News for Youse: Election funding revealed, cuts to rail safety staff, and Harper to prorogue parliament
Provincial election funding details revealed Three unions top the spending list for political contributions made during the 2013 B.C. provincial election. A pair of mining companies emerged as the largest contributors to B.C. Liberal campaigns. Elections B.C. released data detailing political spending for the May 14 election yesterday (August 19). You can read more about that story here.
Some candidates yet to file finance reports Ten candidates failed to file paperwork detailing campaign spending related to last May’s provincial election. The August 12 deadline for finance reports was missed by one B.C. Liberal candidate, four for the NDP, one for the B.C. Greens, one for the B.C. Conservatives, and three independents. You can read more about this story here.
Downtown fire Commuter traffic heading south out of Vancouver’s downtown core was disrupted this morning (August 20) by a two-alarm fire at the north end of the Granville Street. Officials told CKNW that water access was a challenge when combating the blaze.
Antihomophobia clubs can reduce drinking A UBC study has found that the presence of gay-straight alliance clubs have an unexpected side benefit: they help to reduce risky alcohol use amongst all students. You can read more about this story here.
Greens want to curb big donor spending The B.C. Greens’ first candidate to win a seat in the B.C. legislature has reiterated calls for campaign finance reform. “It's time to limit or eliminate donations from unions & corporations,” Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, wrote on Twitter. “MLAs represent people not special interests.”
Cuts to B.C. rail safety staff Canadian Pacific Railway has eliminated four of seven safety inspector positions working in B.C.’s interior, CBC News reports. The layoffs will affect trains moving through Cranbrook, a city with a population of more than 19,000. The cutbacks come only six weeks after a disastrous train derailment in Quebec that killed 47 people.
Fires in B.C.’s interior Two Okanagan wildfires are burning near residential centres and remain uncontained. One is outside Vernon and the other Osoyoos. Crews are working with helicopters and air tankers to bring the fires under control.
Harper to prorogue parliament Yesterday (August 19), Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would yet again ask the governor general to prorogue parliament. The move comes when the Conservatives are facing scrutiny and criticism related to spending scandals in the senate. In 2008, Harper prorogued parliament to prevent opposition parties from holding a vote that likely would have brought down the Conservative government. In December 2009, Harper again used the prorogue option, that time, to stifle a growing controversy surrounding the treatment of Afghan detainees that was playing out during the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Egypt crackdown continues Egyptian authorities are arresting senior members of deposed president Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. The arrests are the latest development in a crackdown on Brotherhood supports that has left hundreds of people dead. Meanwhile, the lawyer for former president Hosni Mubarak has said that the former dictator could be freed within days.
Musharraf charged with murder Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has been charged with murder in the case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto, once on track to take Pakistan’s highest office, was killed during a public rally in December 2007. Musharraf’s former title as chief of army staff makes this development unprecedented, given Pakistan’s military is the strongest institution in the country.