Former “crossover” Canadian MP to leave politics

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Canadian MP Belinda Stronach has officially announced she will not run for re-election in her riding of Newmarket—Aurora in the next federal election. She will re-join her father Frank Stronach‘s company Magna International Inc., a large auto parts company, as the executive vice-chairwoman.

“My father is looking to the future, the company is facing important strategic decisions, and the Canadian and global auto sector and economy are in a period of great challenge,” Stronach announced. “So I am stepping aside from elected politics for the time being and will now take part in public life in a different way…I will continue to represent the interests of the constituents I serve until such time as a federal election is called,” she said. “I also plan to continue to play an active role in the community.”

During Stronach’s career a series of events have made national headlines.

In 2004, she ran against now Prime Minister Stephen Harper for leadership of then the new formed Conservative Party of Canada and finished second on the first ballot. She was later elected as Conservative MP for Newmarket—Aurora. Stronach had many differences to Stephen Harper and his Conservatives supporting abortion and same-sex marriages. She also claimed the party was going too far-right. In 2005, two days before a non-confidence vote to bring down the Liberal government, she crossed the floor to the Liberal Party of Canada and retained her seat. Upon her crossing she immediately became Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. It also ended her personal relationship with fellow Conservative MP Peter MacKay. If Stronach had not joined the Liberals an election would have been called. On April 6, 2006, Stronach held a news conference announcing that she would not seek the leadership of the Liberals, which was later won by Stephane Dion.

In September, she was caught cheating with former NHL player Tie Domi. In October 2006, Peter MacKay referred to Stranach as a “dog”. Stronach, a feminist, demanded an immediate apology and said that it offended all Canadian women.

CTV bureau chief Robert Fife speculated the decision by Stronach, not to seek re-election, may have had something to do with her dissatisfaction over a diminished role in the new Dion caucus. “She did not have a high-profile critic’s role and she had not been prominent in asking questions in question period after Mr. Dion took over,” suggested Fife.

Stronach has been serving as Critic for Competitiveness and New Economy. She previously served as Critic for the Minister of Transport under interim leader Bill Graham.

The public is also questioning Stronach’s move to keep her seat until the next federal election, they happen every five years or less. If she had decided to leave her seat completely, an immediate by-election would be called.

Brazil’s Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla

Friday, April 23, 2010

Minas, one of the largest states of Brazil, has stopped the sale of the Toyota Corolla over safety concerns.

The move was made after nine Corolla customers reported that their cars automatically accelerated. The state public prosecutor’s office said in an online statement on Tuesday that the problem is blamed on accelerator pedals sticking underneath floor mats. Local government said the issue was “putting in danger the lives of occupants”.

According to the prosecutor’s office, sales of Corollas may resume when Toyota alters the floormats in its current models. Toyota has recalled over eight million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems.

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 25) city council candidates speak

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 25). Three candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Blair, Robertson Boyle, Tony Dickins, Cliff Jenkins (incumbent), and Peter Kapsalis.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Why It Is Important To Use Experts For Heating And Air Conditioning Service In Edmond, Ok

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byAlma Abell

Even if you are an excellent DIY homeowner, it is wise to leave the care of your heating and air conditioning system to professionals. Today’s units are complex, and require expert servicing, to keep them efficient. Professionals who specialize in Heating and Air Conditioning in Edmond, OK also benefit you by providing the following services:

* 24/7 HELP: Quality HVAC experts will respond at any hour, and will dispatch technicians very quickly. These professionals will arrive with fully-loaded trucks, and be able to troubleshoot problems and make repairs immediately.

* IMPROVED AIR QUALITY: Modern homes have been designed to efficiently trap cooled and heated air. Unfortunately this also means that they trap pollutants, such as pet hair, dander, chemicals, dust mites, pollen, and mold. When these irritants accumulate in air ducts, they can circulate, and cause health issues. When HVAC professionals detect poor air quality, they will recommend solutions. These can include cleaning air ducts, installing UV lights, or adding HEPA filters.

* REPAIRS: Professionals who specialize in Heating and Air Conditioning in Edmond, OK can repair boilers, heat pumps, and furnaces. as well as air conditioning components. Experts, such as the technicians at Benchmark Mechanical Services, will advise you whether repairs and service can extend the life of your HVAC system. If not, they will explain the benefits of modern replacement units.

