Air Canada Strike

Canada Post stamps commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

With Air Canada staff staging a wildcat strike today (including a horrific incident involving a man spitting into a baggage handler’s face) the CBC reviews the ailing airline’s history of labour strife. [CBC]

In a major legal decision, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that judges who do not consider lenient or creative sentences for aboriginal offenders are violating the law. The decision has been so polarizing (and energizing) that the Globe & Mail article, posted today, has received over 900 comments, some insightful, others deeply offensive. The crux of the matter seems to be this: how far does historic disadvantage (including institutionalized racism and oppression) extend?

“When sentencing an Aboriginal offender, courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and of course higher levels of incarceration for Aboriginal peoples,” a 6-1 majority said. [Globe & Mail]

Former prime minister Paul Martin says that Canadian students are being shortchanged in their understanding of Canadian history. In particular, he stresses the need to include more history about first nations.

“Should Canadian students be taught about the history of the Métis, the history of first nations and the history of the Inuit as a part of Canadian history? Absolutely,” Mr. Martin told The Globe. “And that’s also part of a wider question, which is: Do we teach Canadian history well in this classroom? And the answer to that is no.” [Globe & Mail]

Canada Post will release five new stamps commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 5. What does Canada have to do with the Titanic, you ask? In the days following the Titanic’s sinking, ships from Halifax were dispatched to pick up bodies, and three cemeteries in the city contain the remains of 150 people whose bodies were recovered at sea. [Toronto Star]

A hand-carved ceremonial club that British explorer Captain James Cook collected on Vancouver Island while searching for the Northwest Passage has been returned to the West Coast after a 234-year absence. [Vancouver Sun]

The Globe & Mail rounds up Canadian dynasties that have shaped the business landscape of our country. These captains of industry include the Billes family of Canadian Tire, the Irish immigrant Timothy Eaton of the eponymous department store, and the McCains who come from a long line of potato farmers and whose iconic frozen french fries are the delight of hungry children everywhere. [Globe & Mail]