Province Announces Support to Celtic Colours

first_imgCeltic Colours is celebrating 20 years of music and culture, and the province continues to invest in the festival’s success. Derek Mombourquette, MLA Sydney-Whitney Pier, on behalf of Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, announced today, Oct. 6, a provincial commitment of $160,000 this year. Today’s announcement brings the total provincial investment in the festival to $880,800 over the past five years. “On the 20th anniversary of Celtic Colours, the government of Nova Scotia is celebrating all this festival offers and our own contribution,” said Mr. Mombourquette. “It has grown significantly, with more musicians, artists and venues, and this anniversary is an even greater boost to the cultural economy and to tourism.” Cultural funding supports growth of the province’s cultural economy, which brings $949 million and 14,000 jobs to Nova Scotia. Celtic Colours is a significant success story in Nova Scotia’s culture sector. Beginning in 1997 as a fall music festival, it is now one of Canada’s premier tourism events, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from more than two dozen countries. “Celtic Colours works with more than 100 groups in 60 communities,” said Joella Foulds, executive director, Celtic Colours. “The festival provides a sense of community pride through the celebration of our culture and our beautiful environment. “It brings new skills, new experiences and reinforces the value of hospitality that is so important in Cape Breton. It is successful because of our people, volunteers, staff and partners who are there year after year.” The festival runs Oct. 7 to 15. Audiences will enjoy music, art, and Cape Breton culture and food in community halls and performance and exhibition venues across the island. Many visitors also hike or cycle through Cape Breton’s spectacular scenery. Details are available at . The celebration of culture brings economic benefits to Cape Breton through artist fees, accommodations, transportation, equipment and vehicle rentals, food and beverages, purchases from artisans of every type and retail purchases, gasoline and more. Between 2012 and 2015, Celtic Colours audiences spent $38 million in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

Qualité de leau du lac Fletcher

first_imgUn déversement de mazout domestique pourrait avoir une incidence sur la qualité de l’eau du lac Fletcher, à Fall River. On demande aux personnes qui tirent l’eau de ce lac d’éviter de l’utiliser si elles constatent un lustre huileux et une odeur distincte. L’ébullition de l’eau ne la rendra pas sécuritaire à la consommation. L’eau de surface ne doit jamais être consommée à moins d’être filtrée et désinfectée de façon appropriée et que la qualité de l’eau soit vérifiée. Les gens qui utilisent une source d’eau municipale peuvent continuer de consommer leur eau. -30-last_img

More Clean Energy Coming to Northern Nova Scotia

first_imgMore solar panels will be popping up in Antigonish and Parrsboro through the Solar Electricity for Community Buildings Pilot Program, announced today, Nov. 10, by Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan. “Nova Scotia is a national leader in reducing emissions and addressing climate change,” said Mr. Delorey. “Antigonish is fortunate to have community organizations like the Antigonish Community Energy Co-operative and municipalities like the Town of Antigonish that are dedicated to making Nova Scotia more energy secure. “Today’s announcement is about building on that success and helping more groups in communities across the province participate in a cleaner energy future.” Through the solar program, the Town of Antigonish has been approved to generate up to 50 kilowatts of solar electricity. The town will sell its solar generated electricity back to their utility through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement. “The Town of Antigonish has already demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy through investments in wind generation,” said Mayor Laurie Boucher. “We’re excited to participate in our first solar project which will enable us to gather more knowledge and information to expand our solar options in the future.” St. Francis Xavier University has been approved to add solar panels that can provide 18 kilowatts of power to the Physical Science Complex, and the Parrsboro Band Association is also approved for 35 kilowatts on its hall roof. A total of 18 successful applications were chosen across the province. All applications were overseen by Clean Foundation, the independent procurement administrator. The impact to ratepayers is capped at 0.1 per cent, which is already built into the rate stability plan. The program is for Mi’kmaw communities, registered non-profit or charitable organizations, municipalities or organizations owned by municipalities, universities or community colleges in Nova Scotia. The program will be offered for two more years. To see a complete list of all successful applicants, or to learn more about the program, visit read more

Interdictions de brûlage à compter du 15 mars

first_imgOn rappelle aux Néo-Écossais de consulter la carte des interdictions de brûlage à compter du 15 mars, date officielle du début de la saison de risque élevé de feu de forêt. Les gens doivent consulter le site Web pour savoir dans quels comtés et quelles municipalités les feux de broussailles ou les feux de camp sont permis ou interdits. Les interdictions de brûlage sont en vigueur jusqu’au 15 octobre. « Bien que nous ayons reçu moins de neige que dans les années précédentes, l’hiver a été humide et froid. Il est donc difficile de prévoir la saison à venir, souligne Margaret Miller, ministre des Ressources naturelles. Les gens doivent respecter les interdictions de brûlage pour contribuer à réduire les risques de feux de forêt. » Depuis les cinq dernières années, en mars et en avril, les pompiers ont lutté contre 295 feux de forêt en Nouvelle-Écosse. La carte en ligne est mise à jour quotidiennement à 14 h et indique si les feux de broussailles et les feux de camp sont permis. La carte présente les interdictions quotidiennes pour les comtés et les municipalités. Il est important de ne pas oublier que les feux de toute sorte sont interdits entre 8 h et 14 h tous les jours. Si un comté apparaît en vert, les feux sont permis de 14 h à 8 h le lendemain. Si un comté apparaît en jaune, les feux sont permis de 19 h à 8 h le lendemain. Si un comté apparaît en rouge, les feux sont interdits. Les gens doivent également consulter les règlements de leur municipalité, puisqu’ils peuvent donner des directives différentes. Les renseignements sur les interdictions de brûlage sont également communiqués par message enregistré au numéro sans frais 1-855-564-2876 (BURN). La carte en ligne s’applique uniquement au brûlage de déchets domestiques. Pour le brûlage industriel, un permis du ministère des Ressources naturelles est toujours nécessaire.last_img read more

