HALIFAX – Facts about the 31-day Nova Scotia election, which will be held on May 30:Major parties: Liberals, New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives.Leaders: Premier Stephen McNeil (Liberal), Jamie Baillie (Progressive Conservative), Gary Burrill (NDP).Ridings: 51Standings at dissolution: Liberal 34, Progressive Conservative 10, NDP 5, Independent 1, Vacant 1.Main campaign issues: Labour relations, health care, economy and jobs.Most recent general election: October 8, 2013Number of eligible voters in 2013: 720,077
MONTREAL – Canada’s softwood lumber industry is bracing for a second wave of U.S. duties expected to come Monday that could put further pressure on producers, particularly smaller ones, to cut jobs.The U.S. Department of Commerce announced in April preliminary countervailing duties against five companies ranging between three and 24 per cent, with other producers facing a tariff of 19.88 per cent.This time, the U.S. is expected to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties with an average rate of around 10 per cent, which would be added on to the previous levy.Analyst Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets believes the U.S. will play hardball and impose high anti-dumping rates in order to push Canada to agree to a deal before negotiations on NAFTA begin in August.“Anti-dumping (duties) is a way to scare the Canadians and try to force them to get something done,” he said from Vancouver.Canada’s share of the U.S. softwood lumber market was 27 per cent in May, down from 31 per cent a year earlier, according to monthly Canadian government reports. That represented a $165-million loss in exports for the month, including $105 million in B.C. and $18 million in Quebec.Final duty rates have been lower than preliminary tariffs in the past. But Quinn said that could change this time because the U.S. Lumber Coalition is pushing for a tough response to the Canadian government’s $867-million financial support for the industry, mainly through loans and loan guarantees.Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Ottawa was “very prudent” in developing the program and wouldn’t say if more industry funding will be coming in the wake of the second round of duties.“We will react to market conditions in the reality of the moment,” he said Thursday. “We are committed to ensure that our forestry sector is able to adapt to changing environments.”The ripple effects of the first round of softwood lumber duties are already being felt. Resolute Forest Products (TSX:RFP) has cut shifts at seven sawmills, and there are fears other companies could follow suit.The Conference Board of Canada has said U.S. softwood lumber duties will cost Canadian producers $1.7 billion a year and result in the reduction of 2,200 jobs.Resolute spokesman Seth Kursman wouldn’t say if the Montreal-based company will pursue another round of layoffs.“It wouldn’t be fair for me to speculate and guess and in doing so create angst among our people and the communities in which we work and live,” he said.Analyst Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets predicts Resolute will face the highest preliminary anti-dumping duty of the four producers set to receive their own tariffs. All other companies will get a weighted average duty, similar to when the last round of softwood duties were announced.Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of softwood below market value.
BURNABY, B.C. – The homicide of a 13-year-old girl found dead in a suburban Vancouver park involved a random attack, police say.Cpl. Meghan Foster of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Wednesday there are no suspects in the death of Marrisa Shen.Her body was discovered in some brush at Central Park in Burnaby on July 19.Police have not revealed how the teen died, but Foster said no other acts of violence have been linked to the case.Shen was to start high school in the fall.Few details about her death have been released, but police have said the girl was spotted around 6 p.m. on July 18, when she was recorded on surveillance video leaving an apartment building.Shen’s family has been devastated by her sudden death, Foster said.“The family is in pain. They’re suffering the loss of their daughter, their sister. And they’re learning to cope in these hard times.”The case has been a “crushing blow” to the entire community, said RCMP Supt. Chuck McDonald.“It is very difficult to make sense of,” he said. “As a parent of two daughters I cannot begin to imagine the impact and the terrible toll this has had on Marrisa’s family. This incident has shaken us all.”Police have been patrolling Central Park on bicycles and on foot since Shen’s body was found and residents are being asked to stay vigilant about their personal safety, McDonald said.Officers have received a number of tips but are still looking for any photos or video taken in the park between 6 p.m. on July 18 and 1 a.m. the following morning.People may think their photos, videos or other information is insignificant, but anything could be important to the investigation, Foster said.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Marrisa Shen’s first name and said 1 a.m. on July 18.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Canadian man has been sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. federal prison for his role in a smuggling operation that sent more than $130 million worth of drugs between the United States and Canada.Harinder Dhaliwal, of Brampton, Ontario, was sentenced on conspiracy charges Wednesday in federal court in Buffalo.Prosecutors say that the operation involving Dhaliwal and at least six others sent cocaine from the United States into Canada and marijuana and ecstasy from Canada to the United States between 2006 and 2011. The drugs were hidden in secret compartments in the floors of tractor-trailers.Six co-defendants also have been convicted.
