July 21st, 2024

In the news today: Extreme heat bakes Eastern Canada, WestJet strike off the table

By The Canadian Press on June 20, 2024.

Moaaz, 9, emerges from the waters of the Ottawa River at Britannia Beach in Ottawa, Tuesday, June 18, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

Heat wave still grips Ontario, Quebec, Maritimes

A heat wave that’s washed over eastern Canada is sticking around for a little while still.

Southern Ontario, southern Quebec and much of the Maritimes have seen temperatures hovering around 30 to 35 degrees Celsius.

At times, it feels like it’s 40 degrees with the humidex.

Environment Canada is calling for Toronto and Ottawa to be hovering around the 30-degree mark on Thursday and Friday.

Quebec’s health department recommends spending at least two hours a day in an air-conditioned space.

Most of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI, as well as central and eastern Newfoundland, are also under a heat warning.

Heat wave makes learning tough in hot classrooms

When temperatures soar ““ as they have this week while much of Ontario experiences a heat wave ““ the class gets stuffy, the students get sweaty and learning can be difficult.

“It’s so hot,” said Beatrice, who is 12. “There’s barely any breeze through the windows. It’s not enough.”

Beatrice is a student at Humbercrest Public School, which is among hundreds of schools in the Toronto District School Board without air-conditioned classrooms.

As climate change worsens extreme weather conditions, the lack of air conditioning in many classes has become a heated issue amongst concerned students, parents and teachers, who say school boards and governments need to address the problem.

WestJet mechanics union takes strike off the table

The threat of strike action by unionized mechanics at WestJet has been dropped after both sides agreed to return to the bargaining table.

An overnight statement says the air carrier appeared before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to discuss arbitration options with its Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Tech Ops employees.

CIRB officials say more information is needed from both sides before deciding whether arbitration is the best way to reach a first-time collective bargaining agreement.

In the meantime, both parties have jointly agreed to return to the bargaining table and continue working towards a resolution.

Protesters to defend U of T encampment in court

Lawyers for a pro-Palestinian protest encampment at the University of Toronto are set to present their case today in an Ontario court as the university seeks an injunction to clear the weeks-long demonstration.

The hearing began Wednesday with lawyers for the university arguing the protesters have seized control of private property and are restricting the community’s access to the area known as King’s College Circle.

They said many in the community have reported feeling unsafe or unwelcome on campus as a result of the protest, and that the encampment has caused irreparable harm.

In documents filed earlier this week, lawyers for the protesters say the school’s claims of irreparable harm are based on mischaracterizations of the encampment as violent and antisemitic.

Notley leaves behind an NDP that’s ready to run

Cheryl Oates learned that she needed to lace up a good pair of running shoes to keep up with Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley.

“When I think about her turning me into a runner, despite the fact that I didn’t want to be runner, it’s an interesting parallel to her politics,” says Oates, who was head of communications when Notley was premier.

“Given the chance, she will either wear you down or convince you.”

On Saturday afternoon, the party will be Notley’s crew no more. It’s set to announce a new leader.

Oates, once a journalist hard-wired to be non-partisan and apolitical, says she changed when she started working for Notley. And others did too.

“Rachel taught me: what are we fighting for, and why are we fighting for it?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024

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