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Mounties seek elderly duo accused of stealing meat

Mounties seek elderly duo accused of stealing meat
Posted: February 19, 2017, 5:51 am

Trudeau had a good week...sort of

Mark this week down as a good one
Posted: February 19, 2017, 5:23 am

Help needed for Edmontonians displaced by apartment fire

Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society is working with the Red Cross to help those affected by a massive apartment fire Thursday.
Author: Jennifer Ivanov
Posted: February 19, 2017, 4:41 am

Saskatchewan Rush defeat Colorado Mammoth 8-7 in Battle of the West

Saskatchewan Rush defeat Colorado Mammoth 8-7 in Battle of the West
Author: Claire Hanna
Posted: February 19, 2017, 4:20 am

Talbot leads Oilers past Blackhawks 3-1

Cam Talbot made 38 saves, Connor McDavid scored his 20th goal and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday night for their third straight win.
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:56 am

Europe worried about Trump stance on NATO, ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ and more

"What we heard here is not reassuring."
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:52 am

Booming Beaumont considers future as a city

Alberta's booming bedroom community has seen a population surge and it is now reviving discussions about whether Beaumont should be a city.
Author: Shallima Maharaj
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:43 am

Trump plans to ramp up deportations, expand target immigrant groups: documents

Under the orders, hundreds of thousands of people would face expedited removal proceedings, including those that had not been prioritized for deportation under former President Barack Obama.
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:26 am

Edmonton woman battling terminal cancer meets Garth Brooks

Meeting Garth Brooks would be a dream come true for an Edmonton couple that's had a very challenging few years.
Author: Sarah Kraus
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:26 am

NHL’s Corey Hirsch is the sports world’s newest mental illness advocate

Former Vancouver Canucks goalie Corey Hirsch is continuing to talk about his battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) after opening up about his history in an article on Player's Tribune this week.
Author: Jill Slattery
Posted: February 19, 2017, 3:16 am

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake detected north of Powell River -

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake detected north of Powell River
A 4.0-magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Powell River, B.C. on Saturday morning. Earthquake seismologist Honn Kao with Natural Resources Canada said the quake was originally assessed at 4.2, but was later downgraded. "It is important for ...
Magnitude-4.0 earthquake felt on Vancouver IslandTimes Colonist
BC residents feel light tremor after 4.0-magnitude earthquake SaturdayCTV News
Magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattles BC coastVancouver Sun
CTV Vancouver Island -640 Toronto News -Pawhuska Journal Capital
all 11 news articles »
Posted: February 19, 2017, 2:41 am

Mackenzie Heights development could push small businesses out

Residents in one Vancouver neighbourhood are concerned a proposed development could do more harm than good.
Author: Nadia Stewart
Posted: February 19, 2017, 2:30 am

Anti-Trump protesters hold mock funeral for the US presidency

Hundreds of protesters rallied at Manhattan's Washington Square Park around a mock cardboard black casket that symbolically contained "The American Presidency".
Posted: February 19, 2017, 2:07 am

Ontario AG questions Liberals' accounting practice

Ontario AG questions Liberals' accounting practice
Posted: February 19, 2017, 2:05 am

Trudeau sings blue-collar blues to black-tie crowd

It was a bit rich coming from a trust-fund kid, but there was our prime minister nonetheless — guest speaker at Germany's most prestigious black-tie fete, and lecturing a rich-beyond-rich audience on how to deal with the growing anger among the working class.
Posted: February 19, 2017, 1:37 am

The case for unilingualism

The recent movement to teach aboriginal languages, plus the release of Statistics Canada population projections showing first languages other than French and English are on the rise, has raised the anxiety level of some Canadians.
Posted: February 19, 2017, 1:28 am

'We couldn't breathe': Former Bavarian Arms Café destroyed in fire - CTV News

CTV News

'We couldn't breathe': Former Bavarian Arms Café destroyed in fire
CTV News
An investigation is underway after a home at the base of North Vancouver's Grouse Mountain was destroyed in a massive fire early Saturday morning. The blaze began around 1 a.m. at a decades-old cabin that used to serve as the Bavarian Arms Café on ...
Former Bavarian Arms Café engulfed by large
Fire destroys North Vancouver homeNews1130
Former Bavarian Arms Cafe in North Vancouver destroyed by
Vancouver Sun -CKNW News Talk 980
all 6 news articles »
Posted: February 19, 2017, 12:55 am

Some Chilliwack residents return home after small landslide prompts evacuation -

Some Chilliwack residents return home after small landslide prompts evacuation
A number of Chilliwack, B.C. residents have returned home after a landslide prompted firefighters to evacuate their residences. Earlier in the day, Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz city said firefighters were notified of the landslide in the rural area of ...
Landslide forces home evacuations, road closure in Fraser ValleyCTV News
Vedder Mountain landslide in Chilliwack forces evacuation of 3 homes, road
Three Chilliwack homes evacuated after landslide on Vedder MountainVancouver Sun
News1130 -Am730 Vancouver Traffic News -Agassiz-Harrison Observer
all 7 news articles »
Posted: February 19, 2017, 12:23 am

Police investigate anti-Muslim rally outside Toronto mosque as possible hate crime -