OTTAWA – Some of the records detailing painful abuses suffered by residential school students will be destroyed as soon as two years from now following a Supreme Court ruling that settles the documentation’s fate.The 7-0 high court ruling released Friday brings clarity to an issue that pitted the privacy of victims against the importance of documenting a dark chapter in Canada’s relations with Indigenous Peoples.For over a century, tens of thousands of Indigenous children were required to attend residential schools, primarily run by religious institutions and funded by the federal government. Students were not allowed to use their languages or cultural practices.Former pupils provided accounts of physical, sexual and emotional abuse as part of an independent assessment process to determine compensation — a program that flowed from a major 2006 settlement agreement aimed at ensuring a lasting resolution of the residential schools legacy.The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that said the sensitive material collected for the independent assessments should be destroyed after 15 years, though individuals could consent to archival preservation of their stories.In its reasons for the decision, the Supreme Court said the negotiators of the settlement agreement intended the assessment process to be a confidential and private one, and that claimants and alleged perpetrators relied on these confidentiality assurances.Under the process, claimants disclosed intimate personal information, including a first-person narrative outlining his or her request for compensation. Applications were then forwarded to the federal government and the church organization that operated the residential school.If the claim was not settled at this stage, it proceeded to a hearing before an adjudicator, supervised by the chief adjudicator of the Indian Residential Schools Secretariat. The settlement agreement operations branch of the federal Indigenous Affairs Department represented the government as a defendant to the claims.Participants were advised that the hearings would be held in private, and that each person who attended must sign a confidentiality agreement.The secretariat and the operations branch both possess digital and physical copies of various records pertaining to more than 37,000 claims made under the assessment process.Chief adjudicator Dan Shapiro welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying many claimants had told him they would not have participated in the assessment process without a promise of confidentiality “even from their families and even after their deaths.”Shapiro said during a telephone call with media Friday that the 15-year clock for destruction of records begins with the conclusion of each claim, and includes an alternative-dispute resolution program that preceded the assessment process.The first dispute-resolution cases were likely finalized in 2004, meaning the records involved could be destroyed as early as 2019, Shapiro said.The next step is to gain Ontario Superior Court approval of a notice program to inform all claimants they have the option of archiving their assessment records, or whatever account they are comfortable preserving, he said.“There is urgency to getting this program before the court and we are committed to doing that. We want to do it right.”The Assembly of First Nations had told the Supreme Court that overturning the decision to allow destruction of the records would amount to another breach of trust for the same vulnerable people who were abused at residential schools as young children.The federal government unsuccessfully argued the documentary record must be fully preserved to ensure what happened is never forgotten.It said federal laws governing access to information, privacy and archives provide the proper balance for safeguarding the records of historical value while protecting individual privacy and confidentiality.The 2006 settlement agreement led to creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that documented the history of the residential schools. The Winnipeg-based National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is now archiving and storing records of the commission.Crown-Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said she was disappointed in the high court ruling because the assessment records could have helped the centre do a deeper analysis of “systemic problems” related to the residential schools.Shapiro noted more than 7,000 former students had already provided voluntary statements to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.“There is no danger of the history of residential schools being forgotten or not being known,” he said.“What we’re talking about is the personal, intimate details of each individual’s experience and whether that adds anything to the historic record, and that’s a decision that each individual can and should make, free of pressure from others.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – Former star pitcher Roy Halladay, a Cy Young Award winner and face of the Blue Jays franchise for most of the 2000s, died Tuesday when his private plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.“He was the bright light,” said former Blue Jays general manager Gord Ash. “He was the guy that everybody pointed to as being the star of the Blue Jays and rightly so.”Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference that Halladay’s Icon A5 went down around noon off the coast of Florida. The sheriff’s office marine unit responded and found Halladay’s body in shallow water near some mangroves. No survivors were found.Police said they couldn’t confirm if there were additional passengers on the plane or say where it was headed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.“Many of you know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch the game of baseball,” said Nocco, who personally knew Halladay. “We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously … and we are so sad for your loss.”Halladay, who retired after the 2013 season, was an amateur pilot who often posted on social media about small planes.“I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired! Real life is better then my dreams!!” Halladay tweeted on Oct. 13.Halladay won his first Cy Young Award with the Blue Jays in 2003 and took the National League honour in 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies, the season he threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history.“The Toronto Blue Jays organization is overcome by grief with the tragic loss of one of the franchise’s greatest and most respected players, but even better human being,” the Blue Jays said in a statement. “It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city and its fans.“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”Nocco said Halladay knew many members in the sheriff’s office, and that Halladay was even a part of a charity fishing tournament last Friday.“He was probably one of the most humble human beings you’ll ever meet,” Nocco said. “For somebody who won two Cy Youngs, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, he would walk in the room as if he was anybody. Didn’t matter who he met, he was kind, generous. His family purchased a dog for us — K-9 Doc. K-9 Doc is out there working, saving lives, making our community safer.”The dog was named as a nod to Halladay’s nickname — Doc.