News

Funeral held for Canadian war hero

Photo: Junobeach.org

Ernest Côté, a World War Two veteran who helped plan the Normandy landing, has died at age 101.

According to his family, Côté died from natural causes on the evening of Feb. 25.

The celebrated veteran received France’s Legion of Honour in 2004 for his service. After his retirement from the army Côté focused his time in the federal government as a diplomat, and eventually became a senior official. He also was involved in the first meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, where he assisted in drafting the World Health Organization charter.

Côté made national news when he was a victim of a home invasion in December. He was robbed and left with a plastic bag tied around his head. Côté freed himself and called the police. His alleged attacker, Ian Bush, was arrested and charged for the incident, and was more recently charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

Members of Parliament took a moment to honour Côté with a standing ovation in the House of Commons after hearing the news.

His funeral was held on March 7 at Notre-Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. Côté’s family is asking for donations to be made in his name to the Montfort Hospital.

—Jessica Eritou

Student launches government transparency campaign

A not-for-profit organization created by University of Ottawa students recently launched its website and first campaign.

Matters, founded by third-year public administration student Olivia Dorey, announced its launch on March 3. The campaign, called “Why it Matters,” advocates for clear and accessible budgetary information for citizens.

This year, the campaign aims to build a website with “personalized accounts” to simplify financial legislature. Regional teams of students across Canada are being formed to help spread awareness.

Dorey said her experience as a page being unable to completely understand financial legislation in the House of Commons inspired the idea. “I expected to find numbers, but didn’t see any until the budget came out,” she said, adding that it seemed like very few people outside of government would be able to comprehend the document. The website will allow Canadians to give feedback on different policies.

Currently 90 per cent of the team is U of O students, with mentors and supporters in the form of professors and MPs. One of Matters’ main goals is to network to find additional support networks.

—Lindsay MacMillan

Jim Watson fractures pelvis in snowmobile accident

A snowmobiling event on Feb. 28 resulted in a fractured pelvis for Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Watson was taken to the Queensway-Carleton Hospital where he received treatment. A letter from Watson’s chief of staff Serge Arpin said his recovery is expected to take between four to six weeks.

There has been no need to appoint an acting mayor, Arpin told CTV News, because the mayor has been in constant communication with his office and other members of council. However, Watson will have to miss a few community events in the coming weeks.

Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury said he, Watson, and Councillor Michael Qaqish were being shown how to use the snowmobiles by Osgoode Councillor George Darouze. Fleury administered first aid to Watson following the accident.

The snowmobile club denied claims that the accident was a result of any wrongdoing or recklessness.

“It was a very slow-moving accident and people were actually surprised there was any kind of injury,” said Ryan Downing, a member of the club’s executive, on the CBC program Our Ottawa. Downing also said Watson apologized to Darouze for the negative attention.

—Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi