TDSB trustees to consider job cuts

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 2/26/2013 7:13:00 PM

TDSB trustees will consider cutting hundreds of jobs to cut about half of the board's $55-million deficit.

A report going in front of a committee on Thursday recommends the loss of 248 secondary school teachers, as well as some secretaries, vice principals and guidance counsellors.

The cuts would eliminate about $27-million.

"I hate budget time," says trustee Shelley Laskin. "I hate it because it's just reductions of people that make a difference in our schools."

But she adds that this is a hard decision that has to be made.

"I think any time you have a reduction in staff is difficult, but frankly we are still staffing in some areas above the funding we receive," she says.

According to TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz, staffing makes up about 66 per cent of the board's budget. Next year, funding from the province will be about $2.9-billion.

Laskin says while the board has ...

No Criminal Offence In Alleged HIV Case

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 2/26/2013 3:44:00 PM

There's been new information released in an alleged sexual assault investigation.

Toronto Police reported on Sunday that a 23 year old man met another man at an establishment in the Church and Wellesley area.

Originally police said they had sexual relations, and then the other man disclosed he was HIV positive.

However, after police probed the case, Investigators found that no criminal offence was committed.

Officers could elaborate on that, only that they aren't looking for any suspects in the case.

Ornge To Be Subject to Freedom of Information Law

Posted By: Dave Bradley · 2/26/2013 3:35:00 PM

The province's troubled Ornge air ambulance system will be subject to Ontario's freedom of information law by the fall.

Health Minister Deb Matthews has re-introduced legislation that the government says will boost oversight of the scandal-plagued air ambulance service and limit what it can do without government approval, such as selling assets.

The original bill was introduced a year ago, one day after it was announced police were investigating financial irregularities at
Ornge, but it died when Dalton McGuinty prorogued the legislature last October.

The only change in the new bill is the inclusion of provisions to put Ornge under the auspices of freedom of information legislation, which the opposition parties had demanded.

Matthews says the performance agreement signed in 2005 that led to Ornge's ill-fated foray into the for-profit sector wasn't
adequate to prevent the abuse of taxpayer dollars.

She says the bill will protect whistleblowers who disclose information ...

Colle Re-Introduces Gas-and-Dash Bill

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 2/26/2013 3:18:00 PM

A Liberal MPP is re-introducing a private member's bill that, if passed, would take steps at preventing gas-and-dashes.

The bill was thrown out when Dalton McGuinty prorogued the legislature last fall.

MPP Mike Colle's bill sets out to put in a mandatory pay-before-you-pump system at all gas stations at all times of day, suspend the licence of a driver convicted of gas theft, and impose fines on employers who force attendants to pay for these thefts out of their wages.

He notes he's been going around to local police services boards in the GTA to get support at a municipal level. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has already endorsed the bill.

This comes a after a gas station attendant was killed in Colle's riding. Jayesh Prajapati died after trying to stop an SUV which filled up with $112 worth of gas and drove off from the Shell station in the ...

*UPDATE* Sheriff Shot In Alberta

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 2/26/2013 2:34:00 PM

An Alberta sheriff has been shot outside a courthouse in a community northwest of Edmonton.

Whitecourt Mayor Trevor Thain has no immediate information on the condition of the sheriff.

Thain says the shooting took place shortly before noon and two suspects escaped using the sheriff's van.

The RCMP later confirmed that the two suspects were arrested at the Whitecourt airport.

He says the suspects were among those arrested earlier in a drug bust in the community, about 180 kilometres from the provincial capital.

VIDEO: Demands for Better Winter Road Cleaning at Queen's Park

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 2/26/2013 2:07:00 PM

With the GTA and other parts of southern Ontario expected to get walloped by another winter storm over the next 24 hours, the Transportation Minister is getting pressed by opposition and members of his own party about if the province needs to get a better handle on snow removal.

Glen Murray points to climate change for unpredictable weather which plays apparent in snowy highways. But he maintains provincial guidelines are being followed.

Both the opposition and members of his own party, beg to differ.

Liberal MPP for Vaughan Steven Del Duca stood up during Question Period to reveal his constituents complain about highway issues during storms and road closures.

PC MPP Vic Fidelli held up his phone, showing pictures of near whiteout conditions on the roads further north. He says it doesn't seem like road-clearing standards are being met and if there are, it may be time to revisit them....

Defence Argues Kachkar Not Criminally Responsible for Death of Sgt. Russell

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 2/26/2013 4:56:00 PM

A 44-year-old drifter was in a psychotic state when he stole a snow plow and used it to kill a Toronto police officer and should be found not criminally responsible, a jury was told Tuesday.

There is ``no doubt'' Richard Kachkar was driving a stolen plow on Jan. 12, 2011, when it hit and killed Sgt. Ryan Russell, Ontario Superior Court Judge Ian MacDonnell told the jury trying Kachkar's case. What jurors must decide is whether Kachkar knew what he was doing was wrong.

The Crown, which wrapped up its case Tuesday after three weeks of evidence, contends Kachkar meant to kill Russell and should be found guilty of first-degree murder.

Kachkar's lawyer, Bob Richardson, began his case by telling the jury he is raising a defence of not criminally responsible.

``It is our position that Mr. Kachkar...was suffering from a mental disorder the entire time that he was operating ...

UPDATE: OMHA calls hockey dad's behaviour "totally unacceptable"

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 2/26/2013 5:11:00 PM

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association says one Scugog hockey dad's behaviour last week is "totally unacceptable."

Police say several parents confronted a 17-year-old referee during a minor game last Tuesday. When the referee was leaving the arena and walking to his car, one of the parents allegedly threatened him and kicked him in the legs from behind.

29-year-old Brad Fenney has been charged with assault and uttering threats. He's been released with the condition that he not attend any organized youth sporting event.

"Certainly this type of behaviour is unacceptable," says Richard Ropchan with the OMHA. "The OMHA takes a lot of pride in working with and educating our members about acceptable behaviour."

Ropchan says playing hockey is more about learning life skills than preparing for a professional hockey career.

"If you can't have some fun and learn some life skills along the way, you're missing the point, you're missing ...

VIDEO: PC Motion Focuses on Teachers

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 2/26/2013 11:32:00 AM

The province's elementary teachers have confirmed to Newstalk 1010 that they are having meetings with union heads, to make a decision on what to do with extra curriculars.

They gave themselves a deadline of Friday.

This comes as the Tories try to expand teachers' job descriptions and find a way to prevent them from bowing out of helping out with your kids' plays and sports games.

A Progressive Conservative opposition day motion lists completing report cards on time and meeting with parents and students outside of regular school hours as things teachers should be required to do.

And while PC education critic Lisa MacLeod says they won't force teachers to perform extra curriculars, she wants to make sure they won't face sanctions if they want to offer extra curriculars during strike action.

She also wants to make it easy for parents to help out with after school activities, when schools ...

Vatican Outlines Pope's Future

Posted By: Suzette Francis · 2/26/2013 10:13:00 AM

The Vatican has answered some of the outstanding questions about Pope Benedict XVI's future once he's retired, saying he'll be known as "emeritus pope,'' and continue to wear a white cassock.
The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Tuesday that Benedict himself made the decisions.
The pope's title and what he would wear has been a major question ever since Benedict stunned the world and announced he would resign
on Thursday. While he will no longer wear his trademark red shoes,
Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers
made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico and presented to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear them in retirement.

The Pontiff is said to have set some rules for the selection process for his successor including, excommunication for anyone taking part who speaks publicly about the conclave.

The Cardinals ...

Lawsuit threatened by Gateway if TTC backs out of deal

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 2/26/2013 6:33:00 AM

The parent company of Gateway Newsstands in the Toronto subway system is threatening to sue the TTC if it revokes a lease extension which has been agreed to but not yet signed-off on.

Lawyers for Tobmar Investments International say this contract has been approved twice so far and the company never expected to be in this position.

The letter stated, "If the commission does not proceed with the contract, then our client will have no choice but to move for injunctive relief for, amongst others, specific performance of its contract with the commission.”

A recent third party review of the lease extension recommended the Gateway leases be put up for public tender and on Monday, the TTC put the Gateway deal on hold. The discussions about putting out a request for proposals will be dealt with by the TTC March 27th.

It's a minor victory for Mayor Rob Ford and ...

Coyote spotted in The Beach

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 2/26/2013 6:17:00 AM

There's been another coyote spotting in The Beach.

It was seen roaming through the front yards of homes on Hammersmith Avenue over the weekend. That is a high traffic area for owners and their pets.

Toronto Animal Services says we shouldn't be surprised to see more coyotes within the city because it is mating season and there are fewer places for them to hide due to the lack of greenery.

There are an estimated 1000 coyotes roaming Toronto city streets.

Only last Wednesday around 11 p.m. that another coyote attacked a small dog named "Cujo" in the backyard of a home that backs onto the Neville Park ravine. The owner had to put the dog down because of the injuries it sustained.

Toronto Animal Services says it should be called in if a coyote is spotted approaching other animals or people and showing aggression.

Winter storm to reach GTA by Tuesday evening

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 2/26/2013 6:34:00 AM

The winter storm that took shape over the Texas panhandle continues to pound its way northeast and it will begin rearing it's ugly head Tuesday evening in the GTA.

It's expected to reach Windsor by about 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon as rain. Then, around 4 o'clock, London can expect wet snow.

In the Greater Toronto Area, mixed precipitation is expected first in Burlington and Oakville around 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. with wet snow falling in Mississauga, and a mix of rain and snow in Toronto.

This storm will have an impact from Windsor to Cornwall and northward into Parry Sound but the greatest impact will be here in the GTA and much depends on the temperature. If it's a little warmer than predicted then this could be more of a rain event but if not, it could mean plenty of the white stuff.

Environment Canada is forecasting about 10 ...

Tourists killed in hot air balloon crash in Egypt

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 2/26/2013 5:34:00 AM

A hot air balloon flying over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor caught fire and crashed into a sugar cane field on Tuesday, killing 19 foreign tourists, a security official said.

It was one of the worst accidents involving tourists in Egypt and likely to push the key tourism industry deeper into recession. The casualties included French, British, Japanese nationals and nine tourists from Hong Kong, the official said.

Two survivors of the crash (a tourist and one Egyptian) were taken to a local hospital.

There were 20 passengers aboard. An explosion happened and 19 passengers died, according to officials. The hot air balloon was flying over Luxor when it caught fire, which triggered an explosion in its gas canister, then plunged at least 300 metres from the sky.

An official said foul play has been ruled out.

In Hong Kong, a travel agency said nine of the tourists that were ...

Italian-brand cheese recalled because of listeria concerns

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 2/26/2013 5:28:00 AM

An Italian-made cheese is being recalled because of concerns it may be contaminated with Listeria.

Mauri brand Gorgonzola cheese, sold in package of approximately 1.44 kilograms, has a packaging date of Jan. 7, 2013 and a best-before date of Apr. 7, 2013.

The importer, Arla Foods Inc. of Concord, Ont., distributed the cheese across Canada and is voluntarily recalling it from the marketplace.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no reported illnesses linked to this product.
Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled but eating it can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.

Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

(The Canadian Press)

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