Archive for July, 2016

ATU COPE

COPE

The 2016 U.S. election is the most important election in history for ATU members and working families. ATU-COPE helps to elect pro-labor and pro-transit candidates to office. Given the importance of this election, ATU is extending the ATU-COPE month promotion it held in June through Election Day in November. Any member who contributes to ATU-COPE will receive an ATU pin. Those members who give certain amounts will be awarded t-shirts based on their contribution levels. Contact your Local to give to ATU-COPE today. Read more.


How to stop assaults on transit workers

From a Baltimore bus driver being badly beaten by an angry rider to four separate attacks on Kelowna, BC, bus drivers in one day, we hear about more violent attacks on transit workers every week. Now, ATU has produced a video to highlight how transit agencies can better protect transit workers. International President Larry Hanley talks about ways to combat these violent attacks that threaten the safety of our members and passengers. Watch and share this video and take action to help stop here.


Public transit needs new leadership

“How does the “toxic employee culture” get blamed somehow on the union? They are not the leaders, they don’t manage the culture and they should not be scapegoated for the bad management,” writes International President Larry Hanley in response to Brian Robertson’s ‘Can mass transit survive in US?’ transportation blog in The Hill. Hanley agrees with Robertson’s argument that public transportation systems need strong political leadership, innovative policy ideas and more investment, but points out that Washington, DC, area ATU members have been at “the forefront of exposing the safety problems, mismanagement and underfunding of WMATA.”Read letter.


‘People don’t move’: Strollers vs. wheelchairs on Winnipeg Transit

People in Winnipeg, MB, living with disabilities are calling on the city to make sure they can catch a seat on the bus hassle-free. Advocates say overcrowded buses and parents with strollers are leaving wheelchair users on the curb. Winnipeg bus drivers have raised concerns about strollers taking accessibility spots on the bus and the absence of a policy instructing drivers what to do about it. They want more buses put on the street to help deal with the issue. “It’s something that’s been around for a long time, but there’s been no official stand on how to approach it,” says Local 1505President John Callahan. “I think they need to look real seriously at it.” Read more.


More corruption at DC MetroAccess contractor, MV Transportation

Another bombshell at one of the five private companies that DC Metro contracts with to run MetroAccess paratransit service. MV Transportation was found to have billed Metro for MetroAccess services it did not provide – including transporting customers who had died, according to a settlement of a lawsuit announced this week. The compliant was filed in February 2013, by two former employees and investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. “We expect that our taxpayers’ contributions will be used for the benefit of riders, not lost to fraudulent billing practices,” said the Attorneys General of DC and the two states involved. Read more.


Trudeau announces $1.2 billion investment in Quebec transit

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to investment in public transportation. This week Trudeau and Ottawa Premier Philippe Couillard announced that more than $1 billion in federal money will be invested into Quebec’s public transit and water treatment systems. Nearly $924 million will go into Quebec’s public transit over the next three years – with $650 million of that funding going to Montreal. Ottawa says it’s only the beginning – phase one of a two-part promise to invest billions to improve the country’s infrastructure. Read more.


ATU mourns death of Tuskegee Airman Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.

Roscoe C. Brown Jr., a Tuskegee airman, college professor, and a go-to voice of reason during New York City’s racial volatility in the 1970s and ’80s, died on Saturday at the age of 94. He was the very first Tuskegee Airman to actually shoot down a German bomber while escorting American bombers in World War II. “I am not sure that Roscoe’s impact on New York City, our country, and indeed, the world, can ever be accurately measured, he simply broke too many barriers, influenced too many future leaders, and effected change across so many disciplines,” says former NYC Mayor David N. Dinkins, a close friend of Brown. Read obituary.

Happy Canada Day the best country in the world!!!

13528872_1139288556131753_3838031663940473924_nOn July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.

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Canada Day in Canada

Canada Day
Canadians of all ages can be proud of their heritage on Canada Day, an event widely celebrated throughout the country.
Illustration based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Carrie Bottomley

What Do People Do?

In many towns and cities, municipal governments organize a range of events, often outdoors. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, firework displays and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebrations often have a patriotic mood. Canada’s national flag is widely displayed and a lot of people paint their faces red and white, which are Canada’s national colors. The celebrations in Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital city, are particularly exuberant.

In the province of Quebec, many home leases start on July 1 and last for exactly one year. Hence, many people in Quebec spend Canada Day moving their possessions from one house to another. In this province, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day.

In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also Memorial Day. This commemorates the heavy loss of life in the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War I. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the morning of July 1 is usually somber. Flags are flown at half-mast and memorial services are held at cenotaphs (war memorials). In the afternoon, Canada Day celebrations in the province are similar to those in the rest of the country.

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Public Life

July 1 is a statutory holiday in Canada unless it falls on a Sunday; then it moves to July 2. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.

Public transport services may operate to their usual or a reduced timetable. In some areas, extra services are provided for large scale events. Street closures due to concerts, parades and festivals may cause some local disruption to traffic.

Background

On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces. This event is known as the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Canada’s boundaries have been extended since 1867. The country now consists of 10 provinces and three territories.

On June 20, 1868, the Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation. July 1 became a statutory holiday, known as Dominion Day, in 1879. However, no official celebrations were held until the 50th anniversary in 1917 and the 60th anniversary in 1927. After World War II, Dominion Day was celebrated more frequently and more events were organized by the national government. After the centenary of the confederation in 1967, Dominion Day events became more widespread. July 1 became popularly known as Canada Day. The date was also officially known as Canada Day from 1983 onwards.

Since 2006 Canada Day celebrations were also held at London’s Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom. It is expected that these celebrations will be held annually. Depending on the availability of Trafalgar Square, these events may be held just before, on or just after July 1.

Symbols

Canada’s national flag is seen on Canada Day. This consists of two vertical red rectangles separated by a white square. The white square contains a red image of a maple leaf. Canada’s national colors are red and white and are used in many ways on Canada Day. Some people wear red and white clothing and others paint their faces in these colors.

Courtesy of Time and Date.

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