ZEE5 looks at Israel for AIbased solutions ties up with Applicaster

first_imgTel Aviv,: ZEE5, the OTT destination and digital entertainment platform of media and entertainment major ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., has announced a strategic partnership with Applicaster, one of the leading global cloud platforms for media app development and management in the media space. The collaboration inked last week in the presence of Pavan Kapoor, the Indian Ambassador to Israel, will focus on redesigning the entire interface of the ZEE5 app, given the evolving trends and preferences of the new-age OTT viewer. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents The collaboration is one among many that ZEE5 is undertaking with the Israeli startup’s excelling in bringing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to enhance user experience and allow the streaming service to make its platform interactive. More that a dozen Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) have already been inked by ZEE5 with thw Israeli company focusing on use of deep technology to gauge user behaviour and generate content best suited to a user’s needs. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief The partnership between ZEE5 and Applicaster will ensure a high-quality entertainment experience to the former’s 61.5 million monthly active user base. Via the partnership, Applicaster will work with ZEE5 to enhance the latter’s user interface and experience, leveraging its state-of-the-art technology and industry knowledge on the evolving trends across the globe. ZEE5 has been consistently focussed on enriching the platform with multiple tools which can enhance the experience for the viewer. Applicaster will also enhance ZEE5’s over functionality offering a seamless content viewing experience to the viewers. “India is the world’s fourth largest app market and one of the most crowded one for OTT players. ZEE5 has been a frontrunner in bringing the best-in-class experience for subscribers seeking entertainment content in multiple Indian languages,” Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India, said. “And today we have become the first to harness the capabilities of Israeli tech startups and their expertise in the mobile entertainment space. With the warming up of relations between the two advanced countries, we are confident of building a winning proposition for all involved. “Our journey over the past year has given us immense insights in terms of the changing behaviour of OTT viewers. This knowledge complemented by the technological prowess of Applicaster will result in a delightful experience for the ZEE5 viewers the world-over,” Katial added. Applicaster is a world-leading cloud-based platform for app development and management, providing the tools and insights needed to own and engage audiences across mobile and connected TV platforms. It has successfully developed and enhanced applications for some of the finest news and media global brands like DirectTV and Televisa. ZEE5 is home to 1 lakh hours of On Demand Content and more than 80 live TV channels. With over 3,500 films, over 500 TV shows, more than 4,000 music videos, LIVE TV Channels across 12 languages, ZEE5 provides one of largest content pool for its viewers in India and abroad. The platform also offers features like 11 navigational languages, content download option, seamless video playback and Voice Search.last_img read more

100 deficiencies found during night and evening police patrolling till May this

first_imgNew Delhi: Deficiencies during the night and evening police patrolling were reviewed at the meeting held in Delhi Police headquarters earlier this June. According to police, in the current year (till May), more than 100 deficiencies were noticed by gazetted officers (GOs) of Delhi Police.Police sources told Millennium Post during a meeting police visibility checking during evening and night including deficiencies were discussed. Police data of five districts revealed that as many as 59 deficiencies were noticed by district GOs during evening patrolling. “In the night nearly 61 deficiencies were reported by GOs in six districts,” added police sources. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in Denmark”The deficiencies were related to the patrolling pattern, bad condition of light and reflectors, presence and number of police staff,” sources said. In the meeting, senior police officers discussed various issues, including curbing deficiencies and new techniques which can be implemented for more effective patrolling. “The focus of the discussion was to make patrolling more better,” added sources. Last year more than 300 deficiencies related to night patrolling pattern in different districts were noticed by district night (gazetted officers) GOs of Delhi Police. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsAs many as 4,420 staff were deployed for evening patrolling and more than 3,000 police personnel were on duty for night patrolling. “Over 1,700 motorcycles were deployed for patrolling in various parts of the city,” data added. The data further revealed that as many as 203 robbers/snatchers were apprehended by evening police staff whereas in the night 153 criminals were nabbed. “Burglars/thieves-273, persons with firearms-171 and others-586 persons were nabbed during the evening,” added sources. In the night, police caught 243-burglars/thieves, 124-persons with firearms and 309-others. The city police, after analysing the crime trend in all districts and one unit, deployed 813 motorcycles for patrolling. In meeting, the discussion was held to curb violent crime in which firearms are used by criminals. The other points like pendency of CPGRAMS grievances, VIP references, NHRC references, LG’s Listening Post grievances, CMTS complaints were reviewed.last_img read more

