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Kyle Lowry signs one-year $31M contract with the Toronto Raptors!

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019

The hype of the Toronto Raptors continues! Kyle Lowry has officially signed a $31 million contract extension. This now takes Lowry out of the free-agent market!

This extension will give Lowry two years and $64 million in the bank – this includes the $33.3 million left on his expiring contract.

Lowry has earned $157 million in a career that’s starting its 15th season, including his eighth as the longest-tenured active member of the Raptors.


President’s Choice Lower Iron milk based powdered infant formula recalled

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019

Loblaw Companies Ltd, is recalling its President’s Choice brand Lower Iron milk-based powdered infant formula due to possible contamination by Cronobacter bacteria.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product was sold in stores across the country in 900 gram packages with a best before date of Aug. 29, 2021.

The agency says no illnesses have been linked to the product.

It notes that while Cronobacter is not commonly linked to human illness, in rare cases it can cause serious or even fatal infections.

Climate change protest expected to block Bloor Street Viaduct

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019

A two-week global protest to bring attention to climate change started this weekend in Europe will be making its way to Toronto.

An environmental group called “Extinction Rebellion” is planning on shutting down a major bridge during morning rush hour Monday.

Protesters will be lying down in traffic lines on the Bloor Street Viaduct to show that major disruptions are inevitable if society fails to act on climate change.

It’s expected to begin just after 8 a.m. and there’s no word on how long the protest could last.

A release from the group says they also will be filing a notice of demonstration with Toronto police.

Around 1,000 people blocked the Grosser Stern, a traffic circle in the middle of the German capital’s Tiergarten park dominated by the landmark Victory Column, in a protest that started in the early hours Monday.

Members of Extinction Rebellion have also set up a camp outside Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office, reflecting dissatisfaction with a climate policy package drawn up last month by her government, ahead of what it called an “international rebellion” starting Monday. It says protests are planned in 60 cities worldwide.

In Amsterdam, hundreds of demonstrators blocked a major road outside the Rijksmuseum, one of the city’s most popular tourist draws, and set up tents.

The demonstration went ahead despite the city banning activists from gathering on the road. The protesters ignored police calls for them to move to a nearby square.

Back in April, members of the group blocked several London roads and bridges during 10 days of action designed to alert the public and politicians to the “climate emergency.”

Extinction Rebellion wants to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2025.

Education minister Lecce optimistic about teacher contract talks

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he remains optimistic about ongoing teacher contract talks after averting an education workers strike over the weekend.

He says that in reaching a deal with the union representing 55,000 education workers important lessons have been learned which can be applied to other contract talks.

Lecce says he believes there is a “path forward” in the ongoing negotiations with Ontario’s high school and elementary teachers.

Late last night the government, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the school boards announced they’d reached a tentative contract that avoided a strike that was set to begin at midnight.

The potential labour disruption could have closed schools across the province, leaving parents scrambling to make child care arrangements.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Andrea Horwath warns that unless the government reverses school system cuts the remaining talks will be difficult.

Teen struck and killed in hit-and-run in East York

News Staff | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019



A teenager has been struck and killed by a pick-up truck that fled the scene in East York early Monday morning.

Police were called to Cedarvale Avenue near the East York Memorial Arena just after 2 a.m. to reports of a pedestrian struck.

It’s believed the boy, around 16 years old, was walking on the sidewalk when a vehicle struck him and fled the scene. Witnesses on the scene say it appeared the vehicle intentionally hit the victim, but police have yet to determine whether it was an intentional act.

He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries where he was pronounced dead. The victim has yet to be identified.

Officers are now looking for a black pick-up truck with damage to the front-end.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

‘Schools will be open in Ontario:’ CUPE, government reach deal to avert strike

News Staff | posted Monday, Oct 7th, 2019

A potential strike involving 55,000 education support workers in Ontario has been averted following a late night deal between the province and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The tentative three year agreement means schools across the province are expected to be open as usual on Monday.

“Parents can rest easy knowing that the Government worked tirelessly to ensure their children remain in the classroom, where they belong,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce, without giving any specific details of the new agreement except to say it was “fair and reasonable.”

“We can all leave this deal knowing we’ve achieved some incremental success, and that is important for the students of this province,” he said.

More than two dozen school boards were prepared to shut down classes in the event of a strike.

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, apologized to parents and student for how long it took to get an agreement.

“To all the parents and students who have waited to know what is happening tomorrow, I would like to apologize for how long it has taken to be able to give you this news,” said Walton. “I do regret the disruption to your lives.”

Tens of thousands of custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators had begun a work-to-rule campaign last week in a bid to pressure the provincial government into making concessions in contract negotiations.

The union says it was able to secure modest wage increases, a reinstatement of the local priorities fund with a new investment of up to $20 million and maintain its existing sick leave plan – a sticking point for the school trustees.

Lecce said the new deal “strengthens the integrity” of the sick leave program.

“I think the pressure that we applied, the fact that we were going to be going out on strike – a full withdrawl of services – made the difference this weekend,” said Walton.

Asked if the province caved in the negotiations, Walton said they “met us where they needed to be in order to get a deal” and that the union “didn’t give up anything.”

Walton says they hope to have the deal ratified by the end of the month.

