Gay seniors go back in closet; B.C. goes to the polls; Do Not Call List a crock – National Headlines

eat my doucheMy national stories broadcast on Take 5, CIUT 89.5 FM this morning:

Who will lead B.C. through the Vancouver Olympics? We’ll find out today
It’s a tight race with a poll showing there a lot of undecided votes – making it difficult for pundits to predict whether Gordon Campbell’s Liberal party will be returned for a third term or if the NDP led by Carole James will usurp them.

The Liberals have been campaigning on one thing – the economy – saying their eight year record speaks for itself.

But the NDP is questioning the Liberal’s record saying Campbell has not raised the minimum wage, improved child poverty or life for seniors.

The province’s citizens will also vote on whether to change their electoral system to the Single Transferable Vote System – a form of proportional representation.  It will require sixty percent approval to pass – in the last provincial election in 2005 it came close with 58 percent.

Gay and lesbian elders living in seniors homes often suffer from isolation and due to a more conservative and religious culture, some go back in the closet when they move into senior residences.

But in Quebec a new education program is trying to stop that.

The province has pledged half a million dollars over three years to educate the general public, seniors organizations, health and social services agencies on issues facing queer elders.

McGill University Professor Bill Ryan, who conducted the first national study on issues related to queer seniors, is calling the initiative a world first.

The Ministry asked a number of seniors’ residences contacted to host the announcement for the new fund, but not one agreed.  Ryan says this signals why these funds are needed.

When the Quebec Lesbian Network approached 120 senior residences asking to show a documentary that talks about the lives of six elder lesbians – only two allowed them to screen it, according to Xtra.

A 14-year old boy is dead after being gunned down in a Toronto’s West End
Adrian Johnson died wearing his Runnymede Collegiate Institute sweater after he was shot in a field behind some homes around St. Clair Avenue West and Scarlett Road last night.

It is the fourth fatal shooting in Toronto Police’s 12 Division in the last three weeks.  Residents say it’s a drug war. There are also suggestions that Sunday’s shootings in Etobicoke, that injured six people – might be linked to these murders.

Whatever you do DO NOT put your name on the DO NOT Call List
Unless you want telemarketers to get their hands on it.  The list is readily available for downloading and it’s been sold to overseas firms looking to make sales in Canada, according to University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist.

Access to Information documents reveal the CRTC is getting about 20,000 complaints every month from some of the six million Canadians registered on the list, but it has yet to charge a single telemarketer.

Geist has created a website for getting off the list – iopout.ca.

Quebec gets iron-fisted over carbon
The provincial government is tabling a bill today that could make Quebec the first in North America to have a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions.

Cap and Trade gives companies permits to emit certain amounts of carbon – companies that are under their caps can sell their unused quotas to companies that go over.

Environment Minister Line Beauchamp says the province’s existing carbon tax on fossil fuels, which nets it about $200 million a year, isn’t enough – she says new system will let Quebec work globally.

President Obama has expressed interest in the EU’s cap and trade system but hasn’t made any decisions yet.  If it’s passed, the Quebec system could take effect as early as 2012.

Together at last
Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber will be in the same room for the first time in nine years this morning as Mulroney is set to testify at the government’s Oilphant inquiry into their business dealings.

But a new poll shows many Ontarians don’t want to hear it.

A national Nanos poll finds Canadians are divided over the necessity of the $14 million inquiry with Ontarians most likely to believe the whole thing is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

But Toronto Star columnist James Travers is urging Canadians to pay attention –  saying the trial makes two important points – it reminds politicians they can be held publicly accountable – and it raises new questions over Mulroney’s involvement in the Airbus scandal, for which the Prime Minister had sued the RCMP and won a settlement in 1997.

Mulroney will get a chance to warm up this morning by answering questions from his own lawyer – before being pressed by the commission counsel and Mr. Schreiber’s lawyer.

Backing out of the Condo Bust could cost you –
A real-estate developer in Edmonton is suing 24 would-be buyers for a total of $1.9-million dollars after they backed out of a city condominium development.

The condo’s values have plummeted from $400,000 at the housing bubble’s peak two years ago to about $350,000 today.

Now the developer, Urbia Homes, is suing each defunct buyer for about $75,000.

Edmonton lawyers are saying these types of cases are crossing their desks with increasing frequency.

Don’t steal this movie –
Police are cracking down on stores selling pirated DVDs.  Yesterday the RCMP arrested five men working at stores in Pacific Mall in Markham after a six month investigation.

The RCMP seized 49,000 pirated DVDs, including films still in the theatre, 100,000 blank DVDs and 217 DVD burners.

Five Brampton men will appear in a Newmarket Court on May 26th on charges under the Copyright Act.
If convicted they could pay up to one million dollars in fines or do jail time.

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