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Restaurant giant that owns Swiss Chalet & Harvey’s phasing out plastic straws by 2019

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Jul 5th, 2018

TORONTO – Diners at some of Canada’s largest restaurant chains might notice something a little bit different about their drink orders in the coming months.

Restaurant giant Recipe Unlimited Corporation, formerly known as Cara Operations, and its 19 brands will be ditching plastic straws in August in favour of compostable and biodegradable paper straws by the end of March 2019.

The company, which owns brands such as Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s and New York Fries, joins a growing group of Canadian restaurants and international food corporations that are phasing out the plastic drinking implements. In early June, quick-serve brand A&W Canada said it would soon switch to paper straws, while Ikea Canada promised to phase out plastic straws by 2020. Plenty of local bars and dining establishments followed suit.

McDonald’s also announced in June that it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its U.S. restaurants later this year.

The shift comes amid global pressure from environmentalists demanding restaurants switch to compostable options in an effort to stop wildlife from getting stuck and injured by plastic and to prevent the material from littering coastlines and green spaces.

Experts say Canadians use about 57 million straws a day, but less than 20 per cent are recycled. They often recommend paper, metal or wood straws as alternatives.

“Our goal is to enrich life in Canada…and that extends beyond our restaurants and guests, to our oceans, wildlife and environment,” said Frank Hennessey, Recipe Unlimited’s chief executive officer in a statement. “Straws are just one component of the work we’re undertaking to eliminate single use plastics from our supply chain and shift to recyclable or compostable materials wherever possible.”

While plastic straw bans are being championed by environmentalists and restaurants alike, they have also generated concerns because some people with disabilities say they need them and worry that sweeping bans will have unintended consequences.

Still, many restaurant brands appear to be moving ahead with phasing out the plastic implements.

Recipe Unlimited, which has 1,382 restaurants, says compostable and biodegradable straws will automatically be provided with drink orders at its quick serve brands, including the Burgers Priest and St-Hubert. Paper straws will be available on request at its full-service restaurants like the Pickle Barrel, The Keg and Milestones.

Even before Recipe Unlimited’s announcement, municipalities and international governments were paying increasing attention to the impact of straws.

Vancouver recently put forward a proposal pushing servers to ask customers if they want a straw, instead of automatically delivering one with drink orders.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has also eyed a ban on plastic straws, cotton swabs and stir sticks, while prodding other nations to follow suit.

Canada has yet to make a similar commitment.

Roger Petersen Named Co-Host of Breakfast Television Toronto, on Citytv

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 4th, 2018

– Trusted veteran CityNews reporter Roger Petersen joins Dina Pugliese as co-hosts of Breakfast Television Toronto –

– Former CityNews reporter and weather specialist Stella Acquisto joins BT Toronto as community correspondent –

Tweet this release : https://bit.ly/2u122ox #rogeronboard

TORONTO (July 4, 2018) Citytv announced today that Roger Petersen has been named co-host of Toronto’s longest-running morning show, Breakfast Television . Starting today, Petersen officially joins co-host Dina Pugliese, along with fellow newcomer Stella Acquisto, and the rest of the celebrated BT family of Frank Ferragine, Winston Sih, Melanie Ng, Tammie Sutherland, and Kerry Prunskus to wake-up the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Breakfast Television airs weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m. ET on Citytv.

“No stranger to GTA audiences, Roger has delivered the local stories that matter most to this community for close to two decades with his signature approachable and trustworthy demeanour,” said Dave Budge, Vice President, News and Information, Citytv. “His down-to-earth approach, paired with Dina’s quick sense of humour, make them a great team to wake up BT Toronto audiences.”

Petersen is a familiar face to Citytv audiences having covered some of the largest stories to unfold in his hometown – from the horrific van attack earlier this year to the G20 and G8, SARS and the Papal visit. Petersen joined the Toronto Citytv team in 1999, undertaking a variety of roles including reporter, anchor and host of the car show Autoshop. Petersen then moved to Vancouver to anchor CityNews at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., before moving back to his hometown as a CityNews Toronto reporter and anchor. Petersen began his broadcasting career in radio, having studied Radio & Television at Seneca College.

