Meghalaya minister quits to contest for Speakers post

first_imgShillong: Meghalaya Tourism and Water Resources Minister Metbah Lyngdoh on Tuesday tendered his resignation to contest the election for the Assembly Speaker’s post. Lyngdoh, a senior United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and a three-time legislator, also filed his nomination papers for the election. He was accompanied by the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, ministers and MLAs during the filing of nominations. The Opposition candidate, Winnerson D. Sangma of the Congress, was also accompanied by a host of Congress legislators when he filed his nominations. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The election was necessitated following the demise of Assembly Speaker, Donkupar Roy on July 28. Roy, who was the President of the UDP, was elected to the post of Speaker on March 12, 2018. The election of new Speaker will be held on September 13, the last day of the Assembly’s autumn session. “With the support of colleagues in the MDA, there’s no doubt why I should not win the Speaker’s election,” Lyngdoh said. In the 60-member Assembly with an effective strength of 59, the National People’s Party, which leads the coalition government, has 21 members, the United Democratic Party has eight, People’s Democratic Front four, there are two members each from Bharatiya Janata Party and Hill State People’s Party, one member each from Nationalist Congress Party and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement besides one independent member. Going by the numbers,Lyngdoh is expected to comfortable defeat Sangma as the MDA government has a total of 40 MLAs. However, Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma voiced confidence that the opposition candidate may win the election. “Though the Congress has only 19 MLAs, but the Opposition has put up the candidate to win the election. Politics is like a game of chess,” he said.last_img read more

BJP will get unprecedented mandate in Maha polls Fadnavis

first_imgPune: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday expressed confidence that the BJP will come back to power in the state with an “unprecedented” mandate after the upcoming Assembly polls. Fadnavis said his ongoing ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ has so far covered over 3,000 km and reached out to over 100 constituencies (out of the total 288) in the state. “Wherever we go, the yatra is being welcomed by people and getting a huge response. Looking at the people’s support, we are sure that we will get an unprecedented victory in the Assembly polls,” he told reporters here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Fadnavis on Saturday visited some tehsils in Pune as part of the third leg of his mass outreach campaign. Taking a swipe at NCP workers’ protest in Baramati town here against his yatra, Fadnavis wondered if Article 370 (that earlier granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir but was recently abrogated) was imposed in Sharad Pawar’s bastion so as to not allow any other party to hold a rally there. His remarks came when reporters asked him about some NCP workers’ allegation that police used lathi-charge when they shouted slogans during Fadnavis’ mass outreach campaign in Baramati on Saturday. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The police earlier denied that lathi-charge was used. “My first question about the protest was how many people (NCP workers) were there…there were only seven people, and is there any need for police to resort to lathi- charge for seven people?” Fadnavis asked. When the police chased them, they ran away, he said. “I would like to ask them, will it be okay if our party workers create ruckus in public meetings held by Sharad Pawar…is it the way?” he said. He asked if there was a rule that nobody from other parties should hold a public rally in Baramati. “Is there an Article 370 imposed in Baramati or is Baramati separate from Maharashtra?” he quipped. Fadnavis said if the opposition parties come to BJP’s strongholds for public meetings, his party would help them. “What is the problem…ultimately we live in a democracy, and in a democratic system, everybody has the right to hold public meeting, but what kind of a way it is that the chief minister should not enter their (NCP) town and hold a meeting?” he asked. Asked about the alleged multi-crore irrigation in which NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s name has cropped up, he said the case was in the last phase as its final hearing was underway in the Bombay High Court. “Whatever proofs and reports we have, we are submitting them in the court in the form of affidavits…all the things before the high court are crystal clear,” he said. On some NCP leaders saying that Sharad Pawar had to face problems because of Udayanraje Bhosale, the party MP who joined the BJP on Saturday, Fadnavis said it now appears to be a case of “sour grapes”. “When Bhosale was in the party, the NCP projected him and sought votes. When their ‘Shiv Swarajya’ yatra (a pre-poll mass contact programme) was announced, the NCP wanted that he should lead it and an announcement was made about it,”he said. “Now (that) he has left, he has become bad…I think people of Maharashtra will give a reply to the NCP in the elections,” the chief minister said. Bhosale, a descendant of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on Saturday quit his Lok Sabha membership from Satara to join the ruling BJP. Fadnavis expressed confidence that Bhosale will win the by-election from Satara with a huge margin. Talking about his agenda for next five years if his party comes back to power, Fadnavis said in the last five years, his government’s thrust was on watershed management. “In the next five years, our focus will be on making the state drought-free by diverting excess rainwater to scarcity-hit and rain-deficit districts,” he added.last_img read more

French nationals cast their ballot in Quebec a day before presidential showdown

first_imgMONTREAL – Thousands of French nationals who live in Quebec voted Saturday in their country’s presidential runoff between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.Nadia Camus, an election volunteer who was helping at the Montreal college where people cast their ballot, said the process was smoother than in the first round two weeks ago when long lineups prompted some people to walk away without voting.“The improvement is mainly down to having priority lineups,” Camus said. “The lineup for pregnant women and people with disabilities is much shorter than the last time.”The French consul general in Montreal said more than 57,000 people registered to vote in Quebec, with an overwhelming majority of them in Montreal.While the election in France takes place Sunday, those not in the country who are eligible to cast a ballot voted Saturday.Voting also took place elsewhere in Canada, including the French Embassy in Ottawa.The election pits Macron and his business-friendly, pro-European vision against Le Pen and her protectionist, closed-borders view that resonates with workers left behind by globalization.One Montreal voter, Victor Silvestrin-Racine, said Saturday it was important for people to exercise their democratic right in order to minimize Le Pen’s chances of victory.“The more that people abstain, the better the chances an extremist government gets in, so people must vote,” said Silvestrin-Racine, 26, who voted for Benoit Hamon in the first round.Another voter, who identified herself only as Catherine, said she was encouraged by the turnout.“In Montreal, I don’t think the abstention rate will be too high,” said the 55-year-old financial analyst, who was planning to vote for Macron.She said she twice tried to vote in the first round, but was unable to because of the long lineups.“Voting is very important for me, so I would have liked to have been able to do so the first time round,” she said, adding she would have cast a ballot for Francois Fillon.This time, she said she was supporting Macron — and not just because she wanted to help thwart Le Pen.“I really don’t want the extreme right to get in but at the same time I believe there might be elements in Macron’s program that are positive and could help France move forward,” she said.In the first round on April 23, Macron won 24 per cent support and Le Pen 21 per cent.A day earlier, nearly 23,000 French nationals voted in Montreal.last_img read more

Five stories in the news for today July 21

first_imgFive stories in the news for Friday, July 21———B.C. WILDFIRE STATE OF EMERGENCY HITS TWO-WEEK MARKToday marks two weeks since raging wildfires that have displaced thousands of people British Columbia forced the province to call a state of emergency. Premier John Horgan has said he would extend the order for an additional two weeks since many of the 43,000 people who had to flee their homes in the province’s Interior will not yet be able to return. More than 100 fires are still active.———OMAR KHADR QUARREL TESTS BIPARTISANSHIP ON NAFTAFederal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is unrepentant about complaining in the American media about the Omar Khadr payment. Members of the Trudeau government have accused him and other Conservatives of poisoning Americans against Canada on the brink of the North American Free Trade Agreement talks. But Scheer says any American backlash over the Khadr payment is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s fault.———SEARCH ON FOR 2 BURUNDI TEENS SEEN ENTERING CANADAU.S. authorities say two of six Burundi teenagers who went missing after an international robotics competition in Washington, D.C., have been seen crossing the border into Canada. Police say they have no indication of foul play in their disappearance. Canadian officials would not say if the two students reported to have been seen crossing the border — a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old — had made refugee claims.———AGRICULTURE MINISTERS WRAP UP TWO DAYS OF TALKSFederal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay wraps up talks with his provincial and territorial counterparts today in St. John’s, NL. One topic being discussed is the AgriStability program, which provides support for farmers experiencing crop failures or large losses. MacAuley says he’s heard from farmers who want assurances there won’t be a lapse in the program, adding he’s confident that won’t take place.———QUEBEC GAS VENDOR PREPARES FOR ELECTRIC CARSOne of the largest gas retailers in Canada is looking to Norway for guidance on how to adapt to growing electric car sales. Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Quebec-based convenience store company, established a foothold in the Scandinavian country five years ago with its purchase of Statoil ASA’s fuel and retail operations. It says it wants to ensure it will still appeal to customers if they no longer need to fill up on gas.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear at a Liberal Party reception in Halifax.— Statistics Canada will release the retail trade figures for May and the consumer price index for June.last_img read more

Key figures on the federal NDP as the party looks to name

first_imgOTTAWA – Federal NDP leadership hopefuls are debating each other in Victoria on Wednesday. Here’s a look at some key figures the contenders need to be mindful of:—$5.5 million: amount of debt carried by the party, according to 2016 financial figures.—$353,944: amount raised by leadership candidate and Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh in the second quarter of 2017.—$123,574: amount raised by Ontario MP Charlie Angus in the second quarter.—$70,124: amount raised by Manitoba MP Niki Ashton in the second quarter.—$46,970: amount raised by Quebec MP Guy Caron in the second quarter.—45,000: number of rank-and-file party members at the end of 2016.—80,000: approximate number of members when the 2012 leadership race began.—120,000: number of party members at the end of 2012 leadership race that resulted in Tom Mulcair’s leadership.last_img read more

Ontario drivers worry legal pot will impact road safety CAA survey finds

first_imgTORONTO – Nearly half of drivers who are also marijuana users told a survey they drive better, drive about the same or don’t know if cannabis impacts their ability behind the wheel.The survey — a poll of 1,000 drivers commissioned by the Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario and conducted by Ipsos — found that 16 per cent of respondents had used marijuana within the last three months.Attitudes about driving and marijuana use in that group, dubbed current users by the pollster, present a serious public education issue when it comes to drug-impaired driving, CAA director of government relations Teresa Di Felice said.“One of the challenges is that there is a perception by people who use marijuana that they drive the same or better when they’re under the influence marijuana,” she said. “That is a concern and puts safety at risk … There are cognitive impacts. There are concerns. Those two don’t mix.”According to the survey, eight per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive better after using marijuana than when they are sober. Another 29 per cent of current cannabis users believe their ability to drive is the same after using marijuana as when sober. Twelve per cent of respondents who are current users said they didn’t know if there was any difference between their ability to drive after using marijuana or sober.The remaining 52 per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive worse after using pot than when sober.Di Felice calls those results “startling” but says they line up with the view of nearly three quarters of survey respondents that a public education campaign is necessary and those efforts should target young drivers who are more likely to be regular users of pot, she said.Nearly 75 per cent of respondents either strongly support or somewhat support stricter penalties for drug-impaired drivers.“Things like fines and suspensions (are) ways of influencing people to recognize not to drive while under the influence of marijuana,” she said.The poll found that 77 per cent of respondents are concerned about road safety when marijuana is legalized on July 1, 2018.Di Felice said the survey shows the majority of respondents also believe there will be an increase in the frequency of marijuana-impaired driving.“I think there is just a general perception, and when you also take a look at the fact that almost 50 per cent of people surveyed have at least tried (marijuana) at least once, people recognize that there is an impact on your cognitive ability and therefore it would impact your ability to drive safely,” she said.Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca has previously said proposed changes to Ontario’s road safety laws would align drug and alcohol impaired driving offences across the province.The new legislation would also increase penalties for drivers who fail or refuse to provide a sample for a roadside test.“I believe that the legislation is strong and decisive,” Del Duca said. “I will say, I have concerns. I have concerns about all forms of impairment and distraction on our roads and highways at all times.”Del Duca added that whether a person is using marijuana recreationally or medicinally, they should not get behind the wheel.“When a person is operating a vehicle they should be free of impairment at all times,” he said.last_img read more

