Indigenous rights activist Vernon Harper dies in Toronto

first_imgTORONTO – A Cree elder who was a co-organizer of a cross-Canada trek to raise awareness of broken treaties and grievances against the federal government has died, according to an organization that advocates for dozens of First Nations communities in Ontario.Vernon Harper, a medicine man and Indigenous rights activist, organized the Native People’s Caravan from Vancouver to Ottawa in 1974.Harper, 85, also authored a book about the trek entitled “The Red Road: The Native People’s Caravan, 1974.”The Anishinabek Nation Grand Council says Harper died on Saturday, surrounded by members of his family in Toronto, where he was born on June 17, 1932.He served as vice-president of the Ontario Metis and Non-Status Indian Association and in 1976, he co-founded the First Nations School of Toronto, which is designed to empower its students with a strong cultural identity.Funeral services are to be held in Toronto on Friday.“My condolences go out to Vern’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said Tuesday in a release.“He will be fondly remembered for his passion for helping others and for being a champion of Indigenous rights,” Madahbee said. “He was an advocate for those who could not speak for themselves and he influenced the lives of many.”Harper was also one of a few First Nations elders with a chaplain status recognized by the Correctional Service of Canada and provided spiritual services, sweat lodge ceremonies and traditional counselling to Indigenous prison inmates.last_img read more

Winners and losers in Mondays BC budget

first_imgVICTORIA – British Columbia’s fledgling New Democrat government released its interim budget after taking power in July.Here is a look at some of the winners and losers:Winners:Students and teachers: The government announced $681 million over three years for the education system, including hiring 3,500 teachers and ensuring smaller classrooms. The NDP government is also providing capital funding of $50 million to address space requirements.Renters and the homeless: An investment of $208 million over four years will support the construction of more than 1,700 new units of affordable rental housing in communities across B.C. Another $291 million will be spent building 2,000 modular supportive housing units for the homeless and $172 million over three years will go toward operating them and providing 24-7 staffing and supports.Parents: The budget increased provincial funding for early childhood development and child care to $330 million this fiscal year to support up to 4,100 new child care spaces. It did not mention $10-a-day child care, which was a key promise of the NDP campaign, but it said the government will work over the next few months to develop a long-term plan for universal child care.Small business owners: Sales tax on electricity purchases by businesses is being phased out and the small business corporate income tax rate is being lowered to 2 per cent from 2.5 per cent.Medical services premium payers: Premiums will be cut by 50 per cent effective Jan. 1, 2018, and the income threshold at which households are fully exempt is increased by $2,000.Losers:Corporate businesses: The general corporate income tax rate will rise to 12 per cent from 11 per cent. Jock Finlayson, B.C. Business Council vice president, said the business community expected the tax changes as they were part of the NDP’s election platform, but “this budget isn’t going to create a lot of new investment.”High-income earners: The government has increased the individual income tax rate to 16.8 per cent from 14.7 per cent on taxable income over $150,000.Fossil fuel-dependent businesses and individuals: Starting April 1, 2018, carbon tax rates will increase by $5 per tonne annually until rates are equal to $50 per tonne on April 1, 2021. The requirement that the tax be revenue-neutral will also be removed, allowing the government to spend revenues on measures that reduce emissions.BC Hydro ratepayers: The NDP promised during its election campaign to freeze BC Hydro rates, a pledge reiterated in the premier’s mandate letter to Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, but there was no mention of a freeze in the budget tabled Monday.Ferry users: The NDP’s election platform called for the freezing of fares on major routes, a 15 per cent reduction of fares on minor routes and promised that seniors would again travel free again during the week. The commitments were not included in the budget.last_img read more

