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Chef Romain Avril’s Mother’s Day Pancakes!

Kyle Mack | posted Friday, May 8th, 2020

Mother’s Day ready with the perfect brunch pick me up!

Caramel crown

  • Sugar 200 gr
  • Water 50 gr
  • Bring the sugar mix into the caramel and using 2 forks shake the caramel really fast over a greased bowl
  • Collect the caramel string and create a crown


Pancake batter

  • Ingredients
  • Butter 75 gr
  • Flour 255 gr
  • Sugar 22.5 gr
  • Baking powder 3.5 gr
  • Salt 2 gr
  • Buttermilk 375 ml
  • Eggs 1.5 pc
  • Milk 62.5 ml
  • Vanilla pod 1 pc
  • Total yield: 3 full portions or 9 individual pancake


1. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

2. Create a well and add the eggs in it.

3. Mix the milk together with the vanilla

4. Start beating the eggs with some of the milk and mix while incorporating some of the flour.

5. Repeat the process until all the flour and milk is incorporated and smooth.

6. If you have flour lumps, pass it through a fine sieve.

7. Melt the butter and add it to the mix.

8. Put it in the fridge to rest

9. Put in a covered container, label and date


Blueberry Pancake stack and maple butter


  • Maple Butter 1.5 oz / 1 rosette
  • Pancake mix 9 oz (3 pancakes)
  • Icing sugar 5 gr
  • Poached blueberries 2 oz
  • Maple syrup 1 oz
  • Total yield: 3 full portions or 9 individual pancakes


1. Spray oil on the grill/large frying pan

2. Lay 3 ladles of pancake mix

3. When the mix is 2/3 cooked add 5 blueberries and flip each pancake

4. Cook for another 30 seconds, and stack them on a medium-size round plate

5. Add the maple butter, blueberries on top of the pancakes

6. Dust with icing sugar and add the caramel crown.

13 staff, 7 children infected with coronavirus at Jesse Ketchum daycare

BT Toronto | posted Friday, May 8th, 2020

The City of Toronto says 13 staff members and seven children have tested positive for COVID-19 at a city-run daycare centre.

The outbreak at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care centre was first reported last week on April 28 after four staff members and an 8-month old baby tested positive for the coronavirus.

The childcare centre at Bay Street and Davenport Road is one of seven city-run emergency centres kept open for essential workers. The centre was closed for a two-week period on April 29.

The staff and all 58 children who went to the centre have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks as a precaution.

One staff member has also tested positive at the Falstaff Early Learning and Child Care Centre in North York. No children have shown any symptoms at that location so none have been tested at this point.

The centre remains open, but the room where the staff member worked has been closed off.

All city emergency child care staff are being tested over the next week, including those at Jesse Ketchum and Falstaff.

There have been 6,914 cases of the coronavirus reported in Toronto and 4,364 people have recovered while 522 people have died from COVID-19.

1 dead among 25 employees infected with coronavirus at Maple Lodge Farms

BT Toronto | posted Friday, May 8th, 2020

One person has died among 25 employees who have become infected with COVID-19 at Maple Lodge Farms.

A statement posted on the poultry plant website on Thursday said the employee who passed away tested positive for the virus last month. The employee who died is included in the 25 employees who tested positive.

Maple Lodge Farms Director of Corporate Affairs Carol Gardin tells 680 NEWS they first learned an employee had tested positive on April 16. Peel Public Health and the other employees were informed at that time.

The first cases weren’t reported to the public until a statement was released on May 4. Peel Public Health says 24 cases had been reported to them by April 30.

The Brampton company says each time an employee tested positive, they informed Public Health and have been putting preventive measures in place to stop the spread.

When asked why the cases weren’t reported to the public, Gardin said “Public Health is the authority responsible for public reporting. It is crucial that numbers are reported through the appropriate authority to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data.”

She added after each case was reported, a thorough investigation took place in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Upon further inquiry by CityNews, Gardin added that following the in-depth investigation, Public Health provided direction to Maple Lodge based on the findings, regarding what actions need to be taken to limit the risk of spread. She says those directions were strictly adhered to.

“If members of the public were at risk, part of the orders would have included an order to inform the public but this was not the case,” said Gardin.

In a statement, the union that represents the employees at the plant said they were deeply saddened by the loss of a member. They say their discussions with Maple Lodge have led to many safety protocols being put into place.

“These safety measures include the use of appropriate Personal Protect Equipment (PPE), staggering breaks and shifts to maintain physical distancing, enhanced cleaning for all areas of the plant, and provisions for members to travel to and from the plant in a secure fashion,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175.

Maple Lodge has temporarily suspended one-third of their operations to allow for risk assessment and a deep-clean of the plant. Employees are required to wear masks at all times and they have been equipped with additional personal protective equipment and non-essential visitors have been banned from the plant.

