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Angelina Jolie Writes In Support Of Malala Yousafzai

first_imgAngelina Jolie has written an article for The DailyBeast.com in support of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot and wounded by Taliban gunmen for speaking up for girls’ education.“The shots fired on Malala struck the heart of the nation, and as the Taliban refuse to back down, so too do the people of Pakistan,” wrote Jolie. “This violent and hateful act seems to have accomplished the opposite of its intent, as Pakistanis rally to embrace Malala’s principles and reject the tyranny of fear. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said “let this be a lesson.” Yes. Let this be a lesson—that an education is a basic human right, a right that Pakistan’s daughters will not be denied.“This terrible event marks the beginning of a necessary revolution in girls’ education.“Malala is proof that it only takes the voice of one brave person to inspire countless men, women, and children. In classrooms and at kitchen tables around the world, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters are praying for Malala’s swift recovery and committing themselves to carry her torch.”To read the full article, click here.last_img read more

Sarah Ferguson And Princess Eugenie Open Teenage Cancer Trust Unit

first_imgEast Anglia’s only specialist Teenage Cancer Trust unit for young patients which offers world-class treatment, was officially opened last month by the charity’s patron Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Eugenie of York and charity ambassador, Harry Judd, from pop band McFly.The state-of-the-art Teenage Cancer Trust unit on ward C9 of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, one of the UK’s leading centres for cancer treatment, supports 14-to-24-year-old cancer patients from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.The home-from-home unit provides a relaxed environment designed specifically for and by young people and has a social zone, parents’ room, chill-out room and learning centre. Staff are specially trained in cancers of this age group and have chosen to work with this age group.Since the first patient was admitted at the end of February 2012, staff have treated over 60 patients on the 11-bed unit which cost £3.6 million to build, most of which was provided by fundraising within East Anglia.Every day in the UK, six young people are told they have cancer and approximately 200 patients are diagnosed in East Anglia each year. Usually placed on a children’s ward or on an adult ward alongside elderly patients, young people can often feel extremely isolated when facing a cancer diagnosis. Teenage Cancer Trust units are designed to be as close as possible to a young person’s normal life outside hospital.Simon Davies, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust comments: “Today is a momentous day for the charity. Not only is this our 25th Teenage Cancer Trust unit but it is also the first in East Anglia and we are thrilled to have worked with Addenbrooke’s whose staff provide specialist care. We rely solely on public donations and this unit wouldn’t have been built if it hadn’t been for incredible, tireless support from local communities, businesses, patients and their families and friends over the past few years, helping us raise £2.9million.”Teenage Cancer Trust patron, Sarah, Duchess of York said: “I have been a patron of Teenage Cancer Trust for over twenty years and I’m always so excited to visit a new unit as every one is special and unique. This impressive unit showcases Teenage Cancer Trust’s design expertise at its absolute best and will give young cancer patients from across East Anglia a real fighting chance thanks to specialist cancer care at Addenbrooke’s.”Dr Helen Hatcher, consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said: “We are very happy to be celebrating the opening of the Teenage Cancer Trust unit today. It has been fantastic to see the benefits the new ward brings to young people and their families across the region. Having somewhere where young people can feel more relaxed in their environment when going through stressful and debilitating treatment has made an enormous difference to them and their families. One of our patients has had to spend several months on C9 said she would not have coped if she had not had been on this unit.”In addition to CUH staff providing clinical care on the unit, Teenage Cancer Trust also fund the youth support coordinator role which provides individually tailored support, making a young person’s time in hospital more tolerable by supervising and coordinating activities on and off the ward and encouraging patients to socialise and remain active and connected with other young people.Developing the unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital is the first step in Teenage Cancer Trust’s commitment to helping young people with cancer across East Anglia. On-going support and donations are now needed to maintain the unit, fund specialist staff and support the work of the charity’s free cancer awareness sessions in schools, colleges and universities across the region.The new unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital now brings the number of Teenage Cancer Trust units across the UK to 25. This new unit also complements the existing drop-in centre Teenage Cancer Trust opened at Abington House at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in 2009. The Oasis offers support and advice to young patients and their families, as well as social and recreational facilities.Source:Teenage Cancer Trustlast_img read more

Al Gore Believes Climate Crisis Solutions Are Available Now

first_imgDespite that the current US president pulled out of the Paris climate accord earlier this year, former vice president and current activist, Al Gore, still says he comes down on the side of hope.Following his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming, Gore released a follow up documentary last month called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which speaks to the human ingenuity that is behind his hope.In an NPR interview, Gore said that with the fossil fuel industry financing an industry of climate denial through pseudo scientists and pseudoscientific reports, enough doubt was created so that the sense of urgency about solving the crisis was lost. “But because Mother Nature has a more persuasive voice than any of us,” he says, “they’re losing this battle. The Paris agreement was truly a historic breakthrough, illustrating that all around the world, opinions are getting stronger and stronger in favor of solving the climate crisis.”He cites other signs of hope as well. “Electricity from the sun and the wind is now in many regions much cheaper than electricity from dirty fossil fuels,” says Gore. “Electric cars are becoming affordable. Batteries are coming down very quickly in cost and, coupled with renewable energy, will utterly transform the world’s energy systems.“And along with sustainable agriculture and forestry, we now have a chance to use these tools to really solve the climate crisis in time to avoid the catastrophic consequences that would otherwise fall upon us.”The question is, will we?.Copyright ©2017Look to the Starslast_img read more

Suits star Meghan Markle launches accessible clothing line at Reitmans

first_img Twitter Advertisement The “Kate effect” — selling out fashions worn by the Duchess of Cambridge — is well established, as are the frenzies stirred up by offspring George and Charlotte’s sartorial moments. Canada’s own Reitmans may be mobbed when the second Meghan Markle capsule collection launches Thursday on the heels of romantic rumours linking the TV star to one very eligible, very red-haired prince.Six days before that gossip bomb landed, an impromptu celebration took place at Soho House in Toronto, though the reason is now virtually eclipsed by the Prince Harry factor. Palace-worthy cut-glass coupes appeared magically at the leather-rimmed round booth, followed, also via invisible hands, by champagne.Markle, who plays paralegal-turned-law student Rachel Zane on the filmed-in-Toronto smash legal series Suits, had received some big news on her way to this interview: she had surfed past one million followers on Instagram earlier in the day. Just imagine what will happen to her Insta numbers now? The five-piece line is modelled after what she wears in real life, running from day to night engagements, on and off of planes. It is also “an accessible version” of the glamorous duds she wears in character. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Login/Register With: The excitement comes at an all-around swell moment for this California girl, who turned 35 over the summer. The collaboration with Montreal-based Reitmans “is totally an extension of my personal style,” she says, which she describes as, “Aspirational Girl Next Door.”She was “deeply and passionate involved in the design process. I’m a brash American and if my name is going to be on something, I’m going to have my say.” Advertisementlast_img read more

Between Drake videos helping us save MuchFACT DirectorX sat down with Coveteur

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: In your career so far, what was the most unexpected experience?“It has to be ‘Hotline Bling’— it was really surprising in its reaction. The way it took off virally, the memes, and the jokes, and…I have a clip of Donald Trump dancing to ‘Hotline Bling’ from Saturday Night Live. They did a parody, and Donald Trump is in there dancing. It was just one of those ‘What the hell? How the hell?’”Was he a good dancer?“No, of course not [laughs].” To state the obvious, music videos are the visual representation of the song. And when it comes to bringing that vision to life, everyone from Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Drake to Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne (and the list goes on) trust Toronto-based Director X to bring it to fruition. Not only that, but Director X makes it go viral. When he stopped by our portrait studio during TIFF, we sat down to talk “Hotline Bling”’s unexpected success (and the Trump dancing video that exists), his venture into full-length film direction, the experimental fringe science series he’s working on for Viceland, and the advice that fueled his success.So tell me, how did you decide on your name?“It’s an evolution from Little X. When I was a teenager, it was the time of like X Clan, and Malcolm X, and Public Enemy, so all hip-hop was very conscious with lots of X’s [Laughs]. For whatever reason, I really like the X names, so [my name] became Little X. Once I hit my 30s, Little X wasn’t sitting well with me—it felt like it was time to switch it up, so it evolved to Director X.” Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

