Colombo: Sri Lanka customs Tuesday ordered the return of container loads of hazardous mortuary and clinical waste illegally imported into the island from Britain under the cover of metal recycling. Customs officials said the racket dating back to 2017 was uncovered after the Colombo port complained last week that an importer had abandoned 111 containers which were emanating a huge stink. A total of 241 containers had been imported since 2017 and 130 of them had been taken to a free-trade zone ostensibly for recycling and re-export, customs spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We are taking immediate action to order the re-export of the 111 containers abandoned at the port,” Jayaratne said. “The other 130 which had already been cleared from the port will be dealt under environmental and other laws.” He said the 130 containers were stuffed with used mattresses and plastic and clinical waste imported in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material. A Sri Lankan businessman who imported the containers would be liable for criminal prosecution if he failed to re-export them to Britain, from where they originated, Jayaratne said. An official at the finance ministry, which is responsible for the customs department, said it would take up the issue with British authorities for exporting hazardous cargo without first checking if Sri Lanka was willing to accept it. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”This is a well-organised racket that has been going on since 2017,” said the official, speaking anonymously because he was not authorised to talk to the media. The 111 containers are believed to contain mortuary waste including human organs and had been unloaded and exposed to the elements for the past two years. The 130 containers taken to a free-trade zone near Colombo International Airport were contaminating water and polluting the air in the area, he said. Sri Lanka’s pushback on imported trash came as Indonesia and the Philippines returned shipments of foreign rubbish to their originating ports.
New Delhi: The government’s fiscal deficit touched Rs 4.32 lakh crore for the June quarter, which is 61.4 per cent of the budget estimate for 2019-20 fiscal. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit or gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 4.32 lakh crore during at June-end, as per the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Wednesday.The fiscal deficit was 68.7 per cent of 2018-19 budget estimate in the year-ago period. The government estimates the fiscal deficit to be at Rs 7.03 lakh crore during 2019-20. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe government aims to restrict the fiscal deficit at 3.4 per cent of the GDP in the current fiscal, same as the last financial year. The CGA data showed that revenue receipts of the government during April-June, 2019-20 was 14.4 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE). It was 15.5 per cent of BE in the year-ago period. In absolute terms, revenue receipts stood at Rs 2.84 lakh crore at June-end 2019. During the entire year, the revenue receipts has been pegged at Rs 19.77 lakh crore. The capital expenditure was 18.8 per cent of the BE. This compares with 29 per cent in the year-ago period, the CGA said.
Kolkata: Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee has been admitted to a private hospital in south Kolkata with chest infection on Wednesday morning. The octogenarian actor, who is suffering from pneumonia, was taken to the ICCU and a medical board comprising five doctors has been monitoring his health. His condition is stated to be stable now, the doctors said. Chatterjee had complained of breathing congestion on Wednesday morning and was subsequently taken to the hospital.
Mumbai: Sourav Ganguly on Friday hoped the reappointment of the familiar Ravi Shastri as head coach will help India prevail in the “big games” and break the jinx of not winning a major ICC tournament in recent years. Shastri was recently reappointed for two years by the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). “Ravi has been around for a while, five years he’s completed so he’s got an extension for two more years. Hopefully now India can go all the way in the two upcoming tournaments that are coming up, which is the T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy which has now become a T20 format,” Ganguly said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”So I hope they do well, they’re doing well, they get to the semi-finals. “In 2015 in Australia they struggled, in 2017 (2016) in Mumbai, West Indies got the better of them and even in this World Cup. So, hopefully, they will get to the next step and create a winning combination.” India’s last ICC tournament triumph was the win in the 2013 Champions Trophy. “Hopefully they can get past the big games and win trophies in the next two years,” said the former captain who is not the best of friends with Shastri. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterGanguly urged captain Virat Kohli to continue giving the new players a longer run to prove their mettle. “This is one area where Virat (Kohli) needs to just be a bit more consistent — pick players and give them a bit more opportunities consistently — for them to get that confidence, rhythm. “I have said that before. You saw how Shreyas Iyer played in that ODI series (against West Indies), you pick him and you give him the freedom to play those matches and I think that needs to happen with a lot of players and I am sure Virat will do that,” added Ganguly.
OTTAWA – Canadians finally have the same protection against genetic discrimination as citizens in other countries — at least for now.The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act has received royal assent and is now the law of the land.However, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould remains convinced the new law, the product of a private member’s bill, is unconstitutional and is determined to seek the Supreme Court’s advice on the matter.The act ensures Canadians can get genetic tests to help identify health risks and can take preventive measures without fear that they’ll be penalized when it comes to getting a job or life and health insurance.It prohibits employers, insurance companies and other service providers from requiring genetic tests or demanding to see the results of past tests.A spokesman for Wilson-Raybould says the minister remains committed to referring the law to the top court; the timing of the reference has yet to be determined.The minister maintains the law amounts to an unconstitutional use of the federal criminal law power to intrude into provincial jurisdiction to regulate the insurance industry, which is fiercely opposed to the legislation.The act is the result of a private member’s bill initiated by now-retired Sen. James Cowan, who won unanimous support for it in the Senate.Last March, it won the overwhelming support of MPs in the House of Commons, including more than 100 Liberal MPs, despite pressure from Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to defeat it.