“He was one in a million,” Nocco said. “It is a true loss for us.”Halladay was an old-style workhorse who pitched 67 complete games and 20 shutouts. He was a three-time 20-game winner.“All of us at Baseball are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay,” said commissioner Rob Manfred. “A well-respected figure throughout the game, Roy was a fierce competitor during his 16-year career, which included eight all-star selections, two Cy Young Awards, a perfect game and a post-season no-hitter.“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, including his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden, his friends and countless fans, as well as the Blue Jays and Phillies organizations.”Halladay, a native of Denver, Colo., was selected by the Blue Jays in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 1995 MLB Amateur Draft.The six-foot-six 225-pound right-hander made his big-league debut with Toronto in 1998 and he became a regular the following season. He had a few stints in the minor leagues before breaking out in 2002 with a 19-7 record and 2.93 earned-run average over 239 1/3 innings.In his AL Cy Young season, Halladay went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA and nine complete games over 266 innings.Halladay was dealt to Philadelphia in December 2009 and took the NL Cy Young the next year after going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and nine complete games. He spent four seasons in Philadelphia before retiring.“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” the Phillies said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.”On Oct. 6, 2010, working against Cincinnati in the NL Division Series, Halladay became only the second pitcher to throw a post-season no-hitter, joining Don Larsen, who accomplished the feat for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series.Halladay retired in 2013, saying he wanted to avoid back surgery.“As a baseball player, you realize that’s something you can’t do the rest of your life,” Halladay said. “I really don’t have any regrets. You realize there’s other things for you to accomplish in life.”Halladay was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame last June. He’s eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2019.“Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay,” former teammate Roy Oswalt tweeted. “great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed!”Former pitcher Dan Haren tweeted that “I wanted to be Roy Halladay. I’m heartbroken, rest easy Doc,” then posted a photo of a signed Halladay jersey.In late 2013, Halladay signed a one-day free-agent contract with Toronto so he could retire as a Blue Jay. Over 16 seasons in the major leagues, Halladay had a 203-105 record and 3.38 ERA.He was well-respected thoughout Toronto’s professional sports community.“He was huge here in Toronto over the years,” Dwane Casey, coach of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, said Tuesday. “I used to keep up with him all the time, watch him pitch. A great pitcher. From what I understand, I didn’t know him, but (he was) a great human being, did a lot for the city of Toronto.“It’s sad when you lose someone like that at a young age, 40 years old. It’s sad. Condolences from our organization go out to his family. I just know how much he meant to the city, just inducted to the Canadian (Baseball) Hall of Fame. It’s just way too soon.”The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs tweeted: “A legend on and off the mound. Rest in peace, Doc.”Icon aircraft had posted a video with Halladay trying out a new plane. The video showed Halladay taking delivery of a new Icon A5, a two-seat “light-sport aircraft” that can land on water.In the video, Halladay said the terms of his baseball contract prevented him from having a pilot’s licence while playing, and that his wife was originally against the idea of him getting the aircraft.“She’s fought me the whole way,” Halladay said.“Hard. I fought hard. I was very against it,” Brandy Halladay said in the same video, before explaining why she eventually understood and approved of her husband’s desire to have the plane.The A5 was a newer model from Icon, based in Vacaville, California. On May 8, two Icon employees, the company’s lead test pilot and the director of engineering, were killed in a crash in an A5 in Napa County, California. The NTSB report said the probable cause was “the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while manoeuvring at a low altitude.”Other baseball players to die in plane crashes included Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente in a relief mission from Puerto Rico travelling to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve in 1972; New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson piloting his own plane near his home in Canton, Ohio, in 1979; and Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle piloting his own plane in New York City in 2006.———With files from CP sports reporters Neil Davidson and Gregory Strong in Toronto and The Associated Press.
EDMONTON – As disturbing stories emerge at the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, it’s Melodie Casella’s job to ensure that testifying about trauma doesn’t simply create more.“Our mandate is a no-harm approach,” Casella, health manager for the inquiry, said Wednesday on the second day of hearings in Edmonton.“It’s families first.”Casella runs an extensive mental-health network for the inquiry’s western swing. That network embraces witnesses long before they tell their stories to the inquiry’s commissioners.She said it is delicate work. Just because some members of a victimized family have chosen to speak, that doesn’t mean all relatives want to.“We don’t make direct contact with families. If we were to make those direct calls, it could cause trauma on a family member,” she said.“We don’t want to make any families feel pressured to come here when some family members would state, ‘I don’t want to go down that road.’”Casella speaks from experience. A member of her own family was murdered.“There are family members in my own family who don’t want to go and share their truth. They say, ‘It’s been a long time and I just want to move forward in my life.’”For those who do choose to speak and ask for help getting through the experience, Casella makes sure they have support from local Indigenous groups and looks after them when they get to the inquiry.Nobody is left alone. Casella said workers help witnesses try to build on the strength that got them this far.Inquiry hearings are emotionally gruelling. Tears and anger are frequent.To deal with the emotions, a team of six elders stand by. Mental-health workers, identified by purple shirts, sit in the audience to offer support to anyone needing it.Witnesses are given a small bundle of tobacco at the end of their testimony. Many choose to take it to a sacred fired tended by an elder and burn it while offering prayers, Casella said.Sometimes, she said, she does that herself. Inquiry staff live with story after story, day after day, and they have to look after themselves, too.“The commission staff we have here, it’s like a family. We build each other up.”Witnesses are also cared for after they testify. Casella tries to ensure they have support when they get back home, even in remote or rural locations.“We have to ask and make sure they have somebody they can talk to.”The inquiry maintains a toll-free, 24-hour support line.“If they wake up in the middle of the night, that is available to them to call when they leave here.”The inquiry’s interim report has concluded that enough stories about indifferent or sloppy investigations have emerged that some cases should be reopened. Whatever the legal consequences of the inquiry’s work, Casella said it’s having a profound effect on witnesses.“Some of them had approached me after, saying this is the beginning of my healing. For some of them, it was over 30 years they had never talked about it.”On Monday, one of the witnesses she coached through his testimony approached her afterward.“(He said) I want to thank you for not giving up on me, for getting me through this. He was so happy and grateful.“When we express and open up to talk about the issues that we harbour deep inside, it doesn’t belong to us any more.“The Creator’s going to take care of that.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s environment minister says he understands that P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan has concerns about a pulp mill’s plan to pump effluent into the Northumberland Strait, and says Islanders will have a chance for input.Iain Rankin responded Thursday to a letter released this week by MacLauchlan that voiced the premier’s disapproval of the Northern Pulp proposal in Pictou, N.S.The mill — which is across the strait from eastern P.E.I. — is to submit an environmental assessment for its proposed treatment facility to the Nova Scotia Environment Department this summer, likely in July.Rankin was asked whether he thought the Island government has a stake in his department’s decision-making process.“He (MacLauchlan) is within his right to express his opinion,” was all Rankin would say to reporters following a cabinet meeting.“He is entitled to those opinions, but we have a commitment to Pictou Landing First Nations to close the Boat Harbour treatment facility by 2020.”In the letter, sent Tuesday to Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, MacLauchlan said he shares concerns from fishermen that an outflow pipe could have “unintended consequences” for local fisheries.“An effluent pipe that would allow as much as 75,000 cubic metres of fresh warm water to be directed daily into the Northumberland Strait is not a project that our government will support as proposed,” MacLauchlan wrote.Rankin pointed out that treated effluent from the mill’s pulp-making process has been flowing into the strait for the last 50 years.Rankin said the assessment process includes a 30-day period set aside for public submissions. He said he would look at any sent by P.E.I. residents.“Absolutely. I want to hear from anyone that is a stakeholder in this, it’s important.”Rankin said the province would also be asking for advice from the federal Fisheries Department “to see what possible impacts there could be.” He said Ottawa could also trigger a federal environmental assessment if it feels one is required.He said he had received no word yet from federal officials on whether further assessments are being contemplated.Northern Pulp released its plan for a new effluent treatment plant last month.The company says the effluent would be treated at a new facility near the mill using a system that would meet all federal environmental standards for suspended solids and oxygen depletion.It would be carried by polyethylene pipe across Pictou Harbour and released through six dispersal pipes into the strait.
MONTREAL – Assil Bedewi loves the complex task of directing the movements of the dozens of aircraft that criss-cross her screen as they take off or come in for landing.As an air traffic controller for Nav Canada, it’s her responsibility to ensure the planes swooping in and out of some of Canada’s busiest airports have a safe path to take off and land without crossing paths.But while the 34-year-old is thriving in a job that’s regularly described as one of the world’s most stressful, she remains a minority in a field that’s largely still dominated by men.According to Nav Canada, the private company that manages Canadian civil air navigation, less than 25 per cent of the workforce at the Montreal control centre are women.It’s something they’re trying to change, in part by teaming up with Elevate, a volunteer-run network that promotes aviation careers for women.Bedewi says she doesn’t know why more women aren’t flocking to a job that often pays six figures and only requires a high-school education, other than to assume they don’t know about it.“It’s a matter of educating women to the fact that it’s a job out there that is available to them, about the possibility of all these great jobs that are out there,” she said.On Friday, Nav Canada and Elevate offered reporters and school-aged children a tour of the gated red-brick building near Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport that is responsible for the entire airspace of Quebec, as well as parts of Nunavut and Eastern Ontario.Lyne Moreau, the general manager of the Montreal Flight Information Region, said she hopes that more awareness about aviation careers is all it will take to attract more women and diverse candidates to a field that is traditionally male and white.“One thing is, it’s not a well known job, people don’t know … what the job is, what an air traffic controller does,” Moreau said during the tour.There’s also the reputation for stress, dramatized by Hollywood films that portray air traffic controllers as nervous wrecks, shouting into headphones as they scramble to avert near misses.But while Bedewi and Moreau acknowledged that the job is stressful, they said it’s not the intense pressure-cooker portrayed in the movies.Bedewi said that while tense situations do arise — usually when there’s bad weather or a plane has mechanical trouble — juggling multiple calls from pilots and supervisors has become second nature.“At certain point it becomes automatic, and you’ve learned to have this kind of active listening to what’s going on around you,” she said, adding that controllers and pilots work as a team to bring aircraft in safely.“Oftentimes, you don’t even realize you’ve just taken a message from a supervisor while you’re still doing the job.”Inside the control centre, the prevailing atmosphere was of calm rather than chaos.Workers sat in semi-darkness, murmuring quietly to one another as they stared at the myriad of blips and lines moving across their screens.Scaffolding ran overhead — due to repair work to improve soundproofing and lower the sound levels of an already quiet workspace, Moreau says.“(Employees) need to have a high level of focus as soon as they’re sitting in position, so we’re very careful with distraction on our sites,” she said, adding that workers are required to take breaks every hour or two to ensure they stay fresh.While little prior education is required, Moreau acknowledged the job isn’t for everyone.She credited the company’s intense, nearly two-year training program for weeding out those whose aren’t suited.The best candidates, she said, show laser-like focus, the ability to view things three-dimensionally, and, most of all, quick thinking.“With airplanes, they’re moving in the sky and you can’t stop them,” she said.“The idea of (saying) ‘I’m not sure what to do, can I pause,’ you don’t have that luxury.”
SASKATOON – A teen geologist from the Saskatoon area is feeling a bit more weighed down after a visit to the rock vault at the University of Saskatchewan last week.But he’s fine with that.Prof. Kevin Amstell invited 13-year-old Judah Tyreman to visit the geology building to help replenish some of the rare rocks and minerals that were stolen from the teen last month.Judah and his sisters opened the Sesula Mineral and Gem Museum and Rock Shop two years ago in Radisson, about 65 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.The museum was receiving glowing reviews, but then a thief hit and stole between $6,000 and $8,000 worth of exhibits.The professor wanted to help Judah resupply the museum, so he gave the boy and his family time on Thursday to pick rocks from the university vault to take home.“This is a geologist’s candy store,” Judah said of the visit.The teen and his sisters were told to pick any rock specimens they liked. The three searched through hundreds of shelves and selected a variety of fossils and gems to bring back to their Radisson home.“It’s quite amazing. There’s so many pieces,” Judah said. “I’m so honoured.”Anstell said many of the rocks in the vault had been sitting in the basement of the geology building since it was constructed in 1986.“Once I heard on the news about the break-in, I decided it was obvious the department would want to help him re-stock,” Anstell said.He noted the teen’s knowledge of the field was impressive.“I was amazed … he could identify minerals very, very quickly,” the professor said.“He would put many of our students to shame.”Anstell said he hopes to convince Judah to attend the University of Saskatchewan’s geology program when he’s ready.For now, the boy is focusing on his own short-term plans for his rock museum.The family is contemplating an expansion — including a 19th-century mine theme in the basement.(CKOM)
TORONTO – Actor Robert De Niro ramped up his recent attacks on U.S. President Donald Trump by apologizing to Canadians on Monday for the American leader’s conduct and commentary following the G7 summit in Quebec.De Niro’s latest salvo lacked the profanity that accompanied his first rant against the president, which was delivered to enthusiastic cheers at Sunday’s Tony Awards in New York City, but it was just as scathing.“I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behaviour of my president, ” De Niro said in Toronto while attending a ground-breaking ceremony for a new luxury restaurant and hotel complex.“It’s a disgrace. And I apologize to (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau, too.”Hours after agreeing to a joint communique with his G7 allies on Saturday, Trump tweeted that he had told his officials to abandon American support for the document and blamed Trudeau for the move.The president said Trudeau had made “false statements” at a summit news conference and went on to call the prime minister “very dishonest and weak.” Trump then threatened to go after Canada’s auto industry, a mainstay of the Ontario economy, in the same way he has already targeted the country’s steel and aluminum sectors.At a G7 news conference, Trudeau had referred to the national security premise behind recently imposed steel and aluminium tariffs as “kind of insulting” — language he had used several times on the issue in the last two weeks.On Sunday, Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trudeau made the president look weak ahead of his high-stakes summit this week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while trade adviser Peter Navarro said there was a “special place in hell” for the prime minister.The remarks from American officials prompted a former U.S. ambassador to Canada to call for an apology, saying both Trudeau and the Canadian people were being subjected to “insulting and inappropriate remarks.”De Niro’s comments on Monday echoed that call.It marked the second time in 24 hours that the academy award-winning actor had lashed out at the U.S. president.Before introducing Bruce Springsteen at Sunday’s Tony Awards, De Niro began by launching an expletive at the president while pumping his arms for emphasis. And then he did it again. Many in the audience stood and cheered, while TV censors quickly bleeped out the offending words.“Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else and even more importantly in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency and integrity in government,” De Niro went on to say of Springsteen. “Boy, do we need that now.”Trudeau has not issued any public remarks about Trump’s latest attacks.
