Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 24, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2002
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You can reach us at 571-7430 or toll-free 1-877-786-5786 E-mail: opinionCaJfrandonsun.comAfternoon trials could ease backlog: minister
WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s justice minister has pointed an accusatory finger at provincial court judges, saying court backlogs would be reduced if they scheduled more trials in the afternoon.
“The Winnipeg courthouse can at times be very quiet in the afternoons and yet very busy in the mornings,” said Gord Mackintosh.
For example, he pointed out that on a recent Friday there were a dozen
courtrooms sitting in the morning but only two afternoon sessions.
Scheduling trials is the responsibility of the judiciary, a right guaranteed by the constitution to ensure judicial independence.
Mackintosh’s comments come at a time when judges are seeking a raise that would boost salaries from $112,000 to $144,000.
Last week Robb Tonn, the lawyer for the Provincial Judges’ Association,
told a legislative committee considering the pay hike that it would be wrong to suggest that trials are rarely scheduled in the afternoon.
Tonn said often morning dockets extend into the afternoons.
“One of the problems that is perceived is that there needs to be additional Crowns,” said Tonn.
The Doer government has faced criticism in the legislature over the length time it takes to set trials.
Tory Justice critic Joy Smith said their claims of getting tough on crime ring hollow.
When they were in opposition, the NDP promised to create a prosecutorial powerhouse.
But according to the Justice Department, out-of-custody trial dates in Winnipeg are currently being set seven months down the road. That for the most part has remained unchanged since the NDP came to power.
It’s generally conceded that the longer a case languishes on the dockets the chances of a successful prosecution decrease — memories fade and witnesses can disappear.
Earlier this month a judge threw out a case against a man caught on camera robbing a 7-Eleven store on the grounds that it took too long to come to trial, and two witnesses had died in the meantime.
— Canadian Press
BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Cathy Michaluk of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Brandon is being recognized for her IO years of dedicated service this evening.
Michaluk receiving national award for decade of serviceOfficials continue to monitor flooding
Tax revolt erupts after band council levies GST on members
VICTORIA — A tax revolt has erupted in an unlikely place, an aboriginal reserve on Vancouver Island.
The uprising started when the Cowichan Tribes band council passed a bylaw, with Ottawa’s blessing, that forces band members to start paying the GST on June I.
Chief Harvey Alphonse called it a community improvement fee but the new tax sparked anger and confusion among some members of the Duncan-area band, located about 60 kilometres northwest of Victoria.
They occupied reserve
offices and staged protest pickets.
“In our traditional culture there’s not even a word for tax,” said Meaghan Walker-Williams, a Cowichan Tribes member leading the tax protest.
“We didn’t even find out about the tax until two days before it got in.”
Band members said they were upset about paying a tax they never did in the past. Alphonse said he was using a two-year-old federal law that allows some First Nations to keep some GST revenues collected on reserve businesses.
“Every day thousands of dollars in seven per cent GST is charged by the federal government on the sale of alcohol, tobacco and fuel sold on reserve,” said a Cowichan Tribes newsletter.
“This money goes directly to Ottawa even though it is the result of business activity on our land. The Cowichan Tribes community improvement fee is a proposal to collect this money ourselves to apply to band projects.”
Since the protests, band officials have been making house calls to better explain the tax, Alphonse said.
—- Canadian Press
By Dean PRITCHARD
The business world’s loss is Big Brothers and Sisters of Brandon’s gain.
“Business was kind of what I was trained to do but I found I like the human side of it better," said Cathy Michaluk, who will be honoured with a national award tonight for her IO years of service with Big Brothers and Sisters.
“Basically it was something I fell into and I’ve been real lucky.”
Michaluk first joined Big Brothers and Sisters in Thompson as an administrative assistant before moving to Brandon in 1996.
Michaluk co-ordinates the organization’s three-year-old inschool mentoring program, matching volunteer “bigs” with student “littles” for one hour a week of support and companionship.
The program is an alternative to the traditional big/little relationship that requires three or four hours a week of a volun
“It has been real good,” Michaluk said. “We had 14 matches last year and most of them are coming back in the fall. I’d like to get that back up to 30, that’s my target. It’s a big goal but the kids are waiting.”
Executive director Carla Black said Michaluk’s approachability and dedication has made her a valued member of the Big Brothers and Sisters organization.
“She goes above and beyond to help out with any of the families that she’s involved with,” Black said.
“I know she spends many, many evenings and parts of her weekend phoning and checking up and making sure everything is okay with them. ... She always has a listening ear.”
In addition to her duties with the mentoring program, Michaluk also matches children with big brothers and sisters, helps with fundraising, bookkeeping and other administrative responsibilities.
Michaluk said she loves com
ing into work everyday and knowing her efforts are helping make a difference in the lives of children.
“You know the kids appreciate it,” she said.
“I can’t go into the mall now that I don’t run into three or four kids and they all want to talk and they want a hug.
“They are happy, they have that special friend that is just theirs. They talk about what they are doing and their faces just light up.”