CBSA LOOKS FOR STUNT ACTORS TO PLAY SMUGGLERS BE STRUCK FOR RECRUIT

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Advertisement The Canada Border Services Agency is looking for a handful of stunt actors to be thrown down, handcuffed, searched and beaten to help train new recruits. – JONATHAN HAYWARD , THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo The Canada Border Services Agency is looking for a handful of stunt actors to be thrown down, handcuffed, searched and beaten to help train new recruits.The agency has posted bid documents online looking for a company to supply actors for the training centre in Rigaud, Que., between Ottawa and Montreal.The documents outline how the stunt actors will act out up to 15 situations a day, such as trying to smuggle drugs across the border in a car, to help the agency assess the skills of new border guards.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: The people hired can expect to be handcuffed, thrown, held down using “pain compliance techniques,” and hit by trainees’ fists, feet or batons.They also must avoid any personal relationships with the recruits or CBSA staff “in order to keep it at a professional level only.”Bidding for the one-year contract closes in early September, but the documents don’t list an expected price.The CBSA has yet to respond to questions posed to the agency this morning.It’s the second time this year that the agency has gone out looking for a company to supply it with actors, and it appears that some of the feedback from that earlier work has been incorporated into the new contract offer.For instance, the bidding company has to have at least 12 months experience over 10 years finding professional stunt actors, instead of the 36 months over five years after the CBSA was told the latter target would be difficult to hit.The government’s procurement website doesn’t list a contract awarded for the last offer, which closed in early April.JOB NOTICE LINKBY THE CANADIAN PRESS Twitterlast_img read more

BC Coroner investigating death of FN foster child

first_imgAPTN National NewsPort Alberni, B.C. — The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death of a seven-month old First Nations infant, RCMP said.The baby boy was found unresponsive in his crib Wednesday by his foster caregiver who immediately called an ambulance, said RCMP Sgt. Kevin Murray.The boy was transported to a Port Alberni, B.C., hospital and medical staff failed in attempts to resuscitate the child.An autopsy was done on the child Friday and there was no evidence he died as a result of foul play, Murray said.The parents of the infant lived in Port Alberni.RCMP said the boy’s father was from Ahousaht First Nation, which is also the home community of Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo.last_img read more

Mikmaw chiefs ready to take their fight over welfare rates to the

first_imgTrina RoacheAPTN National NewsHALIFAX – Chiefs in the Maritimes are ready to take the federal government to the Supreme Court of Canada over a plan by Aboriginal Affairs (AANDC) to cut social assistance rates on-reserve to provincial levels.The legal battle has gone on for three years. While the Mi’kmaq won the first round at the Federal Court of Canada, Ottawa appealed and won. It will be months before the chiefs know if Canada’s top court will hear the case.Maliseet and Mi’kmaq chiefs say the problem with the federal plan is bands use the social assistance money differently.“This case is about how the government interprets comparability,” said Naiomi Metallic, the lawyer representing the chiefs. “More broadly, it’s about what limits are there on AANDC when it makes decisions like this? Does it have to consult First Nations?”Metallic said Ottawa doesn’t take into account that certain programs off reserve, aren’t available to Mi’kmaq living on social assistance in First Nation communities.“Equality standards that exist today are such that, it’s not just providing identical services,” said Metallic. “It recognizes that sometimes treating people equally might mean treating them different but to their benefit to make sure that really overall they get the same.”With a two per cent cap in place since 1996, First Nations’ social programs are already underfunded. To pay for housing, the band shaves off a portion of the social assistance money to pay off the loan to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.That won’t happen under the new formula.“Ottawa would save millions of dollars,” said Metallic. “But at what cost?”In Mi’kmaw communities, a single person on welfare right now gets a cheque for $82 a week and in some communities, like Elsipogtog in New Brunswick, 85 per cent of the band is on welfare.“Mi’kmaq community members who are on social assistance are surviving on very little money,” said Chief Leroy Denny, lead chief of the social portfolio for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “How can there be equality when non-Native social recipients have access to government programs to help them when our people do not?”Metallic said it’s a complete 180 from social policy Aboriginal Affairs followed until 2011. In fact, AANDC spent a decade and $15-million dollars working with Mi’kmaq and Maliseet leaders to develop an income assistance manual.It was delivered to Aboriginal Affairs in 2007 where it sat on a bureaucrat’s desk gathering dust. That manual was never implemented.Instead, four years later, regional officials were told by AANDC Headquarters in Ottawa to save money. There was a push toward what government called active measures, programs to offer people re-training, literacy classes and get them back to work, but no new money to do it.“In 2011, we were already not equal and the government wanted to make it worse,” said Metallic. “But you can’t take the money out of basic social assistance to do that because people just need a basic level in order to survive so by further impoverishing them on the day to day amounts, that’s not going to encourage people to go do the things to get them jobs. They’re going to be fighting to basically just exist.”Denny said the government’s current position would “starve” people in the communities.“We are constantly looking at ways to create opportunities and employment for our community members. These changes will not help our people but rather put them further back. Starving our people will not create a better life.” said Denny.Court documents show that officials with Aboriginal Affairs knew that there would be negative impacts. The evidence list includes “damage to AANDC/First Nation relationships,” “negative media attention,” and “increased demand” on child and family services.“More child apprehensions,” said Metallic. “Department officials absolutely knew that the decisions they were going to make was going to have severe consequences on people.”The legal battle has gone on for three years. While the Mi’kmaq won the first round at the Federal Court of Canada, Ottawa appealed and won.It will be months before the chiefs know if the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case.But Metallic says there are important questions that impact all First Nations across the country.“We’re saying to the Supreme Court, you’ve heard a lot of cases about aboriginal and treaty rights and that’s all very important, but services on reserve are just as important,” said Metallic. “The system that’s currently working is broken. Even the UN Special Rapporteur recognized that things are worse than they’ve ever been on reserve in terms of services that people are getting.”At the same time Aboriginal Affairs was trying to implement this new funding scheme for social assistance in 2011, Canada’s Auditor General reviewed programs for First Nations on reserve and found a “lack of appropriate funding mechanisms,” a “lack of clarity about service levels,” and a “lack of a legislative base.”That gives Aboriginal Affairs a lot of leeway to make unilateral decisions.“It creates this kind area where AANDC can go in and make decisions and there’s no oversight by parliament and other bodies,” said Metallic. “Right now, there’s barely any boundaries provided by law. So that’s what we’re asking the court to do.”troache@aptn.ca@trinaroachelast_img read more

Vancouver holds vigil for Fentanyl victims

first_imgLaurie Hamelin APTN National NewsVancouver has been the hardest Canadian city to be hit by the Fentanyl crisis.Hundreds of people have died from the lethal drug leaving hundreds more—family, friends and first responders—reeling in the aftermath.The community came together for a special vigil.lhamelin@aptn.calast_img

FSIN chief shows support for Saskatchewan legislature teepee protest

first_imgThe Canadian PressThe organization that represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan says it supports a decision by a group of protesters not to remove their teepees from the grounds of the provincial legislature.On Monday the protesters met with a group of cabinet ministers to discuss concerns about racial injustice and the disproportionate number of First Nations children apprehended by child-welfare workers.On Tuesday, Justice Minister Don Morgan said he won’t consider a second meeting with the protest camp until the teepees are taken down.The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it will support the protesters any way it.Federation Chief Bobby Cameron says the organization is happy and humbled about what the camp is trying to achieve.Cameron says he doesn’t see the teepees leaving any time soon.“We’ll sit together with our people here, in a circle, and they’ll decide when and if the teepees will come down,” Cameron said Thursday.He says there is a lot of work still ahead to make systematic changes to the justice and social services systems.Last week, Premier Scott Moe backed calls for Regina police to remove the protest teepees.Regina police have said there has been no need for them to step in.last_img read more

Police looking for help in BC slaying

first_imgEditor’s Note: The funeral is scheduled for Tues., Sept 25 at 1 p.m. at St. Joseph Church in Smithers, B.C. Incorrect information appeared below and has been corrected.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsRCMP in Smithers, B.C. are seeking tips from the public on the killing of Jessica Patrick.Police confirmed Friday her body was found Sept. 15 on Hudson Bay Mountain Road outside the northern logging community.A memorial for the 18-year-old member of Lake Babine First Nation was being held Saturday.Police said they are working with the B.C. Coroners Service to determine how she died.“Many people, including friends and family, have come forward and provided information to help the RCMP with the investigation,” Sgt. Darren Durnin said in a release Friday.“Others have come forward knowing it was the right thing to do for Jessica, her family, and the community. Thank-you to all those people who care about Jessica, and want to do the right thing.”Read more: Red to honour woman on Highway of TearsPolice had been looking for Patrick after her family reported her missing Sept. 3.They said she was seen leaving the Mountain View Motel in Smithers early on the morning of Aug. 31.Local RCMP said their search efforts were bolstered by members of the Major Crime Unit, who have since taken over the investigation.“The missing person investigation transitioned to a criminal investigation,” Durnin said in the release.“The investigative team has obtained numerous court orders in an effort to secure all relevant evidence.”Durnin said a group of community searchers discovered the body about 15 metres down a steep bank.“Those people quickly called the RCMP and protected the scene. Their efforts and actions are commendable,” he added.Anyone with information can reach Smithers RCMP at 1-250-847-3233 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more

