The Friday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Friday, April 28———FORCES SEEK TO OUST 77 OVER SEX CASES: Military officials say they have moved this year to force out 77 service members found guilty of sexual misconduct. Many of the cases are older and none of the members have been released yet, as their files go through what the military says is due process. But the figure is touted as a solid step toward defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance’s promise of eradicating sexual misconduct in the Forces. Officials also say military police plan to review more than 150 old cases of sexual misconduct reported between 2010 and 2016 but deemed unfounded.———FORMER SALVATION ARMY EXECUTIVE GUILTY OF FRAUD: A Toronto court has ruled a former Salvation Army executive diverted truckloads of donations made to the organization to a wholesaler as part of scheme to make money. David Rennie was found guilty this week of six charges related to the setup, including fraud, theft and trafficking in stolen goods, though he was cleared of a conspiracy charge after a judge found his co-accused not guilty. Justice Sandra Bacchus said in her decision that over two years, Rennie partnered with a wholesaler to cherry-pick the best donations and resell them for a profit, though it’s unclear exactly how much he benefited financially.———8 YEARS FOR B.C. DRUNK DRIVER WHO KILLED 3: A British Columbia man who killed three people while driving drunk along a winding mountain highway has been sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. Samuel Alec pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court last month to three counts of impaired driving causing death after he mowed down two cyclists who were out for a weekend ride north of Whistler in May 2015. Alec’s friend in the passenger seat of the vehicle was also killed. The judge has ordered that Alec be banned from driving for 15 years when he is released.———N.S. LIBERALS PULL AD SUGGESTING MAY 30 VOTE: A campaign video posted to the Nova Scotia Liberal Party’s website Friday appeared to confirm a spring election is in the air. The video, which is no longer available, showed Premier Stephen McNeil posing next to a campaign slogan and the message “on May 30th vote Liberal.” It is the strongest hint yet that an election will be called in the coming days, although McNeil refused to confirm anything. “You saw an ad that was a mock-up of an ad, I wouldn’t read too much into it,” McNeil told reporters.———CLARK SAYS B.C. WOULD MOVE ON U.S. COAL SHIPMENTS: British Columbia’s Liberal leader says she would take steps to ban thermal coal shipments through the province if the federal government doesn’t act during a fight over softwood lumber tariffs imposed by the United States. On the election campaign trail, Christy Clark says Ottawa has not yet responded to a letter she sent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for a stop to American thermal coal passing through B.C. ports. Clark says she expects Ottawa will act to keep “filthy” U.S. coal from reaching China in accordance with its climate-change agenda.———HOOPP CHIEF EXECUTIVE QUITS HOME CAPITAL BOARD: The chief executive of HOOPP has resigned as a director of Home Capital Group and its subsidiaries, citing a potential conflict of interest following the pension fund’s decision to provide $2 billion of credit to the mortgage company. The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan manages more than $70 billion of retirement funds and will receive a $100 million non-refundable fee plus 10 per cent interest on money provided to Home Trust through the agreement. HOOPP chief executive Jim Keohane had been a director of Home Capital since last year.———PROGRAM TO HELP SOLDIERS BECOME CIVILIANS: A Canada-wide research study is being launched with the aim of helping members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans transition to civilian life. The study, based around a New Brunswick-based program called Shaping Purpose, will examine the experiences of 84 Forces members and veterans. The research study and the evaluation of the program is expected to be completed in December 2018, with the intent to present the findings to the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada in the spring of 2019.———FEDS RUN $11.5b DEFICIT FOR FIRST 11 MONTHS OF 2016-17: The federal government ran a deficit of $11.5 billion over the first 11 months of its 2016-17 fiscal year, putting it well ahead of its spring budget forecast with one month to go. The result compared with a surplus of $7.5 billion during the April-to-February period a year earlier. Not counting a $3-billion contingency cushion, Ottawa’s spring budget projected a deficit of $23 billion for 2016-17. Robert Kavcic, senior economist at the Bank of Montreal, notes that the government generally runs a large deficit in March as Canadians file their tax returns and receive their refunds.———U.S. AND CHINA DIFFER ON NORTH KOREA: The United States and China offered starkly different strategies Friday for addressing North Korea’s escalating nuclear threat as President Donald Trump’s top diplomat demanded full enforcement of economic sanctions on Pyongyang and urged new penalties. Stepping back from suggestions of U.S. military action, he even offered aid to North Korea if it ends its nuclear weapons program. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would adhere to past UN resolutions and wants a denuclearized peninsula, but he spelled out no further steps his government might consider.———TRUMP TELLS NRA IT HAS ‘A FRIEND’ IN WHITE HOUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for gun rights Friday, telling attendees of a National Rifle Association convention that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.” Trump, the first sitting president to address the group’s annual convention in more than 30 years, assured the audience that he would defend their right to bear arms in a campaign-like speech reminiscent of his election rallies. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House,” he said.———last_img read more

Full statement from Gregg Zaun who was fired by Sportsnet for inappropriate

first_imgTORONTO – Below is a transcript of the full statement released Monday by former Sportsnet baseball analyst Gregg Zaun after he was fired Thursday following complaints by female colleagues of inappropriate behaviour and language.Without any exception whatsoever, I want to issue an absolute apology for any harm or distress which may have been caused by my comments with any female colleagues over the recent past.It has never been my intention to give offence to anyone. I have done a lot of soul searching over the last few days and know that my ignorance of the harm caused by my language does not excuse it — for which I accept responsibility. While I am well recognized for my unfiltered criticism of others within the sports world, which has made many critics and enemies — in ignorance I allowed a similar attitude to influence all aspects of my lifestyle, causing distress for female colleagues.For more than 10 years now, I have had the privilege of working with the most amazing and talented people and I am agonized to learn that they were affected negatively by me. I apologize deeply to all my colleagues and friends for any offence. I cherish and am proud of our achievements working together.In the past, when brought to my attention that I demonstrated poor judgement or language and gave offence, I sought to change my behaviour and apologize for any hurt caused. My remorse in the activities drawn to my attention by Rogers this week affecting unnamed individuals, is that it was never raised before and I naively believed that my language and behaviour were not considered offensive.I regret my blindness to the impact of my actions that I would have corrected at the time, rather than allowing the harm felt to continue to fester.I have been blindsided and emotionally gutted by the allegations and will continue to be regretful. As I look to the future, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded and supported by family, close friends, and colleagues on whom I will continue to rely and thank for their support.last_img read more

Admiral keen to deal with criminal charge get back to serving the

first_imgOTTAWA – Vice-Admiral Mark Norman says he’s eager to deal with the criminal charge he faces and return to serving Canadians.Wearing his full navy uniform, Norman made a brief court appearance Tuesday concerning an accusation he leaked sensitive information about a shipbuilding project.Norman was charged last month with breach of trust and denies any wrongdoing. He is slated to return to Ontario court May 15 to begin setting a timetable for proceedings.“I’m anxious to get to court, get this dealt with as quickly as possible and get back to serving the people of Canada,” he said following the appearance.Norman, who was the military’s second-in-command until suspended from duty early last year, faces up to five years in prison.The case revolves around a November 2015 decision by the newly elected Liberal government to reconsider a $700-million contract the Harper Conservatives had awarded to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.Davie was hired to convert a civilian vessel, the MV Asterix, into a temporary resupply ship that would be leased until a permanent replacement was ready.While the plan to revisit the contract was supposed to remain secret, court documents show the RCMP suspected Norman of being upset with the decision out of concern the government would cancel the project.Norman was commander of the navy at the time and, according to the documents, allegedly worked with Davie to pressure the government to keep the project afloat.None of the accusations has been tested in court.Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein, told the court Tuesday that disclosure of materials from the Crown to the defence is “substantially complete.”The criminal investigation began in December 2015 when the RCMP received a complaint alleging that cabinet secrets had been disclosed.The Mounties gathered evidence through court-approved warrants and a legal assistance treaty request involving U.S. authorities. The investigation also included interviews and the forensic analysis of “a significant number” of documents, the RCMP says.Henein expressed impatience Tuesday with the length of the process.“I’m tired of shadow-boxing. It’s time to step in the courtroom and deal with the evidence,” she told reporters after the hearing.“I don’t try my cases on the courthouse steps. I try them in a courtroom. And that is what we are ready to do. So we want to get this going, get this dealt with and let the public know exactly what this case is about.”Asked if her client was being treated as a scapegoat, Henein said: “I think that’s self-evident, isn’t it?”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Ottawa overreacting by shutting Fundy fishery after single whale spotted group

first_imgHALIFAX – A fishermen’s group says the federal government is jumping the gun with a costly fisheries closure in the Bay of Fundy following the sighting of a single North Atlantic right whale.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the area in Grand Manan Basin will be closed to fixed-gear fishing from 11:59 p.m. Thursday until further notice.The closure affects lobster, crab, groundfish, herring and mackerel licences.But Brian Guptill, president of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association, said the government was too quick to act.“A vessel … sees one right whale that is moving, not stopped and feeding, and they shut the fishery down because of that. The airplane was up this morning and couldn’t find a whale anywhere,” he said.Guptill said DFO should take a more measured approach.“It’s a matter of the number of whales or number of sightings. If you just see one whale and it’s travelling … the whale could be gone before you get the traps out of the water,” he said.Guptill said the closure is costly for 30 to 40 fishermen who will lose the last week of the season in that area.Ottawa says all gear must be removed before Thursday’s closure, and notice will be given prior to the reopening.The right whale population suffered 17 losses last year — 12 of them in Canadian waters — likely due to rope entanglements and ship collisions.Guptill said the government is overlooking the effective protection measures that Bay of Fundy fishermen have taken.“We’ve had a right whale mitigation strategy and we’ve been working to have no impact on the whales since 2006. There hasn’t been a known entanglement since that time,” he said.So far this year, the government has closed a number of East Coast fishing areas, mostly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and fishermen have complained to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc about lost opportunities.Last week, LeBlanc said he’s offering lobster fishermen from New Brunswick and Quebec a fall fishery due to the closure of a vast area where endangered right whales have been spotted.He said he told the Maritime Fishermen’s Union that he plans to open a harvesting zone in the last half of September to make up for the 15-day closure of a 1,400-square-kilometre portion of ocean.LeBlanc said the offer will go to about 62 fishing vessels in New Brunswick and 60 from the Gaspe Peninsula whose lobster harvest was largely shut down as the whales passed through.last_img read more

No where to go Indigenous people recount losses in Wood Buffalo National

first_imgAn extensive report done on Wood Buffalo National Park contains testimony from Indigenous people in the area. Here are a few examples of what they said:Matthew Lepine: For birds, I have nowhere to go in fall, spring, summer for eggs … they are gone. There are places you cannot travel at all. In some places you can smell the stale water. We still try to go to those places, hoping there is water. We get little pitiful (muskrats) now. It’s all we have left. They are hardly even edible.Jocelyn Marten: Now it’s just a lot of algae. Oh my God, more algae than anything else! Come see in June, July, August the three lakes called Frog Lakes where we used to spend summer. That was one of the main nesting areas for ducks and (coots) and fish. You can’t even go there now these years with a boat. You can’t run a motor in there.Larry Marten: (Birds) tour around the delta on account of the oil plants. Just a few come in. Even if we have the water we will never have the birds as we used to as the oil plants won’t move. Migratory birds are using different routes because of the plants and no water. Where we used to hunt birds … I used to drive my dogs or use a snow machine. Now there is nothing!Gerald Gibot: In the past the ice was blue ice, white, like glass. It really thickened. Now it’s a foam ice. There is a lot of air in the ice. It’s not good ice like when I was growing up. You cannot really just cross anywhere without double-checking ice. It’s like a slush in a gas station. The ice is similar to that. I worked on the ice for 17 years on the ice roads going to Fort McMurray. I know ice.Ron Campbell: We are getting so used to the smell from industry. I’ll go back when I was a kid. Every day I’d walk from school. In March, when it starts warming up, you get a south wind and then you know spring is coming. That is when (you) get sulphur and other odours in the air from the tar sands. Now all through summer we get that smell every time there is a south wind. You get a funny feeling when you check the (fish) net. Some are deformed and have sores on them. You don’t have an appetite to eat them.Sloan Whiteknife: Even the moose are less now. And when we go hunting at Birch River I found out that moose are going away because they have less feed. It’s very hard for animals, even young ones after they feed from mom. The moose teach them how to eat. There are no small willows so it’s hard for them. The moose get hungry and skinny and calves are not full grown. The wolf has a better chance to kill them.Source: Strategic Environmental Assessment of Wood Buffalo National Parklast_img read more

A timeline of the deadly shooting in Fredericton

first_imgA timeline of events in Friday’s deadly shooting in Fredericton. All times in Atlantic time:7:07 a.m. Local resident David MacCoubrey is awakened by the sound of three gunshots just outside his bedroom window, followed by 17 more gunshots over the next hour.7:10 a.m: Police receive a call about shots fired in the 200 block of Brookside Drive.7:45 a.m. Nearby resident Travis Hrubeniuk hears a steady stream of police sirens along Brookside Drive.7:47 a.m. Fredericton police send a tweet cautioning people to avoid the area around Brookside Drive due to an “ongoing incident.”7:53 a.m. Police advise people living in the area to stay in their homes with doors locked.8:17 a.m. Police tweet that there has been a shooting that caused “multiple fatalities.”8:31 a.m. Police confirm that four people have been killed in the incident.9:30 a.m: After firing an undisclosed number of shots, police arrest a 48-year-old Fredericton man inside an apartment. He is taken to hospital9:49 a.m. New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant issues condolences to the victims and their families and urges residents to follow police instructions.10:12 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sends a tweet saying his “heart goes out” to everyone affected by the shooting.10:28 a.m. City police confirm that two of their officers are among those killed.11:05 a.m. Police lift the lockdown on the area and say there is no further threat to the public.11:06 a.m. Horizon Health, the local health network for the city, said multiple shooting victims were being treated at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.11:22 a.m. Police tweet that the suspect is being treated for serious injuries related to the shooting.4:30 p.m. The fallen officers are identified as Const. Robb Costello, 45, and Const. Sara Burns, 43. The civilian victims, a man and a woman, aren’t named.last_img read more

Its indefensible Judge weighing land dispute involving former Alberta chief

first_imgCALGARY – A federal judge reserved his decision Tuesday in a land dispute between two families on Canada’s largest First Nation.But Justice Michael Manson made it clear he will not be overturning a decision that transferred land from former Blood Tribe chief Harley Frank to another family.“If you’re asking for declaratory relief that’s not going to happen. This court doesn’t move down that road and it’s not proper for me to do so,” Manson told Frank’s lawyer.“If you’re asking me to declare that it should be sent back for consideration … that is typically the relief this court is prepared to grant. It’s really extraordinary when we give declaratory relief.”The dispute on the Blood reserve, which is home to 12,500 people in southwestern Alberta, 250 kilometres southeast of Calgary, involves 600 hectares of prime agricultural land allocated to the Frank family in 1960.Although band members can’t own property outright, they can have it allocated to them with the approval of the chief and council.Frank’s father, Wilton, staked a claim nearly 60 years ago and then had two years to make improvements on the undeveloped property near the St. Mary Reservoir.Earlier this year he was informed that the band’s land dispute panel had awarded all but two hectares of the Frank property to a family with adjacent land. Frank said the decision was based on the evidence of a hand-drawn map and was approved by the chief and council.His request for an appeal was rejected.“The applicants and their families had always been the registered occupants of these lands. The burden of proof here was on the parties challenging that registration,” argued Frank’s lawyer Peter Leveque.“There is no basis on which this appeal tribunal could have reasonably concluded that this decision had been properly made. That’s why we say this decision is so perverse here,” he said.“It’s not just unreasonable — it’s patently unreasonable. It’s indefensible at any level.”Blood Tribe lawyer Paul Reid told the court that the process was signed off by Frank when he was a member of the band council in 2007.He said the land traditionally belonged to the Three Persons family and the Franks were essentially living there on a long-term lease. He said there will likely be more land disputes in the future.“There’s a shortfall of land on the reserve and as a result of that shortfall of land on the reserve we see this increase in disputes between parties,” Reid said.“There simply isn’t enough land to go around and these disputes sometimes are generational.”Reid asked Manson to determine that the process involved in the land dispute was fair.“The decision was reasonable. They reviewed the record. They made a determination using the informal process that they had the discretion to use,” he said.“The decision should stand.”Frank, who is 68, and several family members attended the hearing.He’s worried that the judge will send it back to the band appeal board for a second time.“If this is sent back then we’re going back to the same people who denied us fair procedure and that doesn’t make sense to me. What recourse do we have?” he asked.“What do we have to do to prove our story? I doubt that they will change their position.”Frank said his family has always played by the rules.“We trust chief and council that we were doing the right thing according to their policy. This has been taken away to the point that we feel like leaving … just abandoning our houses and just leaving.”Frank said if the judge rules against him he will likely attempt to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.The judge didn’t give a date for releasing his decision.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Manitoba premier says he will enforce fee on Indigenous cannabis retailers

first_imgWINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government will enforce a cannabis retailers’ fee on First Nations store owners in the new year, setting up another potential clash with Indigenous leaders.The Progressive Conservative government is requiring all cannabis retailers to pay what it calls a social responsibility fee. The levy amounts to six per cent of each retailer’s total annual revenues, starting in 2019. The annual fee is to be paid within six months after the year ends.Stores on reserves will not be exempt, Pallister said.“Every Manitoban has a social responsibility,” Pallister said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press.“And any company in Manitoba that wants to market cannabis — whether it’s on-reserve, off-reserve, on urban reserves, I do not care — shares that social responsibility.”Among the dozen or so private retail outlets that have opened so far across the province, two run in partnership with the Long Plain First Nation on urban reserves in Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie.Long Plain Chief Dennis Meeches said the fee should not be applied on reserve land and he is considering legal action. Meeches said the levy appears to be much like the provincial sales tax, which does not apply to sales to First Nations consumers on reserves.“We’re just examining our options to see whether or not this is an attempt by the premier to skirt the PST (exemption),” Meeches said.Cannabis should be treated like tobacco, Meeches said. Through a rebate system, the province exempts tobacco sales on reserves to people with Indian status from its tobacco tax.“If this is allowed to go unchallenged, what else may come down the pike?” Meeches said.Pallister said the province has the right to impose a fee on businesses, whether on or off reserve.“We have the ability to establish a social responsibility levy.”Under a section of the federal Indian Act, any personal property of a First Nations member situated on a reserve is exempt from taxation. But taxes aimed at businesses are often applied.For example, Manitoba’s Health and Education Levy — a tax on companies with payrolls exceeding $1.25 million a year — applies on reserves as long as the company is incorporated and not that of a sole proprietor or band council.Pallister has been embroiled in disputes with Indigenous leaders on other fronts since taking office in 2016. He is facing opposition in some quarters over a plan to limit the use of spotlights for night hunting, and once said he feared it might become a “race war.”He is also facing a court challenge by the Manitoba Metis Federation over a proposed benefits agreement concerning Manitoba Hydro projects that was scuttled.Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

How a Quebec program set the world standard for childcare

first_imgYou can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at If you want to make it possible for families to afford downtown city living, or if you want to address the gender imbalance in the workforce, you have to figure out childcare. Most cities, or even countries, have not. But Quebec has. The province’s government daycare program is 25 years old, which is a long enough timeline to assess its impact, and the results are eye-opening.What’s so different about Quebec? What kind of numbers are we talking about? How can the rest of Canada and the world follow suit? And what else do we need to do if our best hope for a sustainable world is packing more families into the heart of our cities?GUEST: Molly McCluskey, writer, series editor, Room to Grow, CityLabAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Necropsy will be performed on dog that died during Yukon Quest dog

first_imgWHITEHORSE — A dog has died during the Yukon Quest dog sled race for the third year in a row.A release from race officials says Joker, a five-year-old male on the team of Czech musher Misha Wiljes, died Monday and was carried into the next checkpoint in the sled.Race chief veterinarian Nina Hansen says a necropsy will be performed in an effort to determine why the dog died.Wiljes, a veteran of the 1,600 kilometre Yukon Quest, finished 17th place in 2012 and is currently running in 17th spot, with about one quarter of the trail still ahead.There’s no indication if she will pull out of the race, but the Yukon Quest website shows she left Central checkpoint in Alaska early Tuesday and was on one of the final steep ascents of the gruelling race.Alaskan native Brent Sass won the race, crossing the finish in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Monday after setting out Feb. 2 from Whitehorse. (CKRW)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Independent watchdog to handle complaints about border agency Liberals pledge

first_imgOTTAWA — Travellers, immigration detainees and others who feel they have been mistreated by Canada’s border agency will be able to complain to an independent body under a new measure included in the federal budget.The Liberal government is planning legislative changes to give the RCMP watchdog the additional responsibility of handling public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency.The budget allocates $24 million over five years, starting in 2019-20, and $7 million a year after that, to expand the mandate of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.Border officers can stop travellers for questioning, take blood and breath samples, and search, detain and arrest people without warrants.The agency’s internal recourse directorate handles complaints from the public, while other bodies, including the courts, the federal privacy commissioner and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, examine various concerns about the agency’s work.But the border agency is not overseen by a dedicated, independent review or complaints body, prompting civil libertarians, refugee lawyers and parliamentary committees to call for stronger arm’s-length monitoring.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

No icebreakers in federal governments 156B plan for new coastguard ships

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Coast Guard’s recent struggles in resupplying northern communities and rescuing ice-jammed ferries appear set to continue despite the Trudeau government’s plan to invest $15.6 billion in new ships.None of the 18 vessels the government says it plans to buy is an icebreaker, meaning the coast guard will be forced to continue relying on its existing fleet for the foreseeable future.Much of the coast guard’s icebreaker fleet is already near or even already past its expected lifespan, which has resulted in breakdowns and other problems.Federal Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough acknowledged this week that the coast guard needs new icebreakers, but would not say when — or if — the Trudeau government would announce it is buying some.Qualtrough instead indicated that any announcement on additional ships for the coast guard would likely come after the government adds a third shipyard to the two that are already partners in its multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan.The search for that third shipyard is expected to start in the coming weeks, but while many observers expect Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec City to win, a senior government official said a decision is unlikely before October’s election.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ottawa Quebec announce 500 million reconstruction of La Fontaine Tunnel

first_imgMONTREAL — The federal and Quebec governments have announced a $500-million reconstruction project for Canada’s longest highway tunnel — the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel linking Montreal to its southern suburbs.“We’re bringing Montreal infrastructure into the 21st century,” said federal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, referring also to the new Samuel-de-Champlain Bridge expected to open at the end of the month.Champagne and Quebec’s junior transport minister, Chantal Rouleau, announced the funding deal in Montreal on Monday. Work is expected to begin in 2020 and last until 2024.The investment in the 52-year-old tunnel — one of five links between Montreal and the south shore — will extend its life span by 40 years.No fewer than 47 million vehicles use the La Fontaine tunnel every year, Champagne said.“It’s the longest highway tunnel in Canada,” he said.Planned work includes pavement, lighting, vaults, walls, signage and a fire protection system, as well as repaving of the highway between Boucherville and Montreal and necessary infrastructure for public transportation on highways linking to the tunnel.Champagne wouldn’t say how the funding would be divided between the governments, so as not to compromise the tendering process set to open soon.He said it was important to announce the project to allow for preparatory work.Rouleau said about 13 per cent of the vehicles that use the tunnel daily are heavy trucks.She said the massive re-construction will cause some obstacles, but the province is planning mitigation measures including parking spots to encourage public transit use and lanes for buses and car pooling.There’s also a consideration of a river shuttle between Montreal and its southern suburbs.There will also be an emphasis on communication with residents impacted by the work, Rouleau said.“The work being announced today — everyone knew it had to be done,” Rouleau said. Lia Levesque, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Supreme Court of Canada rejects Saskatchewan hitman murder appeal

first_imgOTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of a Saskatchewan man convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in a planned killing gone wrong.Joshua Dylan Petrin was a high-ranking drug trafficker when he asked two of his associates to “take care” of his right-hand man, who was planning to walk away from their criminal enterprise without his permission.The hit men went to the wrong address and killed an innocent woman.Petrin was convicted in a Saskatoon court in 2016 and filed an appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal a year later, which he also lost.Part of his failed appeal included new evidence of payments made to prosecution witnesses by police.As per its custom, the Supreme Court gave no detailed reasons for why it decided not to hear the appeal.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

George Clooney To Be Honored At Carousel Of Hope Gala

first_imgThe Carousel of Hope, the world’s premiere charity event benefiting childhood diabetes, hosted biannually by Barbara Davis, and presented by Mercedes Benz, is set for its 26th gala on Sat., Oct. 20, in Beverly Hills, Calif., at the Beverly Hilton.Oscar-winning actor, producer, director and philanthropist George Clooney will receive “The Brass Ring Award” for his outstanding artistic achievements and unprecedented humanitarian undertakings.Featured performers include soul legend Aretha Franklin, R&B and Pop icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and other world-renowned artists to be announced.The legendary, star-studded gala benefits the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the country’s leading care and research center for type 1 diabetes.The event’s blue ribbon committee includes Sir Michael Caine, Barbra Streisand, Denzel Washington, Sumner Redstone, Les Moonves, Paul and Maurice Marciano, Jane Fonda, Berry Gordy, Richard Gere, Carey Lowell, David Geffen, Brad Grey, Scarlett Johansson, Raquel Welch, Maria Shriver, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Goldie Hawn, Sir Sidney Poitier and Sir Elton John.Jay Leno will encore as Master of Ceremonies and David Foster and George Schlatter will, respectively, reprise their roles as music director and producer.George Clooney has starred in dozens of films, including “Oceans Eleven” and “Michael Clayton,” and is a longtime advocate for the Darfur and Haitian refugees, causes for which he has generated much international attention and engaged the interest of many world leaders, and was a co-founder of the America: A Tribute to Heroes charity telethon, which raised $200 million for 9/11 families and workers.Aretha Franklin is lovingly known as “The Queen of Soul” for presenting 50 years of unparalleled entertainment; among her hundreds of accolades are an astounding 18 Grammy Awards.For the fifth consecutive time, Mercedes-Benz will be the presenting sponsor and a highlight of the evening will be the auctioning of a Mercedes-Benz.Other major sponsors include Guess? Inc., American Airlines, Estee Lauder, Moët Hennessy USA and The Beverly Hilton.Past awardees Quincy Jones and Clive Davis will also participate in the program.The Carousel of Hope galas have featured once-in-a-lifetime performances by Elton John, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Ricky Martin, Beyoncé Knowles, Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, the Jonas Brothers, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson and BB King.Since its founding 35 years ago by Marvin and Barbara Davis, The Carousel of Hope has raised over $75 million on behalf of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, Colo. Over 6,000 children and adults with type 1 diabetes from around the globe visit regularly for specialized care. The Center also cares for children with type 2 diabetes. Both forms of the disease are increasing at an epidemic rate.Find out more here.last_img read more

Book Review JK Rowlings The Casual Vacancy

first_imgJK Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, was released in September, and shows a grittier side of the author who brought us Harry Potter. But the book does more than just provide us with a window into the private and dysfunctional lives of the fictional village of Pagford – it shows a side of Rowling that cares about people in the community.The Casual VacancyThe characters in Rowling’s book are essentially at low points in their lives – something Rowling knows from experience. The publication of the Harry Potter books is one of the most inspiring rags-to-riches stories of modern times – Rowling went almost over night from a benefit-dependent single mother suffering from depression to the first living author to earn a billion dollars from her books. And it was while she was at rock bottom that she witnessed the sorts of characters who populate The Casual Vacancy.But throughout the low years, Rowling always managed to give back where she could. After studying French and Classics at University, she worked as a researcher for Amnesty International. And since finding success, Rowling has supported a number of causes, including Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Comic Relief – her books Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages were both published in aid of Comic Relief. She was also the Patron of the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Scotland for nine years, and she now funds MS research through the VOLANT Charitable Trust, which she founded in memory of her mother.But it was an article in the Sunday Times in 2005 that led Rowling to establish one of the most important charities currently operating on a global scale to help the 8 million children living in institutions.“I looked at that photograph of the boy in his cage bed and felt he has absolutely no voice,” said Rowling. “This touched me as nothing else has because I can think of nobody more powerless than a child, perhaps with a mental or a physical disability, locked away from their family. It was a very shocking realization to me and that’s where the whole thing started.”Rowling’s High Level Children’s Group is now known as Lumos, which works at a political and practical level to ensure that UN minimum standards for the care of children are implemented across the whole of Europe and beyond. Rowling is still active at raising money for the cause – in 2007, she auctioned one of seven special copies of her Harry Potter tie-in, The Tales Of Beedle The Bard, for the charity. The result was a US$ 4 million boost for Lumos’ work. The general release publication of the book continues to raise money for the charity, and it was recently released as an eBook for Lumos.Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, is a step away from anything she’s published before. Definitely not a children’s book, it is a challenging read – both in terms of literature and content. Set in the small village of Pagford, it follows a large set of characters as they fight among themselves to fill a recently vacated position on the parish council.Dark and compelling, The Casual Vacancy is a book that makes you think about the people who make up communities and inspires us to think about those who may “fall through the cracks”. The last 100 pages include some of the best storytelling I have read in a long time.“The Casual Vacancy is set in a small community, which involved writing characters who are adolescents way up to people in their sixties,” said Rowling. “I love nineteenth century novels that centre on a town or village. This is my attempt to do a modern version. As a writer you have to write what you want to write; or rather what you need to write. I needed to write this book.”The Casual Vacancy is available from and ©2012Look to the Starslast_img read more

The Reality Of FASHION The Reality Of AIDS

first_imgThe Reality of FASHION, The Reality of AIDS have announced their exciting reality star line up slotted to walk the runway on Saturday, February 9th 2013.The formal attire, red carpet event will take place at the Altman Building in New York City located at 135 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10001 with doors opening at 7:00pm. The featured designer for the evening will be Dominique Auxilly . A well-known NYC based designer who has dressed celebrity names such as Nicki Minaj, Adrienne Bailon , Coco, and Tamar Braxton. Known to pull inspiration from all aspects of life, Auxilly’s pieces most often reflect her love for old Hollywood, her obsession with architectural structures and her Jamaican roots. These elements and influences come together to create a label like no other. Created and produced by Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR (BPMPR), the first-of-its-kind philanthropic event has a fundraising goal of $300,000 for the evening to benefit this year’s charity of choice, AIDS United.The participating star lineup includes reality stars and celebrities that have appeared on reality shows such as Lil Kim of Dancing with the Stars and The Pussycat Dolls Present Girlicious, Vanessa and Angela Simmons, Draya Michele, Janice Dickinson, Brittany Brower, Keenyah Hill, Ramona Rizzo, Alex McCord, Adrienne Bailon, Aviva Drescher, Ramona Singer, Tiffany “New York” Pollard, Michelle Money, Courtney Robertson, Tracy DiMarco, Jessica Romano, Briella Calafore, Nikki Rae Walker and many more. The show will showcase anywhere from 20-30 reality stars gracing the runway in couture pieces that will be auctioned off two weeks following the show to also benefit AIDS United.“We are excited to work with each one of these stars and the additional names will grace the runway. With their help and the publics, we can raise funds that are much needed to assist in ending the AIDS Epidemic,” States Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR (BPMPR) CEO Monique Tatum.Tickets to attend the celebrity fashion fundraiser range from $450 for standing room, $800 for Priority Seating, to $1200 for VIP first and second row access with swag bags. Patron donations of $2500 or more receive priority row seating and VIP options such as backstage celebrity meet and greet access.Purchasers may use code HOLIDAY70 Between December 20th 2012 and January 1st 2013 for 70% off of Standing Room or Priority Seating tickets.To purchase tickets, sponsor or additional information on “The Reality of FASHION The Reality of AIDS” please click here, email, or call 877.841.7244.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

william To Be Joined By Bill Clinton And Alicia Keys At TRANS4M

first_imgInternational recording artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist announced this week that he will host TRANS4M 2013: TRANS4Ming America on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.TRANS4M is an invitation-only conference that seeks out large, chronic problems and leverages collaborative efforts among businesses, non-profits, government, and community volunteers to accelerate new thinking and solutions.This year’s TRANS4M conference will focus on community transformation across America through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), community and wellness, all of which are programmatic goals of the foundation. The daytime conference sessions will focus on various aspects of transformation across life, self and community.TRANS4M creator and Brian David Johnson, Intel Futurist and TRANS4M joint Curator, will present an eclectic slate of speakers including President Bill Clinton. Conference highlights will also include a VIP breakfast gathering under the Space Shuttle Endeavour with remarks by Astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin. Additional speakers will be announced.The concert portion of TRANS4M will take place at The Avalon Hollywood, where 1,500 guests will enjoy performances by Alicia Keys and, among others. Additional artists will be announced. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to foundation to fund its programmatic activities, such as, and, which focus on STEAM education, home ownership and financial literacy, and healthy lifestyles, respectively.“This year, ‘TRANS4M 2013: TRANS4Ming America’ will focus on teaming businesses, non-profits, volunteers, and new technologies together to drive positive change in communities across the United States through education, the right STEAM skills and training, and a focus on the wellness of the people who live there,” said.This is the second year that will host his invitation-only conference, including 350 participants from industry, consumer brands, government and non-profits who will convene and explore smarter ways to collaborate to drive community transformation. Last year’s benefit concert raised in excess of $5 million for programs in Boyle Heights neighborhood (East Los Angeles),’s hometown. Concert proceeds fund educational, home ownership and financial literacy programs operated by’s angel foundation.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Duchess Of Cambridge Supports Childrens Hospice Week

first_imgThe Duchess of Cambridge has been praised for providing a “real boost” to the staff and volunteers of a Hampshire hospice she visited on her second wedding anniversary.Video: EACH Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, supports Children’s Hospice WeekHer Royal Highness travelled to Naomi House in Hampshire, an institution that supports young people with life-limiting conditions, to celebrate Children’s Hospice Week.The Duchess has already marked Children’s Hospice Week by recording her first video message, released on Sunday, which appealed for support for the initiative aimed at raising awareness and funds. The week, which runs until Friday, is run by UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives.Professor Khalid Aziz, chairman of Naomi House, which was opened by The Prince of Wales in 1997, said: “We are delighted that Her Royal Highness has chosen Naomi House to visit at the start of Children’s Hospice Week.“Her presence has provided a real boost for our families, our volunteers and all our dedicated staff who were thrilled to meet her.”The Duchess previously visited the hospice privately in 2008.Source:dukeandduchessofcambridge.orglast_img read more

The Saturdays Help Launch Poppy Appeal 2013

first_imgA pop concert for Armed Forces families kicked off The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal 2013 last week, launching one of the UK’s largest and best loved fundraising campaigns in support of Armed Forces families.Video: Union J and The Saturdays launch the 2013 Poppy AppealThousands of Service personnel and their families wore their poppies with pride during the concert, which included performances by superstar girl group The Saturdays, X Factor boy band Union J, pop singer Tich, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Luminites, and The Poppy Girls, who sang the official Poppy Appeal 2013 single, ‘The Call (No Need to Say Goodbye)’.TV personality Gethin Jones hosted the concert at RAF Northolt in north London and the audiencel included Armed Forces families from across the three Services.Before the concert, Union J band member George Shelley said: “”It will be amazing to launch the Poppy Appeal this year. Personally, the poppy means a lot to us, it’s a symbol of pride. I have a brother serving in the Royal Marines, Josh’s dad was in the Navy for ten years, and Jaymi’s uncle was in the RAF and fought in the Falklands war. We think of them, and all the others who have bravely served, every time we put a poppy on.“We spent some time at the Legion’s Adventure Breaks centre for Service kids this summer. There were loads of outdoor activities to help the kids connect with one another, and take time out from everything.”Also attending was 32 year-old Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, 42 Commando Royal Marine, who was seriously injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in May 2011 – losing his lower right limb in the incident.Cassidy participated in a theatre project run jointly by the Legion and The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust to aid the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, playing the lead role in the ‘Two Worlds of Charlie F’, an original play created through the project and based on the real experiences of the personnel.Cassidy said: “The theatre project funded by The Royal British Legion was a turning point in my recovery. While the medical teams put my body back together, taking part in the play ‘Two Worlds of Charlie F’ gave me back my self-esteem and confidence when it was at its lowest ebb.“I’ve now started an acting career and I know the Legion will support me and my family, as it does with hundreds of Service personnel every year in the transition from military to civilian life.”The Legion’s national fundraising target for 2013 is £37 million, which will allow the charity to continue its vital work delivering direct, practical care and support to members of the Armed Forces community in need.The Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising Charles Byrne said: “We support the entire Armed Forces community past and present, but families are at the heart of the Poppy Appeal in 2013.“We recognise the strength of mothers, fathers, partners and kids in Armed Forces families, who serve alongside their loved ones every single day, and often need practical care and advice too.“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for the Poppy Appeal, so we can continue providing this vital support to individuals whether they’re still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, but importantly to their dependents too.”The Legion provides wide ranging, and practical support to Armed Forces families in need, including crisis grants, family breaks, benefits and money advice and at times sadly, inquest advice.Every poppy helps raise the £1.6 million needed by the Legion each week to deliver practical help and advice to Armed Forces community.Click here for more about the 2013 Poppy Appeal.Source:Royal British Legionlast_img read more