The Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading into the sitcom world with WandaVision, which will release on Disney Plus on Jan. 15, the weirdest but most creative way we’ve seen fan-favourite couple Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will examine the constitutionality of a law that prevented a judge from allowing an offender to avoid jail by imposing a conditional sentence for certain crimes. The top court has agreed to review an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that found the Criminal Code provisions violated the charter because of their effect on Indigenous offenders. In 2016, Cheyenne Sharma, a young Indigenous woman, pleaded guilty to importing two kilograms of cocaine in exchange for $20,000 from her boyfriend, a task she carried out to avoid eviction for herself and her daughter. Sharma successfully challenged a Criminal Code provision that called for a two-year mandatory minimum sentence, and she was ordered to serve 17 months in custody. However, a judge rejected her constitutional challenge of provisions that disallow a conditional sentence for offences that can entail a stiff prison term. Sharma contested the decision and the Court of Appeal found the Criminal Code sections violated the charter, saying they discriminated against Indigenous offenders on the basis of race and were overbroad in relation to their purpose. "The provisions deny Ms. Sharma a benefit in a manner that has the effect of reinforcing, perpetuating and exacerbating her disadvantage as an Aboriginal person," Justice Kathryn Feldman wrote for the Appeal Court. As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear the Crown's appeal of the Court of Appeal decision. No date has been set for the high court hearing, which could take place as early as this year. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The country's biggest civil service union says it will contest a decision that would see government workers pay tax on money they receive as part of a settlement reached over long-standing problems with their paycheques.The federal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) reached a deal last summer to compensate the union's 140,000 members affected by failures in the Phoenix pay system.The agreement would see workers paid up to $2,500 in general damages for four years of pay problems including delays, overpayments, underpayments or lack of pay.A letter provided to PSAC by the Treasury Board Secretariat says the Canada Revenue Agency has concluded those payments are taxable.The union says the letter is not a formal tax ruling and will dispute it on the basis that the CRA has determined that other specific damages in the settlement are non-taxable.Treasury Board also announced Thursday that it has launched a new claims process to compensate current and former employees who experienced severe personal or financial impacts as a result of issues with the Phoenix pay system.The new process was called for as part of a separate agreement reached in June 2019 with other unions to compensate approximately 121,000 current and 25,000 former employees.This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
Renfrew – When Sherry-Lynn Shalla accepted the Renfrew Chamber of Commerce’s new award recognizing social inclusion in the workplace, she understood the importance of the moment. As the representative for McPhail Perkins, one of Renfrew's oldest independent businesses that can trace its roots back to 1883, Ms. Shalla said her company was honoured and proud to be selected as the inaugural winner of the award. Not only has the company benefitted from its employment culture, but more importantly she said the ability for their employee to be an active participant in the operations of the generational business is a testament to his desire to lead an independent life. Thomas McNulty, the young man hired in late 2019, said the opportunity to work both independently and alongside others is what prompted him to seek employment with the furniture store that has built its reputation on its commitment to showcasing quality furniture and taking value in its employees. "I was nervous when I came here for the interview because it was something I had never done before and it was my first time applying for a job, so I knew it was pretty important," he said. "But when I met with Sherry she made me feel okay and after a while I was not nervous at all and that really made me want to work here even more because she and the other staff are nice people and they made me feel welcome." Anyone who has ever walked by the storefront displays at McPhail Perkins will immediately take notice of the pristine state of the furniture on display and once inside, the high-end furniture pieces, including sofas, bedroom suites, dressers, tables and much more are free of any dust or a hint of dirt. Mr. McNulty smiles when that observation is made to him. "When I come into work at 10 o'clock in the morning, I start my day by carefully dusting and cleaning all the furniture and I take a lot of pride knowing that all the furniture is clean because that helps when customers come in to buy something” he said. "I also sweep all three floors and I like my job because even though customers come and go through the day and I will say hello to them, I actually get to work by myself and for me it is much better that way." When the Chamber of Commerce created the new award, there were specific requirements in the nomination process and most of the traits contained in the award are on full display by both employer and employee. One of the goals of the award is to highlight a company that seeks to create positive changes in the employment situation for persons with disabilities and recognizing the efforts of local employers. It only takes a few moments watching the interaction between Mr. McNulty and Ms. Shalla when it becomes apparent the working relationship is built on a strong desire to allow him to work independently and he takes great pride in his work. For Ms. Shalla, it reinforces her decision to hire him when she could have easily sought out an employee using traditional employment practices. "It is natural for some employers not