Toronto

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Vandertop, a co-founder of Don't Mess with the Don, says the restaurant chain Tim Hortons has a big problem when it comes to litter. The registered charity, run by volunteers, cleans up trash from ravines in the Don Valley and says it has picked up about 136,078 kilograms of garbage in the past six years.

The number one brand it finds in its garbage cleanups is Tim Hortons, Vandertop said.

"Imagine — Tim Hortons has more than 4,000 stores across Canada now and that would be millions and millions of cups and lids all strewn out throughout our parks, streets, wild spaces. And this is only cups and lids. There's also food wrappers, containers and other beverage containers," she said.

"I think Tim Hortons, as a flagship Canadian company, has a tremendous opportunity here to do something good for the world and for the environment that we live in. This is not in line with the times."

Karen Wirsig, senior program manager for plastics at Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy organization, said it's important to hold corporations accountable for the waste they produce. Wirsig said Tim Hortons is a major generator of single-use plastic waste when it comes to its takeout packaging.

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The Executive Committee heard from:

  • Elsa Lam (architectural expert, PhD, FRAIC, Hon. OAA, Editor of Canadian Architect Magazine)
  • Jason Ash (Co-chair of Save OSC)
  • John Spragge (Software developer)
  • Arushi Nath (Grade 9 student and international science award winner)
  • Councillor Anthony Perruzza
  • Councillor Josh Matlow

With comments from Councillors:

  • Jennifer McKelvie
  • Shelley Carroll
  • Alejandra Bravo
  • Ausma Malik
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A crowd of about 200 community members, joined by local and provincial politicians, attended a rally Sunday afternoon in an east-end park to protest last month’s sudden closure of the Ontario Science Centre and its planned relocation.

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[email protected]

The province is in the midst of shifting the cost burden of trash away from municipalities (and municipal taxpayers), onto companies that make and sell products that generate waste.  

For material that fills up blue boxes — including non-alcoholic drink containers — industry began paying an increased share of the costs last year and is to cover all of the costs from 2026.

How it works: companies pay fees, based on the amount of waste material they create, to organizations that manage their sector's recycling programs. 

The theory of the system — known as extended producer responsibility — is that it gives companies an incentive to reduce their packaging waste and increase recycling rates. Otherwise companies have to absorb the fees as a cost of doing business or pass them on to consumers. 

When the government kick-started work on the deposit-return system last year, Piccini said it would "enable consumers to receive a refund for returning used beverage containers."

For more than a year, momentum was building toward a key shift to try to improve things. Premier Doug Ford's government was seriously considering creating a deposit-return system for soft drink containers, a system that's already in place in eight other provinces and that already exists for beer, wine and spirits in Ontario.

Then suddenly, with zero advance notice and no public announcement — and with a potential LCBO strike dominating the news — senior government officials scrapped plans for the deposit-return system.

What follows is the inside story of how, in a battle with big financial implications for companies and big environmental implications for Ontario, Doug Ford's government sided with Big Grocery over Big Beverage.

By abandoning deposit-return, the government bowed to pressure from the supermarket chains, said Wallis of Environmental Defence.

"It's frustrating the amount of power that they seem to have and the amount of influence that they seem to have over policy," Wallis said.

"These are companies that make money, lots of money from selling these drinks to us," she said. "Them refusing to participate in the kind of program that would actually keep these containers out of our environment is honestly shameful."

The notion that consumers could face added costs under the deposit system is now the government's key justification for scrapping it.

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Charlie Pinkerton, who explains why Doug Ford is featured in a new video flipping burgers and talking booze. He also breaks down the big revelations contained in newly released documents about the Ontario Science Centre.

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Sunday, July 14th, 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Flemingdon Rally to Save Ontario Science Centre
Ferrand Drive Park, 251 Ferrand Drive

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A small, odd traffic island was recently installed in the middle of the cycling lane that runs along the north side of Adelaide Street West, at the northwest corner of York Street.

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At my local Loblaws. 😆

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In a video message posted on X on Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced the release of the tech tool that allows Ontario residents to locate stores, other than the LCBO, selling alcohol.

“Our new interactive map shows thousands of convenient options where you can still buy beer, wine, spirits and other drinks across the province.”

The release of the map comes days after LCBO workers walked off the job prompting  province-wide closures of the government-run liquor store.  The announcement is stirring up angry reactions from many residents and city officials, who accused Ford of union busting and failing to address pressing socio-economic issues.

“While the Ford government wastes billions of tax dollars, schools need fixing, hospital wait times need attention, cities need support for transit, services & infrastructure, the science centre needs saving and people struggle to make ends meet. Yet, this guy’s priority is beer,” Councillor Josh Matlow wrote on X on Monday.

“You’re using public dollars to break a strike, undermine workers rights and to destroy an agency that generates $2.5 billion for healthcare and other services. But this app looks cute. Why didn’t you use this kind of tech to save lives from COVID19 or to find ERs,” one X user wrote.

“Can I get a map of where I can find emergency clinics that are open?,” another person said.

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Student-led demonstrators who organized a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Toronto cleared the site after more than 60 days of protest, ahead of a court-ordered deadline to leave Wednesday.

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“Right now, with these electric cars, the dealers have the equipment, they have the parts. They want to get the business and also fix the cars,” he explains. In his experience, and that of other mechanics The Local and The Narwhal visited, EV dealers and manufacturers are charging independent mechanics more and taking longer to supply parts than they do with gas vehicles. This incentivizes customers to go straight to the dealer when they need repairs.

“They’re taking business away from small brokers, because the parts are not available, and we don’t have the equipment [we need],” he says. “Anything they charge you, you have no choice.”

But in both the regulatory and commercial arena, EV manufacturers and independent aftermarket (that is, repair and resale) businesses are wrestling over the “right to repair” principle—the right of consumers and independent shops to affordably access the tools or information needed to fix and prolong the life of an object after it’s purchased. In a sector of the automotive industry that is still relatively young and underregulated, mechanics fear being shut out by manufacturers and dealerships that see a lucrative opportunity to establish virtually exclusive access to EV repairs. If manufacturers win the fight over government regulation of the industry, it’ll be consumers and smaller businesses paying the price. Whether these mom-and-pop garages find ways to adapt, or stick to servicing combustion engines exclusively, or decide it’s not worth the cost and effort to stay in this difficult business, the outcome will reshape the automotive landscape of the city, affecting both their clients and the workforce holding up these independent shops.

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All we know is that the Eglinton LRT will not open for another three months, every day that Metrolinx does not give a defined opening date.

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