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Sears Canada files for creditor protection, cutting 2,900 jobs

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017

A Sears Canada outlet is seen in Saint-Eustache, Que., on June 13, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Sears Canada Inc. plans to close 59 locations and cut approximately 2,900 jobs as part of its plan to restructure its business under court protection from creditors.

The struggling retailer says it will close 20 full-line locations, plus 15 Sears Home stores, 10 Sears Outlet stores and 14 Sears Hometown locations.

The company was granted an initial order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) on Thursday.

The struggling retailer has piled up losses and seen its stock dive, losing more than 80 per cent of its value in the last year, despite efforts to reinvent itself at a time when more Canadians are shirking bricks-and-mortar in favour of online shopping.

It has also gone through several leadership changes in recent years.

The company, which was founded as a mail-order business in 1952, warned just last week there was “significant doubt” about its future and that it could be sold or restructured.

The CCAA is a federal law that gives businesses a chance to operate under court supervision while working out a plan with bond holders, landlords, suppliers and other creditors.

“The brand reinvention work Sears Canada has begun requires a long-term effort,” Sears Canada said in a statement.

“But the continued liquidity pressures facing the company as well as legacy components of its business are preventing it from making further progress and from restructuring its legacy assets and businesses outside of a CCAA proceeding.”

Sears Canada said if the Ontario Superior Court of Justice grants it creditor protection, it will try to complete its restructuring and aim to exit protection as soon as possible this year.

Its announcement didn’t elaborate on what it expects to do to restructure its business.

Headquartered in Toronto, Sears Canada has 94 department stores, 23 Sears Home stores and 10 outlets.


Related stories:

Sears Canada raises doubt about ability to continue

Sears Canada shares plunge on report that it’s preparing to seek court protection

Summer bylaw enforcement includes off-leash dogs: City of Toronto

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017

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There will be more bylaw officers in the parks this summer, a city spokesperson said Wednesday, but that’s not unusual.

Every summer there are more bylaw officers in the parks, “enforcing and educating residents about all of the bylaws,” Tammy Robbinson told CityNews in an email.

In the past, the city has cracked down on dog owners who don’t keep their dogs on a leash. Dogs must be on a leash, except in designated “off-leash” areas. This summer, bylaw officers will “remind residents about what the rules are … and remind them that not everyone loves dogs and we have to share public spaces.”

In 2016, there were 1283 complaints about dogs not being properly leashed, leading to 127 charges.

So far this year, there have been 652 complaints, leading to 49 charges. The fine for breaking the law is $360.

In 2014, Toronto focused its efforts on education, advising residents that dogs were to remain tethered to their owners at all times except when on the owner’s personal property or in a designated off-leash zone. The city investigated 829 reports of dog handlers violating that law and laid 161 charges that year.

In 2015, the city conducted an “enforcement blitz” that was considered unusual in Canada.

Click here to find an off-leash dog park in your area.

With files from The Canadian Press

LCBO extends hours ahead of possible strike

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017

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An LCBO store is pictured in Toronto on April 20, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon
The LCBO has announced extended hours in advance of a possible strike as well as to help customers shopping for Canada Day activities.

It says select stores will open from as early as 9:00 a.m. to as late as 11:00 p.m. from tomorrow through Saturday — while some stores will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

All stores will be closed on Canada Day but over 450 stores across Ontario will open from as early as 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. the following day — if the Crown corporation isn’t hit by labour action.

Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will be in a legal strike position just after midnight next Monday — although the LCBO has said it is hopeful a negotiated collective agreement can be reached.


Related stories:

LCBO workers could strike days before Canada Day long weekend

LCBO staff take another step toward possible strike

Toronto’s Auston Matthews named NHL Rookie of the Year

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) celebrates with teammates after scoring a power play goal against the New York Islanders during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb.14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews is seen during second period NHL hockey action against the Tampa Bay Lightning, in Toronto on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Count Washington Capitals centre Evgeny Kuznetsov as a fan of Auston Matthews.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews was named the Calder Trophy winner as the NHL’s top rookie at the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

Matthews led all first-year players this season and tied for second in the league with 40 goals, including four in his NHL debut.

He is the first rookie to hit the 40-goal mark since Alex Ovechkin in 2005-06.

The California-born, Arizona-raised forward added 29 assists to pace all rookies with 69 points as he helped lead the Leafs into the playoffs for just the second time over the last 12 seasons.

Matthews is the first Leaf to win the Calder since Brit Selby in 1965-66.

Winnipeg right-wing Patrik Laine and Columbus defenceman Zach Werenski were the other finalists for the award.

Pie and tart shell recall expanded due to E. coli concerns

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017

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The CFIA has issued a recall for pie and tart shells due to E. coli concerns. CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is expanding a recall for pie and tart shells due to E. coli concerns.

They may have been made from contaminated flour. While some people have gotten sick from the flour, no one has become ill from these specific pie and tart shells.

The pie and tart shells were sold across Ontario, including in London, Millbank, and Wingham.

Remark Fresh Markets 2″ Tart Shells 200 g Sold from January 13, 2017 to June 5, 2017 0 250542 002998 Sold in Ontario from Remark Fresh Markets London –
1190 Oxford St W
London, ON
Remark Fresh Markets 5″ Tart Shells 120 g Sold from May 12, 2017 to June 5, 2017 0 250542 001994 Sold in Ontario from Remark Fresh Markets London –
1190 Oxford St W
London, ON
Zehr’s Country Market – Millbank Tart Shells Unsweetened 2″ Variable Sold from March 15, 2017 to June 5, 2017 0 203017 408498 Sold in Ontario from Zehr’s Country Market –
6979 Main St.
Millbank, ON
Zehr’s Country Market – Millbank Tart Shells Unsweetened 3″ Variable Sold from December 21, 2016 to June 5, 2017 0 203018 706999 Sold in Ontario from Zehr’s Country Market –
6979 Main St.
Millbank, ON
Zehr’s Country Market – Millbank Tart Shells Unsweetened 4″ 18 units Sold from March 29, 2017 to June 5, 2017 0 203019 307997 Sold in Ontario from Zehr’s Country Market –
6979 Main St.
Millbank, ON
Zehr’s Country Market – Millbank Tart Shells Unsweetened 5″ 10 PK Sold from January 18, 2017 to June 5, 2017 0 203020 206494 Sold in Ontario from Zehr’s Country Market –
6979 Main St.
Millbank, ON
Green’s Meat Market 2″ Tart Shell 40 pieces Sold from March 8, 2017 to May 31, 2017 None Sold in Ontario from Green’s Meat Market –
237 Arthur St.
Wingham, ON
Green’s Meat Market 3″ Tart Shell 30 pieces Sold from January 11, 2017 to May 31, 2017 None Sold in Ontario from Green’s Meat Market –
237 Arthur St.
Wingham, ON
Green’s Meat Market 9″ Deep Pie Shell 3 x 190 g Sold from March 8, 2017 to May 31, 2017 None Sold in Ontario from Green’s Meat Market –
237 Arthur St.
Wingham, ON

Click here to see the full list of recalls due to the flour.

The CFIA says food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick.

Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea.

In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage.

Are you ready for the summer? Some rain but mostly warm weather in the forecast

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Jun 21st, 2017

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People enjoy the hot weather in Toronto on June 11, 2017. CITYNEWS
After all the rain and roller-coaster temperatures the GTA has seen since the spring, summer couldn’t have come any sooner.

Summer officially arrived at 12:24 a.m. on Wednesday. It is also the longest day of the year, with 15 hours of sunlight expected in the day.

The first day of summer will bring a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 24 C, 680 NEWS meteorologist Harold Hosein said.

He said that warmth will be typical during the height of the summer months, but to expect some active weather on very hot days.

“It appears to be a typical summer for July and August with temperatures in the mid- to high-20s. Expect some hot, dry days but also some thunderstorms, which could give us some heavy downpours,” Hosein said.

Last year, the City of Toronto issued 14 heat alerts and eight extreme heat alerts. So far this year, the city has had three heat alerts.

Hosein said the GTA won’t likely see the amount of rain the region experienced in the spring.

“We could see some rainy weather as head into the first few days of summer, but I expect that we will have some dry spells as we head into the later part of July,” he said.

Showers and isolated thunderstorms are in store for Thursday and Friday and daytime temperatures in the high-20s. There is a also a chance of showers over the weekend with temperatures in the low-20s.

While many are looking forward to the summer heat, mosquito season arrived early this season and experts predict it is going to be a bad one.

In April, Toronto and Region Conservation’s chief aquatic biologist said models indicate this summer will be worse than most and the mild winter is to blame for this early start.

The TRCA and public health departments across the region are most concerned about mosquito-borne illnesses, particularly the West Nile virus. They look for species of mosquitoes that can carry that disease; of the 67 species in Ontario, only about 13 carry it.

Britain’s Prince Philip admitted to hospital with infection

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jun 21st, 2017

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrives at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Sunday, July 4, 2010. Prince Philip is planning a lightning trip to Toronto this spring. The Duke of Edinburgh will travel to the city on April 27 to present a new regimental colour to the Third Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrives in Toronto for a royal visit on April 26, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Prince Philip has been admitted to a hospital for treatment of an infection and will not be able to attend the Queen’s Speech, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday.

Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, was admitted as a precautionary measure and is in good spirits, the palace said.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, is 96 and recently said he was stepping down from public events.

He has suffered heart ailments in the past. The palace said the infection is related to a pre-existing condition.

The queen is due to outline the government’s legislative agenda in her speech Wednesday. Prince Charles will attend in Philip’s place.

The palace said Philip is being treated at the King Edward VII Hospital in London after being admitted Tuesday night.

Queen Elizabeth II plans to attend the horse races at Royal Ascot on Wednesday afternoon, the palace said.


Related stories:

Britain’s Prince Philip to retire from royal duties

A list of Prince Philip’s visits to Canada over the years

Maclean’s: Prince Philip may be slowing down, but he’s not bowing out

Toronto authors Melanie Mah, Meaghan Strimas among Trillium Book Award winners

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jun 21st, 2017

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File photo of library books on a shelf. CITYNEWS
Authors Melanie Mah and Meaghan Strimas are the English-language winners of this year’s Trillium Book Awards honouring Ontario-based writers.

Mah, who was born in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., and is now based in Toronto, was awarded the top honour in the literature category for her debut novel “The Sweetest One” (Cormorant Books). The story centres on a teen girl in a small Alberta town living with a crippling fear brought on by belief in a family curse after the deaths of three of her siblings and the departure of a fourth.

Strimas, who grew up in Owen Sound, Ont., and is also based in Toronto, won the poetry prize for her third collection “Yes or Nope” (Mansfield Press). She is an English professor at Humber College and the managing editor of the Humber Literary Review.

The French-language literature prize was awarded to Ottawa-based Jean Boisjoli for his debut novel “La Mesure du temps” (Editions Prise de parole), while the French-language children’s literature award went to Ottawa-born Pierre-Luc Belanger for “Ski, Blanche et avalanche” (Editions David).

Recipients of the Trillium Book Award for literature receive $20,000 and their respective publishers receive $2,500 to promote the winning titles. Poetry and children’s literature winners each receive $10,000, and their publisher $2,000 for promotion of the titles. Finalists in all categories receive a $500 honorarium.

Now in its 30th year, the Trillium Book Award is billed as Ontario’s highest literary honour, with past winners including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, the late Austin Clarke and Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro.

This year’s English-language jury included authors Cherie Dimaline, James Grainger, and 2016 Trillium Book Award poetry winner Soraya Peerbaye.

The French-language jury included authors Celine Forcier, Melchior Mbonimpa, and 2001 Trillium Book Award for literature winner Didier Leclair.

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