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Man suffers life-threatening injuries in east end shooting

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Toronto police say a man has life-threatening injuries after he was shot multiple times on Wednesday in the city’s east end.

In a tweet police said they received several calls about shots fired in the Main Street and Gerrard Street East area.

A victim was located and rushed to hospital.

No further details were immediately available.

It’s the second straight day of gun violence in Toronto.

On Tuesday a 21-year-old man was killed and two others were injured in what police are calling a targeted shooting near King Street and Blue Jays Way.


What’s the next disaster we need to prepare for now?

THE BIG STORY | posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, you may have heard that lots of people saw this pandemic coming. We still weren’t adequately prepared. So what do we need to do now to make sure we are ready for whatever comes next?

A pandemic is a low-probability, high-consequence events—it probably won’t happen tomorrow, but it will happen eventually. Every year intelligence agencies, scientists and analysts spend a lot of time figuring out which of these events may be looming. Today’s episode is about what they see right now.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.


MPP Raymond Cho sends cardboard cutout of himself to event due to coronavirus concerns

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020

The Minister for Seniors and Accessibility may have looked a little stiff at a community event on Wednesday, and for good reason.

MPP Raymond Cho sent a cardboard cutout of himself to a photo-op thanking the Korean community for their donation of personal protective equipment.

Many on Twitter were bemused by the photos posted by the minister and questioned why he sent a life-sized cutout of himself, complete with mask, instead of attending in person.

In a statement, the minister tells CityNews the move was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advice from public health officials at all levels strongly recommends that people over 70 years old, those who have compromised immune systems and/or those with underlying medical conditions self-isolate and remain indoors as much as possible.

“As Minister for Seniors and Accessibility and as a person who is over 70 years old, I take this advice very seriously,” said Cho. “Though I could not attend today in person, I wanted to show that I was there in spirit. The cardboard cut-out from an old campaign of mine was a creative way to demonstrate my virtual presence during this time.”

The minister also encouraged other seniors like himself to be “vigilant about the risks of contracting this virus and to heed current medical advice about the necessity of self-isolating and social distancing.”

Minister Cho added that the photo-op marked an important donation drive led my himself and the Consul General of the Republic of Korea.

The donation included 10,000 surgical masks, 1,000 hand sanitizers and 1,000 COVID testing kits from the members of Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Korean Chamber of Commerce.

The Ontario Korean Businessman’s Association (OKBA) also donated 10,000 masks and 200 large bottles of hand sanitizer and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Communit donated 10,000 surgical masks and 4,800 N95-grade masks.

Trudeau co-hosts UN summit to develop global pandemic recovery plan

JOAN BRYDEN, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will co-host Thursday a major United Nations conference aimed at developing a co-ordinated global response to mitigate the devastating social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unless countries come together now to co-ordinate a recovery plan, the UN estimates the pandemic could slash nearly US$ 8.5 trillion from the world economy over the next two years, forcing 34.3 million people into extreme poverty this year and potentially 130 million more over the course of the decade.

Trudeau is co-hosting the four-hour virtual conference with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

More than 50 heads of state and government are to participate, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, along with representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the private sector.

It was not certain late Wednesday, however, whether U.S. President Donald Trump, who has argued that wise leaders put the interests of their own countries first, would take part.

In a release about the event, the UN says all countries face economic strain due to the pandemic, particularly developing countries which were already in “debt distress” before the crisis and can’t afford to cushion the blow for their citizens or to undertake fiscal stimulus measures.

“We are in an unprecedented human crisis because of a microscopic virus,” Guterres says in the release. “We need to respond with unity and solidarity and key aspect of solidarity is financial support.”

Trudeau says that “the best way to help our people and economies rebound is to work together as a global community.”

“We want to support collective and individual actions to enable a recovery that leads to more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies, where no one is left behind.”

Earlier this week, when he announced his role in the conference, Trudeau argued that ensuring poorer countries survive the crisis is not just the right thing to do, it’s in Canada’s own self-interest.

“Canadian jobs and businesses depend on stable and productive economies in other countries, so it matters to us how everyone weathers this storm,” he said Tuesday.

The conference is to address “six urgent areas of action” to mobilize the financing needed for a global recovery.

Those six areas include:

— Expanding liquidity in the global economy and maintaining financial stability.

— Addressing debt vulnerability for developing countries “to save lives and livelihoods for billions of people around the world.”

— Involving private sector creditors in recovery plans.

— Enhancing external financing for inclusive growth and job creation.

— Preventing illicit off-shore financial holdings and money laundering that siphon off trillions of dollars needed for rebuilding economies.

— Aligning recovery policies with sustainable development goals.

The conference aims to create a discussion group in each of the six areas, with the goal of providing concrete proposals by mid-July.

“There is no time to lose,” the UN release says. “Solutions cannot wait and decisive action is required.”

The conference comes just as Canada is competing for one of two non-permanent  seats on the UN Security Council next month against Norway and Ireland.

The UN vote is set for next month, and Canada is running on a platform of trying to help rebuild the post-pandemic world.

Some Ontario businesses allowed to reopen Tuesday as coronavirus restrictions loosen

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Some Ontario businesses will be allowed to open their doors Tuesday after being closed for two months in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The province is starting the first stage of its economic reopening, giving the green light to retailers, some sports centres, vehicle dealerships and other businesses to resume.

But the provincial government stresses those businesses still have to comply with public health guidelines such as physical distancing as they welcome customers.

Some business owners have expressed relief and excitement at the prospect of reopening, while others say they feel it’s too early to do so safely.

The province ordered the closure of all businesses deemed non-essential in mid-March and recently allowed those with street entrances to offer curbside pickup.

Ontario reported 304 more cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 22,957.

There have been 1,904 deaths related to the virus so far, including 23 that were reported Monday.

Detailed List of Stage 1 Openings

Kyle Mack | posted Friday, May 15th, 2020

This list is effective May 19, 2020, and may be updated when the corresponding emergency
orders are amended.

• All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted
• Includes land surveyors

• In addition to retail operating online, or with curbside pickup and delivery, all retail can
open under the following restrictions and guidelines:
• No indoor malls.
• Must have a street-front entrance (i.e., stores with dedicated street access/storefront).
• Open in-store by appointment and/or by limiting the number of people in the store at
any one time. Retailers would need to restrict the number of customers per square
metre — for example, one customer per 4 square metres (43 square feet) — to ensure
physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
• Only fitting rooms with doors would be used, not curtains, to facilitate disinfecting.
Retailers would restrict use to every second fitting room at any one time to allow for
cleaning after use and ensure physical distancing.
• For further guidance on this sector, please refer to resources to prevent COVID-19 in
the workplace.

Vehicle dealerships and retailers
• Vehicle dealerships and retailers, including:
• New and used car, truck, and motorcycle dealers
• Recreational vehicle (RV) dealers (e.g., campers, motor homes, trailers, travel trailers)
• Boat, watercraft and marine supply dealers
• Other vehicle dealers of motorized bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles, ATVs,
utility trailers, etc.
• Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only.

Media operations
• Office-based media operations involving equipment that does not allow for remote
working. For example:
• Sound recording, such as production, distribution, publishing, studios.
• Film and television post-production, film and television animation studios.
• Publishing: periodical, book, directory, software, video games.
• Interactive digital media, such as computer systems design and related services (e.g.,
programming, video game design and development).
• Media activities that can be completed while working remotely have been encouraged to
continue during the Restart phase.
• Filming or other on-site activities, especially those that require the gathering of workers,
performers or others are not permitted to resume in Stage 1.

Scheduled surgeries (public and private facilities)
• Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals
and independent health facilities, clinics, and private practices to resume based on ability
to meet specified pre-conditions including the MOH framework: A Measured Approach to
Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, contains clear
criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries.
• Scheduled surgical and procedural work to resume once “Directive #2 for Health Care
Providers (Regulated Health Professionals or Persons who operate a Group Practice of
Regulated Health Professionals)” is amended or revoked, which relies on hospitals
meeting criteria outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures
During the COVID-19.