Police investigate anti-Muslim rally outside Toronto mosque as possible hate crime
Police are investigating whether an anti-Islam rally held on the doorstep of a mosque in the heart of downtown Toronto Friday had any criminal element and whether it could be considered a hate crime. With signs of love and support plastered to its ...
Anti-Islam protest in Toronto prompts spontaneous counter-protestToronto Star
'Anti-Islamic' protesters demonstrate outside Toronto mosque calling for ban on
Muslim leaders concerned about Toronto
Huffington Post Canada -680 News -Canada NewsWire (press release) -Shreveport Times
all 8 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:33 pm

Police investigate anti-Muslim rally outside Toronto mosque as possible hate crime

Protest masjid toronto

Police are investigating if an anti-Islam rally held on the doorstep of a mosque in the heart of downtown Toronto on Friday had any criminal element and whether it could be considered a hate crime.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:31 pm

Triple murderer Douglas Garland assaulted in jail - Times Colonist

Times Colonist

Triple murderer Douglas Garland assaulted in jail
Times Colonist
Triple murderer Douglas Garland will learn today if he will spend the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced in a Calgary courtroom. Garland is escorted into a Calgary police station in connection with the disappearance of Nathan O'Brien and ...
Man convicted for deaths of couple and grandchild assaulted in jailToronto Star
UPDATED – Douglas Garland rushed to hospital after jailhouse beating:
Douglas Garland assaulted by multiple inmates at Calgary
MetroNews Canada -News1130 -Calgary Herald
all 20 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:30 pm

Two people injured following west end explosion - CTV News

CTV News

Two people injured following west end explosion
CTV News
Two people were taken to hospital following an explosion inside an apartment building in Parkdale on Saturday. Crews responded to the scene of 105 West Lodge Avenue in the area of Queen Street West and Lansdowne Avenue around 3:30 p.m.. Toronto ...
2 injured after explosion at Parkdale high-rise
Woman charged with arson after Parkdale explosionToronto Star
Two people severely burned in Parkdale explosionCityNews
CP24 Toronto's Breaking News -640 Toronto News -The Daily Courier (subscription)
all 12 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:20 pm

Ont. councillor in hot water for calling constituent 'sexy gramma'

The mayor of Cambridge, Ont., will publicly reprimand a city councillor who admitted to making lewd comments to one of his constituents.
Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:08 pm

Asylum-Seekers Fleeing U.S. Border Agents Receive Helping Hand From Quebec RCMP

Photos of RCMP officers helping asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. and illegally crossing into Canada Friday have attracted international attention.

The Canadian Press (CP) captured the images in Hemmingford, Que. on the border with Champlain, N,Y. As a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer questioned a man, the rest of the group made a dash across the border where RCMP were waiting, according to Reuters.

The man also successfully ran from the agent into Canada, according to CP photos.

Eight people — four adults and four children — were immediately taken into custody by the RCMP. If they make a refugee claim, they will go through an assessment process by Canadian officials.

It's unclear where the group is originally from; CP identified them as Somalian but Reuters reported that they are Sudanese.

Here's how the illegal crossing unfolded in CP photos:

Just a day earlier, four people were arrested near the same town for crossing illegally into Canada. More than 450 people have claimed refugee status at Quebec land border crossings in January alone, said the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Most avoid official border crossings because of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. It requires that people apply for refugee status in the first safe country they land in. If they try to enter at a border crossing, they will be turned away unless a blood relative lives there.

However, Canada generally hears asylum claims from people who enter the country via unregulated crossings.

The number of refugees making the frigid trip — sometimes on foot for hours — from the U.S. to Canada has jumped this year, following President Donald Trump's executive order to ban all refugees and travellers from seven countries. Both Somalia and Sudan are on the list.

Trump's order is in legal limbo as judges question whether it is constitutional.

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Posted: February 18, 2017, 9:52 pm

Douglas Garland assaulted by multiple inmates at Calgary jail

Douglas Garland

Triple murderer Douglas Garland was rushed to hospital Friday night after being attacked while in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre, CBC News has learned.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 6:56 pm

Jays' Donaldson diagnosed with calf strain, expected to start season

Blue Jays Donaldson

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was diagnosed with a right calf strain, but is expected to be ready for the start of the season according to a report from Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 6:20 pm

Trudeau's Europe trip dominated by trade and Trump

Germany Canada

Justin Trudeau ended his European visit with a key note speech at a black tie dinner during which he warned an audience of Germany's business and political elite that corporate practices had to change if future trade deals were going to be possible.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 6:13 pm

Hundreds attend funeral for Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart

Rob Stewart

The conservationist and documentary filmmaker died during a dive in the Florida Keys in late January.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 5:47 pm

RCMP help asylum-seeking family through snow after run-in with U.S. border patrol

Cda US Border Refugees 20170217

Eight asylum-seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday as a U.S. border patrol officer tried to stop them.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 5:37 pm

'Bomb to Toronto': Bathroom note sparks evacuation of Canada-bound Turkish Airlines flight

Turkish Airlines

A Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul was evacuated Saturday after a suspicious note was discovered in one of its bathrooms.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

How to give a proper handshake, according to experts, Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau -

How to give a proper handshake, according to experts, Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Donald Trump on the steps of the White House earlier this week, the two men did what any two world leaders would do when greeting – they shook hands. But this handshake was more than just a ...
Is Canada really doing the “heavy lifting” at NATO like Trudeau claims?Ottawa Citizen
To protect Canadian jobs, Trudeau must drop carbon
On military spending, there's more than one way for Canada to pull its weight: Paul
National Observer -The Globe and Mail -National Post -Vancouver Sun
all 144 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 4:01 pm

Man guilty of second-degree murder in prom-night killing - CTV News

CTV News

Man guilty of second-degree murder in prom-night killing
CTV News
An Ottawa jury has found a man guilty of second-degree murder in the prom-night killing of Brandon Volpi. The 18-year-old Volpi died after being stabbed in the chest and neck during a fight outside a downtown Ottawa hotel during an after-prom party in ...
Judge refuses to stay prom night murder charges over court
NewsCounty Weekly News
Man guilty of 2nd-degree murder in death of teen at Ottawa after-prom partyThe Daily Courier (subscription)

all 6 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

MPP wants Ontario legislature to hold its own debate on Islamophobia


The furor in the House of Commons over a motion condemning Islamophobia is prompting a similar debate in the Ontario legislature next week.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 1:14 pm

Conservative leadership hopefuls in B.C. for back-to-back debates


The travelling Conservative leadership contest heads west this weekend and is expected to draw some big crowds at a pair of back-to-back debates in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

No hate speech charges laid in Colten Boushie case


RCMP haven't laid any hate speech charges related to statements made following the death of Colten Boushie, a decision which has left some experts shaking their heads.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 11:30 am

RCMP bracing for more border crossers amid community concerns


Manitoba RCMP's commanding officer, Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody, says his force is doing its due diligence on the border and has added more resources to this area.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 11:00 am

Are shields the answer? Fatal stabbing has bus drivers calling for safety barriers

Bus Shield

Could a clear piece of plastic prevent future attacks on transit drivers? After a Winnipeg driver was killed by a passenger this week, it's a question on the minds of many who make a living behind the wheel, both in Manitoba and elsewhere.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 11:00 am

Anti-Islamophobia debate might define both Liberals and Conservatives

Joly and Khalid on M-103

In the wake of the Quebec City mosque massacre, the Liberals see their anti-Islamophobia motion as a defining matter of leadership. Conservatives, meanwhile, have drawn a line under Islamophobia and want to see the word defined.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 10:00 am

Fleeing north: Why asylum seekers are crossing the US-Canada border - CTV News

CTV News

Fleeing north: Why asylum seekers are crossing the US-Canada border
CTV News
Braving bitter winter weather, asylum seekers are illegally crossing the Canada-U.S. border in growing numbers. WHY ARE PEOPLE ILLEGALLY CROSSING THE BORDER INTO CANADA? U.S. President Donald Trump's much-maligned executive order ...
Refugee claims at Canada-US border have doubled over past 2
With open arms, Mounties help refugees who walked across the Canadian
Chris Selley: As Trump's refugees stream into Canada, will our immigration policies hold up?National Post
Montreal Gazette -Huffington Post Canada -Winnipeg Sun
all 59 news articles »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 2:54 am

Anti-Islam Groups Block Entrance Of Toronto Mosque During Protest

Anti-Islam protesters marched outside a downtown Toronto mosque Friday — as Muslims prayed inside — while holding signs denouncing a motion tabled in Parliament that condemns Islamophobia.

More than a dozen people, including members of groups including Canadians Against Islamization, Never Again Canada, and Suffragettes Against Shariah, attended the event.

anti islam rally toronto

Toronto resident Uzair Khan posted photos of the protest on Facebook as it took place outside Masjid Toronto.

"They are very loud and are blocking entrances to the masjid," he wrote.

Tera Goldblatt, who works nearby, told CBC News she also saw protesters trying to block the mosque's entrances.

"It's awful and hateful and it shouldn't be allowed," Goldblatt said of the rally.

Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke out against the demonstration on Twitter.

Islamophobia has NO place in our city. I've visited Masjid Toronto many times & denounce all acts of hatred towards our Muslim citizens.

— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 17, 2017

The mosque reacted to the protest on Friday evening, by sharing photos of supportive messages left outside the building after the event.

"You belong here," one note read.

Mississauga-Erin Mills MP Iqra Khalid, who tabled the anti-Islamophobia motion last December, has been the target of hate speech. On Thursday, the Muslim MP read a list of racial slurs and threats she’s received since introducing the motion in Parliament.

"Islamophobia is real," she told the House of Commons.

Another anti-Islam rally was held in Toronto this week by Rebel Media in opposition to the Liberal motion. It was attended by Conservative leadership candidates Kellie Leitch, Chris Alexander and Brad Trost.

Tory MPs, including interim leader Rona Ambrose, have said they oppose the current version of the anti-Islamophobia motion. Instead, they have tabled a new motion that condemns "all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination," but does not include the word Islamophobia.

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Posted: February 18, 2017, 2:46 am

'No words, no language': Douglas Garland victim impact statements

CRIME Missing Grandparents 20170217

Douglas Garland was sentenced Friday in a Calgary courtroom to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years in the deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O'Brien. The judge called the murders "brutal and senseless and planned." Relatives went further.