HALIFAX – Hundreds of people gathered on a jetty at Halifax’s naval base Wednesday to bid farewell to 240 military members aboard HMCS Ville de Quebec as it headed to the Mediterranean as part of Canada’s ongoing contribution to a NATO mission in central and eastern Europe.Under pouring rain, family, friends and dignitaries waved goodbye as the warship sounded a fog horn and departed through a heavy mist in Halifax harbour.Children in brightly-coloured rain boots waved Canadian flags and homemade signs, one saying, “Bye Mommy, see you later” while another said, “Bon Voyage Daddy.”Couples shielded from the rain under large umbrellas hugged and kissed goodbye before the six-month mission.“It’s overwhelming,” said Vanessa Picard, standing on the jetty with her two young children after her husband departed. She called the experience of watching him sail off “surreal.”It’s a familiar scene here at HMC Dockyard Halifax, as the commanding officer of the warship noted.“It’s really hard on families,” said Cmdr. Scott Robinson, adding he was leaving behind his wife and two young children. “I’m not the only one. It weighs on you.”Several ships deploy from the east coast base every year, but the HMCS Ville de Quebec send off was a significant milestone for the Canadian military.On board the frigate was a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter — the first international mission for the new twin-engine machine.Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the state-of-the-art technology adds to the “tremendous capability” of the country’s armed forces and its contribution to Operation Reassurance.The retired lieutenant-colonel also said it “sends a very strong message of deterrence” to countries like Russia, which he said is starting to go against “a rule-based order.”Sajjan pointed to Russian actions under Vladimir Putin, such as the annexation of Crimea, its support for rebel forces in eastern Ukraine and Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria.“It’s something that we will not stand for,” he told reporters following the warship’s departure. “This is one of the reasons why Canada will continue to step up not only as part of NATO, but as part of a coalition.”He added that Canada “will not take threats lightly” and that the multinational, “fully combat ready” battle groups send a strong message.Indeed, the commander of the HMCS Ville de Quebec said he expects to run training exercises with his crew to “keep our combat capability at a high level in case the government calls upon us to react to some sort of world event,” Robinson said.“We want to maintain our proficiency as much as we can at the highest level in case the government of Canada calls on us to do something.”Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Navy commander called it an “exciting moment” for the first-ever Cyclone helicopter to be sent on a mission.Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd said Canada’s contribution to the NATO mission will help “enhance regional maritime security and stability.”The Halifax-class warship HMCS Ville de Quebec is slated to relieve HMCS St. John’s, which returns to Halifax later this month after a six-month mission.The deployment of the Cyclone marks a major milestone for the 17-metre, 13,000-kilogram aircraft.In January, the East Coast fleet of Sea Kings was retired after 54 years of service.The Cyclone fleet will be tasked with surface and sub-surface surveillance, and search and rescue missions, while providing “tactical transport for national and international security efforts,” according to the military. Its aluminum and composite airframe is built with lightning-strike and high-intensity radio frequency pulse protection.
OTTAWA — As Canada continues grappling with an influx of irregular asylum seekers, statistics show a growing number of people seeking refugee protection in Canada are Americans.In 2017, people whose country of origin was identified as the United States made up the third-largest cohort of asylum seekers in Canada.Statistics for 2018, up to the end of August, show that trend continues at border and inland entry points.The Immigration Department says most of these people are children born in the United States whose parents are citizens of other countries.Canadian immigration lawyers say they have seen an increase in the number of migrants who have lived in the U.S. for years, with U.S.-born children, who are now trying to seek asylum in Canada.They say President Donald Trump’s decision to end temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of migrants living in the U.S., together with the president’s anti-immigration rhetoric, has sparked fears in many migrants they could face persecution or be deported.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer plans to present new documents related to the SNC-Lavalin controversy this afternoon.His announcement is set for 2 p.m. eastern time at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa.A Saturday afternoon release from the Conservatives offers no more details, and party spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday morning.The Tories have been hammering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin affair since the Globe and Mail first broke the story in early February.Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reported that aides in the PMO and others had pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant.The director of public prosecutions decided last fall not to negotiate a deferred-prosecution agreement with the company, which is facing charges of bribery related to business in Libya.Wilson-Raybould later resigned from cabinet, claiming she had been removed from her post in a January shuffle because she wouldn’t bow to the pressure from Trudeau and others.Last week, Trudeau expelled Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus for what he described as breaking the bonds of trust with their fellow MPs over the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors became Canada’s team even before winning the NBA Finals, but international news headlines on Friday suggested they are now celebrated as world champions.The team — which became the first NBA franchise outside the U.S. to clinch the title — is made up of players hailing from several countries including the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain.News outlets took note of that diverse roster after the Toronto team’s victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.“Globalization is the star of the NBA,” a headline on the Washington Post stated.“A global NBA now has a truly global champion” the Associated Press declared.Media outlets in some countries chose to highlight connections to homegrown heroes in their coverage.Cameroon celebrated Pascal Siakam, who didn’t begin playing basketball until he was in his late teens. He has morphed into a rising star in the league despite his late start in the game.