#IreneBreckon, #ElliotLake, #Ontario, #LoblawCompaniesLtd., #GeorgeWestonLtd., #CanadaBreadCompany, #WalmartCanadaCorp., #CompetitionBureau, #class-actionlawsuit
Toronto, Dec 23 (Canadian-Media): Irene Breckon, a senior citizen and anti-poverty activist from Elliot Lake, Ontario had filed $1 billion class-action lawsuit against Loblaw Companies Ltd. because of the company's participation in industry-wide price-fixing of bread for 14 years, media reports said.
Breckon -- on behalf of all Canadians who purchased bread beginning in January 2001 at the grocery chain's stores -- had taken the lead in the case and was represented by Toronto-based law firm Sotos LLP,.
Included in the suit are: George Weston Ltd., Canada Bread Company and Walmart Canada Corp. among the defendants.
Beckon reportedly remembered paying up to $3.18 per loaf bread, which meant that the companies had been profiting more than $1 billion from the inflated pricing.
"A dollar a loaf of bread for 14 years — that's a lot of money," Breckon was reported to say.
"I'm very involved with many, many people who have very little," Breckon was reported to state in an interview with CBC News.
"They don't have money for the basics, and then when you find out that these large corporations are cheating us, it's just wrong."
George Weston and Loblaw revealed their participation in the price-fixing arrangement were granted immunity by the Competition Bureau -- a federal institution and an independent law enforcement agency to make sure that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace -- and at least seven other companies are being investigated by the Bureau.
Competition bureau logo: wikipedia
Loblaw's reported offer of a $25 gift card By way of offering an apology to customers was declined by Breckon, who argued that the gift card doesn't compensate for the money she and other people had lost overtime.
"When I heard about the Loblaw card I thought, '$25, that's nothing! Compared to the what they've overcharged me over 14 years.'"
According to official reports certification by a judge is the prerequisite for the class-action lawsuit to proceed.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#YorkRegiona Police, #SafeRoads...YourCall
Toronto, Dec 18 (Canadian-Media): 28 impaired drivers, twenty-one male and seven female, were removed by York Regional Police (YRP) from our roadways and and 50 distracted drivers were charged during the period, Dec 11 - Dec 18, media reports said.
YRP is reported to have said with its clear message: 'DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL OR USE DRUGS AND DRIVE' that it is not giving up and is grateful to the citizens who chose to make the right decision this weekend to not drink and drive.
YRP is also thankful for the support of the community members in helping to avert life-threatening incidents by calling 9-1-1 through the Safe Roads...Your Call program -- started on June 2007 with signage unveiled across the region, on both regional and municipal roads -- which encourages motorists in York Region to call 9-1-1 if they see another reportedly suspected impaired motorist.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Ahmed Hussen: Facebook
#AhmedHussen, #CanadianCitizenshipAct, #Bill C-6
Ottawa, Oct 6 (Canadian-Media): Federal Refugees and Citizenship Minister, Ahmed Hussen, announced Wednesday at an event in Brampton, Ontario that more relaxed rules for obtaining Canadian citizenship will take effect on Oct. 11, Immigration, media reports said.
"As a country that's committed to the settlement and integration of newcomers successfully so they can restart their lives and make contributions to our society, we have to ensure the path to citizenship for permanent residents," Hussen was quoted by the media, CBCNews reports said.
The new rules said that requirement for the people's physical presence in Canada would be reduced from four out of six yearsto three out of five years.
Temporary workers and students would be given credit for portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status and will count toward residency requirements.
The new rule also signified the reduction of the age range for language and knowledge requirements would be reduced from the previous requirement of 14 to 64 to 18 to 54 years old.
Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, according to new rules, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.
These changes are part of changes of the Citizenship Act, Bill C-6, which passed in the House of Commons in June.
Bill C-6, according to official reports is an Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Eleanor McMahonan: Facebook
Toronto, Sep 22 (Canadian-Media): Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and provincial Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon -- joined by Han Dong, MPP for Trinity-Spadina -- on Sep 21 in Toronto announced new tougher rules for road safety, Ontario News Release of Sep 21 said.
Ontario hoped that the introduction of new legislation this fall, if passed, would reportedly protect pedestrians and cyclists from fatalities or injury by impaired, distracted and dangerous drivers.
Ontario reportedly had passed a legislation in May to protect pedestrians and cyclists -- the most vulnerable -- by reducing default speed limits, and by setting speed limits below 80 km/h that are designated as community safety zones or in school zones.
According to official reports, In June 2015, another legislation was passed by Ontario which to reportedly toughen penalties for offences such as distracted driving.
A road safety symposium was hosted by The Ministry of Transportation hosted in June which was reportedly participated by many municipalities and road safety partners to discuss road safety mdeasures and concerns to help to save lives on Ontario’s roads.
The proposed measures included: Penalties including fines, licence suspension and imprisonment for a new offence for imparied or careless driving causing death or bodily harm; tougher penalties for distracted driving by using a cellphone while operating a vehicle, including higher fines, more demerit points, and license suspensions; Increased penalties for drivers who do not yield to pedestrians and increasing fines for drivers, convicted of multiple charges for pedestrian-related offences within a five-year window; and promoting the use of rear flashing blue lights for enforcement and emergency vehicles.
These strong measures and penalties would be applicable, said the reports, for drivers under the influence of drugs, including cannabis.
“Ontario is taking action to reduce the number of people killed by impaired, distracted and dangerous drivers. These measures will help keep some of our most vulnerable road users safe and help us drive home the message that dangerous, impaired and distracted driving is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated,” Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation was quoted by the media as saying.
Steven Del Duca: Facebook
According to official reports, one person on average is killed on Ontario’s roads every 17 hours.
Approximately 25 percent of Ontario’s road fatalities In 2014 were reportedly pedestrians and cyclists.
Top-five killers on Ontario’s roads are reportedly due to drunk driving, although -- according to Ontario's most recent roadside survey -- drivers who tested positive for drugs more than doubled the number who tested positive for alcohol.
Authorites feel that Ontario's roads, which have reportedly been ranked either first or second safest in North America for 16 years in a row, should do more for Ontario road's safety.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Cannabis, #YasirNaqvi, #EricHoskins, #CharlesSousa, #LCBO, #OPP
Toronto, Sept 11 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made during a press conference last week -- in response to the federal government's plan to legalize cannabis by July 2018 -- by Yasir Naqvi, Ontario Minister of Attorney General, Charles Sousa, Provincial Minister of Finance, and Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care that that safe and sensible legislation and retail of recreational cannabis -- as a carefully controlled substance -- within the province will be introduced later this fall, media reports said.
Eric Hoskins: Facebook
Sousa was quoted by the media as saying, “We are committed to getting this transition right. When it comes to retail distribution, the LCBO has the expertise, experience and insight to ensure careful control of cannabis, helping us to discourage illicit market activity and see that illegal dispensaries are shut down,” Ontario News release said.
Charles Sousa: Facebook
Ontario’s approach -- to the legalization of cannabis would reportedly keep in mind practical lessons of other jurisdictions of recently legalized cannabis and province's experience in managing tobacco and alcohol -- will focus on ensuring a safe and sensible transition to federal legalization.
Ontario is reportedly the first province or territory in Canada to publicly announce a comprehensive plan to regulate federally legalized cannabis.
“We’ve heard people across Ontario are anxious about the federal legalization of cannabis. The province is moving forward with a safe and sensible approach to legalization that will ensure we can keep our communities and roads safe, promote public health and harm reduction, and protect Ontario’s young people,” Naqvi was quoted by media as saying.
Yasir Naqvi: Facebook
Key elements that would be included are: The proposed minimum age of 19 to use purchase and possess recreational cannabis and prohibition of its use in public places and workplaces; LCBO will ensure new stand-alone cannabis stores and an online order service and that there will be only one legal retail distributor for cannabis in Ontario and alcohol and cannabis are not sold alongside each other; opening of 150 standalone stores by 2020, including 80 by July 1, 2019 and availability of online distribution across the province from July 2018 onward.
Other elements include prohibition of dispensation of Illicit cannabis by legal retailers; a coordinated and proactive enforcement strategy in coordination with municipalities, local police services, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the federal government to help shut down illegal operations; allowing police to confiscate small amounts of cannabis from people under age 19; development of an integrated prevention and harm reduction approach by education, health and social service providers and educate to support young people and vulnerable not bringing them into contact with the justice system, youth and young adults.
The federal government will provide further details with respect to pricing and taxation after focusing on discouraging consumption and eliminating the illegal market.
Ontario would consult closely with municipalities, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders to determine additional details about the retail and distribution system and would undertake a public information campaign in coordination with the federal government.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Jody Wilson-Raybould: Facebook
#JodyWilson-Raybould, #StephanieVallée, #Ottawa, #Ontario, #HubertSacy, #MartinVézina, #JoyceReynolds, #MichaelSpratt, #FrancoisMeunier
Ottawa, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): The federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced yesterday to consider lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers to .05 percent from .08 percent but her proposal opposed was by many who said lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers was not a solution for reducing drunk driving, media reports said.
