http://www.thestar.com/

TORONTO STAR

Elementary teachers in Ontario to hold province-wide one-day strikes each week in addition to rotating strikes (lun., 27 janv. 2020)
Ontario’s public elementary teachers plan to hold province-wide walkouts one day a week, in addition to the ongoing rotating strikes, meaning schools will be shut down twice each week by job action. In a memo to members sent Monday morning, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario said it will hold a one-day strike in all boards where its members work on Feb. 6 if no deal is reached with the provincial government by the end of the month. Starting Feb. 3, “ETFO locals will continue in a full withdrawal of services strike that will require members to engage in a one-day rotating strike and a one-day full provincial strike each week,” the memo states. The ETFO has been holding one-day rotating strikes in a handful of boards each day. The escalated job action also includes teachers who work with special needs students receiving treatment at facilities like Bloorview or Niagara Children’s Centre. ETFO is now also instructing members not to take part in any extracurricular activities as of next week. Currently, only after-hours clubs and sports are affected. Most boards have also opted not to send home winter report cards as teachers are providing principals with marks only, and also not inputting them. Kristin Rushowy is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow her on Twitter: @krushowy
>> Lire la suite

Second presumptive case of coronavirus identified in Toronto is wife of first patient (Mon, 27 Jan 2020)
The woman who is the second apparent case of Wuhan coronavirus in Canada is well and in “self-isolation” at home while a majority of 19 “persons under investigation” for the bug are in hospital awaiting conclusive test results, Ontario health officials say. All 19 have a travel history from affected areas in central China and are either at home trying to avoid contact with others or in isolation rooms in hospitals. “Quite a few are in Toronto,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, said Monday, declining to name other locations. “I would guess we’re going to see some more cases reported in other parts of Ontario, perhaps.” The second case is the wife of the first confirmed coronavirus patient in Canada, a man in his 50s who is in Sunnybrook Hospital in stable condition. Officials moved to reassure the public that no one else lives with the unidentified couple. “Given the fact that she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Ontarians remains low,” Williams said. The couple returned from China last week and have tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory. The husband’s symptoms were severe enough to require medical care. Both were wearing face masks on their flight home to Toronto, officials say. The wife remains at home because “she is well and currently asymptomatic,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s chief medical officer, whose staff are checking with the woman regularly by phone to monitor her condition. “Not all people ... experience severe symptoms,” Williams noted, adding it “isn’t surprising a spouse would contract the virus in this situation.” “From what we know, Wuhan novel coronavirus transmits through close contact — and there’s no closer contact than a husband and wife,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted Monday morning. “While this new case has been in self-isolation, we're monitoring the situation as efforts continue to contain the virus.” The couple arrived at Pearson last Wednesday aboard a China Southern Airlines flight and the husband was taken by ambulance to Sunnybrook the next day. Paramedics had been tipped to his condition and were wearing protective equipment. He and his wife had worn masks on the plane as a precaution after having travelled in the affected area. Yaffe noted “people are self-identifying” if they feel they may have been exposed aboard the plane, with another 15 cases already ruled out as other viruses such as the flu. Enhanced screening has now been implemented, with 911 operators being instructed to ask callers for their travel histories so first responders are ready. If the call is linked to respiratory issues, operators ask if the caller has been in the Wuhan area; if so, paramedics are dispatched in “appropriate garb,” said Yaffe. The confirmed case at Sunnybrook had been showing mild symptoms on his flight from Guangzhou, China, to Toronto and is “continuing to recover,” said Williams. He acknowledged officials have no idea how long infected droplets from a coronavirus cough or sneeze can last on surfaces such as doorknobs, but it appears the bug is “not quite as communicable” as standard flu viruses. Toronto public health staff have been reaching out to about 30 passengers aboard the China Southern Airlines flight who sat within two metres of the couple, with extra resources in place to speed the task, said de Villa. Other passengers on that plane, some of whom have contacted health officials, are advised to “continue about their regular business,” but to be aware of any symptoms that develop and contact their local public health department if they feel ill, said de Villa. Canada’s chief public health officer has said she believes there will be more cases “imported into Canada” because of global flight patterns, but she notes there’s little risk of becoming infected here. News of Canada’s first coronavirus patient came Saturday as authorities around the world grappled with the new type of virus, which originated in China but has since spread. Several countries, including the United States, have said they plan to evacuate diplomats and visitors from Wuhan, the virus’s epicentre. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Sunday that Canada doesn’t have a diplomatic presence in Wuhan, but he noted the government is in contact with and providing assistance to Canadians in the area. China is reporting 2,744 cases and 80 deaths, but it remains to be seen whether the virus is as dangerous as the common flu, which kills thousands every year in Canada alone. Globally, there are 2,799 cases with no fatalities so far, and all cases outside China are “travel related,” said Yaffe, suggesting there has been no person-to-person spread so far. Canadian doctors are urging concerned citizens to take the same sorts of precautions they would to avoid common illnesses, such as frequent handwashing and coughing into the arm or sleeve rather than the hand. They also say that wearing surgical masks during everyday life has little use in protecting against coronavirus, despite being effective in hospital settings. Early data on the new form of virus suggests masks won’t be especially effective, and some say that repeatedly touching and adjusting the masks with unwashed hands could do more harm than good. But the fear that would prompt someone to buy such a mask is perhaps heightened by parallels to the 2002-03 SARS outbreak that originated in China and infected more than 8,000 people, killing 800. There were 44 Canadians killed by that strain of coronavirus. With files from Tom Yun and The Canadian Press Robert Benzie is the Star's Queen's Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1
>> Lire la suite

Shree Paradkar: Two University of Windsor students are admonished after a fight. Why was the Black student the only one disciplined? (Mon, 27 Jan 2020)
Running late by one minute was all it took to upend Jordan Afolabi’s student life and send it rushing down a dystopian spiral, leading to him being sanctioned, suspended and arrested. “The university continues to deal with me as an active threat despite its own finding that I was a victim of an attack to which I responded,” he said. The University of Windsor did not comment. “We are unable to comment due to legal issues and also privacy issues associated with the personal information of individuals,” John Coleman, director, Public Affairs & Communications said via email. Last February, Afolabi, then 27, was rushing past hordes of students at the University of Windsor, heading towards the Odette School of Business. He was running late for his class in Human Resources Planning and as he reached the entrance he pushed the door open. It hit a student. The following account of the incident is based on a report after an external investigation by a law firm in June and a letter from the university in July that took a stance based on that report. According to Afolabi, the student who was hit said “Yo, what the f— was that?” The investigator couldn’t determine the exact words but said they were to that effect. Afolabi said, “Don’t f— with me. I don’t have time for this today.” The other student, who is bigger than Afolabi, gave different versions of what happened next to campus police, Windsor police and the investigator. He said he pushed Afolabi; he also said he didn’t touch him at all. Afolabi told the investigator the other student pushed him with both hands on the chest when they were between the two sets of doors. Afolabi’s laptop backpack fell to the floor and his airpods fell out of his ears. Afolabi, who is trained in mixed martial arts and boxing, responded by hitting him in the face, twice. Afolabi told the investigator he was suffering severe pain in his lower back after what he thought was an injury during weightlifting. The pain eventually turned out to be appendicitis which later ruptured and had to be removed in an emergency procedure. Afolabi also told the investigator he perceived the other man as a threat and reacted knowing he could not withstand the pain of a strike. The other student came toward him again, and in response Afolabi punched him twice more. The investigator wrote Afolabi was “more likely than not” reacting to the aggression to protect his back. The other student, who is white or white-passing, told the external investigator he sustained major injuries from Afolabi’s punches to his lips, mouth and nose, and has anxiety. He also feels dizzy, he said, and saw a neurologist in April. He filed a criminal complaint against Afolabi with Windsor Police in April. Afolabi was arrested by police and held overnight at the station. The crown later withdrew all charges. “That any level of violence was used by either party at any time during this confrontation, is in my estimation a confirmation of poor judgement on the part of both the Complainant and the Respondent,” wrote Ryan Flannagan, the university’s associate vice-president, Student Experience in his letter in July. Using the external investigator’s finding that Afolabi’s punches “were delivered in response to acts of aggression” by the other student, Flannagan found that Afolabi had not violated the university’s student code of conduct, and that he used “a reasonable level of force” to defend himself. Flannagan issued an “unofficial admonition” to both students but acknowledged that both students are large “relative to the general population,” and they could have both seen each other as genuine threats. So far should have been so good. But it wasn’t. By the time this letter from the university came out in July, the situation had wheels of its own and ran into an abyss. The complaint Right after the incident, Afolabi called one of his brothers and while on the phone ran into his human resources professor — the one whose class he had been going to — and asked him for advice. Afolabi said his brother has an app that automatically records calls. Afolabi played the interaction for the external investigator. The investigator’s report noted the professor laughed and said he wanted nothing to do with this incident. The professor did not recommend that Afolabi go to campus police or leave the class to deal with the issue. The next day Afolabi decided to file a complaint with campus police. When he went there, he said the police told him the other student had already filed a complaint against him saying he had been attacked and beaten by an unknown Black male. The investigation The university launched an investigation led by the Office of Student Experience in March. On March 14, Danieli Arbex, the Academic Integrity and Student Conduct officer in that office, sought a meeting with Afolabi. In that first email before they even met, Arbex imposed restrictions, banning Afolabi from the campus outside class times. This meant he could not do group work outside class either. Arbex and Afolabi met on March 26. Afolabi took a lawyer with him and recorded the conversation. At that meeting, Arbex said she did hear that the other student attacked Afolabi first, but “maybe we feel so afraid of someone else that you can do that to defend yourself.” “Fear — especially if you’re referring to my demographic — is not a justification to attacking anyone aggressively,” Afolabi told her. “On paper I’m a very scary-looking guy. But in reality, I’m ambitious, I’m an A student and I’m trying to be a lawyer.” In the recording Arbex is heard saying she was going to lift the restrictions against Afolabi and send him a letter that day. But the next day, Arbex sent him an email that “in effect immediately,” he was banned from returning to the business school “for the remainder of this term.” “I was absolutely devastated,” Afolabi would write in a complaint to the university later. “This was done to me in the middle of severely worsening pain.” It meant he could not see on-campus medical personnel: neither the doctor who was monitoring his back nor the chiropractor or massage therapist. On March 28, he called Arbex and made another appointment with her to see if he could clear up any misunderstanding. He hung up the phone, got ready and left. He showed up at her office and waited. When Arbex saw him, she told him she had sent him an email after their conversation asking him not to come. He recorded this conversation, too. “I am very uncomfortable that you are here right now, after I sent you the email,” she is heard saying in the recording. He tells her he didn’t check his email. “You should have checked,” she said. Afolabi is heard saying, “You’re treating me like I’m a dangerous Black man,” “you’re prejudiced” and “You don’t have to treat me like I’m a threat to the campus.” “If you’re being banned from campus it’s because you hit someone seven times on the face,” she says. “I hit someone after they hit me,” he says. It emerged later that Arbex called campus police when Afolabi was in the office. Afolabi left just before they arrived. In her complaint to the campus police, which Afolabi got from the external investigator, she labelled him “very aggressive” and said he “began calling her a racist.” After this confrontation, the investigation was handed over to the external legal firm. Eight days later, the university allowed him to return to campus with conditions attached. Arbex’s notes, which Afolabi obtained from the external investigator, draw a sympathetic portrait of the other student. They show her ensuring that he was sent to a therapist. She writes that his story was not clear and coherent, but adds in brackets “(he was nervous telling me).” Her notes say he was “very reluctant and tense to talk about the incident” so she began asking him about himself, how he was doing. Arbex did not respond to the Star’s emails requesting comment. The university On June 19, Afolabi dropped off a letter of complaint to Flannagan, associate vice-president, Student Experience and Arbex’s boss. Afolabi also dropped off a copy to Douglas Kneale, who was the president then (now provost and vice-president, Academic) of the university, outlining his experience with the investigation. In it, he wrote he believed the other student’s “claim that he suspected I was going to assault him and his decision to pre-emptively assault me are also examples of behaviour that is heavily influenced by subconscious racial biases and fears. I believe this is the same fear that drives police officers to shoot unarmed Black victims before asking questions and before making reasonable evaluations of their situation.” He wrote that during his confrontation with Arbex, there were other students within earshot and her portrayal of him as violent and dangerous “was damaging to my reputation and dignity.” It was also a violation of his privacy, he said. In the days after the university sent Afolabi the letter clearing him of violating the code of conduct in July, Afolabi met with Flannagan, who wrote that decision, several times. He wanted to ask, among other things: Why had Arbex increased sanctions against him instead of lifting them? Had his race played a role in the treatment he had received? He recorded those conversations. Arbex had increased sanctions because she learnt he had trained in martial arts which made him more of a safety risk, Flannagan said. He denied that Afolabi’s race played any role in how the university treated him. “The race considerations that you are putting forward here were not part of anyone’s decision making. It was, people felt unsafe because of the level of violence that was employed.” At one of their meetings Afolabi told him, “I was pretty much shouted at in front of everybody. Nobody cared about how I felt. Nobody cared about me being scared. Nobody was like ‘well look at my perspective’.” Flannagan did not respond to the Star’s emails requesting comment. Around this time, Afolabi went to the office of the president, seeking a response to his June complaint that he had sent a month prior. The receptionist asked him to request an appointment by email. He did. When he didn’t hear back from them two days later, he showed up at the office to follow up. The office was empty and he walked to a set of doors around the corner. The receptionist appeared just then and looked frightened, he said. “She spoke much faster than I’ve ever heard her speak.” She did not ask his name but said “You’re not supposed to come back down this way. I think we’ve had a lot of discussions, you have to send it in writing.” “I did send it in writing,” he said. Afolabi recorded this conversation. A little later three campus police officers entered and asked him to accompany them. They were told “a Black male who won’t give his name or state his business and he’s kind of loitering” was instructed to leave the building after he insisted on speaking with the president. Afolabi received a copy of the call made to the police through a freedom of information request. “It wasn’t unusual to see her afraid,” Afolabi told the Star. “Sometimes I walk into an office or a bank and I get the vibe they’re afraid. I usually walk away and come back another time. This time the stakes were so high, I didn’t.” When the campus cops arrived, Afolabi played the recording of his conversation with the receptionist. He says they “appeared confused” and went to speak to the president. An officer then told him Kneale said he had chosen not to respond to Afolabi’s complaint as he did not want a conflict of interest in his next role as provost. Afolabi was then banned from entering that building because the receptionist and secretary were “adamant they are in fear” of him. Afolabi recorded this conversation, too. Kneale did not respond to the Star’s emails requesting comment. Afolabi will finish school at the end of this semester in March. He is still banned from the building where the president works as well as the office of student experience where Flannagan and Arbex work. He is not allowed to contact Arbex. He has applied to the law school at the same university. As far as the Star can ascertain, the other student has not been reprimanded at all. Shree Paradkar is a Toronto-based staff columnist covering issues around race and gender. Follow her on Twitter: @ShreeParadkar
>> Lire la suite

This 30-year-old freelancer makes $125,000 a year and pays modest rent living with his parents. Should he invest in retirement or buy a home? (Mon, 27 Jan 2020)
At the age of 30, Jeremy is making $125,000 a year as a freelance marketing consultant. Despite his high income, he still lives at his family’s home in North York. His rent? $650 a month, which he pays to his parents. So what are his savings goals? Jeremy just wants some clarity. He says that his main goal is to save for retirement, but recently, after looking at condo prices online, he’s trying to decide if buying a place would be a good investment. “I have a big spreadsheet with all the costs of renting against buying, but property value change is the big wild card so I’m still undecided,” he says. On a typical day, Jeremy is out and about meeting with his clients. “Almost everything I do is digital so I could skip that, but I love getting out of the house and it makes my local clients happy.” As someone who enjoys eating healthy, meal prep is important — and he prepares his ahead of time for all of his workdays with his girlfriend. “I feel 10 times better if I’m eating wholesome ingredients instead of fast food,” he says. “I don’t do this to save money.” On busier days, driving from client to client across the GTA and into the downtown core, sometimes he skips lunch due to time constraints. For breakfast, it’s cereal and eggs prepared at home — another great money saver. Dinner is less predictable and he’ll typically go out once or twice a month to eat. More often he just has a sandwich at