Friday, 13 January 2012

Niagara News Bulletin January 1-31 2012

* Four migrants from Caribbean and African countries being held
indefinitely at the Niagara Regional Detention Centre launched a
rotating hunger strike to demand medical attention and due process
for their release. A phone-in and petition campaign succeeded in
getting them liberated from segregation, where they were confined for
daring to strike about their conditions.
* Three Mexican farmworkers in Niagara have sued the federal
government and their employer as well as the go-between for being
unfairly dismissed without due process. This is the first Charter rights
lawsuit of its kind in Ontario, filed after an investigation by the Niagara
Migrant Workers Interest Group, which includes the UFCW and
newcomer organizations. The farmworkers claim their travel pay was
improperly deducted twice, among other violations. The farm had
received a provincial government award of $50,000 shortly before
firing the three workers.
* Protesters marched as part of International Day to End Violence
Against Sex Workers under slogans such as “sex work shouldn’t
equal murder” and held a memorial including a roll call for “stolen
* A patient died from bacterial infection in the Niagara Falls hospital
as part of a new outbreak, with six patients still suffering from hospitalacquired
infections. A previous outbreak during the provincial
election killed 37 patients. Nearby Welland has also declared an
outbreak infecting eight patients and twelve workers, and two St.
Catharines patients have died. Administration has repeatedly declared
the crisis over, while workers and their unions warn the deaths will
continue because of cuts in beds, staff, and services. At the other end
of the region, at a coroner’s inquest into the death of a teenager last
winter, paramedics said that the closures of local emergency rooms
create extra stress since they have to drive further to give care to
* Port Colborne cut a Saturday bus service pilot project as part of
moves to reduce taxes by 0.5%, after the McGuinty Liberals failed to
keep a promise to reverse the downloading of services by the former
Conservative provincial government. Nearby Fort Erie is hiking bus
fares 25%, part of which will go towards private profits as the local
bus service is contracted out.