Posted: February 18, 2017, 1:42 am

The Islamophobia motion is a political game for the Liberals - Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun

The Islamophobia motion is a political game for the Liberals
Toronto Sun
The Liberals are playing politics with a motion to condemn systemic racism and religious discrimination. The motion, M103, specifically aims to combat so-called Islamophobia – a vague and politicized term that is often used to silence those critical of ...

and more »
Posted: February 18, 2017, 1:07 am

Liberals Say They Want To Talk With Ontario Doctors. Do They Mean It?

Police, firefighters, paramedics and other provincial doctor associations all use binding interest arbitration to ensure that if there is ever an issue during negotiations, there is a built-in mechanism to keep the process fair -- for both sides. The one essential service missing from this list are Ontario's doctors.

So when Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Health Minister Eric Hoskins released a joint statement promising to look at binding arbitration to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), physicians across Ontario were shocked -- and more than a little wary.

eric hoskins
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins, June 24, 2014. (Photo: Aaron Harris/Reuters)

Here's why:

Negotiations between the OMA and the Liberal government fell apart in 2015. Usually when negotiations hit an impasse, it means lockout or walkout. Neither is a possibility for physicians, because when government and physicians fight, patients get caught in the crossfire. So binding arbitration exists to keep things peaceful and fair.

Instead, the government resorted to cuts and bizarre regulations. Funding cuts of seven to 30 per cent meant individual clinics had to cut services including in-office labs, flu shot clinics, staff and equipment upgrades to stay afloat. In some cases, clinics closed. Nonsense regulations made it impossible to start new family medicine practices. Nonsense laws like Bill 41 played an expensive game of musical chairs with bureaucracy.

Throw in the usual political shenanigans, bad-mouthing doctors in the media, fake contracts and failed negotiations arising from back-room dealings -- you have a recipe for distrust, acrimony and frustration. So it's been a while since doctors and government have had a normal relationship.

Canada scores last when it comes to waitlists, and it's only getting worse.

The Liberals want to talk. But is it genuine?

This will be the fourth go-around between doctors and government. With elections around the corner and bottom-of-the-barrel approval ratings, it's no surprise that the Liberal government is on a peace-keeping mission. Sooner or later, though, we all go to the doctor or the hospital; at that moment we become patients and not voters. At that moment we view health-care spending in a whole new light.

Like any sane person, I want a fair contract. But beyond that, I see a health-care system failing the very people who depend on it and the people who work in it. Call me crazy, but the doctor-government relationship must change. Government has to come to terms with the concept that looking after health-care workers means looking after patients when it comes to policy. We need a government playing ball instead of posturing on the sidelines.

The Liberals ignored patient, caregiver, physician and front-line worker input when drafting Bill 41, the Patients First Act. Three months in and LHINs are hiring new vice-presidents, funding bureaucracy instead of patient services. We as a population need to look into the not-so-distant future when we will need the health-care system that we are creating today.

hospital waiting
(Photo: Shayne Ppl via Getty Images)

The Commonwealth report released yesterday showed the reality patients and doctors live on the front-lines: waitlists are spiraling out of control. Canada scores last when it comes to waitlists, and it's only getting worse. With 40 per cent of the Canadian population and one-third of all practicing physicians, Ontario is driving these statistics.

Talking to my colleagues, I see the people behind the statistics. Even in Toronto -- resource-rich Toronto -- doctors talk of seeing patients diagnosed with brain cancer waiting nine weeks for surgery or patients diagnosed with kidney cancer waiting two months for surgery. More and more, patients start a waitlist with a treatable medical condition only to reach the front of the line and discover that it's too late.

We need a grown-up conversation and genuine change.

Here's an example given by a student-doctor: a 40-year-old mom diagnosed with gallstones was slated for surgery. The first time her surgery was cancelled, it was because it was bumped by a cancer case. So she went back in line and waited. The second time her surgery was cancelled, it was because the operating room ran over-time. So she went back in line.

The third time her surgery was cancelled, it was because the hospital ran short of funding and had to postpone all non-life threatening cases to the following year. The next time the student-doctor saw this woman was in the ICU where she had been hospitalized with gallstone pancreatitis. She died a week later.

The health-care system is in crisis. The usual political stunts and theatre are getting old. We need a grown-up conversation and genuine change. I don't know which attitude the Liberal government will bring to the table. But I'm watching. We all are.

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Posted: February 17, 2017, 10:51 pm

Kevin O'Leary: Unfair To Criticize Donald Trump In First 100 Days

Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary says criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump and his policies is fair game — just not in his first 100 days.

Appearing in a CNBC segment on Friday, O'Leary locked horns with fellow "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban over comments he made about Trump on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, the Dallas Mavericks owner said Trump had no leadership skills or self-awareness and did not have the capacity to admit his mistakes.

4) Trumps biggest issues are: No self awareness, no situational awareness, can't admit mistakes, no leadership skills, can't stay focused

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 17, 2017

"Don't shoot the messenger," O'Leary began.

"There's many people who feel you are disrespecting the office of the president of the United States. I'm just telling you what they're telling me. In the elevator, at the airport, they're using me as a messenger."

Cuban fired back saying he's disrespecting the president himself, and not his office.

Watch the segment below:

"Let's just be real, everything I've said is absolutely true. He's oblivious, he won't accept mistakes, he's shown no leadership qualities whatsoever," Cuban said.

Later in the segment, O'Leary says though he disagrees with some of Trump's policies, notably his executive orders on immigration, he finds it "very unfair" to criticize any president in their first 100 days.

"Ho ho ho! Welcome to the United States of America, buddy!" Cuban said, adding that citizens have the right to stand up for what they believe in.

Carte blanche?

The battle between the two Sharks then took a more Canadian turn. Cuban implored O'Leary to tell viewers what he loved most about Canada's parliamentary system.

The Tory leadership candidate said the Canadian and American systems are similar, and both have their checks and balances. O'Leary added the parliamentary model provides more power to the prime minister only until his or her caucus disagrees.

That wasn't the answer Cuban was looking for.

"What you liked about it is that you get carte blanche," he fired back.

O'Leary disagreed, calling Cuban's statement an unfair criticism of Canada's parliamentary system.

kevin oleary donald trump
Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary has been likened to U.S. president Donald Trump, but he insists they are nothing alike. (Photo: Getty Images)

Though O'Leary has been compared to Trump several times before and after his entry into the Conservative leadership race, he's insisted the only similarities between the two lies in their reality TV backgrounds.

If anything, O'Leary has said his position makes him more prepared to deal with the president than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"I've spent my whole life as an investor; I know what Trump does, he knows what I do," O'Leary told The Canadian Press in January.

"I think we'll be very good together getting deals done because that's what matters."

O'Leary joined a crowded field of 13 other candidates vying to replace the party's interim leader, Rona Ambrose. So far, he's only participated in one official debate with his fellow contenders.

The candidates meet again on Feb. 28 in Edmonton. The party chooses its next leader in May.

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Posted: February 17, 2017, 10:21 pm

NDP Leadership Race 2017: Party Hopes To Bring 'Excitement' Back To Convention

OTTAWA — Think of it as a typical political leadership convention, with candidates jostling for support in a series of ballots — except without any actual gathering of delegates and with the voting taking place largely online.

That is the format the federal New Democrats will use to pick a replacement for the outgoing Tom Mulcair.

But first they'll need candidates. So far, only British Columbia MP Peter Julian has declared he wants the job after officially entering the race Feb. 12.

The party announced Friday that balloting in the leadership contest will begin Sept. 18, the day after a "showcase" event featuring all of the candidates.

ndp convention
Thomas Mulcair was rejected in his bid to stay on as NDP leader in April 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

New Democrats hope the format helps to capture some of the drama of a traditional convention, even though party faithful will pick a successor to Mulcair through a mainly online voting process which could stretch over weeks. Votes can also be cast by mail.

"The idea here is that we're preserving the one member, one vote democracy, where all of our members will have the chance to cast a ballot for the new leader," said Rick Devereux, the party's director of leadership.

"But we're bringing back the excitement of the balloted, delegated convention of the past."

Results of the first round of voting are to be announced Oct. 1. Subsequent rounds, if needed, are scheduled each week thereafter until one candidate receives more than half the votes, with a possible fifth round result by Oct. 29.

Series of debates scheduled

Candidates knocked off the ballot after each round will be able to endorse any of the other remaining candidates. At that point party members will have the chance to change their votes to another contender.

"And so we might see, over the course of weeks, candidates challenging each other on certain issues," said Devereux.

"This model means that ... people will be organizing phone trees, telephone town halls, public meetings, rallies," added NDP national director Robert Fox.

A series of debates throughout the spring and summer will build up to the showcase event in Toronto where candidates can give speeches, play videos, enlist performers or do anything else they think could attract votes.

In the last leadership vote in 2012, candidates made their big pitches to would-be supporters after advance voting had ended. The vast majority of voters had already cast ballots by then and the candidates' pitches didn't impact the results.

'One fantastic and wild ride'

That convention, which chose Mulcair to replace Jack Layton, who had died the previous August, was also marred by low voter turnout and attacks on the party's online voting system, which caused frustration and forced a delay in reaching a final count.

Julian kicked off this race last weekend, vowing to build a country "where everyone matters and no one is left behind," and promising to get rid of post-secondary tuition fees, create new jobs and oppose projects such as Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Keystone XL pipeline.

The same day, Quebec MP Guy Caron stepped aside as the NDP's finance critic to consider a leadership bid.

Other possible contenders include Ontario MP Charlie Angus, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and Ontario deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

charlie angus
NDP MP Charlie Angus is a possible contender in the party's leadership race. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Angus could be the next contender. While he has so far only said he was contemplating a run for the job, a posting Friday on his Facebook page for a party in Toronto next weekend left little to the imagination.

"Come out and get active in what will be one fantastic and wild ride," the invite reads.

Singh also said this week he is now "seriously considering" putting his name on the ballot after initially thinking the support shown him was "a bit of a fluke."

The first of several leadership debates is scheduled for March 12 in Ottawa.

Prospective candidates have until July 3 to officially enter the race. And Canadians have until Aug. 17 to sign a membership card if they want to be eligible to vote.
Posted: February 17, 2017, 10:21 pm

Justin Trudeau Tells St. Matthew's Banquet To 'Get Real' About Workers' Anxieties

HAMBURG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used one of Germany's most prestigious black-tie galas to tell business leaders to "get real" about the addressing the anxieties of their workers in an uncertain world.