The poultry plant employs over 2,900 workers across the communities they operate in.

Note: A previous version of this article said Maple Lodge Farms first learned an employee had tested positive on April 15. They later corrected the date to April 16 and this article has been edited to reflect the correct date.

Exclusive: Convicted group home owner ordered evicted from Oshawa home

CYNTHIA MULLIGAN | posted Friday, May 8th, 2020

A man who has been convicted of operating illegal group homes in Toronto is now using the COVID-19 pandemic to try and stay in business.

Winston Manning and his company, Comfort Residential Homes, is facing more than a dozen fire code violations after being accused of putting vulnerable people in danger at a home he has been renting and using as an illegal group home in Oshawa.

Two weeks ago, during a virtual court hearing, Manning used the current coronavirus pandemic as a reason not to be evicted. But just this week the court ruled “a real and urgent threat to vulnerable residents” outweighed even the threat of the pandemic and ordered him to leave by May 16th.

Court records show the prosecution is asking for jail time in the case with the maximum sentence being one year behind bars.

Manning rented the home in Oshawa about a year ago and the woman who owns the home said she thought a family was moving in. At the time, the house was practically brand new but recent photos she has taken show broken doors, broken fixtures, mouse droppings and evidence of bedbug infestation. She adds one of the tenants told her there is a lock on the fridge door.

Area residents tell CityNews they believe up to 15 people live in the home, many with mental health issues. Neighbours say tenants of the home would knock on their door asking for food and that children would get harassed for cigarettes at a nearby bus stop.

Officials believe Manning collects their disability cheques and charges them $1000 a month.

Manning has a well-documented past when it comes to operating illegal group homes.

In 2018, Manning plead guilty to to multiple fire code violations in relation to several illegal group homes in Toronto. He was fined more than $80,000, put on probation and ordered not to operate any illegal homes.

In 2016, Manning was a key figure in an Ontario Provincial Police probe into illegal group homes. The investigation found that people with physical and mental health issues were living in deplorable conditions: mattresses on the floor, inadequate food, mouse feces and the smell of urine in the homes.

Adequacy of federal emergency aid measures to be tested by jobless numbers

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, May 8th, 2020

The adequacy of federal emergency benefits to help Canadians weather the coronavirus crisis is bound to come under scrutiny Friday as the country gets the first real glimpse of the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic.

Statistics Canada is to release the jobless numbers for April — the first full month in which the economy was virtually shut down while all but essential workers stayed home to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

One million were thrown out of work in March — a record-breaking jobs loss that saw the unemployment rate shoot up 2.2 points to 7.8 per cent — and that was before the full force of the pandemic was felt in Canada.

Non-essential businesses only began to shut down in mid-March and are only now taking the tentative, first steps towards re-opening.

The Trudeau government has shovelled some $150 billion into benefits to help cushion the blow, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a 75 per cent wage subsidy, commercial rent relief and a host of targeted measures to help particularly hard hit individuals and sectors, including students, farmers, artists and front-line essential workers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to use Friday’s daily briefing on the pandemic responding to the calamitous jobless numbers and highlight all the ways the federal government has tried to help.

But the numbers are sure to provide fodder to opposition parties and other critics who’ve long contended that the various emergency aid programs fall short of what’s needed and have left some Canadians and businesses out in the cold.

The government has been trying to fill in the gaps with multiple adjustments to the eligibility criteria for the benefits and additional, targeted measures. Trudeau has promised more to financial support to come.

On Wednesday, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos did not rule out extending the $35-billion Canada Emergency Response Benefit beyond the initial four-months duration. He said 7.5 million Canadians have so far received financial support from the program, which provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for those who’ve lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

However, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has estimated that some 1.4 million unemployed Canadians are not receiving the benefit —  either because they haven’t worked sufficient hours or earned sufficient income to qualify.

Duclos can expect to be grilled on that when he testifies later today before the House of Commons government operations committee.

Critics have also said owner-operators of small businesses, who pay themselves and family members out of dividends, can’t access the wage subsidy.

And many small- and medium-sized businesses have complained they’ve been unable to access interest-free loan programs.

Ontario to begin collecting race-based data during coronavirus pandemic

FAIZA AMIN | posted Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Ontario will soon start collecting race-based data during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand how communities are being impacted by the virus.

The announcement was made during Wednesday’s provincial health update when the Chief Medical Officer of Health said the province would soon begin this process, after consultants said it was necessary to collect socioeconomic status (SES) data.

“Not just for the sake of having it collected, but then how are you going to use that to change your policy and target your programs to the unique settings,” said Dr. David Williams. “Racial ones as well. We want to know which ones in Canada are important to us, such that they would inform program or policy decisions, but not one of actually encouraging any type of racial profiling in that regard.”