to consider hiring a person with a disability because, quite honestly, they may have never even thought about pursuing that route," she said. "But for us, Thomas has been a perfect fit. He is reliable and we don't have to worry or wonder if he is going to show up for work because we know he will be here on time every week. If there was ever a time he was not able to work, it would have to be a pretty good reason because he is so committed to his work and for him, it is also a matter of pride to come here and start his tasks right away without us having to worry about it." Like thousands of other employees across Ontario, Mr. McNulty was ordered to stay home during the first province-wide shut down since last April as a result of the COVID pandemic. For most individuals, the forced shutdown was an inconvenience that was offset by various government aid programs and they adapted. However, for Mr. McNulty, an only child who was diagnosed with autism at an early age, the inability to come to work was a major disruption to his daily routine, and as anyone who has a family member with autism will attest, it is the constant of a routine that helps an autistic child navigate their daily functions. "I was a little lost when I was told I could not come to work," he said. "I don't drive and we were told to stay home to help stop the spread of the virus so I played a lot of video games and I really missed coming to work. But when Sherry told me after a while that the store would reopen again, I was so happy to be able to come back and get to cleaning all of the store again." Like any other first time employee, Mr. McNulty has a big smile on his face when he recalls opening up an envelope and seeing his first pay cheque. "It was so exciting to see my name and the money I earned by working here," he said. "I should remember to thank the people at OnTrac for helping me get ready for a job and they helped me come here for my interview. I really enjoy working here and I can tell people that I work and a few years ago after high school I wasn’t sure if I would actually have a job. But today I do and when I come to work I make sure to do what is asked and I make sure it is done right." Ms. Shalla said Mr. McNulty settled into his role quite easily and other staff and customers do not treat him any differently than anyone else. "Thomas is shy by nature and can sometimes get nervous when there are a lot of people or noise but he deals with it very well,” she said. “There are times when a customer will come in and go to him inquiring about our services and Thomas is quick to point them to our main desk, and he does so politely and with a smile and that is a great asset for us." When asked if he had any advice for a person with disabilities who is considering looking for a job, Mr. McNulty was quick to respond. "Don't be afraid to look for a job if it is something you want to do," he said. "I was nervous, but I also knew it would be okay no matter what happened and all you can do is take it one day at a time and just keep trying." Bruce McIntyre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
The Americanization of the Black experience had become so deeply rooted in me that I felt like I didn’t have a home within Blackness.
A program to deliver refurbished computers to families that can't afford them has been overwhelmed with demand. The Youth Empowerment and Skills Centre thought it would source and deliver a few computers, but now finds itself with a waiting list. Gar Gar, who runs the centre, says he started hearing from families who needed computers in December as COVID forced their kids back into online learning. As he started to offer help, and call out for donations, that need snowballed "From 10 families to 20 to 30, then on the waiting list basis. It's sad because we thought it was something that one family or two might be facing," said Gar. Can't turn families away The program started seeking applications in December and began to collect and distribute them in January. The centre has given out four computers so far. Gar says it's been hard to tell families they might not get the help they need. "There is no way to kind of like turn them away," he said. "We always tell them you can apply, we might put you on the waiting list, but if something comes up then we can go to your family next." Gar has partnered with the Electronics Recycling Association, which refurbishes the computers for free. Shrinking donations Spokesperson Julia Armstrong says she's been swamped with similar requests from schools and other non-profits this year, while donations have dropped significantly. "It's been really difficult, with businesses kind of being closed down, we've definitely seen a decrease in the inventory that we're receiving," she said. "So it's been tougher, it's taking a bit longer." The YES Centre is accepting donations of computers, laptops and tablets up until Feb. 1. at 4020 26 Ave. S.E., Monday to Friday between Noon and 3 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A former Taekwondo Canada coach has been found guilty of sexual assault and other sex-related offences involving a teenage student. Shin Wook Lim pleaded not guilty to 15 charges involving two female students, including sexual assault and sexual interference. Today's verdict relates to 10 of the counts, all involving one complainant who trained with Lim at Black Belt World in Toronto. The court is set to hear submissions next week on whether some of those charges should be stayed. The remaining charges, which relate to the other complainant, are being tried separately later this year. Neither complainant can be identified due to a publication ban. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