Trudeau delivered the no-holds-barred message to an audience of 400 politicians, business leaders and other notables at the annual St. Matthew's Banquet in the opulent Hamburg city hall.

The St. Matthew's Banquet is a 700-year-old event in which the elders of the city-states invited foreign guests to celebrate their friendship. It has heard from kings, presidents, mayors and others in what is now Germany's second-largest city.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L), Hamburg's mayor Olaf Scholz and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel wait ahead the Mattiae meal in Hamburg, northern Germany, on Feb. 17, 2017.(Photo: Christian Charisius/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year, former British prime minister David Cameron addressed the gathering and laid out his plan for battling his country's Brexit forces. Cameron failed and Britons voted to leave the European Union, part of a global wave of disruption that culminated with Donald Trump's surprise victory in the November presidential election.

Officials say Trudeau was mindful of the whirlwind global changes that have taken place since, especially in Europe — rising anti-trade resentment and a backlash against immigration — when he accepted the invitation to address the banquet.

Trudeau has spoken repeatedly in Europe this week about the need for politicians to address the "anxieties" of working people, who are fearful of the pace of change, and of being left behind in the globalized world.

'We have to address the root cause of their worries'

And he has spoken of the need for politicians to do a better job explaining the tangible benefits of agreements such as Canada's free trade deal with the European Union — a pact the European Parliament ratified earlier in the week over the objections of a vocal civil society movement.

But the prime minister ramped up the message on Friday night in Hamburg, all but telling the corporate elite seated before him to shape up, and stop profiting at the expense of their employees.

"No more brushing aside the concerns of our workers and our citizens," the prime minister said in prepared remarks. "We have to address the root cause of their worries, and get real about how the changing economy is impacting peoples' lives."

He even adopted some of the language of anti-trade movements.

"When companies post record profits on the backs of workers consistently refused full-time work — and the job security that comes with it — people get defeated," he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Hamburg's mayor Olaf Scholz at the town hall in Hamburg, northern Germany, on Feb. 17, 2017. (Photo: Christian Charisius/AFP/Getty Images)

"Increasingly, inequality has made citizens distrust their governments, distrust their employers. It turns into 'us versus them."'

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called Trudeau a friend of Europe and praised the Canada-EU free trade deal as an answer to the "new nationalism" in the United States.

Trudeau said the anxiety of working people is turning into anger, and politicians and business leaders need to take heed and take "long-term responsibility" for workers, their families, and the communities in which they operate.

"For business leaders, it's about thinking beyond your short-term responsibility to your shareholders," Trudeau said.

"It's time to pay a living wage, to pay your taxes. And give your workers the benefits — and peace of mind — that come with stable, full-time contracts."

He said employers can't leave their employees feeling "overworked and undervalued" and must find ways to help them "modernize their skills for a changing world."

"It's just like Leonard Cohen (wrote) ... 'There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.'"

The prime minister also flaunted his feminism, saying: "When you hear that an employee is expecting a child, congratulate her. Don't make her question whether or not she'll have a job to come back to."

Olaf Scholz, the first mayor of Hamburg, introduced Trudeau by saying he was honouring Germany by attending the banquet.

"How you defend openness, humanity and progress in words and deeds makes Canada a role model for us as well as for the liberal and social forces around the world," Scholz said.

"It's just like Leonard Cohen (wrote) ... 'There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."'

Trudeau said he understood the "irony of preaching about the struggles of the middle class to a sea of tuxedoes and ball gowns, while wearing a bow-tie myself."

Feds 'on track' to reduce child poverty: PM

Trudeau also noted that his government raised taxes on the wealthiest one per cent while improving child tax benefits. He said his government is "on track" to reduce child poverty in Canada by 40 per cent.

"Whether you're a business or a government, it's time to realize that this anger and anxiety we see washing over the world is coming from a very real place," he said.

"And it's not going away."
Posted: February 17, 2017, 9:44 pm

S-201: NDP Blasts Liberals For Trying To Gut Genetic Discrimination Bill

In an unusual twist, New Democrats were able to ask and answer their own query in question period Friday while calling out Liberals for gutting a bill that seeks to outlaw genetic discrimination.

Veteran NDP MP David Christopherson rose to address the fate of Bill S-201, championed by former senator James Cowan. The bill would prohibit employers and insurance companies from forcing an individual to undergo genetic testing or disclose their results.

Maximum penalties for those who break the law would be a fine of $1 million or imprisonment for up to five years.

alistair macgregor
NDP MP Alistair MacGregor rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Feb. 17, 2017. (Photo: Justin Tang/CP)

The bill, staunchly opposed by the insurance industry, passed unanimously in the Senate. However, Liberals brought forward amendments this week would defang the bill and merely include genetic discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act, The Hill Times reports.

The government is reportedly concerned the bill could be unconstitutional because regulating the insurance industry is a matter of provincial jurisdiction.

Christopherson said S-201 is about protecting Canadians who are “at risk of being denied insurance coverage” if they don’t disclose private genetic information.

He asked the chair or vice-chair of the Commons justice committee to tell the House how many expert witnesses testified on S-201 and how many meetings were devoted to studying the bill before it came to the Commons. Liberal MP Anthony Housefather is the chair of the justice committee.

