24
Mar 19

Ontario teacher denies anti-vaccine allegations at disciplinary hearing

TORONTO – An Ontario science teacher accused of telling his high school students they could die as a result of vaccination had a history of pushing anti-vaccine theories, a disciplinary hearing heard Tuesday.

A public health nurse who went to the school in Waterford, Ont., to administer vaccines nearly two years ago told the Ontario College of Teachers that she felt threatened by Timothy C. Sullivan, a teacher who confronted her repeatedly that day.

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Angela Swick said Sullivan accused her of withholding information from students about the shots they were receiving and tried to interfere with her work.

READ MORE: Queen’s University students allege professor is teaching anti-vax theories

The school’s principal, meanwhile, testified that parents and students have complained about Sullivan’s views on vaccination in the past, adding the teacher tells his pupils there is a link between vaccines and autism – a view that is widely denounced by the scientific community.

The school cannot be named due to a publication ban protecting the identities of students.

Sullivan is accused of professional misconduct for telling students vaccines could have fatal side effects and allegedly shouting at the nurse during her visit on March 9, 2015. He was suspended without pay for one day in April 2015.

He denies the allegations, and said Tuesday his issue is with informed consent rather than the vaccines themselves.

“I am pro informed consent, pro science and pro asking questions,” he said during a break in the hearing.

Swick, a nurse with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, said Sullivan shouted at her and her colleagues when they visited the school, accusing her of keeping students in the dark about vaccines.

She described several encounters with Sullivan she said left her feeling “uneasy.”

The teacher came into the cafeteria as she and her colleagues were administering four different types of vaccines and demanded information about the drugs, she said.

“He then turned around, came back and put his hands in front of me (on the desk) and said ‘I hope you’re letting these students know these vaccines could cause death,”‘ Swick told the hearing.

Swick said she immediately texted her supervisor because she worried there would be more interactions with Sullivan as the day went on.

He did in fact return, she said, and “asked the kids if they knew what was in the vaccine and shouted at them not to get it.”

Swick said she alerted the principal, who came to the cafeteria with another teacher who watched the side door for signs of Sullivan.

The third encounter was more of the same, she said.

“We felt really intimidated and scared,” Swick said.

“We go into the school to do a service, we feel fortunate to go into schools – we just didn’t have an encounter like this before.”

Sullivan, who is representing himself, peppered Swick with questions about informed consent during his cross-examination, asking the nurse whether she told students about rare, but potentially serious side effects.

Swick said she doesn’t warn students about vaccines’ serious side effects as part of her routine. But, she said, she will inform students of certain side effects if it appears relevant based on the student’s answers to her screening questions.

“If they are on heart medication, then we move onto something like hypertension,” Swick said.

The nurse said she is worried about going back to the same school for another clinic next week, but noted additional staff will attend.

Brian Quistberg, the principal at the school at the time of the incident, said Sullivan’s behaviour towards the nurse and her colleagues went “way over the line.”

The teacher visited the school cafeteria three times – twice while during class – and “it was not his place” to be anywhere near the vaccine clinic, Quistberg said, noting he told Sullivan not to return after the first incident.

He said the nurses were afraid. “They were upset and worried, so much so that they were worried it would escalate further,” the principal said.

Quistberg also read out notes from students and teachers who complained about Sullivan’s teachings surrounding vaccines, which he said were dangerous due to the amount of aluminum contained in them.

After the hearing, Sullivan told reporters he will continue to talk to his students about vaccines.

“It would be irresponsible to tell them about all the benefits without the side effects,” he said.

The hearing is scheduled to resume Wednesday with Sullivan taking the stand in his defence.


24
Mar 19

John Oakley Show – Tuesday March 14. 2017

A great day for talk radio, John brought you the top stories of the day wrapped up nice for your commute home.

European Court of Justice rules workplace headscarf ban is not discriminatory

Workplace bans on the wearing of “any political, philosophical or religious sign” such as headscarves need not constitute direct discrimination, Europe’s top court has ruled.  Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru joins the John Oakley Show to discuss the possibility of such a ruling made in Canada.

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View link »

READ MORE:
Lindsay Lohan claims she was ‘racially profiled’ while wearing headscarf

New regulations could be coming to payday lenders in Ontario

Toronto councillors are asking the province to help restrict short term lender shops, they see as predators in their neighbourhoods. Tony Irwin, President of the Canadian Consumer Finance Association, joins the Oakley Show and  suggests that new rules and caps on charges will shut storefronts down, driving desperate Torontonians to lenders operating outside the law.

