Cumberland councillor is on the mend

care. Blais is a first-term councillor who defeat- ed incumbent Rob Jellett in the 2010 elec- tion for the Cumberland ward seat on the City of Ottawa council. His family issued a news release after his transfer to the Heart Institute, thanking wellwishers for their support and stating that Blais looked for- ward to returning to work “as soon as pos- sible.” The Blais family also expressed grati- tude to paramedics, firefighter emergency staff, Goodlife Fitness staff, and staff at both Montfort Hospital and the Ottawa Heart In- stitute for their help. During his past two years on Ottawa city council, Blais has lobbied for the municipal- ity to explore transit options that would ex- tend the light-rail system project to the east side ahead of the current schedule plan. He

argues this would be better than building an interim rapid-transit bus setup that the city would just tear up later when it did ex- tend the light-rail system. Blais was also one of the key figures in the move to ban smoking at municipal parks, playgrounds and beaches as well as areas outside of municipal buildings like City Hall. When Ottawa city council approved a 2.1 per cent property tax increase for 2013, Blais said he would keep his campaign promise of donating 10 per cent of his councillor pay to charity because the tax rate hike exceeds the current rate of inflation. School walk- outs cancelled


OTTAWA | Cumberland ward Coun. Ste- phen Blais is “on the mend” according to his family. The councillor suffered a heart attack while in the midst of his regular ex- ercise routine last week. Blais collapsed Jan. 7 while he was work- ing out at the Place d’Orléans Goodlife Fit- ness outlet. For the past couple of months he had been working with a personal train- er at the facility. Gym staff began CPR on Blais until para- medics arrived to take him to Montfort Hos- pital. He was later transferred to the Uni- versity of Ottawa Heart Institute for tertiary


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It was business as usual at all schools in the Upper Canada district and every- where else in Ontario. Fears of one-day strikes by teachers at both elementary and secondary schools proved groundless after the unions cancelled their political protest plans. Both the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Second- ary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) had one-day walkouts each planned for Jan. 11 and Jan 16 as part of political protest plans against the soon-to-be cancelled Bill 115 and the imposed contract settlements on teacher unions as a result of the legislation. Members of the ETFO were all ready to either stay home or man picket lines last Friday as part of their one-day walkout. But the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) made a late-night ruling last Thursday that the planned political protest would consti- tute an illegal strike. The union called off the walkout and el- ementary teachers all reported to work at public schools in the Upper Canada and other school districts. Soon after the OLRB decision was announced in regional and provincial media the OSSTF announced that its planned walkout on Jan. 16 was also cancelled. The OLRB decision came too late for some parents of elementary-age students. Absen- teeism was up at some elementary schools in Upper Canada district and elsewhere because parents had kept their children at home or made other arrangements to look after them for the day because they still thought teachers would not be in for work.

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