“I’m so excited to join the BT Toronto team,” said Petersen. “Waking up with the city of Toronto is a dream come true, with a commitment to break down critical stories and keep audiences updated on the fun events and trends happening around the city.”

In addition to his broadcast career, Petersen also volunteers his time to many causes, including Cardiac Health Foundation and Victim Services, and is a proud father to son McKenna.

A member of the Citytv family since 2011, Stella Acquisto also joins the BT Toronto family as the community correspondent. A first-generation Canadian, Acquisto was born in Toronto where she studied Journalism at Seneca College and earned a Political Science and Communications Studies degree from York University.

Social Media Links

Like Breakfast Television Facebook.com/BreakfastTelevisionToronto

Follow Breakfast Television on Twitter @BTtoronto

Follow Breakfast Television on Instagram @bttoronto

Like Citytv Facebook.com/Citytv 
Follow Citytv on Twitter @City_tv 
Follow Rogers Media PR on Twitter @RogersMediaPR
Follow Citytv on Instagram @city_tv

Follow Rogers Media PR on Instagram @rogersmediapr

About Citytv

Citytv offers viewers intensely-local, urban-oriented, and culturally-diverse content through its seven television stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, and Montreal, plus the award-winning Citytv Video app. A distinct alternative to other conventional television stations, Citytv delivers an entertaining mix of Canadian and acquired prime-time programming, news, and local-interactive formats with influential brands such as Cityline, CityNews, and Breakfast Television. Citytv is part of Rogers Media, which is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit Citytv.com.

Media Contacts 
Michelle Lomack, Broadcast, Rogers Media, Michelle.Lomack@rci.rogers.com , 416.819.2783

Caitlin Decarie, Broadcast, Rogers Media, Caitlin.Decarie@rci.rogers.com , 647.299.6733

Gmail failing users by giving third-party apps access to data: expert

News Staff | posted Wednesday, Jul 4th, 2018

Amid news Google has been giving third-party apps access to the data of millions of its email users, a cyber security expert in Toronto says it’s time for consumers to demand safeguards.

A Wall Street Journal report found the tech giant has been letting outside software developers scan Gmail inboxes, read messages and send and delete messages on the user’s behalf.

The apps do need consent, but the terms of that consent are not clear, the article says. Users don’t know, for example, that people — not just computers — can and do read emails.

“Not anther day passes where I think people get shocked by how much of their personal information is out there,” says Cytelligence CEO Daniel Tobok.

“We have gotten used to this fable, this imagination, that we are fully protected on our devices and our Gmail. That’s not right. That’s a false sense of security.”

Tobok says when Google, Apple and the like are vetting apps, they focus on the quality of the app and whether the company can fix defects. They do ask about what information the app retains, but that part is not always validated.

“The companies are not doing their full due diligence before giving people permission to sell stuff on the App Store (for example),” he says.

“You’re under the assumption that this is a brand name and your information will be protected. That’s unfortunately not the case.”

And although the spotlight is on Google, Tobok says it’s not the only company that is negligent with consumer data.

“I don’t think they’re doing anything different,” he says. “They’re all playing the same game. They’re not any different than any other big social platform. They’re just the biggest, so they have the most information.”

Tobok says consumers have to demand that their data is not shared with anybody. Companies must notify users of any changes to their privacy policies and confirm users received the communication.

“If they’re not able to provide us their assurance with our data, they will find themselves extinct,” he says.

Although Tobok has suggestions for protecting personal information on Gmail and other email services, he says there are always risks with companies that make their money by selling data.

“I’m like the party pooper here,” he says. “My only advice is be aware if something is over email and it’s a free account — especially like Gmail — somebody potentially can have access to it.”

How free email services can improve data privacy

  • “Consumers must put their foot down and demand — not ask; demand — clarity on how their data is stored or viewed or accessed by any third party,” Tobok says.
  • Gmail must be forced to change its policies, give consumers the opportunity to say yay or nay, or give less access to third parties.
  • Companies must put pressure on developers to change their habits or policies on the data they access.

