News in brief

Fourteen protest McGuinty’s proroguing of legislature

Yesterday afternoon, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s proroguing of the Ontario legislature drew 14 protesters to MPP John Gerretsen’s office building on Princess and Bagot Streets.

The protest, organized by the Kingston NDP, ran from noon to 1 p.m., ending with a walk to the front door of MPP Gerretsen’s office.

The Premier’s decision to prorogue legislature, announced alongside his resignation, has drawn much criticism from citizens.

Among the group of protesters was Kingston’s provincial NDP candidate Mary Rita Holland and the NDP MPP for London-Fanshawe, Teresa Armstrong.

Pamphlets bearing the words “The Liberals shut down Queen’s Park. Together, we can get MPPs back in their seats” were distributed to passersby.

People were asked to sign a petition against the proroguing. According to Holland, 50 signatures were gathered by the end of the protest, part of a campaign that began the night before.

“This is a beginning of a campaign,” Holland said. “We’ll be going door to door getting more signatures.”

— Janina Enrile

Ban Right Centre gets $5,000 from WIND Mobile

The Ban Righ Centre, which provides services and support for mature women students, was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by WIND Mobile through the WINDthanks program.

Wireless carrier WIND Mobile launched their new Kingston location at 1096 Princess St. yesterday and officially gave away the funds.

The WINDthanks program recognizes one local organization in the market that WIND is expanding into and awards a grant to encourage continuing improvement of the community.

Organizations are nominated and voted on, and the organization with the most votes receives the grant. The organizations can raise awareness through social media and encourage people to vote.

There are no specific qualities that WIND looks for in its grant recipients and they are generally “broadly beneficial” and important to the local community.

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO of WIND Mobile, said the program is about “empowering consumers by way of user engagement and community engagement.”

— Styna Tao

Squirrels destroy City Park holiday lights

Kingston squirrels may be notorious amongst Queen’s students for their erratic behavior, but now they’re also accused of interfering with a time-honoured Kingston tradition.

Squirrels have been eating the Christmas lights used to decorate trees in City Park, organizers say. The squirrels have been devouring the lights ever since the Kingston Electric Association, who oversees the project, made the switch to LED lights. “They’ve tried to munch on them from time to time but the old style [lights] they couldn’t break through the coating,” Association member Gary Oosterhof told the Whig-Standard.

Members of the association have searched online for solutions and tried covering the strands of lights with turpentine but have had no success in deterring the squirrels.

The squirrels never ate the older Christmas lights before the switch to LED lights, likely due to the older lights’ larger wire and thicker coating.

Because of the problem, only one 25-foot tall tree in the southwest corner of City Park will be lit this year instead of the traditional 40.

In the past, the cost for the lights was raised through local businesses and excess funds were given the Salvation Army and the Partners in Mission food bank. Many are now worried that with fewer trees decorated, less money will be raised and there will not be funds left over for charity.

— Shannon Hill

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