Ice breaker reaches Victoria ends coast to coast to coast voyage around

first_imgVICTORIA – The Polar Prince ice breaker docked in Victoria on Saturday, marking the end of a 150-day voyage exploring Canada’s coastline.The Canada C3 expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage celebrated the country’s 150th birthday by travelling 23,000 kilometres and visiting 75 communities.Expedition leader Geoff Green says the journey highlighted the fact that Canada is both an ocean nation and a polar nation, in having the longest coastline of any country, which is predominately in the Arctic.He said with so many communities relying on the oceans, lakes and rivers, he predicts Canada will become a global leader in championing ocean conservation efforts.“One of the things we’ve seen on this journey is how connected we are to that ocean and how important it is to all the incredible communities coast to coast to coast,” Green said.He added the voyage was a significant opportunity to meet with Indigenous communities and discuss reconciliation.“Since the moment we left Toronto, we have been on the territory of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people every step of the way,” he said.Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, said although Indigenous people struggle with the history of their relationship with Canada, they are proud Canadians and welcomed the opportunity to share their traditions with the expedition.“We love sharing the arctic, sharing our homeland … with those who want to learn,” he said.Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, also took part in the celebrations, announcing Canada has reached its goal of protecting five per cent of its oceans and coastline by the end of this year.Two years ago, the amount of protected marine and coastal areas in Canada sat at only 0.9 per cent.He said new marine conservation areas announced earlier this year off the B.C. coast and in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in Quebec ensured the five-per-cent milestone was reached and the government is now focused on raising that to 10 per cent by 2020.“We also know that our oceans are under threat, threat from climate change, overfishing and pollution and many other real threats,” he said. “Our government will live up to and exceed the commitments we have made to Canadians in terms of ocean protections.”last_img read more

UBC astrophysicist honoured for work on determining universes age composition

first_imgVANCOUVER – Astrophysicist Dr. Gary Hinshaw wasn’t sure what a satellite would find when it launched in 2001.The data it discovered would lead his NASA team to create what Hinshaw describes as the universe’s baby picture.It also set up the researchers for a prestigious science prize awarded by a group that includes the founder of Facebook.“You build this instrument, you test it on the ground, you make sure it’s going to survive the rigours of a rocket launch and that it’s going to deploy it when you deploy it from the rocket, and if it doesn’t, you’ve just wasted 10 years of your life, because you don’t get a second chance,” said Hinshaw, now a researcher and professor at the University of British Columbia.The satellite, called the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), did survive and spent nearly a decade measuring heat radiation left over from the big bang. Hinshaw and his team then mapped that data, giving a visual picture of the early universe. They’ve also analyzed the findings to determine that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and only five per cent is made up of the chemical elements found in the periodic table.Hinshaw and 26 other researchers were honoured for their work Sunday with the Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics.Since 2012, the award has been handed out for top achievements in physics, life sciences and mathematics. The Breakthrough Prize board includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder and CEO of the genetics company 23andme, and Yuri Milner, a Russian physicist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist.Receiving the award is humbling, said Hinshaw, who travelled to Palo Alto, Calif., for the star-studded ceremony, which was to be hosted by actor Morgan Freeman.The WMAP work has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a labour of love, Hinshaw said, noting that he and his colleagues published about 13 papers over a span of five months on the first year’s results.He described the 15 to 20 years he spent working on the project as intense and “brutally rewarding.”“You’re both exhilarated by the data and exhausted by the processing and the work of just turning the raw data into an image that you can actually visualize, see, plot on the screen and then start to interpret.”The most amazing part is that the map included so many profound answers, Hinshaw said.“Nature could have been much less kind and not left a fossil like this behind. And we wouldn’t have the ability to answer these questions yet today,” he said.The work also created new questions for researchers looking at the origin and composition of the universe.Hinshaw is now looking to unravel dark energy. So far, he said, researchers know that it makes up the vast majority of the universe and causes it to expand faster and faster.To help with the latest work, Hinshaw and his team have built a radio telescope near Penticton, B.C., which will be used to try and measure dark energy.As part of the Breakthrough Prize, Hinshaw and the four other WMAP team leaders will share $1.5 million, while the 22 other researchers will share another $1.5 million.Hinshaw said he wants to use part of his prize money to fund his latest research efforts and bring in some young scientists to work on the project. He’d also like to set some money aside for his kids and give some to charity.But what Hinshaw really hopes the award will do is give the public some appreciation and respect for science.“Science doesn’t always have the right answers, but we’re always open to rejecting ideas and to accepting new ideas,” he said. “And that the process is very methodical and peer-reviewed, so science is not just a purely theoretical endeavour.”— Follow @gkarstenssmith on Twitterlast_img read more

She was fantastic Funeral held for Broncos team trainer killed in bus

first_imgHUMBOLDT, Sask. – Brenden Prokopchuk wrote Dayna Brons a love letter for their five-year anniversary, not knowing she would die a few weeks later.He told her that he was lucky to have her as his best friend and he looked forward to their next 50 years together. Prokopchuk read the letter aloud at her funeral Wednesday in Humboldt, Sask.He broke into sobs as he walked off a stage in the arena and was enveloped in hugs from family and friends.Brons, 24, was the athletic therapist for the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. She was injured after the team’s bus and a semi truck collided as the Broncos were on the way to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan on April 6.She died five days later in hospital, the 16th person to be killed in the crash. Nine others remain in hospital, including two in critical condition.People filed into the Humboldt rink wearing Brons’s favourite colour, green, as well as green Humboldt Broncos jerseys to honour the young woman described as sunny, independent and tenacious.Brons was raised on a farm in nearby Marysburg and attended school in Lake Lenore, Sask., where her family says she loved sports and was one of the few girls to play hockey.She also played the saxophone. And she was an altar server at her family’s Catholic church.After graduation, Brons studied kinesiology at the University of Regina, where she met Prokopchuk.It took her four months to notice him, he told those gathered. He asked her out for sushi and they became an instant couple.Brons eventually moved to Calgary to study athletic therapy and, when she was finished, moved to Saskatoon with Prokopchuk. She worked there for an elite lacrosse team and at a Saskatchewan Roughriders football training camp in 2016. She joined the Broncos the same year.“Once hockey season started, she was excited to sign a contract with the Humboldt Broncos,” said the funeral program.Brons often brought her beloved dog to work, friend Curtis Strueby said in his eulogy. The animal would run around the team’s dressing room and sit on the logo in the middle of the floor.The players loved the dog anyway and they treated Brons like a teammate, Strueby said.On several road trips, when the team stopped to eat at a restaurant, some players would claim it was Brons’s birthday to get free dessert. She usually broke the truth to staff and had the players pay for it.She loved being part of a team, said Strueby, who also taught Brons in high school and coached her in basketball.She was selfless, he said. She volunteered and donated blood.And she was always smiling.“She was fantastic, reliable, really not fazed by anything,” he said.Ralph Viczko, her high school principal, said after the service that Brons was so many things.“Dayna was a really well-rounded kid,” he said. “It was athletics. It was music. It was band. It was ball.”Honour guards for the funeral included Broncos and SWAT lacrosse alumni, along with athletic therapists from across the country, who brought their trademark fanny packs in tribute.last_img read more

Officials urge vaccination after person diagnosed with highly infectious measles

first_imgVANCOUVER – Health officials in Vancouver urged people to get vaccinated against measles by Friday if there’s a chance they were exposed to the highly infectious disease diagnosed in a person who attended a large music festival and a block party.Medical health officer Dr. John Harding of Vancouver Coastal Health said the unidentified person was at the Skookum Festival at Stanley Park last Saturday and it’s important for people who could have been exposed to the disease and haven’t had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to be vaccinated within a six-day window.The infected person was diagnosed as a priority case on Thursday night after developing symptoms including a fever, cough, redness in the eyes and a rash on the face that spread to the chest.Harding said the patient was confirmed to have had one dose of the vaccine, which provided about 95 per cent immunity, but two doses are needed for 99 per cent protection against measles.Vancouver Coastal Health released a list of specific locations and times where the infected person travelled between Saturday and Tuesday. It says anyone who attended those locations at the specified times and who has not been fully immunized, nor had the disease in the past, should see a doctor immediately.The locations and times of concern are:— Saturday, Sept. 8: Skookum Festival, Stanley Park, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.— Saturday, Sept. 8: Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street, approximate trip start was 3 p.m.— Saturday, Sept. 8: Canada Line SkyTrain from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.— Sunday, Sept. 9: Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec St., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.— Sunday, Sept. 9: Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.— Tuesday, Sept. 11: Noodlebox Mount Pleasant, 2511 Main Street, noon to 6 p.m.The measles virus is spread by droplets from coughing and sneezing and can survive in the air for two hours.The disease was common in Canada before 1970 and anyone exposed to it would have developed immunity.Only one dose of the MMR vaccine was provided between 1970 and 1994 during routine immunizations, but that was increased to two doses for adequate protection against the disease, Harding said.“We did catch-up campaigns for anybody who only had one dose,” he told a news conference. “Unfortunately, not everyone would have got those catch-up doses and not everyone’s sure if they ended up with a second dose of MMR.”Patients who are uncertain if they received a second vaccination should contact their doctor’s office or local health unit for their records but there’s no harm in getting an extra booster shot, Harding said.Children are vaccinated at 12 months and starting at age four, before they enter kindergarten.High vaccination rates provide so-called herd immunity to protect more people, he said, adding vaccinations for pregnant women, infants under 12 months and people with compromised immune systems should be discussed with a doctor.“In an unimmunized population one case of measles can infect anywhere from 12 to 18 people so it’s very important that we keep up those levels of immunity to make sure that it doesn’t spread.”Harding said the high rate of immunization means the number of measles cases in Canada should ideally be zero, but people diagnosed with the disease have typically travelled from other countries, though he wouldn’t say if that’s the situation with the infected patient, who is in isolation.The BC Centre for Disease Control has reported four cases of measles so far this year and says the disease has been resurging for several years worldwide, including in western Europe.Earlier this month, the centre alerted the public to a measles case involving a passenger who travelled on BC Ferries in August. Another case in August was related to a cruise line terminal.In July, the agency reported a case of measles in an infected person who travelled from India to Vancouver via China on two China Southern flights on June 23.The centre recorded 343 cases of measles during an outbreak in 2014, with most of the cases related to students in one community involving a religious group that objects to vaccination.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

