Take 5 News: Voice for missing Aboriginal women under threat; Toronto tap water now with extra bacteria; Jarvis now Ted Rogers Way; Tory Senator ties to Quebec funding scandal; All-day kindergarten costs another $400 million in Ontario

apple_pickingDon’t turn out the light on missing women
Federal Liberal critic for women’s issues, Anita Neville, is calling on the Conservative government to guarantee a renewal of the five-year mandate for Sisters in Spirit.

The national organization has become the main voice for the epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

Neville’s call comes after a funding crisis threatens to kill the $5 million dollar program.

530 native women have vanished across Canada in the past 25 years.

Neville, also repeated her standing call for a federal inquiry into why a disproportionate number of Aboriginal women go missing.

Ted Rogers has his Way
And it will run on Jarvis Street between Charles and Bloor Streets.
Toronto City Council is renaming that section of Jarvis to remember the late communications mogul and head of Rogers Communications.
Rogers died last December at the age of 75.

I’d like a glass of tap water with extra bacteria please
University of Michigan researchers are finding bacteria in Toronto tap water that is resistant to some antibiotics.\
While researchers stress the water is safe to drink – the drug-resistant bacteria has scientists worried about genetic pollution.

They think human forms of bacteria or viruses could copy the drug resistant genes of their water-borne neighbours, making it even tougher to treat infections.

Researchers don’t know the exact type or source of this resistant strain.

$400 million dollars more
That’s one of the changes Premier Dalton McGunity will announce this morning to the government’s full-day kindergarten plan for all four and five year olds in Ontario.

The government now wants teachers to be in charge all-day – instead of the original proposal to have teachers in the morning and early childhood educators in the afternoon – costing Ontario $400 million dollars more than forecasted.

To help offset the cost, class sizes will get bigger from 20 to 26 children and the phase-in will take five years.  Next year only 15 percent of Ontario children will get spaces in the all-day program.

Yesterday Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said the premier should rethink all-day kindergarten given the growing deficit.

Food Rich, Cash Poor
For the last two years the Daily Bread FoodBank has fallen far short of its fall fundraising goal of half a million dollars.

Now Executive Director Gail Nyberg says she might have to revise the goal down to $350,000 dollars.  Everyone likes a winner she says.

But the Food Bank is a champion when it comes to food donations – this fall the public donated 633,000 pounds of food, spilling over its 500,000 pound goal.

Nyberg says people are more likely to give food over money in failing economies because they know that can of soup is going to someone in need.

But Daily Bread needs cash to buy items it doesn’t get like dairy, meat and vegetables – and necessities like baby formula.

The number of families with at least one working adult using the food bank has more than doubled since 1995 — indicating working families are having trouble making ends meet.

World’s scientists are sleeping through tar sands pollution
A new report by Global Forest Watch Canada is calling for urgent attention by the World’s Scientific Community to the problem of contaminants leaking from Alberta’s tar sands.

Dr. Kevin Timoney and Peter Lee’s new study titled “Does the Alberta Tar Sands Industry Pollute?” finds some contaminant levels are threatening the ecosystem and human health.

But it says industry churns out so much money that no one in a position of authority wants to look closely at the problem.  To date there are no comprehensive, peer-reviewed assessments of the cumulative impacts of tar sands development,” say the researchers claiming “serious problems of scientific leadership.

They say the problem demands immediate scientific attention – especially in light of plans to triple tar sands activities over the next decade.  The full report is available on This Magazine’s website.

A Tory Senator is the latest to be tainted by Montreal’s corruption scandal
New reports reveal top Conservative organizer and senator Leo Housakos worked with recently disgraced Montreal politician Benoit Labonte from August 2008 to last February.

Mr. Labonte is at the centre of the corruption scandal rocking Montreal’s Race for Mayor.

After Labonte’s relationship with construction kingpin Tony Accurso – who made a $100,000 dollar donation to Labonte’s campaign – came to light, Labonte resigned.  Then the former opposition leader told all – describing an elaborate kickback scheme to finance Montreal’s political parties.

Now Senator Housakos has been linked to Labonte and Accurso while working with the Vision Montreal party.
There is no evidence the Senator knew of any wrongdoing, but the Senate Ethics Officer is investigating whether Mr. Housakos breached any articles of the Senate Conflict of Interest Code.

Also check out:

The Tyee’s in-depth report on how provincial politicians are steamrolling over local protocol to create a jumbo ski resort in a government-run town

AND why people staying in low-cost housing or boarding houses aren’t much better off than the homeless

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