Canada briefs – July 22

A hungry bear with a plastic jar stuck on its head had wildlife officials in northwestern Ontario scrambling Wednesday to trap the elusive animal, while conservationists cried foul over recycling habits.

Elusive, hungry bear spotted with head stuck in jar

A hungry bear with a plastic jar stuck on its head had wildlife officials in northwestern Ontario scrambling Wednesday to trap the elusive animal, while conservationists cried foul over recycling habits.

Concerns that it was the same bear spotted northeast of Thunder Bay two weeks ago, in the same dilemma, had provincial Ministry of Natural Resources officers fearing for its health.

Dehydration was their main concern.

“We know he’s weak, he looks very emaciated. He’s obviously lost some weight,” said Ross Johnston, a conservation officer with the ministry.

“It may just be the condensation from his breath inside this container that he’s surviving from.”

The 30-kilogram bear, believed to be about a year old, evaded ministry officials and provincial police, who spent two days trying to catch or tranquilize it.

Officials set a trap on Lambert Island, some 40 kilometres east of Thunder Bay, where Rob Paterson snapped a photo of the animal on Tuesday.


Liberals want fighter deal reviewed

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have asked Parliament’s budget watchdog to look into the government’s planned purchase of billions of dollars worth of F-35 fighter jets.

Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh has written to the parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, asking about the propriety of the deal to buy 65 of the high-tech jets at a total cost of $16 billion.

Dosanjh said the decision to forgo a competitive process in favour of the F-35 has to be examined.

He said it’s the latest in a series of defence purchases that went without competitive bidding.

In recent years, the government has purchased helicopters and two different transport planes on a sole-source basis, without seeking competitive bids from other manufacturers.


Part of exhibit featuring guns, victims removed

EDMONTON — The creators of a world-renowned art installation that features a five-tonne cube of small firearms, ammunition and landmines say they are “gobsmacked” that part of their exhibit has been removed because of one complaint from China.

“The Art of Peacemaking: The Gun Sculpture” is on exhibit at the United Nations Vienna International Centre.

Sandra Bromley and Wallis Kendal say they were informed by email that a board showing photos of victims of gun violence from around the world was taken down.

“We don’t understand it. We’re speechless, we’re furious and we feel it’s a real violent act to our exhibit,” Bromley said Wednesday.

The exhibit has three components — a massive gun sculpture created from 7,000 deactivated crime and military weapons donated from around the world; a large mural with photos of 114 images of victims and survivors of violence from around the world; and a wall-sized blackboard for visitors to leave messages.

Bromley says the artists were told that the photos had been removed because a Chinese delegation complained to exhibit organizers.