May 23, 2024

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Good morning. This is the Friday, October 14 edition of First Up, the Star’s daily morning digest. Sign up to get it earlier each day, in your inbox.
Here’s the latest on the troubling conditions in a chain of unlicensed group homes, a landmark case against York Catholic school board and why some GTA hospitals are sending children as far away as Ottawa.
It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go — instead it was horrifying
The residents at Walnut Manor hadn’t been sick enough for the hospital or rehab, but they weren’t healthy enough to live alone. So 26 adults, some with complex needs and disabilities, paid to live in the building — a building that inspectors later found to have soiled mattresses and furniture, rotting garbage, mould, rodents, a broken water heater and other serious issues. Residents and families say they live in squalor. Diana Zlomislic reports on the sordid conditions of a facility that had been advertised as affordable living with the shortest wait-lists in the industry. How could it get to this?
A teen won a landmark case against York Catholic school board
Dasha Kandaharian, now 17 and a first-year university student, was in Grade 12 when she launched a lawsuit against the YCDSB over the board’s decision to bar her from running for student trustee when she was in Grade 10 because she’s Orthodox Christian, not Catholic, Alessia Passafiume reports. Now, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has ruled that the board’s policy violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Here’s more on the ruling and what it could mean for others.
Ontario pediatric hospitals are under strain and some are transferring kids far from home
With an influx of children this fall — more of whom are arriving sicker than usual — pediatric hospitals are facing record-long emergency room wait times and overcrowded inpatient units. As a result, critically ill children from the GTA and Hamilton are being sent as far away as Ottawa for ICU care. Megan Ogilvie reports on the “extremely concerning” practice that is becoming increasingly common amid a spike in kids with respiratory infections and other viral illnesses.
Toronto’s first mayoral debate featured a defensive Tory, testy words — and a surprising winner.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Activists shut down traffic in front of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Thursday to block people from entering annual meetings. Protestors demanded the organizations cancel the financial debt of the Global South in order to “repay their ecological debt and their climate debt to the Global South.”
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