NAFTA talks intensify as Freeland negotiators push hard for breakthrough

first_imgOTTAWA – Sources say Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her team of negotiators are engaged in an intensive, late-stage effort to get Canada back into a trilateral trade deal with the United States and Mexico before Monday’s American-imposed deadline.With the release of the text of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement expected any day, and Mexico’s new president-elect pushing the American side to make a deal with Canada, the political pressure is mounting to get a new North American Free Trade Agreement done in short order.Freeland, who will give Canada’s marquee speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, was on a conference call Friday night with negotiators in Washington, who have been engaged in intensive talks all week, a source familiar with the effort told The Canadian Press.“The U.S. knows what they need to do to get a deal, so it’s really up to them,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the talks.“We’re focused on the substance, not the timetable.”Indeed, analysts and insiders alike say the latest American-imposed deadline for Canada to join by Monday is not set in stone, and that there will still be time for the Liberal government to negotiate with the Trump administration after that.But they caution the window is closing and Canada’s time may be running out.Mexico and the United States announced their own bilateral deal last month, sparking a renewed round of negotiations between Washington and Ottawa to bring Canada into the NAFTA fold.The formal text needs to be released by Sunday so it can be presented to the U.S. Congress by the end of the month and fulfil a 60-day notice requirement that would allow lawmakers to approve it by Dec. 1 — before the newly-elected Mexican government takes power.Some reports said it could come as early as Friday, but that likelihood was fading after Reuters reported that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s president-elect, had said he’d agreed to call on the U.S. to reach an agreement with Canada.Multiple sources told The Canadian Press the sticking points between Ottawa and Washington include dairy, preserving Canada’s cultural exemption and Canada’s insistence on preserving the Chapter 19, which allows for independent panels to resolve disputes involving companies and governments.One source said Chapter 19 has not survived the Mexico-U.S. deal, but Chapter 20, the government-to-government dispute settlement mechanism, has been preserved in its entirety.Mexican ambassador Dionisio Perez Jacome said his country still wants Canada to come on board, even if the deadline of the next few days comes and go.“Hopefully Canada can be included already in the text. If not, then the process gets more complicated, but it’s also possible to come in … some days after,” Perez Jacome said.Sources say Mexico is fine with the Trudeau government waiting past Monday’s Quebec election because it understands any concession it might be willing to make on allowing greater U.S. access to dairy would be a political bombshell in the final days of the provincial campaign.A source close to the negotiations told The Canadian Press that the vast majority of the U.S.-Mexico text — more than 20 of its approximately 30 chapters — is not the least bit contentious for Canada.That comes as no surprise to trade experts.Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, said major work has been completed on most of the chapters since Canada and the U.S. resumed talks.“They are closer now than they’ve ever been. There’s a potential landing strip in all of the negotiated areas.”Meredith Lilly, an international trade expert at Carleton University in Ottawa, said there’s virtually nothing in the text that will take Canadian negotiators by surprise.“They should have seen the text by now as part of earlier negotiations, as well as more recent bilateral negotiations,” she said.There’s no guarantee Congress would allow U.S. President Donald Trump to move forward with a two-country deal that excludes Canada because it originally granted him the authority to negotiate a three-country pact.Sarah Goldfeder, a former U.S. diplomat based in Ottawa, said she’s not sure Trump actually wants a deal with Canada before the U.S. midterm elections in November, because periodically beating up on Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a convenient channel-changer for a president beset by unfavourable news coverage.“It’s a deflection from a number of different problems,” she said.Trump says he will pursue a trade deal with or without Canada, and has repeatedly threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Canadian automobiles if a trilateral deal can’t be reached.He has already imposed hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives him the authority to do that for national security reasons.The Trudeau government has branded the tariffs illegal and insulting given the close security relationship between Canada and the U.S., including their shared membership in Norad, which defends North American airspace.Mexico didn’t win any relief from the U.S. on the tariffs in their deal, but Canada is pushing hard for it in the current negotiations.“It will be really hard for negotiators to bring a deal back to Canada and say ‘I think we got a pretty good deal, but we didn’t get a release from these national security tariffs’,” said Dawson.“That’s going to make it very difficult to sell a deal at home.”— With files from James McCarten in Washington, D.C., and Dan Healing in Banff, Alta.last_img read more

Huawei founder thanks inmates Canadian justice system for treating daughter well

first_imgThe founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei is thanking Canada’s justice system for the kind treatment of his daughter, the company’s chief financial officer arrested last month in Vancouver on a U.S. warrant.In a rare meeting with foreign reporters, Ren Zhengfei said he believes there will be a just conclusion to the case of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, who is awaiting extradition to New York State.Meng, who was arrested Dec. 1 and remains under house arrest in Vancouver, is facing U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.Her father also expressed thanks to Meng’s fellow jail inmates prior to her release “for treating her kindly.”The 74-year-old, who founded Huawei in 1987, said he believes his daughter will be vindicated once all the evidence is out.Ren also said that he saw no connection between his daughter’s detention and the arrest of two Canadians by Chinese authorities on national security charges.— With files from APThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

All eyes on PEI What a Green Party win would mean for

first_imgOTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – It’s getting a bit easier being Green.Tuesday’s provincial election in Prince Edward Island could make history if the Green Party hangs on to its lead.As it turns out, a win could also have an impact on the fall federal vote.“All eyes are going to be on Prince Edward Island,” David Coletto with Abacus Data says.It’s a small province that’s about to make a big political impact.Coletto says the Green Party has consistently polled ahead of all other parties on the Island during this campaign, and seat projections show the party may take power either in a minority or majority scenario.“There’s a good chance they may win the most seats, and that would be the first time — not just in Canada — but in North America,” he says. “This would be a historic win.”And it’s not just in PEI — Coletto says support for the party has actually been growing across the nation, and forming a provincial government could boost federal fortunes ahead of the federal election this fall.“Make a lot of Canadians in other parts of the country have a much more open mind about voting Green,” he explains.Coletto says there’s been a rise in Green support federally because of missteps by the Trudeau government, a weak NDP, and more political engagement from millennials.“They’re typically more progressive and they care more intensely about climate change. They’re also open to doing things differently.”While he expects this potential boost to play a factor in the election, Coletto says it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a Green government federally later this year.While the majority of PEI will cast their ballots on Tuesday, those living in one riding will be voting at a later date following the death of Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his young son on Friday.Elections P.E.I. says the vote in Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park has been cancelled, and that a byelection will be held within the next three months.Meantime, voters will also be asked whether they would like to change the province’s electoral system from the first-past-the-post, current system to a form of proportional representation.-With files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

AFN chief urges leaders to ensure passage of key bills for Indigenous

first_imgOTTAWA — Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling on all party leaders to make sure three pieces of legislation he says are of “fundamental importance” to Indigenous Peoples and the country pass before the election.Bellegarde says in a letter to all the party leaders in Parliament that he believes their help is “absolutely critical” to ensure the passage of the bills.The list includes Bill C-262, a plan to ensure Canadian laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and bills on Indigenous languages and child welfare.Bellegarde says the bills are tied closely to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after it probed the long-standing impacts of Canada’s residential schools.He says reconciliation between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people is a non-partisan responsibility and he believes “troubling partisan dynamics” are on display in the Senate.Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose used Twitter earlier this week to say she’s been told her own party will block legislation, including her separate bill on mandatory education on sexual assault for judges, to make sure C-262 never passes, calling it a “sad day.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Defence minister mum on details of ViceAdmiral Norman settlement

first_imgOTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is remaining mum on details of the government’s settlement with Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.Norman and the government announced on Wednesday that the military’s former second-in-command is retiring after negotiating an agreement.The deal follows Crown prosecutors dropping their case last month against Norman, who had been charged with breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets about a shipbuilding deal.Speaking from Brussels where he has been attending a NATO meeting, Sajjan tells The Canadian Press that he cannot discuss the details of the settlement because of confidentiality provisions.That includes how much the settlement was worth and whether it included a requirement that Norman refrain from talking publicly about his case.Conservative MPs have accused the Liberal government of buying Norman’s silence with the agreement ahead of the federal election.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

The Canadian lobbying firm meddling in Sudans revolution

first_imgIn today’s Big Story podcast, it’s will of the people against a military regime. A military regime that is, apparently, getting six million dollars worth of help from a Canadian lobbying firm.Canadians have watched for months the scenes from pro-democracy protests across the world in Sudan. They are inspiring, sometimes terrifying, and above all they are courageous. But the Canadian link to this revolution is not a positive one, and it may be breaking sanctions. So why is a Montreal-based firm offering to help polish the image of, and facilitate military deals for, a regime that has seen hundreds of protesters massacred? What kind of regulations and laws govern this kind of contract? How unusual is this kind of deal? And what comes next?GUEST: Geoffrey York, Africa Bureau Chief for The Globe and MailAudio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/rogers-aod.leanstream.co/rogers/thebigstory_dai/tbs_07102019_dai.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and SpotifyYou can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

Goodale and Sajjan to visit Halifax today to survey Dorian recovery efforts

first_imgHALIFAX — Two federal cabinet ministers will be in Halifax today to survey recovery efforts from the damaging hit by post-tropical storm Dorian over the weekend.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will look things over with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.Hundreds of troops from New Brunswick’s CFB Gagetown are in Halifax, many of them donning chainsaws to help clean up the tangled mess of fallen trees and power lines.With help from power crews from Quebec, Ontario, Florida and Maine, utility companies in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. are working to restore power to the some 125,000 homes and businesses still off the grid as of early this morning.Many schools across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were closed Monday, and emergency officials have been urging people to stay home for their own safety and to give cleanup crews the room they need to work. Public schools in Nova Scotia are to remain closed today.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Jury to be chosen to determine fitness of accused in Fredericton murder

first_imgFREDERICTON — Jury selection begins today to determine if Matthew Raymond — accused of killing four people in a shooting spree in Fredericton in August 2018 — is fit to stand trial.Justice Fred Ferguson of the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled earlier this month that the threshold to question fitness of the accused had been met.Fitness means that an accused understands the charges against him and can instruct a lawyer on how he wishes to be defended.Jury selection is being held in a hockey arena because of the large number of potential jurors.Raymond is charged with the first-degree murders of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.Robichaud and Wright were killed in the parking lot outside their apartment building, and the officers were killed when they responded to the shootings.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Brad Pitt Pledges 100000 To Human Rights Campaign

first_imgThe Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced a $100,000 gift from Brad Pitt to support the organization’s marriage efforts.Pitt has agreed to match contributions from HRC members and supporters up to $100,000 in order to direct resources to the marriage campaigns entering their final week in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State.“Brad Pitt’s partnership with HRC in this closing week delivers vital resources into these campaigns and we’re proud to be working with him as we show that fundamental fairness will win at the ballot box,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With his commitment, Brad joins HRC in a tremendous coalition of religious leaders, business leaders, labor groups, civil rights organizations and everyday, fair-minded Americans supporting marriage for gay and lesbian couples.”“It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” said Pitt in an email today to HRC members and supporters. “If you’re like me, you don’t want to have to ask yourself on the day after the election, what else could I have done?”Supporters can heed Pitt’s call and contribute with him to HRC’s marriage work at www.hrc.org/Brad.HRC has invested $8 million in efforts to expand marriage equality over the past two years, including $5 million in the four ballot measure states this year. HRC has staff on the ground in each of the campaigns and is currently engaged in the organization’s largest ever election year mobilization to put these campaigns – and other endorsed candidates – over the top.The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.last_img read more

Bailee Madison Visits Mattel Childrens Hospital

first_imgActress Bailee Madison helped Starlight Children’s Foundation launch Play in May with a visit to patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.Bailee Madison at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLAPlay in May is a new campaign that highlights the healing power of play for hospitalized kids while raising funds to support Starlight programs. Starting May 1, individuals and teams can pledge to play games for 15 minutes a day for 15 days. Visit SupportStarlight.org to learn more.“I’ve been able to see firsthand how Starlight programs bring smiles to the faces of hospitalized kids.,” said Bailee. “The great thing about the campaign is whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you can Play in May to bring the healing power to kids and families, one game at a time. And who doesn’t like to play games?”last_img read more

TOWIE Star Presents Variety Sunshine Coach To Essex School

first_imgDebbie Douglas, from the BAFTA award-winning reality show The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE), presented a shiny new 17-seater Variety Sunshine Coach in a special presentation to pupils of Cedar Hall School in Essex.TOWIE Star Debbie Douglas Presents A Variety Sunshine CoachThe new vehicle will cater for children with moderate to severe learning difficulties and will be used to transport the children on a number of special day trips and outings, replacing their old coach.Cedar Hall provides education for pupils who primarily experience moderate learning difficulties, but who may experience speech, language, emotional, behavioural or autistic spectrum secondary disabilities. Funds for the Sunshine Coach were raised by Stonegate Pub Company through its group-wide fundraising event ’Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour’ which ran throughout the summer from May till September raising over £310,000.last_img read more

Jillian Rose Reed Challenges Youth To Tackle Social Injustice In Their Communities

first_imgInternational nonprofit Peace First, actress Jillian Rose Reed and The Allstate Foundation announced today the inaugural Peace First Challenge, which calls on teams of young people across the country to find creative solutions to social issues, such as bullying, poverty and violence.The 10 teams with the most innovative ideas will compete for up to $50,000 to scale up their concepts, with one team walking away with an investment of up to $10,000.Through Feb. 17, young people ages 13 to 24 are urged to sign up in teams of three or more – with no upper limit on number of team members – at PeaceFirstChallenge.org. Teams can apply for grants of up to $250 to turn their initial plans into reality, and each team will have access to tools and mentors to help them identify social justice issues they’re passionate about. In May, the 10 teams with the best ideas with the biggest impact – and potential for continued impact – will be selected to compete for an investment of up to $10,000, made possible by The Allstate Foundation, to take their idea to the next level.“The Allstate Foundation believes good starts young and that young people can make a difference in our world – they just need support and encouragement,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate responsibility. “The most powerful message we can send our youth has four parts: believe in yourself, believe in your ideas and believe in your ability to improve life for others. And if you need help, believe there are people and organizations who are ready to help you.”The Peace First Challenge is part of The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young initiative, which empowers future generations with the strength, confidence and skills to rise up as leaders and realize their full potential. To date, more than 1.7 million youth have participated in Good Starts Young programs.As many as 1,000 teams can sign up for the Peace First Challenge on a first-come, first-served basis. The 10 finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges to include nonprofit, business and community leaders, as well as representatives from The Allstate Foundation and Peace First. Finalists will be invited to attend a youth social innovation summit in June, where they will be paired with mentors who are experts on addressing the social injustices each team has chosen to tackle. The finalist teams also will be given access to a pool of up to $50,000 to cover travel costs and accelerator grants.Reed, social activist and star of the hit MTV show “Awkward,” is putting her star power behind the Peace First Challenge by urging young people to sign up and spearhead local change in their communities.“When you’re young, you don’t always realize how much impact you can have on the world,” Reed said. “It can seem scary and hopeless at times, even though you want so badly to be an advocate for change. The Peace First Challenge is exactly the kind of starting point young people need to be inspired to make a change in the community that surrounds them.”In addition to The Allstate Foundation and Reed, 14 national nonprofit Peace First Challenge partners and 500 other community-based leaders and organizations will help recruit teams of young people to accept the Challenge and serve as mentors. Challenge partners include the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, Communities In Schools and The School Superintendents Association.“From 25 years of experience, we know young people around the country have great ideas to change their communities for the better, but often don’t have access to the support they need to make it happen,” said Eric Dawson, CEO and co-founder of Peace First. “The Peace First Challenge gives them resources to put their ideas into action. We’re very excited to see the solutions and transformations that motivated and empowered young people will deliver to our communities across the country. We’re asking everyone to help share the news about the Challenge and encourage young people to join it and make a difference.”last_img read more

Stars Launch Joint PSA To Support National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

first_imgFormer Vice President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden of the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI), two-time Super Bowl winning coach and Executive Vice President of Operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars Tom Coughlin of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons of the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) have joined forces to deliver a powerful public service announcement (PSA) in support of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September.Approximately 15,000 people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – that’s 43 children diagnosed with cancer each day. Cancer does not discriminate and its impact has been felt in every community across the U.S. leaving a devastating emotional and financial toll on the families tackling the disease. The founders of each of these nonprofit organizations, BCI, the Jay Fund and TRF, have each been touched by cancer’s devastation having walked the journey with a child, a loved one, teammate, fan or friend.In coming together, the groups hope to generate greater awareness and support for families. In a joint statement, the group appeals to the public to join their cause: “In the spirit of Beau Biden, Jay McGillis, Tyler Robinson and all the courageous young people who have fought this disease, please help us make this month matter by supporting those who need it most. No one should fight childhood cancer alone.”Beginning September 1, the PSA will be played on television outlets and in sporting venues across the nation. In addition to making a donation to BCI, the Jay Fund or TRF, there are other practical ways for individuals to support families and get involved in the cause including volunteering with a local pediatric cancer nonprofit.BCI, the Jay Fund and TRF each fill separate, yet critically important, missions in supporting childhood cancer. BCI is accelerating progress in cancer research and care, making more therapies available to more patients, while working to detect and prevent the disease.The Jay Fund has touched more than 5,000 families through their cancer journeys providing more than $10 million in financial assistance to families in northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. Since its inception just five years ago, TRF has raised in excess of $5.5 million to support more than 500 families across the U.S. battling childhood cancer by providing grants to offset the many unseen costs associated with treatment.For more information or to learn how to get involved, visit www.bidencancer.org, www.tcjayfund.org and www.trf.org.last_img read more

No criminal record for Toronto photographer who put womens photos contact info

first_imgRen Bostelaar, a former photography store worker and would-be writer, agreed to a one-year peace bond on Wednesday in Old City hall court that limits his Internet privileges and blocks him from contacting complainants in his case without their consent.READ MORE Advertisement Advertisement An amateur photographer was spared a criminal record after posting revealing photos of women he knows and contact information about them on the Internet without their consent. Twittercenter_img Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more