Vancouver bus driver sexually assaulted

Bus drivers’ union offers reward for information

The union representing bus drivers in the Lower Mainland is offering a $2000 reward for information after a female driver was sexually assaulted in East Vancouver.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was allegedly groped by a man on the No. 22 Knight Street bus route early on New Year’s Day.

Don Macleod, President of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 111, says the union is appalled by the alleged assault.

“We have at least 150 assaults each year against our members out there, and in terms of sexual assaults against our female drivers, there have been four since 2009.

“It’s a great concern to the union and our membership out there that work alone,” said Macleod.

The Vancouver Police Department are investigating and are already examining onboard security camera video of the alleged incident.

Women make up about 12 per cent of the 3,600 bus drivers employed by The Coast Mountain Bus Company, a subsidiary of TransLink which runs the region’s bus service.

The alleged sexual assault comes almost a year after Del Louie viciously assaulted bus driver Charles Dixon at Edmonds Station in Burnaby on Feb. 15, 2011.

MacLeod said bus drivers want to see a tough punishment including jail time for Louie, who is?due to be sentenced?on Feb. 7 this year.

Courtesy of CBC News

Pension cuts won’t impact Canadians nearing retirement age, PMO says

OTTAWA – The Prime Minister’s Office is attempting to deflect political blowback from planned cuts to government-funded pensions by saying it will delay implementation.

PMO talking points on suggested cutbacks to programs such as Old Age Security say they will not affect current beneficiaries, but also won’t impact on any Canadian close to retirement.

The memo was sent to Conservative MPs for use in defending Prime Minister Harper’s declaration Thursday that he intents to “limit” the growth of government-financed retirement benefits.

The prime minister was not specific, but the talking points sent out to MPs make clear the program he has in mind is OAS, now available to all Canadians at age 65.

Speculation has been rife that Ottawa wants to at the very least delay the entry age to 67 to encourage seniors to stay in the workforce, and to reduce the cost of the program.

One of the criticisms of the initiative is that, during last spring’s election, the Conservatives did not hint at cutbacks to pensions that represent a lifeline for poorer Canadians.

The memo tells MPs to counter opposition attacks by pledging there will be substantial notice and an adjustment period so that any cuts don’t impact benefits to those close to retirement.

The talking points say other Canadians will have time to adjust.

Courtesy of Winnipeg Free Press


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