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Catholic teachers, trustees split over Bill 160 ruling

Separate school teachers and trustees could find themselves standing on opposite sides of the fence after the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association said it would “study” Justice Cumming’s ruling on Bill 160.

OCSTA president Regis O’Connor said last week the association “has always maintained that Catholic boards have a constitutional right to tax.”

Bill 160 still a go--for now

Bill 160, the Education Quality Improvement Act, will remain in effect for at least one school year, with the Harris government announcing it intends to proceed with its changes to the education system for September.

This despite a ruling by Justice Peter Cumming last week that Bill 160 violated the constitutional right of separate school boards to levy their own taxes.

Group questions tax shift

The Northern Action Group isn’t happy with town council’s decision to hike residential taxes by 10.5 percent (on average) while commercial ratepayers see theirs drop by 3.7 percent.

NAG spokesman Allan Bedard asked council Monday night to justify the shift, noting he was going to take the information back to the group.

Fetching for glory

Twelve dogs went fetching for glory at the third-annual Four Paws Retriever Contest held last Thursday in conjunction with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

From puppies to pros, the dogs put on a good show. Some performed perfectly, like Duane Gushulak’s chocolate lab, “Cabella,” while others, like Cherie Mollette’s life-jacket-wearing schnauzer, “Bo,” amused the crowd.

British cyclist riding across Canada

When Richard Elliott left his hometown of Southampton, England last month, he decided to go for a bike ride.

A long bike ride, that is.

Looking to experience “something different” before he heads off to his first year of university to study a four-year mechanical engineering course in Wales, the 19-year-old elected to bike across Canada and the United States.

Johnson wins local ‘Hawaiian Tropic’ crown

After five weeks of competition, Annissa Johnson got the surprise of a lifetime last Thursday when she was named winner of the regional Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada “Model Search and Pageant” finals at the Rainy Lake Hotel.

“I’m pretty shocked because all the girls were beautiful,” said Johnson, referring to the other two finalists, Amanda Borden and Juanita Hunter.

‘Deaf Trek’ trio makes stopover here

Three hearing-impaired athletes from southern Ontario made a brief stop here Friday before heading up to the Manitoba border near Kenora to kick-off a 10-week run to boost public awareness for the deaf culture.

“The Deaf Trek Across Ontario,” which officially began Saturday, also is being billed as a fundraiser for the Ontario Association of the Deaf.

Businesses bearing brunt of strike

Local businesses are feeling the crunch now that the strike by some 450 Communications, Energy and Papermakers members here—and the layoff of other mill workers—is into its seventh week.

“Yes, [the strike] has definitely had an impact in the past 30 days,” Tony Beyak of Causeway Pontiac Buick Ltd. said yesterday. “Sales are down 20 percent.