Ironies and pressure points

first_imgThere are doubts in the minds of foreign policy minions in the Indian government who, till now, were elated with having told the visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that there was no scope of cancelling the S400, Air Defence Weapon System procurement deal with Russia as it was in their National Interests to procure the S400. This issue had grown out from the CATSAA in an otherwise placid relationship. The US Congress had passed this as a law on August 2, 2017, and President Donald Trump had acquiesced albeit, gingerly. “Title II of the Act primarily deals with sanctions on Russian interests such as its oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions, in the backdrop of its military intervention in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections”. Section 231 of the Act empowers the US President to impose at least five of the 12 listed sanctions—enumerated in Section 235 of the Act—on persons engaged in a “significant transaction” with Russian defence and intelligence sectors. Two of the most stringent of these sanctions are the export licence restriction by which the US President is authorised to suspend export licences related to munitions, dual-use, and nuclear-related items; and the ban on American investment in equity/debt of the sanctioned person. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe US President has delegated his powers to the Secretary of State to implement Section 231 in consultation with the Treasury Secretary. In this section, the Department of State has notified 39 Russian entities, dealings with which could make third parties liable to sanctions. These include almost all of the major Russian companies/entities such as Rosoboronexport, Almaz-Antey, Sukhoi Aviation, Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, and United Shipbuilding Corporation which are active in manufacturing defence items and/or their exports. These are all major suppliers to the Indian Government Also Read – Insider threat managementThis pressure point from the US was jarring as it arose whilst an Indian External Affairs brief had extolled that “India-U.S. bilateral relations have developed into a “global strategic partnership”, the Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-US strategic partnership with the signing of ‘New Framework for India-US Defence Relations’ in 2005 and the resulting intensification in defence trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy, and exchanges between each of the three services. The Defence Framework Agreement was updated and renewed for another 10 years in June 2015″. And that the two countries now conducted more bilateral exercises with each other than they did with any other country. Bilateral dialogue mechanisms in the field of defence were all pervasive and it included Defence Policy Group, Defence Joint Working Group, Defence Procurement and Production Group, Senior Technology Security Group, Joint Technical Group, Military Cooperation Group, and Service-to-Service Executive Steering Groups. The agreements signed during the past one year include, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA) signed in August 2016, Fuel Exchange Agreement signed in November 2015, Technical Agreement (TA) on information sharing on White (merchant) Shipping signed in May 2016 and the Information Exchange Annexe (IEA) on Aircraft Carrier Technologies signed in June 2016. In February 2017, the LEMOA led to a Master Ship Repair Agreement between the Indian firm Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) and the US Navy to provide repair and alteration service at its Pipavav Shipyard for the ships of the US Seventh Fleet consisting of some 100 vessels operating in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions. This contract is likely to generate in excess of 10,000 crores in revenue to RDEL in the next five years. On the other hand, one does not see a planned reciprocal opportunity accruing to the Indian Navy in the near future. The aggregate worth of defence acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 13 billion( 2017) and they included 13 C 130 J Hercules aircraft, 10 C -17 Globemaster, 12 P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Boeing, 22 AH 64 Apache helicopters, 15 CH 47 Chinook helicopters, 145 M777 Howitzers. Also in 2012, Tata Advanced System Ltd (TASL) and Lockheed Martin established a JV to produce C 130 airframes components. TASL also established a JV with M/s Sikorsky to produce S-92 helicopter cabins. The United States agreed to supply India with the General Atomics MQ-9 Guardian/Predator-B long-range unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). This UCAV equipped with advanced marine avionics has both air and sea variants and can be armed with up to four AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs. But at this stage, the US government insisted on signing the COMCASA agreement. Without this agreement, the US indicated that it could not part with highly coded communication equipment with the military platforms they sell to India, whilst claiming it will also allow India access to the big database of American intelligence, including real-time imagery. In fact, it went on to include all previous acquisitions of aerial platforms including the C-130Js, Globemaster, P-8 Poseidon, AH 64 Apache helicopters and CH 47 Chinook helicopters in this agreement. We would recall that during the C -130J contract Indian Defence Minister had declined to sign COMCASA and had accepted to function without the special communication equipment. The COMCASA will effectively mean that, like it or not, India also shares real-time intelligence it acquires with the USA. (The author is a retired Air Commodore and strategic affairs commentator. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

1 killed 14 saved from Mumbai building blaze

first_imgMumbai: At least one person was killed and one critically injured while 14 others were rescued from a fire that broke out in a four-storeyed building in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon.According to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Control, the fire was noticed around 12.20 p.m. on the third floor of Churchill Chambers, behind the iconic Hotel Taj Mahal in Colaba area.Teams of fire brigade rushed to the spot and started fire-fighting operations. At least 14 residents, who were trapped, were rescued using fire-ladders and brought down safely.One person, Shyam Ayyar, 54, who was injured critically, was declared dead at the GT Hospital.Another seriously injured 50-year-old man, Yusuf Poonamwala, has been admitted to Bombay Hospital for treatment.The police have cordoned off the busy Mereweather Road after the blaze triggered panic among the locals and tourists.last_img read more

Saudi King Salmans brother dies at 96

first_imgRiyadh: Saudi Arabia was gearing up Monday for the funeral of King Salman’s elder brother, the royal court said, after he died at the age of 96. “His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Abdulaziz al-Saud passed away,” the royal court said Sunday in a brief statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. “A funeral prayer will be performed for his soul… on Monday… at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.” The prince was the eldest surviving son of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch, King Abdulaziz. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The royal court did not elaborate on the cause of his death, but some local media said he had been ill for several years. He was not said to be a politically active member of the royal Al-Saud family which counts thousands of members, only a handful of whom wield direct influence over the kingdom. His sons, however, hold key government positions. Prince Faisal bin Bandar is the governor of Riyadh while Prince Abdullah bin Bandar is the head of the Saudi National Guard. His death comes as King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who sidelined his cousin as heir to the throne — consolidates his grip on power.last_img read more

OVL partners to acquire 49 stake in Russias Vankor cluster oilfields

first_imgNew Delhi: A preliminary pact for a consortium of Indian companies led by ONGC Videsh (OVL) for acquiring about 49 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor cluster oilfields may be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was in Moscow last week in preparation for the Prime Minister’s visit. Modi will be the chief guest at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok between September 4 and 6 and would also meet the Russian President for their annual summit. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalA host of agreements is expected to be signed during the visit and one of them could be on cooperation in oil and gas, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. This cooperation agreement may include Indian state-owned firms picking up 49 per cent stake in Vankor cluster oilfields, they said. Indian firms have been in dialogue with Russia since 2017 for a possible stake in the oilfields that will consolidate their presence in the energy-rich Arctic region. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostMid-way through the negotiations, Rosneft had offered to club five more fields in the same region to the three that were already on the table, the sources said. OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), may hold 26 per cent stake in Suzunskoye, Tagulskoye and Lodochnoye fields — collectively known as Vankor cluster, while Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil India Ltd and Bharat PetroResources Ltd (a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd or BPCL) would split the rest 23 per cent, they said. Rosneft, Russia’s national oil company that owns the fields, wants to retain a majority stake and is keen to sell only up to 49.9 per cent stake. Energy-hungry India is keen on sourcing one million barrels per day of oil and oil-equivalent gas from Russia and had identified Sakhalin-3 in the Far East, Vankor in East Siberia, and Terbs and Titov oilfields in Timan Pechora region as fields for potential collaboration. But for Vankor, it has so far not been successful in its attempts. OVL already has 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Far East Russia, and in 2009 acquired Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, for $2.1 billion. Russia is wooing Indian investments in its Far East region ahead of Modi’s Vladivostok visit to balance China’s expanding presence in the resource-rich region. OVL’s stake in Vankor cluster will be in proportion to 26 per cent stake in had bought in the main Vankor oilfield. OIL-IOC-BPRL have 23.9 per cent in the main Vankor field. Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft, is developing the Vankor oil and gas condensate field, situated in the northern part of Eastern Siberia. In 2013, Vankorneft was chosen as an operator on development of new fields of Vankor cluster — Suzunskoye, Tagulskoye and Lodochnoye fields, located close to the Vankor field. The reserves of Suzunskoye field exceed 56 million tonnes of oil and condensate, and 35 billion cubic metres of gas. In 2016, OVL first acquired 15 per cent stake in Russia’s second-biggest oilfield of Vankor for $1.268 billion and then bought another 11 per cent for $930 million. The 26 per cent stake would give OVL 7.31 million tonnes of oil. The consortium of OIL-IOC-BPRL acquired 23.9 per cent stake in the field at a cost of $2.02 billion, giving them 6.56 million tonnes of oil. Rosneft continues to hold the remaining 50.1 per cent shares of JSC Vankorneft. The field has recoverable reserves of 2.5 billion barrels. Besides, the OIL-IOC-BPRL consortium has taken another 29.9 per cent stake in a separate Taas-Yuryakh oilfield in East Siberia for $1.12 billion. The investments had taken the total outlay in Russia in that year to $5.46 billion. These investments will give India 15.18 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The investment made compares to $28.48 billion investment by Indian oil and gas companies overseas in the past 50 years, giving it about 10 million tonnes of oil equivalent. While Vankor produces about 442,000 barrels of oil per day (4 per cent of Russian crude oil production), Taas currently produces about 21,000 barrels per day of oil, and a peak of 1,00,000 bpd is expected by 2021.last_img read more

Centre delaying payments for rural job scheme Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the scopes of 100 days work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) are gradually shrinking due to some restrictions imposed by the Centre.Banerjee during her speech in the Assembly said the opportunities in 100 days work have been reducing in the state due to the Center’s apathy. She also accused the Narendra Modi government of intentionally delaying the payments under the MGNREGA. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaShe pointed out that the Bengal government has already converged Panchayats and Rural Development department with various other departments like Irrigation and Waterways, Forest, Fisheries and Environment to provide some momentum to the 100 days work in the state and also to ensure that more number of people are brought under the scheme. “The Centre has made some restrictions in some areas as a result of which the scopes of 100 days work have narrowed down in the state. They have a tendency to reduce the opportunities in 100 days work. The people are facing difficulties as there is a delay in the release of funds by the Centre. We have urged the Centre on a number of occasions to clear the dues on time,” the Chief Minister said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayShe further added: “We have done a convergence between the Panchayats and Rural development department and other departments like Irrigation and Waterways, Forest, Fisheries and Environment in such a manner that more number of people get opportunity. More jobs will be created if the Forest department deploys people under the 100 days work or the Fisheries department provides fingerlings to those who dig up ponds under the ‘Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo’ scheme. We have discussed it during the administrative review meeting on how 100 days work can be implemented through the involvement of various Self-Help Groups.” Banerjee once again reminded the House that the Bengal government has secured first position in the implementation of the 100 days work scheme in the country and also the same position for creating employment. In the construction of rural roads Bengal has topped the list. During a question-answer session, Panchayats minister Subrata Mukherjee in the Assembly said around 33.83 man-days were created by his department in 2018-19 while in the current financial year, 5.73 crore man-days have already been created so far under the MGNREGA.last_img read more