Time is tight Indigenous child welfare legislation stalled due to complaints from

first_imgFormer Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announces Canada’s plan to co-develop new child welfare legislation, as national Indigenous leaders look on. APTN file photo.Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsThe Trudeau government is facing opposition from First Nations across the country on a draft of its child welfare legislation according to the grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.Joel Abram said a draft of the proposed legislation was shared with a working group of First Nations about a week and a half ago.The next day the Trudeau government was told it wasn’t good enough and Abram said it looks to be more of a “feel good” bill.“We are all pretty clear on two parts,” said Abram Wednesday morning. “One is the jurisdiction and the other is having the funding fully legislated in there.”He couldn’t discuss details of the draft bill, however its intent is to hand over jurisdiction to First Nations and Abram said it falls short of that.“We are encouraging the government to let go of the wheel,” said Abram. “There’s nothing in there that is going to compel the government to fund (First Nations).”But since offering its complaints, Abram said they haven’t seen another draft and don’t expect to until it’s tabled in the House of Commons.They’ve been given a drop dead date of Feb. 18 for the bill to be tabled and still have time to reach royal assent. News of the complaints from First Nations was first reported by CBC Wednesday morning.“I hope it is not dead,” said Cindy Blackstock, who also got to see a draft of the bill based on her Canadian Human Rights Tribunal action that continues to fight for equal rights for First Nations children.“I hope it has the affirmation of self-determination and statutory base for substantively equitable funding included when it is released. We will have to see but I agree time is tight.”Talks between the government and leadership continues said Abram.Abram was trying to reach the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday and Minister Seamus O’Regan was supposed to be talking to Ontario regional chief RoseAnne Archibald.He also said they thought the bill was going to be announced yesterday with the Indigenous Languages Act.A spokesperson with Indigenous Services Canada says the bill will be tabled shortly.“We are working diligently so that we can introduce Indigenous child and family services legislation shortly. However, we must also ensure that critical feedback from partners is incorporated.“This is important, and we want to make sure we get it right.”The legislation was first announced at a media conference in late November. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then said in December to expect it in late January.It’s not known when the bill will be tabled.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

