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Teachers in Ontario’s French system start work-to-rule campaign

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jan 16th, 2020

Teachers in the Ontario’s French system are starting a work-to-rule campaign on Thursday, meaning they will no longer be completing some administrative duties.

The union, known by its initials AEFO, said this is only the first phase of its job action.

The move means all the major unions representing the province’s teachers are now taking part in some form of labour action.

Teachers were outraged last year when the Progressive Conservative government announced that average high school class sizes would increase and four e-learning courses would be mandatory for graduation.

The government has since scaled back those plans, but union officials have said that’s not enough.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce maintains the key sticking point in talks is compensation.

On Wednesday, Lecce announced plans to compensate parents of children affected by rotating strikes, in a move union leaders characterized as a “bribe.”

Under the plan, parents whose kids aren’t yet enrolled in school but attend school-based child-care centres affected by the strikes will get the most money, while those with children in grades 1 through 7 will get the least. While parents of secondary school students won’t get any funding, those with children with special needs up to age 21 will get $40 per day.

Lecce said the funding is intended to ensure students “remain cared for” during the labour actions being staged by the province’s four major teacher unions.

The announcement was met with swift condemnation from the leaders of several teachers’ unions.

FAQ: How to apply for $60 credit during Ontario teacher strikes

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jan 16th, 2020

The Ministry of Education announced Wednesday they would be providing up to $60 to parents affected by the rotating one-day strikes by all four teacher’s unions in the province.

Currently all four teacher’s unions are participating in job action. Next week, the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario will be holding a strike on Monday in 16 school boards, Catholic teachers will hold a province-wide walkout next Tuesday.

The union representing high school teachers, OSSTF, is planning a one-day strike at some boards, including Durham Region, on Wednesday and French-language teachers will be starting a work-to-rule campaign on Thursday.

Who is eligible to receive assistance?

Parents are eligible to receive financial support if they have children in three separate categories:

  • If your child attends a school-based child care centre that has to close because of a strike;
  • If your child is in junior kindergarten up to and including Grade 7 at a publicly-funded school that has to close because of a labour disruption;
  • If your child has special needs and attends a publicly-funded school up to and including Grade 12 (up to age 21) that has to close due to a labour disruption.

You are not eligible if your child attends a child care centre that is based outside of a school.

How much are you entitled to?

Parents are entitled to between $25 and $60 per day depending on the age of their child. Here is the breakdown:

  • $60 for a child between the ages of 0 and 6 who attends a school-based child care centre that is required to close due to a strike;
  • $40 for students in junior and senior kindergarten
  • $25 for students from Grade 1 to 7
  • $40 for students from junior kindergarten to Grade 12 who have special needs.

How do you apply?

Only one parent is allowed to apply per student and you can find the application on the Ministry of Education’s website.

You also need to submit separate applications if you have more than one child.

What information do I need to apply?

The application requires you to provide you child’s name, birth date and school board. If your child is not enrolled in school, you have to provide the child care centre they attend, along with the name and phone number of the child care centre director or supervisor.

You also need provide contact information including your name, phone number, address and email.

If you want to receive the payment via direct deposit, you also need to provide banking information.

How will I receive my payment?

You can choose to receive your payment either by direct deposit or cheque. The application has a spot to provide your banking information in order to receive a direct deposit. It will take two weeks for the first deposit to be made and it will be made weekly for as long as you are eligible for.

Those who wish to receive payment by cheque will have only one mailed to them at the end of the labour disruptions.

How soon after a one-day strike can apply for payment?

You must apply for financial assistance within four weeks of the labour disruption.

How do I find out if my child’s school or child care centre is affected by a strike?

Most school boards will provide detailed information about whether they are affected or how they are affected by the labour disruptions and strikes on their websites and social media pages. You can find your child’s school board on the Ministry of Education website. 

CityNews will also be posting information about strikes as soon as it is available.

Other

The ministry is also allowing licensed child care programs to extend their hours, to request a temporary relocation in order to avoid any labour disruption and they will be able to request increasing the number of children they are licensed to support.

What you need to know if you’ve captured evidence of a crime on your dashcam, or home surveillance

MICHAEL TALBOT | posted Thursday, Jan 16th, 2020

Surveillance cameras have become a ubiquitous part of modern life. Whether you’re withdrawing money from an ATM, shopping for clothes, standing on a street corner or riding an elevator, there’s a great chance your every move is being recorded.

But it’s not just Big Brother that’s keeping an eye on you. It’s also your neighbour and the person snarled in the same rush-hour traffic jam. With advancements in technology, it’s now easier and more affordable to arm your own home, or the dashboard of your vehicle, with a recording device.

And while dashcams and front porch cameras are primarily used for personal security and to capture evidence of traffic collisions or package thefts, they can also inadvertently become unbiased witnesses to serious crimes like gang shootings and murders.

Police routinely ask for help from the public securing video evidence in homicide cases, and as defence lawyer Adam Boni tells CityNews, that evidence is often used to convict, and at times, exonerate.

“The last three or four murders, video surveillance from homes and laneways … made up a significant part of the Crown’s case,” he said. “The security that we all sort of want for our properties and ourselves also has this other sort of use and purpose.”

“So there’s interesting issues there in terms of the public’s involvement and their obligation, and what happens when they decide to turn over video,” he added.

We asked Boni, a former federal prosecutor who went on to start his own criminal defence practice in Toronto, to outline what you need to know if your home recording device or dashcam captures evidence of a crime.

Is the public obliged to turn over video evidence?

“They are not obliged to turn it over,” he stressed. “There is no legal requirement that the public turn over video to the police. It’s a question of personal choice and a sense of whether there is an ethical obligation to do so. But typically, if the police want to see this type of evidence, if there is no consent, they can apply for a search warrant.”

“In video surveillance cases, typically what happens is either the video is voluntarily turned over or the police became aware of it, obtain a search warrant, then execute the warrant and seize the video under lawful authorization.”

“There is no legal requirement that the public turn over video to the police.”

Will you have to testify if you turn over video evidence?

“The provenance of the video is always an issue of proof of the Crown, so where the video comes from and its integrity. So typically, if you do turn over surveillance video, the police are going to want to know where it came from, what kind of video recorder recorded it, and they are gonna probably want to seize the recorder or make a copy of the video.”

“If you turn over this evidence, typically, you will be called to give evidence there is no doubt about it.”

“If you turn over this evidence, typically, you will be called to give evidence there is no doubt about it.”

Can you incriminate yourself?

“Typically, the police are quite grateful for any assistance the public could give them. But certainly, if you do turn over a video and it is video that contains incriminatory evidence, once you turn it over, you’re open to an investigation.”

“I’ve never seen that happen before, but theoretically, yeah absolutely. If you hand over a video and the video shows that you were involved in an assault on your neighbour the day before, that’s certainly something that could come back, there’s no doubt about it.”

“If you do turn over a video and it is video that contains incriminatory evidence, once you turn it over, you’re open to an investigation.”

How important is video evidence?

“The reality is now, more and more we are seeing homicide cases, every type of case imaginable, but mostly in the homicide cases, we are seeing a lot of video surveillance evidence and in the drug cases as well too.”

“The video evidence typically is evidence that defence lawyers love to have. It’s a witness that doesn’t lie. It’s an objective recording of the events.”

“The technology is wonderful because it offers us a sense of security, it offers us a sense of knowledge and further information, but these recordings have multiple uses. Uses to the State and the accused.”

“The video evidence typically is evidence that defence lawyers love to have. It’s a witness that doesn’t lie. It’s an objective recording of the events.”

Man stabbed outside Etobicoke fast food restaurant

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jan 16th, 2020

Toronto police are on the hunt for a suspect after a worker at a fast food restaurant was stabbed Wednesday night.

Emergency crews were called to a Subway sandwich location on Dixon Road, near Carlingview Drive, just before 11:30 p.m.

Police said the employee got into an altercation with the suspect on Monday over the fact that the man was in a car blocking the entrance to the shop.

The suspect returned to the restaurant Wednesday night and an altercation broke out, resulting in the employee being slashed across the chest.

Paramedics rushed the victim, a man believed to be in his 20s, to hospital with a serious but not life-threatening stab wound.

The suspect had fled the scene by the time authorities arrived.

He is described as black, in his 40s, and wearing a puffy red jacket with a hood. Police believe the vehicle is a black Hyundai.

Ontario high school teachers hold job action as contract talks stall

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2020

Schools in 16 boards across Ontario — including the Durham District School Board — will be closed on Wednesday, as the union representing public high school teachers holds another one-day strike.

It is the fifth job action in the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation’s (OSSTF) series of rotating strikes during a contentious round of bargaining with the province.

The union, which represents 60,000 teachers and education workers, began one-day walkouts on Dec. 4 with a job action that closed schools across the province.

It has followed up with weekly rotating strikes that have closed all secondary schools and some elementary schools at the affected boards. In addition to representing high school teachers, the OSSTF represents education workers at some elementary schools.

Teachers were angered when the government announced that average high school class sizes would increase and four e-learning courses would be mandatory for graduation. The government has since scaled back those proposals, but OSSTF president Harvey Bischof has said it’s not enough.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has repeatedly said the key sticking point is compensation, with the union demanding a roughly two-per-cent wage increase and the government offering one per cent.

Sewage treatment plant was cause of strange gas smell

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2020

A sewage treatment plant is being blamed for a strange gas smell across the city overnight.

Toronto Fire officials said they started receiving calls from residents in the Kipling Avenue and The Queensway area around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Between then and midnight, more than 60 crews — both fire and Enbridge — were dispatched to the area for similar calls. Officials said they received about 120 calls over the course of the night.

Crews were unable to figure out what the smell was at any of the locations.

As the night went on, calls began coming in moving east across the city — moving from Etobicoke to all the way in the Beach area.

It was finally determined that the smell came from a sewage plan that had been flushing its pipes, and that there was no danger to the public.

Shooting in Richmond Hill may have been a case of road rage

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2020

No injuries have been reported after gunshots rang out on a residential street in Richmond Hill on Tuesday night.

Emergency crews were called to the scene on Kerrybrook Drive, near Major Mackenzie Drive and Yonge Street, around 10 p.m.

Police said it appears two vehicles were stopped when some sort of altercation broke out.

The altercation escalated to a point where a number of shots were fired.

According to police, one of the drivers claims two to three people got out of the other car and started shooting at him. He said he got out of his car and ran, narrowly escaping being shot.

There has been no word on what sparked the altercation but police are investigating if this is a case of road rage.

Toddler found wandering around Oshawa in a diaper

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2020

Durham police are investigating after a toddler was found alone, wondering around the streets of Oshawa.

Police said the two-year-old child was spotted by a passing motorist, who then contacted authorities.

The child was in only a diaper at the time.

Paramedics looked over the child before police took the toddler to the station.

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