CUPE is the first of several unions to reach an agreement with the Ford government since contracts for all of the province’s public school employees expired at the end of August.

TDSB, other GTA school boards to close doors if CUPE goes on strike

DILSHAD BURMAN AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 4th, 2019

The Toronto District School Board and several other GTA school boards have announced closures in the event of a strike by school support workers.

If a new deal cannot be reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the provincial government, thousands of workers will walk off the job starting Monday, Oct. 7.

The Toronto District School Board says all schools will be closed for the duration of the strike.

TDSB Director of Education, John Malloy made the announcement Thursday afternoon.

“Our CUPE workers cover many, many different aspects to our board services and we felt that we required this decision in order for our students to be safe,” he said.

Malloy said the decision was based on the board’s inability to ensure student safety in the absence of support staff.

“We understand that this is very challenging for our families, we get the frustration and anger this may cause, and we certainly empathize, but at the end of the day safety is paramount and we could not ensure that for all students,” he added.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board says it will also close its schools to “ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.” The board says third-party child care operators located in TCDSB schools will be permitted to remain open, however, operating hours will be adjusted to 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The Peel District School Board also cited safety concerns saying “student safety cannot be ensured during a CUPE strike” and have asked parents not to send their children to school starting Monday next week in case of a strike.

York Region District School Board, York Catholic District School Board and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board will also be closing.

The Halton District School Board says it intends to be open on Monday and the Halton Catholic School Board says they have not made a decision yet.

Durham District School Board says they will make a decision about closures on Friday.

CUPE members began a work-to-rule campaign on Sept. 30 after talks with the province broke down the previous day.

On Wednesday, Laura Walton, President of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions announced at Queens Park that full strike action would go into effect if a fair deal was not reached.

The province and the union are expected to return to the bargaining table Friday.

CUPE represents 55,000 school support workers including education assistants, custodial staff, clerical workers and early childhood educators.

Contracts for Ontario’s public school teachers and education workers expired Aug. 31, and the major unions are in various stages of bargaining.

The talks were prompted by the province’s order for school boards to start increasing class sizes. The Tory government has said that will mean 3,475 fewer teachers in the system over four years, which will be accomplished by not filling vacancies when teachers quit or retire.

Walton has said those cuts will trickle down and impact educational assistant supports and custodial services as well.

A list of provincial school boards and their status should CUPE workers go on strike:

Closed on Monday

Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Peel District School Board
Toronto District School Board
Toronto Catholic District School Board
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
York Region District School Board
York Catholic District School Board

Open on Monday

Greater Essex County District School Board
Halton District School Board
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (not affected by CUPE strike)


Durham District School Board (decision coming Friday)
Halton Catholic District School Board
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is a dual-citizen, in process of renouncing U.S. citizenship

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Oct 4th, 2019

The Director of Communications for Andrew Scheer’s campaign has confirmed media reports that the Conservative Leader is a dual citizen, but says he’s in the process of having his U.S. citizenship renounced.

Brock Harrison told 680 NEWS one of Scheer’s parents was born “in another country and immigrated to Canada to start a family.”

The Globe and Mail first reported Thursday that the Tory leader’s father was born in the U.S. and therefore Scheer and his sisters received American citizenship as a result.

“He and his sisters received United States passports as children and Mr. Scheer has not renewed his as an adult,” Harrison said.

Harrison added that Scheer has not voted in a United States election.

The party says once Scheer became Conservative leader back in 2017 he decided to renounce his American citizenship before the election. In August, he submitted his paperwork and is currently waiting for confirmation from the embassy that he is no longer a dual-citizen.

Members of Parliament are allowed to hold dual citizenship and the United States has no rules preventing one of its citizens from leading a foreign nation.

“I made the decision after I became leader of the party to do this,” Scheer told reporters after addressing a rally of a few hundred people in Bedford, N.S.

“I was focused on other things. I was rebuilding the party, getting ready for the election, working on the platform. It was always my intention to do it before the election.”

But when Conservatives attacked former NDP leader Tom Mulcair and former Liberal leader Stephane Dion over their dual citizenship with France, Scheer said nothing. Mulcair acquired citizenship through his French-born wife and Dion through his French-born mother.

In 2015, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated he is a Canadian and only a Canadian.

“No one has ever asked me before about it,” Scheer responded to questions about whether he thought his actions were hypocritical. “Like millions of Canadians, one of my parents was born in another country.”

As an MP in 2005, Scheer published a blog post about Michaelle Jean, a few weeks before she was sworn in as Governor General, asking his constituents how they felt about her dual citizenship.

“Does it bother you that she is a dual citizen (France and Canada)? Would it bother you if instead of French citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?” he wrote, without mentioning his own double citizenship status.

Liberal party spokeswoman Zita Astravas said in a statement, “Andrew Scheer has been fundamentally dishonest with Canadians about who he is.”

“Scheer’s hidden his core personal positions, he hid facts about his career and education,” she said, referring to the fact Scheer’s biography on his party’s website states he was once an insurance broker in Saskatchewan when he was never fully licensed.

“And now he’s been caught hiding his American citizenship even while ridiculing others for holding dual citizenship.”

Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 21.

With files from The Canadian Press

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