A hearing will be held today for the applications of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario against the repeal of the 2015 sex education curriculum.

Both groups allege the Conservative government’s repeal of updates the previous Liberal regime made to the curriculum is unconstitutional, saying it puts students at risk.

Those 2015 updates included lessons warning about online bullying and sexting, but opponents, especially social conservatives, objected to parts addressing same-sex relationships and gender identity.

Critics have also accused the Liberals of not consulting enough with parents.

Lawyers for the Tory government argue in a document filed ahead of the hearing that the Constitution doesn’t entrench any particular curriculum and is not a matter of constitutional law.

===================

A propane explosion on Tuesday, left a man in his 50’s injured.

It happened just after 11 yesterday morning at a job site near Carp and Hazeldean in Stittsville.

According to paramedics, the propane tank exploded inside a work trailer.

The man suffered serious burns to his face and hands but was taken to hospital in stable condition.

===============

An Ottawa high school is the latest to take a bold step to control vaping on school property.

In a new year’s letter to students and parents, the principal at St. Joseph High School in Barrhaven announced bathroom entrance doors will be coming off, in hopes the vaping will stop.

Don Murphy says the majority of the school’s washrooms have privacy walls, so the move won’t pose any issues regarding privacy.

Since the smoke free Ontario act was amended in October 2018, Ottawa public health and bylaw officers have handed out fines and warnings to 30 Ottawa students.

Murphy warns that students caught vaping will face a fine up to 305 dollars

===========

The manufacturer of clothing donation bins used by charities across Canada said Tuesday it has stopped producing the metal containers, which were involved in at least two recent deaths, while it works on coming up with safer designs.

Rangeview Fabricating, a Toronto-area company that produces charity bins, says it is now focused on modifying the existing containers to improve safety.

Manager Brandon Agro says with at least eight deaths in Canada since 2015, including the death of a woman in Toronto on Tuesday morning, Agro said the time had come for immediate action.

============

A legal expert doubts the truck driver who pleaded guilty for his role in April’s deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash will get the maximum sentence.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu has pleaded guilty to all 29 dangerous driving charges stemming from the collision in Saskatchewan that killed 16 players and staff with the junior hockey team and injured 13 others.

The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years, and it’s 10 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Law teacher Jennifer Quaid at the University of Ottawa says the judge will weigh more than just the enormous scale of the tragedy in deciding a sentence, such as visibility factors that contributed to the crash and the fact that Sidhu is a first-time offender who has expressed remorse.

============

General Motors workers walked off the line in Oshawa, Ontario during the evening shift, halting production in protest of the answer their union got from executives at G-M headquarters in Detroit earlier in the day.

Unifor recently presented several proposals for G-M to extend the life of the plant — but union president Jerry Dias says G-M decided it is sticking with plans to shut the Oshawa Assembly Plant by year’s end.

Dias says the move is motivated by “corporate greed” and he vows the union won’t give up its fight.

G-M said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the nearly three-thousand jobs impacted.

==============

The Bank of Canada is expected to stand pat with its benchmark interest rate at its first policy decision of the year this morning.

Though the central bank has been on a gradual rate-hiking trajectory for a-year-and-a-half, experts predict it will hold its overnight rate at 1.75 per cent — and given a series of disappointing developments lately, it could be a while before the next increase.

Governor Stephen Poloz has raised the benchmark five times since the summer of 2017.

But experts cite such factors as the economic fallout from a sharp drop in oil prices and lingering global trade uncertainty as key reasons why he may slow down the pace of getting to an estimated neutral range of between 2.5- and 3.5 per cent.

============

A Canadian feminist says if Justin Trudeau really is leading a feminist government, then why isn’t it doing more to create a universal daycare system?

The federal treasury is set to spend 7.5-billion dollars over a decade to help fund child-care spaces across the country, but Brock University’s Kate Bezanson says the government should do more.

In a paper published in the Journal of Law and Equality, she says there is a disconnect between the Liberals’ aspirational talk about gender equality and policies the Liberals have enacted — particularly on child care spending and new parental leave policies.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will be in Hamilton today to discuss the Liberals’ child-care commitment.

============

U-S President Donald Trump’s televised Oval Office address last night cast America’s southern border as in crisis and blamed Democrats for failing to fund his border wall and partially closing the government.

He suggested that building a wall between the U-S and Mexico would be an act of “love” because walls protect the people inside them.

Top congressional Democrats used their airtime following Trump’s address to say Trump “has chosen fear” in his drive to build a border wall and called on him to reopen the government shuttered for 18 days because of the standoff over his demand for money.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s rhetoric has been “full of misinformation and even malice.”

=============

The British government is bringing its little-loved Brexit deal back to Parliament, a month after postponing a vote on the agreement to stave off near-certain defeat.

Lawmakers are beginning five days of debate on the agreement with the European Union setting out the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc on March 29.

A vote, initially slated for December, is scheduled for January 15th.

Filed under: News