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Loblaws pulls product after disturbing photos show birds trapped in wasp catcher

GINELLA MASSA AND NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Jul 18th, 2017

Loblaws is pulling a bug trapper off store shelves after photos surfaced online of several small birds stuck to the product’s surface.

The disturbing photos were posted to social media on Monday.

“We bought a wasp trap from Real Canadian Superstore recently as we were noticing a lot of wasps in our backyard. We often have little children playing there so we thought that a trap would help,” the Facebook post read.

“Sadly unbeknownst to us it trapped 7 tiny birds as well.”

The poster, who lives in the Beaches, said that she contacted the manufacturer of the TrapStik but was told they would not remove the product or post a warning.

According to the company, the TrapStik was designed to catch wasps as well as mud daubers, hornets, yellowjackets and carpenter bees.

In a statement to CityNews, Stephanie Cates, director of marketing and communications for Sterling International Inc., the company behind the TrapStik, said that while it is extremely rare, the product has been known to trap birds.

“Relative to the number of TrapStiks we sell every year, catching a bird is an extremely rare occurrence. In the 5 years since this product was introduced in the U.S., we’ve sold over 1 million TrapStiks, and have been alerted to a bird catch about a dozen times,” the statement read.

“While rare, we acknowledge that this is an upsetting and traumatizing sight for anyone to see. As with any sticky trap used outdoors, there is a risk of catching a bird, a beneficial insect or any other creature that flies and comes into contact with this trap.”

Cates said customers are told to only hang a TrapStik in a tree if there is a hornet’s nest in that tree. Otherwise the product is to hang from a man-made structure, away from where children, birds or pets may come in contact with the adhesive.

But instances of bird catching were news to Loblaws.

Tammy Smitham, vice president of external communication for Loblaw Companies Ltd., said this was the first time they’d heard concerns about the product and they would begin notifying their stores to accept refunds.

“While we are aware that other Canadian retailers carry this item, we have made the proactive decision to remove the product from our shelves,” the statement read.

“We are working on issuing this notification to our stores and will be able to accept any returns with a receipt for a full refund.”

Home Hardware, which also carries the product, told CityNews it would be investigating the situation.

Customers are being advised that if they find birds or other small animals stuck to the TrapStik, to use soap and water to free the animals.

Internship opportunity at Breakfast Television – Fall 2017

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

Passionate about breaking news, lifestyle content, social media, and producing creative and engaging stories for television and online?

Breakfast Television is a three-and-a-half hour LIVE television news and lifestyle production and is looking for a full-time digital and production intern for its Fall 2017 term (Sep. through Dec.). The successful applicant must be studying a relevant program, and the internship must be part of their school curriculum.

We’re looking for an individual who’s bright, creative, and energetic, with a passion for news- and lifestyle-themed content, plus the ability to hunt down the latest trends before they go viral! Knowledge of video production and editing would be considered a strong asset.

The position is a full-time, five-day-a-week program, running from 6 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday in our downtown Toronto studios.

Should you fulfill the requirements and wish to apply for the position, please forward your resume and cover letter, along with your placement officer’s name and contact info, to:

Please include ‘Internship‘ in the subject line.

Alternately, send a hard copy to:

City – Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Breakfast Television Internship Program
33 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1B8

If we are interested in following up with you, we will be in touch to set up an interview.

Health Canada issues warning about Fluffy Unicorn workout supplement

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

Health Canada issues warning about Fluffy Unicorn workout supplement
Health Canada says Fluffy Unicorn — an unauthorized natural health product promoted as a workout supplement — may pose serious health risks.

Health Canada says laboratory testing on product seized from a shop in Laval, Que., found that it contains undeclared synephrine and higher levels of caffeine than declared on the label.

When combined, synephrine and caffeine can cause serious side effects ranging from dizziness, tremors, headaches and irregularities in heart rate to seizures, psychosis, heart attacks and stroke.

Health Canada says consumers should stop using the product and consult with a health care professional if they have used Fluffy Unicorn and have any health concerns.

Should additional retailers or distributors be identified, Health Canada says it will take appropriate action.

Justin Trudeau’s summer playlist includes Drake, k.d. lang

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a Faith + Pride church service before the Pride parade in Toronto, on June 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released an official Spotify playlist.

Trudeau unveiled his “PM Mix” of 39 songs on the streaming service Saturday. It includes tracks by Canadian artists such as Drake, Shawn Mendes, k.d. lang and The Tragically Hip, as well as songs by Fiona Apple, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel and Neneh Cherry.

Trudeau asked “What am I listening to this summer? What should I be?” in both English and French when he posted the playlist Saturday on Twitter.

The 45-year-old prime minister is not the first world leader to publicly share a Spotify playlist. Former President Barack Obama released his summer music selections in two Spotify playlists in 2015. The artists included Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Coldplay and the Rolling Stones.


High Park Zoo reopens following unexpected death of bison

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

Bison are seen at the High Park Zoo
The High Park Zoo has reopened after closing unexpectedly following the death of one of its bison.

A spokesperson for Parks, Forestry and Recreation says it was one of four bison at the zoo and that the animal had no recent history of illness.

Matthew Cutler says they were alerted to the death by visitors to the zoo and that an investigation is underway to determine what caused the animal’s sudden death.

The zoo is also home to deer, llamas, peacocks, highland cattle and capybaras.

Ombudsman says failure of guards to obey use of force videotaping rules ‘alarming’

COLIN PERKEL, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

Federal prison guards are failing to comply with rules around videotaping their use of force against inmates in a majority of cases, according to data obtained by The Canadian Press.

In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the Office of the Correctional Investigator led by Ivan Zinger reviewed 1,436 incidents in which guards resorted to force against a prisoner. While the situation has improved in recent years, the high incidence of problems around video – in 67 per cent of the cases – is of significant concern, the prison ombudsman said in an interview.

“This is still a very high number of non-compliance,” Zinger said from Ottawa. “That’s what is alarming.”

Prison policy mandates that guards use a hand-held camera to video planned uses of force, as well as in spontaneous situations where feasible. Compliance problems exist in both scenarios, data show.

Some of the issues with video compliance are of a relatively minor or technical nature but in other cases, crucial video of incidents in which a prisoner alleges guards used excessive force – a criminal offence – simply isn’t available when it should be.

One recent example is the case of Timothy (Mitch) Nome, who alleged guards in March at Kent Institution in Agassiz, B.C., beat him in his cell without provocation. The independent investigator from Zinger’s office found no hand-held video of the incident was available for reasons not properly explained.

The lack of video evidence that could have proven or refuted Nome’s allegation left the investigator with little choice other than to say he couldn’t conclude what happened in Nome’s cell that morning, his report shows.

Overall, Zinger said, cases where video goes missing, is deleted, or is otherwise unavailable to his ombudsman office are relatively rare but have an enormous impact.

“They cast an incredibly negative light on, and it may taint all, the good work that correctional officers do,” he said. “It’s all good to say, ‘we’ve acted appropriately,’ but if you can demonstrate that you have – and the video does that for you – then it makes the system even more credible and erases any doubt in anybody’s mind.”

Non-compliance incidents involving video have fallen since the 83.5 per cent found in 2014-2015, but the Office of the Correctional Investigator identified ongoing issues such as:

– Delays in dispatching hand-held cameras during spontaneous use of force when time and resources are available;

– Failure to video pre-incident briefings when force is planned;

– Lack of video of decontamination procedures after guards have used chemical spray on an inmate.

The correctional service wouldn’t be commenting on the data because they came from a third party and would need to be verified, spokeswoman Laura Cumming said in an email. She also said policy breaches are not tolerated and would be investigated.

Given the immense power entrusted to guards, the ombudsman said, full compliance with law and policy in all aspects is critical. Video can help protect vulnerable inmates from abuse, but can also protect guards against false allegations of brutality.

“This is behind the wall and it’s always very secretive (so) there’s even more of a necessity that you follow the policy with respect to video evidence,” Zinger said. “It’s to the benefit of everybody to make sure that cameras are used appropriately.”

One problem area Correctional Service Canada could easily fix, he said, relates to the amount of time video from the myriad surveillance cameras in prisons must be kept before they become part of an active investigation. Current policy allows the service to retain video for six days.

Zinger said that’s too short and means information may disappear before anyone gets to it. He wants reinstatement of a 30-day retention policy that existed until 2005.

“Memory is very cheap,” he said. “There’s no cost issue about having lots of storage.”

Cumming said the service was in the process of examining “various technologies to improve the retention capacity of existing recording equipment” in prisons.

Start your engines: Honda Indy among events to rev up your weekend

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Friday, Jul 14th, 2017

Will Power, of Australia, races during the Honda Indy Toronto in Toronto on July 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
If you crave adrenaline and love fast cars, then Lake Shore Boulevard is the place to be this weekend as the Honda Indy roars into town. If the Indy is not your thing, other events around town are sure to appeal to your kind of fun.

As is the case with most weekends, there is a partial subway closure, so plan for an alternate route to get you to where you need to go.


Honda Indy
The roar on Lake Shore Boulevard is back with a three-day line-up of events and racing. Festivities for the 31st edition of the Honda Indy get underway with Fan Friday and run through Sunday. Guests can explore five areas: Honda World, Thunder Alley, Honda Speedzone, Beer Gardens and paddock/garage access. The big race is set for Sunday at 3:40 p.m. Road closures have been in place since Wednesday. Click here for a list.

Festival of India
A colourful and euphoric parade kicks off the two-day 45th annual Festival of India on Saturday. The parade travels down Yonge Street, from Bloor Street and south to Queens Quay. The celebration then moves on to Sherbourne Common on Dockside Drive, where people can partake in a free vegetarian feast. There will also be theatrical performances, a bazaar, outdoor yoga, traditional face painting, and more. Admission to the festival is free.

Floats at the Festival of India in 2014. Photo credit: Facebook/festivalofindia.toronto


Bloor West StreetFest
The Bloor West Village will be shut down this Saturday for its first-ever StreetFest. The hustle and bustle will begin at 10 a.m., with tents lining the streets. Shoppers can explore the outdoor marketplace, and there will also be children’s activities and themed side streets. As the sun goes down, Bloor West will be transformed into an Artisan Night Market, complete with buskers. The festival runs until 10 p.m.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
Nathan Phillips Square is always a hub of activity. This weekend, more than 340 artists will converge at the exhibition, showcasing their original artwork to the masses under canopies. Art enthusiasts can chat with the artists and also purchase a piece of art. The three-day event starts on Friday with a performance by Brazilian Samba group Batucada Carioca. Admission to the outdoor art show is free. If you need a beer or snack break, an beer garden will provide all the food and beverages you need.

Toronto's Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square. Photo credit: Facebook.com/toaeart


Night Nation Run
The world’s first Running Music Festival is taking over Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night. The Night Nation Run offers live music, lights, lasers and the latest in Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Participants can run, walk, skip or dance their way through the racecourse to multiple DJ stages along the way. Each party zone offers light-shows, selfie stations and giveaways. The run ends with a main stage after party featuring top EDM DJ’s and celebrity performers. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with a pre-party set for 7:30 p.m. and the first wave of runners hitting the course at 8:30 p.m.

Budweiser County Fair
If you’re a little bit country, then put on your boots and line dance your way to the county fair in downtown Toronto this weekend. Country music, carnival games and food, BBQ, line dancing and a mechanical bull championship awaits you at the fair, which is being held outdoors at 525 King St. W. Click here to purchase tickets.

Mississauga Ribfest
Another weekend, another ribfest to look forward to – this time in Mississauga. The ribfest, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, features vendors offering BBQ ribs and chicken, and other food and drink options. Attendees can also take in live music and an amateur singing competition. Money raised from the event goes to the Rotary Foundation, which raises money for various projects aimed at improving people’s lives around the world.

TTC and road closures

Partial Line 2 shutdown
A heads up for TTC riders this weekend, there’s a subway closure to keep in mind as you navigate the city. Service won’t be running on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Jane and Ossington stations. Crews will be doing track work during the Satruday to Sunday closure. Shuttle buses will be running. Regular service is expected to resume Monday morning.

Road closures

Southbound Strachan is closed between Lake Shore Boulevard and Fleet Street, and Lake Shore is shut down both ways from Strachan to British Columbia Drive. Both closures are expected to be in effect until 11 p.m. on Sunday, Toronto police said. The TTC is also diverting several routes to accommodate the Honda Indy, including the 511 Bathurst streetcar, 29 Dufferin bus, 509 Harbourfront streetcar and the 510 Spadina streetcar.

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