NDP MP answers, then asks

After about 30 seconds of confusion, committee vice-chair — NDP MP Alistair MacGregor — provided the response.

MacGregor said the committee heard from 28 witnesses over five different meetings who provided “overwhelming testimony” in support of S-201.

“The committee itself reported the bill back without amendments,” MacGregor said, sparking applause.

Then MacGregor rose to ask a question of the Liberal government, which he accused of behaving in an “astonishing” fashion by deleting a majority of the bill’s clauses.

"At the 11th hour, the Liberals caved to pressure from the insurance industry."

“At the 11th hour, the Liberals caved to pressure from the insurance industry,” MacGregor charged.

“Why is this government more interested in protecting the profits of insurance companies than protecting Canadians?”

Marco Mendicino, parliamentary secretary to the justice minister, said Liberals see the bill as a step forward in preventing genetic discrimination and protecting the privacy rights of Canadians.

Mendicino said the government was striking “the right balance between the roles that should be played by the federal government and the provincial governments.”

The parliamentary secretary said he looked forward to more debate in the House "so we can achieve the goals of that bill."

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Posted: February 17, 2017, 9:33 pm

Bruce Carson, Former Top Aide To Stephen Harper, Found Guilty Of Influence Peddling

TORONTO — A one-time top aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper was convicted of criminal influence-peddling by Ontario's highest court on Friday.

In overturning a previous acquittal against Bruce Carson, the Court of Appeal said in a split decision that the case should go back to the trial judge for sentencing.

Carson, a senior adviser to Harper from the time the Conservatives took office in 2006 until 2008 and briefly in 2009, was charged in connection with attempts to promote the sale of water-purification systems for First Nations communities by a company known as H2O Pros and H2O Global. H2O had hired his former girlfriend, Michele McPherson, with whom he developed a romantic relationship in February 2010.

bruce carson
Bruce Carson was a senior adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper from the time the Conservatives took office in 2006 until 2008 and briefly in 2009. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Evidence was that Carson admitted demanding a benefit for McPherson from H2O in exchange for using his government contacts on the company's behalf. However, he denied his activities had anything to with "any matter of business relating to the government."

In November 2015, Superior Court Justice Bonnie Warkentin found Carson not guilty, despite concluding that he had admitted trying to persuade officials within Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and cabinet ministers and their staff to buy the systems to McPherson's benefit.

Those officials, the justice ruled, had no direct ability to sway First Nations communities to buy the equipment because the bands made their own decisions on such purchases and, as such, 'there simply was no government business" involved.

The prosecution appealed, with the issue turning on wording in the Criminal Code about whether Carson's lobbying activities were linked to a "matter of business relating to the government."

$50,000 fine for illegal lobbying

In overturning the acquittal, the Court of Appeal found Carson had indeed attempted to ensure his girlfriend could earn commissions on the sales of water-treatment systems to First Nations.

"It was understood that, in exchange, he would attempt to influence government decisions," Justice Gladys Pardu wrote for the Appeal Court majority. "The essence of the offence is acceptance of a benefit for exercise of influence."

As such, the court concluded, Carson's conduct fell within the scope of the conduct captured by the Criminal Code provision under which he was charged.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Janet Simmons said Warkentin's decision was based on a common-sense reading of the law and had correctly found the prosecution had failed to prove Carson's conduct had violated the relevant section.

Carson was convicted in separate proceedings last September and fined $50,000 for illegal lobbying related to work he did on a national energy strategy while director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment and later as vice-chairman of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada.

The judge in that case found he had contact with ministers and deputy ministers as well as with officials in the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office while employed at the institute even though he was still under a five-year lobbying ban because of his work at the PMO. The court heard that he earned about $600,000 for his lobbying work.
Posted: February 17, 2017, 9:22 pm

B.C. General Election: Let The Liberal Mudslinging Commence

Splat. It would seem British Columbia's 41st general election is well underway.

News that someone may have hacked the B.C. Liberal party's website caused quite the uproar.

Charges, counter-charges, flurries of tweets, threats of lawsuits, privacy investigations, possible police investigations, it had it all.

The Liberal party even doubled down on their charge by claiming that one of the computers that tried to hack its website is located somewhere in the legislature.

christy clark
Christy Clark. (Photo: CP)

Premier Christy Clark went all in by accusing the B.C. NDP of the nefarious deed.

Was NDP leader John Horgan really moonlighting?

Nope, it was B.C.'s very own Miss Marple: Delta South Independent MLA Vicki Huntington.

Talk about a splat backfiring. Clark apologized to the NDP for her groundless accusation.

How did Huntington and her staff successfully hack the Liberal party's website?

In an ingenious move, they typed a URL into the browser and hit click.

Turns out the site was never hacked, and if the Liberals hadn't been so intent on trying to score political points, they might have heard countless computer geeks trying to tell them that.

Also lost in the hullabaloo was a characteristic most hackers have in common: they don't want "the hackee" to know they've been hacked.

internet browser
(Photo: Mishooo via Getty Images)

It's a risk-losing-your-hacking-license kind of offence.

When individuals tied to the Russian government allegedly hacked their way into the computers of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, they didn't do a celebratory high-five and walk away, they stuck around.