WilsonRaybould says she put justice ahead of politics in SNCLavalin affair

first_imgJustin BrakeAPTN NewsJody Wilson-Raybould says her experiences as an Indigenous person and the values she was raised with are what drove her to challenge the highest echelons of power in Canada over the SNC-Lavalin case.“The history of Crown-Indigenous relations in this country includes a history of the rule of law not being respected,” she said.The former justice minister and attorney general testified Wednesday that she came under relentless pressure — including veiled threats — from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his senior staff, the top public servant and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office to halt a criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.And she says she believes she was shuffled out of the prestigious justice portfolio to veterans affairs in January because she refused to give in to it.Wilson-Raybould made the stunning and detailed accusations in testimony Wednesday before the House of Commons justice committee, breaking three weeks of silence on the affair that has rocked the government, prompting her resignation from cabinet and the departure of Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s most trusted adviser.Read: Opening Statement of Jody Wilson-Raybould Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, speaking immediately after Wilson-Raybould’s testimony finished, said Trudeau had lost the moral authority to govern the country and should resign.He also called for a police investigation of Wilson-Raybould’s claims.NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said Trudeau “may need to resign,” but focused his message on reiterating his party’s call for a public inquiry, which he says would shine more light on the controversy.Speaking at an event in St. Hubert, Que. Wednesday evening, Trudeau denied any wrongdoing.“I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I and my staff have always acted appropriately and professionally. I therefore completely disagree with the former attorney general’s characterization of events.”Pressed by reporters on details contained in Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Trudeau said he had not yet had a chance to listen to it in its entirety.(Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to resign. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)Wilson-Raybould told the committee she was “hounded” to end the prosecution for months after the director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, had rejected the idea of negotiating a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin and long after she had unequivocally declared that she would not direct Roussel to reverse her decision.“For a period of approximately four months, between September and December of 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada,” she told the committee.Nevertheless, Wilson-Raybould said she didn’t consider resigning at the time and didn’t directly raise her concerns with Trudeau after Sept. 17, when she first informed him that she believed it would be inappropriate for her to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin matter.She said she didn’t speak directly to Trudeau about SNC-Lavalin again until Jan. 7, when he informed her he was about to move her out of the justice portfolio and she suggested the move was the result of her refusal to intervene in the prosecution, which he denied.She accepted a move to veterans affairs on Jan. 14 and did not resign from cabinet until Feb. 11, five days after an anonymously sourced allegation that she’d been improperly pressured first surfaced in the Globe and Mail.“At the time, I did not see it as my responsibility to resign. I saw myself as the attorney general of the country who was doing her job to ensure and uphold the independence of the prosecutor and uphold the integrity of the justice system and the rule of law.’’After she was moved out of that role, Wilson-Raybould said she would have resigned immediately had her successor in the justice portfolio, David Lametti, issued a directive to Roussel to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin — which the attorney general is lawfully entitled to do, as long as that the directive is published in the official record of government decisions, the Canada Gazette.Trudeau has said there were vigorous discussions within government about the SNC-Lavalin case but that he repeatedly assured Wilson-Raybould that a decision on intervening to halt the prosecution was hers alone.She disputed that version of events, saying Trudeau only offered some vague assurance after she confronted him directly at the Sept. 17 meeting, two weeks after Roussel had decided not to consider a remediation agreement.“The prime minister asked me to help out, to find a solution here for SNC, citing that if there was no [remediation agreement] there would be many jobs lost and that SNC would move from Montreal,” Wilson-Raybould said.(NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for a public inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin affair. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)She said she explained the law to Trudeau and told him she “had made up my mind” to not intervene with Roussel.But she said Trudeau and Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick continued to express concerns, with Wernick noting that Quebec was holding an election in a couple of weeks and Trudeau stressing that he is himself a Quebec MP.“I was quite taken aback,” she said, adding that she looked Trudeau in the eye and asked, “Are you politically interfering with my role, my decision as the attorney general? … The prime minister said, ‘No, no, no, we just need to find a solution.’”Wilson-Raybould detailed instances of what she considered inappropriate pressure by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s chief of staff and others but said the pressure campaign escalated over the fall, even after SNC-Lavalin went to court to challenge Roussel’s rejection of a remediation agreement.Her chief of staff, Jessica Prince, was eventually summoned to an urgent Dec. 18 meeting with Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, and his principal secretary, Gerald Butts.Citing text messages from Prince sent to her immediately after the meeting, Wilson-Raybould said the prime minister’s top two aides wanted her to hire an external legal expert, possibly a retired Supreme Court justice, to give an opinion on the appropriateness of directing Roussel to reverse her decision on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution.When Prince suggested that would be interference, Butts purportedly said, “Jess, there is no solution here that does not involve some interference.”Telford said an external legal opinion would give the government “cover” and allow Trudeau to say he was doing something. She also offered to line up op-eds in the media supporting a decision to intervene in the prosecution, according to the texts.But the most egregious pressure came the following day, on Dec. 19, when Wilson-Raybould said she received what she deemed to be three “veiled threats” that she could lose her job from the clerk of the Privy Council, Wernick.The country’s top civil servant last week told the committee he believes there was no improper pressure applied to Wilson-Raybould by him or anyone else.According to Wilson-Raybould, Wernick told her that Trudeau wanted to know why SNC-Lavalin was not being offered a remediation agreement, a kind of plea bargain that would allow the company to avoid the potentially crippling impact of a criminal conviction.He told her that the prime minister was “going to find a way to get it done one way or the other” and that it was not good for the attorney general to be “at loggerheads” with the prime minister.(Jody Wilson-Raybould leaves the committee after testifying for nearly four hours. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)In all, Wilson-Raybould said pressure was exerted on her or her staff by 11 people through approximately 10 phone calls, 10 meetings and numerous emails and text messages.They repeatedly raised concerns about the risks to SNC-Lavalin’s viability if it were convicted of corruption and fraud in relation to work it sought in Libya.Moreover, she said they were worried that the company might decide to move its operations out of Quebec, affecting last fall’s provincial election in Quebec and potentially hurting more Liberals in the province, including Trudeau, in the coming federal election this fall.She said she was told repeatedly the decision was up to her, but attempts to talk her into a remediation agreement were relentless.Concluding her half hour opening statement, Wilson-Raybould said her understanding of the rule of law has been shaped by her experiences as an Indigenous person.“Indeed, one of the main reasons for the urgent need for justice and reconciliation today is that in the history of our country we have not always upheld foundational values, such as the rule of law, in relations to Indigenous peoples. And I have seen the negative impacts for freedom, equality and a just society this can have first hand.“I was taught to always be careful of what you say, because you cannot take it back,” she continued. “And I was taught to always hold true to your core values and principles and to act with integrity. These are the teachings of my parents, grandparents and community.“I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller in accordance with the laws and traditions of our Big House.“This is who I am and who I will always be.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenews-with files from the Canadian Presslast_img read more

