Archive for October, 2014

Redblacks honour fallen soldiers as security tightened for game

Fans will encounter increased security at three major sports events in Ottawa this weekend after the attacks on Parliament Hill,?at the National War Memorial and in Quebec.

This past week, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo were killed in separate attacks in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., on Monday and in Ottawa on Wednesday.

On Friday night, the Ottawa Redblacks host the Montreal Alouettes?at 6:30 p.m. ET at TD Place and about 24,000Prime minister people are expected to attend the CFL game.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, and General Thomas Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, participated in a tribute to the Canadian Forces, as well as fallen heroes, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, before the start of CFL action between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Montreal Alouettes in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Redblacks will hold a pre-game ceremony for Vincent and Cirillo, a reservist from Hamilton who served with the?Argyll?and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to attend the game.

The team will also increase security at Friday?s game with more police and security officers at the stadium. Team owners, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, will hold a similar ceremony and feature more security at TD Place for Sunday afternoon?s soccer game between Ottawa Fury FC and Indy Eleven ??the final game of the Fury?s season.

Hamilton Tiger Cats send Canadian flag

The CEO of the Tiger Cats, Scott Mitchell, also tweeted that his team has sent its Canadian flag ??the world?s largest ??to Ottawa for Friday?s pre-game ceremony.

On Saturday night, the Ottawa Senators announced every fan and staff member would be screened with handheld metal detectors and would have their bags searched before entering the Canadian Tire Centre.

The team will also hold a pre-game ceremony to honour the two fallen soldiers, including a moment of silence, and it encourages fans to wear red to show support and solidarity for fallen soldiers.

The additional security measures will now take place at all future events at the west Ottawa arena and fans should try to arrive early to compensate for the extra security measures, according to a team news release.

The team also increased security after the Boston Marathon bombings. During previous Ottawa Senators games, all bags were searched but only select people were scanned with metal detectors once inside the building.

The Senators also announced their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was supposed to take place Wednesday night, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET. Hockey Fights Cancer night, which was also supposed to happen Wednesday, will now be held on Oct. 30 at the game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Courtesy of CBC news

Fallen soldiers

Big Victory Saskatton lockout over

Big victoryLocal?615?members celebrated a big victory Monday by going back to work, fully one month after they were locked out by Saskatoon Transit.?The resumption of service came after the Saskatchewan Labour Board declared the lockout illegal, and the City reversed its subsequent decision to impose a new legal lockout of transit workers.

The City will provide both free rides for passengers, and a full refund for pass-holders until the end of the month.?Local 615 and the City remain far apart on wages and the pension fund. ?No word yet on when negotiations will resume.?Read more.


 

 

MARTA chief using police to intimidate workers

 

?Hours before a shooting took place at a MARTA station and four more times last week, MARTA CEO Keith Parker dispatched MARTA police officers in a coordinated effort to intimidate transit workers.

?This kind of behavior is a national disgrace and a black eye for Atlanta,? says Local?732?President Curtis Howard, calling on the governor to relieve Parker of his authority over the MARTA police. ?Instead of staying focused on protecting MARTA riders and transit employees, Keith Parker uses transit cops as his own personal army.?

Parker?s sudden policy change comes as workers have launched a campaign that promotes economic justice for working Atlantans, and opposes MARTA?s plans to outsource paratransit services.

?This isn?t just a shameful tactic straight out of a playbook that Dr. King condemned fifty years ago, it also happens to be illegal,? says International President Larry Hanley. ?Parker, who makes $345,000 per year, is a public official promoting a plan that would impoverish his workers and create substandard service for Atlanta?s most vulnerable transit riders.??Read more.


 

GobernorsGovernors push outsourcing with disastrous results

From Pennsylvania, where Governor Tom Corbett ?outsourced millions of dollars in state legal contracts to outside law firms that are among his biggest campaign contributors;? to Ohio, where Governor John Kasich?s ?privatized economic development agency has failed to deliver promised jobs, but is receiving a huge stream of funds from Ohio liquor sales, governors across the country have outsourced important public services to private firms with high-powered lobbyists ? mostly with disastrous results.

It?s also happening in Atlanta where the transit chief is trying to outsource paratransit, which will most certainly lead to poor and unsafe service.

This disturbing trend is documented in a new report by the Center for Media and Democracy,?Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of America?s Public Services.

The winner in these boondoggles are large corporations, while all too often taxpayers are the losers when transparency, accountability and the public interest are sold out to for-profit firms.?Read more.


Why Wausau needs to pass referendum on public transit

It?s ?d?j? vu all over again? in Wausau, WI, where ATU members waged a successful campaign to preserve transit service by mobilizing riders, clergy and the public to vote for a referendum to fund public transit in 2012.

Now, members are mobilizing voters again to pass another referendum to fund public transit on November 4. If the referendum doesn’t pass, public transit and paratransit will end in Schofield, Weston, and Rothschild ? leaving many with no way to get around.