In September, Big Brothers and Sisters will mark 30 years in Brandon.
The organization currently matches 70 children with adult volunteers and mentors. Another 40 children are on a waiting list.
“We are always recruiting, looking for good volunteers,” Michaluk said.
Brandon has proven itself as a city “with a lot of heart,” she said.
Michaluk’s award will be presented at a volunteer appreciation dinner at Valleyview Community Centre.
WINNIPEG — Provincial officials continued to monitor water levels, patrol dikes and sandbagging operations in southeastern Manitoba yesterday.
Levels on the Roseau River continued to rise due to rainfall on Saturday morning. While that will have little impact on stream flows it will affect run-off from future rainstorms, officials said.
Measures were being taken to protect the town of Vita from possible overflows from a potential dike breach at the Gardenton Floodway. All flood services
were moved to Vita, officials said.
A boil-water advisory was still in effect for southeastern Manitoba.
People were also reminded to stay off any waters affected by flooding due to high water levels, turbulence and strong currents.
Meanwhile, a second crest of the Red River in Winnipeg is expected for mid-July after heavy rain fall over the Minnesota portion of the river Saturday night, forecasters said.
— Canadian PressIn BriefVancouver man killed in hail of bullets
VANCOUVER — A man was killed early yesterday after he stepped out of a cab and was sprayed with bullets in what appeared to be a gang-style shooting, said police.
Robert Kandola, 31, died at the scene, said Vancouver Det. Scott Dnemel. The cab driver and a woman who was with Kandola were not injured.
The taxi pulled up outside Kandola’s home in downtown Vancouver at around 4 a.m., Driemel said.
“As he got out of the cab, it appears a dark coloured SUV pulled up alongside or behind and we believe several shots were fired from the occupants of the SUV and several rounds struck the victim,” said Dnemel, who would not comment on the type of gun used.
He added that there was “history with (the victim) and the ' Vancouver police department.”
Kandola, an Indo-Canadian, was the sixth person to be murdered in Vancouver this year.PatientwS head to U.S. to avoid waitlists
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Twelve New Brunswick patients are heading to the Umted States to avoid long waiting lists for medical treatment at home.
Jane Schimpf of Quispamsis, N.B., is going to see a specialist Monday at the Eastern Maine Medical Centre in Bangor, Me.
“It’s wonderful,” said Schimpf, 52, who will be getting a magnetic resonance image test on her right shoulder, which has been bothering her since January.
She has already had two MRIs, a detailed look at the inside of the body used for various diagnoses. But specialists haven’t found anything wrong. Her family doctor recommended a third MRI but specialists in New Brunswick have refused.
“It’s very discouraging to know our system is going downhill to this extent,” said the Saint John resident.
The trip was organized by Treatment Access Alliance, a newly formed partnership of Canadian and American patient advocacy groups, policy think tanks, companies and organizations concerned about access to health care. — Canadian PressHansen marks anniversary of fundraising tour
WINNIPEG — It’s been 15 years since he first wheeled around the world raising money for spinal cord research, but Rick Hansen is still a man in motion.
“I decided to go back across the country the smart way this time, by airplane,” joked Hansen, who rolled through Winnipeg yesterday on a campaign stop marking the anniversary of his 1987 tour.
Hansen’s original Man In Motion World Tour saw him log 40,000 kilometres by wheelchair, cutting a swath through 34 countries and raising $24 million along the way.
He’s back on the road raising awareness and funds for spinal cord research and rehabilitation services, but he says his goals are a little more precise this time out.
“When I came home (the last time) there was such a need everywhere in sport, in rehabilitation, and in awareness,” said Hansen, who was injured in a highway accident at the age of 15.
“What I’ve come to realize is that while I believe anything is possible, not everything is possible ... and in order to have the biggest impact I decided to focus on the biggest challenge, which is accelerating the pace in the search for a cure for spinal cord injury.”
— Canadian Press
Crossing the bridge
BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
A group of pedestrians are silhouetted against the late afternoon sky as they make their way over the Riverbank Footbridge yesterday.
Wall of water released from dam kills mother and son
RENFREW, Ont. — A woman and her eight-year-old son were killed when a wall of water swept them and several other sunbathers over a cliff near this community about IOO kilometres west of Ottawa.
The two were sunbathing with up to 20 others in High Falls downriver from the Barrett Chute dam when the dam released a torrent of water, sending adults and children over a 10-metre cliff and tossing some onto rocks.
“People were swimming and suntanmng and all of a sudden a wall of water came through and washed a lot of people over
this cliff,” said Const. Janice Sawbridge.
The I I /2-metre wall of water sent several people tumbling five to IO metres.
“Depending on the way the water grabbed you, you’d go into the water or rocks,” Sawbridge said,
The dam was draining excess water, police said.
Cindy Cadieux, 31, of Calabogie was dead at the scene. Her son Aaron died shortly after.
Several other sunbathers were “battered and bruised,” said a local fisherman. Others suffered broken bones. — CPSim® Sis mm Win
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