home. On the weekend, Jeremy admits that he enjoys staying in. “I’m a homebody, so normally I’ll hang around the house, read the paper.” Occasionally when the weather is nice, he’ll hit the mall with his girlfriend or go for a walk downtown to have lunch with friends. What he wants to know now is what to do with his money. “Buying a house seems mostly hopeless and right now I like the flexibility of not being locked into a mortgage,” he says. We asked Jeremy to record his weekly spending. This is what he bought: The advice. Jason Heath, managing director at Objective Financial Partners, reviewed Jeremy’s spending and had this advice to offer: Jeremy seems to be doing a good job of avoiding the usual budget breakers of eating out and high real estate costs. The meal planning is smart for his savings plan, and his health. Also, living at home and paying modest rent may be great for now, but he’s entering his 30s and has a girlfriend, so real estate costs may rise in the future. > Jeremy says his main goal is saving for retirement, but the main goals for a young person should probably include things like buying a home and starting a family, with retirement being secondary. This may impact where Jeremy saves — an RRSP or a TFSA — and how he saves as well. He may not want to save so much in his RRSP that he cannot access the funds for a down payment. The Homebuyer’s Plan limit for eligible tax-free RRSP withdrawals to buy a qualifying home was increased to $35,000 in the 2019 federal budget. > Jeremy may need the bulk of his savings for a condo or home down payment, so his time horizon may be short to medium-term, and his risk tolerance for those savings should be low. It would be terrible to put all his money in stocks and experience a 20% market crash just before withdrawing his money to make a real estate purchase. > Jeremy’s renting-versus-buying spreadsheet is a great idea, and one way to help people objectively assess a real estate decision. Some young people feel home ownership is the only way to create wealth, and it’s not. > Renting in some neighbourhoods is cheaper on a relative basis than other neighbourhoods, and by extension, some neighbourhoods are better to be a landlord than others. > As a freelancer, Jeremy would be wise to include a disability insurance policy in his budget. That way, if he becomes disabled and can’t work, his income will be replaced. Self-employed people need to find a place in their budget for their own benefits, since they are their own employer. Results: Success! Spending in week 1: $416.97 Spending in week 2: $234.52 What he thought: “I admit, the challenge did make me more mindful,” Jeremy says after recording his spending for two weeks. He participated in the challenge during the holiday season, so he says that if his family thinks his Christmas gifts were cheap, they have the Star to thank. Also, it forced him to track on his spending in a more detailed way. “I love adding things into spreadsheets, but I rarely actually track every little thing. So this was a good exercise for that,” he adds. Take-aways: Jeremy was pleased with the financial advice, but says he’s more focused on the long-term. One factor he never considered before was insurance. “As a young guy with no kids or dependants, I thought it was a waste of money. But I think young people always believe they’re invincible, so disability insurance might be a good component of long-term planning,” he says. Another piece of advice that he found interesting was the long-term average increases in housing values. Before the challenge, Jeremy was on the fence about buying a place or just saving for retirement. Now, he’s going to dig deeper on learning the housing market. “From what I can tell, our current pace of price increases is mathematically impossible to sustain. Don’t believe me? The average home in Toronto is roughly $800,000. If we stay increasing by 15% a year for the average 25-year mortgage, the average home in Toronto will cost $26.5 million dollars. It just doesn’t make sense to me.” Overall, with all this money talk, Jeremy says sometimes it’s worth it to just treat yourself. “I think it makes sense to treat yourself to a coffee out now and then. It doesn’t do much for the bottom line but it can brighten your day a bit.” Are you a millennial living in Toronto or the GTA and need help with saving your money? Be a part of #MillennialMoney and email ekwong@thestar.ca Digital design by Cameron Tulk. Evelyn Kwong is a digital producer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @evystadium
>> Lire la suite

As fans leave flowers outside Scotiabank Arena, we invite readers to share their memories of Kobe Bryant (Mon, 27 Jan 2020)
NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed Sunday when their helicopter plunged into a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California. his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball. Bryant was among the most popular visiting players to ever step on the court in Toronto and put together one of the greatest NBA performances of all-time when he scored 81 against the Raptors in 2006. In the wake of the heartbreaking loss of Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the Star is inviting readers to share their condolences and memories of the NBA great using the comment box below.
>> Lire la suite