Toronto-Dominion Bank has signed a deal to buy Wells Fargo's Canadian direct equipment finance business. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available. TD says the acquisition will grow its existing Canadian equipment financing business and expand its presence in core markets. Wells Fargo's Canadian direct equipment finance business is based in Mississauga, Ont., with regional offices across the country, including Montreal and Calgary. It provides loans and leases for commercial equipment and has $1.5 billion in assets and over 120 employees. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory and Competition Act approvals and clearance as well as other customary closing conditions. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TD) The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says that when a person's car has been impounded and they file for bankruptcy, the car does not have to be immediately returned. In an opinion announced Thursday, Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a unanimous eight-justice court that “mere retention" of a debtor's property by a creditor does not violate the law. The case involved several people whose cars were impounded by the city of Chicago who then filed for bankruptcy and hoped to get their vehicles back. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote separately and singled out the situation of George Peake, whose 2007 Lincoln MKZ was impounded in 2018 for unpaid parking and red-light tickets. Sotomayor noted the “far too common” situation Peake found himself in. "Drivers in low-income communities across the country face similar vicious cycles," she wrote, where a driver is fined an amount he cannot pay and that creates a spiral of late fees to where the vehicle is impounded. Without reliable transportation to work, bankruptcy may follow. Sotomayor said that despite the court's ruling, bankruptcy courts are not powerless to facilitate the return of vehicles. And she said Congress could pass legislation that helps speed vehicles' return. Only eight justices participated in the case because it was argued in October, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and before Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the court. The case is City of Chicago v. Fulton, 19-357. The Associated Press
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow provides an update on the Trump impeachment process as the U.S. awaits the Senate trial and Inauguration Day.
The latest COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 10:30 a.m. The province of Ontario says there are 3,326 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 62 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 968 of those new cases are in Toronto, 572 in Peel Region and 357 in York Region. Vaccinations continue across Ontario with 14,237 doses administered since Wednesday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
The family of a 25-year-old man missing after a dozer fell through ice Wednesday on a tailings pond at Suncor's Base Plant mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., have identified him as Patrick Poitras. Poitras was driving across the frozen pond around 3 p.m. when the ice gave way. As of Thursday afternoon, he remained unaccounted for. From Saint-André, a small community along the western border of New Brunswick, Poitras had been working in the oilsands for several years. His uncle Joey St-Amand said recovery efforts continued throughout Thursday evening. "They are still looking for the body," St-Amand said in an interview from his home in New Brunswick on Thursday. "Divers were there this morning and they are still looking ... that's all we know. "Sadly, his time had come." 'A bon vivant' St-Amand said his nephew was full of life with a strong work ethic and a big sense of humour. "He was a bon vivant," he said. "Patrick was a very outgoing human being. He had a heart of gold and wanted to please everybody. "When he was around, everyone was laughing, everybody had smiles. He was a cool cat. He was a good kid." St-Amand said the family is tight-knit and Potrais was more like a little brother to him than a nephew, especially during their years growing up together in rural New Brunswick. Poitras was recently home for the holidays, and St-Amand saw his nephew for the last time on Boxing Day, at a family supper. Poitras shared his plans over dinner to return home for good, and said this would be his last trip out west for work. "It's pretty unfair what happened. He was coming back home," St-Amand said. "It's hard to swallow." OHS and RCMP investigating Occupational Health and Safety and the RCMP are investigating the incident, OHS spokesperson Natasha McKenzie said Thursday. She declined to provide further details, citing the sensitive nature of the investigation. Suncor declined to provide details on the identify of the missing worker but said the operator was an employee of Christina River Construction. "Our thoughts are with the family, friends and coworkers of this individual," it said in an emailed statement to CBC News. "Our Emergency Services team responded immediately and continues with response activities." It's the third high-profile safety incident at Suncor operations in northern Alberta in the past five months. Suncor Base Plant is 30 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. The site had recently undergone repairs after a fire inside the plant's extraction facilities in August of 2020. Two workers died Dec. 28 after a bulldozer collided with a pickup truck at Suncor's Fort Hills mining operation, 90 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. The driver, a 29-year-old man from Bloomfield, N.L., and the passenger, a 28-year-old woman from Calgary, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Toronto police have identified the victim of a fatal stabbing in Scarborough Wednesday as 25-year-old Minnesota man Mohamed Jeylani. Emergency crews were called to a residential building in the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Midland Avenue at about 5:10 p.m. Police say Jeylani was found at the scene suffering from trauma and was pronounced dead in hospital soon after. In a news release Thursday, police describe the suspect as a Black man about 5'11" approximately 20-25 years old with a thin build. The suspect is believed to be wearing a dark hooded top and light-coloured pants at the time of the stabbing. Homicide investigators have taken over the case. Jeylani's death marks Toronto's first homicide of the year. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-7400 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 416-222-TIPS (8477).
MILAN — Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been hospitalized in the principality of Monaco to undergo medical tests for heart problems, his press office confirmed on Thursday. The 84-year-old three-time premier is expected to return home in a few days. Berlusconi was hospitalized for COVID-19 for about 10 days last September and underwent heart surgery to replace an aortic valve in 2016. He also has overcome prostate cancer and a series of other ailments. He has had a pacemaker for years. Berlusconi described his bout with COVID-19 as “insidious,” calling it the most dangerous challenge he had ever faced. The media mogul no longer holds public office, but remains the head of his Forza Italia party and is vocal in national politics. In an interview this week, he urged political leaders to work out their differences after another former premier, Matteo Renzi, pulled support for the coalition government, threatening its survival. He called such “political games” an embarrassment during the pandemic. The Associated Press
ROME — With his centre-left government at risk of collapsing, Premier Giuseppe Conte will address the Italian Parliament on how he plans to deal with the political crisis triggered by a small coalition partner withdrawing its support. Conte told Italian President Sergio Mattarella in a meeting at the presidential palace Thursday that he intends to go before Parliament to lay out “the indispensable political clarification” about the crisis, the palace said in a statement. He is set to address lawmakers early next week, according to Italy's Senate. Previous premiers have used such appearances during past government crises to announce their resignations. The current situation results from former Premier Matteo Renzi removing his small centrist party from Conte's 16-month-old governing coalition on Wednesday. Renzi's move capped weeks of squabbling over how some 200 billion euros ($243 billion) in European Union funds should be spent to help Italy recover economically and socially from the COVID-19 pandemic. As head of state, the president must decide if Conte or someone else can form an alternative coalition or if an early election is needed. Unless the officially non-partisan Conte can find enough pledges of support in Parliament, especially in the Senate, to replace votes that Renzi and 17 other senators from the ex-premier's Italy Alive party had provided, any bid to win a renewed vote of confidence in the upper house would appear doomed to fail. Mattarella has repeatedly appealed for the country to come together during the pandemic, which has devastated Italy's long-stagnant economy. Opinion surveys have indicated that right-wing opposition forces, including the euroskeptic League party led by former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and the Brothers of Italy, a rapidly growing far-right party with historic roots in neo-fascism, would triumph in an election held soon. If that scenario happens, Salvini, whose League was part of Conte's first government, could return to power. Conte's main coalition partners are currently the centre-left Democratic Party and the populist 5-Star Movement, which also was part of Conte's first government along with the League. The Associated Press
TORONTO — Canadians who weren’t happy with some of their holiday gifts or who changed their mind after making purchases might face trouble when trying to get their money back. Scores of retailers across the country have changed their return policies to quell the spread of COVID-19, making it trickier to get an exchange or refund, depending on the store. "It is absolutely a patchwork of all kinds of policies that are constantly changing … and you have no control" said Joanne McNeish, a Ryerson University professor specializing in marketing. "This is truly customer beware territory." Shoppers who took a close look at fine print and store signage might have discovered that in recent months Walmart Canada temporarily stopped accepting returns of three or more of the same items and won’t process returns for any items purchased after June 1 without a receipt. The retailer is also not allowing returns for a slew of items including swimwear, earphones, air mattresses, sleeping bags and trading cards, and has adjusted the return period for many electronics. Costco Canada shoppers have posted photos on social media of store signage revealing the company has stopped accepting toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice and Lysol products for returns in some provinces. Canadian Tire said in an email to The Canadian Press that during lockdown its Ontario stores are not accepting returns and those in Quebec will only process returns for essential goods. For purchases where the 90-day returns window expires during the lockdown period, the retailer will offer a 15-day extension to return items when stores reopen. And if you picked up the wrong bottle of wine at the LCBO, drink up. The Ontario alcohol purveyor has stopped taking returns during COVID-19 shutdowns. "It's all very difficult to figure out because websites are not necessarily clear and I started looking at the back of paper receipts it's not necessarily printed there," said McNeish. Stores switched up policies because COVID-19 has been a burden for retailers, she said. They have had to purchase hand sanitizer and Plexiglas shields and are grappling with the demand and high costs associated with delivery. To avoid being disappointed later, she recommends customers get as much information as they can about returns during the purchase process. Snap a photo of the policy if it's on a store wall or print a copy of the fine print because sometimes employees can misunderstand their own company's policy and their word won't be worth much later, she said. If you buy something you later decide you don't want or that you have a problem with, she urges people not to wait to return it because policies could change in that time. "Returns policies are going to continue to tighten up, especially over the next couple of years, while stores recover from the huge expense they've incurred," she said. It's also important for customers to know what they're entitled to, she said. Canada has no laws requiring retailers to accept returns, but provincial and territorial legislation gives consumers some rights. For example, under the Consumer Protection Act in Ontario, products ordered for delivery must be dropped off within 30 days of the promised date or shoppers can request a refund. However, if the item arrives late and you keep it, you lose your right to a refund. While companies are not obligated to offer returns and the Alberta government has discouraged it during the pandemic, many businesses offer them anyway as a sign of goodwill and a way to build consumer trust. To avoid confusion, Ken Whitehurst, the executive director of the Consumers Council of Canada, has simple advice: “always ask about exchange and return policies.” If customers feel wronged by a return policy they can always take the company to court, although that is less likely to succeed unless the retailer has agreed to liberal return terms., Whitehurst said in an email. If they're trying to return phone or internet equipment, Whitehurst said they can turn to the Commissioner for Complaints in Telecom-Television Services. Car return troubles may be arbitrated by bodies like the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, he added. If there is no industry association or council to take concerns to, he said, “It never hurts to report the nature of return problems to provincial consumer protection offices.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CTC) Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press Note to readers:
TORONTO — Many artists are celebrated as trailblazers, but friends of folk singer-songwriter Curtis Jonnie, better known as Shingoose, say he leaves behind a legacy that set the course for generations of Indigenous musicians.The performer died on Tuesday at 74 after recently testing positive for COVID-19, his daughter, Nahanni Shingoose-Cagal, confirmed. She said he was living in a Winnipeg care home after a stroke in 2012. Whether it was his historic role in pressuring the Juno Awards to finally to establish a category for Indigenous music in the 1990s, or his bold foundation of his own Indigenous record label in the 1970s, some say the musician was a “visionary” ahead of his time.“He paved the way for so many,” Shingoose-Cagal said in an interview from her home in Hamilton.“Through his pain and life experiences, he's made such a huge contribution.”Jonnie, who was Ojibway from Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, was a residential school and '60s Scoop survivor who, at age four, was adopted by a Mennonite family. They taught him to speak German instead of the Anishnaabomowin language of his mother.As a teenager, he was sent to a Nebraska boarding school where he joined the choir and eventually picked up an interest in folk music.The timing was right, as the 1960s folk scene was bustling with names like Gordon Lightfoot and Buffy Sainte-Marie gracing stages across North America. Jonnie was mostly interested in covers of more popular artists, partly because they’d guarantee gigs.One of those shows was at the Mariposa Folk Festival, still held on Toronto's Centre Island, where his performance on the "Native stage" drew the attention of Duke Redbird. The aspiring artist was sharing the bill and they hit it off after reflecting on their similar pasts.“We both experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of the dominant culture,” Redbird said.“We’d both been adopted as children. We’d both grown up in foster homes.”Their instant connection proved lasting, and for decades they were inseparable friends, sharing a goal of establishing themselves as mainstream Indigenous artists.Often, they also shared the experience of record executives shooting down their dreams, unconvinced that an Indigenous artist could sell records.“It was always: ‘Well, you don't have an audience,'” Redbird said.“We agreed with them. There was no market because we would’ve had to create a market.”And so, after many cold shoulders, the pair took matters into their own hands, forming their own record label called Native Country.