Peel police investigating burning of pride flag as ‘hate-motivated’

Peel Police are investigating after a video surfaced on social media showing the burning of a pride flag. The Star has viewed the video, which appeared to have been originally shared on the social media app Snapchat, showing a crumpled pride flag on fire. People can be heard laughing in the background.The school has confirmed that the video is alleged to have been recorded by students at Cawthra Park Secondary School (CPSS) in Mississauga. In a letter issued to families at the school, CPSS principal Tyler McLeod wrote that students at the school recorded the incident at a nearby park and sent the video to other students who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. “The incident is currently being investigated and the school administration has been in contact with the affected students and we are in the process of gathering further information about the alleged activities and the students involved,” McLeod wrote, adding that wellness supports will be made available to help staff and students process the situation. “I am truly sorry for the harm caused by this incident,” the school statement reads. Peel Police issued a tweet Thursday confirming they are looking into the incident. “We understand that this incident has an impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and want to reassure everyone that officers from 12 Division are investigating this as a hate-motivated incident,” the tweet said.A spokesperson for Peel District School Board said both the board and school administration at Cawthra Park are aware of the video. “The PDSB and Cawthra Park Secondary School condemn this hateful act of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. We take this very seriously and have begun an investigation,” the statement said.“We recognize the harm that actions like this cause our students, staff and families. Behaviour like this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Cawthra Park or at any school within the PDSB.”Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce released a statement Thursday addressing the incident. “This is disturbing, unacceptable and contrary to our commitment to inclusivity for all students. Especially during Pride, we celebrate 2SLGBTQ+ students and the community,” Lecce said. “There is zero tolerance for bullying, intimidation, and violence. I expect the Peel District School Board to support and act to protect Ontario’s 2SLGBTQ+ students.”Jenna Moon is a breaking news reporter for the Star and is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @_jennamoon

Peel police investigating burning of pride flag as ‘hate-motivated’

Peel Police are investigating after a video surfaced on social media showing the burning of a pride flag.

The Star has viewed the video, which appeared to have been originally shared on the social media app Snapchat, showing a crumpled pride flag on fire. People can be heard laughing in the background.

The school has confirmed that the video is alleged to have been recorded by students at Cawthra Park Secondary School (CPSS) in Mississauga.

In a letter issued to families at the school, CPSS principal Tyler McLeod wrote that students at the school recorded the incident at a nearby park and sent the video to other students who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+.

“The incident is currently being investigated and the school administration has been in contact with the affected students and we are in the process of gathering further information about the alleged activities and the students involved,” McLeod wrote, adding that wellness supports will be made available to help staff and students process the situation.

“I am truly sorry for the harm caused by this incident,” the school statement reads.

Peel Police issued a tweet Thursday confirming they are looking into the incident.

“We understand that this incident has an impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and want to reassure everyone that officers from 12 Division are investigating this as a hate-motivated incident,” the tweet said.

A spokesperson for Peel District School Board said both the board and school administration at Cawthra Park are aware of the video. “The PDSB and Cawthra Park Secondary School condemn this hateful act of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. We take this very seriously and have begun an investigation,” the statement said.

“We recognize the harm that actions like this cause our students, staff and families. Behaviour like this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Cawthra Park or at any school within the PDSB.”

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce released a statement Thursday addressing the incident. “This is disturbing, unacceptable and contrary to our commitment to inclusivity for all students. Especially during Pride, we celebrate 2SLGBTQ+ students and the community,” Lecce said.

“There is zero tolerance for bullying, intimidation, and violence. I expect the Peel District School Board to support and act to protect Ontario’s 2SLGBTQ+ students.”

Jenna Moon is a breaking news reporter for the Star and is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @_jennamoon

Source : Toronto Star More   

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‘The blood’s flowing again’: Toronto restaurants prepare for reopening blowout, just as Euro soccer starts

