Here are my picks for national news, written for Take 5’s morning newscast on 7 April 2009.
Will unionization turn RCMP officers into a bunch of Bolsheviks?
Yesterday an Ontario Superior Court awarded the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force the right to form a union.
The court ruled the section of the RCMP Act that prevents unionization is unconstitutional.
The Federal Government has 18 months to prepare before the landmark decision affecting 22,000 officers, takes effect.
RCMP commissioners aren’t happy with the threat of unions, which they have often warned would expose Canada to everything from rampant socialism to politicized police.
But supporters say besides bringing more money and benefits a union could also provide sweeping cultural change in the RCMP, for example by providing protection for whistle-blowers.
Vancouver’s Village fights back against gay bashing
On Sunday, activists clad in rainbow shirts marched through Vancouver’s Davie Village, the centre of Vancouver’s gay, lesbian and trans-gender community, to protest against ongoing violent attacks on gay men in the area.
According to the Georgia Straight, last month a 62-year-old gay man was punched at the Fountainhead Pub, he suffered brain damage and is still in hospital. While in September, 27-year-old Jordan Smith was punched unconscious, dislodging his jaw. His Crime? Walking hand-in-hand with another man along Davie Street.
NDP politicians, are urging the attorney general to prosecute these attacks as hate crimes – so far only one out of the five attacks has gone forward as a hate crime.
A follow-up rally is being planned on April 13 at Vancouver’s City Hall.
B.C.’s highest court is green-lighting Adbusters Media Foundation’s case against CBC and Global TV
The decision in a 15-year legal battle came Friday. It overturns a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that tossed out the foundation’s case against Global. The new decision allows the case to proceed against Global and to add the CBC as a defendant.
Adbusters is claiming CBC and Global violated its right to freedom of expression by refusing to air some or all of the ten anti-consumerist broadcast ads it prepared. The ads were removed or not aired after other advertisers complained.|
Adbusters is arguing that the Broadcasting system is public – and that private operators, who are licensed by Parliament – should not get to censor public airwaves.
Mayor Miller takes Toronto taxpayers to the movies
City Council is buying 20 percent of Toronto’s Filmport.
Yesterday City Council voted 31 to 7 for a restructuring deal to bolster the private studio which suffered from the television writer’s strike last year.
No Diving Allowed. Breast Feeding Encouraged.
That’s the policy line officials were forced to adopt after a Calgary woman threatened to hold a nurse-in in one Calgary pool.
Gemma Kelsall was given a hard time for breastfeeding poolside by some public lifeguards.
Now she’s being inundated with hate emails and messages. The single mother of one is breast-feeding her 21-month old daughter. She claims she’s being called a pedophile and that people are threatening to perform obscene acts on her.
But Kelsall is the real winner – the City of Calgary has even posted a video on its website explaining its breastfeeding policy saying – “The City encourages mothers to breastfeed in all of its recreation facilities,” and it’s posting breast-feeding friendly logos at all of its pools.
More job losses and economic woe in store for Canada
That’s according to the latest announcement from the Conference Board of Canada. Yesterday it predicted 340,000 Canadians will lose their jobs this year – with Alberta and Ontario being hit hardest because of their large manufacturing and construction sectors.
The Board also said the Canadian GDP will decrease by 1.7 percent this year. And Canadians should brace for more more pain in 2010, when the Conference Board predicts job losses will peak.
Give us a cut
That’s the demand being made by Treaty One First Nations groups in Manitoba these days.
The First Nations are demanding a stake in three major oil, power and development projects Manitoba – and their demands are stopping work.
The latest claim is being made over an $800 million dollar wind farm that they say will be built on traditional land.
The actual turbines will be located on privately-owned land about ten kilometres away from the Roseau River reservation, but Aboriginal leader, Terry Nelson says seven First Nations consider this land their traditional terriotory.
Private developer, Babcock and Brown, say they’re willing to consult with First Nations on job deals but won’t fork over a slice of the revenue.
Nelson says if they’re unwilling to reach an agreement they’ll take the developers to court.
The move is part of a more aggressive strategy by Mantioban First Nations to force Ottawa to deal with thousands of acres of outstanding land claims.
Canadian teens are squeaky clean
A sweeping new survey of Canadian teens should dispel some parents worries. The Project Teen Canada survey reports teens are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs than they were eight years ago.
Teens are having about as much sex as Canadian seniors. 56% of teens have never had sex, up from 51% in 2000.
5,500 teens from across Canada were surveyed – and they seem to think they can have it all. Most say they’ll get stable, fulfilling jobs and earn more money than their parents. Ninety-one percent predict they’ll get married and it will last, and most want large families.
University of Lethbridge sociologist Professor Bibby published the findings in an upcoming book called, The Emerging Millenials. Bibby says teens expectations are“nothing short of naïve,” and advises them to have a chat with their parents about having it all.
Epic coffee cup battle could be painfully prolonged
The City of Toronto could push back its already extended deadline to decide how to deal with the one million coffee cups city residents throw out everyday.
Last year the City backed down from its move to ban or tax coffee cups because of industry pressure.
It’s been seeking ways to recycle the cups but that could cost millions because current facilities need to be upgraded to deal with the cups plastic coating.
Consultants reports on the issue – which have already cost the city $50,000 – were presented in a closed meeting yesterday. Afterwards, Geoff Rathbone, the city’s general manager of solid waste, said the deadline for resolving the issue may have to be pushed back again as no easy solution was forthcoming.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Ontario e-waste recycling program