Health services
• Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling
and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined
in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19
Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment
Centres from virtual to in-person.
• In-person counselling to resume including psychotherapy and other mental health and
support services. Some of these services were available in-person for urgent needs.
For example:
• Addiction counselling
• Crisis intervention
• Family counselling
• Offender rehabilitation
• Palliative care counselling
• Parenting services
• Rape crisis centres
• Refugee services

Community services
Outdoor recreational amenities
• Marinas can resume recreational services
• Pools will remain closed

Individual recreational sports
• Outdoor recreational sports centres for sports not played in teams will open with limited
access to facilities (e.g., no clubhouse, no change rooms, washrooms and emergency aid
only). Examples of sports centres include:
• Tennis courts
• Rod and gun clubs
• Cycling tracks (including BMX)
• Horse riding facilities
• Indoor rod and gun clubs and indoor golf driving ranges

Individual sports competitions without spectators
• Professional and amateur sport activity for individual/single competitors, including
training and competition conducted by a recognized Provincial Sport Organization,
National Sport Organization, or recognized national Provincial training centres (e.g.,
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario) with return to play protocols in place and no spectators,
except for an accompanying guardian for a person under the age of 18 years.
• This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played under
physical distancing measures. This includes:
• Water sports on lakes and outdoor bodies of water
• Racquet sports such as tennis, ping pong, badminton
• Animal-related sports such as dog racing, agility, horse racing
• Other sports such as: track and field, car and motorcycle racing, figure skating,
fencing, rock climbing, gymnastics, etc.
• Swimming pools will remain closed. As a result, water-based sports competitions are
excluded if not conducted on lakes or outdoor bodies of water.
• High-contact sports are not allowed even if they are non-team. These include sports
where physical distancing cannot be practiced such as:
• Racquetball, squash, boxing, wrestling sports, martial arts, etc

Professional services related to research and development
• Professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in
physical, engineering and life sciences including electronics, computers, chemistry,
oceanography, geology, mathematics, physics, environmental, medicine, health, biology,
botany, biotechnology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary and other
allied subjects. For example:
• Agriculture, food research, horticulture or botany, entomological, forestry, livestock,
veterinary research and development laboratories.
• Bacteriological, biotechnology, chemical, nanobiotechnology, pharmacy, genetics,
genomics, computational biology, research and development laboratories.
• Computer and related hardware, electronic, telecommunication research and
development services.
• Geology, oceanographic, pollution research and development, and astronomical
• Mathematics research and development.
• Industrial research and development laboratories.
• These examples are listed for clarity. Most if not all these services are already permitted
under the “Research” section of the List of Essential Workplaces.

Emissions inspection facilities
• All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including
mobile inspection facilities.

Veterinary services
• Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment.
Animal services
• Pet grooming services
• Pet sitting services
• Dog walking services
• Pet training services
• Training and provision of service animals
• Effective May 16, 2020, businesses that board animals (e.g., stables) may allow boarders
to visit, care for, or ride their animal

Emissions inspection facilities
• All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including
mobile inspection facilities.
Veterinary services
• Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment.

Animal services
• Pet grooming services
• Pet sitting services
• Dog walking services
• Pet training services
• Training and provision of service animals
• Effective May 16, 2020, businesses that board animals (e.g., stables) may allow boarders
to visit, care for, or ride their animal.

Woman critically injured in Hwy. 401 crash in Ajax

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

A woman has life-threatening injuries after a two-vehicle overnight crash on Highway 401 in Ajax.

An SUV collided with a stopped transport truck on the eastbound lanes near Westney Road just after midnight Wednesday.

The woman in the SUV was rushed to hospital. A passenger was in the vehicle but their injuries are not life-threatening.

The lanes were closed in the area but have since reopened.

What is Ontario doing wrong on COVID-19?

THE BIG STORY | posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, new infections are up. Testing is down. Contact tracing is late. People are partying in parks. A report from members of Canada’s armed forces on conditions in long-term care facilities is deeply disturbing. And just a month ago it looked like the province was headed in the right direction.

How did things go wrong? Were they ever really right in the first place? How does Ontario get back on track and … is a second lockdown possible now?