Woman charged after allegedly returning to collect drugs left in hotel roomcops

first_imgGUELPH, Ont. – A woman has found that returning to claim drugs she allegedly left behind in a hotel room may not have been the best decision.Police in Guelph, Ont., say staff at a west-end hotel found crystal meth and cocaine in a room after the occupants checked out on Saturday.Investigators say a woman returned saying she wanted to collect items that had been forgotten in the room and was arrested.A 33-year-old London, Ont., woman faces two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.last_img read more

How Canada lost a potential 11th province – and got a university

first_imgHALIFAX – It reads like over-the-top historical fiction: Raids by American privateers, an invasion of the United States, tales of war booty and, incredibly, the loss of what could have been Canada’s 11th province.But that’s just the first chapter of how Halifax’s Dalhousie University was founded — 200 years ago Tuesday.“If you look at the history of the college, it’s a miracle that it survived its early years,” says Michael Moosberger, the university’s archivist.Dalhousie, now seen as one of the top universities on the East Coast, was born of a series of struggles, he said: “There was tension between the various Christian religions back then. These guys did not play nice with one another.”The story begins as the War of 1812 was winding down, when the Royal Navy in Halifax decided to put an end to harassment by American merchant vessels outfitted for war, otherwise known as privateers.Moosberger says the colonial secretary asked Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, to ensure the Americans didn’t disrupt the lines of communication between Halifax and Quebec.“Sherbrooke was authorized to occupy as much land in Maine as he could,” Moosberger says.In late 1814, a British invasion force was dispatched from Halifax. The redcoats were met with little opposition, as most residents of New England were opposed to the war.The occupation pushed the Canada-U.S. border about 160 kilometres to the south, effectively absorbing the huge chunk of American territory that now protrudes between southern Quebec and New Brunswick.Despite the obvious advantages of making northern Maine part of British North America, which included access to vast forests, the British government was preoccupied with rising tensions with France. And in February 1815, the Treaty of Ghent was ratified, ending hostilities between the United Kingdom and the United States.After occupying the sparsely populated Maine frontier for eight months, British forces left in April 1815, and the 50,000-square-kilometre territory was ceded to the Americans.What could have been Canada’s 11th province — the British called the Crown colony New Ireland — was gone.However, the British soldiers and sailors returned to Nova Scotia carrying a substantial booty — about 10,000 British pounds collected as customs duties at Castine, Maine, a strategic port near the mouth of the Penobscot River.The spoils of war would be used to establish Dalhousie College.The institution was named after the man who called for its creation, George Ramsay, Nova Scotia’s new lieutenant governor and the Earl of Dalhousie.Founded on Feb. 6, 1818, the university marked its bicentennial Tuesday with a special ceremony, including the reading of a lengthy poem by Nova Scotia playwright George Elliott Clarke, who recently ended a stint as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate.In the poem, Clarke says Dalhousie University “originates as a trophy — a profit — of War, as actual booty.”It was Ramsay’s idea to set up a non-denominational school open to all in Halifax and modeled after the University of Edinburgh, near his home in Scotland.But his plan didn’t sit well with the local clergy, and Ramsay soon left Halifax after he was appointed governor-in-chief of British North America.“Without his influence, the institution faltered,” the university said in a statement released earlier this week.“To have a secular college in competition with a Roman Catholic (St. Mary’s) college and an Anglican (King’s) college, they were not enthusiastic about that,” says Moosberger.As a result, the first instruction was not offered at Dalhousie College until 1838 and the first degrees were awarded in 1866 — almost 50 years after its founding.In 2006, the institution boasted about having more than 100,000 graduates.Today, the university has more than 18,000 students spread across three campuses in Halifax, and an agricultural campus near Truro.“From the outset, the little college aspired to the highest academic standards,” university president Richard Florizone said in a statement. “Two centuries later, Dalhousie University has grown from that ‘little college by the sea’ to become a national university, and the leading research university in Atlantic Canada.”—Follow @NovaMac on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said a special ceremony would take place Wednesday.last_img read more

