PNB board approves amalgamation with OBC United Bank

first_imgNew Delhi: The board of Punjab National Bank (PNB) has given in-principle approval for amalgamation of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India with PNB. The board meeting held on Thursday followed the finance ministry asking the three banks to consider the proposal of amalgamation, PNB said in a regulatory filing. The Alternative Mechanism headed by the finance minister after consultation with Reserve Bank of India has given the go-ahead for the amalgamation. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe government on Friday unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four as part of plans to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders as it looks to boost economic growth from an over six-year low. Besides, the PNB board cleared a capital infusion of up to Rs 18,000 crore by the government for preferential allotment of equity shares of the bank at a price determined in terms of SEBI regulations. The government on Friday announced infusion of Rs 16,000 crore in PNB for a smooth and seamless amalgamation.last_img read more

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N Korea demands security guarantees for nuclear talks from United States

first_imgSeoul: North Korea on Monday demanded the United States provide security guarantees as a precondition to resuming deadlocked nuclear talks, dampening hopes for progress at a working-level dialogue expected in the coming weeks. Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in February ended without a deal. The pair agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas in June, and Pyongyang last week offered to hold those talks in late September, a move the US said was “encouraging”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut hours later, Pyongyang carried out the latest in a series of weapons tests. A senior official from the North’s foreign ministry said Monday that “discussion of denuclearization may be possible when threats and hurdles endangering our system security and obstructing our development are clearly removed beyond all doubt”. North Korea has always insisted that security guarantees would be necessary as part of any deal — but it has not generally demanded them as a precursor to negotiations. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe director-general of the department of US affairs, who was not named, said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency that working-level talks were expected to be held “in a few weeks”. It was up to Washington whether it would prove to be an opportunity or “an occasion to precipitate crisis”, he added. “A proposal that the U.S. put forward at the negotiations may improve the relations and, on the contrary, may add to the hostility towards each other.” Pyongyang has also threatened to pull out of talks with Washington and has blasted senior US officials in recent months. Despite the escalation in tensions, Trump has insisted his relationship with Kim remains unharmed, and the pair have exchanged personal letters in the absence of talks. The North Korean leader asked Trump to visit Pyongyang in a letter sent last month, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Monday, repeating an invitation issued at their last meeting in the DMZ. At their first summit in Singapore last year, Kim and Trump adopted a vaguely-worded statement on the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” but little progress has since been made on dismantling the North’s nuclear programme.last_img read more

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Quebec language office OKs use of some English words like hashtag grilledcheese

first_imgMONTREAL – English-language words such as hashtag, grilled-cheese, and parking are now acceptable in everyday French-language conversation in Quebec society, according to guidelines recently updated by the province’s language watchdog.The changes were implemented in January, but the revised dictionary by the Office quebecois de la langue francaise only became widely known recently.OQLF spokesman Jean-Pierre Le Blanc said Tuesday it’s the first time the watchdog’s guidelines have been changed since 2007.“We’re always reviewing words to see if they’re acceptable or not,” Le Blanc said in an interview. “I’m sure it’s several dozen (words) that have been anglicized.”Quebec’s language office is infamous across Canada for its strict application of the province’s language laws.Every few months a story makes headlines across the country of some language inspector fretting over English-language signage.The OQLF caused an international stir in 2013 when an inspector warned a popular restaurant in Montreal over its use of the Italian word, “pasta,” on menus, as opposed to the French word, “pates.”But the OQLF, through its website, also offers Quebecers linguistic tools and other resources on how best to use the French-language.The recent changes were made by a five-member linguistics committee composed of francophones who reviewed research done by the provincial agency.In some cases, using both the English or the French equivalent of words got the committee’s seal of approval.For example, the English word, “parking,” may now be used in French, as can its proper French-language equivalent, “stationnement.”Under the language bureau’s policy, words are reviewed based on a long list of detailed criteria, which include their general usage in Quebec.Le Blanc said words from other languages have also crept into daily French usage, such as cafe latte, gelato and trattoria.Benoit Melancon, professor of French literature at Universite de Montreal, said he understands why some Quebecers might be more worried about the use of English words — known as anglicisms — than people in France.“The French are more comfortable using anglicisms because their language isn’t threatened in any way,” he said in an interview. “But here, because of demographic reasons, we feel more threatened.“We’re surrounded by anglophones so it’s normal to think that we should protect French more than in other places from words coming from different places.”He noted that in France, they use the word “footing” instead of jogging.“Footing doesn’t exist in English, but it’s used as an English word,” Melancon said.Melancon gave the provincial language agency top marks for having a “realistic” policy which also encourages the use of French words.“It’s not worth going to war over “grilled-cheese” because it’s common usage,” he added.+++Some examples of English and French words that are both considered acceptable, according to the provincial language office:Cocktail or CoquetelParking or StationnementGrilled-cheese or Sandwich au fromage fondantHashtag or Mot-clicSource: Le grand dictionnaire terminologiquelast_img read more