Govt to provide coaching to IAS aspirants in Urdu

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi government is likely to provide coaching to IAS aspirants in Urdu, taking steps towards making the language a means to build a career, an official statement said on Tuesday. It stated Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Art, Culture and Languages Manish Sisodia interacted with toppers in Urdu language hailing from various universities of Delhi on Monday evening. “The Urdu Academy should start providing coaching to interested students,” the statement quoted Sisodia as saying at the event. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Study material in Urdu will soon be accessible to students who want to write their papers in the medium. “In the way English and Hindi are treated as a standard language of teaching and study, Urdu language will also be treated at par with them,” Sisodia said. Dignitaries from the Delhi government, along with Urdu Academy Vice-Chairman Professor Shehpar Rasool, were also present at the event. Students excelling in the field of Urdu were awarded at the event, the statement said. They represented Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawahar Lal Nehru, District Institute of Education and Training and Maharishi Valmiki College of Education, it added.last_img read more

Van attack looks unrelated to national security threat level unchanged Goodale

first_imgOTTAWA – There remains no information to warrant a change in Canada’s risk level, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale reiterated Monday following what he described as a “horrendous” midday van attack in Toronto that killed 10 pedestrians and injured 15 others.Goodale was on hand for a news conference in the northern Toronto neighbourhood where the deadly attack took place earlier in the day — and where police revealed both the identity of the driver of the van and that the death toll had reached double digits.“The events that happened on the street behind us are horrendous, but they do not appear to be connected in any way to national security, based on the information available at this time,” he said.Goodale and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland happened to be in the city Monday for a meeting of G7 foreign and security ministers when news emerged of the incident, which took place without warning on a crowded city sidewalk under brilliant spring sunshine.He told an earlier briefing with reporters that the precise details of what had happened, as well as the motive behind the “attack,” were still unknown, and he confirmed Canada’s risk level would remain unchanged.“There is no information available to me at the present time that would lead us to conclude that there should be a change in risk level.”Not long after the incident and not far from the scene, a man seen standing near a badly damaged white rental van was taken into custody following a dramatic standoff with police that was captured on video by a bystander.During the evening news conference, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders identified the man as Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., but said it was still too early to speak of a motive.“We are looking very strongly to what the exact motivation was for this particular incident to take place,” Saunders said.Canada’s current threat level is medium, where it has been since October 2014, when a gunman killed a sentry at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa before storming Parliament Hill, where he died in a hail of gunfire.Both Goodale and Freeland expressed admiration for police and first responders on the scene and offered sympathies to the victims and their families.“I think all of our hearts go out to the people hurt in this incident and to their families and loved ones,” Freeland said. “It’s a very sad moment.”In a statement Monday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed.“We should all feel safe walking in our cities and communities,” Trudeau said. “We are monitoring this situation closely, and will continue working with our law enforcement partners around the country to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.”The prime minister also thanked first responders “who managed this extremely difficult situation with courage and professionalism.”“They faced danger without hesitation, and their efforts no doubt saved lives and prevented further injuries,” he said.News of the incident sent shockwaves through the House of Commons, with many politicians and staffers closely monitoring social media for updates. Police provided little detail through the afternoon, adding to the ongoing sense of confusion and concern as the hours passed.Ali Ehsassi, MP for the Willowdale riding where the incident occurred, said there were many pedestrians in the area at the time.“It’s a very busy area,” he said, adding he did not know any reason why the area might have been targeted. “(I’m) very much shaken up, as you can imagine, and just been glued to my phone just trying to obtain as much information as I possibly can.”Ehsassi said his own home is just two minutes away from the Yonge Street scene. He shared condolences for his neighbours and constituents.“My heart goes out to them. They’re in my heart, they’re in my thoughts and I’m very much looking forward to heading back home as soon as possible.”Earlier in the day, Goodale said he understands there are many questions that remain unanswered, but said law enforcement is working hard to get as much information out as quickly as possible.“We cannot come to any firm conclusions at this stage. The police are conducting their thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened and why it happened.”last_img read more