“I didn’t think I could make it,” Siakam said after the game. “And I think a lot of kids don’t think that it’s possible. Just me being able to be here today and telling them that, ‘Hey, look at me, I was a little scrawny kid from Cameroon … but here I am, as a champion.”The Journal Du Cameroun championed the champion with its headline that read, “Pascal Siakam, first Cameroonian to win NBA.”In Spain, where Raptors big man Marc Gasol is from, the Catalan News blared the headline “Catalan brothers become first siblings to both win NBA crown,” a reference to Gasol and his brother Pau who won two championship titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. The pair were born in Barcelona.Jeremy Lin, an Asian-American born in California whose parents are Taiwanese, was front and centre for one Asian outlet.“Jeremy Lin becomes the first Asian-American to win an NBA championship as Raptors take game six,” blared the headline in the South China Morning Post.Lin is also huge in Toronto, which has a thriving Chinese and Taiwanese community. Sing Tao, a Toronto news site, went big on Lin, splashing photographs of the depth-player celebrating the championship with his mother.Meanwhile, team president Masai Ujiri, who was born in England and raised in Nigeria, was big news back home.“Ex-Nigerian basketball player becomes 1st African general manager to win NBA title,” one Nigerian headline said.Closer to Canada, Rockford, Ill., showed its pride in hometown hero Fred VanVleet by hosting its own version of the outdoor Jurassic Park fan zone that became wildly popular in Toronto. VanVleet returned the love.“Rockford, Rockford it’s for you baby!” declared the headline quoting the player in the Rockford Register Star.The diversity of the Raptors has also had an impact on fans, who’ve noted that the roster reflects the team’s home city.“I love this team because it represents Toronto and represents the future of this city, the incredible diversity of this city,” said Chris Zaleski, who was among thousands who gathered in downtown Toronto to take in the championship game. “I love it.”Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
The Farrah Fawcett Foundation, whose mission is to provide funding for alternative methods of cancer research, clinical trials, prevention, and awareness with an emphasis on anal and pediatric cancers, has partnered with Mead Products, LLC to create a one-of-a-kind 16 month calendar featuring acting legend Farrah Fawcett.Farrah Fawcett CalendarCurrently, the calendar is available on Amazon for $14.99.The calendar is a collection of several of Farrah’s most beautiful photos from the private collection of legendary photographer Bruce McBroom. It includes rarely seen photos from Farrah’s early career. In the 1960’s Mr. McBroom photographed The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Doors. His most notable work is the famous shot of Farrah Fawcett in a red swimsuit – the biggest selling poster of all time.A portion of the proceeds from this one-of-a-kind calendar go to continuing Farrah’s dream of helping fight the battle against cancer and those who are suffering from it through the work of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation.The calendar is being distributed by MeadWestvaco Corporation.Source:PR Newswire
The Humane Society of the United States presents To the Rescue! New York to support of the life-saving work of The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team.Postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, the benefit has taken on heightened local significance with The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team and a network of staff and volunteers deployed in the disaster stricken areas of New York and New Jersey. The HSUS will bestow the Humane Advocate Award on two-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat, who will accept by video tape. Philanthropist/animal advocate Cathy Kangas will be accepting the Compassion in Action Award. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will also be there for the evening’s events.Among those attending are Amanda Hearst and Georgina Bloomberg, Dan Finnerty, Nina Garcia, Tricia Helfer, Cathy Kangas, Rose McGowan, Kathy Najimy, John Quinones, Jill Rappaport, Margaret Russell, Ramona Singer, Michael Smith, Jane Velez Mitchell, Ali Wentworth, and HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle.The Honorary Committee includes Kaley Cuoco, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Emily Deschanel, Tricia Helfer, Carrie Ann Inaba, Wendie Malick, Rose McGowan, Pauley Perrette, Hilary Swank, Loretta Swit and Michael Vartan.For more information and for tickets visit humanesociety.org/totherescue.When: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 Where: Cipriani 42nd Street 110 East 42nd Street New York City The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team crisscrosses the country saving thousands of animal lives every year from cruelty, animal fighting and natural disasters. The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team has a fully equipped response team and the nation’s leading experts to assist law enforcement with investigation, evidence and animal seizure as well to coordinate animal care, sheltering and final relocation.The Humane Society of the United States is on the ground in Nassau County, N.Y. and Ocean and Monmouth Counties in New Jersey, to help animals in these devastated areas.Working in partnership with New Jersey SPCA, the Kent County Delaware SPCA, Toms River Animal Control and the Jersey Shore Animal Shelter, The HSUS has rescued nearly 200 animals in New Jersey and reunited dozens of pets with their owners. The HSUS also opened an emergency shelter in Ocean County to accommodate the growing number of animals who will need shelter if evacuations continue. That facility is now caring for more than 90 animals, including cats, dogs, chinchillas, guinnea pigs, ferrets and birds.The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most powerful animal protection organization. Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people. We are a leading disaster relief agency for animals and provide direct care for thousands of animals at our network of sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation centers and mobile veterinary clinics. The HSUS serves as America’s mainstream force against animal cruelty, exploitation, and neglect and is also the nation’s most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond. The HSUS works to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals by advocating for sensible public policies, investigating cruelty, working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about animal welfare issues, joining with corporations to promote animal-friendly policies and conducting hands-on programs that make ours a more humane world.