One woman from the area shared a compelling story in the?Wausau Daily Herald?on why this vote is so important to her. When she and her husband first moved to the area they didn?t use or think about public transit.

Then tragedy struck when her husband had a surgery that went terribly wrong. He had a stroke and was left disabled and unable to drive. With young kids to care for, her husband now relies on the Weston bus to travel to classes, errands and appointments.

Her message:?everyone?should care about public transit and vote to fund transit in this referendum. You can be sure ATU members will be out with her.?Read more.

 


 

Winnipeg students join workers to push for transit?winnipeg students

Transit workers and university students in Winnipeg, MB, joined hands to demand adequate public transit service for their city.?Many students rely on buses to get to and from school each day.

Local?1505?members marched with ?We Are One? signs, and students wore bus-shaped costumes as both groups spoke at the rally. They called for expanding bus rapid transit, and buying more buses to improve the quality, reliability and safety of public transit for both drivers and riders.

?It?s more than just riding the bus, it breaks down social barriers,? said Local President John Callahan. ?Invest in public transit and watch our city grow.??Read more.


Poll: More Americans prefer public transit to road buildingPoll

 

Public transit ridership is at record levels and it?s been well documented that Millennials are forgoing cars and riding public transit in record numbers.?Now a new poll shows more Americans favor the government expansion of public transit over road building to reduce traffic congestion.

Conducted by?ABC News?and the?Washington Post, the poll found stronger support for public transit among urban residents than suburbanites, however?both?still prefer transit. The full results of the poll can be found?here.

As midterm voting begins, public transit is a key issue in many races and there are many transit ballots across the country.


ToledoToledo mayor leading way on public transit?

Toledo transit workers, riders and allies have waged a strong campaign to push for more and better service in the Toledo metro area.

Now Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins has joined their cause along with Mayors Neil MacKinnon of Rossford and Richard Carr of Maumee in Rossford to underscore their support for keeping those cities in the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA).

Voters in those townships will decide November 4, whether to withdraw from TARTA. If it passes, it would strand hundreds of riders, hurt local employers, and further undermine the already weakened regional transit system.

ATU has long maintained that local leaders and governments must support public transit in and beyond their borders. It moves people, the economy and the community. Hopefully, other mayors will follow Mayor Collins?s lead and recognize the importance transit plays in their cities.?Read more.


Thunder Bay transit talks continue, but strike loomsThunder bay

Essential transit service for seniors and persons with disabilities hangs in the balance as Local?966?and the City of Thunder Bay, ON, approach tomorrow?s strike deadline.

In an effort to not abandon those who rely on this important service to live independent lives, the Local extended the strike deadline for?its Lift and Specialized Transit operators from Monday to Wednesday.Read more.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. It is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.

What do people do?

Many people have a day off work on the second Monday of October. They often use the three-day Thanksgiving weekend to visit family or friends who live far away, or to receive them in their own homes. Many people also prepare a special meal to eat at some point during the long weekend. Traditionally, this included roast turkey and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn ears and pecan nuts. Now, the meal may consist of other foods, particularly if the family is of non-European descent.

The Thanksgiving weekend is also a popular time to take a short autumn vacation. This may be the last chance in a while for some people to use cottages or holiday homes before winter sets in. Other popular activities include: outdoor breaks to admire the spectacular colors of the Canadian autumn; hiking; and fishing. Fans of the teams in the Canadian Football League may spend part of the weekend watching the Thanksgiving Day Classic matches.

Public life

Thanksgiving Day is national public holiday in Canada. Many people have the day off work and all schools and post offices are closed. Many stores and other businesses and organizations are also closed. Public transport services may run to a reduced timetable or may not run at all.

Background

The native peoples of the Americas held ceremonies and festivals to celebrate the completion and bounty of the harvest long before European explorers and settlers arrived in what is now Canada. Early European thanksgivings were held to give thanks for some special fortune. An early example is the ceremony the explorer Martin Frobisher held in 1578 after he had survived the long journey in his quest to find a northern passage from Europe to Asia.

Many thanksgivings were held following noteworthy events during the 18th century. Refugees fleeing the civil war in the United States brought the custom of an annual thanksgiving festival to Canada. From 1879, Thanksgiving Day was held every year but the date varied and there was a special theme each year. The theme was the “Blessings of an abundant harvest” for many years. However, Queen Victoria’s golden and diamond jubilees and King Edward VII’s coronation formed the theme in later years.

From the end of the First World War until 1930, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day were celebrated on the Monday closest to November 11, the anniversary of the official end of hostilities in World War I. In 1931, Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving Day was moved to a Monday in October. Since 1957, Thanksgiving Day has always been held on the second Monday in October.

Symbols

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is linked to the European tradition of harvest festivals. A common image seen at this time of year is a cornucopia, or horn, filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables. The cornucopia, which means “Horn of Plenty” in Latin, was a symbol of bounty and plenty in ancient Greece. Turkeys, pumpkins, ears of corn and large displays of food are also used to symbolize Thanksgiving Day.

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