Life and death Mistake sent one family to funeral home the other

first_imgDoctors told Jody Littlewolf that her daughter was brain dead and should be taken off life support, but the mother couldn’t shake a strange feeling she had about the teenage girl lying in front of her.Littlewolf repeatedly refused to have the girl whose body had been badly battered in a car crash taken off the machines keeping her alive in a Calgary hospital.“I just knew something wasn’t right.”A two-hour drive south of the city, at a funeral home in Cardston, Alta., Judy Medicine Crane and several relatives had gathered to pick out a casket and flowers for her daughter, who had been in the same collision.Medicine Crane hadn’t been allowed to see the body — too much trauma, a medical examiner had told her.When a funeral home employee later handed her a velvet bag with her girl’s jewelry inside, she was perplexed. She had never seen the necklace, bracelet, silver tongue stud and pink nose ring. Her daughter didn’t have a pierced nose.Medicine Crane questioned the worker about the nose ring. “He just looked at me and said, ‘Oh, it could have been while the vehicle was rolling around and, like, got stuck in her nose.’”“That was what his answer was. And I was just trying to make sense of it.”The two mothers would struggle with more questions following the crash near Standoff on the Blood Reserve on July 31, 2005. After three days, it would be discovered that the girls, close friends who belonged to the same youth group, had been mistaken for each other.Littlewolf’s daughter, 15-year-old Chantal Many Grey Horses, was not the girl in the hospital bed. She had died in the crash.And Medicine Crane’s daughter, 17-year-old Misty Medicine Crane, was not in the funeral home. She was the one in hospital.It was a mix-up similar to one last month when two junior hockey players from the Humboldt Broncos were misidentified after a fatal crash between the team’s bus and a semi-truck.Two days later, it was discovered that a player believed to be dead was actually alive in hospital, while a player thought to have been injured was dead in a morgue.Littlewolf, of the Piikani Nation, says the uneasiness she felt about the girl in the hospital bed turned to certainty when she asked the nurses if she could help wash the body.Littlewolf and Chantal would often hang out at home and massage each other’s feet.“I was standing at the foot of her bed,” she recalls. “Just when I ran my thumb up her foot — I felt the texture. I knew that was (the other girl) Misty right then and there.”At the same time, a nurse told Littlewolf she had the same eyes as the girl in the bed. The mother ran out into the hall and prayed and cried. She told people the girl wasn’t her daughter, but they didn’t believe her.“Everyone was telling me I was in shock.”Medicine Crane, who lives in Lethbridge, Alta., says that as she and the family sat in a restaurant, she continued to voice concerns about the girl they were planning to bury. A niece asked if anyone had checked for a tattoo.Medicine Crane had forgotten about the skin design. A month before the crash, for Misty’s birthday, the pair had gone together to get inked. Medicine Crane got a small heart with a zebra on her ankle.Misty had the words “life” and “death” put on the back of her left shoulder.Medicine Crane raced back to the funeral home. After arguing with staff, she finally got to see the girl’s body.She had no tattoo.There were frantic phone calls and the two families switched places at the funeral home and the hospital.Medicine Crane said her daughter was alive but already gone. When doctors showed her an image of Misty’s brain and explained that she had suffered more than 200 strokes, she agreed to have her taken off life support.She and her family then went back to the same funeral home and continued with the burial plans.Blood Tribe police said at the time that they had relied on other passengers in the car to identify the girls.Medicine Crane says one of the witnesses had just met her daughter the day of the crash. And most of them had been drinking and were likely to have been unreliable.She also doesn’t understand why no one asked the families about identifying features such as piercings and tattoos.Both mothers say they were angry but have since accepted the mistake and moved on.“I’m sad that it had to be that way,” says Medicine Crane, who adds she would have liked to have had more time with her daughter in the hospital.“But I can deal with it now. I can be stronger about it.”Littlewolf says she’s glad she had the time in the hospital, even though her girl was never there. She’s sure her daughter’s spirit heard her talking and whispering “I love you.”“That’s what got me through it without putting blame on people,” she says.“If I kept that anger, I’d never be able to move on.”last_img read more

BC latest province to pay for abortion pill that currently costs 300

first_imgVANCOUVER – British Columbia has announced it will pay for the so-called abortion pill starting Jan. 15, becoming the sixth province to provide free access to the drug.Mifegymiso, also known as RU-486, can be used to terminate a pregnancy in the first nine weeks, the government said in a news release Tuesday.It said the current cost of the drug is $300, and removing it will ensure women can access a safe, legal option to end a pregnancy.Patients wanting a prescription must visit a doctor or nurse practitioner to get an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy is not ectopic, or outside the uterus.Health Canada approved Mifegymiso in 2015, and it’s the brand name for a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, which are taken separately to prompt an abortion.New Brunswick was the first province to provide universal access to the pill last July, and Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia have also made it accessible for free.Dr. Dorothy Shaw, vice-president of medical affairs for BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre in Vancouver, said health-care professionals, including family doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists, midwives and nurse practitioners are encouraged to complete an online education program about how the combination drug works and how to counsel women on what to expect after they’ve taken the medication.“The earlier that we give medication for an abortion, or the earlier that we do a surgical abortion, the safer it is,” Shaw said.Darrah Teitel, spokeswoman for the group Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, said coverage of the pill means more equitable access to abortion in rural and remote parts of Canada where surgical options don’t exist.While the abortion pill is available throughout the country, the cost can exceed $400, she said.“With cost coverage, we also urge the provinces to do a lot of work in terms of spreading awareness, not only to pharmacists but also to health practitioners and to the public at large to let them know that this pill is available,” Teitel said.Stephanie Fennelly, spokeswoman for the Edmonton-based Wilberforce Project, which opposes abortion, said the drug shouldn’t be promoted in rural areas, where women need better health care in general.Women in crisis pregnancies also need financial resources and help parenting, Fennelly said.“A lot of people are selecting abortion not because it’s their first choice, but their last resort.”Fennelly called Mifegymiso dangerous, saying a Quebec woman died from taking it during a research trial in 2001.However, Shaw said a subsequent investigation showed no link to the drug, and the woman’s death was caused by an unrelated infection.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Pink Shirt Day marks 10year anniversary