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

first_imgCALGARY – Scott Hutcheson carries a volunteer medal from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary with him these days.His parents Bob and Jane relocated from Ontario for a month to donate their time at the Nakiska alpine ski venue during those games.Bob recently sent the medal to his son, who hopes Calgarians feel its value as much as he does when they vote Tuesday in a plebiscite on whether or not they want the city to bid on the 2026 Winter Games.“That’s what it’s about,” Hutcheson said Monday. “Giving your spirit, giving your all to a community. That’s what he did.”The board chair of the bid corporation Calgary 2026 feels the plebiscite will be a close race between those who want to host another Winter Games eight years from now, and those who don’t.“I think it’s a jump ball,” Hutcheson said. “Depends who votes, depends who gets out.”The result may be non-binding on a Calgary city council that has the final say on a bid, but it will heavily influence its decision.“Vote, regardless of where you stand,” Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said. “Let’s make sure there’s a really high voter turnout so there’s an unambiguous decision on this.“I hope people vote ‘yes’. I think there are many, many great reasons to keep this process going and to not let this opportunity pass us by.”The cauldron atop the Calgary Tower began igniting last week at 8:26 p.m. for 20 minutes 26 seconds. The tower is a symbol of the ’88 Olympics, as the relay torch was a replica of it.The tower is an asset in Hutcheson’s commercial real estate company, but the former national alpine team skier says he’s not using it to ignite ’88 nostalgia in Calgarians to favour another bid.The pro-bid Calgary Hotel Association is sponsoring the lighting of the tower in the run-up to the plebiscite, as well as cauldrons at WinSport and the Olympic Oval, he said.Calgary 2026’s mandate is to “promote a responsible bid”.It became easier to do that, Hutcheson said, after the proposed cost-sharing agreement between the three orders of government became public less than two weeks ago.“The bid is understood. That momentum is exciting, but it’s late,” he acknowledged. “If it were done three months ago, it would have left way more time to talk about what this means from an investment standpoint.”In an estimated $5.1 billion total price tag, the federal government has committed $1.45 billion and the province $700 million.The city’s share would be $390 million. Hutcheson wants Calgarians to see it as a small investment for a big return.“I never expected this small an investment to work from our city at $390 million,” Hutcheson said. “I never expected they’d put that little an amount in and we’d be able to get the federal government and the province both in for a remarkable number that works. This deal to me is way better than what I would have pencilled in months ago.“I respect that not everybody is going to want to vote ‘yes.’ But I would ask those that vote ‘no’ to make sure they have another community project in their mind that will make a difference. ‘No’ doesn’t build a community.”No order of government has put up its hand to be a guarantor against debt. Calgary 2026 has built $1.1 billion in contingency funds into its proposed budget as insurance.“If Calgarians make a decision to move forward, 50 per cent plus one vote, I will be respecting that decision,” Coun. Evan Woolley said.“Each of our individual colleagues on council, because it is a non-binding decision, will have to make those decisions for themselves.“No means no. Yes means we’ve got a bunch of work to do. We will move forward on that basis, but I can tell you that without more certainty from our federal and provincial governments around guarantees and helping us mitigate these risks, the city of Calgary cannot carry some of those risks on our own.”Calgary 2026’s proposed draft plan earmarks $502 million towards upgrading the ’88 legacy venues, now over 30 years old.WinSport, formerly the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), is a non-profit organization that oversees much of the legacy.While the ’88 Games produced endowment funds to help pay for the continued operations and upgrades of venues such as the oval, the Canmore Nordic Centre and Canada Olympic Park, WinSport CEO Barry Heck says those facilities’ require a bigger investment to extend their lives.“There are the legacy facilities from eighty-eight, that have served Calgary so extremely well for 30 years, has put us on the map, as a world-leading winter sport Olympic city, but they’re end of life,” Heck said.“For us to keep delivering what we have for the next two or three generations, we need this renewal. Five hundred million is a lot of money, but it’s a fraction of what it would cost to rebuild these facilities.”last_img read more

House Speaker warns MPs that heated rhetoric is starting to cross a

first_imgOTTAWA — The referee of the House of Commons has given MPs a stern warning about their use of overheated partisan rhetoric lest they find themselves in a parliamentary penalty box.Speaker Geoff Regan says he’ll cut off MPs if their comments are couched in wording that veers into pointed, personal accusations during the daily question period.For days, the Opposition Conservatives have referred to the trust fund and personal wealth of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as of Finance Minister Bill Morneau, in attacking the Liberals over the deep deficits they’ve run while in office.The attacks sharpened after Trudeau remarked this week that low-income Canadians don’t pay taxes, which the Conservatives argued showed how out of touch he is with everyday Canadians.Before the start of Thursday’s question period, Regan took two minutes to let MPs known he was going to start putting his foot down.Regan said anyone who skirts the line between legitimate question and personal attack may be cut off and find their turn to question the government is passed along to another MP.“I have listened carefully and patiently — perhaps too patiently — to questions put forward this week, some of which clearly fell outside of the scope of permissible questions since they had little to do with the administrative responsibility of the government,” Regan said.“I will not allow such questions or such personal attacks. I will interrupt any member who asks a question that raises a matter that does not properly deal with public policy.”His words drew heckles from the Tory benches and applause from the Liberals.Regan chided both sides for their responses.Later on, he cut off Liberal MP Matt DeCourcey when he accused the Conservatives and their leader, Andrew Scheer, of “Scheer-mongering” over immigration.When question period ended, DeCourcey told the Commons he would retract the comment, and asked to insert the word “fear mongering” instead, drawing a round of jeers from the Tory benches.“Order,” Regan shouted, before counselling DeCourcey to “apologize unconditionally.”DeCourcey agreed. He said he would “retract my use of the word” — and then added a “but.”Regan cut him off — again.“Just to be clear,” Regan said, “unconditionally doesn’t mean including the word ‘but.’ There are no ‘buts.’ Now that’s enough.”NDP MP Nathan Cullen was up next.“Sunny ways, Mr. Speaker,” he said, using Trudeau’s oft-quoted mantra. Jordan Press , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Facebook broke Canadas privacy laws watchdogs say

