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21 of 55 Ontario forest fires remain out of control

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Jul 24th, 2018

Firefighters were battling 55 forest fires as of late Monday in northeast Ontario, of which 21 were not yet under control.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said one of the fires dubbed Cochrane 14 northeast of Timmins had grown to 4,899 hectares and remained out of a control.

A larger blaze called Parry Sound 33 measured 5,612 hectares as of late Monday and was being fought with planes and helicopters.

On Saturday, the provincial ministry called for a mandatory evacuation of residents in the area with boat access only and for all other residents to be placed on an evacuation alert.

The French River Provincial Park has been fully closed west of Highway 69/400 and all campers were being or have been evacuated.

The ministry says firefighters and equipment “have poured in” from across Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Mexico to help Ontario-based crews.

Due to the continuing extreme fire hazard and the number of wildfires, the ministry has expanded a restricted fire zone.

It now runs north of Rosseau in the Parry Sound area to Caramat in the northwest near Geraldton, and to the Quebec border along Highway 11 and southeast to Renfrew. The area includes Algonquin Park, Parry Sound, Lake Superior Provincial Park, the North Shore of Lake Huron, Wawa, and Hearst.

In a restricted fire zone, the use of open fires such as campfires, or burning of brush or debris, is restricted. Violators could see fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as footing the bill for the cost of fighting a forest fire.

Salmonella contamination prompts recall of goldfish crackers

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Jul 24th, 2018

A brand of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers is being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the Goldfish Flavour Blasted Xtreme Cheddar Crackers sold in both 180-gram and 69-gram packages are being recalled.

The larger packages bear product codes listing several dates for next January and February while the smaller packages display dates for January only.

The CFIA says the recall, initiated by the Campbell Company of Canada, was triggered by a similar action taken in another country.

The federal agency says there have been no reported illnesses linked to eating these products, which should be thrown out or returned to the store where purchased.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.

Healthy people may have short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Danforth residents in disbelief after mass shooting

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 23rd, 2018

A mass shooting in one of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods has left residents in disbelief.

Two people were killed, including a woman, and 13 others were injured, including a young girl who is in critical condition, in Greektown late Sunday night.

There has been no word on a possible motive behind the shooting, which happened on Danforth Avenue near Logan Avenue.

Sam Kochany lives and works in the Danforth neighbourhood and said the incident has left him in shock.

“It’s unfathomable … it’s just shock. When you see that many cops coming through, you don’t know what to think,” he said.

“I just came up out of the basement and realized something was going on horribly .. some people said they heard gunshots.”

Kochany called his girlfriend, who was inside their home at the time, and told her to stay inside. She said she’s in disbelief.

“We’ve been here for two years, this is one of the safest neighbourhoods. I love the community feel. I love how family oriented it is … you read this stuff happening in other parts of the city and you think ‘never, never on the Danforth’ and now it’s here and it’s messed up,” she explained.

Helen, who doesn’t want her last name published, also lives on The Danforth and said the scene was “chaos.”

“Now that it’s happened here on the Danforth, like THE Danforth … I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think a lot of people are afraid,” she said.

“I know they’re going to have the Taste of the Danforth here in August and I’m already hearing people say “I don’t know if I’m going to attend’”

Mary Fragedakis is the city councillor for Toronto-Danforth. She took to social media to express her sadness over the “despicable act.”

“Here on the Danforth tonight, my heart and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones,” she tweeted.

“Words cannot express my sadness over this despicable act. Thanks to all the first responders and medical teams.

Several other politicians also turned to social media with similar sentiments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his thoughts to the victims and said “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave”

“My thoughts are with the #Danforthshooting victims, the survivors and their families. My heartfelt gratitude is with the first responders and their life-saving efforts.” Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam wrote.

“Tonight, a despicable act has been perpetrated on the Danforth in our city. On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am outraged that someone has unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening,” Mayor John Tory tweeted.

“My heart is with the victims, their loved ones, and all those near the #Danforth tonight impacted by this horrific violence. Thank you to life-saving police and paramedics. If you are a potential witness, please contact @TorontoPolice. #Danforthshooting,” Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath tweeted.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted that he was “totally devastated by the news out of the Danforth.”

Canadian actor William Shatner also took to social media to express his condolences to the victims of the shooting.

“Suits” actor Patrick J Adams, who was born in Toronto, tweeted his reaction shortly after reports of the shooting surfaced.

“Another night of senseless loss and brutality in my home town. Praying that some of these reported injuries from the shooting don’t turn into fatalities. Thank you to all the officers and doctors working hard tonight to deal with the aftermath. #danforth”

Actress and screenwriter Nia Vardalos, whose smash-hit movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was filmed largely in the Danforth neighbourhood, also tweeted her condolences.

Toronto preparing to part ways with a piece of aviation history

Brandon Rowe | posted Monday, Jul 23rd, 2018

An iconic World War II-era bomber that was a staple on the Toronto waterfront for 34 years appears set to take flight for a new home.

City Council is expected to approve a motion on Monday that would give up possession of the historic Lancaster bomber which had resided in Coronation Park up until 1999. The plane is expected to be transferred to the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island, partly because the city cannot afford to restore the bomber.

The aircraft, which was built in Malton, Ont. in 1944, was used for maritime patrols and search-and-rescue operations by the Royal Canadian Air Force once the war was over. Upon its retirement in 1964, it was displayed at Coronation Park until 1999 and later moved to the Canadian Air and Space Museum at Downsview Park until that facility was closed and transformed into a hockey rink.

The dismantled plane has been stored in a hangar at the Edenvale Aerodrome near Barrie, at a cost of $25,000 a year to the city, as there are no suitable spaces within Toronto to house the aircraft.

Earlier this year, the Economic Development Committee delayed a decision on the future of the aircraft in order to give groups more time to find a way to fund the restoration. One of those groups, #SaveLancasterFM104, had been trying to put together a proposal to restore and keep the plane in the city. However, despite a valiant effort – including a last minute bid from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton – this piece of Toronto history is likely headed west.

If negotiations to transfer the Lancaster to B.C. fails, the aircraft will be transferred to the Edenvale Aviation Heritage Foundation for continued resotration and displayed until a suitable home can be found.

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

LEE BERTHIAUME, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jul 23rd, 2018

Canada has offered to take in dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria following a dramatic rescue over the weekend that was orchestrated by the Israeli military and personally encouraged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Named for their easily recognizable headware, the all-volunteer White Helmets have been lauded and supported by Canada and other Western nations for their role as first responders and humanitarian workers during Syria’s bloody and brutal civil war.

Canada provided the civil organization with $7.5 million over the past two years to help with recruitment and training, with a specific emphasis on women.

But with the Syrian government having regained control of much of the country and moving to wrest back the last of several rebel-held areas in recent weeks, there had been concerns that dozens of White Helmets stranded on the border with Jordan would become targets for Syrian troops.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Sunday that Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump were among those who asked Israel to rescue the White Helmets, after leaders first talked about how to help the volunteers during the recent NATO summit in Brussels.

The ensuing operation saw the Israeli military evacuate hundreds of people to neighbouring Jordan, though the exact numbers were still being determined; Jordanian officials initially said that 800 Syrians were rescued, though that number was later revised down to around 425.

Writing on Twitter in Arabic, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the Syrians were allowed into the country following written commitments that Germany, Britain and Canada would resettle them following the operation.

Canada has offered to host up to 50 White Helmets and their families, a senior official confirmed to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity. With the addition of family members, that could bring the total to around 250 Syrians, though the official said the actual number could be lower.

Exactly when the White Helmets would arrive is unclear; the rescued Syrians are expected to remain in a UN refugee camp for at least three months to allow for processing.

Minimum wage increases bite into funding boost for Canada Summer Jobs program

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jul 23rd, 2018

Rising provincial minimum wages have cut into the reach of the Liberal government’s oft-touted increase to summer jobs spending by reducing the number of weekly hours being funded this year.

The Liberals have doubled spending on the politically popular program to approximately $220 million in order to boost the number of available jobs to 70,000 from about 35,000.

Newly released documents show the government was aware in late winter that there would be a drop in the number of hours funded through the program to meet the Liberal government’s summer jobs target.

A mid-March briefing note to Labour Minister Patty Hajdu warned of the planned reduction in the average hours per job funded through the program, moving to a national average of 30 hours a week in 2018 from 35 in 2017.

Officials wrote that the plan could raise concerns from MPs who like to promote the spending, as well as from employers — particularly organizations that need help paying and attracting seasonal workers.

“The reduction is expected to affect organizations that require more weeks in order to sustain their operations (e.g. summer camp) and to attract enough potential applicants,” reads the briefing note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law.

Figures provided by the department suggest officials have eased some of the effects, but there has still been a decline in hours across all 10 provinces. There has been no reduction in funded hours in the territories.

A spokeswoman for Hajdu said the government stands by its decision to double the number of jobs through the program, and is “continually looking at ways to improve the program” for students needing “quality summer job experience.”

The annual program provides wage subsidies, targeting mostly not-for-profit groups and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

The program helps small businesses and organizations manage cash flow in the early stages of a summer placement because students may need time to learn the job before they contribute to an organization’s bottom line, said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“That’s why these government programs are helpful in overcoming those kinds of start-up difficulties for small firms.”

Demand for funding always exceeds the amount the government spends on the program and this year was no different. The total value of all the applications this year was $68.9 million more than last year, a figure the briefing note chalked up to rising minimum wages, particularly in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. Hajdu was told the increases in minimum wage nationally averaged out to a 13.7 per cent bump in wages.

At a kickoff event for the program in late April, one non-profit group pressed Hajdu about the government’s plan to deal with the effects of minimum wage increases on the program.

Hajdu responded that officials were working with provinces and territories. She added that employers approved for funding would make “decisions and determinations accordingly” about hours and duration of summer jobs.

The department overseeing the program recommended 85,000 jobs for funding this year out of the more than 153,500 requests. Officials recommended more jobs than the expected 70,000 because some employers drop out of the program, while others end up being unable to fill the jobs.

Final Canada Summer Jobs figures won’t be known until later this year.

The Liberals have faced criticism this year from faith-based groups over new funding criteria that required groups to say neither their core mandate nor the jobs being funded actively worked to undermine constitutional, human and reproductive rights.

Many faith-based groups refused to sign the declaration and the government is facing legal challenges to the anti-abortion requirements.

Employment and Social Development Canada said officials have not revoked any group’s funding this year for being in violation of the declaration.

No Name chicken nuggets, Ritz Bits sandwiches recalled due to salmonella

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jul 23rd, 2018

There’s a pair of food recalls due to possible salmonella contamination.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. is recalling certain No Name brand Chicken Nuggets and unbranded $10 Chicken Fries.

The nuggets were sold in 907 gram packages with a best before date of 2019 MA 15 and a UPC code 0 60383 89685 0 while the fries were sold in 1.81-kilogram packages with a best before date of 2019 MR 23 and a UPC code 0 60249 01411 4.

Both products were distributed nationally, and should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been at least seven reported illnesses, including one hospitalization, associated with the products.

The agency says the cases were reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.

Meanwhile, Mondelēz Canada is recalling Christie brand Ritz Bits Sandwiches, both cheese and pizza flavours.

The items in question were sold in 180 g, 42 g, 30 x 42 g and 180 g snak paks with the following UPC codes: 0 66721 00216 7, 0 66721 00556 4, 0 66721 00609 7, 0 66721 00608 0, 0 66721 01623 2

There have been no reported illnesses and the recall was prompted due to a recall in another country.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning often include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Long-term complications can also include severe arthritis.

Internship opportunity at Breakfast Television – Fall 2018

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 20th, 2018

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 2018 term (September through December). 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:

comments@bttoronto.ca
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.

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