first_imgWednesday marks Pink Shirt Day across the country.The anti-bullying movement first started ten years ago in Nova Scotia as two teens decided to stick up for a fellow student who was being picked on.Co-founder Travis Price says it’s hard to believe they’ve been doing this for as long as they have.“It’s motivational, it’s moving, it’s humbling. To know this is something I was part of starting so many years ago and here we are and we’re still doing it-it’s always hard to find words. It’s very hard not to be nostalgic all year and get emotional about how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown, how much I’ve grown.”Price will be spending the day in the Vancouver area speaking to students, telling them it’s okay to talk about bullying, to show people it’s not acceptable.“We need to make sure that youth know that they’re protected everyday and that they’re going to safe and healthy environment’s be it at school or online,” he said.“It’s also a good time for parents to open up conversation, talk about things maybe they went through, maybe they’re going through something in the workplace. Bullying isn’t something that just happens in schools so I think it’s a great day to have a conversation.”Price says the cause is close to his heart.“From being a 17-year-old kid not really knowing much about bullying other than the fact of, you know, it happened to me and I didn’t want it to happen to others to now being viewed as one of the professionals in the country that, you know, works with bullying prevention, works with youth, works with families, I’m honoured and I’m humbled.”This year’s Pink Shirt Day theme is cyber bullying.last_img read more

Heres a list May inflation rates for Canadian provinces territories

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada’s national annual inflation rate was 2.2 per cent in May, Statistics Canada says. Here’s what happened in the provinces (previous month in brackets):— Newfoundland and Labrador: 1.8 per cent (1.5)— Prince Edward Island: 2.4 (2.2)— Nova Scotia: 2.3 (2.8)— New Brunswick: 2.1 (2.2)— Quebec: 1.7 (1.7)— Ontario: 2.3 (2.1)— Manitoba: 2.7 (2.9)— Saskatchewan: 3.0 (2.5)— Alberta: 2.6 (2.3)— British Columbia: 2.7 (2.7)last_img

Jury finds Quebec construction mogul Tony Accurso guilty of fraud other charges

first_imgLAVAL, Que. – A jury has found Quebec construction magnate Tony Accurso guilty on all five charges he was facing including fraud and corruption.Accurso, 66, was impassive as the jury delivered the verdicts on their seventh day of deliberations on Monday.He was on trial in connection with a municipal corruption scheme involving former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.The Crown had argued that Accurso participated in a kickback scheme on construction contracts doled out in that city.At his trial, Accurso denied any involvement and testified he was not aware of any such system in place.Accurso was found guilty on five charges, which were conspiracy to commit corruption in municipal affairs, conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud of more than $5,000, corruption of municipal officials and breach of trust.More than two dozen people were charged in the fraud case, including Vaillancourt, who pleaded guilty to demanding kickbacks from construction companies in exchange for municipal contracts and was sentenced to six years in jail.Accurso was the only one who opted to go to trial.“It’s very disappointing for him, after presenting his defence, giving his testimony, he feels like someone who has been found guilty of something he denied,” said defence lawyer Marc Labelle.The veteran lawyer wouldn’t comment on the possibility of appealing the case, but agreed his client’s notoriety may have tilted the case against him.Crown attorney Richard Rougeau welcomed the jury’s decision.“Obviously, it’s an accomplishment,” he told reporters at the Laval courthouse. “We are particularly satisfied with the result.”A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday before Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton.It was Accurso’s second trial on the same charges — last November, his first fraud and corruption trial ended in a mistrial.The second trial began in May.last_img read more