Dr. Williams said the data could also help to identify which populations are at risk, particularly as public health measures are eased and more efforts are geared towards containment.

Just recently, Public Health Units in both Toronto and Peel Region announced their offices would begin collecting ethnoracial data to better inform the regions response to the virus.

Provincial health officials say questions will be added to the current questionnaire distributed to patients, adding that they will be collaborating with health equity experts to better inform their data collection process.

“We have been working on the questions that should be asked and we’re in the process of getting the questions added to the basic questions asked by a health unit,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health. “They will be questions that will be answered on a voluntary basis because they’re not included in the anti-racism legislation.”

In the U.S., some states are reporting that African Americans are contracting and dying from the virus at higher rates. Officials say the data collected in these regions is helping to create policies with these communities in mind.

In previous weeks, CityNews asked the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care why the province wasn’t collecting race-based data.

A spokesperson said it was because health wasn’t included in the Anti-Racism Act that allows governments to “mandate the collection of race-based data through regulation in order to measure and address systemic racism.”

Toronto closing down some streets to car traffic in favour of pedestrians and cyclists


Officials in Toronto announced measures to help residents resume regular routines on Wednesday, pledging to close some roads and improve cycling infrastructure in a bid to let people circulate while observing physical distancing measures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The plan dubbed ActiveTO is still being developed, but accompanied a shift in messaging from city officials who have begun urging people to move about while keeping their distance rather than staying home as much as possible.

“We will need more road space for walking, we will need calm streets, we will need more bike infrastructure,” Mayor John Tory said at a news conference. “Transportation services and Toronto public health are working together on a plan to provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders to allow for better physical distancing.”

Tory said the city plans to soon close 50 kilometres of roads to all but local traffic. While he did not provide details as to which streets would be affected or how the new measures would be enforced, he said some closures would likely include major roadways near hot spots like large parks that attract crowds.

Tory also said Toronto would accelerate plans to connect its bicycle network, including installing new infrastructure near public transit routes.

“We know we need a safety valve for our transit system because some people may be hesitant to ride the (Toronto Transit Commission) for health-related reasons,” he said.

The mayor’s announcement came hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford loosened restrictions for some businesses shuttered during the peak of the pandemic. Garden centres, nurseries and hardware stores will be allowed to resume full operations by the end of the week, and other non-essential retailers have been cleared to start offering curbside pickup effective Monday.

TTC spokesman Stuart Green said the transit service does not have immediate plans to increase service levels despite the expected uptick in ridership caused by both the provincial and municipal announcements. The transit agency has been operating service levels at between 70 and 80 per cent of regular capacity throughout the outbreak, even as ridership plunged by at least 80 per cent and about 1,200 employees had to be temporarily laid off.

“We will continue to monitor ridership and respond in real time,” Green said.

Toronto’s tentative plan was endorsed by the city’s top public health official.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said it’s important to get people active.

“The World Health Organization has urged wherever feasible to consider walking or biking when moving around during the COVID-19 outbreak,” she said.

“These modes of active transportation not only provide physical distancing but can significantly reduce our risk of chronic disease and improve our mental health.”

Tory said more particulars of the ActiveTO plan would be announced in the coming days.

More people dying of coronavirus in for-profit LTC homes than publicly-owned

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 7th, 2020

More people appear to be dying of coronavirus in for-profit long-term-care homes, compared to publicly-owned facilities, according to a new analysis released Thursday by health care advocates.

The Ontario Health Coalition looked at death rates in 93 Ontario nursing homes with outbreaks of COVID-19 that resulted in deaths.

When comparing the number of beds in each home to the number of COVID-19 deaths, they found the mortality rate in for-profit homes was nine per cent.

That compares to just over five per cent in non-profit homes, and less than four per cent in publicly-owned homes.

The rates of death have also increased faster in for-profit homes than in non-profits, while rates in publicly-owned facilities actually dropped between late April and early May.

“We can never forget that these death rates are cold hard numbers but they represent real human beings: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,” Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, said in a release.

“The differences between the death rates in for-profit versus non-profit and public long-term care raises momentous questions about the different practices regarding staffing, working conditions and wages, levels of care, and profit-taking.”

The study’s lead author, Rabbi Shalom Schachter, said the data showsfor-profit homes have a much worse record than public and non-profit homes.

He said changes are needed to the current model of delivering long term care, and the overhaul should respond to the ways that ownership impacts quality and outcomes of care.

“Already even prior to COVID-19 it has been recognized that the current model of delivering long term care has to be overhauled,” Rabbi Schachter explained.

“The pandemic has brought to the fore the consequences of the current model. The overhaul should respond to the ways that ownership impacts quality and outcomes of care.”

To read the complete report, click here.

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