 

How to protect your privacy

  • Be sensitive with what information you share.
  • Sign up for paid corporate accounts.
  • Set up an email attached to your own domain.

Patrick Brown attempts political comeback in fall municipal election

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Jul 4th, 2018

The embattled former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party is attempting a political comeback in the fall municipal election.

Patrick Brown has officially thrown his hat in the ring to become chair of Peel Region, a position that was previously appointed but will now be elected for the first time.

The regional chair is the chief executive officer of the municipal corporation and the leader of the regional council.

Brown stepped down as Tory leader in January after two women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him, which he has consistently denied.

His resignation months before a provincial election triggered a hastily organized leadership convention that saw Doug Ford take the reins of the party.

Ford blamed Brown for a number of issues that emerged during the spring election campaign that culminated with the Tories’ majority win.

Brown has filed a defamation lawsuit against CTV News, which first reported the sexual misconduct allegations.

He has also announced that he is writing a tell-all book detailing what he describes as his “political assassination.”

Brown is not the only former provincial legislator running for a regional position — former Liberal cabinet minister Steven Del Duca is competing to become chair of York Region, another position that will be elected for the first time.

Parental action, water safety classes key at preventing drownings: expert

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Jul 4th, 2018

A recent spate of drowning incidents in Ontario and Quebec has led to renewed calls for more vigilance around water and making swimming lessons part of the school curriculum.

The issue was top of mind Tuesday following the death of a six-year-old who was pulled from a Montreal pool. A lifeguard had been on duty and several other people were swimming nearby when the incident happened Monday, officials said.

Also Monday, a 13-year-old girl was pulled from a small lake at a campground in southwestern Ontario and later died in hospital. And last week, a five-year-old girl and her mother drowned in an unsupervised pool at a resort west of Collingwood, Ont.

Lifeguards are a great preventative measure, said Barbara Byers, of the Lifesaving Society, a charity devoted to preventing drownings and water-related injuries.

“If they’re guarding at a pool and they see a non-swimmer, they’ll make sure the non-swimmer stays in the shallow area, they’ll make sure they stay away from the drop-off, they’ll make sure they have a parent within arm’s reach.”

Less than one per cent of drownings in Ontario and Quebec occur in “lifeguard-supervised” environments, said Byers.

But parents and guardians should always keep a close eye on their children when they’re in the water, she suggested.

“We always tell parents that lifeguards aren’t babysitters.”

Teaching kids to swim is among the best ways to prevent drownings, Byers added.

“Swimming requires instruction,” she said. “We’re not fish. We don’t just have the ability to learn how to swim on our own.”

“If we can ensure that all kids learn these skills during school time, then we can provide them with that training, irrespective of whether the parents are aware of the need for the children to learn how to swim,” Byers said.

She noted that her organization helps run a grant program in Ontario that allows school boards to teach swimming as part of their curriculums, but it’s not mandatory for school boards across the province.

A compulsory water safety program for Grade 4 students was piloted in Winnipeg from January to June this year after two students drowned during summer break in 2016, a spokeswoman for the city’s school division said.

Radean Carter said the program – which teaches kids how to forward roll into the water, tread water for a minute and swim 50 metres without stopping – has since been made permanent.

Similar programs are in place in several other countries, including the U.K., where all students are taught to swim a distance of 25 metres “competently, confidently and proficiently” and “perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.”

Students are also taught water safety in the Australian state of Victoria.

Home under construction burns to the ground in Mississauga

News Staff | posted Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2018

A home in Mississauga has burnt to the ground after a massive fire broke out Tuesday morning.

Fire crews were called to Watersedge Road near Lakeshore Road West and Southdown Road around 4:15 a.m. where they found the house fully engulfed in flames.

Fire officials said the house was under construction and was not occupied.

The neighbouring homes on both sides received extensive damage.

Residents of those homes were already outside when fire officials arrived on scene. No injuries were reported.

It’s estimated that more than $500,000 in damage was done to the home under construction.

Officials said the home was being rebuilt after a previous fire just over two years ago.

The Ontario Fire Marshal will be notified.

Extreme heat to stick around GTA for most of the week

News Staff | posted Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2018

The sizzling temperatures over the long weekend are expected to continue through much of the work week, as the humidex once again soars to the 40 mark.

Last week, Environment Canada issued a heat warning for the GTA, calling it the “most significant heat event in the past few years.”

Although the region will get some relief from the humidity on Tuesday, it will still be another hot day with a high of 30 C but feeling more like 35 C with the humidity.

The national weather agency says humidex values will climb back up to 40 C or higher on Wednesday and Thursday.

The overnight lows are expected to be in the low 20s but with the humidity sticking around, there won’t be much relief from the heat.

The sticky humid air mass is expected to leave the region by Friday, which will lead to more comfortable temperatures on that day and into the weekend.

Missing boys and their coach found alive in Thailand cave

TASSANEE VEJPONGSA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2018

MAE SAI, Thailand — Rescuers found all 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday, more than a week after they disappeared and touched off a desperate search that drew international help and captivated the nation.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.

“We found them safe. But the operation isn’t over,” he said in comments broadcast nationwide, referring to the complicated process of extricating them.

Family members of the missing hugged each other as they cheered the news.

Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, a mother of one of the missing, 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, smiled and hugged her family. She said she would cook her son a Thai fried omelet, his favourite food, when he returns home.

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate the lost soccer players, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach. They disappeared when flooding trapped them after entering the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23.

Narongsak said the divers located the missing about 300-400 metres (yards) past a section of the cave that was on higher ground and was thought to be where the team members and their coach may have taken shelter.

“When the medics have evaluated the kids to see if their health is in good condition, we will care for them until they have enough strength to move by themselves, and then we will evaluate the situation on bringing them out again later,” Narongsak said.

Anmar Mirza, a leading American cave rescue expert, said many challenges remain for the rescuers. He said the primary decision is whether to try to evacuate the boys and their coach or to supply them in place.

“Supplying them on site may face challenges depending on how difficult the dives are,” Mirza, co-ordinator of the U.S. National Cave Rescue Commission, said in an email. “Trying to take non-divers through a cave is one of the most dangerous situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy. That also begets the question: If the dives are difficult then supply will be difficult, but the risk of trying to dive them out is also exponentially greater.”

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha thanked the international experts and rescuers who helped locate the missing for their “tremendous efforts.”

“The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people are grateful for this support and co-operation, and we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery,” Prayuth’s office said in a statement.

Thai navy SEAL divers and rescue workers from other countries had made initial progress through a narrow passageway early Monday after passing through a key chamber on Sunday whose high, murky waters had previously blocked their progress.

Gov. Narongsak had said earlier that the passageway goes upward in some places and downward in others and is extremely narrow, making it difficult for divers and their gear to fit through.

Divers have been stymied repeatedly by rising water that forced them to withdraw for safety reasons. When water levels fell Sunday, the divers went forward with a more methodical approach, deploying a rope line and extra oxygen supplies along the way.

The SEALs’ Facebook page said that since Sunday night, the divers had reached a bend where the kilometre-long (half-mile-long) passage splits in two directions. The divers were aiming for a sandy chamber on higher ground in the cave.

Narongsak explained early Monday that fixing rope lines and deploying oxygen tanks along their route will allow the divers to operate.

In addition to the divers, teams have been working to pump out water as well as divert groundwater. Other efforts have focused on finding shafts on the mountainside that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas.

Teams have been combing the mountainside looking for fissure that might lead to such shafts. Several have been found and explorers have been able to descend into some.

Experts in cave rescues from around the world had gathered at the site. An official Australian group has followed a U.S. military team, British cave experts, Chinese lifesaving responders and several other volunteer groups from various countries.

“These are challenging conditions and there’s a lot of consideration for safety as well as, the environment outside is contributing to the environment inside,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jessica Tait, part of a 30-member U.S. military team assisting in the search operation, referring to the rain that has been flooding the cave. “So I’d say, yeah, it’s an accurate statement that it’s challenging.”

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