July 9 2001



July 9 2001



Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day warned party dissidents they face expulsion if they try to form their own party. So far, 11 Alliance MPs, whom Day called the “wrecking crew,” have left the caucus. But even as he issued the ultimatum, Day was questioned about the accuracy of the résume submitted by his new chief of staff, Jim MacEachern, who claimed to be a senior campaign adviser to Ontario Premier Mike Harris in 1999 and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell in last months election. Spokesmen for both premiers said MacEachern had no such role.

A golden opportunity

Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto is buying the owner of the oldest American gold mine, Homestake Mining Co., in a deal worth $3.5 billion. Barrick will become the second-

largest gold producer in the world after South Africa’s AngloGold Ltd., with an annual output of six million ounces.

Warship threat

The Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg was ordered to remain at sea after the Pentagon warned that terrorist attacks against Western forces in the region were imminent. The ship, with a crew of 225, was

due to dock in Dubai in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon fears a repeat of the suicide bombing in Yemen last October that killed 17 sailors aboard the USS Cole.

School tax break

In a 50 to 35 vote, the Ontario legislature passed a controversial bill approving tax credits for parents with children in private schools. The plan will give parents a tax credit of up

to $3,500 per child per year by 2006. The initiative was roundly condemned by critics who believe the measure will divert money away from the cash-strapped public-school system.

AIDS war declared

The United Nations launched a sweeping plan to reverse the worldwide AIDS epidemic, which has killed 22 million people since 1981. An agreement reached at the end of the three-day debate calls on governments to create national AIDS programs to reduce infection rates. Western countries also announced new contributions to a global AIDS fund administered by the United Nations. Canada pledged $73 million to the fund while the United States offered $1.3 billion.


The man known as the “butcher of the Balkans” used raw violence to crush his opponents. But now, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, 59, architect of the Balkan conflicts that produced Europe’s most barbarous atrocities since the Second World War, will enter a courtroom and face the rule of law. Milosevic is the first former head of state to face trial at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. He was turned over to tribunal representatives in Belgrade, flown to the Netherlands aboard a British plane and delivered by helicopter before dawn to a bleak, walled prison. The charges against Milosevic include crimes against humanity, in connection with the slaughter of civilians in Kosovo, and will likely be expanded to include genocide over atrocities committed in wars he waged against Bosnia and Croatia in the early 1990s.


When an illegal walkout didn’t achieve their goals, health-care workers in Nova Scotia threatened to resign en masse. After two days of protest to back demands for better wages and working conditions,

5,100 members of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union-including 2,200 nursesreturned to work at Halifax-area hospitals. But they remained angry that John Hamm’s Conservative government passed Bill 68, taking away

their right to strike. The bill could be extended to the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, whose 4,400 members, working in mostly rural regions, will be in a legal strike position on July 10. They are also considering mass resignations. But nurses in Alberta had a better idea. They ran newspaper ads in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, where nurses are also in a protracted contract dispute with the provincial government, expressing solidarity—and urging colleagues to join them. The headline: “Alberta desperately needs you.”

Riots in Macedonia

A NATO-brokered peace deal sparked riots in the Macedonian capital of Skopje.The rioting followed a NATO decision to transport 300 ethnic Albanian fighters from a suburb of Skopje to a mostly ethnic Albanian area to the north. Ethnic Albanians have been fighting for an independent state in Macedonia, which borders Kosovo, since last February. The NATO move was designed to bring both sides to the bargaining table.

Suspect extradited

After gaining assurances the death penalty will not be imposed, a French court approved the extradition to the

United States of James Kopp, who is accused of shooting two North American abortion doctors. He is charged with murdering Amherst, N.Y., gynecologist Barnett Slepian in October, 1998, and with attempted murder in the 1995 shooting of Hamilton doctor Hugh Short. Canadian police also want to question him in connection with the shooting of two other physicians: Gary

Ro malis of Vancouver in 1994 and Jack Fainman of Winnipeg in 1997.

Reversible vasectomy

Health Canada approved a clinical trial for a male contraceptive implant that may be as effective as a vasectomy. Ten per cent of men who have vasectomies later try to have them reversed, often unsuccessfully. The device, comprising two tiny plugs that block sperm, can later be removed.

Out of money

Two troubled Canadian companies filed for bankruptcy protection. Burlington, Ont.based Laidlaw Inc., operator

of Greyhound bus lines and North Americas familiar yellow school buses, has long been in the red due to a spate of expensive acquisitions. Vancouver’s 360networks Inc., headed by former Microsoft chief financial officer Greg Maffei, got caught in the tech downdraft as demand for fibre-optic networks plummeted.

No work like it

The Canadian Forces will be raising the mandatory retirement age from 55 to 60. Budget cuts since the 1960s have reduced the number of uniformed personnel to just under 60,000 from 100,000. The

new retirement age, expected to take effect in early 2002, is part of a larger bid to head off a manpower shortfall. The Forces will also allow civilians to be hired temporarily.

Victory in turf war

In a decision that will have ramifications across Canada, the Supreme Court ruled municipalities have the right to ban the use of pesticides on lawns. In 1991, the Montreal suburb of Hudson restricted the use of pesticides, but two Quebec landscaping companies challenged the bylaw. The court ruled the bylaw falls within provincial acts regulating municipalities.


U.S. Federal Reserve rate


For the sixth time this year, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board dropped its key interest rate, this time by a quarter of a percentage point.

The rate now stands at 3.75 per cent, down from 6.5 per cent in Janu| ary, the most aggressive action by the Fed in two decades. The central | bank cited slowing growth abroad and declining U.S. profits and capital 1 spending. The latest cut, smaller than usual, was seen as a signal that | the Fed is nearing the end of its campaign to stimulate growth. Econo£ mists predict just one more minor cut when the Fed meets in August. §