first_imgThe federal commissioner says he will be bringing this Facebook matter to federal court #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 25, 2019The report released today says about 300,000 Facebook users worldwide added the app, leading to the potential disclosure of the personal information of approximately 87 million others, including more than 600,000 Canadians.The investigation took a year to conduct.The federal commissioner says his office is ending its presence on facebook because he doesn’t want to have an association with a company that he has found to be irresponsible with user information #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 25, 2019In a statement, Facebook says it is disappointed by the findings, there is no evidence Canadians’ data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, and the company has made dramatic improvements to protect people’s personal information. OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Facebook is facing more heat for failing to safeguard your privacy.The federal and B.C. privacy commissioners say the social media giant broke the law, exposing the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.Here is the full statement from the federal and BC privacy commissioners. First line “Facebook committed serious contraventions of Canadian privacy laws”1 of 2… #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 25, 2019This bombshell report finds that Facebook failed to protect users’ personal information, leading to unauthorized access on data that was later used for political purposes.The report finds major shortcomings in Facebook’s practices, and highlights the need for legislative reform to protect Canadians.The complaint that prompted the probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal information, and that some of the data was then shared with others, including the firm Cambridge Analytica, which was involved in U.S. political campaigns.The app, at one point known as “This is Your Digital Life,” encouraged users to complete a personality quiz.It collected much more information about users who installed the app as well as data about their Facebook friends.Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien says he is concerned that not only does facebook deny it broke the law, but it is refusing to follow recommendations to fix the problem.“My office plans to take the matter to federal court to force Facebook to correct its privacy practices,” he added. “Its refusal to address the serious problems that we have identified or even acknowledge that it broke the law”last_img read more

Five questions about what could be next in the SNCLavalin saga

first_imgTeresa Wright, The Canadian Press OTTAWA — As the fallout continues in the wake of Wednesday’s damning ethics report on the SNC-Lavalin affair, there are still a number of twists and turns in the road ahead for what has turned out to be an enduring political saga. Here are five:Will the RCMP lay charges, and if so, when?A spokesperson for the Mounties said Wednesday they are “examining this matter carefully with all available information and will take appropriate actions as required.” Hardly compelling stuff, but it raised eyebrows among those more accustomed to the standard “no comment” when it comes to matters not yet under investigation — and leaves open the possibility of criminal charges on the eve of a federal election campaign (although the standards for an ethical breach are far different from those for criminal conduct). Timing will be everything. The RCMP faced criticism in the wake of the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy, who was acquitted on all 31 charges after a courtroom spectacle that did nothing to help the doomed re-election bid of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Will that scar tissue — or the lingering memory of the botched prosecution of Vice-Adm. Mark Norman — give the authorities pause?How will the ethics commissioner’s report play with voters?The Liberals took a hit in public opinion polls when the SNC-Lavalin controversy first rocked the national capital earlier this year. Recent polls suggested they were recouping some of those losses. Will Wednesday’s fresh wound hurt the Liberals come election day? It’s too early to say. Reaction on social media and in comment sections would suggest those already upset with the Trudeau Liberals and deeply partisan Conservatives, NDP and Green supporters have made up their minds already. Liberal partisans, meanwhile, say they are pleased with the prime minister’s recent show of defiance, refusing to apologize for what he characterizes as trying to protect Canadian jobs. That leaves the undecideds — and among those who believe this election is about trust, the Liberals are likely to take a hit. But local races do matter, and strong local MPs could help ease the sting.What’s the long game for Jody Wilson-Raybould?The former attorney general-turned Independent MP at the heart of the saga has expressed vindication from Dion’s report, and dismay at the evidence therein that Trudeau’s lawyer tried to “discredit” her through submissions made to the ethics commissioner. But the savvy political operative within her is not going to leave it at that. As an Independent in a race against well-funded, established candidates, she will need to leverage as much political capital as possible to regain her seat in the House of Commons. Just how she might use this report to do that remains a mystery — for now. One thing is certain: she’s not going away. Her forthcoming book is to be released just in time for the election.What will opposition parties do to capitalize?Both the Conservatives and NDP have already launched their first move, calling for the Commons ethics committee to be “urgently convened” in order to call Dion to testify. They point to the fact former ethics commissioner Mary Dawson testified after finding in 2017 that Trudeau broke ethics rules when he took his family on vacation in 2016 to the private Bahamian island owned by the Aga Khan. The meeting will likely happen, but the Liberal majority on the committee will determine the outcome — even successfully blocking testimony will be fodder for their opposition rivals.Do voters care about SNC-Lavalin anymore?As the Bard once said: that is the question. In the wake of the marathon hearings and relentless media coverage earlier this year, there was a palpable sense of fatigue when it finally started to die down. Many voters have likely already formed an opinion about how they feel Trudeau, Wilson-Raybould and others behaved on the file and the ethics commissioner’s ruling may not change those views. However, given the uncertainty about how many of the issues raised above could play out on the campaign trail, political watchers and voters alike would be wise not to close the book on SNC-Lavalin yet.last_img read more

Stars Donate Items And Experiences To Rainforest Action Network Auction

first_imgHere is your chance to bid on celebrity experiences, autographed memorabilia and luxury items to benefit Rainforest Action Network!Auctions include: Dinner with Chris Noth, designer handbags signed by Sarah Jessica Parker, signed guitars from Sting and Tim McGraw, a Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet, Dragon’s Rest Cold Spring Getaway, jewelry, art, and much more.Rainforest Action Network (RAN) campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action.Also going under the hammer is a guitar signed by Bonnie Raitt and a DVD collection signed by Robin Williams.To access the auction, which runs until February 27, click here.last_img read more

UK Stars Record Album To Mark 100th Anniversary Of WWI

first_imgThe British Prime Minister, comedians, soap stars, Hollywood actors and the cast of War Horse, are brought together in an extraordinary album of spoken word and music, marking the most haunting moments of the First World War.The unprecedented line-up, which includes Eastenders’ star Danny Dyer, Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean, Cold Feet star John Thomson, comedian Sarah Millican and broadcasters James Naughtie and Stephen Fry, will forge new links to the valour of the most courageous heroes of the First World War.Following months of painstaking research, The Royal British Legion and the Victoria Cross Trust also tracked down descendants of a group of Victoria Cross recipients, who join the celebrity line-up for a unique collection of recordings compiled to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the War in 1914.The Prime Minister, David Cameron has recorded The Soldier by Rupert Brooke while Danny Dyer reads In Memoriam by Ewart Alan Mackintosh. Cold Feet star John Thomson reads Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est, Sarah Millican reads Amy Lowell’s haunting sonnet From One Who Stays, TV historian Dan Snow reads Owen’s Futility. Also featured are recordings of Radio 4’s Today programme presenter Jim Naughtie reading For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon, Sean Bean reading Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen and Stephen Fry reading In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. The readings are set to music, such as instrumental versions of Abide With Me, The Day Thou Gavest and I Vow to Thee, My Country.It is, however, the contribution of the descendants of the First World War Victoria Cross heroes which forms the most moving centrepiece of the album. Recording engineers at Decca’s studios carefully pieced together each of the ten descendants voices to record a special version of John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields. They have, in turn, each paid a personal tribute to their relative’s heroism, creating a priceless moment of audio history.The album also features vintage music from the time, recorded by The Central Band of The Royal British Legion who recreated the sounds and atmosphere of classic tracks such as It’s a long way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning (sung by soprano Laura Wright) and Pack up your Troubles. Also featured is a bugle that was played on the battlefields of Belgium and France, and can be heard here on the ‘Last Post’ fanfare. The track Only Remembered from the stage version of War Horse was recorded especially for this album by the cast.The album is a “truly unique and painstaking collaboration” according to Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising Charles Byrne. Decca, part of the Universal Music Group, have gone to “extraordinary lengths” to ensure the sounds and music captured in 2014 would become vivid testimony of the tragedy of a century ago. “We are also very grateful to the Victoria Cross Trust for their great dedication in helping source descendants of those whose selfless courage was recognised with the VC.“The poetry borne of the struggles of the First World War captured so hauntingly the trauma experienced by a generation of young men. Poets such as John McCrae and Wilfred Owen express this tragedy in a manner that only those who have seen it first-hand can describe. This album will help keep these moments alive for future generations.”Mr Byrne added that any donations, made by Decca from album proceeds, to The Royal British Legion, would go towards meeting the £230,000 spent every day by the Legion in helping and supporting present-day Service personnel and their families.Victor Harbige, 57 from Ashford, Kent – one of the VC descendants that contributed to the In Flanders Fields recording said: “It means so much to me and my family to be a part of this. It’s brilliant that The Royal British Legion have given us this opportunity to tell our families’ stories. We – as a family – are so proud of my Great Grandfather Arthur, but we have to remember that he was just one hero, there were millions more who took part in that awful war and each one of them is a hero too.”Victor is the Great Grandson of Arthur Henry Cross VC. Lance Corporal Cross received the VC on 25 March 1918 in Ervillers, France when he volunteered to make a reconnaissance of two machine-guns which had been captured by the enemy. Heading out alone into no-man’s-land, he came across the enemy trench. Armed only with a revolver, Lance Corporal Cross forced seven of the enemy to surrender and subsequently marched them back to the British lines forcing them to carry the captured guns, tripods and ammunition. Handing over the prisoners, Lance Corporal Cross collected a team of soldiers to man the re-captured guns which he immediately brought into action, by destroying a heavy counter-attack by the enemy.Recalling his Great Grandfather’s account of the contact, Victor said: “I don’t remember an awful lot about my Great Grandfather, but I do remember him telling about how he won his medal, he said: ‘Look. They nicked my guns and I wanted them back. Simple.’”The album is entitled ‘Forever’ and is available to pre-order now. Find out more here.Source:Royal British Legionlast_img read more

UNICEF UK Pays Tribute To Richard Attenborough

first_imgUNICEF UK is today mourning the death of Goodwill Ambassador Lord Richard Attenborough, who has died at the age of 90.The much-honoured socially conscious actor, producer and director, Lord Richard Attenborough, was named Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF on 27 October 1987.His appointment followed a long acquaintance with UNICEF’s field programmes and field staff, built during the filming of projects such as ‘Gandhi’ in India and ‘Cry Freedom’ in Zimbabwe. He later went on to support benefit premieres of both ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Cry Freedom’, raising over US$1 million for UNICEF-supported programmes.In his role as a Goodwill Ambassador Lord Attenborough visited UNICEF projects across the world, including trips to Thailand, Kenya, South Africa and Swaziland. While in these countries he witnessed first-hand the full scope of UNICEF’s programmes and met with Heads of State and Government and senior ministers to discuss the concerns of the children he had encountered and been impassioned by.In April 2000, he went on a mission to Mozambique to see the devastation left by the country’s worst floods in half a century. Following the trip Lord Attenborough set up a joint appeal with The Observer and UNICEF to get additional assistance to the Mozambicans. In 2007 Lord Attenborough also pledged his full support to UNICEF’s ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ campaign.Lord Puttnam, UNICEF UK Ambassador and long time friend of Lord Attenborough, said: “Richard was an incredibly kind, generous and magnificently warm man whose strong social conscience was borne out in everything he did – from his films such as Gandhi, to his remarkable dedication and commitment to children across the world in his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Throughout his years as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Richard was an immensely powerful advocate for children’s issues. Through his creativity, integrity and passion he supported advocacy and fundraising initiatives, delivering amazing impact and transforming children’s lives the world over. I will miss him greatly. UNICEF will miss him greatly. Today we are all the poorer for his passing but there are thousands upon thousands of children the world over whose lives have been enriched by his living and we celebrate and are grateful for Richard’s life, his friendship and his support of UNICEF.”Born in Cambridge, United Kingdom, on 29 August 1923, Lord Attenborough, the son of a university principal, spent his childhood in Leicester. He left home at age 17 to take up a Leverhulme scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and went on to have enormous success with parallel careers in both acting and directing. He directed the movie Gandhi which won eight Oscars in 1982. Lord Attenborough was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1976 and became Lord Richard Attenborough after he was granted a life peerage in 1993.UNICEF UK President Lord Ashdown said: “Today we mourn the loss of a much-loved and respected member of the UNICEF family. Lord Attenborough was a giant of a man with the gentlest of manners whose support of UNICEF’s work for children was unwavering and inspiring. In his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador he raised millions of pounds and spoke up for children across the world who are not able to speak out or be heard on their own. He turned the volume up, and focused our attention, on some of the biggest challenges facing children around the world. UNICEF is greatly indebted to Lord Attenborough for his dedication and commitment to our work.”Lord Ashdown extends the greatest sympathy of everyone at UNICEF UK to Lord Attenborough’s family at this sad time.last_img read more

Mel C Visits India With TigerTime

first_imgMel C recently visited India with TigerTime to learn about the plight of wild tigers and raise awareness of the issues they face.Mel C in India With TigerTime“I’ve been a supporter of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s TigerTime Campaign since its launch in 2011 and I was thrilled when they asked me if I’d like to go to India to meet fellow TigerTime supporter, the Indian wildlife filmmaker Nalla Muthu to see a tiger in the wild and to help raise awareness of the issues these amazing big cats are facing,” said Mel. “I jumped at the chance! But with as few as 3,000 tigers left in the wild I knew that there was no guarantee of a sighting.””And it infuriates me that the trade in tiger parts from both wild and captive tigers continues. It was banned in 1987 but the demand continues. When once it was health that drove the killing – using tiger parts for ineffective medicines – it is now wealth that drives demand. People want tiger skins for status symbols and house decoration, they want tiger meat to serve at exotic banquets to impress their friends, tiger bone wine as a gift to influence others. It has to stop and TigerTime is helping to raise awareness of this issue with their campaign to ban the trade in tiger parts – everyone should sign up, everyone who has ever cared for tigers or forests or the health of this planet, not just for them but for their children and their children’s children – should sign up at“In 2016 there is a hugely important CITES meeting at which the fate of the tiger may well be decided and the intersessional working group on tigers is being chaired by China – by a man known to be pro-trade. We have to ask China to do the right thing and need 500,000 signatures by October. Time may be running out for the tiger. We have to act.”To read Mel’s full account of visiting India, click here.Source:TigerTimelast_img read more

Bette Midlers Cheeky Challenge To Kim Kardashian

first_imgBette Midler wants Kim Kardashian to use her selfies for good.Bette Midler Tweets Kim Kardashian“@KimKardashian Put your selfie to work…for a good cause! Donate, RT, I’ll match $$ 2-1,” the legendary star said in a cheeky tweet yesterday.Midler is raising awareness of her initiative Stages For Success, which she launched with the Jeckyl Foundation.“A few years ago I launched Stages for Success, a campaign to modernize outdated and dysfunctional public school auditoriums,” she said. “We’ve completed several successful transformations so far, and are hard at work on our 2016 project, a fantastic performing arts high school where the auditorium needs a major overhaul. We need your help to make this happen.”To show your support, click here.last_img read more

UNHCR Ambassador Cate Blanchett Warns Of Race Against Time To Protect Refugees

first_imgUNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett today warned of a “race against time” to protect Rohingya refugees from the worst impacts of the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh.Cate Blanchett meets young Rohingya refugees Heavy rains, potential cyclones and adverse weather conditions are threatening to put more than one hundred thousand Rohingya refugees living in congested settlements in Cox’s Bazar district at serious risk in the coming months. Blanchett, on return from a visit to Bangladesh this week, is calling for urgent action to support UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, working with the Government of Bangladesh, to avoid an “emergency within an emergency”.

Since August 2017 over 671,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have sought safety in Bangladesh. “The Rohingya refugees have already experienced targeted violence, human rights abuses and horrific journeys. They have shown unimaginable resilience and courage,” Blanchett said, speaking at the end of her visit to Kutupalong, Nyapara and Chakmarkul settlements near Cox’s Bazar this week. “But now, as the monsoon season approaches, the Government of Bangladesh, supported by UNHCR and its partners, are in a race against time to ensure the refugees are as safe as they can be to deal with potential floods and landslides.”

”I’ve seen first-hand how UNHCR – with its partners and with the refugees themselves – is working flat out to avoid an emergency within an emergency in Cox’s Bazar district. Staff are on the ground distributing shelter and pre-monsoon kits to the vulnerable families, reinforcing roads, bridges, steps and other infrastructure at risk of being washed away, and relocating families to safer places where land is available. But more is urgently needed to ensure refugees stay safe,” Blanchett continued.

Calling for the international community to show solidarity and share the responsibility of this crisis with Government and people of Bangladesh, Blanchett added, “The people of Bangladesh and host communities have been the first to respond to this crisis, supported by agencies like UNHCR and its partners. But I cannot stress how much more help is needed for these vulnerable stateless refugees, the majority of whom are women and children. This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, the monsoons are coming and it is critical that the international community, private sector and individuals all do what they can to support these stateless refugees and the communities hosting them.”

