CANADA

Canada NOTES

July 25 1994
CANADA

Canada NOTES

July 25 1994

Canada NOTES

PRISONERS OF THE ARCTIC?

A report issued by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples sharply criticized Ottawa’s relocation of about 90 Inuit from northern Quebec to remote High Arctic islands in the 1950s. Commission co-chairman Georges Erasmus said the Inuit became “virtual prisoners in the Arctic.” The commission urged Ottawa to apologize to the Inuit and to provide financial compensation.

STEPPING DOWN

Laurence Decore, a former Edmonton mayor who once seemed destined to become premier of Alberta, announced his resignation as leader of the Alberta Liberal party. Decore’s Liberals suffered a disappointing defeat in last year’s provincial election after Alberta’s long-reigning Conservative party enjoyed renewed popularity under a new leader, Ralph Klein. Since the election, Decore has faced caucus dissension over his inability to mount an effective opposition to the Klein government’s far-reaching spending cuts.

UNSAFE BLOOD

The Krever inquiry into Canada’s blood supply heard that the New Brunswick Red Cross knowingly distributed unsafe blood products in 1985, because officials insisted on following national guidelines. The provincial Red Cross centre in Saint John sent four vials of blood products possibly infected with the AIDS virus to a local hospital for use by hemophiliacs. The guidelines called on local centres to replace all untreated blood products with safe, heattreated product on July 1, 1985. But the New Brunswick centre sent out the unsafe blood the previous day, even though it had safe blood on hand.

ON APPEAL

Military prosecutors sought tougher sentences for two Canadian paratroopers involved in the March, 1993, beating death of a Somali teenager. The defence department filed appeals in the cases of Maj. Anthony Seward, who was convicted of negligent performance of duty but acquitted on the more serious charge of unlawfully causing bodily harm, and Re. Mark Boland, who was sentenced to 90 days in prison after pleading guilty to negligent performance of duty.

THREATENED JOBS

A provincial land-use commission urged the B.C. government to create 21 new protected areas and to scale back logging in the province’s interior Cariboo-Chilcotin region. If accepted, the plan could mean the loss of almost 900 forestry jobs.