“As ridiculous as that sounds, we went for it,” Redbird said, “It just showed that it was possible.”The Native Country label was short-lived, with only Shingoose’s 1975 EP released on it, but as far as they were concerned, the symbolism was powerful. The album included “Silver River,” a track of Redbird’s poetry sung by Shingoose, with a young Bruce Cockburn on acoustic guitar. Cockburn also produced the album, and he said working alongside an Indigenous musician left a lasting impression on him during an era when the cultures hardly ever crossed.“He really was the first Aboriginal person that I got to know fairly well,” Cockburn said.“My understanding of (their) experience in Canada really started with Shingoose and (actor and singer) Tom Jackson.”Decades later, Shingoose's “Silver River” would appear on the compilation "Native North America Volume 1," earning a 2016 Grammy Award nomination for best historical album. It lost to Bob Dylan's "Basement Tapes."The 1970s proved fruitful for Jonnie, who signed a five-year songwriting deal with Glen Campbell, though it eventually fizzled when the American singer shifted his creative directions.It took another two decades before Jonnie left his most lasting impression on Canada's music scene when he approached the Juno organizers over the lack of representation at their awards show.Alongside Sainte-Marie and Elaine Bomberry, he campaigned for the Junos to give Indigenous artists their due in their own category, an effort many felt was long overdue.Their efforts led to the creation of the Best Music of Aboriginal Canada award in 1994. Since then, it's undergone numerous changes to keep up with the times, but at its heart, the goal remains the same: to put a spotlight on Indigenous music.A statement from Juno organizers recognized Jonnie's impact in creating the honour, now called Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year, and called him “a trailblazer for Indigenous music and activism in Canada.”Redbird said despite his friend’s stroke nearly a decade ago, he often spoke about returning to the stage for another big show when the pandemic subsided.While he never got to see those days, Redbird said he's thankful for the memories.“He has a big moccasins footprint on this world,” he said. “I'm glad he was here for the time the Creator allowed him to be.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
What was once a dream has come true for staff at Caledon Meals on Wheels: Their very own kitchen has been developed and now open to all their clients in the community. Caledon Meals on Wheels’ (CMOW’s) mission in Caledon is to provide not only healthy and readily available meals, but education on nutrition and a variety of different initiatives including hot and frozen meals, and grocery and wellness programs. The organization has a long list of values, including client and community focus, accessibility, collaboration, innovation, quality, accountability and sustainability. CMOW has proved to be more than just meals for the community. As of January 11, a new chapter has begun with the opening of their very first kitchen, which has been secured in the newly renovated kitchen at the Albion Bolton Community Center. “It’s been a dream of ours for such a very long time to open our own kitchen, but never seemed to within our reach. It was much easier to work with our outside suppliers like the Vera Davis Centre and Caesars Banquet Hall to prepare our meals since they were already in the business and had the expertise and experience,” said Executive Director Christine Sevigny. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, CMOW, along with several other organizations, were forced to make necessary changes to adapt to safety measures for themselves and the community. Some of these included changes with their suppliers. “We were left with two options: look for another supplier under challenging circumstances or open our own. We explored all options, hoping to find a great supplier like we have in Lord Dufferin for our Orangeville clients, but when that didn’t work out, we kept coming back to our dream of opening our own kitchen,” said Sevigny. With the help and support from the Town of Caledon, Region of Peel and Brampton Caledon Community Foundation, the team at CMOW has been able to put in new necessary appliances. CMOW has also hired an experienced team to run the group, who all bring their own skills to provide nutritious and delicious meals. Staff at CMOW have been working to prepare for the opening of their very own kitchen this past year and are excited to get delicious meals out into the community. “Having our own kitchen gives us more control over the menu and the price of the meals. We want to make sure our clients are getting nutrition, taste and quality at an affordable price. Because we are a charitable organization, we have some wiggle room, we don’t need to make a profit on our meals, and we can also utilize volunteers.” says Kim Pridham, Client and Volunteer Services Supervisor. The kitchen is located in the Albion Bolton Community Centre at 150 Queen Street S, in Bolton. To learn more about Caledon Meals on Wheels programs please visit cmow.org or call (905) 857-7651. Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