Top court set to hear case involving crotchgrabbing nuns sexual intent

first_imgTORONTO – An Indigenous man who was denied compensation on the basis that a nun had no sexual intent when she grabbed his genitals takes his case to Canada’s top court this week amid a tense power struggle between a judge overseeing implementation of the Indian residential school class-action settlement and the head of the process that awards payouts to victims.The man, identified only as J.W., was a residential school student in Manitoba as a boy. In a claim accepted as factual, he said he was in line for a shower when a nun grabbed and squeezed his genitals, causing him distress. J.W. sought compensation under the independent assessment process set up as part of a class-action settlement over the schools.An adjudicator turned him down because he had failed to prove the nun had a “sexual purpose.” J.W. argued he shouldn’t have needed to prove her intent but his attempts at redress through the assessment review process failed.J.W. turned to the judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench supervising the class-action settlement in Manitoba, who decided the original decision was unreasonable and the reviews overseen by the chief adjudicator had failed to fix the problem. The judge ordered a new compensation hearing.However, the Government of Canada successfully appealed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal by arguing the judges supervising the settlement have almost no authority to review the compensation decisions.J.W. appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which takes up the complex case on Wednesday. The outcome could affect other victims as the residential school compensation process winds down.In submissions to the top court, J.W. argues the Manitoba Appeal Court ruling would place the chief adjudicator beyond judicial scrutiny — even if his decisions are unreasonable.“To be bound by rules is not to make an empty gesture of applying them, or to apply them in an irrational or absurd way,” J.W. argues in his factum before the top court.In response, Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro and the federal government argue it would be disruptive to allow the courts to second-guess compensation decisions — except in the narrowest of circumstances.J.W.’s fight has thrown into sharp relief the battle between the judges overseeing implementation of the settlement and Shapiro, who insists the courts have almost no jurisdiction to review his decisions.“The function of the courts in supervising the (independent assessment process) is not to review individual decisions for error or unreasonableness,” Shapiro writes in his Supreme Court factum.Shapiro’s stance has long angered Justice Paul Perell, the Ontario Superior Court judge who shares responsibility for supervising implementation of the multibillion-dollar class-action agreement.In a blistering order early last month, Perell accused Shapiro of taking partisan positions, of challenging decisions made by supervising judges, and of putting himself above judicial scrutiny in “open defiance” of the court.“The chief adjudicator’s actions amount to insubordination of the courts,” Perell wrote. “His conduct runs the risk of compromising his impartiality or of having the risk of an appearance of a compromised impartiality.”Perell ordered Shapiro to cease involvement in J.W.’s appeal as well as in two other appeals involving claimants in British Columbia.Shapiro balked at the judicial slap-down. Arguing Perell had been unfair by not first hearing from him, he won a stay of the order from Ontario Appeal Court Justice Robert Sharpe pending a full appeal hearing Nov. 23.“Of particular concern is the finding in the direction that the chief adjudicator is guilty of ‘insubordination of the courts’,” Sharpe said. “This is a finding of serious misconduct made against a lawyer.”The stay left intact Shapiro’s role in fighting J.W.’s claim before the Supreme Court, prompting J.W. to file a new motion. He wants the high court to force Shapiro to step aside, saying Perell’s reasoning was persuasive.Shapiro is strenuously resisting removal from J.W.’s appeal, saying he has behaved appropriately and the Ontario’s top court will deal with the Perell situation in due course.In the interim, Perell has rescinded his order and issued a new one. This time, he’s directing two other judges involved in the class-action settlement to take up the matter directly with Shapiro at a full hearing. Among the issues: “Has the chief adjudicator taken partisan positions before courts, including appellate courts?” Perell wrote late last month.Shapiro is appealing that order, too.last_img read more

Transport Canada implements speed limits following death of another right whale

first_imgHALIFAX — Transport Canada has implemented a speed restriction for vessels in the western part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence following yet another death of the endangered North Atlantic right whale on Wednesday.Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed a right whale was found dead on the shores of Anticosti Island near the Gulf of St. Lawrence, bringing the number of recent deaths up to five.Scientists are on scene collecting samples for analysis, and working with various partners to assess necropsy options, said a news release from the fisheries department.“The government of Canada takes this matter very seriously and we understand the significance of this issue,” it said.Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement that effective immediately, vessels of 20 metres or more in length travelling in the two designated shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence are restricted to 10 knotsHe added the speed restriction is an interim measure.However, the government will issue a fine of up to $25,000 to those who fail to follow the speed limit, Garneau said. A necropsy conducted on Punctuation, the North Atlantic right whale found on June 25th in Petit Etang, Nova Scotia, showed her death was due to sharp trauma, consistent with vessel strikes.Researchers had been studying Punctuation for nearly four decades. She had given birth to at least eight calves.A study published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Animals on June 20 looked at the causes of 70 whale deaths between 2003 and 2018.It found that 22 deaths were because of entanglement, and 16 from vessel strikes. The paper also found that none of the deaths were from natural causes but rather from human activities.Some of the deaths caused by human activities inflict painful acute deaths, while others are much more protracted, causing a profound amount of suffering for each affected whale.“If the recent trends presented here are not sufficient to instigate meaningful change within North Atlantic right whale habitat, their extinction is almost certain,” the study said.“If mitigation efforts such as more effective gear modifications, extended fishery closures, and expanded vessel speed restrictions are not implemented imminently, human activities will cause an inhumane and certain extinction of this species in the all-too near future.”The fisheries department confirmed earlier this month the cause of death for one of the first two whales found was not linked to a ship strike or entanglement.The department reported on Tuesday that another dead whale had been spotted near New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula, and a fourth had been found west of Quebec’s Iles-de-la-Madeleine — a chain of islands northeast of P.E.I.Garneau said the government takes the protection, conservation, and recovery of endangered species very seriously.There are about 400 North Atlantic right whales left, with deaths outpacing live births.Two years ago the federal government brought about a number of measures to protect the whales after 12 of them died in Canadian waters — mostly from collisions with boats or injuries caused by tangled fishing gear.The measures included increased aerial surveillance, slower speed limits, restrictions on shipping lanes, and real-time monitoring with the help of underwater listening devices.— By Hina Alam in VancouverThe Canadian Presslast_img read more