BC Minister of Mental Health takes a walk through Vancouvers Downtown Eastside

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsVancouver’s Downtown Eastside has been called ground zero in Canada’s opioid crisis.APTN News went on a walk through the neighbourhood with Judy Darcy, the minister of Mental Health and Addiction in British Columbia.That’s where she found out first hand the challenges faced by those on the streets and on the front lines.“We are not going to rest until we turn the tide on this terrible crisis and that means we are using every tool in the toolbox,” said Darcy. “We are adding tools to the toolbox every single day whether thats drug checking overdose prevention sites connecting people to treatment and recovery programs as soon as possible.“There isn’t one single magic solution its about pouring it on and really working with the 1000’s of people on the front line who are really doing all the heroic work.”thouse@aptn.ca@inthehouse7last_img read more

Make sure you do something youth who presented final MMIWG report to

first_imgabernard@aptn.ca@AbernardNews Amber BernardAPTN NewsWhen an Anishinabe woman was on a stage with the prime minister Monday she gave Justin Trudeau some advice.“I said, ‘This is your baby now, this was our baby. Take care of her’,” Shailla Manitowabie-Cooke recalled Tuesday“Make sure you do something.”Manitowabie-Cooke, of the Wikwemikong First Nation in northern Ontario, was part of the closing ceremony of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.She and a young man accepted the report – bundled in a special Indigenous bag and blessed with traditional medicines – from its four commissioners and handed it to Canada via the prime minister.Among the 231 findings in its 1,200 pages is that genocide in the form of continuing colonialism is to blame for the disappearances and deaths of thousands of Indigenous women and girls.(Shailla Manitowabie-Cooke wants the prime minister “do something” about violence against Indigenous women and girls. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)Among its recommendations the final report also calls on Canadians to do something.It says they should “confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.”Manitowabie-Cooke agrees.“If you see it, and you see a woman getting abused, definitely speak up,” she said, “because a lot of the time nobody does anything.“This has to change, it has to stop.”The prime minister pledged to implement a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.But Manitowabie-Cooke, who described the commissioners as “her heroes”, hopes he does more before the election campaign in the fall.“We don’t have a lot of hope with the Conservatives, so I’m hoping the Liberals will do something,” she said.“I know we have three more months before the election. I’m hoping he’s able to make some change during that time.”When asked if the prime minister agreed to do something, Manitowabie-Cooke said he replied:  ‘We will, together,’” she told APTN News.last_img read more

ATB Financial CEO retiring after leading Crown corp for 11 years

first_imgCALGARY – ATB Financial president and CEO Dave Mowat is retiring at the end of June after 11 years as head of the Alberta Crown corporation.The bank says it is starting a search for a replacement and will announce Mowat’s successor in May.Mowat, 62, led the bank through the 2008-09 financial crisis as well as the oil price downturn that took hold in 2015 and leaves as the economy shows signs of recovery.Over Mowat’s tenure, the bank’s assets climbed from $20.3 billion in 2007 to $49.6 billion as of last September, while total operating revenue went from $751 million to a last reporting of $1.5 billion.He also headed the review of the province’s royalty regime initiated by the Alberta NDP government that left the existing system largely in place.Mowat says that after a decade of leading the bank, it’s time for a new leader to infuse the company with new ideas and approaches.last_img read more

BC set to introduce pot laws but years of fine tuning likely

first_imgVICTORIA – Incoming marijuana legislation heralds momentous change for the approach to pot, but British Columbia Premier John Horgan questions if everyone will buy into the new legal system this summer.Legislation regulating recreational marijuana in B.C. is expected to be introduced Thursday. The province is one of the last in Canada to table its marijuana rules as the country adapts to legalized pot.Horgan said he expects the country to go through an extensive marijuana learning curve that will see some embracing the ability to purchase pot legally at private or government stores while others may stick to illegal suppliers.“This is a massive change in how the people of B.C. and the people of Canada, in this case, interact with what has been to this point in time a controlled substance,” said Horgan.He said he expects the government will have to amend and modify its regulations as people get used to the new legal marijuana market.Horgan said he’s curious to see if people accept the new regulations and buy from government-sanctioned suppliers or if they continue to seek out local dealers, making a reference to a fictional character who sells pot named Betty.He said some people may say “I’d prefer to support Betty rather than Shoppers Drug Mart or the dispensary X or Y. There are going to be people who hold fast to their traditional ways.”Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the province’s legislation will not be set in stone.“This is not something that is going to end with the introduction and passage of legislation, but rather is going to be an ongoing evolutionary issue for quite some time to come,” he said.Farnworth said the marijuana regulations will require periods of fine tuning.The B.C. government has already announced that marijuana sales will be allowed through both public and private stores to buyers who are at least 19 years old. Retailers will be prohibited from selling marijuana in stores that also sell alcohol and cigarettes.Farnworth said the legislation in B.C. will not include a definitive pricing policy.last_img read more

