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School boards announce school opening dates

Kyle Mack | posted Friday, Sep 4th, 2020

With schools preparing to go back into session, students, educators, and parents prep for the unknown.

To help with the transition, we compiled a list of key dates for school boards across Ontario.

SEPTEMBER 8th START DATE:

  • HWDSB (staggered start)
  • PEEL
  • DUFFERIN PEEL CATHOLIC
  • Durham (staggered until the 18th)
  • YORK CATHOLIC – staggered

SEPTEMBER 9th

  • HALTON CATHOLIC

SEPTEMBER 10TH

  • YORK REGION

SEPTEMBER 14TH

  • HALTON
  • TCDSB (STAGGERED)

SEPTEMBER 15TH START DATE:

  • TDSB – staggered
Have something to say about school re-opening? Email us at feedback@breakfasttelevision.ca for the chance to have your message broadcasted LIVE on Breakfast Television Toronto.

Statistics Canada to unveil August job numbers, expected to show gains

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Sep 4th, 2020

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada will report this morning how well the country’s job market fared in August.

After seeing a historic drop of some three million jobs over March and April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has since recovered just over half of what was lost.

Expectations are for a gain again in August, but at a slower pace than previous months.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate is for a gain of 275,000 jobs in August and an unemployment rate of 10.1 per cent.

Canada’s labour market gained 418,500 jobs in July, a slowing from the 953,000 jobs gained in June, and the unemployment rate dropped to 10.9 per cent as part of a continuing slide down from the record-high 13.7 per cent in May.

Economists have noted faster gains in part-time versus full-time work, and an increasing share of part-time workers who prefer full-time work compared with July 2019.

Brendon Bernard, an economist with job-posting website Indeed.com, wrote this week that August job numbers could yield a few more quick wins with more parts of the country open for business, such as the return of indoor dining across parts of Ontario after July’s survey week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

O-m-G! Raptors defeat Celtics with buzzer-beating 3-pointer

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Sep 4th, 2020

OG Anunoby hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Toronto Raptors new life in the NBA playoffs.

Kyle Lowry had 31 points and found Anunoby with a precision crosscourt pass with 0.5 seconds on the clock to lift the Raptors to a thrilling 104-103 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

The victory sliced the Celtics’ lead to 2-1 in their best-of-seven series.

Fred VanVleet had 25 points, Pascal Siakam, who’s struggled in the NBA restart, had 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter, and Anunoby, who missed all of Toronto’s historic post-season run last year after an appendectomy, finished with 12 points.

Kemba Walker poured in 29 points to top Boston, while Jaylen Brown had 19 and Jayson Tatum finished with 15.

The Raptors dodged a massive bullet, as no team has ever come back from being down three games to win a series.

Game 4 is Saturday.

Lowry played like he had no intention of leaving Disney World yet, carrying Toronto with little support through a first half that saw a seven-point lead evaporate into a 10-point deficit at halftime.

But the Raptors locked down on the defensive end after the break, and six consecutive stops sparked a 21-9 run, capped by a Siakam three-pointer, that finally had the Raptors back on top with 3:40 to play in the third.

The quarter closed on a controversial call when Brad Wanamaker kneed Lowry in the groin while driving to the hoop late in the third quarter, leaving Lowry curled on the court in pain. Both he and coach Nick Nurse were livid, but after the officials reviewed the play Lowry was called for a defensive foul, and Wanamaker’s basket and free throw put Boston up 80-76 with one quarter left.

The Raptors were finally moving the ball well in the fourth quarter, and when Norm Powell drilled a three with 6:29 to play, Toronto took a two-point lead.

A cutting dunk by Brown capped an 8-0 Celtics run for a four-point Boston lead with 3:02 left. Lowry muscled to the hoop to make it a one-possession game heading into the final two minutes. The Raptors’ six-time all-star answered a Brown dunk with another hard-fought lay-in with a minute left, then VanVleet drove to the hoop to tie it up, but Walker found a wide-open Daniel Theis under the hoop for an uncontested dunk with 0.5 on the clock.

It looked like game over until Anunoby took the pass from Lowry to score.

