TORONTO – The embattled Canadian-owned SkyGreece Airlines has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a document from a Toronto law firm representing the company.
In a letter to the Canadian Transportation Authority on Thursday, the law firm Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP indicated SkyGreece had filed a notice of intention to seek bankruptcy protection and begin restructuring proceedings.
Story continues below
Ernst & Young Inc., as the trustee for SkyGreece, will be communicating with creditors and customers of SkyGreece and will establish contact points through which creditors can provide and obtain information, according to the document.
The airline had until 5:00 p.m. Thursday to respond to a ruling from CTA that it had failed to meet its contractual obligations to passengers.
READ MORE: SkyGreece ceases operations after grounding flights, stranding passengers
SkyGreece abruptly cancelled all of its flights last week, citing technical issues and financial setbacks from the Greek economic crisis. The airline had originally called the move a temporary situation and said its operations were expected to resume soon.
The move left roughly 1,000 passengers stranded and prompted passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs to file a complaint with Canadian Transportation Agency and order the airline to rebook its passengers with another airline and put up $8.7 million to cover passenger claims.
Sky Greece Airlines operated two planes and was based out of Athens, with an office location in Toronto.
WATCH ABOVE: Members of the Global News team read questions students submitted to their sex ed classes. (Disclaimer: We don’t give great advice — but you can find better answers here)
Story continues below
Sex, sexuality and sexual health can be fraught topics to broach in the classroom. But much trickier than any curricular updates is answering students’ questions — the anonymous, curious, often awkwardly written queries young people submit over the course of their sex ed lessons.
“Answering the questions is the most challenging part of a program,” Kim Martyn said.
“Teachers are used to getting a curriculum and looking at it and then presenting it. That’s what they do.
“But the questions, particularly for this topic, are a whole other challenge: ‘How do I answer? Do I answer this? To what extent do I give detail?’”
READ MORE: Can Ontario give its sex ed a 21st-Century makeover?
She should know: The sexual health promoter with Toronto Public Health has been teaching students about sex — and teaching teachers how to approach sex education — for upwards of three decades, covering as many as 100 classes a year.
“I haven’t gotten sick of it. Isn’t that crazy?”
“When you sit there and you see the kids who start off nervous, shy, worried, and then you see them open up, you see… their faces relax and feeling just better about themselves. It’s huge.”
And with the new Ontario curriculum going into effect this year, she and her colleagues are likely to field plenty of questions.
“We’re expecting to be quite busy,” she said.
Not because there’s a slew of new content — contrary to much of the consternation around the new curriculum, it’s neither radical nor untested — but because much of the content is shifting down a grade, and there’s more of an emphasis on issues such as equity.
“Whether that’s gender, discussing maleness and femaleness, or bullying, homophobia, racism … it’s in all components of the curriculum.”
Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum has sparked vocal protests from people who argue it’s radical and sexualizes young children. But public health officials and educators note the province’s existing sex ed is 17 years out of date, and woefully behind other jurisdictions. They argue that has real consequences for young people trying to come to terms with their own identities, often in the face of bullying or ostracization.
READ MORE: What’s the evidence behind Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum?
Martyn expects many of the calls for advice and assistance to come later in the school year: Most teachers don’t do their sex ed programs until the spring.
“I think teachers want to establish a rapport with their class,” she said.
“But the teachers who do this in the fall… the feedback we get is, this really helps to establish a rapport: The students see this teacher is askable and they can make the classroom into a safe place to talk about these trickier subjects.”
Some of what Martyn and her colleagues go over are the basics.
“A lot of people get gender and orientation confused… So just helping us be clear about what those things are, what they mean.”
But a lot of her instruction is more what she calls the “soft” skills and information — how to make the discussions comfortable, safe, accepting, informative.
That’s why the way you treat kids’ sex questions can be so important.
“What might be the motivation for a student asking the question?”
READ MORE: Sex education compared across Canada
Martyn has four rough categories of questions:
The “Am I normal?” questions.The “Test the teacher” questions, which may ask about the teachers’ own sexual experience (and which is always politely dismissed: “We’re not here to talk about anyone’s private life”).The “I’ve heard…” questions, which tend to stem from whatever outlandish-seeming reality TV show the children have seen or heard of.The “This is something that’s worrying me” questions.
In answering the questions, Martyn recommends teachers consider their students’ self-esteem. There really can’t be any stupid questions.
“Regardless of why they’re asking, even if it’s ‘How many times have you had sex?’ that child is maybe embarrassed by the whole topic or trying to hide their embarrassment or show off for their peers,” she said.
“We want to make sure their self-esteem is acknowledged and really boosted regardless.”
And answering these questions is about more than giving the facts, Martyn said: She’ll try to get teachers to reinforce issues around consent, respect and self-care, as well.
GALLERY: Click through to see the handwritten questions kids asked in their sex ed classes
In the case of the — very common — question as to whether STIs can be spread through oral sex, a teacher would give the answer “yes, they can” but would also “make sure to include stuff on consent,” Martyn said.
“Any time anyone’s doing anything sexual with someone, both people need to be fully aware of the consequences and also fully giving consent. And what does consent mean? What does it look like?”