View link »

READ MORE:
How to avoid a payday loan ‘debt trap’ to give kids a Christmas they ‘deserve’

Tim Hortons franchisees push back against cost-cutting changes

Franchisees of Tim Hortons, in a letter to their parent company, Restaurant Brands International, expressed dissatisfaction over a cost-cutting campaign that’s leading to product shortages, declining quality, and, in some instances, issues with safety. Marc Gordon is a customer experience expert and he joins to Oakley Show to tell us for the average person it’s business as usual.

View link »

READ MORE:
Tim Hortons to buy Popeyes for $1.8 billion

Topics worthy of discussion

The cost of sexual assault, our love affair with Tim Hortons, feminist journals only; just a few of the topics we pose to our panel. sitting in at AM640 studios:

David Wills – is Senior Vice President of Media Profile, an independent public relations firm based in Toronto.

Sandra Pupatello  – Former Minister of Economic Development and Trade for Ontario, she was also the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and now works with PwC as a strategic Advisor

Rocco Rossi — CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada and formal mayoral candidate

View link »


24
Mar 19

Angelina Jolie opens up about Brad Pitt: ‘We will always be a family’

Angelina Jolie appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday morning and talked about her new movie, while opening up about her divorce from Brad Pitt and how they will parent their children moving forward.

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The actress, activist, and director sat down with co-host George Stephanopoulos, who brought up Jolie and Pitt’s joint statement regarding their divorce, asking if their family has become healthier post-split.

RELATED: Angelina Jolie cooks and eats spiders with her children

“We are focusing on the health of our family, and so we will be stronger when we come out of this because that’s what we’re determined to do as a family,” Jolie, 41, said in the interview.

Jolie also spoke out about Pitt as a father. This comes after several headline-making stories that the actor had gone to rehab following allegations of child abuse after an incident on a plane. The exes have been in a heated custody battle for months, but Jolie only has positive things to say about Pitt as a father.

“Of course, of course,” she answered when Stephanopoulos flat-out asked if she thought Pitt was a good father of their children. “We will always be a family. Always,” she said.

RELATED: Angelina Jolie opens up about divorce from Brad Pitt: ‘it was very difficult’

She also dished on that viral video of her indulging in local delicacies while in Cambodia. “They’re used to eating scorpions, especially Shiloh. Loves a tarantula, loves a bug. They can eat a bag of crickets like a bag of chips,” she said.

The family’s trip was a bonding experience for Jolie and her children, especially Maddox whom she adopted from Cambodia. “I talked to Maddox about this film and doing it, and it was him in the final hour that said he was ready and that he wanted to understand more. He wanted me to make it,” she revealed.


24
Mar 19

McDonald’s all-day breakfast launches across Canada

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the items available on the all-day breakfast menu. 

Breakfast for dinner just became a much more viable option for fast food lovers as McDonald’s Canada officially launched its all-day breakfast today (Feb. 21) starting at 11:01 a.m.

With menu items like scrambled egg wraps, oatmeal, hash browns and BLT bagels — including (of course) its beloved Egg McMuffin sandwich — 1,100 McDonald’s locations across Canada will undoubtedly be inundated with breakfast-loving patrons well into the afternoon.

WATCH: McDonald’s Canada warns all products may now come in contact with nuts

“Folks are looking for and have been looking for this kind of offering for the longest time,” said John Betts, McDonald’s Canada CEO. “We know we’re going to do well with it.”

The company first tested the waters of extended breakfast hours midway through 2016 at its two standalone McCafé restaurants in Toronto. It then rolled out all-day breakfast at 17 locations across Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec earlier this year.

WATCH: Calgarians are getting a bite of something new in the world of fast food breakfasts. And as Gil Tucker shows us, it turns out one longtime favourite isn’t just a hit with humans.

Betts said the introduction of the program was partly spurred by 桑拿会所 requests for all-day breakfast that have come through by the thousands over the last year.

Today, the anticipation on social media was palpable.

For some, however, knowing that a McDonald’s breakfast is an option at any time of the day poses some concerns about restraint.

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The good news is experts say a trip to McD’s doesn’t have to be a shame-inducing outing, especially if you’re going for breakfast.

Perhaps surprisingly, the number-one item on the menu for offering a complete and healthy breakfast is the famous Egg McMuffin.

“The sandwich only has 300 calories and it offers 17 grams of satiety-providing protein,” Christine M. Palumbo, a Chicago area registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant said to Eat This, Not That! online nutrition hub. “I stick with the whole egg sandwich because the yolk contains carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.”

READ MORE: McDonald’s, A&W to launch all-day breakfast nationwide in February

The lowest calorie option is an order of hash browns that clocks in at 160 calories.

Among the worst breakfast offenders are the Sausage McMuffin with Egg and the Hotcakes. The former amounts to 430 calories and 850 mg of sodium (nearly half a day’s recommended allowance), while the latter is 600 calories and 660 mg of sodium.

With this in mind, experts advise patrons to choose wisely. But don’t fret about feeling guilty later.

“We think of quick-serve restaurants too simply, and we paint them too black-and-white,” Roberta Duyff, author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide said to Health. “Be smart about what you’re choosing. Be judicious, and you can do fine at McDonald’s.”

So go on, and enjoy.

With files from


24
Mar 19

Dying alone: Hundreds of bodies are going unclaimed in Ontario and Quebec

On a cold, grey Saturday morning, the body of Michael Geyer lies in a casket in Toronto, waiting to make the journey to its final resting place.

Rows of chairs at the funeral home sit empty, with tissue boxes ready and waiting for family and friends to arrive.

Rev. Larry Whissell and a funeral director are waiting for people to show up so they can begin the funeral.

No one does.

The casket of Michael Geyer, 89, along with the urn containing the ashes of his mother Sophie Geyer, 96. Both were buried together at Beechwood Cemetery in Toronto.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

Rev. Larry Whissell has been a priest in Toronto for roughly 30 years and has presided over many funerals involving unclaimed bodies.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

The province gives the municipality money for the funeral and burial – sometimes from the estate of the deceased – and the city finds a local funeral home willing to take care of the body.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

In Ontario in 2015, 361 bodies were unclaimed — meaning no one gathered their remains for a funeral. That’s more than double the number nine years earlier, when only 146 people were unclaimed in the province.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

As part of the Catholic tradition, holy water is used to bless the casket of the deceased before it is transported for burial.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

“In a city of three million people, nobody comes except for us who are paid to be here,” said Whissell, who became a priest nearly 30 years ago.

“Society is like an apartment building. Everybody has got their little cubicle and they just go to work or do their thing and then just lock themselves away.”

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When Michael Geyer died in November, there were no family members to take charge of his body or arrange a funeral. His only friend, Wilhelm Szarca, promised to come and say a final goodbye, but due to a mix-up over the dates, the funeral was postponed a week so its sole guest can attend.

Unclaimed

While Geyer was lucky to have a friend organize a small memorial service, there is a growing number of unclaimed bodies, meaning no one gathered their remains for a funeral. In Ontario in 2015, 361 bodies were unclaimed, more than double the number nine years earlier.

Click here to view data »

Quebec shows a similar trend, with the number of unclaimed bodies increasing from 190 in 2007 to 367 in 2015.

According to a 2014 report from Ontario’s coroner, these individuals are mostly men and mostly older than 60. Slightly more than half of them are from Toronto. Aside from that, not much is known about these people or how they ended up with no one to claim them.

Click here to view data »

And the coroner doesn’t know why the number is increasing. “It may be due to demographics and/or economics,” suggested Cheryl Mahyr, issues manager with the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service in an email.

A claimant can be anyone, not just family, she wrote. It could include friends, colleagues, neighbours, churches and community groups. The authorities reach out to all of these people when someone dies, sometimes even getting assistance from the police or the Office of the Public Trustee. They even contact Veterans Affairs and local organizations to see if anyone had contact with the deceased.

READ MORE: Death ain’t cheap, a look at funeral costs and alternative options

Sometimes they do find friends or family members, she said, “but they are not willing or are not in a position to take responsibility for disposition.” Quebec’s ministry of health and social services says that “financial reasons seem to be a factor” in some cases.

And sometimes a person just doesn’t seem to have any ties.

Burying the dead

In between two marked graves lies one of Ontario’s”unclaimed bodies” lies buried at Meadowvale Cemetery in the GTA.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

In Ontario, when the regional supervising coroner is satisfied that due diligence has occurred and no one has been found, they sign a “warrant to bury” and the municipality where the person died is then responsible for burying the person.

The province gives the municipality money for the funeral and burial – sometimes from the estate of the deceased – and the city finds a local funeral home willing to take care of the body. They get around $3,000 in Toronto, said Anna Fiorino of the City of Toronto, with the city footing about six per cent of the bill.

Rick Cowan, Mount Pleasant’s assistant vice-president of marketing and communications, is pictured at Meadowvale Cemetery in the Greater Toronto Area.

(Andrew Russell/Global News)

With an average Toronto funeral costing close to $10,000, this means most of these people are buried on the outskirts of the city, said Jim Cardinal, president of Cardinal Funeral Homes in Toronto.

“The first thing that we do is try to find an inexpensive grave because that takes up the vast majority of what the public trustee gives us. And then basically whatever’s left goes towards their service,” he said.

“We provide a dignified funeral for these people,” said Cardinal. They have visitation hours and get appropriate clergy to deliver a short service. “Sometimes a handful of people show up. Ninety per cent of the time, no one shows up so typically a couple of our staff will go in so at least there is someone there. And then we purchase a grave for these people and they’re buried. We give them a proper sendoff.”

READ MORE: Unclaimed cremated remains pile up in North American funeral homes

But an empty room is sad, he said.

“It’s sad that you spend a whole life on this planet and no one comes to your funeral.”

And not everyone in this situation gets even a small service. In Ottawa, for example, unclaimed bodies are often taken directly to their graves, according to Scott Miller, of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Funeral Homes.

They’re buried in single graves, often on the outskirts of cities. There is no name on the grave — usually just a number, corresponding to their file in the cemetery’s record system.

In Ontario, they’re buried instead of cremated just in case a family member comes along later and wishes to move the body elsewhere — something that is “very rare” according to Rick Cowan of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Group, though he has seen it happen.

Michael’s funeral

Wilhelm Szarca visits his friend Michael Geyer at a Toronto hospital.

(Supplied)

A second attempt to commemorate Michael Geyer was held a week after the first. This time, about 25 people attended the 89-year-old’s funeral.

But there wasn’t a family member or relative to be found. Instead there was a collection of acquaintances: his lawyer, his real estate agent, his barber.

READ MORE: Remains discovered in Quebec funeral home after director lost permit to practice

The rest were there to support Wilhelm Szarca, Geyer’s friend, who helped put together the small service for the former mechanic and garage owner.

“Although we were not blood related, we became best friends in a relatively short period of time. We mutually regarded each other as family,” said Szarca, 65, his voice trembling as he addressed the room. “Beneath appearances I saw a kind, soft, patient and lonely soul.”

“Please forgive me for [not] taking you to your home country to help you rest in peace with your loved ones.”

According to Szarca, Geyer immigrated to Canada from Austria shortly after the Second World War and lived with his mother Sophie until her death at the age of 96. Her ashes were found in Geyer’s home, and she was eventually buried with her son.

“He was sort of a loner, you know,” said Helmut Mechinlinski, Geyer’s real estate agent, at the funeral. “Living by himself and he was very attached to his mother. There wouldn’t be a day where he wouldn’t talk about his mother.”

Michael Geyer, seen in this undated picture, passed away in November 2016 at the age of 89

(Supplied)

Although he led a mostly solitary life, Geyer did have an unexpected windfall. A mechanic who ran his own garage in Toronto’s west end, Geyer sold the property to Metrolinks in 2016 for a reported $1 million.

Geyer was unmarried and had no remaining relatives. No one claimed him when he died, but he didn’t die alone.

“For the last two months I slept at the hospital 24/7,” said Szarca, looking back on his friend’s final days. “He couldn’t walk, he couldn’t do nothing. I had to feed him with a spoon.”

Whissell, who led the funeral service, said that Geyer was lucky to have a friend like Szarca. He’s delivered many services to an empty room, but he believes it’s important to have a good service no matter how many people show up.

Szarca hopes to meet his friend again someday.

“I believe in eternity and that we are going to meet again, and that I’m responsible for him to reach wherever he is going.”

After the funeral, the group went out to lunch at Swiss Chalet — Geyer’s favourite.

Michael Geyer was buried on a Monday afternoon at Beechwood Cemetery in Toronto. His friend Szarca was there.

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