Powered by Bjzk!

Default utility Image

Details of Quebec public sector unions’ deal released MONTREAL – The details of an agreement between the Quebec government and a coalition of public sector unions were released Sunday. The deal, which was agreed upon Thursday, will see a base salary increase of 9.1 per cent over five years. The unions, which represent some 400,000 healthcare workers, teachers and civil servants, were hoping for a 13.5 per cent salary increase over three years while the government had countered with 7.5 per cent over five years. WATCH BELOW: Province and public sector unions reach agreement in principle A sticking point in the negotiations was the retirement age, with the province suggesting a retirement age of 61, whereas the unions were demanding 60. Lucie Martineau, spokesperson for the Secrétariat intersyndical des Services Public, said that the government warned the unions that a deal would not be possible if they were unwilling to compromise on this point. “We worked hard to minimize the impacts through negotiations,” she said in a written statement. Starting in 2019, the age of retirement without incurring financial penalties will be 61, although a small caveat will allow those with 30 years of service to retire at age 60. The agreement will be submitted to the different unions for approval in the following weeks. Workers have been without a contract since March 31, 2015, leading to months of unrest and strikes. The heads of the member unions warned that no matter the outcome, the fight against government austerity measures would continue. WATCH: Quebec public sector strikes Quebec teachers demonstrate in Montreal 02:27 Quebec teachers demonstrate in Montreal 02:08 English teachers protest in Montreal 07:01 Focus Montreal: LBPSB explains protest stance 01:57 LBPSB and EMSB strike votes

Default utility Image

IN PICTURES: Pollution in Tehran causes two-day closure of schools TEHRAN, Iran – High air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close all schools and kindergartens in the capital for two days beginning Sunday, saying the pollution had reached dangerous levels. Iranian state television said on Saturday that a government committee had ordered the schools’ closure because of the “polluted and unhealthy” weather. The government has also closed schools in the large cities of Isfahan and Arak. Air pollution blankets the skyline in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. High air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close all schools and kindergartens in the capital for two days beginning Sunday, saying the pollution had reached dangerous levels. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) Iranian women wear masks for protection against air pollution as they make their way on a street in northern Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. High air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close all schools and kindergartens in the capital for two days beginning Sunday, saying the pollution had reached dangerous levels. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) An Iranian man and woman sit on a bench at the Tochal mountainous area, in northern Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. High air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close all schools and kindergartens in the capital for two days beginning Sunday, saying the pollution had reached dangerous levels. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) An Iranian man and woman look at the view from the Tochal mountainous area, in northern Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. High air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close all schools and kindergartens in the capital for two days beginning Sunday, saying the pollution had reached dangerous levels. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) The skies over Iran’s capital, Tehran, are among the most polluted in the world, and health experts say many Iranians suffer serious health problems as a result. Iran has twice closed schools and government offices because of air pollution, most recently in 2010. Milad telecommunications tower, left, and buildings are seen, shrouded in polluted air in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. Heavy air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close government offices and declare a two-day public holiday in the capital, Tehran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Default utility Image

Wynne wants clear regulations on medical and recreational marijuana TORONTO – Ontario is looking for federal government guidance on regulating clinics that sell medical marijuana and on how pot should be sold for recreational use once it’s legalized. The federal Liberals promised in this month’s throne speech to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana” to keep it out of the hands of children while also denying criminals the financial profits. The new government plans to remove possession of small amounts of marijuana from the Criminal Code and create new laws to more severely punish those who provide it to minors or drive while under its influence. Premier Kathleen Wynne says there hasn’t been enough discussion about the distinctions between medicinal and recreational marijuana, which is one reason she suggested Ontario’s government-run liquor stores would be well-suited to retailing legalized pot. “The reason I put forward the LCBO as the possible distribution network is that I want to make it clear that I see the need for a socially responsible approach to this,” Wynne told in a year-end interview. “I think that this needs to be a controlled substance – and I don’t use that in a technical way – but there need to be controls on it, and so I will be looking to the federal government to work with us to determine what those controls need to be.” There are dozens of clinics or dispensaries springing up in cities across Canada that sell medicinal marijuana – mainly in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia – and there are referral-only clinics staffed with doctors who assess patients but don’t sell pot. They give patients a prescription to take to a licensed marijuana producer. Canada needs national standards and regulations for the marijuana clinics, said Wynne. “Not all marijuana is going to be medicinal, so we’ve got to make distinctions between a clinic that is providing medicinal marijuana and what the recreational distribution is going to be,” she said. “I just don’t think we’re there yet.” READ MORE: Ontario reconsiders new medical marijuana vaporizing exemptions Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to create a task force with representatives from the three levels of government and, with input from experts in public health, substance abuse and policing, to help design a new system of marijuana sales and distribution. Trudeau stressed the importance of listening to municipal partners, provinces and the medical marijuana industry, as well as drawing on best practices from around the world. “We are going to get this right in a way that suits Canadians broadly, and specifically in their communities.” Trudeau also said any tax revenues from legal marijuana should go towards addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs – not general revenues. “It was never about a money-maker,” he said. Wynne isn’t the only one looking for a socially responsible way to retail marijuana. READ MORE: Medical marijuana risks may outweigh benefits for children: Canadian pediatricians The British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union and the B.C. Private Liquor Store Association joined forces to call for legal marijuana to be sold through their existing retail system, which includes about 200 private and 200 government-run stores. BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said the union did not take a position on whether it supports the plan to legalize marijuana, “but we do believe that when this happens, it ought to be sold in the most socially responsible way possible, in an age-controlled environment with the strongest track record of checking identification.” Expectations are changing fast in Ontario, which only last week updated its liquor laws to allow the sale of six-packs of beer in selected grocery stores. Minutes after Wynne made the announcement, she was asked why grocers couldn’t also sell pot. “I don’t know what the federal government is going to bring forward, but we will work with them to make sure there are parameters of social responsibility around marijuana.” Ontario had to back off plans to ban the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping everywhere that smoking tobacco is prohibited, which it planned to implement Jan. 1, after medical marijuana users noted they would be exempted from the regulation. “We know that we’re going need to bring in regulation and possibly legislation to make sure that all the rules that apply to smoking cigarettes, tobacco, will apply to smoking marijuana, whether it’s medicinal or otherwise,” said Wynne.

Default utility Image

Justin Bieber poses for selfie with ‘Fashion Santa’ in Toronto TORONTO – Some star power has graced a Toronto shopping mall. Yorkdale Shopping Centre has tweeted a photo of Justin Bieber posing for a selfie with the mall’s “Fashion Santa”, a model who goes by Paul Mason from January to November. It’s true! Celebs shop at #Yorkdale! Can you #beliebe it?! @justinbieber + #YorkdaleFashionSanta 😍🎅 #YorkdaleCheer pic.twitter长沙桑拿/Hifmq0Dvew — Yorkdale Style (@YorkdaleStyle) December 20, 2015 Yorkdale wrote on 桑拿会所 that the Canadian pop star Bieber was shopping at the mall when he posed with Mason. WATCH: Justin Bieber performs at Danforth Music Hall The images were posted Saturday but it was not clear when they were taken. READ MORE: Toronto councillor Norm Kelly tops Bieber, named ‘Canada’s Most Valuable Tweeter’ Before capturing the Canadian pop star’s attention, Mason made international headlines for starring in the mall’s Christmas ad campaign. He’s also been posing for selfies with mall-goers like Bieber in support of Sick Kids Foundation, which raises funds on behalf of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Red & white never looked so good! #YorkdaleFashionSanta will be here on December 18,19,20 and 23! #YorkdaleCheer pic.twitter长沙桑拿/7mJwTOMtBM — Yorkdale Style (@YorkdaleStyle) December 17, 2015 For every selfie taken and posted on social media and accompanied by the hashtag “YorkdaleFashionSanta,” the mall will donate $1 to Sick Kids Foundation, up to $10,000.