OTTAWA – New data suggests almost 2,500 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016 — deaths that federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says were preventable.The data released Tuesday by the Public Health Agency of Canada found an estimated 2,458 people died of opioid overdoses, a national death rate of 8.8 per 100,000 people.And the agency found western Canada is feeling the brunt of the impact, with opioid-related death rates of over 10.0 per 100,000 population in Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta.“The data gives us confirmation of the severity of the problem,” Philpott said in an interview.“These are preventable deaths.”Information from Quebec was not available but Philpott said discussions with provincial officials are ongoing.“We hope to eventually be able to fill out all of the details of the data but the systems for data collection are different,” she said. We will hopefully work toward that in the months to come.”The figures remain the best possible estimate right now, Philpott added.“This remains a very serious public health threat,” she said.“We need all players to participate in the response … We are very, very active on this file but we would certainly be encouraging provincial and territorial governments to be diligent, to be very active in providing a comprehensive response.”The numbers were released by the agency on behalf of a federal, provincial and territorial advisory committee on the opioid overdose epidemic.The committee, created in December 2016, is chaired by Canada’s interim chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer.Health Canada says opioids affect the part of the brain that controls breathing and taking too many pills can cause breathing to slow, contributing to unconsciousness and death.Elaine Hyshka, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health, said it’s positive to see Canada moving closer to compiling a national picture of the crisis.“It is encouraging that we are seeing some progress but ultimately this is a national epidemic,” she said.At some point, Canada must do better, Hyshka added, noting that this country falls far short of the U.S. when it comes to overdose death reporting.“Our surveillance systems are a decade behind where they should be but if we are going to take this seriously as a public health crisis … then we need the numbers and we need the counts to show this,” she said.“If that requires an injection of resources, if that requires compelling the provinces and territories to report data more quickly and figuring out different strategies to do that, that should all be on the table because we can’t respond to this effectively without understanding it.”The process of compiling the new figures revealed challenges in public health infrastructure and the national agency’s authority to gather provincial and territorial data, Philpott said.“We are working to remedy the challenges that have been identified.”Any loss of life as result of an opioid overdose is a needless, preventable tragedy, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in a statement.“Through increased partnership, enhanced surveillance and data collection, modernizing prescribing and dispensing practices, and connecting patients with high quality, holistic care we will continue to take co-ordinated action to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario and across the country,” he said.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter
BAULINE, N.L. – In a world of political cynicism and voter apathy, Doug Kavanagh is the ultimate engaged citizen.And now his growing collection of correspondence with leaders and news editors across Canada and the world has another addition: a thank-you note from U.S. President Donald Trump.“Dear Douglas,” reads the emailed letter marked “The White House” under the presidential seal. “Thank you for your kind letter and generous words of support.“Your encouragement, and that of millions around the world, sustains us every step of the way. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.”Kavanagh, a 62-year-old electrician from Bauline, N.L., said it showed up in his email Tuesday after he wrote Trump three times in recent months offering feedback.It’s the sort of standard response sent to thousands of other people, he said. But it means more to the avid letter-writer and political watcher who says he has reached out to people in power since he was a teenager.“It’s memorabilia to me,” he said in an interview. “When different issues come up, I think that if you don’t say something, you don’t make a difference. I just try to participate but I don’t want to be part of the political system. It’s kind of like planting a seed, I guess.”Kavanagh said he voted Liberal in both the last federal and provincial elections because he wanted change. He has also voted Progressive Conservative in the past.Trump’s promises to bring back blue-collar jobs especially appealed to him, he said, although Kavanagh wants to see more progress on that front.“I do have concerns because, the thing is, I want the states to do well. If the states do well, Canada can’t help but do better.”He wrote to Trump to express his view that the U.S. can’t afford to be a world police force. He pushed for more military defence spending by NATO members. And he cited issues around the so-called “Trojan Horse” threat of ISIS terrorists entering countries posing as refugees — a concern Trump also repeatedly voiced during the presidential campaign.Kavanagh has correspondence from a long line of provincial premiers, including Clyde Wells, Danny Williams and most recently Dwight Ball, with whom he raised soaring costs for the $12.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador.“I never write and attack a leader or anything like that. I try to be as positive as possible.”In the 1990s, Kavanagh said he wrote to every major newspaper editor in the U.S. to defend Newfoundland and Labrador’s commercial seal hunt from attacks by animal rights groups.His interest in politics and how policies take shape — which he admits is at times “a bit of an obsession” — is a mystery to many people, he said with a laugh.“Even my brother says to me: ‘You’re not still for that guy Trump are you?’ I say, ‘I’m not for anybody. I’m just giving my opinion.’“You’ve got to have some kind of voice.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – Thousands of Williams Lake, B.C., residents are being forced from their homes as high winds fan a wildfire burning next to the community.An evacuation order was issued Saturday evening for the entire City of Williams Lake and numerous surrounding areas including the village of 150 Mile House that have been under threat from nearby fires for almost a week.Cariboo Regional District Chairman Al Richmond said winds began to pick up Saturday afternoon, prompting an expansion of evacuation alerts.“I think basically, Mother Nature is sort of bringing forward our worst case scenario,” Richmond said.Officials previously said forecast lightning and wind gusts of up to 70 km/h starting Saturday and developing into Sunday could cause a substantial increase in wildfire activity in British Columbia’s central and southern Interior.BC Wildfire Service said Saturday there are about 161 active wildfires in the province, 14 of which pose a direct threat to communities.Raging wildfires have already displaced more than 17,000 people, while the provincial government says another 27,000 people have been told they may need to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.Many of Williams Lake’s 11,000 residents had left voluntarily in recent days, however the order means thousands more will be headed to safety in Kamloops and other cities.RCMP said road closures due to the fire means people driving out of the city must take Highways 97, 24 and 5 to get to Kamloops.People who cannot drive should meet at one of a dozen muster points located throughout the city, including at Glendale School, the Tourism Centre, and Kwaleen Elementary School where transportation is being organized.The province has reminded evacuees to register with the Canadian Red Cross and, if they need lodging or food, to register at emergency social services reception centres as well.MP Todd Doherty told a group of evacuees in Prince George, who left their homes earlier this week, to urge others still in Williams Lake to stay calm and get to safety.“If you are talking to your friends and family in the Williams Lake area as I am still trying to get my mom and relatives out of that area, very stubborn. It’s very stressful, we need them to evacuate, we need them to be safe,” he said.With the rise in evacuees, the provincial government said more volunteers are needed in Kamloops to help the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, as well as a 24-hour animal shelter and runners to complete errands. Volunteers can contact 250-938-2211 for more information.Kevin Skrepnek, B.C.’s chief fire information officer, said gusty winds were expected to trigger extreme and violently aggressive fire behaviour.He said crews had been preparing for the winds by conducting controlled burns in the fire path near the communities of Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and 150 Mile House to prevent the fires from spreading.“It looks like that has worked in most of these incidents in creating a fuel-free area,” he said, adding that high wind speeds could still move embers beyond the controlled areas, spreading the fires.Fire Information Officer Melanie Morin said stronger winds in the Thompson-Nicola area Saturday afternoon were causing fires to become “more critical than in recent days.”The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order Saturday night for properties in Electoral Area “A,” while the District of Clearwater and the Central Okanagan Regional District also ordered a number of properties evacuated due to the wildfire threat.Premier-designate John Horgan released a statement late Saturday regarding the latest evacuations.“My thoughts are with families in Williams Lake and other communities issued evacuation orders today, and with the countless volunteers, emergency response workers and firefighters who have been tirelessly working to support and protect families and communities.”Horgan also reiterated a pledge of government support.“Our government will be ready to provide whatever support is needed in these difficult times,” he said. “We are working closely with the outgoing government and our federal partners to deliver the support and services that are needed.”Since April 1, the province has seen 631 fires scorching 128,000 hectares of land. An estimated $77 million has already been spent on fire suppression, and the cost of supporting evacuees has yet to be tallied.—By Linda Givetash in Vancouver
OTTAWA – FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTAccomplishedAlong with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos helped develop the Canada Child Benefit and return the age of eligibility for old age security payments to 65. Duclos also successfully negotiated a child care deal with the provinces and territories.Working on itThe 2017 budget committed $11.2 billion towards affordable housing, but the majority of the money is not slated to appear until after 2022. Many of the details will be in the national housing strategy, which is coming sometime this fall. Duclos is also still consulting on the promised national poverty reduction strategy. The Liberals also committed to allowing people to begin maternity leave earlier or extend parental leave to 18 months — at a lower benefit rate — but have not yet introduced legislation to make the change. In 2016, Trudeau shifted responsibility for reforming the employment insurance regime to Duclos. That work continues.Not at all, or at least not yetThe mandate letter says the Infrastructure Bank would support the construction of new, affordable rental housing. The Infrastructure Bank is not yet up and running, but its mandate to attract private investment for projects that would create a profit suggests social housing would not be in the mix. Duclos was also asked to work with Morneau on modernizing the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan so that Canadians affected by “sudden and significant” changes in their lives could buy a house without paying a tax penalty, but nothing has come of it yet.Will it matter?The Liberals ran on the promise to help out the middle class and many of the accompanying pledges fall within the mandate given to Duclos. The minister has achieved progress on some key areas, but some of the major programs promised to those who are “working hard to join” the middle class, as the Liberals say, are still on the horizon. It remains to be seen whether those voters will feel as if they’ve been given what they need.
Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Jan. 17———NO VERDICT ON DAY 7 OF LAC-MEGANTIC TRIAL: Jurors in the Lac-Megantic criminal negligence trial have completed Day 7 of their deliberations without reaching a verdict. Unlike Tuesday, when they emerged with a letter telling the judge they were at an impasse, the jurors did not surface today. The eight men and four women are deciding the fate of Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre. The three are charged in connection with the July 2013 tragedy in which 47 people were killed when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.———B.C. JUDGE STRIKES DOWN INDEFINITE SOLITARY: A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has struck down a law that permits federal prisons to put inmates into solitary confinement indefinitely. Justice Peter Leask says the practice is unconstitutional, but he has suspended his decision for 12 months to give the government time to deal with its ramifications. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society filed the legal challenge in 2015, calling solitary confinement a cruel and inhumane punishment that can lead to psychological trauma and suicide.———BANK OF CANADA HIKES RATE AMID NAFTA WORRIES: The economy’s impressive run prompted the Bank of Canada to raise its trend-setting interest rate Wednesday for the third time since last summer, but looking ahead the central bank warned of growing uncertainties about NAFTA. The bank pointed to unexpectedly solid economic numbers as key drivers behind its decision to hike the rate to 1.25 per cent, up from one per cent. The increase followed hikes in July and September.———SCHEER SAYS PARLIAMENT ‘UNITED’ ON NAFTA: In his first foreign trip as leader of the official Opposition, Andrew Scheer avoided any criticism of the federal Liberal government, telling a Washington audience that Canada speaks with one voice on NAFTA. The Conservative leader was at the Wilson Center on Wednesday explaining that he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have their differences, but not when it comes to preserving the Canada-U.S. relationship. ”On NAFTA, the Canadian Parliament … is united,” Scheer told the think tank.———TRUDEAU, KERRY DISCUSSED TRUMP IN BAHAMAS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talked about the then-incoming Trump administration and the general state of the world when the two of them were on the Aga Khan’s private island in late 2016. During an interview this week with The Canadian Press, Trudeau shed a bit more light on his direct interactions with Kerry, who happened to be at the spiritual leader’s island in the Bahamas at the same time as the prime minister during his controversial family vacation.———NEW TRIAL FOR SEX WORKER WHO STABBED CLIENT: Nova Scotia’s highest court has ordered a new trial for a sex worker convicted of assault for stabbing a client she said was sexually assaulting her. The woman had been convicted for stabbing Douglas Barrett in the back in his Sydney, N.S., home on Sept. 19, 2015. They had known each other for “quite a while,” but she testified at trial that she was afraid of Barrett, who had a reputation for mistreating and abusing some sex workers. But she had agreed to go with him in order to get money she needed for drugs.———VANCOUVER OVERDOSE DEATHS PEAK IN 2017: The number of overdose deaths in Vancouver increased by 43 per cent last year compared with 2016. The city says there were 335 overdose deaths last year, compared with 234 the year before. There was also a dramatic jump in response to overdose calls by firefighters and ambulance paramedics. Mayor Gregor Robertson says the magnitude of deaths due to the opioid crisis is putting a strain on emergency responders, front line workers and community volunteers.———N.S. FAMILY SAY FUNERAL HOME MIXED UP REMAINS: Members of a Nova Scotia family say they were stunned when they went to a local funeral home for a service only to be presented with the bodies of two other women — and then told their loved one had accidentally been cremated. Relatives of Sandra Bennett say they arrived at the Serenity Funeral Home in Berwick on Dec. 27 for a visitation following her death a week earlier. They planned to have an open casket service, but when they looked inside they saw the body of another woman dressed in Bennett’s clothing.———WORKERS FOUND SLEEPING IN ALBERTA BURGER KING: Alberta Health Services has issued a health order to a Burger King franchise because inspectors found foreign workers were sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant. The order, dated Jan. 10, said the inspection found evidence of “sleeping/living accommodations for foreign workers.” It says allowing sleeping or living accommodations in a restaurant is a health code violation.———CRAFT DISTILLERIES BOOMING IN NOVA SCOTIA: Nova Scotia has kindled an explosion of spirit makers through attractive craft-distillery policies and collaborations with local farmers. There are now 16 spirit makers in Canada’s second-smallest province, and the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation says 12 of them have popped up in the last five years. Pierre Guevremont, co-owner of Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, N.S., says Nova Scotia is a leader in Canada in terms of its policies for craft distilleries, along with B.C. and Saskatchewan.———
OTTAWA – Kathryn Young remembers the anger growing within as she listened to their laughter.On the floor of the House of Commons, they were snickering and chortling as a New Democrat MP mentioned a newspaper story about how the press secretary to the prime minister had told a female reporter she would get her interview once she agreed to a date.The politicians were shaking with laughter and, she realized, so were many of the reporters seated with her in the press gallery overlooking the scene.She went home and told her husband something she had never shared with him before.Eighteen months earlier, she had been sexually assaulted by Michel Gratton, press secretary to prime minister Brian Mulroney.“Clearly, he just kept on his merry way doing what he was doing and nothing had changed,” Young said in an interview with The Canadian Press.“I felt that somebody had to stand up and say, ‘This isn’t right. You can’t go on. You can’t treat people like that.’”It was time to finally tell her story.The arrival of the #MeToo movement on Parliament Hill feels like a watershed moment to many of the women who have walked its halls.They are coming forward, often anonymously, to tell their stories of sexual harassment, assault and the everyday sexism that has long pervaded the male-dominated culture where loyalty to party is often seen as a virtue that trumps all others.“The #MeToo movement, when you get all those voices together telling essentially the same story, that’s when you get a groundswell of support that forces change,” Young said.But for Young, who shared her own experience more than three decades ago, it goes far beyond the stories told.It is about the storytellers, finally, being believed.Young was 24 years old when she joined the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press in 1983, a junior reporter who felt as if she was beginning her journalism career right at the top.She worked the night shift, meaning she had to rely heavily on the good graces of Gratton for the details she needed to do her job.There was a social aspect to the professional relationship too, as Gratton would often drink and trade gossip with reporters late into the night at the National Press Club.As Young was heading home from there one night, Gratton asked if they could share a cab. She agreed, thinking it a sign that he accepted her as a colleague.Once inside the taxi, Gratton began kissing her, ignoring her protests.Out of a desire to set things straight for the sake of their professional relationship — and her ability to do her job — Young decided to invite him up to her apartment for a drink.“It was a split-second decision,” she said.Young did not want to revisit what happened next in her interview with The Canadian Press, but she shared the story with the CBC radio show “As it Happens” in 2014.It was the first time anyone published the details in full.She sat him down and began to explain that she was engaged to be married, but he leapt on top of her and ripped open her shirt, prompting Young to think this was it — she was going to be raped.She remembers yelling “No!” repeatedly and turning her head from side to side, until he finally stood up and left.Gratton died in 2011.All these years later, Young said she still blames herself for inviting him up, even though she knows she did not invite what happened next.“I still feel embarrassed and stupid for having done that,” she told The Canadian Press.“Society tends to blame victims. I think that’s slowly changing, but there is victim blaming and then you internalize it,” she said. “Whatever people say about you, you kind of tend to take in.”That night, she called a male colleague from the bureau, who came over to comfort her and then pushed Gratton into delivering what she remembers as a half-hearted apology over the telephone.She thought it was over.She needed to keep working with him and she wanted to move on with her life and her job.The laughter that day in November 1986 let her know it was far from over.It was happening to others, too.She told her story to the Toronto Sun.Then she felt the old doors of Parliament Hill — and many in the mostly male press gallery — shut her out, ridiculing her both in person and in the pages of their newspapers.There was no haven in her own newsroom, either, as the Ottawa bureau chief at the time, Gordon Grant, was drinking buddies with Gratton.“That old boys’ club just closed ranks against me.”Meanwhile, the wire service had offered to cover the cost of meeting its lawyer for advice, but then mailed her a cheque for only half the amount.She said she sent it back to head office.“That did not go over well,” said Young.She believes her career at The Canadian Press, where she remained in the Ottawa bureau until 1993, suffered.Still, Young said she does not regret coming forward.“My whole reason for going public in the first place was to shed light on this sordid underbelly of Parliament Hill,” she said, “and I think I’ve helped.”She said the courts, the media and society at large have evolved in their understanding of consent and sexual assault.She thinks she would be treated differently today.Still, she wishes there was no longer a reason to share her story.“In an ideal world, it would be, ‘Ah, that’s history, we’ve all moved on, it’s not relevant,’” she said. “But sadly, it is relevant.”— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
Seven stories in the news for Monday, July 23———TWO DEAD, 13 INJURED IN TORONTO SHOOTINGOne woman was killed and 13 people, including a young girl, were injured after a shooting in a popular Toronto neighbourhood late Sunday that ended with the death of the suspected gunman. The incident began around 10 p.m. in Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood, which is filled with restaurants, bars and boutiques. A man armed with a handgun made his way down busy Danforth Avenue, firing as he went, turning the tranquil scene into one of chaos and horror.———HEAT, WIND MEAN TROUBLE FOR B.C. FIRESOfficials in B.C.’s southern Interior say warm temperatures and gusty winds could soon spell the end of two days of relief from wildfires raging in the area. Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior calls for temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour. Along with the 35 properties already facing evacuation orders in the area, another 890 are on evacuation alert meaning residents may have to leave at a moment’s notice.———ONTARIO FIRES LEAVE PROPERTY OWNERS CONCERNEDCrews from across the country continued to cut down dozens of raging fires in northeastern Ontario on Sunday, after evacuation orders left some property owners uncertain of whether their homes and businesses would survive the flames. Provincial police issued a statement Sunday saying the largest fire in the area — known as “Parry Sound 33” — had grown to more than 50 square kilometres in size and was “not yet under control.”———CANADA TO TAKE IN ‘WHITE HELMET’ VOLUNTEERSCanada has offered to accept dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria following a dramatic rescue over the weekend that was orchestrated by the Israeli military and personally encouraged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Named for their easily recognizable head gear, the all-volunteer White Helmets have been lauded and supported by Canada and other Western nations for their role as first responders and humanitarian workers who have saved hundreds of lives during Syria’s brutal civil war.———DEADLINE PASSES FOR FEDS TO FIND TRANS MOUNTAIN BUYERThe federal government is set to become the official owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after failing to quickly flip the project to another private-sector buyer. Pipeline owner Kinder Morgan had been working with the government to identify another buyer before July 22. But with that date passing without a deal, it was expected the pipeline company will now take Ottawa’s $4.5-billion offer to purchase the project to its shareholders.———CHURCHILL FACES UNCERTAIN FUTUREA Manitoba community on the shore of Hudson Bay is having an identity crisis. The port of Churchill was once bustling with ships laden with grain bound for markets. Now, the ships docked at the port are bringing essential supplies in rather than transporting anything out. Last year, severe spring flooding washed out parts of the only rail line to what’s known as the polar bear capital of the world. Propane is being brought to Churchill by marine vessel for the first time, while supplies for businesses are also coming in on ships or by air, at an exorbitant price.———PARALYZED BRONCO TACKLES TOUGH PHYSIOParalyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki has begun a new round of physiotherapy in Calgary. The workouts at the Synaptic clinic include chin ups, boxing, heavy rope training and learning to pull himself into a full standing position from his wheelchair just using his arms. Straschnitzki was Paralyzed from the chest down on April 6 when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team and a semi-trailer collided north of Tisdale, Sask. His latest assessment indicates he’s regained some movement in the core muscles in his stomach and is able to flex them.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— HMCS St. John’s returns to Halifax after a six-month deployment in the Baltic Sea, Northern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.— Statistics Canada releases the wholesale trade numbers for May.— Organizations committed to women’s safety and gender equality hold a news conference in Toronto.— The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics releases its annual comparison of police-reported crime statistics for 2017.———
MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A clarion call has gone out in Moose Jaw, Sask., to repair a more than century-old bell that sits atop the city hall clock tower and some day make it ring for the first time since the 1960s.Moose Jaw’s Heritage Advisory Committee told city councillors on Monday that the bronze bell needs a new clapper and new bolts to replace the now rusted ones that were originally installed to attach it to a big wooden beam.Council voted to make the necessary repairs to address safety concerns, but is holding off for the time being on restoring the bell’s capacity to ring.Coun. Crystal Froese argued there is significant heritage value in restoring the iconic bell with at least an electronic clapper and she plans to revisit the issue after the repairs are done.The bell once chimed on the hour and Froese says if the electronics are installed, it could at least be used on special occasions such as Remembrance Day or Christmas.Moose Jaw City Hall was originally built as a post office in 1911 and the bell was manufactured in 1913.The heritage committee had proposed to council that if the city paid to replace the rusted bolts, it would provide $10,000 to cover the cost of a new clapper.The Heritage Advisory Committee is also recommending restoration of the glass on the clock’s face.Administrators will put together a report on the cost of the bolt replacement. City manager Jim Puffalt said council has the final say on installing an actual clapper.“Realistically, we have to deal with the safety issues, and the second issue of using the heritage fund to make the bell operable again is up to council to decide.”The original bolts will be changed out with stainless steel components. Workers will have to crawl into a tight space at the top of the tower dome to make the repairs.The clock itself is one of the few in Saskatchewan that is still manually wound by staff every few weeks.Froese said she wants to see the city treat heritage buildings as assets, include them in budgets and ensure that they are maintained. She noted that city hall ranks among the most photographed landmarks in Moose Jaw.“It’s almost as if you have to wait until things are in the very last stages of their life in order to get attention,” she said.(CHAB, CJME)The Canadian Press
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for the way Inuit in northern Canada were treated for tuberculosis in the mid-20th century, calling it colonial and misguided.Trudeau is in Iqaluit today to deliver an apology to the Inuit on behalf of the federal government.Trudeau is acknowledging that many people with TB died after being removed from their families and communities and were taken on gruelling journeys south on ships, trains and aircraft.The prime minister made the visit to the capital of Nunavut a day later than planned after bad weather prevented his plane from landing on Thursday.Trudeau also announced the opening of a database that Inuit families can soon use to find loved ones who died when they were transported south for treatment.The database is part of a wider initiative called Nanilavut, which means “let’s find them” in Inuktitut.More comingThe Canadian Press