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Selfrepresented defendants increasingly common but bring challengesexperts

first_imgLegal experts say the spectacle of an accused murderer grilling the father of his alleged victim on the witness stand is an unusual manifestation of an increasingly common occurrence in the Canadian justice system.Self-represented defendants are arguing their criminal cases before a judge or jury with greater frequency, despite the fact that doing so takes an extra toll on all concerned, they say.In one recent example, Dellen Millard, who is accused in the murder of a Toronto woman who vanished five years ago, has been cross examining those close to his alleged victim as he represents himself at trial, leading to some testy exchanges in court.Experts say financial considerations are at the heart of most self-representations, since legal aid frequently will not cover costs when someone is being tried for a minor offence and can’t always be counted on when more serious charges are at play.Lawyers say other common scenarios for self-representation involve either mental illness, distrust of authority or a belief that the defendant is the best person to handle the case.Self-representations, they say, are becoming more common despite the fact that they prolong trials, place additional burdens on judges and take an emotional toll on both witnesses and the accused.Trevor Farrow of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School said self-representation is inherently at odds with Canada’s court practices.“The system is not designed around the idea of self-represented litigants, it’s designed around parties coming to court with counsel,” Farrow said. “I think self-representation has a significant impact on all aspects of the system.”The Millard case offers a particularly stark illustration of the emotional impact self-representation can have on witnesses involved in the trial.Millard, who is one of two co-accused in the death of Laura Babcock, came face-to-face with the victim’s father on the witness stand on the first day of his trial this week. He acknowledged the potential difficulty for Clayton Babcock, inquiring if he was nervous and found the situation difficult, but proceeded to ask him such questions as whether or not he abused his daughter.Farrow said defendants are also not immune from the strain of self-representation, which forces them to navigate a complex legal system they may not understand.This places an additional burden on judges, who must both safeguard the defendant’s legal rights while filling them in on procedural steps and other details that would typically be handled by a lawyer. The situation frequently leads to prolonged trials, Farrow added.Ingrid Grant, who acted as a legal support to another high-profile self-represented client, said most people who go before court without counsel are not doing so by choice.Grant said most are forced into that position by a dearth of financial resources. Legal aid has stringent criteria for the types of offences they will help with and the financial requirements under which people qualify for support, she noted. Defendants who don’t make the cut often represent themselves as a last resort, she said.Others, like convicted Via Rail terror plotter Chiheb Esseghaier, decline legal help while dealing with mental illness. Esseghaier has appealed his conviction and ensuing life sentence on the basis of his schizophrenia, which was undiagnosed and untreated at the time of the trial.But even without mental illness in the picture, Grant — who was appointed by a court to assist Esseghaier at one point — said self-represented people don’t usually mount effective arguments because of their lack of perspective on the case.“They’re emotionally invested in whatever the allegations are,” she said. “They know a whole history that they want to get out to the judge … They don’t understand what’s relevant and what’s not often, and a judge has to cut through that.”Grant said it’s not unheard of for self-representing defendants to question witnesses with direct relationships to the victims, but said the Criminal Code has provisions to prevent the situation. Prosecutors can file motions requesting that lawyers question witnesses who may be anxious about dealing with the defendant directly, she said.Such a scenario recently played out in a courtroom near Ottawa when Basil Borutski, a man on trial for the slayings of three women he dated, raised questions about the testimony of one of the victims’ sisters. Borutski made notes and drafted questions, but a lawyer was the one to directly cross-examine the witness.Farrow said the growing number of self-representations in the court highlights the need for change in the system.“What we are starting to realize is that we are woefully under-resourced when it comes to supporting people getting legal assistance,” he said. “And we are starting now to understand the cost on individuals, on families, and on society is really high. I think we need to start connecting the dots in terms of the better we support ourselves and each other in the … justice system, the better off the system will be.”last_img read more

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Ontario college apologizes for student sexual harassment of TV reporter

first_imgHAMILTON – A southern Ontario college says it’s investigating two incidents in which a television reporter says she was sexually harassed by students.In a posting on the Mohawk College Facebook page, president Ron McKerlie says campus security is looking into “misogynistic words” used by two students on Tuesday.CHCH reporter Britt Dixon was reporting on students returning to class following a five-week college faculty strike and said Tuesday on Twitter that a male student yelled a lewd comment behind her in the middle of an interview. Later she tweeted “Wow twice in one day.”McKerlie says he has personally apologized to the reporter on behalf of the college and says sexual harassment is a clear violation of Mohawk’s student behaviour policy.He says violating the policy can result in suspension or expulsion and, at a minimum, students are required to apologize and sign a behaviour contract.McKerlie calls the incident “deeply disappointing” and not reflective the college’s values.“If you somehow believe it is acceptable or humorous to demean and sexually harass women then you are not welcome at Mohawk,” he said.last_img read more

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Melting Arctic sea ice may be behind endless winter scientists

first_imgScientists are suspecting that not enough winter in the Arctic has led to too much of it across the rest of Canada.From Toronto, where ice storms cancelled baseball games, to Calgary where residents this week faced yet another heavy snowfall warning, April 2018 has come to feel like endless winter.Some climatologists say this is the future — long stretches of freakishly unseasonable weather that flip to something else on a dime.“It was looking like it was going to be the warmest December on record in Western Canada,” said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s chief climatologist.“Then it turned on you — several days of -30 C. It was from one extreme to the other.”In Ontario, Ottawa’s warmest day so far this year was on Jan. 12 when the temperature hit double digits. That hasn’t happened since.“They had their spring in February,” Phillips said.The East Coast endured five massive nor’easter storms in three weeks.Why? Icy Arctic air is normally held back by a strong, high-altitude, west-to-east river of air called the jet stream.The jet stream is powered by the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. But the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on Earth, especially this year, when temperatures at the North Pole were up to 30 degrees above normal.That weakens the jet stream. And that, said Rutgers University climatologist Jennifer Francis, is the problem.“When the jet weakens, it tends to take these bigger north and south swings,” she said.“When it takes one of these big southern swings, it allows all that Arctic cold air to plunge much farther south than it normally would and it tends to stick around there longer.”Hence, ice storms in April.It’s not quite that simple. There are multi-year temperature cycles in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that have their own impact. The Gulf Stream, which used to reliably move warm water around the Atlantic, is weakening. And this was a La Nina year, when lower sea and air temperatures in the Pacific brought more cold and snow to much of North America.Many scientists aren’t completely comfortable directly linking melting sea ice and weather.“There is likely some connection, especially early in the winter,” said Faron Anslow, a climatologist at the University of Victoria.“It’s being studied, and single events or even sequences of events can’t be tied to that cause yet.”Phillips, who called this winter unique in his 50 years of experience, believes there’s something to the link.“There’s so many different factors at play. But I think it comes down to that very simple reason why the jet stream is wobbly rather than straight — the gradient of temperatures between the north and south is less.“That is the major climate control to the position of the jet stream. And when it weakens, it wobbles.”Evidence for a sea-ice link is building and at least 15 recent papers have found a connection, Francis said.“I don’t think you’d find a scientist who’d say there’s nothing going on. The events that we’ve seen in the last few years are very consistent with what we’d expect.”Arctic sea ice isn’t recovering. So if the effect on southern weather is real, look for more of the same, said Phillips.“It’s the preview of what we’re going to see. The circulation has changed. It’s almost a fundamental change in our weather.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

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Ontario man charged with threatening Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

first_imgWINDSOR, Ont. – A 60-year-old Ontario man has been charged with uttering threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Windsor police say an incident occurred on Tuesday and they later charged Royce VanEvery, 60, of Leamington, Ont., but wouldn’t provide further details.The Ontario Provincial Police say VanEvery was arrested in Leamington, where Trudeau will be visiting on Canada Day.VanEvery’s lawyer, John Sitter, has told local radio station AM800 that his client has mental health issues.Sitter says VanEvery went to MPP Percy Hatfield’s office to complain about an issue and while there called the prime minister’s officer over the speaker phone when he allegedly uttered the threat.Sitter has told AM800 that with the prime minister visiting over the weekend, VanEvery will remain in custody until a bail hearing on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Longtime NDP MP David Christopherson says he wont seek reelection

first_imgOTTAWA – Veteran NDP MP David Christopherson says he will not seek re-election next year after more than three decades of public life.The longtime Hamilton Centre MP announced his decision Thursday on his website and on Twitter, sparking praise and well wishes from New Democrats and local residents who congratulated him on his retirement.Christopherson’s pending departure, however, represents a potential blow to the federal NDP, which has seen several MPs leave caucus in recent months.They include former leader Tom Mulcair and B.C. MP Kennedy Stewart, who is running to be mayor of Vancouver, as well as Erin Weir, who was expelled from caucus in May after an investigation found evidence to support several complaints of harassment.Christopherson was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 after serving as a local city councillor and later as a minister in Bob Rae’s Ontario NDP government, part of the 13 years he spent representing his Hamilton riding as a member of the provincial legislature.He has served as federal deputy NDP leader since 2012.“After more than 30 years as an elected representative for the people of Hamilton at the municipal, provincial and federal level, I have made the decision to not seek a sixth term as member of Parliament,” he wrote.“I plan to step away from public life when my current term expires in October 2019.”While Christopherson’s announcement did not specifically say why he was leaving, it does come only a few months after federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh punished him for breaking with the party and voting his conscience on a Conservative motion.The motion condemned the Liberal government’s new policy forcing groups that apply for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program to affirm, among other things, their respect for a woman’s right to an abortion.While a longtime supporter of a woman’s right to choose, Christopherson said he couldn’t support what he considered an unconstitutional policy that requires churches and other religious groups to disavow their beliefs in order to qualify for funding.The NDP leader nonetheless removed Christopherson as vice-chair of the powerful procedures and House affairs committee — a move criticized by caucus members, some of whom took the unusual step of complaining in public before Singh reinstated him.Singh was among those who took to Twitter on Thursday to praise the longtime MP, writing: “For 33 years, David Christopherson has served the people of Hamilton with unmatched integrity.“David dedicated his career to the idea that governments belong to the people.”last_img read more

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Trudeau visits Vimy ahead of world leaders gathering to mark historic armistice

first_imgVIMY RIDGE, France — The iconic monument at Vimy Ridge served Saturday as a reminder of Canadians’ wartime sacrifice, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made another visit to the memorial one day before the world marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.Running his hands along the carved names of Canada’s war dead and walking among the graves — some with names, others simply marked as “a soldier of the great war” — Trudeau and his veterans affairs minister shook hands with veterans and thanked them for their service.The monument has become the symbol of Canada’s experience during the “War to End All Wars,” during which approximately 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served — a number considered remarkable given the population of the country was roughly eight million.The prime minister visited Vimy Ridge last year to mark the centenary of the battle.On Sunday, more than 60 world leaders are scheduled to gather in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, making Trudeau’s stop at Vimy politically symbolic. Many of them gathered Saturday night in Paris, walking a red carpet and stopping for photographers before having dinner inside the Musee d’Orsay.Roland Paris, a former foreign affairs adviser to Trudeau, says the combination of events this weekend gives the prime minister symbols to put behind his repeated public push for governments to not tear down international alliances.Sunday will see Trudeau and other leaders stand alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at Armistice Day commemorations in Paris. Later on in the day, Macron will host a peace forum the French government hopes to make an annual draw for civil society and political leaders. “Going to Vimy and the Armistice Day celebration…provides the opportunity for the prime minister to underscore why it was that Canadians have sacrificed in the past and the importance of maintaining the rules-based international order,” Paris said.Some 66,000 Canadian soldiers died during the First World War, between 1914 and 1918, and a further 172,000 were wounded. Those buried at Vimy and elsewhere believed defending Canadian values “were worth that sacrifice,” said Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan.“We must remember the lesson of these conflicts: that freedom is not free. That it is not easy. Indeed it is hard fought,” O’Regan said.“But to remember those lessons is to remember those who fought these battles and who fight them still.”A lesson world leaders have learned from the First World War is how a regional dispute can spiral into a broader, global conflict, said Matthew Barrett, an expert on Canadian military history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.That concern about becoming entangled in a conflict feeds into U.S. President Donald Trump’s unease with military alliances such as NATO — which in turn keeps Trudeau talking about maintaining alliances.Trump was noticeably not among the leaders to walk the red carpet for the evening’s dinner gala in Paris. Earlier in the day, he received criticism for cancelling a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery outside the French capital due to inclement weather.Many of the 2,289 soldiers buried at the cemetery died in 1918, the last year of the war.Some 11,000 names of Canadians who died in France are inscribed on the Vimy monument, marking the ridge Canadian soldiers took from the Germans in April 1917.Fighting continued in Europe for a year afterwards before the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.“Canadians remember who you are, what you stand for and the history you defined, a history for which you bled and fought, a history built on your sacrifice. Thank you,” Trudeau told a group of veterans during remarks at one of the cemeteries where Canadians are buried.Clouds hung over the site — rain holding off until the service at the monument had come to a close — and a cold, wet wind swept through the area, ever so slightly rustling the leaves of a sapling, grown in Canada and descended from oaks that once grew here.In the aftermath of the Vimy battle, a Canadian soldier, Lt. Leslie Miller, plucked a handful of acorns from a downed oak tree and sent them back home to Toronto where they grew.A group of volunteers have worked to get 100 saplings for the four-acre park to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War. The trees will grow inside four concentric rings, each one representing one of the four Canadian divisions that fought at Vimy.Trudeau and O’Regan walked the newly opened memorial park.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.Jordan Press, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Bit of a lark Canadian miner files claim on disputed Arctic island

first_imgA longtime mining geologist and developer has come up with his own solution to Canada’s long-running Arctic sovereignty dispute with Denmark.John Robins has filed and been granted a mineral exploration claim under Canadian law to Hans Island — a remote pimple of rock between Ellesmere Island and Greenland that lies exactly on the international border.“It was done on a bit of a lark,” said Robins, who’s involved with a number of Vancouver-based mining companies. “The reason I applied for it is more just to stir the pot a bit.”Hans Island, an uninhabited 1.3-square-kilometre knuckle of rock in the middle of the Kennedy Channel, has been the focus of a half-jocular, half-serious boundary quarrel between Canada and Denmark that began in 1973.Back then, the two countries set out to draw a conclusive border between Ellesmere and Greenland — at the time a Danish territory. They couldn’t decide what to do about Hans and left it until later.Later came in 1984. Canadian soldiers landed on the island, dropped off a bottle of Canadian whisky and erected the Maple Leaf.Soon after, the Danish minister of Greenlandic affairs invaded. He left the Danish flag, a bottle of schnapps and a note that said: “Welcome to the Danish island.” Diplomats are silent on the fate of the whisky.Canada’s then-defence minister Bill Graham visited in 2005, followed shortly by some Danish soldiers. In 2010, 64 Danish tourists landed and erected a cairn with the Danish flag.The so-called whisky war goes back and forth. About a year ago, the two countries created a team to try to hammer out a deal to resolve the boundary debate once and for all.It’s not Robins’s first attempt to beat back the Danes. In 2006, he filed a similar claim, which has since expired.No valuable mineral deposits are known to exist on Hans Island, although the waters beneath are thought to have potential for oil and gas.Robins said there’s a serious purpose behind his attempt to use an online mineral claim as a tool of conquest. “Canada’s been very lax about pushing Arctic sovereignty,” he said.He also wants to draw attention to what he calls the current government’s neglect of the Arctic — particularly the poor understanding of the vast region’s geology, the foundation of the mining industry.“We rely on maps that are decades old,” Robins said. “Often, they’re based on people flying over an area and looking out the window and saying, ‘Yeah, it looks like this rock type.’”Nevertheless, Canada has a 2005 agreement with Denmark to inform that country about anything involving Hans Island.Robins’s permit was granted Feb. 4. The next day, Canada let Danish officials know.No comment from Denmark was immediately available.Michael Byers, an international law professor at the University of British Columbia, said Robins’s claim is a welcome nudge toward settling an old dispute with a friendly country.“He’s successfully drawn attention to the fact we have an unresolved territorial issue.”Solutions are easy and obvious, Byers said. The countries could draw a line through Hans that connects the maritime border or agree to manage the island jointly.“The only thing that is stopping them is concern about domestic politics. No government wants to be accused by its political opponents of surrendering sovereignty.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960 Bob Weber, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Unions hold rally at Ontario legislature to protest education cuts

