McGuinty: civil servants will not go unscathed in recent wage freeze campaign
WATERLOO—ONTARIO PREMIER DALTON McGuinty issued some unwanted words to Ontario’s civil servants this past Friday, Aug. 31. As part of an effort to curb the province’s $15 billion deficit, McGuinty promised more wage freezes to come.
The Government of Ontario is in discussions with the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario, which represents 12,000 employees from a variety of fields.
Come November, talks will begin with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which oversees 38,000 workers throughout the province.
Union leaders claim it is not about money for them, but rather what they see as a clear violation of bargaining rights. Union leaders are prepared to take their fight to the Supreme Court of Canada if need be.
Man charged with killing sled dogs pleads guilty
NORTH VANCOUVER—DOZENS OF ANIMAL rights advocates rallied outside the North Vancouver Provincial Court on Thursday, Aug. 30 as Robert Fawcett pled guilty to a single count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Fawcett was charged in 2011 in connection with the death of 56 dogs near Whistler, B.C.
The Bristish Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched an investigation in January 2011 to determine whether the dogs had suffered when they were put to death, after Fawcett filed a worker’s compensation claim to post-traumatic stress disorder, stating he had suffered emotional fallout from the slaughter.
Fawcett claimed the extermination had been ordered by his employer, Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc., following a lull in tourist demand for sled dogs after the 2010 Winter Olympics, a statement his employers denied.
Sentencing has been postponed until Nov. 22, while Fawcett receives a psychological assessment requested by the Crown.
—Spencer Van Dyk
Debate surrounding India’s ban on tiger tourism
NEW DELHI—A FIERCE DEBATE has erupted in India thanks to Ajay Dubey, a self-described tiger-rights champion, who petitioned India’s Supreme Court in July to impose a ban on tiger tourism.
Tiger tourism refers to the business of taking tourists and Indian citizens to national reserves to see tigers, India’s national animal.
Animal rights activists argue that the ban is crucial to preserving the livelihood of the animal, as tourists often harass the tigers, and reserves seldom abide by wildlife preservation laws. Alternately, upwards of a million people who work in tiger-related tourism have been negatively affected by the ban, as bookings diminish and the money runs out.
The ban remains in place while an investigation occurs on how best to reform tourism guidelines.
—Spencer Van Dyk
Dalhousie grad student creating LGBT friendly retirement home
VANCOUVER—ALEX SANGHA, A graduate student at Dalhousie University, is looking into the possibility of building a retirement home for elderly gay and lesbian people in his hometown of Vancouver. Sangha is trying to raise $25,000 in order to develop a feasibility study for the project. One of the main reasons this project was started was that many elderly gay and lesbian people face discrimination in retirement homes.
This would be the first retirement home of its kind to spring up in B.C. The only other one in Canada is located in Montreal, with a few others in various cities across the U.S.
—Luna Al Kinani