Only six per cent of teams had ever come back from 0-2 to win a series, including the Raptors last season. With Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, they lost their first two to Milwaukee in the conference finals but then won four straight to advance to the Finals.

The big difference in bubble basketball though is that Toronto would have played this game and Saturday’s on the parquet floor of Boston’s TD Garden having given up homecourt advantage. But in the NBA bubble, homecourt advantage means 300 virtual fans, and little else.

No matter which venue, Boston has had the answer for the NBA champions all season, losing just once in the previous six meetings, including three previous wins in the NBA bubble.

Lowry, who’d scored 30 points in Toronto’s lone win over Boston this season, pushed the pace from the tipoff, scoring 15 points in a first quarter that saw the Raptors lead by seven. Walker hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Celtics led 33-28 to end the quarter.

The woeful shooting that’s plagued the Raptors throughout this series continued in the second quarter. They shot 3-for-13 from distance, and trailed by as many as 10 points in the quarter, and Walker again hit a buzzer-beater to end the quarter and Boston went into the locker-room up 57-47.

The Celtics led wire to wire to easily win the series opener 112-94. Boston edged the Raptors 102-99 in Game 2.

Staff member at Brampton elementary school tests positive for COVID-19

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 4th, 2020

Less than two weeks before the start of the new school year, the Peel District School Board says a staff member at one of its schools has tested positive for COVID-19.

The principal of Ross Drive Public School in Brampton has confirmed in a letter sent to staff that an individual who was in the building setting up a classroom last week has since tested positive for the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for PDSB confirmed to 680 NEWS that the teacher in question wore a mask and maintained social distancing while they were in the building. They added that there is no risk to the school as the teacher did not work at the school during the period of communicability.

“While Peel Public Health cannot comment on specific cases, they confirmed that they are investigating and will determine the places the person went while infectious (e.g., to work or public places) and who their close contacts were,” reads a portion of the letter from principal Greg Harris which 680 NEWS has obtained.

“We know that news of COVID-19 can create feelings of anxiousness, and so we wanted to make sure you had this information as soon as possible to help alleviate concerns.”

The letter goes on to say that the school has already been cleaned since Aug. 27 and has undergone additional enhanced cleaning on Sept. 2.

“The building will remain open and no further action has been suggested by Peel Public Health at this point,” said Harris.

Several people found dead in Oshawa home

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Sep 4th, 2020

Durham police say several people have been found dead in a home in Oshawa after reports of shots being fired overnight.

Emergency crews were called to a home on Parklane Avenue, near Harmony Road north of King Street, just before 1 a.m. Friday.

Police said at least four people have died. A fifth person was taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Police say they are not looking for any suspects and there are no safety concerns at this time.

The homicide unit has been advised.

ODSP recipients calling for help, exploring assisted dying

Cynthia Mulligan and Mahnoor Yawar | posted Thursday, Sep 3rd, 2020

COVID-19 has proven itself as not an equal opportunity crisis, revealing cracks in the system that leave the most vulnerable exposed.

Low income and racialized communities have been hit the hardest, but there is another group that feels abandoned and ignored – people with disabilities.

There are fears some with disabilities are considering assisted dying as a last resort.

Kim is a recipient of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and says her life has been “pure hell” during the pandemic. CityNews has honoured Kim’s request not to use her last name.

“It’s like I’m being punished for being born disabled, like I committed some kind of crime,” said Kim.

She was born with digestive ailment and has had most of her intestines removed. Kim needs a feeding tube and survives on ODSP payments.

A single person with disabilities in Ontario can earn a maximum of $1,169 in social assistance.

Kim also receives a food subsidy of $250 a month due to health issues, giving her just over $1,400 per month to live on.

She pays $1,000 to rent a 300-square foot RV in a trailer park, leaving her with $421 for all other expenses.

Kim says she usually never has any extra money left over and often doesn’t make it to the end of the month for food.

Her story is echoed by many on social media.

One man, Patrick Doherty, tweeted last month that after dropping off his rent cheque he only had $2 a day to spend on food for the rest of the month.

A lack of proper food is a common concern among people on ODSP.