The 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ founding provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the life and work of Nelson Mandela with a call to action for helping others, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon affirmed on Saturday as he joined the world in marking Nelson Mandela International Day.“Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual call to action for people around the world to make a difference in the communities where they live and work by taking time to serve others,” the Secretary-General stated in his message for the Day.“Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice,” Mr. Ban continued. “The United Nations joins the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18 July – Madiba’s birthday – to a community service activity.”The UN General Assembly declared 18 July ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ in 2009 in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to democracy, justice and reconciliation and to mark his birthday. Mr. Mandela passed away in December 2013 in Johannesburg at the age of 95.The overall campaign slogan – Take Action, Inspire Change – seeks to inspire people around the world to take 67 minutes of time devoted to helping others and, in so doing, empower entire communities and build a global movement for good.In the past, volunteers have helped to rebuild homes destroyed by hurricane Sandy in the New York, offered school supplies to children, prepared meals for the elderly, helped out in orphanages, cleaned up parks, and delivered computer literacy workshops.This year’s commemoration comes a week before the UN is set to bestow its first-ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize to two individuals – a man and a woman – for their service to humanity.Dr. Helena Ndume, of Namibia, and Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio, of Portugal, will receive the award at a ceremony to take place on 24 July 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York.Source:United Nations
Farm Aid today announced that it will host its 30th anniversary music and food festival at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago on Sept. 19.“We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis,” said Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson. “Thirty years later, in Chicago, we’ll bring together so many of the people — farmers, eaters, advocates and activists — who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we’ll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead.”Farm Aid 30, an all-day music and food festival, will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews — with Tim Reynolds — as well as Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Mavis Staples, Old Crow Medicine Show, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots and Blackwood Quartet.In addition to a diverse lineup of music, Farm Aid 30 festivalgoers will be able to experience family farm agriculture firsthand.Festivalgoers will enjoy family farm-identified, local and organic foods at Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions. At the HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, young people from Growing Power, the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and Windy City Harvest Youth Farm will be selling fresh apples, pears and baked goods.In the HOMEGROWN Village, attendees will have the chance to meet farmers from Illinois and across the country. The HOMEGROWN Village also features hands-on activities by local, regional and national farm and food organizations that engage festivalgoers in the ways family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water and growing our economy, in addition to bringing us good food for good health. In the HOMEGROWN.org Skills Tent, festivalgoers can dig into food, farming and homesteading DIY demonstrations, such as learning how to identify wild edibles sprouting on city street corners with Chicago foraging guru Dave Odd, of Odd produce.Leading up to Farm Aid 30, Farm Aid will gather family farmers and farm advocates to celebrate the roots of Farm Aid’s work and to engage in conversations about the issues that family farmers face and solutions for overcoming these challenges. These meetings, along with farm tours and other events, will serve to lay the foundation for Farm Aid’s continued work to advance family farm agriculture.“The first Farm Aid concert sparked a family farm movement that has rallied hundreds of thousands in support of a system of agriculture that’s good for family farmers, good for the economy, good for the soil and water and good for all of us. Over the years, we’ve heard from so many people how crucial it is that we continue to work together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with family farmers as we fight for change,” said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “At Farm Aid 30 on Sept. 19, we’ll celebrate the many actions — small and large — that we are all taking to make a big difference for family farmers. We’ll take stock of 30 years of action and strengthen our commitment to work for change in our farm and food system.”To mark its 30th anniversary and honor the hard work of farmers, eaters, activists and advocates, Farm Aid launched the #Road2FarmAid, a virtual campaign inviting people to share the actions they are taking to support family farmers and grow the Good Food Movement. The campaign acknowledges the important role that each one of us plays in making change and inspires more people to get involved in family farm agriculture. People can participate at road2.farmaid.org and enter to win Farm Aid 30 tickets.Tickets for Farm Aid 30 will go on sale Monday, August 3, at 10 a.m. CDT. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $189.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com, the venue box office and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.Farm Aid has partnered with Hotels for Hope to offer festival-goers discounted lodging in Chicago. Each room booked through Hotels for Hope results in a donation to Farm Aid.Farm Aid 30 will be webcast live on Saturday, Sept. 19, at farmaid.org. The webcast, Farm Aid 30 Live Presented by Amy’s Kitchen, will feature artist performances and stories from family farmers and eaters across the country.
“Want to be part of something totally awesome?” That’s Charlie Brown’s question to American kids in a new public service announcement (PSA), as he encourages them to take part in the 65th anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF – the original Kids Helping Kids campaign.Join The Peanuts Movie Gang and Trick-or-Treat for UNICEFCharlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang – stars of 20th Century Fox’s The Peanuts Movie – in theaters November 6 – are featured in new print, online and broadcast public service announcements to inspire kids to go door-to-door with special edition Peanuts-themed orange boxes to collect funds in support of UNICEF’s lifesaving work around the world.Video: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF with the Peanuts Movie Gang“The exciting collaboration with Charlie Brown, The Peanuts Movie gang and 20th Century Fox marks a new direction in Entertainment Partnership for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF,” said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “This partnership, along with the new PSAs, is a great way to show kids that they can have fun while making a difference for kids in need all over the world this Halloween.”As one of the longest running youth volunteer initiatives in America, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has raised more than $175 million to provide children around the world with medicine, nutrition, clean water, education and emergency relief.“We are honored to have Charlie Brown introduce a new generation of kids to the American tradition of Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF,” said Zachary Eller, Senior Vice President of Marketing Partnerships at 20th Century Fox. “Beloved by all for his big heart and big dreams, Charlie Brown will get kids excited about helping kids around the globe and supporting UNICEF’s work.”This fall, teachers of grade K-12 students can also participate in the Halloween campaign through the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF School Challenge, a short essay contest focused on encouraging global citizenship in the classroom and community. The top 15 essay competition entrants will receive $500 of Scholastic books. Entries must be submitted at www.trickortreatforunicef.org by December 1, 2015 to be considered; teachers can also use the website to access lesson plans and other resources.The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is grateful for the support of National Partners HSNi Cares, Claire’s and Key Club International, and Promotional Supporter American Airlines.