Members of the community have gathered together to raise funds for one local resident in need to support. 16-year-old Sam Spiteri was born with Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and scoliosis. He has recently undergone surgery at Sick Kids hospital to ease pain he endures in his lower limbs, hips and back. Fortunately, Sam was able to make it home for Christmas and the holidays, but now the Spiteri family are dealing with his long-term care at home, along with therapy costs. A Go Fund Me donation page has been organized by members of the Spiteri family in order get help from the community to help Sam. The fundraiser states, “funds raised will be used towards remodeling his bedroom and washroom to be fully accessible. Further funds will be used for at home OT, PT and massage not covered by OHIP.” Ward 5 Regional Councillor Annette Groves has been advocates for Sam and his family for the past decade and continues to support the family by encouraging the Caledon community to participate in fundraising. “I met Sam and his family about 10 years ago when I received a call from his mother regarding their concern with the Town of Caledon trying to take his pony away,” said Groves. “I received a call recently from his father regarding the surgery Sam had and they needed to raise funds for his therapy.” Sam had pony that was used to help strengthen his legs, but due to complaints from local neighbours, the Town attempted to take the pony away. With the help of Councillor Groves, the pony was able to continue helping Sam. Councillor Groves has once again dedicated herself to helping Sam, now with donations. “I reached out to some of corporate citizens and when I explained to them what Sam needed…they didn’t hesitate. We still [need] to raise money for him because we are about $10,000 short,” said Groves. “Sam’s parents also had to purchase a van with a lift to be able to transport him to and from therapy and other places.” Through the help of community members, Councillor Groves raised $11,000 to donate to help with Sam’s therapy and other needs he has. But due to the costly expenses of therapy, the family is in need of $25,000 in total. The Go Fund Me page has over $9,000 raised for the family but is still in need of more support. Councillor Groves is encouraging members of the community to help the Spiteri family by making donations, no matter what amount, to help with the therapy expenses as well as living at home care expenses. To help Sam and his family, visit gofundme.com and look up Sam’s Home for Christmas Fund to make a donation.Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
NEW YORK — Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang officially entered the race for mayor of New York City on Thursday, joining a crowded Democratic primary field that includes longtime elected officials and veterans of the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is barred by the city charter from seeking a third term. “It is here in New York City that my passion for uplifting people, for wanting to move our country forward, got started,” Yang said at a campaign launch that was streamed on YouTube because of the coronavirus pandemic. “And now that we are facing this historic crisis I am aiming to unleash and channel that energy for a human-centred economy right here in New York, my home!" Yang’s proposal for a universal basic income won him a national following during the 2020 Democratic primary campaign before he dropped out of the race in February. He brings high name recognition to the mayoral race but has no record of involvement in local politics. More than two dozen people have filed with the city's Campaign Finance Board to run in the June 22 Democratic mayoral primary, which for the first time in city history will be determined by ranked choice voting, a system that lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. The contenders include City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, banker Ray McGuire, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former U.S. housing secretary Shaun Donovan. Yang has lived in New York City since attending law school at Columbia University in the 1990s but has spent much of the coronavirus pandemic at his family’s weekend home about 85 miles (136 kilometres) north of the city in New Paltz, New York. Critics pounced when Yang explained his absence from the city by asking a New York Times reporter, “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Fellow mayoral candidate Dianne Morales, a former non-profit executive, tweeted: “I spent all of 2020 in NYC, living with THREE generations under one roof, AND running a campaign from home.” Wherever the candidates are physically located, the mayoral campaign has so far been conducted largely via Zoom and other online platforms because of the pandemic. The winner of the Democratic primary will be the strong favourite in the November general election because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by a wide margin. Republicans who have said they are considering running include Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Karen Matthews, The Associated Press