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Showing posts from February, 2017

Windsor school board cancels trips to the United States

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The Greater Essex County District School Board in Windsor, Ontario, Canada has decided to cancel all student trips to the United States for the rest of February.
The board expressed uncertainty over whether all students would be allowed to cross the border. Board officials said that Trump's ban on travellers from seven nations meant that the board could not guarantee that every student could be able to go with the group. Board spokespersonScott Scantlebury said: "Our priority is the safety and well being of students. Having to, for whatever reason, have a student travelling on a field trip be barred from entry or be left behind ... we're not going to proceed if that is the possibility."Scantlebury noted that the decision is not permanent policy but will be reconsidered after Trump's orders are resolved in US courts. Scantlebury also said: “Where one person doesn’t go, nobody goes … we want to make sure nobody is excluded." Windsor has multicultural schools wi…

Liberal billl that would reduce pension benefits frozen for now.

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Bill C-27 An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 was introduced into the Canadian House of Commons on October 19th last year.
The bill was introduced without any notice or consultation with pensioners or unions. It contains measures that directly contradict election promises made by the Liberals. As a Digital Journal articlelast November noted: "The Liberal government's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, tabled a bill this week that would allow Crown corporations and federal private-sector employers to back out of defined-benefit entitlements they agree to." The Liberals in their election campaign vowed that they would improve retirement security for Canadians. They do this by replacing a defined benefits plan(DBP) that ensures that a certain benefit be paid.Wikipedia says of a DPB: A defined benefit pension plan is a type of pension plan in which an employer/sponsor promises a specified pension payment, lump-sum (or combination thereof) on retirement th…

Refugee claimants face dangerously cold conditions crossing Manitoba border

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(February 7) Over last weekend almost two dozen refugees walked over the border from the U.S. into Canada. Officials in the municipality of Emerson-Franklin directly south of Winnipeg worry about dealing with the rising numbers as they seem to be increasing.
 1 of 3 Doug Johnston a councilor for the municipality said:"This is right off the scale for us." The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed that 22 people had crossed the border from Noyes, Minnesota into the Emerson area in Manitoba Canada. Johnston said that this is more than he has ever seen within such a short period. Rita Chahai, director of the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council said that last week another 10 refugee claimant files had been opened.Chahai said: "What we notice when they are in our office is that they are just extremely grateful and happy they have a chance at a fair hearing.To us, that's what is really important; that they are out of harm's way."
Most of the refugees …

Trudeau refuses to keep promise on electoral reform

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During the last federal election campaign Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised reform of the federal election system. Trudeau wrote in a letter to Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions, that electoral reform would not be in her mandate.
In his letter to Gould, Trudeausaid: ​"There has been tremendous work by the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, outreach by Members of Parliament by all parties, and engagement of 360,000 individuals in Canada through mydemocracy.ca, A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged. Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada's interest. Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate."The former minister Maryam Monsef was able to avoid being involved in the issue as she was replaced by Gould last month. Gould defended the government position saying:Our view has always been clear. Major reforms to the elect…

Winnipeg doctor maintains he was fired from his job for criticizing Israel

Dr. Hussam Azzam, claims he was fired as chief medical officer for St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg for his criticism of the Israeli government.
 1 of 3 A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that Azzam had left the hospital but said that it was hospital policy not to comment about personnel matters. Azzam took on the role of chief medical officer and executive director of the clinical programs in November of 2016. His name has been removed from the staff directory. In recent posts on social media, Azzam clained that he was let go for criticizing actions of the Israeli government against Palestinians. In a tweet Azzam said: Shocked & stressed for losing my job just because of who I am, what I represent & exercising my #FreedomOfSpeech in Canada, in 2017 @CJPME Bernie Beltan, who edits and published the Jewish Post and News, said he received a short message from Azzam on Linkedin in which the doctor told him he is not an anti-Semite. Beltan said: He sent me a very nice mess…

Canadian PM Trudeau says he is will to renegotiate NAFTA with Trump

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that he had a brief but good phone call with president-elect Donald Trump. Trudeau said that Trump "expressed warmth" towards Canada.
Trudeau said he congratulated Trump on his becoming president and expressed his willingness to discuss NAFTA with the Trump administration. Trudeau also extended an invitation to visit Canada.Trudeau said of the phone call: "It was a strong beginning to what will be a constructive relationship". During his election campaign, Trump had stressed that he would renegotiate trade agreements to get a better deal for Americans. He has already signed an executive order withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Obama had favored but was unable to have ratified in Congress. Trump also criticized NAFTA as a bad deal for America that needed to be renegotiated or dropped altogether. When reporters asked Trudeau what he hoped to gain by agreeing to reopen NAFTA before Trump had even asked to …