Toronto imposes temporary moratorium on sports programs to protect staff

Health department confirms contractions are affecting employment practices at several facilities

The City of Toronto has suspended some recreational programs due to a shortage of staff, resulting in the potential for the absences of about 1,800 members of the public, the Health Department said on Friday.

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The health department confirmed that contractions were affecting employment practices at several facilities. It did not provide details on the types of services affected.

“The Toronto Public Health required the City to provide staff for the rollout of the city’s new operating model for recreation. Until staff are hired, some programs are temporarily suspended,” a city spokesman said in an email.

The statement said the City of Toronto was “working closely with regional and community partners to minimize the negative impacts on the community.”

On Friday, Toronto city council voted unanimously in favour of the new operating model.

Teachers, police officers and other public employees in most cities in Ontario had been forced to take mandatory one-day unpaid furloughs as of 1 October to offset the funding loss due to the legalization of recreational cannabis, which took effect on 1 October.

Thousands of high school students in Ontario and British Columbia have been experiencing backlogs for health exams, delaying their tests, which are required for graduation.

Under Ontario’s new system, school boards can contract out for an extra 90 days of support, such as clerical workers and senior education staff, or to bring in more teachers. The province announced several months ago that schools would be closed on Fridays as a result of the extended period of help.

More than 850,000 Grade 12 students throughout Ontario, about half of the province’s total, were affected by the bill.

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