* PROFESSIONAL REPLACEMENT: When you need to replace your air conditioner or heating system, experts will help you choose a unit that is the right type and capacity for your needs. They work with dozens of models, manufactured by many different companies, and are factory trained to install them. If you are uncertain about a recommendation, they can show you examples online, the portfolio at HVAC technicians can also explain the cost-savings you will realize by replacing an inefficient, older system with a modern energy-saving unit. They can explain any rebates, discounts, and energy tax credits that you qualify for.

HVAC professionals will respond 24/7 when you have an emergency, and do their best to repair your heating or air conditioning system quickly and efficiently. They can also explain how to improve the quality of home air, and save money with an energy-efficient heating or cooling system.

Tornadoes damage hundreds of Missouri homes, force closure of airport

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An EF4 tornado struck near St. Louis, Missouri Friday night, forcing the closure of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and damaging over 2,700 buildings in St. Louis County. The National Weather Service also confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in neighboring St. Charles County and an EF2 touched down in Pontoon Beach, Illinois.

The city of Bridgeton, in North St. Louis County, was hit by the EF4 tornado. According to the National Weather Service, it was the most powerful tornado to touch down in the St. Louis region since 1967, with winds ranging from 166 and 200 miles (267 and 322 kilometres) per hour. Aftereffects of that tornado were also reported in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

One official estimated that anywhere from 50 to 200 homes in the Maryland Heights and Bridgeton areas incurred damage, but early numbers released by St. Louis County indicate that over 2,000 buildings in those two cities had suffered “noticeable damage,” which does not include minor damage. Around 30,000 people in the region did not have power Saturday, out of a total of 47,000 affected residents.

Authorities with search and rescue dogs went door-to-door Saturday, looking for possibly trapped residents. Aerial imagery was being used in damage assessment. Area residents unaffected by the tornado were assisting those that lost their homes, reported St. Louis television station KSDK.

The Harmann Estates neighborhood of Bridgeton was heavily damaged during the storm, with many residences losing roofs and siding. Officials have already condemned some of the subdivision’s homes. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley reported 25 homes in Bridgeton and Berkeley, Missouri as being completely destroyed and an additional 35 as uninhabitable.

Granite City, Illinois was struck by the EF2 tornado, while New Melle, Missouri was hit by the EF1. Fourteen New Melle homes sustained minor damage, while four were heavily damaged.

The storm also caused the temporary shutdown of two major St. Louis highways. Portions of Interstate 70 and Interstate 270 were closed Friday night due to fallen power lines and storm debris. Both blocked sections have since reopened, but officials said it would take a few days to remove all the debris, which they pushed onto the roadsides.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, which is immediately west of Berkeley, suffered heavy damage Friday night from the same tornado, and was forced to halt all regular operations Saturday while crews worked to clear the affected terminals. Eight flights had been forced to land in Kansas City, Missouri Friday night due to the tornado. About 500 people were in Lambert Airport when the tornado hit. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson said other US airports were not affected by Lambert’s shutdown. Lambert is not an airline hub and is significantly less busy than it was ten years ago.

In a Saturday press conference, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert’s director, said the airfield and Terminal 2 were “fully functional,” but the main terminal’s Concourse C had been severely impacted by the storm. That terminal, which sustained the heaviest damage, serves Air Tran, American Airlines, Cape Air, and Frontier Airlines. The total cost of repairs at Lambert is expected to be in the millions of dollars, but Hamm-Niebruegge said the airport does not yet have a good estimate.

It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.

One passenger of a waiting plane at Lambert told KSDK that heavy winds pushed the aircraft about 20 feet (6.1 metres) while it was still attached to the gate. Two other planes on the tarmac were unable to return to the airport, so passengers were bused back. Five planes—four operated by American and one by Southwest Airlines—suffered damage, and some will undergo major repairs.

Some travelers inside the airport received medical attention for minor injuries caused by flying glass. A handful of people were transported to a local hospital for additional treatment, but all were later released. “We get to the terminal and lights were out, glass everywhere, blood everywhere from people had been cut,” recalled one witness. Another person at the airport reported, “The ceiling was falling. The glass was hitting us in the face. Hail and rain were coming in. The wind was blowing debris all over the place. It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.”

