Local News Briefs

Video of bullied student posted on Facebook

The assault and bullying of a 14-year-old Shaftesbury High School student was witnessed by as many as 40 students, videotaped and posted on Facebook. The boy’s mother said her son is devastated, as the bystanders not only watched but also threw cigarette butts and water at him. The boy was teased and allegedly kicked by a 14-year-old girl. Lawrence Lussier, Pembina Trails School Division superintendent, said staff is meeting with students and parents. Lussier told the Winnipeg Free Press that the bystanders, in addition to the alleged bully and the student who uploaded the video, will face consequences too. “Bystanding is just as supportive of the bullying being done as the people participating,” he said.

Potential travel fee for Canadians visiting the U.S.

A $5.50 fee could be charged against Canadian visitors who visit the United States by air or by sea. The 2012 budget that U.S. President Barack Obama submitted to Congress proposes such a fee, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates would increase revenue by $110 million a year. The money would provide additional funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The fee would not, however, apply to visitors arriving to the States in a private vehicle, CBC News reported.

Lawsuits filed against Greyhound, government

Debra Tucker and Kayli Shaw have filed separate lawsuits against the Canadian government, the RCMP and Vince Li, who killed Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in 2008. The two women, who were on the bus, seek $3 million because of alleged anxiety, shock and depression. The passengers claim Greyhound and the Canadian government failed to have proper safety measures in place, and that the RCMP did not remove Li from the bus in a timely manner. They also claim Li failed to get medical and psychiatric attention when he knew he had a medical condition. The claims have yet to be tested in court, CBC News reported. Li was found not criminally responsible for the murder as evidence suggested he has schizophrenia.

City considers larger smoking ban

The City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee has given the Manitoba government 30 days to move forward with outdoor smoking bans - and if the government doesn’t, the city is prepared to enact bylaws of its own. The provincial smoking ban currently forbids smoking in indoor public places. Jim Rondeau, minister of healthy living, said it’s up to municipalities to go beyond the provincial ban, as municipal councils can better analyze their needs. Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz told CBC News he doesn’t know how widespread an outdoor ban would be, but that “council is prepared to look at it” if the provincial government doesn’t budge.

Inmates may help fill sandbags

The province is considering having Manitoba prisoners fill sandbags to prepare for a possible spring flood, CBC News reported. Similar initiatives exist in the United States, and some provincial inmates helped fill sandbags during the 1997 flood. A spokesperson for the Manitoba Government Employees Union said inmates would volunteer and be selected based on physical ability and the charges they face. The city or province must make a formal request before Manitoba Justice Corrections can begin the initiative.

Published in Volume 65, Number 20 of The Uniter (February 24, 2011)

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