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Indoor dining to remain closed as Toronto moves into modified ‘red’ level Saturday

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 11th, 2020

Calling the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto “no less than alarming” Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city would move into the red (control) level of the province’s new coloured COVID-19 response plan on Saturday, but with added restrictions that would see indoor dining remain prohibited for a period of 28 days.

Gyms will be permitted to open, but indoor group fitness classes and group exercise classes will not be allowed.

The new protections, which come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday include:

  • Social gatherings should only be with those you live with and/or one or two essential supports
  • Restrict close contacts only to those you live with and your essential supports
  • Limit in-person activities outside the home to essential activities only – going to work or school, health care, shopping for your household and health needs, and getting exercise and physical activity
  • Businesses and workplaces should implement work from home wherever possible
  • Businesses should review their HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order
  • Workplaces should appoint a compliance officer to ensure implementation of occupational health and safety and infection prevention and control measures
  • Indoor dining will remain closed
  • Indoor fitness classes are not permitted
  • Meeting and event spaces will remain closed
  • In malls, patrons should not be permitted to consume food or drink while walking through malls
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments will remain closed

“These numbers set alarm bells ringing,” Tory added, noting that infection rates and hospitalizations in Toronto are spiking dramatically in recent days.

Under the province’s red level, indoor dining is permitted for a maximum of 10 people, and gyms can open with strict capacity limits of 10 people in indoor classes, 25 people in outdoor classes and 10 people indoors in areas with weights or exercise equipment. But following the advice of the city’s top doctor, Eileen de Villa, Tory said the city has decided to forgo the opening of restaurants for indoor dining. Meeting and event spaces will also remain closed along with casinos and gaming establishments.

“The spread of COVID-19 has never been greater in Toronto,” de Villa said.

The province reported 1,328 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 520 cases in Toronto.

Peel region is currently the only other region under the province’s red level, but without Toronto’s added restrictions, meaning up to 10 people can dine indoors.

Man injured in shooting near the Stockyards District

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 11th, 2020

One man has been injured after a shooting near the Stockyards District.

Police were called to Runnymede Road and Liverpool Street near St. Clair Avenue West around 11 p.m. Tuesday night to reports of multiple gunshots.

The victim was located suffering from a gunshot wound and officers say his injuries appear serious. He is being transported to hospital by paramedics.

There is no suspect information at this time, but it is expected to released soon.

Investigators say to expect a large police presence in the area.

Remembrance Day: COVID-19 forces many ceremonies to take place online

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 11th, 2020

Canadians will stop to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers Wednesday, though the COVID-19 pandemic means many of traditional Remembrance Day ceremonies are cancelled or are taking place online.

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony that takes place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa is going ahead, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Royal Canadian Legion is asking people not to attend the ceremony, which normally draws up to 35,000 people.

“It is disappointing to discourage people from attending ceremonies this year,” said Danny Martin, the legion’s ceremony director. “However, beyond watching national and local broadcasts, thankfulness is also reflected by wearing a Poppy – a profound gesture. And wherever they may be, Canadians can take two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on the 11th.”

This year’s National Silver Cross Mother, Deborah Sullivan, will lay a wreath in honour of the families who have lost children in the line of service.

Sullivan, who is from Summerville, New Brunswick, lost her son Christopher Edward Saunders after he was killed in a fire while serving aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi on Oct. 6, 2004.

CityNews will live stream the National Remembrance Day Ceremony at 10:45 a.m. EST on Wednesday. You can watch it here.

The City of Toronto has cancelled all in-person Remembrance Day events, instead opting for virtual commemorations that can be accessed on their website and social media channels.

There will be a small, private ceremony at the Old City Hall Cenotaph Wednesday morning that is closed to the public.

You can watch a livestream of that ceremony starting shortly before 11 a.m. on CityNews.ca.

The City of Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square will be lit in red on Wednesday, and all TTC vehicles will stop for two minutes at 11 a.m. in honour of our veterans.

Toronto Liberal MP resigns from caucus after employing sister in constituency office

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2020

A Toronto MP says she’s leaving the Liberal caucus over allegations she employed a relative at her constituency office.

Yasmin Ratansi, who represents Don Valley East for the Liberals, says in a statement posted to Facebook on Monday night that she “made an error” by employing her sister.

Ratansi says in the post that she’s informed the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the Speaker.

She apologized to her constituents and says she intends to represent the riding as an Independent.

The issue has been referred to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and Ratansi says she is waiting to hear their recommendations.

Ratansi has represented the Ontario riding since 2015, and previously held the riding from 2004 to 2011.

Two-thirds of Canadians would support a COVID-19 curfew if pandemic severe: poll

CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2020

More than two-thirds of Canadians say they would support a curfew if the COVID-19 pandemic became serious enough, according to a new poll.

The survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 67 per cent of Canadians would back a temporary nighttime curfew — 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. — to curb viral spread in dire circumstances.

However, respondents’ enthusiasm varied by age, with young people less disposed to the notion.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they would support a curfew, while three-quarters of those aged 55 and over endorsed it — including 80 per cent of those over 65.

Two out of three respondents between the ages of 35 and 54 also took to the idea.

The prospect of a curfew has been floated in several provinces, with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister saying last week he was mulling it.

Pallister backed away from the possibility Monday after he asked Manitobans to weigh in via an online government survey.

Canadians in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec were less inclined support a curfew, with fewer than two-thirds of residents there giving the thumbs-up, the survey found.

Well over 70 per cent of respondents in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces said they would back a curfew.

Nevertheless, majorities in all age groups, and in every part of the country, backed the idea if the COVID-19 pandemic were severe and public health officials recommended it.

The differences in opinion could relate in part to rules already in place in various regions.

“In Quebec, with bars and restaurants closed, there’s nothing to stay up for,” said Léger vice-president Christian Bourque.

“But in some provinces — Alberta, for example — a lot of places are still open.”

Canadians’ receptiveness to stricter COVID-19 measures has been a constant throughout the pandemic, and stands in stark contrast to waves of resistance in the United States.

“We’ve seen since the beginning of the current crisis that Canadians tend to be largely supportive of government initiatives,” Bourque said.

The differences north and south of the border speak to divergent national characteristics that are centuries old, he said.

“In Canada we have the Red Tory and very British collectivism that’s still part of our roots culturally. Whereas in the States there’s sort of a rejection of the state telling us what to do, that government has no business in my personal affairs,” Bourque said.

Conducted Nov. 6 to 8, the online poll surveyed 1,534 adult Canadians and 1,002 Americans. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

Peel officer who accidentally recorded himself pleads guilty to ‘discreditable conduct’

JESSICA BRUNO AND ADRIAN GHOBRIAL | posted Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2020

The Peel police officer who accidentally recorded himself berating someone under arrest is now apologizing before an internal disciplinary tribunal.

In November 2018, Peel police officers arrested Masood Masad at his home after the food delivery driver was involved in a dispute at a Mississauga restaurant. At the time, Constable Bernard Trlaja unknowingly recorded himself making xenophobic statements to Masad on the suspect’s own cell phone.

The 15-minute recording was taken while the officer was in his squad car with Masad, driving him to the police station. In it, Trlaja says, “This kid obviously doesn’t understand the rule, nature and culture of Canada. If he wants to be violent and bring that violence with him, then he’s going to have to learn the way.”

According to an agreed statement of facts, the officer went to the Masad family home to speak to Masood after restaurant staff called police and asked them to tell Masood he was not to go to the restaurant ever again.

First, Trlaja called Masood, who responded in Arabic, a language the constable doesn’t know, according to the statement of facts. Then the officer called the house line. Masood’s mother picked up and said she was skeptical that Trlaja was in fact an officer, as the family often received fraudulent phone calls. The statement of facts indicates that while Trlaja was telling her how to call his police station to confirm his identity, she told him that if he were a real officer, he should come to the house. She then hung up on him.

After calling two other officers for backup and attending the Masad home, Trlaja arrested Masood. In the recording he says: “I came to your house with a different approach, but then when I got the arrogance of your mother and I got the arrogance of you – f*** buddy, don’t f*** with me now okay.”

In home security video showing the police cruisers in the family’s driveway, Trlaja and the two other responding officers can be seen holding Masood’s phone.

Masood had started a video recording on the phone when the police arrived at his home. One officer is seen in the video ending the recording and handing the phone to Trlaja.

The statement of facts says Trlaja then accidentally started a new recording when he placed the phone next to him inside the police cruiser.

In the recording, Trlaja asks Masood: “What’s your problem buddy? Are you r******d? Now you’re a mouse with your tail stuck between your a**hole.”

Shortly after Masood’s arrest, the charge was downgraded to mischief and then dropped by a Crown prosecutor.

In the statement of facts, Trlaja now agrees his actions were discreditable conduct under the service’s Code of Conduct.

The full agreed statement of facts is below:

Last year, Ontario’s Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) found reasonable grounds that Masood’s arrest was unlawful and that Trlaja’s conduct was discreditable — ordering Peel’s chief to hold a hearing.

At the time, Trlaja was involved in another disciplinary hearing for a separate incident, where its alleged he made inappropriate comments to a Peel police employee.

Meanwhile, the 17-year police veteran has been suspended with pay. He made more than $103,000 in 2019, according to Ontario’s sunshine list.

The tribunal prosecutor is not pursuing an unlawful arrest charge against Trlaja. The Masad Family has also received two letters of apology from the constable — one to Masood, and one to his father Bashar, who was home the night of the arrest and brought the OIPRD complaint.

“I truly apologize for how I spoke to you in your residence and more particularly the police cruiser,” the apology to Masood reads.

Read the full apology letter to Masood below:

In the letter to Bashar, Trlaja states: “My conversation with Masood in the residence and during the transportation was fueled by emotional frustration, not from any prejudice against your ethnicity or culture.”

Read the full apology letter to Masood’s father Bashar below:

Bashar says he appreciates the apology, and more than individual punishment of the officer, he wants to see systemic change in how police contact people by phone.

“It was written in strong words, the apology,” he says. “Regardless what the main aim of doing that is — whether to avoid punishment or whether it’s genuine … at least for us Constable Trlaja had the courage to come and say, ‘I’m sorry I did something wrong.’ Not everybody is capable of doing that.”

The hearing continues this week, and Peel police tell CityNews that the coming days will be used to hear evidence on how the officer should be penalized.

Murder trial for Alek Minassian, man accused in Toronto van attack, starts Tuesday

LIAM CASEY, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2020

The trial for the man who killed 10 people and hurt 16 others after driving a van down a Toronto sidewalk is set to get underway today.

Alek Minassian, 28, of Richmond Hill, faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

He has admitted in court to planning and carrying out the attack on April 23, 2018.

The judge has said the case will turn on Minassian’s state of mind at the time.

He is expected to raise a defence of being not criminally responsible for his actions that day.

Minassian told a detective just hours after the incident that he carried out the attack as retribution against society because he was a lonely virgin who believed women wouldn’t have sex with him.

In a police interview that was made public, Minassian told the detective he had found solace in an online community for so-called “incels” men who were involuntarily celibate.

Minassian explained to the detective that incels were at the bottom rung of society, below so-called Chads, who are alpha males who slept with women, who are known as Staceys.

He said the Chads had to be killed in order to force the Staceys to have sex with men like him, the incels.

A mass attack would cause confusion in the world and allow the incels to rearrange the world order and come out on top, he told the detective.

Minassian’s trial will take place in front of a judge, Justice Anne Molloy, without a jury _ a rarity for first-degree murder trials.

The defence sought to have the case moved out of Toronto, arguing Minassian wouldn’t receive a fair trial with a jury pool of locals.

After negotiations, all sides agreed to proceed by way of a judge alone, thereby keeping the trial in Toronto.

The trial was set to begin in February, but difficulties getting Minassian’s psychological and medical records pushed it back to April.

The pandemic then shuttered courts, pushing the trial back to November.

With recent COVID-19 restrictions in place during the pandemic’s second wave, court opted for a trial on the Zoom videoconference software.

The trial will not be available to the public online, but anyone can watch a broadcast of the trial at a few rooms reserved at the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

RECIPE: Breakfast Better with Chef Dev

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Nov 9th, 2020

A nourishing breakfast with high-quality dairy protein is key to setting your foundation for the day, giving your body the energy and protein it needs to fuel the morning and prevent the mid-morning crash. TODAY: We’ve invited board member chef Dev to help us breakfast better and to demonstrate a nutritious, simple and (most importantly) delicious breakfast recipe that you can introduce to your morning routine.

TODAY, Che Dev will show you how to make Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Glazed Ontario Peaches! It meets all of the Breakfast Better requirements and is sure to be something the whole family will love.

For more information about the Breakfast Better Board guidelines and the complete breakfast recipes, ​check out www.breakfastbetter.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Dev’s Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Glazed Ontario Peaches

(20g of Protein per serving)

 Ingredients:

2 cups of Peaches (pitted and sliced into wedges)

2 tbsps Butter

2 tsps Brown Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1.5 cup of Flour

2 tsp of Baking Powder

2 eggs (12gs)

2 tsp of Vanilla Extract

1 cup of Milk (8gs)

1 ½ cup of Yogurt (30gs)

½ cup of Slivered Almonds (10gs)

Micro Basil to Garnish

 

Instructions:

  1. In a pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the melted butter. Mix well and add peaches, cooking gently for a minute per side before removing it from the heat. Set aside.
  2. Toast slivered almonds in a pan on medium high for 1 – 3 minutes.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, add eggs, vanilla extract, milk and yogurt. Combine well.
  4. Add the dry pancake mix to the wet ingredients. Fold carefully, ensuring that there are no flour pockets within the batter. For fluffy pancakes, do not overmix. You should have a thick batter with a few lumps in it.
  5. Use a hot pancake griddle to cook the pancakes on medium heat. When bubbles start to form on the pancake, they are ready to flip.
  6. Stack and serve hot, top with peaches and garnish with slivered almonds and some micro basil for colour.
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