Canada

Canada NOTES

June 16 1997
Canada

Canada NOTES

June 16 1997

Canada NOTES

SALMON STAKES

Canadian and American negotiators are expected to meet this week to try to restart stalled talks on West Coast salmon quotas. On May 26, U.S. negotiators cancelled a planned resumption of talks after Canada seized four U.S. fishing boats. Last week, British Columbia threatened to cancel a wide range of deals with the United States to force negotiators back to the table.

UPROAR OVER A MINOR

Manitoba will go to the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal a reduced sentence granted to Dean James Bauder, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl (the relationship lasted for three years). Bauder was originally sentenced to nine months in jail. But the Manitoba Court of Appeal reduced that to nine months of community service-and Justice Kerr Twaddle, who wrote the decision, created a public uproar by saying that the relationship had been consensual and that the girl was “apparently more sophisticated than many her age.”

DEADLY BLAZE

Toronto police are treating as suspicious a fatal fire at one of Canada’s biggest hospitals. About 40 emergency vehicles converged on the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to find the hospital’s chronic care unit choked with smoke. John Davis, 74, a nonsmoker, died after his mattress burst into flames. Three other people were critically injured.

BLOOD TRIAL ENDS

A 101-day civil trial involving tainted blood ended with Justice Stephen Borins of the Ontario Court’s General Division pledging to have a ruling by September. At the core of the trial is whether the Canadian Red Cross Society was negligent in screening blood for the AIDS virus that, in 1993, killed Alma Walker and Ronald Osborne. The case also involves a youth who was infected as a three-year-old through a blood transfusion.

SUSPECT TO BE DEPORTED

An immigration department official said Hani Abdel Rahim AI Sayegh will be deported. The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service claims Sayegh was involved in a June, 1996, bombing in Dharhan, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 U.S. airmen and injured 300 others.

DEATH OF A MOBSTER: About 200 mourners attended last week's funeral in Hamilton, for notorious crime boss Johnny (Pops) Papalia (inset). On May 31, Papalia, 73, was shot in the head by an unidentified white male in the parking lot of his Hamilton vending machine business. In 1961, Papalia was sentenced to 18 months for the beating of aToronto bookmaker. He was later extradited to the United States and sentenced to 10 years for his part in a heroin-smuggling conspiracy that became the subject of the 1971 movie The French Connection.The Roman Catholic diocese in Hamilton refused to grant Papalia a funeral mass because of his "involvement with criminal activity?'

Ontario gets tough on labor

Ontario Labor Minister Elizabeth Witmer introduced controversial new labor legislation last week, saying the measures will ease the way for the province’s massive cost-cutting amalgamation of hospitals, municipalities and school boards. Outraged union leaders claim they effectively rob public-sector workers of their right to strike. Among other things, the legislation calls for the creation of a dispute resolution commission, a government agency with binding powers of arbitration. In addition, the bills stipulate that any decision to go to arbitration must be made at the beginning of negotiations—and once made, bars workers from striking and employers from is-

suing a lockout order. Angry labor leaders claimed that virtually all employers will now seek arbitration to avoid walkouts during the amalgamation process—and they raised the possibility of a provincewide strike. “It is akin to taking away the right to vote,” said Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. ‘Tin-pot dictators around the world engage in this kind of activity.” But Witmer insisted in the legislature that the legislation “will ensure that, as publicsector organizations restructure, employees are treated fairly, service disruption is minimized and labor relations are resolved in a timely manner.”

Trying to resolve the Churchill Falls impasse

Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard and Newfoundland’s Brian Tobin revealed that negotiators have been involved in secret talks aimed at resolving the impasse over the Churchill Falls hydroelectric agreement. The deal, signed in 1969 and valid until 2041, was skewed in Quebec’s favor when the 1970s oil crisis and high inflation increased the value of electricity—which Quebec buys from Newfoundland at a fixed price and sells to the United States for a profit. Now, the premiers are considering further joint development in Labrador, but Newfoundland wants compensation for lost revenue. The two premiers expect recommendations on a deal in September.