Friday might be the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for restaurants in Toronto. It marks the return of patio dining to the city. The restaurant reopening coincides with the start of the European Football Championship, a massive sporting event and big draw for patrons in the city.“The blood’s flowing again,” said Rocco Mastrangelo, owner of Café Diplomatico in Toronto’s Little Italy. Reservations, only available to people watching the (first) game (Italy vs. Turkey), were fully booked at the restaurant by Wednesday, he said.“It’s going to be a great reopening.”It’s been a brutal year for restaurants in Toronto. From the beginning, the pandemic decimated the industry and whiplash lockdown restriction changes from the province piled on further hurt.The reopening was initially scheduled for June 14, but was pushed forward after an announcement Monday. Social-distancing rules, which limit tables to four people maximum and require they be spaced out at least six feet from each other, have cut Diplomatico’s patio capacity from 117 to about 70. Still, it’s a far better than zero.“Soccer’s part of our business model,” said Mastrangelo. “It’s a huge draw and we do big promotions for it — not this year, though, obviously, because we didn’t know we were going to be open for it.” Normally, there would be a street party to accompany the game. Italy’s team is playing, which would add to the fanfare in the neighbourhood.Dave Auger, general manager of 817 Sports Bar & Grill near Queen and Bathurst, said, since reopening was announced, the restaurant’s phone has been ringing off the hook.“We have customers calling us, texting us, Instagram, live-messaging, emailing — all wanting to watch the game,” he said. “They can’t wait to watch the game on the patio.”Auger said it’s been overwhelming; 817 has limited patio space and just five of its six tables have a view of the TV screen. Next week, the addition of a plexiglass divider will bump the patio to nine tables, but not in time for the big game.“It’s going to be tough; people are going to be lining up for seats and trying to watch the game of the sidewalk,” said Auger. “We’re going to have to control the distancing out there. That’s going to a nightmare. “All we can do is advise people of the rules and do our best,” he said. “But on the patio, the rules are very strict. We will enforce them completely and make sure everyone has a good time.”Unfortunately, many thousands of restaurants did not survive to see the excitement this week would bring.In the first few weeks of the pandemic, 10 per cent of the country’s eateries had permanently closed and an estimated 800,000 of Canada’s 1.2 million restaurant workers had been laid off.By December, more than 15 per cent, or 10,000, of Canada’s restaurants were gone forever.Moments of hope for the battered industry, such as the one this week, have been few and far between.In Toronto, there was just such a moment in March, when the province suddenly decided to allow restaurants to reopen patios. Restaurants were given less than 24 hours notice of the rule change and many worked night and day to prepare — power-washing furniture, advertising on social media and frantically ordering enough food and drink to meet increased demand.Just two weeks later, the lockdown returned, shuttering the city’s patios yet again, leaving owners with hefty bills for supplies that would go unused, and staff without jobs yet again.Restaurateurs pray when patios reopen Friday, it will be for good. Mastrangelo said distrust in reopening plans has made it difficult to re-hire staff. “That two-week stint where we got shut down again right away turned off a lot of staff,” said Mastrangelo. “A lot of them waiting on the sidelines now to make sure we actually stay open.“Having to come back to work only to get laid off after two weeks really screwed them up.”Mastrangelo said, with time, restaurant staff will grow comfortable enough to return, but he fears for what would happen should the lockdown return.“I believe the restaurant industry is on it’s way back to a normal lifestyle,” said Mastrangelo. “And I hope I’m correct, because it would be very, very bad if we get shut down again.”Ben Cohen is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bcohenn

‘The blood’s flowing again’: Toronto restaurants prepare for reopening blowout, just as Euro soccer starts

Friday might be the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for restaurants in Toronto. It marks the return of patio dining to the city. The restaurant reopening coincides with the start of the European Football Championship, a massive sporting event and big draw for patrons in the city.

“The blood’s flowing again,” said Rocco Mastrangelo, owner of Café Diplomatico in Toronto’s Little Italy. Reservations, only available to people watching the (first) game (Italy vs. Turkey), were fully booked at the restaurant by Wednesday, he said.

“It’s going to be a great reopening.”

It’s been a brutal year for restaurants in Toronto. From the beginning, the pandemic decimated the industry and whiplash lockdown restriction changes from the province piled on further hurt.

The reopening was initially scheduled for June 14, but was pushed forward after an announcement Monday.

Social-distancing rules, which limit tables to four people maximum and require they be spaced out at least six feet from each other, have cut Diplomatico’s patio capacity from 117 to about 70. Still, it’s a far better than zero.

“Soccer’s part of our business model,” said Mastrangelo. “It’s a huge draw and we do big promotions for it — not this year, though, obviously, because we didn’t know we were going to be open for it.”

Normally, there would be a street party to accompany the game.

Italy’s team is playing, which would add to the fanfare in the neighbourhood.

Dave Auger, general manager of 817 Sports Bar & Grill near Queen and Bathurst, said, since reopening was announced, the restaurant’s phone has been ringing off the hook.

“We have customers calling us, texting us, Instagram, live-messaging, emailing — all wanting to watch the game,” he said. “They can’t wait to watch the game on the patio.”

Auger said it’s been overwhelming; 817 has limited patio space and just five of its six tables have a view of the TV screen. Next week, the addition of a plexiglass divider will bump the patio to nine tables, but not in time for the big game.

“It’s going to be tough; people are going to be lining up for seats and trying to watch the game of the sidewalk,” said Auger. “We’re going to have to control the distancing out there. That’s going to a nightmare.

“All we can do is advise people of the rules and do our best,” he said. “But on the patio, the rules are very strict. We will enforce them completely and make sure everyone has a good time.”

Unfortunately, many thousands of restaurants did not survive to see the excitement this week would bring.

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, 10 per cent of the country’s eateries had permanently closed and an estimated 800,000 of Canada’s 1.2 million restaurant workers had been laid off.

By December, more than 15 per cent, or 10,000, of Canada’s restaurants were gone forever.

Moments of hope for the battered industry, such as the one this week, have been few and far between.

In Toronto, there was just such a moment in March, when the province suddenly decided to allow restaurants to reopen patios. Restaurants were given less than 24 hours notice of the rule change and many worked night and day to prepare — power-washing furniture, advertising on social media and frantically ordering enough food and drink to meet increased demand.

Just two weeks later, the lockdown returned, shuttering the city’s patios yet again, leaving owners with hefty bills for supplies that would go unused, and staff without jobs yet again.

Restaurateurs pray when patios reopen Friday, it will be for good.

Mastrangelo said distrust in reopening plans has made it difficult to re-hire staff.

“That two-week stint where we got shut down again right away turned off a lot of staff,” said Mastrangelo. “A lot of them waiting on the sidelines now to make sure we actually stay open.

“Having to come back to work only to get laid off after two weeks really screwed them up.”

Mastrangelo said, with time, restaurant staff will grow comfortable enough to return, but he fears for what would happen should the lockdown return.

“I believe the restaurant industry is on it’s way back to a normal lifestyle,” said Mastrangelo. “And I hope I’m correct, because it would be very, very bad if we get shut down again.”

Ben Cohen is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bcohenn

Source : Toronto Star More   

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