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Calgary restaurateurs say anti-maskers are causing social media headaches – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Anti-maskers are causing a headache for local restaurants that are facing online harassment and in-person aggression for upholding COVID-19 safety measures.

Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak in downtown Calgary, said comments on their social media pages have spiralled in recent days with some calling for the boycott of the fine dining restaurant.

“Over the last 24 to 48 hours, it’s like there has been a full moon of some sort and people are just losing their minds now about having to wear a mask,” said Deere.

“Calgary has always been the hospitality of the west. Like, how we act at Stampede, how we treat visitors, how we help people when their cars break down — we’re known in Canada as such a friendly, helpful place. And now we’re doing this to our own people? I’m absolutely disgusted and upset about it.”

He said the threat of anti-maskers causing a stir at their restaurant is adding to the stress of his staff, who are already coping with existing anxiety of serving numerous guests in the midst of a pandemic. Deere said he’s coping but is afraid members of his team might quit if things get worse.

The restaurant is considering hiring security.

Other restaurants in Calgary are facing similar issues, some of which have turned violent. Deere said his friend Jason Shukuda, who manages KABUKU Downtown, had a group of men throw objects in the restaurant after being refused service without masks.

Shukuda did not respond to request for comment.

“This anger is so misdirected at hourly retail and hourly hospitality workers. We don’t make the rules,” said Deere. “I believe you can have your opinion about hating masks and all that but taking it out on the industry that are the ones following the rules is not the way to do it. Contact city council, contact your MLA, MPs and fight the ‘battle’ properly.”

Ernie Tsu, who owns Trolley 5 Brewery on 17th Avenue S.W. and is a board member with the Alberta Hospitality Association, said restaurants across the province are seeing these type of problems.

He believes the anti-mask movement is gaining momentum in part due to “contradicting” messages coming from Alberta’s top doctor and the provincial government but adds that the majority of interactions are positive.

In schools across Alberta, students are not mandated to wear masks while sitting at their desks and schools do not need to enforce physical distancing when students are sitting in classrooms.

Meanwhile, restauranteurs are following public health guidance in asking guests to mask up unless they are seating at their table and eating.

“That’s where public distrust comes from,” said Tsu.

“But at the end of the day, the public needs to understand that restaurants and restaurant owners livelihoods depends the safety of the general public. So if you’re going to refuse to wear a mask, don’t go to a restaurant. It’s pretty simple.”

Hinshaw said previously masks can be a barrier to communication and learning, which is why there are different public mask requirements for retail stores, or restaurants, for example.

Tsu’s message to Albertans who are against wearing masks is simple: Stay home.

“If you want to have the luxury of still being able to go out and have some normalcy then understand this is coming from medical experts,” he said.

“Numbers never lie. There is no emotion in numbers. The amount of cases are going up right now and everybody has to do their part.”

alsmith@postmedia.com

Twitter: @alanna_smithh

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Pickets throughout the Lower Mainland Postponed After Janitors Reach Tentative Agreement with Bee-Clean Building Maintenance – GlobeNewswire

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The tentative agreement was reached shortly after janitors had voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking. Unionized with SEIU Local 2, janitors were set to picket at several key locations throughout the Lower Mainland, including Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Janitors have reached a tentative deal for their first collective agreement with their employer Bee-Clean Building Maintenance. The tentative agreement has been reached a little over 36 hours after janitors had voted overwhelmingly in favour of commencing strike actions during the week of November 2nd.

Janitors unionized with SEIU (Services Employees International Union) Local 2 last year in response to poor working conditions. Janitors’ major concerns included the lack of adequate sick days, ensuring that all janitors were covered by paid health and dental benefits, and winning a fair wage increase. The new tentative agreement will be presented for a ratification vote early next week.

SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Contact:
Assya Moustaqim-Barrette
assyamb@seiulocal2.ca
416-274-4903

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Media Advisory – Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to Kick off Canada's First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea – GlobeNewswire

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TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) will launch Canada’s First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, with keynote presentations from The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and Mission Co-Chair Dr. Songyee Yoon, President of NCSOFT and CEO of NCWEST.

The two-day virtual conference will feature South Korean and Canadian women leaders from business, government, and technology, and company pitch sessions by delegates to showcase women-led Canadian innovation.

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Time: 7:00 p.m. EST; 9:00 a.m. KST.

Notes: 

  • The two-day conference is open to media, and one-on-one interviews with Mission leaders and select delegates are available by request.
  • Media representatives are asked to register through this link and log on no later than 6:45 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Contacts:

Information:
A.W. Lee, Program Manager,
Diversity and Inclusive Growth Strategy for Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
a.w.lee@asiapacific.ca

Media:
Michael Roberts, Communications Manager,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
michael.roberts@asiapacific.ca

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House Oversight Committee moves to subpoena border agency over lewd social media posts – CNN

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Last year, media reports revealed the existence of secret Facebook groups with an apparent nexus to CBP that were discovered to contain vulgar and sexually explicit posts. One Facebook group, dubbed “I’m 10-15,” was exposed by the investigative reporting group ProPublica and reportedly included current and former Border Patrol agents.
The revelations sparked public backlash and prompted investigations by lawmakers, as well as a review within the administration.
House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney criticized the border agency for not providing sufficient information to the committee about the incident, more than a year after the committee launched its investigation.
“Since that time, CBP has refused to produce any documents that identify these employees or the specific abuses they engaged in, instead choosing to withhold these documents or redact them to conceal this information from the Committee,” Maloney wrote in a memo to committee members Friday.
CBP previously told CNN that four employees were removed from service following internal investigations.
“The agency investigated 138 cases of inappropriate social media activity beginning July 2019. Of those, the agency found that 63 allegations were unsubstantiated, four employees were removed from service, 38 employees were suspended without pay, and the remaining were disciplined with reprimands or counseling,” an agency spokesperson told CNN in July.
While the agency shared similar information with the House Oversight Committee, Maloney is requesting more detailed information on the personnel who engaged in misconduct. The Trump administration, according to the memo, has withheld identifying information, citing privacy concerns.
In a statement Friday to CNN, a CBP official maintained the agency has provided documents, adding that some were publicly released by the committee without the agency’s consent, and provided a number of briefings.
“CBP leadership has offered to personally brief members of this committee and, at the Committee’s request, had made available certain individuals for transcribed interviews as well, though the Committee has not yet responded to these offers,” the official said. “Since the beginning of this investigation, CBP’s primary goal has been to provide transparency while still protecting the health and safety of our personnel, given the high degree of social unrest and the potential hostile targeting of employees for the nature of their employment.”
Maloney also raised concern about reduced punishment for some employees, saying in the memo: “Moreover, based on the limited information produced to the Committee, it is evident that the Trump Administration significantly reduced the punishment of many of these employees, while at the same time shielding them from Congressional oversight.”
The House Oversight Committee will issue a subpoena to compel acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan to turn over the requested documents by November 13.
This story has been updated with a statement from a Customs and Border Protection official.

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