“Some learn to get potatoes and margarine so at the end of the month, it’s called the potato diet and it’s one potato a day for the last two weeks,” Kim explained.

Another woman said after paying her bills this month, she is left with just under $4.

“This is because I chose my medication which I cannot live without for mental health issues,” read her tweet.

Advocates have been fighting to raise ODSP for years. In 1995, when Mike Harris was premier, he cut it by 21 per cent.

A chart provided by the current government shows in 1998, a person with disabilities could receive up to $930 a month. Twenty-two years later, that amount has gone up by just $239, which works out to 65 cents more a day.

Trevor Manson with the ODSP Action Coalition said social assistance recipients are getting poorer every year, explaining “because rent goes up every year, we’re forced to make more out of less.”

Before the last provincial election, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals promised to raise ODSP by three per cent a year for three consecutive years.

The Ford government cancelled the increases in 2018 and raised payments once by 1.5 per cent. According to government statistics, there are 380,000 ODSP cases at a cost of $5.3 billion a year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made things even more dire for those with disabilities.

A Stats Canada survey released last week found 61 per cent of people with disabilities are struggling to pay rent or buy medications as the cost of living goes up.

Even more chilling is that some are talking online about applying for Medically Assisted Dying (MAID).

One woman on Twitter said she enrolled because she “can no longer afford to live, nor can I afford the food and medicine I need to get better.”

Kim says she knows of more than 50 people who have applied for MAID while some, she says, are taking other routes.

“I’ve lost six friends to suicide since [the beginning] of COVID,” said Kim.

It is hard to know if applications to MAID have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, particularly among people with disabilities.

In an email, the federal government stated those numbers won’t be available until the spring – meaning there may be no red flags until then.

“They don’t want to live this way anymore, there is no safety net at all for people that are disabled,” said Kim.

Kim admits she has thought about applying for MAID herself. She says her landlord is evicting her because he can get an additional $400 a month on AirBnB and she can’t afford that. Paying $1,400 in rent would leave her with $21 a month for food and all expenses.

She says even the shelters are full and she doesn’t know where she will go next.

When asked how she would describe her life on ODSP, Kim says, “I have no dignity left, I don’t like to go anywhere or have anyone see me … I don’t feel like I’m worth anything to anyone anymore.”

Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly said there is no money to increase monthly ODSP payments and recently suggested they should get a job.

“The best way to help people in Ontario Works or ODSP, if they’re healthy and they’re able to work, get them a job, help get them a job,” he said back on August 6.

Advocates say it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many people with disabilities to find employment and even if they could, their earnings are clawed back.

Ford also said those who collect ODSP, have part-time jobs and are able to collect CERB, are “actually up a few hundred dollars, not down.” He added, “I understand people are struggling, I get it.”

If those on ODSP payments want to collect the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the funds are treated in a similar manner to employment earnings, making them subject to taxes.

It could also technically make them financially ineligible for ODSP income support.

If someone qualifies for CERB and they switch to receiving those payments, they will also have to re-qualify for ODSP when CERB ends.

Man killed in single vehicle crash at GO station parking lot

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 3rd, 2020

A man is dead following a car crash in the parking lot of a GO Transit station in Mississauga.

Police say they were called to the Streetsville GO station near Thomas Street and Queen Street South just after 7 p.m.

When they arrived they discovered a car had struck a concrete barrier in the lot. The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Peel police major collision bureau has been called in to investigate. They will be reviewing surveillance video in the area to determine what led up to the fatal crash.

1 man injured in shooting near Dufferin and Hwy. 401

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 3rd, 2020

One man has been injured in a possible “drive-by” shooting near Dufferin Street and Highway 401.

Police say they were called to Dufferin and Bridgeland Avenue around 8 p.m. to reports of shots fired at a business.

Officers on scene found evidence of gunfire and shell casings in the area, but no victims.

Shortly after, a man checked into a local hospital with a gunshot wound and was confirmed to be a victim of the shooting.

Investigators say they are searching for a potential suspect vehicle described as a white Mercedes, last seen heading west on Bridgeland Avenue.

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