Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Teachers revolt against bill freezing their wages

Tough measures by the Ontario government to deal with a soaring budget deficit have led to a revolt by many school teachers whose pay has been frozen.

Now, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty plans to take similar action for the highest-paid public service workers.

"These measures are necessary to help us meet our fiscal targets and we're asking everyone to do their share," Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said.

The enactment of the "Putting Students First" bill, which is being challenged in court by teachers' unions, has frozen their pay for two years, halved their paid sick days to 10 a year and banned strikes and lockouts.

In response, the unions called on their 136,000 members to refuse to take part in any extracurricular activities, including the coaching of sports.

The top salary of a fully experienced Ontario teacher is about $95,000 a year for 195 in-class days.

The government said the pay cap is needed to maintain full-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes, and trim the $15 billion deficit.

A proposed bill to limit wages of public workers would also include those employed by government-funded agencies, boards, commissions, hospitals, universities and colleges.

Politician has proposal to prevent gas thefts

In the past year, two gas station attendants have been run down and killed by "gas-and-dash" thieves in Toronto and that could prompt changes to prevent thefts.

The latest incident was last weekend when Jayesh Prajapati was struck and killed by a man driving away after filling up with $112 in gas.

Liberal politician Mike Colle wants the Ontario government to enact what he is calling "Jayesh's Law" requiring prepayment or credit cards to be used before pumping gas.

As well, station owners would no longer be able to force attendants to pay for stolen gas and the licenses of convicted gas thieves would be suspended.

News in brief

• Bargaining for a new deal for members of the Canadian Auto Workers has come down to Chrysler after tentative pacts were reached with Ford and GM Canada. The contracts will have new employees paid at a lower rate and receive a revised pension plan. The workers will each receive a $2,000 annual cost of living payment and $3,000 ratification bonus.

• A bid to preserve the now-defunct registry of rifles and shotguns has been rejected by the Ontario Superior Court. The federal Conservative government ordered the end of the long-gun registry established by a former Liberal government. Judge D.M. Brown said destruction of the records would not violate the Charter of Rights. The ruling counters a recent court decision in Quebec upholding the right of the provincial government to preserve its gun data.

Facts and figures

Pressure on the Bank of Canada to begin raising interest rates has eased as the national inflation rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 1.2 percent last month.

The dollar is lower at 1.0239 in U.S. funds while the U.S. greenback returns 97.65 cents Canadian before bank exchange fees.

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

Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index lower at 12,445 points and the TSX Venture index higher at 1,346 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Sept. 19) 7, 9, 18, 22, 28 and 38; bonus 26. (Sept. 15) 9, 10, 12, 19, 24 and 31; bonus 17. Lotto Max: (Sept. 14) 2, 27, 30, 31, 37, 46 and 47; bonus 21.

Regional briefs

• The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the right of a British Columbia women's group to continue its challenge of the country's anti-prostitution laws on constitutional grounds. The Downtown Eastside Sex Workers Against Violence launched a challenge of the law's prohibitions five years ago.

• The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. still wants to build a world-class casino on Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront or downtown although city councilors are divided over the proposal. Corporation chairman Paul Godfrey said this would be the largest development project in Canada at $2 billion and create 12,000 jobs. There is currently Woodbine, a slots and racetrack facility in north Toronto and numerous smaller casinos nearby.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the driver who seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Dover on Monday morning.Deputies say the suspect was driving a Toyota Camry that is now missing part of its right front air dam afte...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

TAMPA — Next victim, please.Shouldn't we just start penciling the Patriots into the Super Bowl before every season?It would save us a lot of time.Mind you, the rest of the NFL is fighting Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and this foregone conclus...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Investigators are searching for a suspect in a taxi carjacking Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said the taxi was taken about 7:40 a.m. and abandoned a few blocks away. No one was injured, Shaw sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 35, struck and killed while walking across SR 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — A 35-year-old Thonotosassa woman was struck and killed by a car while walking across State Road 60 west of Mount Carmel Road on Sunday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Brandi Eckelstafer was walking south across SR 60 just after 8 p....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

A warm weekend across Tampa Bay will carry over into the start of the workweek, after some morning fog burns off and before a front results in clouds and increased rain chances later this afternoon.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa...
Updated: 3 hours ago

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

ST. PETERSBURG — It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spilled sewage.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the release — with...
Updated: 8 hours ago