Nova Scotia is adopting changes to the National Building Code, which include increasing the maximum height of wooden residential buildings from four to six storeys. The Fire Safety Act and Regulations will also be changed to enhance safety requirements for the taller wood buildings. “These changes will align the provincial building code with the latest National Building Code standards,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Allowing taller wooden buildings will open up new, sustainable opportunities for the forestry sector in our province.” The province is also updating its own accessibility regulations to improve barrier-free provisions in washrooms, requirements for power door operators and barrier-free paths of travel. “Nova Scotia’s accessibility requirements are stricter than the ones in the National Building Code,” said Mr. Churchill. “I want to thank the disability community for their feedback on the building code changes, which will improve barrier-free design in our province.” The changes will come into effect on April 1. The province consulted on building code changes with representatives of persons with disabilities, the construction industry, building officials, and other industry groups. It was a complementary process to the ongoing Accessibility Act consultations. For more information on the regulations, visit https://novascotia.ca/dma/firesafety/BuildingCode/.
« Alors que nous nous préparons en vue de la légalisation du cannabis, notre principale priorité est la santé et la sécurité des Néo-Écossais, plus particulièrement celle des enfants et des jeunes, affirme Mark Furey, ministre de la Justice et procureur général. Les décisions stratégiques annoncées aujourd’hui, et celles qui sont à venir, ont été grandement influencées par les commentaires que nous avons reçus dans le cadre de notre consultation approfondie, ainsi que par l’expérience d’autres gouvernements. » L’âge légal de 19 ans en Nouvelle-Écosse est le même qu’à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador et au Nouveau-Brunswick. Toutes les provinces qui ont annoncé l’âge légal pour la consommation de cannabis, à l’exception du Manitoba, ont choisi de le faire correspondre à l’âge légal pour la consommation d’alcool. « La Société des alcools a l’expérience et l’expertise nécessaires pour distribuer et vendre des produits réglementés comme l’alcool, et maintenant le cannabis, d’une façon responsable sur le plan social, souligne M. Furey. Nous sommes d’avis que la Société des alcools est la mieux placée pour vendre le cannabis, pour éviter que les jeunes s’en procurent et pour offrir le produit de façon légale, sécuritaire et réglementée. » Les renseignements détaillés sur la vente en ligne et les lieux de vente seront annoncés plus tard. Le gouvernement provincial prévoit faire des annonces supplémentaires au sujet de la légalisation du cannabis à mesure que les décisions finales seront prises. Il continuera d’évaluer les commentaires reçus dans le cadre des consultations pour l’élaboration future des plans et des stratégies. En octobre, le gouvernement provincial a mené des consultations publiques sur la légalisation du cannabis. Un rapport des résultats des consultations, qui résume les commentaires obtenus par les 31 000 sondages en ligne remplis, lors des rencontres avec les intervenants et dans les soumissions écrites, peut être consulté (en anglais seulement) au www.novascotia.ca/cannabis/fr. La loi fédérale établit les restrictions suivantes, qui sont acceptées par le gouvernement provincial : une personne peut posséder jusqu’à 30 grammes de cannabis; une limite de quatre plants de cannabis peuvent être cultivés par résidence; des sanctions pénales provinciales seront établies pour les jeunes qui possèdent jusqu’à cinq grammes de cannabis. l’âge légal pour l’utilisation, l’achat et la possession de cannabis sera de 19 ans; la distribution et la vente se feront en ligne ainsi que dans les magasins actuels de la Société des alcools de la Nouvelle-Écosse (NSLC). Le nombre de magasins n’a pas encore été déterminé. Après avoir consulté les Néo-Écossais, les experts en santé, les services de police, les municipalités et d’autres intervenants, le gouvernement provincial a annoncé, aujourd’hui 7 décembre, les décisions clés qui ont été prises concernant la légalisation du cannabis. Ces décisions font suite à la décision du gouvernement fédéral de légaliser le cannabis à usage récréatif d’ici juillet 2018. Les décisions stratégiques clés sont les suivantes :
Nova Scotia has had three years of positive growth in youth population after more than three decades of a trend that saw more youth leaving than coming to the province. “For the third year in a row, more young people came to Nova Scotia than left,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey. “We are pleased that this trend continues in the right direction and we will continue to monitor youth migration.” The figures are in a report by Statistics Canada. “I’m thrilled to see so many youth succeeding early in their careers,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “We continue to support programs that connect our young people to the workforce so they can live, work and thrive in Nova Scotia.” During 2017-18, 7,364 youth aged 15-34 came into the province, while 6,745 left. The under 14 age group is also a key driver of the total number of people moving between provinces. The province saw 2,587 children coming here versus 2,039 who left, for a gain of 558. Youth aged 26-35 were the biggest source of migration from other provinces with a gain of 657 people, when compared with all other 10-year age groups. Nova Scotia’s population was an estimated 959,942 as of July 1, 2018. This is a gain of 9,262 people compared to the estimate for July 1, 2017. This one per cent growth is the strongest in 34 years. For more information, visit https://novascotia.ca/finance/statistics/news.asp?id=14515 .
Kolkata: Mohun Bagan’s new Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna on Monday said his main focus is on building a “tactically” strong team which can easily adopt to attacking style of play. The former champions had a forgettable I-League season this year, losing to arch-rivals East Bengal twice and ended their campaign with a disappointing fifth place finish. With no clarity on the next I-League, there are speculations that Bagan would join the Indian Super League along with East Bengal and both the Kolkata giants are presently busy in team building. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”I would like to build a strong team tactically and also adopt an offensive style of play. We should be to control the tempo of the games,” the 47-year-old said in the club’s website. “More than the shapes we have to build our own style and model of play. I would like to have Mohun Bagan play good offensive football. This is our objective,” the UEFA Pro Licence holder said. Vicuna, who coached Poland First Division side ‘Ekstraklasa’ previously, is busy taking inputs from the club here and is also watching videos of Indian players to prepare himself for his new assignment. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”We are working with the club in order to get better players. I am watching the games from last season. I gave the club my opinion about the players and I gave suggestions about what we need to improve. I also gave the names of some Indian players who play in other teams. Also, I want to see the young players of Mohun Bagan youth teams,” he said. “I read a lot about Indian football. Last season there were a lot of Spanish players and coaches in this country. I had other possibilities but I felt that I had to take up this big challenge. “First we have to train the team and know the players’ abilities. Then, we have to meet them in order to know their strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to train individually with the players in order to help them to improve their quality. I also want to have a look at the young players of the club,” he added. Vicuna has roped in Tomasz Tchorz as his assistant. The duo had worked together at Wisla Plock in Poland. Ranjan Chowdhury will be Vicuna’s second deputy. The Mariners have retained eight players — Shankar Roy, Arijit Bagui, Sukhdev Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Gurjinder Kumar, Shilton D’Silva, Britto PM and Azharuddin Mallick. Vicuna’s first challenge will be the Calcutta Football League where Bagan ended arch-rivals East Bengal’s dominance to win the title after eight years. “We are going to prepare for Calcutta Football League as best as possible. We have to be ready to face everything. We are a professional team and we have to be prepared,” he said.
New Delhi: The Centre has refused to make public records containing deliberations on the appointment of four Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission, claiming it to be cabinet papers which cannot be made public before the final decision is arrived at.In response to an RTI application filed by activist Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra, the government has said 256 applications were received by it in response to its advertisement on January 4, 2019. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThere are seven Information Commissioners, including the chief, as against a sanctioned strength of 11. Over 30,000 cases are pending before the the commission, the highest adjudicating body in matters pertaining to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, according to government data. To Batra’s demand for the list of applicants, procedure of selection and inspection of file notings, the government said, “The information relating is exempted under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005. Since, the information in the file would be placed before the Committee of Secretaries and the process of selection of candidates is yet to be completed. It would not be conducive to allow inspection of files.” Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act cited by the government exempts disclosure of cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers. Batra also alleged the appointment process was not “transparent”. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsIn its January 4 advertisement inviting applications for the post of four vacant positions in the Central Information Commission, the government had said the “salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Information Commissioner shall be as may be specified at the time of appointment of the selected candidate”. On a petition filed by a group of activists, including Batra, the Supreme Court had on February 15 held that terms and conditions of appointment given in the RTI Act undoubtedly state that the CIC and Information Commissioners shall be appointed on the same terms and conditions as applicable to the Chief Election Commissioner/Election Commissioner. “At the same time, it would also be appropriate if the said terms and conditions on which such appointments are to be made are specifically stipulated in the advertisement and put on website as well,” the top court had said. The SC had also said it would also be appropriate for the Search Committee to make the criteria for short-listing the candidates, public, so that it is ensured that short-listing is done on the basis of objective and rational criteria.
Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party supremo and former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, on Wednesday wrote to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy requesting that the ‘Praja Vedika’ here be declared as ‘residence annex’ of the Leader of Opposition. The structure was built by the AP Capital Region Development Authority to be used essentially for official meetings by the Chief Minister. “Post Assembly elections 2019, following my demitting the CM office, I have decided to retain the same private house as per the agreed terms and conditions of the property owner. Since the Praja Vedika is located beside my existing residence, I am planning to retain it for my official use. As you are aware, I have been chosen as the leader of Telugu Desam Legislature Party to discharge my responsibilities as leader of the opposition,” Naidu pointed out in his first formal letter to the chief minister.
NEW DELHI: The power demand in Delhi broke all previous records, touching a peak of 7,241 MW on Monday afternoon as sweltering heat continued unabated in the national capital. Delhi saw highest power demand ever at 3.29 PM. It broke the previous record of 7,016 MW demand on July 10, 2018, said a BSES spokesperson.”Delhi’s peak power demand during the summers of 2019 may clock 7,400 MW, an increase of over 250 per cent over the peak power demand of 2,879 MW in 2002,” he said. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsPower in Delhi is supplied by three distribution companies — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), and BSES discoms BYPL and BRPL. “The TPDDL successfully met the record peak power demand of 2,014 MW without any network constraint and power outage as Delhi touched a record high of 7,241 MW on Monday,” said a TPDDL spokesperson. The BSES discoms, BRPL and BYPL, “successfully” met all-time high peak power demands of 3,132 MW and 1,629 MW in their respective areas. Last year, peak power demand had clocked 3,081 MW and 1,561 MW in their respective areas, said the BSES spokesperson. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe TPDDL expects the peak power demand in North and North West Delhi areas supplied by it to cross 2,250-MW mark in the coming days. “We have made adequate arrangements of up to 2,500 MW power, along with contingency planning through long-term tie-ups and power banking arrangements, and upgraded network to ensure regular supply,” said Sanjay Banga, CEO of TPDDL. Delhi’s peak power demand is more than the power demand of Mumbai and Chennai put together, and thrice than that of Kolkata, said the discom spokesperson. Extensive use of air conditioners is the main reason behind the increase in Delhi’s power load, the officials said. In fact, according to estimates, almost around 50 percent of Delhi’s power demand in summers is because of the cooling load involving air conditioners, coolers and fans, they said. The BSES spokesperson said arrangements have been firmed up by its discoms to source adequate electricity to meet the power demand of over 42 lakhs consumers in its areas.
The Union Budget compliments the expectation of steel industry and other related industries. SAIL is completely geared up to cater to every requirement of governments roadmap to reform, perform and transform India. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is committed to fulfil the expectations of Indians as it has been doing for the last sixty years. For a country headed towards $5 trillion economy in next five years, the budget is very structured for moving towards that target. Clear emphasis has been laid on the infrastructure development along with massive push to every connectivity avenue including industrial corridors, dedicated freight corridors, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, UDAN and PMGSY. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep The government’s commitment in budget to provide electricity, housing for all under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin, availability of water and LPG connections, focus on development of urban housing under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Shahari, etc. are all very positive and hold excellent promise for the steel industry. The budget also proposes investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in augmenting Railways infrastructure by 2030 as well as substantial investment for roadways upgradation and connectivity. The government’s emphasis on investing Rs 20 lakh crore every year in infrastructure development will certainly help in increasing the steel consumption and will facilitate the growth of domestic steel industry.
NEW DELHI: A section in the Congress wants a young leader to take over from Rahul Gandhi. However, on Sunday, two of the grand old party’s brightest leaders put in their papers.Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from his post over party’s crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. His resignation came barely hours after party’s Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora stepped down after meeting Rahul Gandhi, who has also quit as the Congress chief. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu”Accepting the people’s verdict and taking accountability, I had submitted my resignation as General Secretary of AICC to Shri Rahul Gandhi,” Scindia tweeted. “I thank him for entrusting me with this responsibility and for giving me the opportunity to serve our party,” he added. Before the national elections, Gandhi had appointed Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as in-charges for Uttar Pradesh to resurrect the party in the state that sends the most number of MPs to parliament. The Congress, however, could win only one seat, with BJP winning 62 out of 80 seats in the state. In a huge setback to the Congress, Gandhi was humbled in his family bastion Amethi. Overall, the Congress won only 52 of 543 Lok Sabha seats. Taking responsibility for the loss, Rahul Gandhi had quit as party president on May 25. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoCEarlier this week, he shared an open letter on Twitter, listing reasons to quit from the top post. “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019,” he wrote, adding that it would be “unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as president of the party.” Gandhi had also made it clear that he would take no part in the selection of his successor. P5
Jammu: The Pakistan Army on Friday violated ceasefire by firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in three sectors of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri and Poonch districts, drawing befitting retaliation from Indian troops, a defence PRO said. “At about 0800 hours today, Pak army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation with firing of small arms & later shelling with mortars along LoC in Mankote, Krishna Ghati sectors of Poonch district and Nowshera sector of Rajouri district@, Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) told PTI. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The Indian Army is retaliating beffitingly, he said, adding that there was no casualty or injury to anyone in the firing and shelling. Pakistan troops also targeted civilian areas in Mankote area triggering fear psychosis among them, the officials said. It may be recalled that Pakistan army resorted to firing and shelling of mortars along LoC in Nowshera Sector in Rajouri district last Friday. The Indian Army reported 1,248 cases of ceasefire violations (CFVs) and four casualties along the Line of Control this year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said that January saw 203 cases of CFVs, followed by 215 in February. There were 267 cases of CFVs in March and the army reported three casualties, he said. April and May reported 234 and 221 cases of CFVs, respectively. June recorded 108 cases of CFVs with one battle casualty. Appropriate retaliation to the ceasefire violations, as required, has been carried out by the Indian Army, Singh said.
Washington: The Department of Homeland Security issued a security alert Tuesday for small planes, warning that modern flight systems are vulnerable to hacking if someone manages to gain physical access to the aircraft. An alert from the DHS critical infrastructure computer emergency response team recommends that plane owners ensure they restrict unauthorized physical access to their aircraft until the industry develops safeguards to address the issue, which was discovered by a Boston-based cybersecurity company and reported to the federal government. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMost airports have security in place to restrict unauthorized access and there is no evidence that anyone has exploited the vulnerability. But a DHS official told The Associated Press that the agency independently confirmed the security flaw with outside partners and a national research laboratory, and decided it was necessary to issue the warning. The cybersecurity firm, Rapid7, found that an attacker could potentially disrupt electronic messages transmitted across a small plane’s network, for example by attaching a small device to its wiring, that would affect aircraft systems.Engine readings, compass data, altitude and other readings “could all be manipulated to provide false measurements to the pilot,” according to the DHS alert. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe warning reflects the fact that aircraft systems are increasingly reliant on networked communications systems, much like modern cars. The auto industry has already taken steps to address similar concerns after researchers exposed vulnerabilities. The Rapid7 report focused only on small aircraft because their systems are easier for researchers to acquire. Large aircraft frequently use more complex systems and must meet additional security requirements. The DHS alert does not apply to older small planes with mechanical control systems. But Patrick Kiley, Rapid7’s lead researcher on the issue, said an attacker could exploit the vulnerability with access to a plane or by bypassing airport security. “Someone with five minutes and a set of lock picks can gain access (or) there’s easily access through the engine compartment,” Kiley said. Jeffrey Troy, president of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an industry organization for cybersecurity information, said there is a need to improve the security in networked operating systems but emphasized that the hack depends on bypassing physical security controls mandated by law.
NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party said the Indian economy has officially entered an economic slowdown zone. “We have now officially entered economic slowdown. From falling GDP, massive job losses, to the automobile industry dangerously close to recession — the mess seems to be everywhere. But is the governmentwilling to even acknowledge the problem?,” asked AAP leader Raghav Chadha. The party’s national spokesperson said the slump is not just about numbers but “a felt reality”. Highlighting that 286 dealerships have been closed down in the past 18 months, he said the negative impact can be seen on tyre, steel, steering and manufacturing industries. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe said 15,000 people lost their jobs in the industry over the past three months and that Honda had laid off 700 workers at their manufacturing plant in Haryana. “As the automobile sector slows down, the ripple effect is felt across the automobile component industry,” he added. He also said there are warning signs that if the situation persists, there will be job losses to the tune of 10 lakhs in automobile component manufacturers industry alone. Speaking about the housing sector, he said as per the latest numbers, India’s top 30 cities had 1.28 million unsold housing units, witnessing a steep rise from March 2018 figures, revealing that “Indians are not buying houses at the pace at which they are built”. “When real estate slows down, many other sectors such as steel, cement, furnishings, paints and others do badly too,” Chadha said. A Chartered Accountant by profession, the AAP leader said not just manufacturing, even the services sector is decelerating. “Banks’ credit data shows that tourism, hotel and restaurants, transport, computer software, shipping and commercial real estate are down. Service sector which contributes more than 50 per cent to GDP mirrors the general slowdown,” he said. He said even as the government claims of taking India to a $5 trillion economy, India has slipped from 5th place to the 7th in World Bank’s Global GDP rankings.
Kolkata: Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), with the assistance of Kolkata Police, has been able to take possession of a land measuring 21,570 square metre at Sonai Road near Garden Reach after a long legal battle. Theplot of land was under unauthorised occupation of Ms G Q Mondal and was being used illegally for keeping containers. “Our legal department has filed a petition in Calcutta High Court through a noted solicitor firm praying for eviction of the unauthorised occupants. The high court has recently passed the order so that we can take possession of the land within 15 days,” a senior official of KoPT said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaKolkata Police has provided active support to the port authorities. Some unauthorised people who were trying to disturb the law and order situation were controlled by police. Some were arrested as well. An eviction order under Public Premises Act was issued earlier on September 2014 and attempts were made by KoPT to take over possession. But it failed due to hindrance caused by unauthorised occupants. There were outstanding dues to KoPT to the tune of more than Rs 17 crore. The KoPT authorities had also tried to take possession with the help of police, but the efforts failed again. “Our land and legal department will continue its drive to get back the possession of land from unauthorised occupants,” the official added.
Tehran: Iran has jailed two people including a British dual national for 10 years for spying for Israel and another two years for receiving illegal payments, the judiciary said Tuesday. Anousheh Ashouri, a woman with British and Iranian citizenship, got 10 years in prison for feeding information to Israel’s Mossad spy agency, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said. She was also handed a two-year prison sentence for receiving 33,000 euros ( 36,600) in illicit funds from Israel and ordered to pay the same amount in fines. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAli Johari, an Iranian national, got 10 years for various espionage offences, including “widespread connections with Mossad… and meeting with various elements linked to the Zionists,” Esmaili said, quoted by the judiciary’s website. Johari had been in contact with operatives in India, Laos and Sri Lanka, among other countries, and also travelled to “occupied lands”, the judiciary added. He had been in the process of “getting citizenship from this country”, said Esmaili, in apparent reference to Israel. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsJohari also received two years for accepting illicit funds and was ordered to pay that unspecified amount in fines, said Esmaili. Ashouri is the latest Iranian national with a Western passport to be detained in Iran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian project manager with Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been held in Tehran since 2016 on sedition charges, a case that has caused major tensions with the United Kingdom. Other Iranian dual nationals jailed in Iran include Iranian-American Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, who are serving 10-year sentences for espionage in a case that has outraged Washington.
Seoul: China reasserted its backing for North Korea on Tuesday as its foreign minister visited Pyongyang, vowing to maintain “close communication” with its longstanding ally in the face of deadlocked nuclear talks with Washington. Beijing has long been North Korea’s key diplomatic backer and main provider of trade and aid, and while ties deteriorated over Pyongyang’s nuclear provocations and China’s subsequent backing of UN sanctions, the two have since worked to repair their relationship. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSince March 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have met five times, with Xi seeking to weigh in on Pyongyang’s diplomacy with Washington. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi arrived in Pyongyang on a three-day trip on Monday, just two months after Xi became the first Chinese leader to visit the North in 14 years. Wang told his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho that Beijing was ready “to promote… close communication and cooperation on the international stage”, China’s foreign ministry said Tuesday. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsReflecting on their 70 years of alliance, Wang noted that Beijing and Pyongyang have “always been in the same boat and moving forward side by side”, it said in a statement. Ri said that North Korea is willing to work with China to “promote greater development” of their relations in the “new era”, according to the document. Pyongyang and Washington are engaged in a long-running diplomatic process over the North’s nuclear programmes although little progress has been made. Those talks have been deadlocked after a second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump collapsed in Hanoi in February with the two unable to reach a deal on sanctions relief and what the North might give up in return. They agree to restart talks at an impromptu meeting in the Demilitarized Zone in June, but that working-level dialogue has yet to begin. China always prefers stability in its neighbourhood and officially supports talks between the North and the US. But Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said Wang’s visit “will raise concerns about their coordinating economic cooperation despite UN sanctions”. “Beijing and Pyongyang may also strategise how to exploit widening divisions between Seoul and Tokyo and how to play the US election cycle,” he added, but stressed that North Korea wanted to avoid over-reliance on China. “Despite signs of camaraderie, Kim isn’t choosing sides, he’s playing everyone off each other,” he said.
TORONTO – A service dog named Princess has been reunited with her owner after being taken and missing for almost 20 hours in Toronto.Police say the dog was found three kilometres from where she was last seen around 2 a.m. on Sunday.Ashley-Victoria Martineau, 28, left her teacup chihuahua tied to a railing in front of a McDonald’s when she stopped in to the fast-food chain.Martineau said she thought she would be in and out quickly, and that she’s had trouble trying to bring her dog into restaurants in the past.When she came back outside after about ten minutes, her dog was gone.Police say residents found Princess after the dog wandered onto their patio and then called an animal shelter, which then realized it was the missing chihuahua and arranged with police to have Martineau pick it up.Princess is a registered service animal, Martineau said, which she adopted five years ago when she found it on the street in the city’s east end.“One day I was in tears and she came up to me, cuddled, sat on my lap, and gave me kisses,” says Martineau, who relies on Princess to cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. “There’s so many ways (she helps) that it’s not easy to explain.”
WASHINGTON – The federal payout to Omar Khadr was a big story in some conservative U.S. media outlets Monday, after nearly two weeks in which it had garnered barely a whisper south of the border.It was the subject of a condemnatory national newspaper column, the top story on the Fox News website, fodder for cable-news chatter on Fox and a huge surge in interest by Americans online.“This story is repulsive,” said a Fox News host. To which former pizza entrepreneur and presidential candidate Herman Cain replied: “It is a pathetic interpretation of the law. Canada basically rewarded a murderer.”The burst of attention started with a Wall Street Journal piece by a Canadian opposition MP.Conservative Peter Kent published a scorching op-ed titled, “A Terrorist’s Big Payday, Courtesy of Trudeau,” that helped the story gain traction elsewhere.The item began with a description of Khadr killing an American army medic, Christopher Speer, when he was 15 years old and fighting alongside al-Qaida in Afghanistan. It explained how Khadr won a court fight in Canada over how he was treated by Canadian intelligence officials while detained at Guantanamo Bay, was repatriated to Canada, released on bail and sued the Canadian government for $20 million for violating his rights.The Ontario MP criticized the Trudeau government for settling with Khadr, while the victim’s family got nothing.By Monday afternoon, the issue was the No. 1 story on the Fox News website.The Fox News item quotes Kent’s op-ed under the headline: “Gitmo Lottery: Canada makes millionaire out of terrorist who killed U.S. soldier.”Google searches for Khadr’s name were up more than 700 per cent Monday in the United States from the previous day, according to Google Trends.The Fox News panel featuring Herman Cain didn’t delve too deeply into the fine points of the legal case. But one panellist raised the possibility that there was more to the story: “This is obviously a disgusting story,” she said. “But what do you do? Is there any other option under the law?”Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Khadr issue had not come up in any meetings with U.S. state governors during a conference in Rhode Island.But this issue appears to have penetrated the recent bipartisan detente in Canada when it comes to relations with the U.S. The parties have been less critical of each other, even maintaining a united front entering Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade talks. Lawmakers from different parties, for example, joined Trudeau in Rhode Island.But after Kent’s newspaper critique, Trudeau aide Gerald Butts tweeted: “A long (Conservative Party of Canada) tradition of airing Canadian disputes in the Wall Street Journal. It’s where Stephen Harper advocated for joining the Iraq War.”
WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is promising to reduce the fast-rising and overwhelmingly Indigenous number of kids in provincial care and to help families reunite sooner.Families Minister Scott Fielding announced a package of measures Thursday aimed at addressing criticism raised by many First Nations leaders and by a 2013 public inquiry report that said the child-welfare system needs an overhaul.The definitions and reasons for taking children from their families are to be clarified and are likely to be narrowed, Fielding said. Assessments of seized kids, which can currently take months, are to be sped up.“Other jurisdictions have done some work in terms of that process — clarification of when a child is taken into care. We want to make sure that we’re at the same level of other provinces.”The Manitoba government plans to expand subsidies to permanent guardians and adoptive parents so as to encourage people who are temporary guardians to provide long-lasting homes.The Progressive Conservatives also plan to follow through on a promise by the former NDP government to enact customary care in First Nations communities. Customary care allows children to stay within their community under the guidance of extended family and community leaders.The announcement was welcomed by Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs Organization, which represents 33 First Nations in Manitoba.“I want to ensure that the outcomes for our people are outcomes that bring families together, that support the cohesiveness of families and also support our children in the communities,” Daniels said.The number of children in care in Manitoba is among the highest per-capita compared with other provinces. It has nearly doubled in the last decade to 11,000. Nearly 90 per cent are Indigenous.In neighbouring Saskatchewan, with roughly the same population, the number is roughly 4,000, Fielding said.Manitoba First Nations leaders have long complained that some children are taken from their families because of poverty or poor housing conditions, not because of abuse or neglect.“We had a young mom, brand new baby, staying in a bachelor apartment,” said Richard De La Ronde, executive director of the Sandy Bay First Nation’s child and family services agency.“If you recall, last summer was super hot. It was like over 40 degrees in her apartment. Not a healthy place for a child to be,” he continued.“Legislation says that that child is not in a safe environment and workers wanted to apprehend that baby … and I said, ‘Why don’t you go buy her an air conditioner for $89 at Walmart?’”Manitoba child welfare has been under scrutiny since the 2005 death of Phoenix Sinclair, a five-year-old who was beaten by her mother and mother’s boyfriend after social workers decided the girl was safe and closed her file.A public inquiry said social workers repeatedly lost track of where the girl was, missed warning signs that she was in trouble and never caught on that her mother’s boyfriend had a history of domestic violence.The inquiry report urged the government to address the fact that the number of children taken from their families is overwhelmingly Indigenous.Fielding said his plan should reduce the number of kids in the system, but he does not have a specific target.“We think that the numbers are unacceptable … in terms of the amount of children in care. And if we can do this effectively right … we think that’s going to make a difference and it’s going to substantially drop the amount of children in care.”
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – Police say a 10-year-old boy was seriously injured after he fell about 25 metres down the Niagara Gorge on Sunday afternoon.Niagara Parks Police say the boy, who was visiting from out of the country, was sitting on a railing along the top of the gorge, near Niagara Falls, so his mother could take a picture of him.They say he adjusted his position and lost his balance, falling backwards and landing on the gorge floor 25 metres below. Police did not say how close to the Niagara River the boy was after his fall.Investigators say emergency services found the boy and stabilized his injuries before taking him to a children’s hospital by air ambulance.They say on Sunday the boy was reported to be in serious but stable condition.
OTTAWA – Canada’s top military police officer is citing privacy concerns for the fact the Canadian Armed Forces have yet to make good on last year’s promise to revisit more than 160 cases of sexual assault previously deemed “unfounded.”Senior commanders announced plans last April to review the cases after an internal review found nearly one in three cases logged between 2010 and 2016 received the “unfounded” label — a rate higher than most civilian police forces.Ten months later, however, the review has yet to take place, in large part because of Provost Marshal Brig.-Gen. Robert Delaney’s plan to enlist the help of external advisers such as social workers to look at each case.Military commanders are still committed to reviewing the unfounded cases, Delaney told The Canadian Press, but are working through several questions and challenges associated with employing outsiders in the review, including how best to protect the privacy of complainants and whether to remove personal information from files.Delaney said he ultimately agreed with advocates who said the files should not be redacted, and that he is currently working with federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien to devise the best approach.“We are in the final stages now of drafting our version of a privacy impact assessment. Once that is complete, we are off to see the federal privacy commissioner again,” he said.“Once I get that check in the box, we can then sit down and say: Who are we going to have seated at the table?”Much of the concern that has prompted the current focus on sexual misconduct within the military has revolved around complaints from victims that their cases were not handled properly.Previously, many incidents would have been handled by less experienced military police officers at whichever Canadian Forces base or facility the alleged incident occurred.Those procedures have been transformed since retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps’s explosive report in 2015 blew up the military’s assertions that it was doing a good job dealing with sexual misconduct in the ranks.One of Delaney’s first orders after that report was to have the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service handle all sexual assault investigations. The result was an immediate decline in the number of unfounded cases.But the fact the military is revisiting files that were labelled unfounded before that order was issued doesn’t necessarily mean that police will be suddenly reopening dozens of criminal investigations, Delaney warned.It’s too early to know for sure, he said, and investigations will be reopened and pursued where possible.But the majority will likely be reclassified as “founded, not cleared,” the provost marshal said, meaning there was reason to believe a sexual assault occurred but there wasn’t enough evidence to lay charges.“When you code it as unfounded, you’re saying that complaint is not a legitimate complaint,” Delaney said. “So it means a great deal to them if I go back to them and say, ‘We’ve done a review on this, and we actually coded your file inappropriately. It is a founded case.’“My expectation is that it largely falls into the improperly coded category as opposed to the improperly investigated category. Largely because I know the scrutiny that goes into every one of these files.”Military police received 193 reports of sexual assault in 2017, more than twice the 93 reported in 2014. There have also been more charges, with 44 in 2016 compared to 24 in 2014. The numbers for 2017 have yet to be released.Military police are concluding about 62 per cent of reported sexual assault cases, Delaney said, which is close to the average for civilian police forces despite having room for improvement.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter