Ontario to help wounded children

A Palestinian medic carries a wounded girl into the Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Friday. As a humanitarian gesture, Ontario has offered to treat children seriously injured in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict free of charge. Associated Press
A Palestinian medic carries a wounded girl into the Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Friday. As a humanitarian gesture, Ontario has offered to treat children seriously injured in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict free of charge.Associated Press
Published August 8 2014
Updated August 9 2014

As a humanitarian gesture, Ontario has offered to provide free hospital treatment in Canada to children injured in the Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Five hospitals, including Toronto's world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children, have agreed to treat the children, with some medical staff members offering to work at no charge.

"It's one of those rare instances where we can make a modest but important difference," said Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, one of the founders of the group War Child Canada.

Ontario would take the most serious cases from both Gaza and Israel if the children cannot receive treatment at home and would be able to make the journey to Canada.

Details about arranging transportation for the children, with one or more of their family members, and entry into Canada are being sorted out, while Israeli and Palestinian authorities have indicated they're willing to cooperate.

The idea began with a plea from Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in the 2009 Gaza conflict. He is a professor at the University of Toronto.

Number of part-time employees is growing

"Canada is rapidly becoming a nation of part-timers," Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics in Toronto said of the latest job statistics.

Only 200 jobs were added to the economy last month, not the 20,000 predicted after an unexpected 9,400 decline in June.

Over the past year, full-time employment has declined by 3,100 positions while part-time work has jumped by 118,500.

Statistics Canada reported the country's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 7.0 percent last month because 35,400 people gave up looking for work.

News in brief

• Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of first-degree murder in the shootings of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in the New Brunswick city. He also admitted to two counts of attempted murder in the wounding of two other Mounties. Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Douglas Larche and Dave Ross were killed after confronting a man carrying a rifle in a residential area on June 4.

• A London, Ontario, woman was arrested after her car crashed into a Costco store while in reverse, killing a 6-year-old girl and injuring her 3-year-old sister and their pregnant mother, Danah McKinnon-Bozek, whose baby later died. Ruth Burger, 65, faces charges of criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is lower, at 91.15 cents U.S., while the U.S. dollar returns $1.0970 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is unchanged at 3 percent.

Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,193 points and the TSX Venture index at 994 points.

The average price of a liter of gasoline in Canada is down to $1.2934 (Canadian).

Lotto 6-49: (Aug. 6) 8, 10, 11, 21, 24 and 44; bonus 12. (Aug. 2) 4, 10, 14, 19, 36 and 41; bonus 48. Lotto Max: (Aug. 1) 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 34; bonus 36.

Regional briefs

• Alison Redford, who resigned as Alberta's premier in June over an expenses scandal, has now also quit her job as a member of the Legislature. This follows further allegations of misspending that current Conservative Premier Dave Hancock said are "extremely" disappointing. He has asked the police to investigate allegations that Redford and her office used taxpayer money inappropriately and for personal and partisan purposes.

• The driver of a dump truck that struck the Burlington Skyway bridge, closing its Toronto-bound lanes for three days over the holiday weekend, could be liable for repairs that could top $1 million, police say. The scrap-metal truck with its box raised smashed into an overhead truss and construction scaffolding, causing structural damage. Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, of Brampton was arrested for impaired driving.

• McCain Foods is closing its french fries plant in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island. The company blamed a shift in the market for french fries from North America to other parts of the world. When the plant closes in October, 121 jobs will be lost.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com.