Quebec man awarded $1,500 due to English-only water fountain
Federal courts have sided in favour of a Montreal man’s request for compensation following a complaint regarding an English-language water fountain on Parliament Hill.
The ruling given Thursday by Federal Court Justice Luc Martineau agreed that the Senate of Canada did not meet their required obligations under the Languages Act of Canada due to the water fountain’s metal buttons only having the word “PUSH” without the French “POUSSEZ”.
Though some fountains did have braille on them, none had the French word, prompting Michel Thibodeau to file a complaint against the Senate.
Thibodeau has worked as a public servant on Parliament hill since 1997.
“I felt like a second-class citizen compared to Anglophones, who had signage in the language of choice,” said Thibodeau to CTV News.
Signs with the text “To activate the water fountain, please push the button” and “Pour activer la fontaine d’eau veuillez appuyer sur le bouton” have since been installed above drinking fountains.
The acting clerk of Senate, Richard Denis, even sent Thibodeau a letter of praise, thanking him for his actions while also expressing “since regret.”
Despite the additional signage added to the fountains, Judge Martineau agreed that they were too little, too late, agreeing with Thibodeau’s complaints that there was “no reason to complain if a bilingual self-adhesive label with the words ‘push’ and ‘poussez’ was placed on the button of each unilingual fountain or if the English word ‘push’ was covered up with a thick enough self-adhesive label.”
Thibodeau was awarded $1,500 in damages and his $700 court costs were covered.
This isn’t the first time Thibodeau has sued over his language rights being violated. Last August, he and his wife were awarded $21,000 in a lawsuit against Air Canada because the arlines emergency exit door signs were only in English or the English font was larger than the French font. The couple also were upset the seatbelts only say “lift”.
The Ontario elementary school union has announced that they will commence a once-a-week province-wide walkout starting February 6, if contract talks with the Ford government do not resume.
ETFO (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario) gave a media release stating the union will be escalating its “rotating strikes across the province beginning Monday, Feb. 3, if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.”
“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Stephen Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond in the release. “Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”
The ETFO had previously said that talks between the government and the unions had stagnated thanks in part to disagreements regarding class sizes and online education. Education Minister Steven Lecce noted that compensation was the primary sticking point.
The ETFO said the following walkouts will take place if an agreement is not reached by January 31, as outlined by Global News.
“Feb. 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards
Feb. 4: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Peel, Rainbow, Thames Valley and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority
Feb. 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
Feb. 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members
Feb. 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo Region and York Region school boards as well as Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities.”
Bargaining has not commenced since December 2019.
Ontario health officials announced that a “presumptive case” of coronavirus is confirmed at Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital.
Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams made the announcement Saturday afternoon alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott. Williams said, “”It’s our first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus virus. The risk to Ontarians is still low. The system is working as it should.”
The patient is a man in his fifties who travelled to Canada recently from Wuhan, China.
The full press conference can be viewed here:
This is the first official case of the deadly viral strain in Canada. More than 1400 people have been infected worldwide.
The Ontario government has launched a website where you can see all the updates of the coronavirus.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated
The Surete du Quebec has confirmed that a series of raids came up big, as the K9-squad aided missions found cocaine, meth, and over $12,000 cash.
According to a report from the Surete du Quebec, a tag-team effort from the Monteregie organized crime division and the Rouisslon Police, along with police from the MRC des Jardins de Napierville division conducted searches over months of investigations in order to make the big bust.
In total, a house, three apartments, and a car were searched. In total, police seized:
• Roughly 240 grams of cocaine
• Roughly 380 tablets similar to methamphetamine
• Roughly 40 prescription drug tablets
• $12,400 in cash
• Drug paraphernalia as well as scales
• A pontoon boat
• Gun ammunition cartridges
A spokesperson from the Surete du Quebec said, although suspects were apprehended during the raid, there have not been any arrests or charges laid as of yet. Arrests may be made tomorrow.
The five searches were conducted at the following locations, as per CTV:
• Apartment on rue de l’Église Nord, Lacolle
• Residence in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville
• Apartment and car on rue Saint-Roch, Saint-Constant
• Apartment on rue Saint-Henri, La Prairie
Depending on the temperature this weekend, Southern Ontario is either going to be affected by a snowstorm or heavy rain this weekend, according to the Weather Network.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, Natasha Ramsahai who is the Meteorologist at 680 news stated that “it’s already started in the form of rainfall across southwestern Ontario, parts of the GTA have already started to get into the rain … this rain will have lots of moisture in it, it’s pulling it straight out of the gulf of Mexico.”
“This is smack dab in the middle of what is supposed to be the coldest week of the year, and so if it was a couple of degrees colder it would be a huge snowstorm.”
Toronto is expected to get a combination of both snow and rain this weekend, dependant upon the temperature. All in all, the area’s affected will receive up to a month of rain across the weekend.
This may result in some flooding as numerous storm drains will be blocked. This accompanied by melting snow and heavy rainfall may facilitate pooling water.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that parts of Ontario would receive up to 50-60 cm of snow. This is incorrect, with 20-25 cm of snow expected through parts of the province. The Post Millennial regrets the error.