Camille Bains, The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Researchers who have estimated future rates of 30 different types of cancer hope their study serves as a road map for policy-makers to introduce prevention programs that would help Canadians reduce their risk through positive lifestyle choices.The study, which included epidemiologists and experts in environmental and occupational exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos, says as many as four in 10 cancer cases could be prevented by not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, having a nutritious diet and practising sun safety — the top five actions to decrease burden of the disease.The Canadian Cancer Society, which funded the study, said failure to act on the findings published Wednesday in the international journal Preventive Medicine would lead to almost 60 per cent more cases of preventable cancer cases by 2042.By then, the number of cancer cases due to excess weight would nearly triple, from 7,200 to 21,000, with people in that category at risk for at least 11 different types of the disease including breast, colorectal and esophageal cancers, the society said.Christine Friedenreich, a co-principal investigator among 10 main researchers, said the results of the Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer study point to the need for initiatives by all levels of government.No single policy will solve the complex and growing incidence of excess weight and obesity, but targeted approaches such as on childhood obesity and anti-stigma programs could be part of an overall strategy, said Friedenreich, scientific director in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research at Alberta Health Services.“This is the first time in Canada that we have such a comprehensive study where we can actually quantify exactly how that burden could be decreased at a national level,” she said.The study analyzed national population data from 2015 to determine how many people are projected to be at risk of developing certain cancers by 2042 if no preventative action is taken.If current trends continue, the number of new cancer cases due to smoking would increase to 46,900 in 2042, from 32,700 in 2015. Physical inactivity would hike the number of cases to 16,500, up from 11,600.Measures to get people more physically active and healthy could include more spending on public transportation, Friedenreich said.The Canadian Cancer Society has also advocated for introducing labelling on the front of food packages, restricting marketing to kids and introducing a manufacturers’ levy on sugary drinks.The society praised Health Canada’s announcement last week that cigarette packs will have to be plain and dark brown by next November in order to drive down the use of tobacco to five per cent by 2035.The department’s statistics show the prevalence of cigarette smoking increased to 15 per cent, or 4.6 million smokers in 2017, up from 13 per cent, or 3.9 million smokers, in 2015.Part of the study said tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer, followed by excess weight.Smoking-cessation programs are available across the country, including through the society and the Canadian Lung Association. They vary across provinces, from counselling by phone to online information and support groups.The BC Lung Association runs a provincially funded program called QuitNow, which includes a live-chat connection with so-called quit coaches who can also be accessed on a toll-free line and a customized online questionnaire that provides information such as how much money someone could save by quitting.Chris Lam, the association’s CEO, said a toll-free text-to-quit number is also available. It uses artificial intelligence to reply to questions from people seeking support, perhaps before they’re about to pick up a cigarette.“Based on their profile and based on predictive language the text-to-quit program will text them back things like, ‘Perhaps you should go for a walk or talk to your family or friend,’ ” he said.Those with a strong urge to smoke can be further prompted to call another line so they can be talked through a tough time by focusing their attention elsewhere, Lam said.One of the most popular aspects of the online program includes a forum where people find support through community.“They see one story about someone who’s quit for a number of years and they immediately almost all want to chime in with their own quit stories and their struggles and their successes because they really do see that as a community where they can share, where they’re not stigmatized,” Lam said.However, he would like the success rate of the program to increase beyond 27.5 per cent.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.
mitu, the largest digital media brand for Latino millennials, launched a nationwide initiative to get ONE MILLION Latinos registered to vote in November’s election with the T.A.C.O. Challenge: Take Action. Commit Others.Rosario Dawson at the mitu T.A.C.O. ChallengeThe Challenge launched socially on May 5th with a live event in Los Angeles the following Saturday, May 7th that featured special live performances, food, celebrity guests and voter registration.Latino millennials were asked to take the T.A.C.O. Challenge and enlist their social network to do the same. Participants can take the challenge through October 8th and challenge others to join in through Instagram or Twitter using #TACOchallenge and tagging @wearemitu. Once the challenge is accepted people can register to vote through the voter registration site, Latinosvote2016.org or by downloading the free mobile Latinos Vote app. The app is available on iOS and Android operating systems.Rosario Dawson, Efren Ramirez, Diego Boneta and Nick Gonzalez were among the celebrities attendees helping get people registered.
