long-term and we have to work together over the long term to deliver for the people of Ontario,” he said.

Tory has long been advocating for the need for more social housing money from the province, saying there is an approximately $2-billion repair backlog.

Tory said the housing minister was “off to a great start.”

“What we’re hearing today is good news for Toronto. I believe this announcement represents a strong indication that this premier – the premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne – this minister – Peter Milczyn – and this Ontario government has stepped forward on housing, especially as it regards the most vulnerable residents of Toronto Community Housing.”

Orchestra company draws ire for email suggesting ‘fit and slim’ vocalists can perform

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Aug 25th, 2017

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Email from Sheraton Cadwell Orchestra posted online draws ire, Aug. 22, 2017. Image courtesy: FACEBOOK
A Toronto performing arts company is being accused of body shaming after an email from its management that was posted online suggested it would only feature vocalists who are physically fit and slim in its boutique orchestras.

Sydney Dunitz, who has worked as a volunteer vocalist with Sheraton Cadwell Orchestra for about five years, says she received the email on Monday night and posted a screen shot of it on Facebook, where it has since been shared more than 500 times.

In the email, the company expresses concerns about two vocalists who they say are not “fit and slim,” asking that they refrain from wearing tight-fitting dresses while performing.

The email goes on to say the organization doesn’t have the same expectations of instrumental musicians because they are “essentially background wallpaper.”

Dunitz says she was disgusted by the email and has decided to no longer work as a vocalist with the group.

When asked for comment, Sheraton Cadwell Orchestra said in an email that its management was resigning and that the organization would be shutting down.

Mosquito species responsible for most Zika cases caught in Ontario

BRENNAN DOHERTY, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 24th, 2017

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In this Sept. 29, 2016 file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Felipe Dana
An adult mosquito belonging to the species of the insect responsible for the majority of Zika cases has been caught in Canada for the first time by a southern Ontario health unit, but the insect captured isn’t carrying the virus.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said one of their mosquito traps recently caught an adult Aedes aegypti mosquito. It noted that the specie’s larvae was also found in the region last year.

Despite the development, the health unit said there’s no reason to worry about an increased risk of Zika virus in the region.

Aedes aegypti mosquitos are capable of carrying the Zika virus as well as a number of other tropical diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

They are typically found in tropical environments, including the southern United States, but have been known to travel as far north as Michigan.

Public Health Canada says there are currently no reported cases of Zika virus being transmitted by mosquitos in Canada.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, acting medical officer of health at the health unit, said it isn’t clear exactly how the adult mosquito that was captured made it to the Windsor area. But he said that Aedes aegypti mosquitos have hitched rides into colder climates in shipping containers in the past.

“When you look at the spread of this particular species of mosquitos, that’s how they’re spread in other parts of the world as well,” he said.

Windsor, Ahmed pointed out, is a hub for shipping between Canada and the United States. He added that Windsor also saw the first cases of West Nile virus in Canada.

Windsor’s warm summers, as well as a very mild winter last year, may also be a factor, he said.

“This warmer temperature is definitely one of the reasons that these particular types of mosquitos are finding it much more favourable to grow and survive,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed said that the Windsor-Essex County health unit is consulting with provincial and federal health authorities on how to deal with Aedes-type adults and larvae.

The health unit said local residents should use bug repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts when outside, and ensure that their doors and windows don’t have holes.

Unlike many mosquitos, the Aedes aegypti mosquito bites during the day. The mosquito also doesn’t breed in ponds, puddles or marshes. Instead, the health unit said, it prefers to lay eggs in objects that contain still water, like buckets or vases.

Another mosquito species that’s closely related to Aedes aegypti — called the Aedes albopictus — is also present in the Windsor region, and is also capable of carrying the Zika virus. Last year, the health unit said it captured 17 adults of the species, and Ahmed said more adults were captured this year.

Curtis Russell, a program consultant with Public Health Ontario specializing in mosquito-borne diseases, said the Aedes aegypti mosquito population in Canada is too small for a serious outbreak of Zika.

“It’s very unlikely for this to occur in Windsor or Canada,” he said, noting that Canadians are more at risk of getting Zika if they travel to southern locations where it is more common.

Regions affected by the Zika virus include the Caribbean and South America, as well as parts of west and south Africa and the southern United States.

Most people who contract the infection have no symptoms; those that do get sick experience such ill effects as fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes. The disease usually resolves in about a week.

However, the virus has been potentially linked in Brazil to cases of abnormally small heads in infants born to women who may have been infected while pregnant, as well as cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological condition that can cause muscle weakness or even partial paralysis. Researchers are still scrambling to determine if Zika causes both the birth defect — known as microcephaly — and Guillain-Barre.

Alleged Canadian Yahoo hacker pleads not guilty in U.S. court, lawyer says

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 24th, 2017

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Karim Baratov is shown in a photo from his Instagram account. A lawyer of a Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails says his client has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in a San Francisco courtroom on Wednesday. Karim Baratov was arrested in Hamilton, Ont., in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Instagram MANDATORY CREDIT
A lawyer of a Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails says his client has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in a San Francisco courtroom on Wednesday.

Karim Baratov was arrested in Hamilton, Ont., in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.

Baratov’s U.S.-based lawyer, Andrew Mancilla, says his next court appearance will be Tuesday.

Last week, the 22-year-old decided to forgo his extradition hearing and face the charges in the United States in what his Canadian lawyer has called an effort to speed up the legal process.

The Hamilton man signed documents agreeing to waive the hearing before an Ontario judge on Friday, after weighing the decision for months.

Baratov has been held without bail since his arrest because an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that he was too much of a flight risk to be released prior to an extradition hearing.

The judge also found that Baratov’s parents would not make appropriate sureties since they had not been suspicious of their son’s alleged activities while he lived under their roof.

American authorities alleged in court documents that Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan, posed an “extremely high flight risk” in part due to his alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents and his financial resources.

He appealed the ruling that denied him bail but it was upheld in June.

Yahoo said last September that information from at least 500 million user accounts had been stolen in a cyberattack two years earlier. Baratov is accused of hacking 80 Yahoo accounts and faces 20 years in prison in the U.S. if convicted.

Striking Pearson ground crew vote against new offer

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 24th, 2017

Striking workers are seen picketing at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Friday, July, 28, 2017. About 700 ground crew workers at Canada's busiest airport are voting today on whether to accept a new contract offer and potentially end a four-week-long work stoppage.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Striking workers are seen picketing at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on July, 28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Striking ground crew workers at Canada’s busiest airport have voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest offer from their employer and will continue a four-week-long work stoppage.

A spokesman for Teamsters Union Local 419 says the workers employed by Swissport vote 98 per cent to reject a new contract after turning down an offer by a wide margin in late July.

“The first offer was rejected by 95 per cent so this is actually a stronger rejection,” said union spokesman Christopher Monette.

“Swissport’s second offer to our members was almost identical to the first one. All they did was change a few details.”

About 700 cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, and other ground crew workers employed by Swissport at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport have been on strike since late July.

Swissport services 30 airlines at the airport, including Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa. Air Canada and WestJet are not serviced by Swissport.

The ground crew strike has not significantly affected passengers, although the airport has been warning travellers that the labour disruption could affect some flights.

Terms of the latest offer were not released but the company had said it was optimistic the workers would accept the deal.

Their concerns have included pay and benefits cuts, scheduling issues, and what their union calls a lack of respect from Swissport managers.

“We’re dealing with a company that is proposing and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results and that’s a slap in the face really to our workers,” said Monette.

“This lack of respect was evident in the company’s first and second offers. They wanted to impose a three-year wage freeze on workers at the top of the wage scale. The problem is that’s actually the majority of workers at Swissport.”


Related stories:

Swissport says it’s coping with workers strike at Pearson, union disagrees

Pearson ground crew claims strike has caused significant baggage delays

Baggage system glitch resolved, operations ‘running well’ at Pearson

Technical glitch with baggage scales at Pearson causes backlogs

Hwy. 404 reopens after multi-vehicle crash in Aurora

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 24th, 2017

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Highway 404 has reopened in Aurora after a crash on Aug. 24, 2017. CITYNEWS
Two people are in hospital after a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 404 in Aurora.

The crash happened just south of Aurora Road, before midnight on Wednesday.

The highway has since reopened.

It’s not yet known how seriously the people were hurt, or how many vehicles were involved.

Highway 404 has reopened in Aurora after a crash on Aug. 24, 2017. CITYNEWS
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