Wilson-Raybould had written to Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée in May with suggestions to lower the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers professing that the change would enable to fight drunk driving, CBCNews reports said.
But, Hubert Sacy, the director of Éduc'alcool did not reportedly agree with Wilson-Raybould’s proposal and said other preventive measures should be taken on the provincial level -- including increasing awareness among drivers that they will be caught if they drink over the limit -- before making any legal changes.
The number of roadblocks should also be increased, said Sacy, and restaurant and bar servers should be empowered to stop drunk patrons from driving.
Joyce Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Restaurants of Canada, which has about 30,000 members, reportedly said according to evidence vast majority of impaired drivers who cause deaths had twice the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstream.
More recent research indicated that this data underestimated the fatal crash risk, Wilson-Raybould said Tuesday, and added the risk is almost double at 50mg, and almost triple at 80mg, and rises above that level.
In a separate statement to the media, she said impaired driving was the leading criminal cause of killing and injuring thousands in Canada each year.
Although Michael Spratt, an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer reportedly acknowledged that lowering the blood-alcohol limit would save lives, but he said it could overload the courts with new cases.
According to Statistics Canada’s report on drunk-driving incidents in 2015 -- the last year for which data was available -- was the lowest in 30 years.
The proposal to lower limit coincides with the federal government’s preparation to legalize marijuana use next summer.
When a new law on marijuana use and distribution was introduced in April, it also gave police the right to demand a breath sample from any driver at roadside instead of suspecting a driver had been drinking.
Francois Meunier, who works for an association that represents restaurateurs in Quebec reportedly said new rules would not only impact alcohol sales but food sales.
Martin Vézina of the Quebec Restaurant Association was also worried, said reports, that proposal of a lower limit of blood-alcohol level would discourage potential patrons from going to restaurants and bars which would impact both alcohol and food sales.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Michael Coteau: Facebook
#Mentorshipprograms, #MichaelCoteau, #Ontario, #TogetherWeCan, #Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, #DwayneDixon
Toronto, July 28 (Canadian-Media): 25 locally developed mentorship initiatives in priority communities, including the Greater Toronto (Toronto and its adjoining cities) and Hamilton Area, Ottawa and Windsor are being supported by a new mentorship program being launched by Ontario to build confidence and develop skills in Black children and youth in school and work, a news release said.
Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism announced a new program ‘Together We Can’ earlier this week at Alexandra Park Community Centre in Toronto to help improve the futures of Black community.
“Together We Can is a great example of an on-the-ground solution to help improve the futures of Black children, youth and their families. Partnering with local community organizations to provide mentorship opportunities specifically for Black children and youth will help them build the skills and connect them with the opportunities they need to succeed,” said Coteau, said the release.
Over the next four years Onatrio would be investmenting $9 million, continued the release, for mentorship programs.
These mentorship programs, which are part of ‘Together We Can’, are being designed with the help of an external implementation steering committee which comprises youth, leaders and experts from the Black community, as well as from community engagement sessions' feedbacks.
Four mentorship programs are already in development and will be delivered by: by the African-Canadian Coalition of Community Organizations in the Regent Park and Alexandra Park community in Toronto, NIA Centre for the Arts in the Vaughan area, Tropicana Community Services in Scarborough, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel, in partnership with the Black Community Advisory Council in Peel Region.
‘Together We Can’ is part of the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, with a $47 million commitment for four years and aims to help reduce inequalities for more than 10,000 Black children, youth and families in Ontario, said the release.
Ontario Black Youth Action Plan in alignment with ‘A Better Way Forward: Ontario's 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan’ was announced in February 2017 to reduce race-based disparities.
After this four-year's $47 million plan is fully developed, it will support nearly 10,800 Black children and their families annually in their education, employment and decision making processes.
More than 25 engagement sessions on the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, the release said, have been held in 13 communities across the province since May of this year and these sessions will continue throughout the summer.
“Very early in my artistic journey, when I was coming up, there were very limited opportunities (financial or otherwise) for young black artists to make the arts a viable career choice. With the support of MCYS via the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan I'm confident, experiences like mine will be the exception and not the rule. I've made it my purpose to make a difference for the next generation, and so too has the Province of Ontario,” said Dwayne Dixon, Executive Director, Nia Centre for the Arts, the release said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)