On Saturday, it was evident that Concourse C would not be open for some time, said Mayor of St. Louis Francis Slay. A large section of its roof was missing and around half of its windows had been blown out by the high winds. Debris and water from the storm were present inside the airport as crews worked to restore power and assess damage to the terminal. Missing windows had been boarded up, ruined carpet had been removed, and the control tower was functional by Saturday afternoon. The power was back on by 7:40 p.m. CDT (00:40 UTC) that evening.

The airport resumed outgoing flight services Sunday, although several incoming flights landed at Lambert Saturday evening. Slay said the airport will be running at 70 percent capacity until mid-week, depending on the availability of airline crew members and planes. Airlines using Concourse C will have their operations temporarily relocated, he added. On Sunday, Southwest was operating at normal capacity, while AirTran moved to Concourse B and canceled four of its eleven scheduled flights. A spokesperson for American said the airline would have planes ready for normal Monday operations. American had previously canceled all St. Louis flights scheduled for Sunday.

It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing

On Saturday afternoon, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon arrived at Lambert and visited areas devastated by the tornado. He originally planned to tour Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, and Berkeley, but Nixon was only able to tour Berkeley due to an approaching line of storms. While in St. Louis, the governor said 750 Missouri homes had been damaged by Friday’s tornadoes and that federal assistance was forthcoming. Nixon reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was involved in assessing storm damage, as well as that US President Barack Obama had already contacted him, promising relief funds. US Representative Lacy Clay, said Saturday that he would brief Obama on the situation.

The state declared the affected areas of St. Louis County a disaster area. No one has reported serious injuries or deaths as a result of the storm, although some people were treated for minor injuries. “It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing,” Slay said.

13 pilot whales returning to sea, off Western Australia

Monday, April 4, 2005

Rescuers were today sending a pod of 13 pilot whales back into the ocean at Geographe Bay, near to Busselton, south of Perth, in Western Australia. Six additional members of the pod had died during the stranding, including at least one calf. More than 300 people were watching as the whales set out to sea following a 30 hour rescue effort.

The whales had become stranded early yesterday. Several power boats and a spotter plane were escorting the surviving whales towards Cape Naturalist, in an operation expected to take several hours.

Western Australian State Government Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) officers feared that the whales could become stranded again.

One CALM officer, Neil Taylor, told ABC News dozens of his colleagues and community volunteers had helped the whales survive throughout the night.

“The vet has checked them all and given them some antibiotics yesterday, last thing before dark,” he had told the Australian national broadcaster.

“I think the plan is that the vet will be there again [today] and will give them some vitamins to kick them along before they actually take their swim out to sea.”

British TV presenter Rico Daniels tells Wikinews about being ‘The Salvager’

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rico Daniels is a British TV presenter living in France who is known for his two television series — The Salvager — whilst he still lived in the UK and then Le Salvager after he moved to France. Rico has been in a variety of jobs but his passion is now his profession – he turns unwanted ‘junk’ into unusual pieces of furniture. Rico’s creations and the methods used to fabricate them are the subject of the Salvager shows.

Rico spoke to Wikinews in January about his inspiration and early life, future plans, other hobbies and more. Read on for the full exclusive interview, published for the first time:

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Freedom Party candidate Wayne Simmons, Don Valley East

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wayne Simmons is running for the Freedom Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Don Valley East riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Wayne did not answer “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Heatwave hits the UK and Ireland

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Today has seen Britain’s hottest recorded July day with temperatures hitting 36.5ºC (97.7ºF) in Wisley in Surrey. Warm air from the Gulf Stream is raising the temperature, and the hot weather is causing the asphalt on some public roads to melt, requiring gritting. Some schools stayed closed on Wednesday, while others shut at lunchtime. Many school sports days have also been cancelled.

People have been advised to drink plenty of water, not go out in the midday sun and keep curtains closed to cool rooms. People have also been asked to check the most vulnerable, including the elderly, the young and the sick. The RSPCA has also told pet owners to try and keep their pets cool.

The heat wave has also hit northern France and the Netherlands, with 4 people reported dead due to heatstroke.

However, some areas aren’t basking in the heat. Lerwick in the Shetland Islands is currently cloudy with fog, at only 18ºC (64ºF)

Weather forecasters have said that while the temperatures are not going to rise any further, it will get more humid as a band of showers arrive this evening, with night-time temperatures at 19ºC in London and Cardiff, 14ºC in Edinburgh and 18ºC in Dublin.

On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.


  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources