Kingston Hospital Unions

A report from CUPE and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions shows the effect provincial budget cuts could have on Kingston General Hospital.

The unions predict Kingston could lose 28 hospital beds and 242 staff over the next five years, and claim those losses could deepen due to Ontario’s aging population.

The report was compiled over the course of three months using data from the Ministry of Finance, the Canadian Institute of Information, the Financial Accountability Office, and other resources.

It was presented to Kingston city council on Tuesday night.


Akwesasne Class Action Lawsuit

A proposed class-action lawsuit is alleging Mohawk residents of an Ontario island face “systemic discrimination” as they are forced to go through a border crossing to access the rest of Canada.

The lawsuit alleges the Canada Border Services Agency and the Attorney General of Canada have turned a blind eye to illegal searches, seizures, and detention inflicted on members of the Akwesasne First Nation living on Cornwall Island.

The island is located in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, on Canadian territory, with bridges linking it to the U.S. and Ontario.

The allegations have not been proven in court and the government has not yet filed a statement of defence.

A spokesperson for the CBSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Doug Ford Cell Phone

Doug Ford’s office says the premier is cancelling his cell phone plan because of calls from special interest groups.

Ford has long asked people to call him directly to air their issues, as a sign of how accessible he is.

His spokeswoman claims he had to cancel the phone this week because of a co-ordinated campaign from unspecified groups, and because some of the calls took on a harassing tone.

The opposition say this could be a reaction to slumping polls, with NDP legislator Taras Natyshak saying the cancellation is likely a reaction to pushback on the premier’s policies.


Class Action Lawsuit Changes

A new report is pushing for major reforms to the law governing class action lawsuits in Ontario.

Some of the recommendations made by the Law Commission of Ontario include more transparency over the fees lawyers earn, and improving decision making on which law firm gets “carriage of a class action”.

The report is billed as the first comprehensive assessment of the legislation in 27 years.


Wild Parsnip

Officials in Ottawa are warning residents to be on the look out for wild parsnip, an invasive plant species that can cause severe burns.

The plant has a long stem with a yellow head, and leaves on the side.

Burns can happen when skin comes in contact with the sap from the plant, which contains chemicals that can cause blisters and burning sensations when exposed to the sun.

They recommend covering the exposed area and washing thoroughly if you come into contact with the sap.

Wild parsnip can also be found in Kingston, more information on it can be found on the city of Kingston’s website.


Developing story – Japanese Animation Studio Fire

Japanese officials say 13 people have been confirmed dead and more than 10 others presumed dead in a suspected arson at a popular animation production studio in Kyoto.

Kyoto fire department officials says 36 others have been injured, some of them critically.

They say firefighters were still searching inside the building in case anyone else was left behind.

A man suspected of starting the fire Thursday was also injured and being treated in a hospital.