Default utility Image

Polluted US nuclear weapons site to become tourist destination SPOKANE, Wash. – The most polluted nuclear weapons production site in the United States is now its newest national park. Thousands of people are expected next year to tour the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, home of the world’s first full-sized nuclear reactor, near Richland, about 200 miles east of Seattle in south-central Washington. They won’t be allowed anywhere near the nation’s largest collection of toxic radioactive waste. “Everything is clean and perfectly safe,” said Colleen French, the U.S. Department of Energy’s program manager for the Hanford park. “Any radioactive materials are miles away.” The Manhattan Project National Historic Park, signed into existence in November, also includes sites at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project is the name for the U.S. effort to build an atomic bomb during World War II. At Hanford, the main attractions will be B Reactor – the world’s first full-sized reactor – along with the ghost towns of Hanford and White Bluffs, which were evacuated by the government to make room for the Manhattan Project. The B Reactor was built in about one year and produced plutonium for the Trinity test blast in New Mexico and for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, that led to the surrender of the Japanese. Starting in 1943, more than 50,000 people from across the United States arrived at the top-secret Hanford site to perform work whose purpose few knew, French said. The 300 residents of Richland were evicted and that town became a bedroom community for the adjacent Hanford site, skyrocketing in population. Workers laboured around the clock to build reactors and processing plants to make plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons. The park will tell the story of those workers, plus the scientists who performed groundbreaking research and the residents who were displaced, said Chip Jenkins of the National Park Service, which is jointly developing the park with the Energy Department. “The intention of the park is to tell the full and complex and convoluted story,” Jenkins said. That story is still being developed, but will certainly include a Japanese perspective, he said. “What happened at B Reactor changed the course of human history,” Jenkins said. “They went from sparsely populated ranching communities to the first packet of plutonium over the course of 18 months.” Eventually, nine reactors were built at Hanford and operated during the Cold War to make plutonium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That work created more than 56 million gallons of radioactive waste that the government still spends more than $1 billion a year to maintain and clean up. While details of the new national park are still being worked out, French said, the Energy Department will continue its tours of the B Reactor and the old town sites that began in 2009 and fill up with some 10,000 visitors a year. The plan is to greatly expand the number of tourists and school groups who visit the site, she said. Tours will occur from April to October, French said. Exhibits at the B Reactor include the exposed face of the reactor and the control room, where many visitors like to sit and be photographed at control panels, she said. The Hanford story is far from over. Jenkins noted that thousands of scientists and other workers remain active on the Hanford site, inventing and implementing new techniques to clean up the massive volume of nuclear waste.

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan arrives in Iraq, meets with security officials

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan arrived in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s...

Default utility Image Tips to help you avoid the Christmas blues

EDMONTON- The holidays can be a stressful time of year for...

Default utility Image Indian protesters demand that minor convicted in fatal gang rape be held after serving term

NEW DELHI – The man was short of his 18th birthday when...

Default utility Image Youth accused in Edmonton Mac’s murders cries in court

EDMONTON – The three people facing charges in Friday’s murders at two...

Default utility Image Edward Snowden to appear via video link at New Hampshire convention of libertarians

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Edward Snowden will appear via video link...

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan arrives in Iraq, meets with security officials

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan arrived in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s...

Default utility Image Tips to help you avoid the Christmas blues

EDMONTON- The holidays can be a stressful time of year for...

Default utility Image Indian protesters demand that minor convicted in fatal gang rape be held after serving term

NEW DELHI – The man was short of his 18th birthday when...

Default utility Image Youth accused in Edmonton Mac’s murders cries in court

EDMONTON – The three people facing charges in Friday’s murders at two...

Default utility Image Edward Snowden to appear via video link at New Hampshire convention of libertarians

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Edward Snowden will appear via video link...

Tag Cloud