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Newsstand: December 31, 2012

Last Newsstand post of the year! In the news: Ontario and school support workers make a deal, a skiier dies, Idle No More shuts down VIA, last chance to save the NHL season, and the flu is felling Torontonians.

The province announced a tentative deal with the union representing Ontario’s 55,000 school support workers, just one day ahead of a deadline for unions to reach a deal with their local school boards. The Canadian Union of Public Employees announced the deal on Sunday after 30 hours of negotiations, and if the agreement holds it will leave the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation as the last two teachers’ unions in the province without a deal with the government. Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten is expected to start imposing contracts on January 2, and CUPE local leaders will vote on the support-workers deal on January 5.

A 16-year-old male from Markham died of head injuries after an accident at Lakeridge Ski Resort in Uxbridge, outside of Toronto. The teenager died in Sunnybrook hospital after suffering a serious head injury when he missed a jump in the resort’s Razor’s Edge terrain park. As is mandatory in the terrain park, he was wearing a helmet.

Protesters connected to the Idle No More movement for Native rights blocked the Toronto-Montreal VIA corridor near Belleville on Sunday evening, delaying more than 2,000 passengers. The demonstrations in support of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence—who is on a hunger strike that’s lasted for three weeks—spread across the country, including at the Eaton Centre downtown. Chief Spence, who is asking the PM to meet with First Nations leaders and recommit to fulfilling treaty obligations, met with opposition MPs and senators yesterday.

Last-ditch efforts to salvage the National Hockey League season get underway today as the NHLPA and the NHL are set to meet at the league office today. NHL commissioner has previously told the players’ union that a deal must be reached by January 11, with games starting on January 19, so if this round of talks fails we can shut the book on pro hockey for the season. If a deal can be made in time, the NHL would play a 48-game season, with the playoffs ending before July. Fingers crossed.

And if you haven’t had your flu shot yet, now wouldn’t be a bad time to get it: Ontario’s associate chief medical officer warned that the province is seeing a surge in flu cases, particularly in the last week. Go here to find out where you can get a free flu shot in Toronto.

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