Toronto schools to provide free menstrual products to students
Canada’s largest school board, the Toronto District School Board recently decided to provide free menstrual products in elementary and secondary schools.
These products will be provided at no cost to the students, and also at no cost to the city, as the school board is teaming up with the charity Physical and Health Education Canada. The first province to provide this service was British Columbia, earlier this year, but the move to make these products free is spreading. The Toronto school district joins others in Ontario who have already adopted this measure, including the Waterloo Region District School Board and Thames Valley District School Board in London.
The motion to provide the products was carried 21-0.
Gill stated: “I view access to menstrual products as a basic right … These products belong in the same category as toilet paper, soap and water in washrooms. It is important for other school boards, not only in Ontario, but across Canada, to implement similar initiatives.”
Toronto’s new program should be up and running this fall, though the details are still being sorted out. While the products will be provided, it has not been determined in what washrooms they will be placed. Given the recent difficulties, perhaps they should be located in all the washrooms, so that whoever has need can get access no matter which washroom they attend.
In the U.K., there has been pressure from women’s groups to remove the tax from menstrual products, since they are actually a necessity and not a voluntary item. Prisoners in the US have to pay for their menstrual products, which turns this essential item into a jailhouse currency. Across the developed and developing worlds, women and girls are stigmatized for this natural phenomenon, access to products and basic human dignity is denied.
It is not uncommon for girls to miss classes or school altogether for lack of access to sanitary products. This measure by the Toronto District School Board should make both access and awareness an ordinary thing.
Meteorologists say Toronto and Southern Ontario will soon see the coldest weather it’s seen so far this year. Temperatures will drop and there will be a good deal of snow to top it off.
An extreme cold weather alert was issued by Toronto’s Medical Officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Environment Canada issues these alerts when the temperature is forecast to be -15 C or lower. They are also issued if wind chill is predicted to make the air feel colder than -20 C.
The temperatures will be felt throughout the GTA.
Environment Canada says that on Thursday night there will be a low of -12 C in Toronto and the wind chill will make it feel like -19 C, accompanied by flurries.
The cold temperatures will carry on into Friday. The Weather Network said it will be “the coldest air we’ve seen so far in 2020.”
It is estimated that Toronto will see the most snow it’s seen all season with 20 cm expected through Saturday and Sunday.
De Villa’s alert from Thursday morning says, “Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health.”
“Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those under-housed, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, elderly people, infants and young children.”
Toronto Public Health is asking people to stay dry, wear layers and try to stay indoors if possible.
It is also advised that people keep tabs on friends, neighbours and family who may be more vulnerable to the dropping temperatures.
Chair girl, the infamous stool tossing super villain of Toronto (though not as infamous as another alleged stool tosser) has had her sentencing delayed until February 7.
Chair Girl, whose real name is Marcella Zola, pleaded guilty to a mischief charge for throwing a patio chair from a downtown Toronto balcony in late 2019. She admitted to being the person in the video onto the Gardiner Expressway.
She turned herself in days after the video went viral.
Zola, though, has not admitted to posting the video herself on social media, which has thrown a wrench in the sentencing process.
Zola’s lawyer, Gregory Leslie, says he did not have the opportunity to review whether or not Zola actually posted the video. It is now up to the Crown to prove whether or not she had posted it.
“They will call the witness, they will examine. I will cross-examine the witness and then it’s up to Her Honour to decide whether or not the Crown has been able to prove Ms. Zoia posted that,” said Leslie.
“The reason that the Crown feels this is important is because it would be an aggravating feature, an aggravating circumstance that would assist the crown in sentencing.”
Zola threw the chair from the 45th floor of a highrise, barely missing a busy highway below. Luckily, no one was struck below.
Prosecutors are aiming for a six-month jail sentence, whereas Leslie is aiming for a suspended sentence with probation and conditions set by the judge.
The University of Toronto has become the centre of attention after frustrated students revealed that a professor required them to purchase his book and follow him on social media for better grades.
According to Reddit user XdaZxz, who will be referred to as Daz, Professor Mitchell Huynh made 5 percent of his course reliant on whether or not students followed through with the social media follow and the book buy.
In a photo posted by Daz, the breakdown of the course can be seen with the requirements being labelled as “Pinnacle of Participation.”
The book accounts for a boost of 1 percent, with Twitter and Instagram also each being worth one percent, as well as a LinkedIn connection.
Having the book signed by Huynh also accounted for another 1 percent of the marks.
Other students replying to the post voiced their displeasure, as many felt as though the demand of following a professor on social media was crossing the line.
“Marks for social media follows is definitely not allowed,” one user wrote in the U of T Mississauga thread. “Presumably the book signing is so that students can’t buy a used copy and it would not be appropriate to so blatantly tie this to the students’ grades.”
“I think the main issue here is that he’s blatantly trying to profit off his students by increasing his followers count AND attributing marks to buying his book,” said another post.
Huynh is a U of Toronto Alumni himself who has since entered wealth management and condo development.
Canadian rock music legend and rock and roll Hall of Famer Neil Peart has passed away, according to his family.
The drummer, who passed away in his Santa Monica, California home earlier this week at the age of 67, was one of the most influential and innovative drummers of his time.
According to a family spokesperson, Peart died after a battle with brain cancer.
Peart’s influence on the genre was undeniable. Peart was a recipient of numerous awards for his drumming and lyricism—primarily for his writing role in Rush—including being inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame for 1983, making him the youngest drummer ever honoured.
The Ontario native joined Rush in 1974, winning seven total Grammys, as well as numerous Juno awards. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2013.