Domestic violence prevention and intervention organization, Jenesse Center and its long time ambassador Halle Berry are proud to honor domestic violence survivor and activist Hanifa Nakiryowa at the Imagine cocktail party fundraiser to be held Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 6:30pm – 10pm, at the Wilshire Country Club at 301 N Rossmore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004.Hanifa Nakiryowa and Halle BerryJenesse CEO Karen Earl said, Hanifa Nakiryowa’s journey underscores the importance of legal services in helping survivors secure their freedom. We first met Hanifa at one of our legal clinics when she came seeking help in applying for asylum. From that first meeting the Jenesse team has been in Hanifa’s corner.”Earl said, “I remember Hanifa saying “I don’t take my survival for granted”. I also remember her sharing that her daughter saw her looking in the mirror and said, ‘Mommy, you’re prettier than the mirror shows”. We have been so honored to have played a role in working to ensure she could know joy and peace again for herself and her daughters. It’s true – It does take a village and so many people helped Jenesse to help Hanifa and her children. Hanifa’s fierce courage is an inspiration to us all.”A survivor of battery and acid violence inflicted by her ex-husband, Hanifa Nakiryowa said, “As I lay in hospital, rotting and seeing parts of my body fall off into the trash can, I promised myself to raise my voice against this form of abuse, to tell my story to save a woman’s life was a commitment I made to myself while in massive pain. To break the silence was what I had to do. Because I had gone through a lot of torture, emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually but had kept it behind plastic smiles, I decided I had to let the women out there know what silence could lead to. Today, I am an acid attack survivor, the extreme form of gender based violence especially perpetrated on women and children.”Earl said, “Hanifa’s story is a triumph. We are so proud that she recently obtained her masters degree and is living her best life with her beautiful little girls. Now they are enjoying the peaceful life that they deserve with a future so bright we can only imagine the wonderful things ahead.”The goal of Imagine is to elevate the conversation around the topic of violence towards women, girls and men and advocate the human right of peace in everyone’s homes, workplaces and relationships.Leaders from business, non profit, media, entertainment and government sectors are invited to attend. The event will shine a light on organizations and individuals who have moved the mission forward to raise funds and bring awareness to the issue, provide funding and relief to survivors and use their voice to stop the cycle of domestic violence.Jenesse Ambassador Halle Berry said, “One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. This is why for 17 years, I have worked with Jenesse first hand to bring awareness to this life-or-death cause. I am proud of the achievements we have made to heal women, girls and families ravaged by violent homes and relationships.”To learn more about Jenesse, visit www.jenesse.org or call 323-299-9496. VIP tickets to the Imagine Cocktail Party fundraiser to support Jenesse and the families it serves are $500.00 each, general tickets are $300.00 each. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Michelle Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advertisement Facebook Camera operators, reporters, anchors, control room staff, make-up artists and other production crew received layoff notices in newsrooms across Canada, with Global’s most successful station in Vancouver taking the biggest hit with 21 job cuts. Advertisement TORONTO – Unifor is concerned about the continued erosion of local news as Corus-owned Global News cuts nearly 70 jobs across Canada.“Fewer journalists will be out gathering news from every region from Vancouver to Halifax and if the Maritime newscasts now come from Toronto – how can you still call that local news?” asked Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the evening local news will no longer be produced at our Halifax studios and will be anchored and broadcast from Toronto starting Monday,” said David MacPherson, President of the Maritimes unit of Unifor local M1 which represents workers at Global. “Our studios will be empty after the morning show ends at 9 am.”While Corus says it will post several new “digital” positions that focus on online news, its broadcast revenues continue to shrink and the outlook is bleak if the government doesn’t take action now.“The federal government stood by while Canada’s local newspapers struggled and now our members in TV news are being asked to do more to fill the same number of programming hours with fewer resources, all on this government’s watch,” said Dias. “The CRTC paved the way for the cuts announced today by watering down the obligations for big media companies like Corus to protect local news and it’s proving disastrous.”Broadcasters in Canada are obligated to air local TV news as a condition of license but last year the CRTC softened requirements that they maintain historical levels of programming, and decided not to set rules requiring “feet on the street” coverage, leaving media companies free to cut local news jobs over the term of their five-year broadcasting licenses.Unifor is asking the CRTC to review local news and make strong local coverage a binding condition of license, before it’s too late, as part of the union’s ongoing #savelocalnews campaign.Unifor is Canada’s largest media union with 12,000 workers across Canada. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future. Twitter Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement MONTRÉAL, Feb. 27, 2018 – Following the presentation of the federal budget for 2018-2019, Festivals and Major Events Canada (FAME) is disappointed that, despite its Creative Canada strategy and its desire to make Canada an all-star international destination, the federal government did not see fit to support the development and growth of the event industry at this time. Facebook The association, which represents 29 events in Canada, plans to continue its advocacy work with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and her colleague in charge of Tourism, Bardish Chagger, and hopes to convince them of the importance of investing in an industry that pays all sorts of dividends.“It was the perfect opportunity to recognize the role of festivals and events as economic and cultural drivers, release the brakes and send a strong signal for their development,” said FAME Executive Director Martin Roy. “There’s always next time,” he added. About FAMEFestivals and Major Events (FAME) is a national association that represents 29 large-scale events and festivals in seven provinces. FAME works jointly with the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (RÉMI) to speak as the voice of the festival and events industry, working collaboratively with industry partners, the government, the media and the public to advocate, among other things, for improved federal funding policies. Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Vancouverites are invited to laugh at themselves and their city through a new improv show called Avocado Toast –Vancouver Grown, Free-Range Comedy.The show is presented by Vancouver TheatreSports (VTSL) and pokes fun at the obsession locals have with fitness, the foodie scene, “wet coast” winters, bike lanes, affordable housing, hipsters, the quirks of the city’s various neighbourhoods and more.VTSL executive and artistic director Jay Ono says Avocado Toast is organic “because improv just starts with one idea and then it grows. It’s a unique experience.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Vancouver TheatreSports toasts and roasts the city’s quirks and charms with its new show. Advertisement