The Rohingya are a stateless minority. Since violence began on 25 August 2017 in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, over 671,000 refugees have fled to Bangladesh. The Government and people of Bangladesh have shown tremendous generosity and hospitality in the face of this influx. Faced with acute risk of an emergency within the emergency, UNHCR and its partners are supporting the Bangladesh Government in Cox’s Bazar to prepare both refugee and host communities ahead of the monsoon season.

Kevin J. Allen, Head of UNHCR’s emergency operation in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh said, “Bangladesh saved thousands of lives when it opened its borders and arms to Rohingya refugees. It is now critical that we stand firmly with Bangladesh and the refugees we serve to protect them from cyclonic winds and heavy rains.”

UNHCR is working to build dignified and decent lives for the stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, including access to healthcare, education, shelter and self-reliance. The solutions to this refugee crisis lie in Myanmar, and UNHCR has therefore called on Myanmar to create conditions in Rakhine State that would permit the safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of refugees who voluntarily choose to return to their homes. UNHCR is calling for unfettered humanitarian access to all communities and to all areas of origin and potential return in Rakhine State and has offered to support the Government of Myanmar to rapidly implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

Last week, a new inter-agency donor appeal for Bangladesh announced funding requirements of US$951 million through to December 2018 to assist refugees and host communities affected by the refugee influx. UNHCR is seeking US$196.3 million to continue its work providing lifesaving assistance and protection for the Rohingya refugees supporting host communities.

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Stars To Attend 12th Annual ADCOLOR Awards

first_imgADCOLOR, the premier organization celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, will return to Los Angeles with their 12th Annual ADCOLOR Awards at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live Hotel on Sunday, September 23.The ADCOLOR Award Nominees and Honorees are carefully selected from a large population of diverse influencers across the creative industries. The finalists are chosen by the individual’s representation of ADCOLOR’s motto, “Rise Up and Reach Back”. Those honored not only excel in their own careers, but also give back to the community and support their peers. Their goal is to create a network of diverse professionals to encourage and celebrate one another. The full list of honorees and nominees can be seen here.The 12th Annual ADCOLOR Conference & Awards is presented by Microsoft Advertising and Omnicom Group and sponsored by Apple, Deutsch, Google, Oath: A Verizon Company, GSD&M, Squeaky, Digitas, Viacom, Deutsch, HP, Pandora, 72andSunny, Concentric, DAS, ESPN, KBS. 2018 Corporate Members are 4A’s, 72andSunny, The Advertising Club of New York, American Advertising Federation, BBDO, BET, Deutsch, Dieste, Droga 5, Edelman, Facebook, OATH: A Verizon Company, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, TBWA\ Worldwide, Wieden + Kennedy.Among the guests will be Host Bozoma St. John, honorees including Legend Award recipients Esi Eggleston Bracey (EVP & COO Beauty & Personal Care, Unilever) and Ann Mukherjee (Chief Global Marketing Officer, SC Johnson), Catalyst Award recipient Tarana Burke (Founder, #METoo Movement), Advocate Award recipient Lydia Polgreen (Editor in Chief, HuffPost), Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Lisa Quiroz Garcia (SVP, Cultural Investments and Chief Diversity Officer, Time Warner (1961-2018)), ADCOLOR/One Club Creative Award recipients AJ Hassan (VP, Executive Creative Director, R/GA Chicago) and Shannon Washington (SVP, Creative Director, Deutsch), Special Recognition recipient James Edmund Datri (Outgoing President & CEO, American Advertising Federation), Mr. ADCOLOR Leo Wong (Industry Speaker l 4A’s 100 Honoree and ADCOLOR FUTURES Alum), Ms. ADCOLOR Michelle Almeida (Account Executive, Anomaly), Presenters including Luvvie Ajayi (Author), Wilson Cruz (Actor, 13 Reasons Why), Jay Ellis (Actor, Insecure), James LeSure (Actor, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), and many more!WHEN: Sunday, September 23, 2018Awards Presentation/Dinner – 7:00 PMWHERE: JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE 900 West Olympic Blvdlast_img read more

PartyNextDoor shouted out his mom at hometown show review

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Facebook What should have been a triumphant homecoming turn for the Mississauga-raised R&B auteur Jahron Anthony Brathwaite — who gifted Rihanna and Drake with 2016’s arguable single of the year, “Work,” and whose latest album, P3, cracked the Billboard chart in August at No. 4 in Canada and No. 3 in the U.S. — felt oddly perfunctory even before Party himself conceded three-quarters of the way through his 70-minute set that his heart hadn’t really been in the evening’s lacklustre party all along. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “I didn’t really wanna come out here tonight. I wasn’t really feeling it,” he confessed. “It’s nothing to do with y’all. It’s just been an awkward day, that’s all.”It wasn’t clear what made the day awkward.Holdups at the border were reportedly responsible for delaying the scheduled 1 p.m. opening of a PartyNextDoor pop-up shop at 5 Brock Ave. on Thursday by about five hours — set to reopen on Friday, promising the possibility of an appearance by Party himself — so it’s entirely possibly Brathwaite and his crew were simply exhausted on their way back from a Monday-night gig in New York. The fact that onetime OVO associate the Weeknd elected to host a pre-release listening party for his new record, Starboy, mere blocks away from Rebel in a studio on Commissioners St. while PartyNextDoor, the first actual signing to Drake’s label, locally celebrated the release of his own latest album might have stung a bit, too. Login/Register With: Prediction: PartyNextDoor kills it at Rebel on Friday evening.He’s got some unfinished business to do in Toronto. He didn’t kill it on Thursday night at the venue — the notably improved, if still logistically remote, Toronto port lands space formerly known as Sound Academy and the Docks. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more