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Ontario education workers to announce result of ratification vote

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 4th, 2019

The union representing Ontario’s education workers will announce Monday morning whether its members voted to adopt a new contract that was drawn up last month.

The 55,000 workers narrowly avoided a strike in early October when the CUPE bargaining team reached an eleventh-hour tentative deal with the province.

Had the workers — including custodians, early childhood educators and clerical staff — gone on strike, two dozen school boards said they would have had to close their doors.

Under the deal, the workers would get a one per cent wage increase.

The union says it will provide further details of the deal at a news conference at the legislature.

It also plans to announce steps it says are needed to address underfunding in Ontario’s public education system.

Meantime, all three unions representing teachers are negotiating new deals with the provincial government.

The union representing elementary teachers and education workers has announced that its members voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike, though it wouldn’t lay out a timeline for when it could happen.

Unions representing secondary and Catholic teachers are also holding strike votes.

Cellphone restriction in schools to take effect Monday

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Nov 4th, 2019

New cellphone restrictions are set to go into effect Monday for students across the province.

The restrictions, first announced earlier this year and supported by 97 per cent of parents, students and teachers who took part in the Ford government’s education reform consultations, mean students at Ontario schools will not be allowed to use mobile devices during instructional time.

Ontario’s Minister of Eductation, Stephen Lecce, says the cellphone restriction is a step toward a focused and academically enriched learning environment for students.

“Our government heard clearly from parents and educators about the growing challenge related to distracted students in the classroom,” Lecce said in a statement. “When in class, students should be focused on their studies and not on social media.”

University of Montreal professor Thierry Karsenti, Canada Research Chair in Technologies in Education, agrees that cellphones are a problem in schools but says the focus should not just be on a ban.

“I think we should teach students to be more responsible in their use of technology and their use of cellphones.”

Exemptions will be made if cellphones and tablets are required for medical reasons, to support special needs or for educational purposes allowed by instructors.

Police identify 19-year-old killed at Halloween frat house party

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Nov 4th, 2019

Police have released the name of the man who died from stab wounds suffered at a frat house party on Halloween night while upgrading charges against a 19-year-old man in connection with the incident.

Firdous Nabizada, 19, of Toronto was among three people stabbed after an altercation broke out at a fraternity house on Madison Avenue in the Annex just after midnight on Friday.

Police say one of the party-goers who was ejected from the party after getting into a previous altercation and producing a knife attempted to re-enter the house. While others tried to calm him down, the suspect produced another knife and randomly attacked other individuals in line who were also trying to get into the party.

Nabizada was one of the victims stabbed and with the help of friends was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries. He was pronounced dead on Saturday night.

Jacob Alves, 19, of no fixed address who was arrested on the evening of the attack has now been charged with second-degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.

A 15-year-old girl from Richmond Hill who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act is facing three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of assault with a weapon, one count of attempted murder and weapons dangerous.

Police say they want to speak with anyone who was at the party and may have taken photos or video as well as anyone else who may have been in the area at the time of the incident.

Ontario elementary school teachers to release results of strike vote

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Nov 1st, 2019

The union representing Ontario’s elementary school teachers says it plans to announce Friday morning whether or not its members are willing to go on strike.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario has been holding strike votes across the province for the past several weeks as it tries to negotiate a new labour deal with the provincial government.

The union said it will release the results of those votes at a 10:30 a.m. news conference. Watch it live on this website.

The Progressive Conservative government has been in tense contract talks with all the province’s education workers, who have been without contracts since the end of August.

Last month it reached a deal with the Canadian Union of Public Employees hours before its members were to walk off the job.

Both the federation and the union representing public high school teachers have applied for conciliation in their ongoing talks with the province.

Toronto sets Hallowe’en rainfall record

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 1st, 2019

A Hallowe’en rainfall record has been set in the city.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said 18.8 millimetres of rain fell at Pearson Airport on Thursday.

“The record for rainfall for an October 31st was 16.2 (millimetres), actually set last year,” she explained.

“The difference though last year was that all the rain was in the morning and it ended by noon, so it really didn’t affect the trick-or-treaters.”

Gusty winds overnight are expected to die down throughout the day on Friday.

Taylor said it’s going to be a cool weekend, with highs ranging from five-to-eight degrees, and a few showers possible on Saturday.

2 teens seriously wounded in East York shooting

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 1st, 2019

Two teens have been seriously injured following reports of a shooting in East York.

Police say they responded to reports of multiple gunshots fired at the rear of a building on Cosburn Avenue just east of Pape Avenue around 9 p.m.

Police say they located two victims, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, suffering from gunshot wounds to the torso.

Paramedics say they transported the victims to a trauma centre in serious but non-life threatening condition.

One of the victims was shot in the chest. The other was shot in the stomach. Both are expected to live.

No word yet on what may have led to the shooting but police say a while male suspect, likely in his late teens or early 20s, was seen fleeing the area on foot.

7 injured after stabbing at house party in the Annex

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 1st, 2019

Seven people are in hospital — two of them with life-threatening injuries — after a stabbing at a house party in the Annex.

Toronto police were called to the home on Madison Avenue near Bloor Street West and Spadina Avenue just after midnight on Friday. Police said a fight broke out at the party.

Paramedics said two males have serious to life-threatening injuries, while the other two males have serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Two other males have minor injuries. A seventh male, whom police believe had been at the same party, made his own way to hospital with serious stab wounds.

A male, believed to be between 18-20 years old, has been taken into police custody.

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