Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 4, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Police use pepper spray to evict G-8 squatters
By John Ward
OTTAWA Police used fire department ladders and blasts of pepper spray yesterday to evict a ragged band of squatters from a vacant house they had occupied for seven days.
Dozens of activists involved in an anti-G-8 protest last week seized the downtown building across the street from the headquarters of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
They occupied the shabby, privately owned house without running water or real bathroom facilities through days and nights of sweltering, muggy heat, defying police and municipal politicians who sought to negotiate an end to the impasse.
In the wee hours yesterday morning, police struck to clear the property.
Later yesterday, another group of protesters in Montreal occupied a vacant, three-story building in that city’s east end in a similar demonstration against low-income housing.
“It’s a war between poor renters and owners,” said Alexandre Maroun, an activist with a Montreal anti-poverty group.
“Everyone has a nght to be housed. It’s a minimum social right."
Last year, Montreal squatters occupied a building for almost three months before police cleared them out in October.
There was no such grace period in Ottawa.
When police arrived early yesterday, most of the 50-odd people gathered outside the building dispersed. But seven who refused to leave were arrested, as was a man covered by
Grits feast on $9 M in donations
By Louise Elliott
OTTAWA — The Liberal Party of Canada cleared more than $9 million in political donations last year, with more than two-thirds of the money coming from corporations.
Figures disclosed through Elections Canada yesterday show 70 per cent of the governing party’s $9.1 million in contributions came from corporations and 26 per cent came from individual donors.
Some 2,300 companies donated $6.4 million to the party in 2001, while 3,870 individuals gave $2.4 million.
While total revenue to the Liberal party was nearly $16 million, expenditures on fundraising, conventions and the election reduced the gross profit to about $6.6 million, according to an audited financial statement.
But just how those figures stack up against donations to the Canadian Alliance, Canada’s official Opposition, was not known yesterday after the Alliance failed to meet a July 2 disclosure deadline set by the government agency.
Party officials blamed a new reporting system and staff changes at party headquarters for the delay.
The Conservative party pulled in a total of $3.7 million in donations in 2001, and combined with other revenues was able to cut its $10 million debt down to a still-hefty $5 million.
Of the Tory donations, about 60 per cent, or $2.2 million, came from individuals and about 40 per cent, or $1.5 million, came from corporations.
Donations to the New Democratic Party weighed in at $5 million and allowed the party to eliminate its $660,000 debt.
The Liberals managed to cut their party’s debt to $3.3 million from $5.4 million, where it stood at the beginning of 2001.
The total amount given to the Liberals in 2001 was down significantly from the $20 million the party collected in 2000, an election year.
In 1999 the Liberals pulled in $15.5 million, preceded by $14 million in 1998.
The Liberals’ heavy reliance on donations from Canadian businesses may change after Prime Minister Jean Chretien introduces limits on corporate contributions as part of an ethics package to be released this fall
Following an ethics scandal this spring involving sponsorship contracts handled by Quebec communications firms, Chretien promised tighter controls on how much businesses can contribute to political parties.
Two of the firms at the centre of sponsorship imbroglio were hefty Liberal donors last year.
According to figures tabled yesterday, .Groupaction Marketing contributed $4,496 to the Liberals in 2001, and Groupe Everest contributed $16,173 — well above the average for a business contribution. Neither company contributed to the Tories.
IDA Multimedia Inc. — another firm whose Public Works contracts have come under scrutiny — was listed as contributing just $265 to a Liberal Montreal riding association.
As usual, the country’s banks proved the top corporate donors to government coffers in 2001.
an outstanding warrant.
Police then tried to talk the remaining 14 squatters out of the building, where they had clustered on the third floor behind blocked staircases.
Almost 90 minutes of negotiation by cell phone failed to clear the house, said police spokesman Leo Janveau.
“Police at the scene made it clear that staying in the building was not an option,” said Janveau.
When talks failed, police used a ladder truck to move in.
“The police were coming from all around,” said an activist who would only give her name as Melissa. “We were keeping a watch and we yelled to the people in the building that the police were coming. Then there were fire trucks and ladders and they were shooting pepper spray into the house.”
Another witness, identifying himself only as Rick, said: “People were screaming and crying. They were being brutalized.”
Janveau said, however, there were no injuries to either protesters or police.
The 14 squatters were pulled from the house and arrested. One, who was afraid of heights and unable to make his way down the fire ladder, was removed from the third floor in a stretcher, Janveau said.
The squatters had said their occupation was aimed at drawing attention to the lack of affordable housing in the city.
Alex Munter, city councillor and chairman of the health, recreation and social services committee, said they accomplished that.
Former squatters play hacki-sack while Ottawa police officers stand guard outside an abandoned building after raiding it earlier yesterday morning and arresting young squatters who had been occupying the building illegally since last week’s G-8 protests.
Feds move to prohibit bulk water removal
OTTAWA — The federal government is giving the public 75 days to make its views known before laws are implemented prohibiting bulk removal and diversion of boundary waters from Canadian drainage basins.
The proposed amendments to the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act were passed Dec. 18 and apply to the Great Lakes and other boundary waters in Canada.
Regulations implementing the amendments will prohibit bulk removal and diversion of boundary water and establish licensing requirements for any in-basin activities in Canada that might affect the level or flow of water on the U.S. side of the border.
The call for public input announced yesterday is the last stage before the new legislation comes into force in the fall, said Peter Fawcett of the Foreign Affairs Department.
All provinces and territories have or are developing legislation or regulations to prohibit bulk water removal within their jurisdictions.
The U.S. has already implemented similar laws.
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