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Ford orders public-sector hiring freeze

TORONTO—Ontario's incoming premier has put the public service under a hiring freeze as part of a series of measures meant to limit spending as he re-examines the province's books.

A spokesman for Doug Ford said the Progressive Conservative leader also has directed government ministries to cancel “subscription-based services” and to restrict out-of-province travel.

Five struck by lightning

COURTLAND, Ont.—Provincial police say five people—three adults and two children—and a family dog suffered minor injuries yesterday when they were hit by lightning in southwestern Ontario.

Police said they were hit in Courtland, Ont., a community about 35 km south of Woodstock, Ont., around 3:45 p.m.

Judge approves landmark 'gay purge' settlement

OTTAWA—A federal judge has approved a landmark deal to compensate members of the military and other agencies who were investigated and sometimes fired because of their sexual orientation.

Cheers of joy and celebratory hugs greeted the decision of Federal Court Justice Martine St-Louis after hours of testimony yesterday from class-action members.

Orca pod makes second visit to Victoria Harbour

VICTORIA—A pod of orcas has made a brief visit to Victoria Harbour—the second excursion by a group of killer whales in as many weeks.

Jackie Cowan, who lives on a boat in the harbour and also is a captain on a whale-watching vessel, said the pod cruised in Sunday evening.

She identified them as transient orcas, which prey mainly on seals, sea lions, and dolphins.

Research deliberately spills oil to learn

KENORA, Ont.—Researchers were in Northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling diluted oilsands bitumen and crude oil into a lake to study how the ecosystem, from microbes to fish, responds.

The pilot project, known as Freshwater Oil Spill Remediation Study, is being done at the International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area southeast of Kenora, Ont.