One perpetrator has copied more than 70,000 pages of the Liberal party's website, though.

The San Francisco-based Wayback Machine -- a digital Internet archive -- routinely takes snapshots of websites, including the Liberal party's, and has done so 11 times since December 1.

As they say, the Internet never forgets.

If the mudslinging has commenced, what else can we look forward to in the coming weeks? Newspeak, spinning and severe fact-rationing.

It can seem like a cross between living in a parallel universe and the film Groundhog Day.

The 2017 Port Moody-Coquitlam provincial election blog has been tracking the government's growing list of "number one" priorities.

4/4 Class comp. is priority #1 -- more educators helping more students. BCTF or CUPE, it doesn't matter because students' needs come first.

— Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) August 31, 2014

In 2014, Premier Christy Clark tweeted that class composition in the province's schools was the number one priority because "students' needs come first."

A year later "the top priority was and remains the development of LNG in B.C.," according to a Clark quote in a B.C. Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Update.

Last March after a clean energy conference, Clark said that "securing federal cash to upgrade the hydro grid between B.C. and Alberta was the number one priority of her government."

A month later at the Council of Forest Industries' Convention "achieving a softwood lumber agreement was the number one priority."

It would seem number one priorities shift based on the audience.

White lies are being trotted out.

Using the hashtag #bcfirst, the government also likes to boast about being number one, but never about B.C. being first in Canada for part-time jobs, first for highest housing costs or MSP premiums.

Then there will be the "defending the indefensible" spin or the "it's OK for our party, but not yours."

Case in point, this quote: "He was pretty young then. He's probably matured over the last four years. He's apologized unreservedly."

Damage control over a back-dated memo or racists tweets?

It would be the words of Housing Minister Rich Coleman, co-chair of the B.C. Liberal election campaign, last year defending then-candidate Randy Rinaldo over a series of tweets in 2012 and 2013.

rich coleman
>Housing Minister Rich Coleman. (Photo: CP)

An apology was good enough for Coleman. Should all politicians be so forgiving.

White lies are being trotted out. The other day, Coleman erroneously claimed on CKNW that B.C. has the third lowest hydro rates in North America.

Not true, according to Coleman's own source material.

Out of 11 Canadian cites, Vancouver has the fith lowest rates in one model and seventh lowest in two others. In 2007, Vancouver was second lowest in all three.

As former New York senator, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not their own facts."

So sit back and get ready for some good old-fashioned mudslinging not seen in these parts for some time, a strong dose of double standards in the political spin department and a few guffaws over fact-checking.

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be quite the ride.

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Posted: February 17, 2017, 8:57 pm

Canadian Forces Recruit Who Committed Suicide At Training School Sought Help, Mom Says

OTTAWA — The mother of a young military recruit who killed himself last month at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., says her son asked for help but didn't receive the attention he needed.

“I want to protect his memory and I want [the public] to know what really happened because... someone failed. I’m doing it for him,” Fiona Barker told The Huffington Post Québec Thursday.

canada soldier
A Canadian flag is seen on the sleeve of a Canadian soldier in Kingston, Ont., on June 1, 2016. (Photo: Lars Hagberg/CP)

Twenty-three-year-old Dylan James Barclay was sent to a local suicide prevention centre, near the military base, on Friday, Jan. 27, his mother said. He stayed overnight but returned to the military’s basic training centre the next day. He was found dead at the school less than 24 hours later on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 5:37 p.m. after he threw himself from an eighth-storey window of the building where the recruits are housed.

Barclay was only at the Saint-Jean Garrison for five days, according to Christine Hurov, a spokesperson with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Barker said the Forces have been providing her with some support since her son died and she’s been told an inquiry will be performed to understand the circumstances surrounding his death. But she said she is frustrated that she hasn’t been given more details for now.

"All I know is my child cried for help and no one helped him, so the public needs to know this."

“He asked for help, they took him [to the suicide prevention centre] Friday night and he was supposed to be assessed in the morning and brought back… but they’re not telling me anything. They don’t know if he was assessed, they don’t know when he was brought back. Well, they do, but they’re not telling me,” she said.

“All I know is my child cried for help and no one helped him, so the public needs to know this. Someone failed. Big time.”

Once the inquiry is underway, Hurov said, the family will be kept informed of the latest developments.

Hurov would not say if or why Barclay was sent to the Suicide Prevention Center of Haut-Richelieu. The school and the centre have an agreement to help recruits in need.

Second death in 5 months

The centre’s executive director, Danielle Chrétien, also declined to say why Barclay was released after spending one night in their care.

“I cannot comment on this,” Chrétien told HuffPost.

Hurov said there are many pathways to help a recruit in need. Aside from the suicide prevention centre, a recruit could have been redirected to the chain of command, the chaplain, the nearest hospital or even the police, she said.

This is the second time in five months that a young recruit has committed suicide during the "indoctrination period" at the Canadian Forces’ school. During these first five weeks, recruits are not allowed to leave the military base.

Last September, Michaël Pinel-Duquette, 19, was found dead in his room during his second week of training.

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Posted: February 17, 2017, 6:57 pm

Read Judge William Horkins full decision – Jian Ghomeshi trial

Read Judge William Horkins full decision – Jian Ghomeshi trial

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