And while teachers should answer all questions frankly and openly, there are age-appropriate ways to do so, Martyn notes.
The question “Why do people watch porn?” or “What is porn?” elicits very different answers depending on the grade.
To a Grade 5 class, Martyn said, a teacher might say:
“It’s produced by adults for adults and you have to be over 18. And it’s not real: Much of it is people who stage things, just like a movie. And often, in it, people don’t have loving, caring relationships…
“I want them, when they’re looking at it, to have some critical skills: ‘Oh yeah, that woman looks like she’s being forced. She’s just acting, but it’s not okay.”
With a group of high school kids, on the other hand, the discussion can be much more involved: Is it an industry like any other? Is it inherently exploitative?
“I would go into details about how almost never is there safer sex shown, and so what do you think happens in real life with those actors? Are they using condoms that we don’t see? And how do you think that impacts people watching it when there’s never safer sex being displayed?’
And yes, she often gets questions from kids who think there’s something wrong with homosexuality. They underscore the importance of these sessions, Martyn said.
“We would gently sort of say, yeah, we hear different things from our families, from our friends, from our faith centres.
“And part of growing up is hearing about different people’s opinions and views on things in the world. And then as you grow up you get to think about these things for yourself.”
Have the questions kids ask changed in the 30 years Martyn’s taught sex ed? Kind of: There are more people asking about HPV thanks to publicity and education around the vaccine. More people ask about same-sex relationships and families because they’re seen as more mainstream.
And while there’s always been the student asking about porn, now there’s much more widespread awareness of more aspects of sexuality than before.
But the existence of questions that run the gamut from innocent to explicit reinforces the need to teach kids about sex, she said.
“This isn’t being fabricated or imposed. This is coming from what we know that students are asking.”
WATCH ABOVE: Grey hair used to be a classic sign of age, but more and more young people are sporting what is being called the granny look. Global’s Steve Silva has more.
HALIFAX – One of the hottest hair trends for young people this year is dyeing hair gray, according to local hair salons.
Story continues below
“A lot of younger people think, like, ‘That looks so neat,’ said Anya Mezler, 23, who touched up her grey locks at Dee’s Dews Hair Salon Thursday morning. “But a lot of older people are like, ‘Why would you dye your hair grey? Like, we’re trying to avoid that!’”
Several celebrities have joined in on the trend, which has been dubbed “#GrannyHair” on social networking websites.
“Maybe it’s more of a humour thing,” said Yasmin Grothe, editor-in-chief of Salon Magazine, adding that pastel colours are often mixed into hairdos.
The trend has caught the attention many international publications, including The New York Times.
“You have to remember that the reason people are embracing these types of unusual hair colours is because the technology permits it, nowadays,” said Grothe.
Chrissy Marr, master colourist at the salon, said that, although it still require skills, colouring someone’s hair grey has never been easier to do.
“I’ve been getting responses from a lot of older clients with grey hair and they mention the younger girls doing it, and they’ll say, ‘I don’t feel so bad about my grey,’” said Marr.
Melzer, who was has experimented with different hair colours for years, said that grey was a natural step.
“I don’t think it matters what colour your hair is as long as you’re happy with it, and as long as it makes you feel good and look good, that’s all that really matters,” she said.
As for the next trend, Grothe said, “I actually think we’re going to go back to black.”
WATCH ABOVE: One DDO resident says he’s lost all privacy since a Canada Post community mailbox was installed on his property. As Global’s Gloria Henriquez reports, he’s taking the crown corporation to court and hopes others will join him.
DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX — John Benizri’s newest neighbour is a community mailbox in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux.
When it comes to new tenants, you’d think a static object is as quiet as it gets, but Benizri calls it the neighbour from hell.
#DDO resident John Benizri is launching class action lawsuit against @canadapostcorp for placing a community mailbox in his property
— Gloria Henriquez (@GloriaMTL) September 3, 2015
“There was a constant amount of cars coming at various times and it was making lots of noise, doors opening and closing, music,” he explained.
Not only that, but Benizri often finds himself doing extra housework.
“People are taking the flyers from the mailbox and throwing them on the grass,” he said.
“It’s making a mess and I have to go pick them up because the boxes are on my lot.”
Story continues below
Pierrefonds woman gets creative in Canada Post protest
Community mailbox saga in Pierrefonds
Dorval residents fight community mailboxes
READ MORE: Denis Coderre defends taking jackhammer to Canada Post concrete slab
What makes matters worse is that he feels his family has lost their privacy since the mailbox is facing his backyard.
“We have a pool and my wife feels a little bit shy to go out. People always look in and stare in,” he said.
Benizri is launching a class action lawsuit against Canada Post.
“We’re asking for some sort of compensation from them,” explained Benizri.
#Benizri says he’s lost privacy and his property has also lost value. People leave unwanted mail on his property.
— Gloria Henriquez (@GloriaMTL) September 3, 2015
Global News reached out to Canada Post but a spokesperson said they couldn’t comment on the case because the matter is before the courts.
“Our chances are very good,” said lawyer Jamie Benizri.
READ MORE: Dorval resident takes on Canada Post over location of community mailboxes
For him, it’s not only about the every day disturbances.
“One of the main elements of our argument is that this does affect the property value,” he said.
“You can imagine if two properties were equal, the person will likely purchase the one without the community mailbox.”
Currently, there’s no protocol for how to deal with traffic and how to police behave around mailboxes.
“We’re really in a grey zone, and that’s why I call it ‘the neighbour from hell,’” said the lawyer.
“He just shows up, unwanted, after 15 years of owning a property and quite frankly, the community hasn’t signed up for this.”
What he said the community is signing up for is the the class action lawsuit.
“We do have a list that we’re presently, actively, compiling to eventually add them to the class members,” he said.
Even though it might take years before they see results, Benizri is prepared for the long haul and hopes others join in large numbers.
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Health Authority, NSHA, is awaiting test results for three suspected cases of Legionnaires’ disease and is treating the cluster of cases as an outbreak as a precaution.
On Tuesday, NSHA announced a resident of a Dartmouth apartment building had tested positive for the disease. Residents at Alderney Manor on Alderney Drive confirmed to Global News that it was their apartment building.
Story continues below
NSHA said the four residents are currently in hospital. Housing Nova Scotia said all four lived in different parts of the building.
Vicky Lynn Isenor has lived in the building for four years. She said news of the potential outbreak is disconcerting.
“It scared me. It makes me wonder ‘Gee, I hope I don’t get it’,” she said.
Fellow resident William Jackson has also lived in the building for four years. He said the news of the positive case of Legionnaires’ has residents talking.
“They’re worried. What’s going on and stuff. I guess they’ll get it fixed eventually,” he said.
But John Brennan, who has lived in the building for three years, said he thinks the news has been blown out of proportion.
“It doesn’t concern me at all. A lot of people in here are sick from various diseases. People are dying every day,” he said.
Case confirmed earlier in the week
Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, the medical officer of health for the central zone of NSHA, said she received word of the confirmed case late Tuesday.
“What was unusual about it is we also heard about a cluster of other pneumonias that have not been confirmed to be Legionnaires’ yet. That actually gave us a tip off to start an investigation,” she said.
Watson-Creed said a researcher who was working on surveillance picked up on the first confirmed case and alerted authorities.
“We almost never get that opportunity when we’re dealing with an outbreak. To have all that information in front of us ahead of time puts us in an excellent position to begin in the investigation,” she said.
Alderney Manor is public seniors housing and Housing Nova Scotia said there are approximately 200 residents.
Watson-Creed said the circumstances surrounding this possible outbreak are concerning.
“Any group that has underlying medical conditions, especially those lung conditions that we do tend to see more of in a seniors population, that would be a group of concern for Legionnaires’ absolutely,” she said.
NSHA investigation underway
Watson-Creed said it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear. Symptoms include a fever, chills, shortness of breath and pneumonia. She said legionella is not an issue if in the water but it becomes of concern when it gets into mist. It cannot be spread from person to person.
“That’s why people get pneumonia from it because they’re actually breathing it into their lungs. That mist is created by a warm, moist environment and that’s where legionella likes to grow,” she said.
She said it takes up to a week for a suspected case of Legionnaires’ disease to be confirmed and adds that the fatality rate is approximately 15 per cent.
“In our investigation, that’s part of what we’ll uncover is how long did people have the illness, when did they first notice they had the illness. This helps us track down when they might have been actually exposed,” she said.
“We know legionella lives in water so where in the water could it be? Where could it be hiding? What are the things we can do about that?”
Watson-Creed said samples will be taken from the water as well as from the biofilm in pipes and other infrastructure in the building.
She said the confirmed and suspected cases in Dartmouth are likely not related to the outbreak in New Brunswick.
Organism is “tricky”
She said legionella is often difficult to get rid of in systems since it hides in biofilm, which builds up on the side of pipes. She said the bacteria is also resistant to chlorine.
“The trickiest thing about legionella is that this is a organization that lives everywhere. It is present in the environment because it is in our soil,” she said.
Watson-Creed said now is the time of year when legionella clusters pop up.
“We’re outside. We’re into the soil. We’re tracking it back into our houses. We’re exposing our water systems,” she said.
“Once it gets into a system, it can often be difficult to get rid of.”
Safety a priority for Housing Nova Scotia
Stephan Richard, a spokesperson for Housing Nova Scotia, said a meeting was held with residents on Wednesday to inform them of the situation in the building.
Residents are being asked to take measures to protect themselves such as taking baths instead of showers, turning off air-conditioning units and humidifiers and using boiled and cooled water to clean respiratory devices.
Richard said it is too early to say if or when any upgrades will be made to the building as a result of the confirmed case.
“Until we find out exactly what the source is and what the recommendations are from the Department of Health and Wellness, we are not going ot do anything that could jeopardize or put the safety of our residents at risk,” he said.
Richard said residents are being asked to “go about their daily lives as routinely as possible”.
He said this is the first time a potential outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has been investigated at a Housing Nova Scotia building.
Watson-Creed said there are often two to three cases of Legionnaires’ every year in the Central zone. The confirmed case in Dartmouth is the first case of the year.