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Following a food blogger’s diet can be dangerous to your health

MALEEHA SHEIKH | posted Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2018

Food bloggers hold a lot of power. They tell you what to eat if you want to look like them. But many are lacking the credentials to back up their claims.

It’s a frightening trend that has sounded the alarm for one Ontario mom, who is concerned not only for her daughter’s health but other impressionable people too.

Amreena Hussein says like many others, her 16-year-old daughter used to spend a lot of time online looking up popular hashtags, such as #nocarbs, #nosugar, #cleaneating.

“She would be looking at these food bloggers or… people who are on diets,  promoting certain diets and she’s like oh they’re doing this, why can’t I do it?”

Hussein’s daughter isn’t on Instagram anymore because she doesn’t support a lot of diets being promoted online .

“When you get into the realm of you know I’m doing this and you should do this too because this is what you’re going to look like, I think it creates problems for people,” Hussein said.

Toronto dietitian Andy Desantis agreed.

“One of the most common issues that I see in my practice is people who come in and they’re afraid of carbohydrates they’re afraid of sugar to the point where they won’t have any fruit in their diet and that’s where kind of draw the line and say that’s a really big concern.”

recent study finds those who use Instagram have a higher chance of developing Orthorexia nervosa. It’s an emerging concept, which means an obsession with eating clean.

Desantis says a lot of the healthiest foods out there that help people live a long time are fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and other whole grains that are good for you. He says it doesn’t make sense to deprive yourself of them, no matter what any blogger says.

He adds, you should be getting your nutritional advice from registered dietitians and not just any person who calls themselves nutritionists.

Every person is different and while you may not see any harmful effects of cutting out complete food groups short-term, you can face health problems in the long run.

Bombardier exec apologizes to TTC over delivery of 89 faulty streetcars

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2018

The president of Bombardier Transportation made his first appearance at Toronto’s transit commission board meeting on Tuesday and apologized for the latest problems with the streetcars his company delivered to the city.

“We understand and share the disappointment of the mayor, the board and the TTC riders. We truly apologize,” said Benoit Brossoit.

The transit authority said last week that the first 67 of 89 streetcars would be sent back for preventative repairs due to a welding issue.

Although the majority of streetcars will be sent back to Bombardier’s Welding Centre of Excellence in La Pocatiere, Que., Brossoit said the issue poses no safety risk to riders and staff members taking the TTC streetcars.

“Bombardier is Canadian and we are committed to Ontario,” said Brossoit, adding that all measures had been taken to fix this production issue.

To minimize the effect on service, only three or four cars will be repaired at a time. The shipping and repairs of the cars should take 19 weeks to be completed.

All 67 streetcars are scheduled to be fixed by 2022.

The problem was identified by Bombardier 18 months ago and involves work completed in Mexico.

Bombardier’s chief operating officer David Van der Wee told the board that the level of complexity of building the TTC streetcars was higher than expected. He assured the board that the root causes of the issue have been corrected and that the entire cost of the repairs will be covered by Bombardier.

“When narrowing down the issue to 67 cars, I want to highlight that we work with very conservative assumptions, always to be on the safe side of things,” he said.

Programs like this are complex and full of challenges, said Brossoit.

“Our commitment is to deliver on our promises, but, also to make it right when situation like this occur,” he said.

“Bombardier stands by its product. Always, no compromise,” he added.

The delays and recent production issues in the $1-billion order has caused frustration on the part of the board members, the TTC riders and the mayor.

TTC Chair Josh Colle said the streetcars were needed as soon as possible to serve passengers and replace the older ones.

“I strongly recommend you take a ride on some of those crowded, leaky, beasts of streetcars that are serving our passengers right now,” he told them.

TTC board member Rick Byers asked the president of Bombardier whether he should be trusted when telling the board that no more delays are expected.

Byers said it had been an “unbelievably frustrating experience for the people in this commission, but more importantly for the riders.”

“For us to have had to defend you, as I have had to do, it has been difficult,” he said.

Brossoit reassured the board that despite the repeated delays and recent production problems, the streetcars were his main focus and have been so since he started on the job.

He said the cars would be delivered on time.

“We are fully committed to the overall delivery of the 204 cars by the end of 2019. This means 77 more cars next year,” said Brossoit.

Rick Leary appointed TTC CEO by unanimous vote

BETTY WONDIMU | posted Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2018

TTC board has voted unanimously to name Rick Leary as CEO.

Leary stepped in as interim CEO last year when former Andy Byford left to become president of the New York City Transit Authority. Prior to that, Leary was the TTC’s Chief Service Officer since May 2014.

Before joining the TTC, Leary was already a transit veteran. He worked for Boston’s transit system for more than 25 years and served as York Region Transit’s general manager for four years.

The 55-year-old began his career as a train attendant in 1984 and is married with three children.

Local transit leaders, including Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster, have already come forward to congratulate Leary:

 

 

Curriculum writing session cancellation sparks concern in Ontario

SHAWN JEFFORDS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2018

TORONTO – Ontario’s sudden cancellation of curriculum writing sessions designed to fulfil findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has Indigenous leaders and others expressing concern and calling it a “step backward” on the road to reconciliation.

The Ministry of Education cancelled the sessions — scheduled for two weeks this month — after the Tory government, which took office June 29, clamped down travel spending across the public service.

The cancelled sessions were aimed at enhancing Indigenous perspective in the province’s school curriculum.

Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement that the cancellation appears to contradict a commitment by the provincial government.

“Ontario committed to working with Indigenous partners to address the legacy of residential schools,” Bellegarde said. “Premier Doug Ford needs to tell us how his government plans to deliver on the TRC Calls to Action.”

The Truth and Reconciliation commission spent six years extensively studying the church-run, government-funded residential school system, which operated across Canada for more than 120 years.

When the report was released in 2015 it called the system nothing short of a “cultural genocide” and made 94 broad recommendations, or Calls to Action, covering everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox says the Ontario government’s decision to abruptly cancel the sessions late last week won’t help efforts to fulfil the Calls to Action.

“We have heard from many educators, elders and knowledge keepers and share their frustration as this important work was dropped just before it was set to begin,” Fox said in a statement. “This is a step backwards on our journey towards reconciliation. The education of the youth in Ontario shouldn’t be dictated by the party in power, but left to professionals who acknowledge that identity-building is the only positive move forward.”

The government also cancelled curriculum writing sessions on American Sign Language and Indigenous Languages in kindergarten set for the same time.

Fox said the decision will impact Indigenous participants, many of whom had booked time away from work to attend the sessions.

“We are asking this government to reaffirm its commitment … working with Indigenous partners to address the legacy of residential schools, close gaps and remove barriers, support Indigenous cultures, and reconcile relationships,” he said.

Ben Menka, spokesman for Education Minister Lisa Thompson, said the government will continue to move ahead with the updated Truth and Reconciliation Commission curriculum revisions.

“The ministry will work with experts, elders and Indigenous communities to develop the support materials for the updated curriculum,” he said in an email, adding that the ministry moved ahead with the cancellation without direction from Thompson.

“In keeping with the commitment Premier Doug Ford made to run government more efficiently, all ministries will seek to carry out initiatives in the most cost-effective way possible,” Menka said.

NDP legislator Peggy Sattler slammed the Tory government for making the decision to cut the sessions behind closed doors.

“Indigenous education benefits all students, and promises a better shared future. Scrapping the TRC curriculum writing sessions at the last second is a damaging step backwards on the road to reconciliation — and it sends a horrible message to Indigenous communities about their importance to the Ford government,” Sattler said.

All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

CityNews Staff | posted Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2018

MAE SAI, Thailand — Thailand’s navy SEALs say all 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in far northern Thailand, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

They say the four boys and coach rescued Tuesday, after other rescues in the previous two days, are all safe.

The SEALs say they’re still waiting for a medic and three Navy SEALs who stayed with the boys to emerge from the cave.

A day-by-day look at the ordeal of 12 boys and their soccer coach, who were trapped deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand for more than two weeks:

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June 23: After a morning practice, 12 members of the local Wild Boars youth soccer team bicycle with their 25-year-old coach to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave to explore, when heavy rains begin. When none of the boys return home after dark and cannot be contacted, parents report them as missing. Their bicycles are found parked and locked at the cave entrance as a search begins around midnight.
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June 24: Search and rescue teams comprising local authorities, police and rescue workers find soccer shoes and backpacks left behind by the boys near the cave entrance.
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June 25: As the search expands, handprints and footprints thought to belong to the boys are found farther from the cave entrance. Parents holding a vigil outside begin prayer sessions.
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June 26: About a dozen Thai navy SEALs and others searchers penetrate the cave, but Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda tells reporters they are seriously handicapped by muddy water that has filled some chambers of the large cave to their ceilings.

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June 27: More heavy rainfall stymies search efforts, flooding underground passages faster than water can be pumped out. A U.S. military team and British cave experts, along with several other private teams of foreign cavers, join the operation.
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June 28: Efforts begin to drain groundwater from the cave by drilling from outside into the mountain. A search for other entrances to the cave intensifies as diving is temporarily suspended for safety reasons.
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June 29: Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visits the cave site and urges relatives of the missing not to give up hope. Efforts to drain the cave with pumps make little progress.
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June 30: The effort to locate the missing picks up pace again, as a break in the rain eases flooding in the system of caverns and more experts from around the world, including Australia and China, join the rescue mission. In anticipation of finding the boys, an evacuation drill is held to practice how they will be sent to a hospital after leaving the cave.
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July 1: Rescue divers advance into the main passageway inside the flooded cave and set up a staging area inside. Thai navy SEALs reach a bend where the kilometre- (half-mile-) long passage splits in two directions.

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July 2: Two expert British cave divers locate the missing boys and their coach. They record video of the boys talking with them.
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July 3: The videos are released and show the boys taking turns introducing themselves, folding their hands together in a traditional Thai greeting and saying their names. The boys also say they are healthy.
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July 4: Seven navy SEALs and a doctor join the boys with food and medicine. Options are discussed about whether the boys should be taken out of the cave with divers soon or kept in place until conditions improve.
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July 5: The boys continue with diving lessons in case a decision is made to extract them through a route that is partially underwater. The effort to pump out water in increased.
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July 6: Officials indicate that they favour extracting the boys as soon as possible, fearing further danger if they are forced to stay inside by more rain causing additional flooding. Concern increases about falling oxygen levels inside the cave. A former navy SEAL aiding the rescue effort dies from a lack of oxygen during his mission.

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July 7: Officials suggest that an underwater evacuation will be made in the following few days because of predictions of a rainstorm. However, they say the boys’ diving skills are not yet where they need to be.
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July 8: The official heading the rescue operation declares that “D-Day” has arrived as he announces the start of the operation to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave. Divers take four of the boys out through tight passages and flooded caverns.
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July 9: Divers take four more boys to safety during the second day of the rescue operation. This leaves four boys and their coach still inside the cave.
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July 10: On the third day of the rescue operation, divers bring out the remaining four boys and their coach, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

3rd mission underway at Thai cave, aims to rescue all left

KAWEEWIT KAEWJINDA AND STEPHEN WRIGHT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2018

MAE SAI, Thailand — Divers are carrying out what they hope is a final mission to save four boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded Thai cave for more than two weeks, the rescue leader said Tuesday, as health experts gave the eight already brought out a chocolate treat and described them as being in good spirits.

At midafternoon, an ambulance was seen leaving the cave site. Officials in the previous two days have not confirmed rescues until the day’s operation is over.

Chiang Rai Gov.Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday’s intricate and high-risk operation began just after 10 a.m. and involves 19 divers. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.

“We expect that if there is no unusual condition … the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three SEALs who have been with the boys since the first day will come out today,” he told a news conference to loud cheering.

Nargonsak said this phase may take longer than the previous two rescue missions. The first and longest mission took 11 hours.

The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days are in “high spirits” and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players, a senior health official said.

Doctors were being cautious because of the infection risk and were isolating the boys in the hospital. They did get a treat, however: bread with chocolate spread that they’d requested.

The plight of the boys and their coach has riveted Thailand and much of the world – from the heart-sinking news they were missing to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers. They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

At a news conference, Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food, though they can’t yet take the spicy dishes favoured by many Thais.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally “healthy and smiling,” he said.

“The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems,” Jedsada said. “Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.”

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, Jedsada told a news conference.

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jedsada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds Tuesday.

It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. Jedsada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face “because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave.”

If medical tests show no dangers, after another two days parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilized clothing and staying 2 metres away from the boys, said Tosthep Bunthong, Chiang Rai Public Health Chief.

The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14.

At least nine ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles were at the cave site Tuesday.

Heavy rains in the morning cleared during the day, a reassuring sign for rescuers who have feared monsoon rains could imperil the rescue.

Officials scotched any chance of using tech billionaire Elon Musk’s mini sub made of rocket parts to rescue the remaining boys.

Narongsak said he was grateful for Musk’s support but the equipment was impractical for the rescue mission.

Musk on Tuesday visited the cave and posted pictures and videos online. He said he left the equipment there in case rescuers could use it in the future.

Greyhound Canada to end routes in Prairies, B.C., leaving small towns in lurch

JANICE DICKSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2018

Greyhound Canada, for decades a critical link connecting the country’s small towns and isolated communities with bigger urban centres, is pulling away for good in the Prairies, B.C. and northern Ontario, leaving activists and Indigenous leaders fearing for the health and welfare of those who live in remote locales.

Effective Oct. 31, Ontario and Quebec will be the only regions where Greyhound’s familiar galloping-dog logo continues to ply Canadian highways, save for a lone route in B.C. between Vancouver and Seattle to be operated by the company’s much healthier American cousin, the company announced Monday.

“This decision is regretful and we sympathize with the fact that many small towns are going to lose service,” said Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick.

“But simply put, the issue that we have seen is the routes in rural parts of Canada, specifically Western Canada, are just not sustainable anymore.”

Northern Canada is sure to be where the impact is felt most deeply, said Sheila North, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and candidate for chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

“I think this is abandoning the North,” she said, citing a high demand in the region for transportation services _ “especially for those that live in poverty, but also who have medical needs that need to get down to the south for resources that are not accessible in the North.”

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, the co-chair of Saskatchewan-based Women Walking Together, described Greyhound’s decision as triggering a “northern crisis.”

“It’s going to affect a lot of people 1/8who will be 3/8 very, very isolated, especially the vulnerable people who have to deal with poverty and mental health and physical health issues that need treatment,” Okemaysim-Sicotte said.

She cited testimony already given at the ongoing national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, where witnesses have talked at length about a chronic lack of transportation in more remote regions of the country. Without Greyhound, fleeing domestic violence will be all but impossible for a lot of women, she warned.

Kendrick said the move is going to cost some 415 jobs and impact an estimated two million consumers.

The company is blaming a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, persistent competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of new low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints and the continued growth of car ownership.

Declining ridership is the primary culprit, said Kendrick, who called the combination of declining ridership and increasing costs an “ongoing spiral” that’s making it impossible for the company to continue operations.

He said the company has raised its concerns with provincial and federal officials over the years and wanted to ensure both levels of government were “fully aware” of the situation. Greyhound Canada has long advocated for a community funding model to allow any private carrier to bid on essential rural services, he added.

Kendrick said Greyhound Canada will continue to push Ottawa to look at improving transport in northern communities.

“There was a commitment to look at our issue, they’re well aware of it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve had problems but there was no funding commitment at that time,” he said.

“The company has experienced significant losses despite continued efforts to return to viability. In the affected regions, the company has run an operating deficit since 2004. We have had substantial losses over several years as a direct result of declining ridership.”

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said its citizens rely on Greyhound “heavily” – especially for medical appointments.

“It is already well documented that our citizens have to ride the bus for hours, some longer than 14 hours, in order to see a doctor. How will they get access to adequate health care now?” Grand Chief Arlen Dumas wondered in a statement, which also noted that “health care is a treaty right.”

Greyhound Canada said the bulk of its routes in Ontario and Quebec would continue to operate, except for a number of services that make use of the Trans-Canada Highway running between Sudbury and Winnipeg.

Kendrick said he understands that the decision will leave most of the affected communities with no other transportation options.

Greyhound Canada applied to provincial regulators last year to discontinue routes in northern B.C., including between Prince George to Prince Rupert, citing the problem of declining ridership. Those cancellations took effect June 1.

The issue of transportation along that route, which includes the notorious stretch of B.C.’s Highway 16 known as the Highway of Tears, was a major point of contention last fall during hearings at the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, where a number of women have gone missing.

North said Greyhound Canada’s announcement will make vulnerable people who rely on others for transportation “even more vulnerable.”

“It takes more control away from them and their safety they have less control.”

Growing feud between cab and Uber drivers at Union Station

TINA YAZDANI | posted Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2018

Tension continues to grow between cab and Uber drivers at one of Toronto’s most popular destinations.

With 250,000 people passing through Union Station every day, drivers are vying for their share of the business. But cab drivers say Ubers are now using designated taxi stand areas even though they’re not supposed to.

“They should know better,” said cab driver Mahmud Bakhshian. “They are not allowed to park in a taxi stand, but they do.”

People passing through the station say they often see tense situations unfolding between the two groups.

Cab drivers are seen confronting Uber drivers, telling them to get out of their space. The city confirms that only taxi drivers are allowed to use the designated taxi stands, and this is indicated clearly by signage.

But some Uber drivers suggest that it’s possible not everyone is aware of the rules.

“Maybe the newer drivers, if they just start driving, they don’t know the rules,” said Uber driver Albert Wale.

Wale added, he knows better than to ever break the rule.

The city would not confirm whether or not there is a designated area for Uber and Lyft drivers. Uber drivers say anything outside the taxi standing area is fair game, but sometimes during rush hour, when things are particularly cramped and crowded, they have no place else to go.

“Some of them disobey the law,” said cab driver Dalume Aziz.

“I blame the government, I don’t blame them. The government allowed them to get in. I’m 82 years old, 49 years driving a taxi. And they sold us for nothing.”

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