5 Things To Know Today
Police say mysterious tunnel found at York U poses no threat / police press conference at 10am. Protests at Queen’s Park expected today after release of new Sex-Ed curriculum. CN Rail avoids lockout, tentative deal reached with union. Court rules out breathalyzers for high school students to enter prom. Hazel McCallion to take on new job at U of T.
MYSTERIOUS TUNNEL FOUND AT YORK U POSES NO THREAT: POLICE
Is it a security threat or just the work of some pranksters? We’ll get a better idea today when Toronto police hold a 10am news conference this morning to shed some light on a mysterious tunnel found near a Pan Am Games venue. Police will be holding a press conference after confirming an underground tunnel was discovered at a PanAm venue. According to officials, the tunnel was located underneath the woods near the Rexall Centre – the site where tennis is to be held – and York University. The CBC is reporting the tunnel was found by a Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) employee in January, and was reportedly large enough for a grown person to stand in, running about seven metres in length underground. The tunnel also had lights inside, and was powered by a generator. According to the CBC, the tunnel has since been filled in by authorities and say there is no defined security threat at this point. Police are expected to hold a press conference at their headquarters, Tuesday, at 10 a.m.
PROVINCE RELEASES NEW SEX-ED CURRICULUM
Ontario parents are getting their first look at the new sex-ed curriculum. We’re expecting a protest at Queen’s Park today by those angry with the government’s proposed changes to the curriculum. Education Minister Liz Sandals says the updated Health and Physical Education curriculum will give students accurate information that will help keep them safe and healthy. She says the province is also providing parents with the resources to help them understand and participate in what will be taught to their children. The updated curriculum will be in place this September and will teach children about healthy relationships, consent, mental health, online safety and the risks of “sexting.” Parent will be provided with resources at home to support learning. They include an outline of the new Health and Physical Education curriculum for Grades 1-12. Guides on human development and sexual health part of the curriculum – one for Grades 1-6 and one for Grades 7-12. Quick reference sheets about healthy relationships and consent as well as online safety, including the risks of sexting. The guide says students from Grades 1-3 will learn safe internet strategies, including “how to get help for themselves or others if harassment or abuse happens either face-to-face or online.” Students in Grades 4-6 will learn about the dangers of “sexting,” as well as the risks of sharing sexually-explicit images online, cyberbullying, and the social and emotional implications of sending sexually explicit images online. The guide also says that blocking select internet content is relatively ineffective for older children, and it’s better to teach them about thinking critically when it comes to viewing explicit content online. The curriculum is also expected to teach children about same-sex marriage and homosexuality in Grade 3. Grade 6 students will be encouraged to have discussions about puberty, including masturbation, and will learn about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases by Grade 7. According to Sandals, the program will not be revised after its been made public because parents were already consulted.
The full guide to the curriculum can be seen here.
CN RAIL AVOIDS LOCKOUT, TENTATIVE DEAL REACHED WITH UNION
The union representing 4,800 workers with Canadian National Railway says a tentative agreement has been reached, avoiding a lockout. The union, Unifor, announced late Monday night that ratification meetings will be held in locations across Canada in the next three weeks, and details of the arrangement won’t be released until the meetings are done. Talks resumed Monday after the original lockout deadline was pushed. The Montreal-based railway had announced its plan to lockout workers unless Unifor would agree to a binding arbitration to settle contract disputes. However, Unifor rejected the binding arbitration and said they wouldn’t give in to an ultimatum. “I’m delighted to say that Unifor and Canadian National Railway have been able to come to a tentative agreement,” Canadian Labor Minister Kellie Leitch told Reuters, “CN will be running at full capacity tonight and tomorrow.” The lockout was only likely to affect retail companies and ports. VIA Rail and GO Transit both told the Toronto Star that commuters were unlikely to be affected should a lockout or strike occur.
COURT RULES OUT BREATHALYZERS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
High school students won’t have to take a breathalyzer to get into prom, a judge decided on Monday. Ontario Court Justice Susan Himel found that forcing the teens to undergo a breathalyzer test before prom would have contravened their Charter rights as being an unreasonable search and seizure. The ruling comes after Northern Secondary School tried to implement breathalyzing students before they could be admitted into prom back in May 2014. Both students and the community campaigned against it, and the school relented. Two students went on to file a court application, prompting the judge’s decision. The ruling makes it the first time the courts ruled on the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in regard to the relationship between schools and students. “As I have communicated to parents and students in the past, drinking prior to and at school dances and proms continues to be a concern for the school,” Felsen sent in an email to parents, “The Prom is a school event. This means the principles that govern student behavior during school hours apply to the Prom. For the time being, there will be no impact on the offering of the Prom and the school will continue to be vigilant about alcohol and drug use.” Felsen told the Toronto Star that the breathalyzers were meant to mostly be a deterrent, and the rule only had students best interests at heart. TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird told Global News that the school board will not be releasing a statement on the court decision.
HAZEL MCCALLION TO TAKE ON NEW JOB AT U OF T
Only three months out of office, former mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion is undertaking a new job. McCallion will be acting as a special adviser to the principal of the University of Toronto in Mississauga. She’ll also be helping to develop a new master’s degree in urban innovation and development at the school’s Institute for Management. McCallion will also be a guest lecturer. The 94-year-old is being appointed to the role for one year. She says her passion project is to develop a non-credit course that will teach people how to participate in public office, open to everyone, not just students of the faculty. She says the idea for the course came after years of being asked “how do I get involved” from the general public. McCallion was the mayor of Mississauga for 36 years. She decided to not run in October’s election,replaced by Bonnie Crombie.