Minnesota approves Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline project

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota regulators on Thursday approved Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline, angering opponents who say the project threatens pristine areas and have vowed Standing Rock-style protests if needed to block it.All five members of the Public Utilities Commission backed the project, though some cited heavy trepidation, and a narrow majority later approved the company’s preferred route despite opposition from American Indian tribes and climate change activists.Several commissioners cited the deteriorating condition of the existing line , which was built in the 1960s, as a major factor in their decision.“It’s irrefutable that that pipeline is an accident waiting to happen,” Commissioner Dan Lipschultz said ahead of the vote. “It feels like a gun to our head … All I can say is the gun is real and it’s loaded.”Pipeline opponents reacted angrily when it became clear commissioners would approve the project. Tania Aubid, a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, stood and shouted, “You have just declared war on the Ojibwe!” Brent Murcia, of the group Youth Climate Intervenors, added: “We will not let this stand.”Opponents argue that the pipeline risks spills in fragile areas in northern Minnesota, including where American Indians harvest wild rice. Ojibwe Indians, or Anishinaabe, consider wild rice sacred and central to their culture.Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, said opponents would use every regulatory means possible to stop the project — and threatened mass protests if necessary.“They have gotten their Standing Rock,” she said, referring to protests that drew thousands of people to neighbouring North Dakota to rally against the Dakota Access pipeline.Others welcomed Thursday’s vote, including Bob Schoneberger, founder of Minnesotans for Line 3. He said Minnesota needs the line now “and will need it even more into the future.”In a statement Thursday night, Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco said the company is “pleased” with the commission’s decision.“Replacing Line 3 is first and foremost about the safety and integrity of this critical energy infrastructure,” Monaco said.After commissioners agreed the pipeline upgrade was needed, the commission voted 3-2 in favour of a slightly modified version of Enbridge’s preferred route. The company wanted to depart from the existing pipeline to largely avoid two American Indian reservations currently crossed.The PUC’s modification does clip a portion of the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa’s land in order to avoid going close to a culturally sensitive lake. Commissioners said they would adjust the route if the band doesn’t agree.Tribal lawyers had reluctantly backed an alternative route that went much farther south as the least bad option.After the commission’s work is formalized in the next few weeks, opponents may file motions asking it to reconsider. After that, they can appeal the decision to the state Court of Appeals.Several commissioners said the issue was difficult. Chairwoman Nancy Lange choked up and took off her glasses to wipe her eyes as she described her reasoning for approving the project. Another commissioner, Katie Sieben, said it was “so tough because there is no good outcome.”The pipeline currently runs from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge has said it needs to replace the pipeline because it’s increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking, and that it would continue to run Line 3 if regulators rejected its proposal.Much of the debate has focused on whether Minnesota and Midwest refineries need the extra oil. Enbridge currently runs Line 3 at about half its original capacity of 760,000 barrels per day for safety reasons, and currently uses it only to carry light crude.The project’s opponents, including the Minnesota Department of Commerce, have argued that the refineries don’t need it because demand for oil and petroleum products will fall in the coming years as people switch to electric cars and renewable energy sources. Opposition groups also argue that much of the additional oil would eventually flow to overseas buyers.Enbridge and its customers strongly dispute the lack of need in the region . They said Line 3’s reduced capacity is already forcing the company to severely ration space on its pipeline network, and that failure to restore its capacity would force oil shippers to rely more on trains and trucks, which are more expensive and less safe. Business and labour groups support the proposal for the jobs and economic stimulus.The Public Utilities Commission’s decision likely won’t be the final word in a long, contentious process that has included numerous public hearings and the filings of thousands of pages of documents since 2015. Lange said earlier this year that the dispute was likely to end up in court, regardless of what the commission decides.Opponents have threatened a repeat of the protests on the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access pipeline, in which Enbridge owns a stake. Those protests in 2016 and 2017 resulted in sometimes violent skirmishes with law enforcement and more than 700 arrests.Enbridge has already replaced the short segment of Line 3 in Wisconsin and put it into service. Construction is underway on the short segment that crosses northeastern North Dakota and on the longer section from Alberta to the U.S. border, and Enbridge plans to continue that work. Enbridge has estimated the overall cost of the project at $7.5 billion, including $2.6 billion for the U.S. segment.___For the latest developments on this story: https://bit.ly/2yReJI7last_img read more