first_imgTORONTO — Throngs of demonstrators covered the lawn in front of the Ontario legislature Saturday afternoon to protest the Progressive Conservative government’s changes to the provinces education system.Many in the crowd carried signs declaring “Cuts hurt kids” or “Standing together for students,” while others banged on drums or chanted slogans denouncing the government’s measures.The Tories under Premier Doug Ford have come under fire for recent changes including increasing class sizes, making students take more online courses and overhauling the province’s autism program.Sam Hammond, the head of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, opened his speech with a call-and-response session with the boisterous crowd.“Work with me here: If you’re here to stand up for and fight for children with autism and their parents…. If you’re here to protect publicly funded education…. Say ‘I am!’” Hammond shouted to raucous cheers.Hammond’s union is one of five labour groups, representing education workers across Ontario, that organized Saturday’s rally.The ETFO said earlier in a statement that thousands of people were expected to attend and more than 170 buses were bringing teachers to the rally from as far away as Sudbury.The event followed mass student walkouts that took place across Ontario on Thursday, which Education Minister Lisa Thompson characterized as “political stunts” encouraged by unions.Hammond forcefully denied that claim on Saturday, saying the student activism on display showed the province’s future is in good hands.“Don’t forget, Doug Ford: those students are going to be voting in the next provincial election. And we’re voting with them!” he said.In a statement Friday, Thompson said the government would not be distracted by what she called “union tactics” such as protests and rallies.“The fact is that Ontario’s teacher unions have been handed control of the education system for the past 15 years,” Thompson said.“Despite what unions say, their priority has not been student success and as a result our province’s math scores are dropping and our students find themselves falling further and further behind.” Adam Burns, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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BC court allows classaction lawsuit against Facebook to expand

first_imgVANCOUVER — A class-action lawsuit launched against Facebook by a British Columbia woman is allowed to include to residents of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador who claim their images were used without their knowledge.Deborah Douez claims the social media giant used her image and those of others without their knowledge in the “sponsored stories” advertising program that is no longer in operation.Facebook Inc. fought the certification of the class action all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and lost and now a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that Douez can expand the certification to include residents of other provinces who were unknowingly featured in the promotion.Justice Nitya Iyer also agreed with Douez that Facebook is obligated to pay any profits that it made from the unauthorized use of the class members’ names or portraits.If someone liked a product under the program, which ran from January 2011 to May 2014, Facebook generated a news feed endorsement using the person’s name and profile photo, but didn’t tell that person their image was being used.In a ruling issued Monday, Iyer said if the plaintiffs were asking for damages, she would agree with Facebook that the change should be denied, but she notes that giving up the profit made is a remedy under privacy laws in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Alberta throne speech promises changes to expand economy end carbon tax

first_imgEDMONTON — The new Alberta government has set its first legislature sitting in motion with a promise to repeal the provincial carbon tax, roll back the corporate tax and cut red tape.Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell outlined the priorities of Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative government in the traditional speech from the throne.Kenney has promised what he calls a spring of renewal to repeal the provincial carbon tax brought in by the former NDP government and to pass new rules to help businesses and entrepreneurs flourish.The federal government has already indicated that Ottawa will impose its own levy on greenhouse gas emissions if Alberta punts the provincial tax.The sitting is also expected to see legislation introduced to keep royalty rates consistent on oil and gas wells and to improve access to regulated trades and professions.It is expected to last until the end of June, although the government has said it will sit into July if necessary to get the bills passed.A full budget is to be introduced in the fall. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Baloney Meter A lot of baloney in Scheer statements on energy independence

first_imgOTTAWA — “The fact is Canada has more than enough oil — not only to displace imports from … rogue states, but to put an end to all foreign oil imports once and for all. That is part of my vision: a Canada fuelled exclusively by Canadians by 2030. An energy-independent Canada would be a Canada firing on all cylinders, across all sectors and regions. If the United States can do it, so can we.”— Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in a May 16, 2019, speech on his economic vision———Andrew Scheer is touting energy independence as a path to economic prosperity for Canada, a goal he says could be achieved through a dedicated, coast-to-coast right-of-way specifically set aside for energy infrastructure projects like pipelines and long-distance electricity transmission lines.Further, Scheer indicated the United States is headed toward such energy independence.  How accurate were Scheer’s statements?The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).Spoiler Alert: This one earns a rating of “a lot of baloney.” The statements are mostly inaccurate but contain elements of truth. Here’s why:“Energy independence” is a term with varying definitions. Some consider it to apply when a country becomes a net exporter of energy, while others interpret it literally, meaning a country that imports no energy. In such a scenario, the state would meet all of its own energy needs and possibly export surpluses.Scheer’s statement clearly refers to ending “all foreign oil imports once and for all” and a Canada “fuelled exclusively by Canadians by 2030.” He says this sort of energy independence would see all regions of Canada “firing on all cylinders.” He says this is where U.S. policy is taking Canada’s closest neighbour.Daniel Schow, a spokesman for the Conservative leader, elaborated on the final point, saying that with respect to the United States, Scheer is speaking of how Washington “champions its energy sector.”“Investments in energy are going up in the U.S., fuelling economic growth and activity. They have capitalized by increasing exports while simultaneously reducing their reliance on imported energy. If the U.S. is going to benefit from an expanding energy sector, why can’t Canada?”Figures and Forecasts:The United States, a net energy importer since 1953, is poised to become a net energy exporter next year and it is expected to remain one through 2050 due largely to increases in crude-oil and natural-gas production coupled with slow growth in U.S. energy consumption, according to a projection from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, the U.S. is also expected to import and export energy commodities throughout this extended period.On the other hand, Canada has long been a net exporter of oil. It imports about one barrel of crude oil for every 7.5 barrels it produces, according to the National Energy Board. (In 2018, Canada’s crude imports primarily came from the U.S., followed by Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Norway.)In addition, Statistics Canada data indicates Canada enjoys a trade surplus with the United States in both natural gas and electricity — it sells more of each to the U.S. than it buys back.The Experts:An economist and a business professor who reviewed Scheer’s statements questioned the benefit of Canada pursuing a goal of absolute energy independence.“I’m puzzled by it,” said David Detomasi, an associate professor at Queen’s University’s business school in Kingston, Ont.Canada has the oil and gas resources to be self-sufficient, but the notion of building a separate energy market “kind of flies in the face of pretty much everything that we’ve done economically for the past 50 years.”“To me energy is a market just like anything else.”Patrick Baylis, an environmental economist at the University of British Columbia’s school of economics, said reducing foreign imports of oil to Canada would likely require construction of expensive and ecologically risky cross-country pipelines — something Scheer seems to acknowledge.Since the value of oil would still depend on the world market price, over which Canada has limited influence, it is not obvious that this kind of investment would spur a dramatic overall increase in economic growth, he said.Building pipelines would provide tremendous benefit to oil producers in western Canada, since they would be able to sell their product at a higher price, Baylis said. However, consumers who currently benefit from lower oil prices would lose out.“Overall, there’s no strong reason to think that it would benefit the country more than other kinds of infrastructure investment,” Baylis said. “And given the local and global environmental costs from the production and consumption of oil, it’s not apparent to me that this is the right move.”Finally, Detomasi is skeptical of the notion the U.S. will become an island of energy self-sufficiency.“I don’t think they’re going to do that. I don’t think that’s really something we ought to be doing, either.”The Verdict:The United States is becoming less dependent on foreign energy but is expected to continue importing oil and gas in coming decades. At the same time, Canada is already a net energy exporter. And experts question the economic and environmental wisdom of ending all oil imports to Canada. For these reasons, the claims contain “a lot of baloney.”Methodology:The Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:No baloney – the statement is completely accurateA little baloney – the statement is mostly accurate but more information is requiredSome baloney – the statement is partly accurate but important details are missingA lot of baloney – the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truthFull of baloney – the statement is completely inaccurateJim Bronskill , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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In the news today June 4

first_imgFive stories in the news for Tuesday, June 4———WOMEN STILL FACING HATRED, RACISM: TRUDEAUPrime Minister Justin Trudeau says the rights of women are backsliding and gender equality is under attack as hateful views creep into the public debate. In the opening address Monday to the Women Deliver conference on gender equality in Vancouver, Trudeau said individuals are trying to roll back women’s rights and politicians are giving into the public pressure. Trudeau didn’t say what he was referring to, but last week he said he planned to talk with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence about the growing number of American laws that restrict abortion. He also spoke of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, saying Canada can and must do better to end violence against all women.———EMPLOYERS FACE STEEP MIGRANT WORKER DELAYSSome employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers are experiencing significant delays due to an increase in demand this year in Canada. The federal government says the volume of applications is up almost 25 per cent over last year — a development it says is due in part to Canada’s low unemployment rates. Some employers are waiting more than 100 days to find out if they can bring in migrant workers after proving no Canadian workers are available for the jobs. Leah Nord of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says agriculture producers who need temporary foreign workers to help with farm labour during the growing season will be particularly affected.———SENATE MOVES ON SEX ASSAULT TRAINING FOR JUDGESAfter stalling for two years, the Senate is poised to pass a private member’s bill that would require judges in Canada to undergo training about sexual assault law, including rape myths and stereotypes about victims and the affect of trauma on memory. Bill C-337 was introduced by former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose in February 2017 and was passed unanimously by the House of Commons three months later. It has languished ever since in the Senate, despite enjoying broad support in principle among the various groups in the upper house.———ELIMINATE RACISM AS PART OF CANCER STRATEGY: REPORTA campaign by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to seek input for a cancer strategy has allowed it to determine top priorities for patient care into the next decade. They include enhanced prevention and screening, faster diagnosis and adapting care for underserved groups such as Indigenous Peoples who were also consulted, unlike when a strategy was first established in 2006. The non-profit group’s CEO Cindy Morton says patients and staff from cancer agencies were among those who contributed about 7,500 responses after the campaign was launched last fall. She says meetings with First Nations, Metis and Inuit people helped the group determine racism by front-line and professional staff in the health-care system is a problem and it has to work toward eliminating it.———SYMBOLIC COMBAT BOOTS MARKING D-DAY ARRIVE IN HALIFAXA pair of combat boots symbolizing the journey taken by Canadian soldiers who fought in the Second World War arrived in Halifax on Monday, completing a cross-Canada journey by train that began in Vancouver at the end of March. The boots were accompanied by a 98-year-old veteran who landed as part of the D-Day invasion of France 75 years ago. Havelyn Chiasson was just 23 when he waded ashore with New Brunswick’s North Shore Regiment, as part of the first wave of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. About 14,000 Canadians landed at Juno Beach on D-Day and 359 were killed on the first day of fighting.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette takes part today in the unveiling of a monument in France dedicated to the sacrifices made by Canadians during the Battle of Normandy.— Free speech advocates Lindsay Shepherd, John Robson and Mark Steyn appear before the House of Commons justice committee for its study regarding online hate.— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is expected to make announcement today in Ottawa related to the Energy Services Acquisition Program.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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The federal price on carbon takes effect in Yukon and Nunavut July

first_imgStarting today, the federal carbon levy will be applied in Yukon and Nunavut, while the Northwest Territories is set to implement its own price on carbon in September.The Yukon government says carbon emissions will be taxed at a rate of $20 per tonne for the rest of 2019, before rising each year starting on April 1 until the tax reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.The costs of gasoline, diesel and propane will go up, while the federal carbon pricing act includes targeted relief for aviation fuel in the northern territories, diesel for electricity generation in remote communities and partial relief for greenhouse operators.The federal carbon pricing act also includes relief for farmers using fuel in tractors, trucks and other farm machinery, as well as relief for eligible fishing activities.According to the Yukon government, the average individual is expected to pay less in carbon levies than they get back in rebates and the first rebates are expected in October of this year.In Nunavut, the territory’s finance minister has announced a new rebate program that would subsidize half the costs of the federal carbon tax at the pump, while Ottawa has said it will return all carbon tax revenue it earns from Nunavut back to the territory.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Funeral to be held today for BC teen whose apparent overdose was

first_imgLANGLEY, B.C. — A celebration of life is set to be held today for a 14-year-old British Columbia boy whose apparent drug overdose death was captured on video and posted to social media.Carson Crimeni’s death on Aug. 7 in Langley, B.C., is under investigation by RCMP and B.C.’s police oversight body, the Independent Investigations Office.The investigations office says RCMP were contacted at about 8 p.m. on the night Crimeni died by someone who had seen a Snapchat photo of him and was concerned about his welfare.Two RCMP members went to an area around a skateboard park, secondary school and athletic park in Langley’s Walnut Grove neighbourhood, but the investigations office says the two left when they found no sign of Crimeni.Crimeni was found later that night in an area near the skateboard park and was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead.RCMP have set up a 24-hour tip line seeking anyone who may have seen Crimeni in the hours before he died, as well as anyone who might have seen him with any other groups of people.An obituary published by Crimeni’s family last week described the teen as a “fun-loving jokester” who had “dreams of becoming a veterinarian or chef.”The funeral is to take place this afternoon in a Langley church.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Man in photo with Trudeau in brownface says hes not offended

first_imgNow Khurana tells OMNI Punjabi he personally didn’t see Trudeau’s dark face paint at the party as racist.“He wasn’t trying to demean anybody who was a person of colour, and from what I can recall from that function, it never came across as that, not at all,” he says. “I mean I didn’t even think twice of it. It was a good party, we had fun, it was a theme party.“It’s definitely not a racist act.”Khurana is a business owner in Surrey. He says many who attended the gala were dressed in costumes bought at his business, and doesn’t recall people objecting to Trudeau’s Aladdin costume at the time.Related stories: SURREY (NEWS 1130) — One of the men pictured in a photo with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in brownface says he didn’t find it offensive.Sunny Khurana was at the “Arabian Nights” theme party at West Point Grey Academy in 2001, and was photographed arm-in-arm with Trudeau in brownface, a turban and white robes. Trudeau has since apologized, calling his past decisions to wear blackface and brownface racist and hurtful to racialized Canadians.We have tracked down one of the individuals in this photo with Justin Trudeau dating back to 2001. Tune into @OMNIpunjabi tonight to hear what he has to say.@NEWS1130 @CityNewsVAN pic.twitter.com/QEeMNfdI4Z— Amrit Gill (@AmritG) September 19, 2019 Trudeau apologizes for ‘racist’ brownface yearbook photo Blackface — which relates to the term brownface — has been widely denounced as a racist practice that contributes to racial stereotypes. Khurana said while he wasn’t personally offended, he understands some people are hurt.“If it was hurtful to anybody, he came out and apologized for it, which is good enough. It didn’t bother me, but it may have bothered somebody else,” he says, adding that Trudeau has apologized.“‘If it bothers you, I’m sorry about it’ — good enough. That’s the most important thing, I think, as far as I’m concerned.”VIDEO: Trudeau addresses black face controversy It’s shaken the election campaign, but has Trudeau’s brownface image shaken the trust of voters?center_img ‘Insulting,’ ‘shocking,’ troubling:’ Party leaders react to photo of Trudeau in brownface Trudeau apologizes a second time after blackface video surfaces When asked what he would say if other leaders were found to have been wearing brownface in the past, he says as long as they don’t have a history of racism, and if they aren’t intentionally trying to be hurtful, an apology is sufficient.Federal party leaders have called the newly released photos ‘insulting,’ ‘shocking,’ and ‘troubling.’ – With files from OMNI Punjabilast_img read more