GUEST: Dr. David Fisman, Dalla Lana School of Public Health


Person killed in fiery truck crash in North Brampton

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

A person is dead following a fiery crash in North Brampton, police said Tuesday.

Peel police said they were called to the Highway 50 and Castle Oaks Crossing area in Brampton for a report of a collision between two trucks.

Video and photos from the scene showed two trucks fully engulfed in flames.

Police confirmed one driver made out of the crash safely, but a second driver was found deceased after firefighters put out the blaze.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Peel police directly or can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.

‘Disturbing’ long-term care home report doesn’t come as surprise to families


Simon Nisbet is convinced that if he hadn’t moved his mother out of her long-term care home, she would never have left alive.

He said daily visits to her window at Orchard Villa in Pickering led to a mounting list of concerns as a deadly COVID-19 outbreak swept through the home, killing dozens of residents.

He alleged his 89-year-old mother’s call bell lay disconnected on the floor of her room, not far from where he consistently saw trays of untouched food. Staff, he said, were unable to tell him what she’d had to eat or drink and rarely provided updates on the evolving outbreak.

After she was officially diagnosed with the novel coronavirus herself, Nisbet said he could tell from the look in her eyes that she was deteriorating quickly and needed to be transferred to a local hospital for better care.

By the time she got there, Nisbet said she had sustained serious kidney damage due to dehydration. While she appears to have recovered from COVID-19, she remains in hospital in fragile health.

When a bombshell report from the Canadian Armed Forces outlining a litany of problems at five long-term care homes including Orchard Villa was released on Tuesday, Nisbet said he was not surprised.

“I had no choice but to get her out of there,” he said in a telephone interview. “If I trusted what they were telling me, she’d be gone.”

Orchard Villa did not immediately respond to request for comment on the report or Nisbet’s allegations.

The military report, prepared after troops were sent into five homes overwhelmed by COVID-19 outbreaks, details “horrific” allegations of insect infestations, aggressive resident feeding that caused choking, bleeding infections, and residents crying for help for hours. Allegations also included failure to isolate COVID-19-positive patients from the rest of the home and a host of hygiene issues involving everything from contaminated catheters to dangerous pressure ulcers.

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford decried the report’s “disturbing” and “horrific” findings, with Ford pledging to fix the long-term care system across the province.

For Celestine Johnston, any reforms will come too late. Her husband Ron died of COVID-19 last month at Anson Place, a long-term care home in Hagersville, Ont., that was not included in the military’s report.

Johnston said her husband contracted the virus from his roommate, who continued to sleep just a metre away from him even after being diagnosed.

As the virus swept through the home, infecting residents and staff alike, she said her husband’s requests to be moved from his bed into his wheelchair often went unheeded and he frequently went without meals or fluids.

He died alone in mid-April weeks after his roommate also succumbed, she said. Anson Place did not immediately respond to request for comment on his case.

“I don’t want to think one day my kids will have to go in a home or maybe I will,” she said. “We can’t be treated that way. This has to be fixed. It’s too late for Ron, but it’s not too late for other people.”

Similar fears haunt Audrey DaCruz, who said her mother spent just eight weeks in an east-Toronto-area long-term care home before dying of COVID-19. In a chat hosted by Ontario’s opposition party leader, DaCruz alleged her mother contracted the virus from her two roommates who were not isolated even after testing positive for the disease. The facility was not included in the armed forces’ report.

“She did not deserve to die this way … with only a masked stranger by her side,” DaCruz said of her mother. “It’s too late for my mom, but there are others still there that we can save.”

The secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees health care division called the report “sad and troubling,” but said many people have been raising concerns about conditions in long-term care homes for years.

“I think the lives of people working and living in long-term care facilities … are completely and totally undervalued,” Candace Rennick said. “People have just basically, left these people to die in these completely undignified conditions.”

Rennick said the province needs to take immediate action to regulate resident care standards in the sector, increase staffing levels and eliminate for-profit participation.

Nisbet, for his part, agrees.

“I get tired of the taglines from the government that the system is broken,” he said. “I don’t want to hear it’s broken, I want to hear how you’re going to fix it.”

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