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Naomie Harris Named As Save The Children Ambassador

first_imgHollywood actress Naomie Harris has become an ambassador for women and children’s rights following a recent trip to South Africa as Save the Children claims increasing violence against women and children has been “normalised” in many societies.The actress, who plays Winnie Mandela in the new film of Nelson Mandela’s life, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom visited several Save the Children projects including a crèche and a scheme that empowers children against violence and exploitation in rural Free State.Speaking during her visit to the country, Harris said, “Nowhere has affected me quite like South Africa. I love the spirit of this country. But there are also major problems. South Africa has one of the strongest economies in Africa yet many still live in poverty – and one in five children don’t go to school. Those that do face a daily threat of violence and sexual assault – and that shocks me deeply.“Save the Children offered me the opportunity to see some of their work and that offer galvanised my wish to try and do something to help this country’s young people fulfil their potential. I look forward to raising awareness of these issues not only in South Africa, but in other countries where Save the Children fights for girls and women’s rights.”During her visit, Naomie visited the Hlayisanani Day Care Centre situated in Setswetla, in the heart of the sprawling township of Alexandra Alina where poverty and unemployment rates are rife. The crèche here provides much needed stimulation for children as well as hot meals which, for many, are the only meals they get.Here she also met three girls; 14 year old Busisiwe and Tlaleng and Kgathatso, both 15, who are all benefitting from Save the Children’s Safer South Africa for Women and Children programme. Save the Children run Children’s Committees designed to empower children, giving them the skills, knowledge and confidence to speak out against violence directed at both themselves and within the wider community.During a time when there is increasing recognition internationally that there hasn’t been enough focus on stopping the root causes of violence against women and children, the Children’s Committees are empowered to raise peer awareness, provide peer support and improve referrals made within the schools.As part of her new role for Save the Children, Harris hopes to visit more of Save the Children’s programmes which are making a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable women and young girls.Source:Save the Children UKlast_img read more

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Adrienne Shelly Foundation Launches 7th Annual Celebrity Auction

first_imgThe Adrienne Shelly Foundation (ASF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the memory of actor/filmmaker Adrienne Shelly (Waitress), launched its 7th annual Celebrity Auction this week with support from prominent celebrities across the entertainment, literary, sports, business and political arenas.The auction is open to bidders internationally from January 22 through February 11 at www.charitybuzz.com/AdrienneShellyFoundation. Proceeds will support ASF’s mission of supporting women filmmakers through production grants.“It’s truly an honor to have so many wonderful people pitching in to help us raise money,” said Andy Ostroy, ASF’s founder and executive director. “We’re very grateful for their support.”“The Adrienne Shelly Foundation is an important organization with a critical mission,” said Keri Russell, star of the FX Network’s The Americans, Adrienne Shelly’s hit film Waitress, and a member of ASF’s Advisory Board. “This auction is a major source of funding in its support of women filmmakers and it’s a fun thing to be a part of.”More than 60 exclusive experiences are being auctioned. Bidders can: • Have lunch with Paul Rudd, Salman Rushdie, Michelle Williams, Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Mark Cuban, Keri Russell, Bill Hader, Rosario Dawson, Sarah Silverman and Jeff Ross, Melanie Griffith, Cheryl Hines and Jeremy Sisto and many more • Join Alanis Morissette for a paddle boarding class and tea • Receive a birthday call from Bones stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz • Hit the town with David Arquette at his club Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood • Visit the set and meet cast members of TV shows such as Community, Cougar Town, Dallas, Mad Men, The Americans, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, Dallas, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Good Morning America • Score VIP tix to Two and a Half Men, Letterman, Rachael Ray and The Colbert Report • Enjoy walk-on roles in TV shows like Drop Dead Diva, Workaholics and films • Experience movies like never before with VIP access to the Tribeca Film Festival, LA Film Festival and Nantucket Film Festival
The Adrienne Shelly Foundation supports the artistic achievements of female filmmakers through annual grants distributed through partnerships with Women in Film, IFP, Nantucket Film Festival, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Columbia University, Boston University, Rooftop Films and American Film Institute. It has awarded forty-eight grants since its inception in 2007. For more information and to make a donation, please visit www.adrienneshellyfoundation.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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