Zagreb (Croatia): Croatia’s defense ministry says three Croatian soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been injured in an apparent attack by a suicide bomber on their convoy. Defense Minister Darmir Krsticevic told reporters Wednesday that one of the soldiers suffered serious injuries to the head and remains in life-threatening condition. The other two are out of danger. Officials say the soldiers were in a convoy Wednesday morning near a military base on the outskirts of Kabul when the attacker slammed his motorcycle into one of the vehicles. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the attacker. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKrsticevic said the soldiers are aged between 27 and 32 and that “this was an isolated incident and all other Croatian soldiers are safe.” There are 99 Croatian soldiers serving with the international mission in Afghanistan. 30. 2 S Koreans, 15 Russians held in NKorea after boat drifts (134) Seoul, Jul 24 (AP) Seoul says two South Koreans and 15 Russians have been held in North Korea for a week after their boat drifted into North Korean waters.
Kolkata: Calcutta High Court judge Samapti Chattopadhyay, who is hearing the Bongaon Municipality trust vote and other local body cases, on Wednesday barred journalists from entering her court room till further orders. At the commencement of the hearing on the Bongaon matter, Justice Chattopadhyay orally directed that reporters would not be allowed to be present in her court room, during hearing of cases, till further orders. Eleven BJP councillors had moved the high court claiming they had not been allowed to enter the municipal body office for participating in a ‘no trust’ vote against the chairman and that Justice Chattopadhyay’s earlier order on moving a no-confidence motion was not followed by the administration. The high court judge has recently pulled up the West Bengal government over several issues, including the manner of holding trust votes in municipal bodies and illegal filling up of water bodies. State-empanelled lawyers had on July 22 decided to not attend the court of Justice Chattopadhyay protesting her remarks against the West Bengal government, only to rescind the decision a day later.
Foreign tourists visiting the Rajasthan capital are not just city hopping but have a definite purpose of late – they are coming to learn yoga and taking it to their native shores. These travellers go to the culturally-rich city, learn mudra and meditation, and then go on to open yoga centres in their countries to reap the twin benefits of health and wealth there. Palma from Spain, says, “There is a yoga boom in Spain. When I came to Jaipur for six months with my husband on a official tour, I was suggested by my niece, who runs a yoga centre for corporates in Barcelona, to learn the art of yoga and meditation during my stay. She said people in Spain wanted to practice yoga and it would be good if I learn it.” Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”I did my quick search and zeroed in on one of the centres. It was an amazing feeling to learn this ancient practice, which made me calm, agile and active. On return to Spain, I shall be starting my yoga classes in October.” “Everybody there is excited to know that they will be having a yoga centre right there with a certified trainer,” Palma added. Says Sharon from Hong Kong, “After completing yoga training in Jaipur, I returned to Hong Kong and started teaching at yoga studios. Currently, I’m implementing mindfulness and yoga to make a difference in young bodies and minds at an international primary school. I also work there as a full-time primary school teacher.” Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardBhupinder, employed in a Dubai hotel, learned yoga in Jaipur and is now conducting yoga classes there on part-time basis. “It’s a great experience to teach people this ancient art, which keeps them healthy and active,” he said. While these professionals have taken yoga to the next level in foreign lans, Daphn Dudemaine, a yoga professional in France, plans to visit India with her students to take part in yoga sessions here and introduce them to the rich cultural legacy of this nation. “I am a yoga integral teacher. I impart yoga to groups, associations and yoga studios. I also give private lessons and organise yoga internships and retreats in France or other nations. In 2020, I will organise yoga retreats in Cyprus and Greece. India is also on my calendar,” Dudemaine said. On the occasion of the International Yoga Day, I organised an event that was open to all of my city to discover yoga. After the first edition, I went to the Indian embassy in Paris, who supported me for the 2nd edition, Dudemaine said. Not only these foreign guests are taking yoga beyond borders, Indian too are spreading this ancient art of meditation across the globe. Jayawardhan Rathore had gone to France to learn French. Driven by the passion to make a cultural exchange, Rathore started free yoga classes there. Rathore, an assistant professor in a private university here, said, “I went to France for a short-term course. As I had completed 200 hours of yoga, I started yoga classes there with an idea to learn French from them and teach them yoga.” Initially, he started once-a-week-four-month yoga sessions at a park with friends. It was not-paid kind of session to make the French aware of yoga. It received a huge response. Around 50 people, in the 20-40 year age group, which included doctors, teachers, researchers and corporate groups started taking part in the session. Yogi Umesh Sharma, director, Yogasthali Jaipur, said, “Students are coming from all parts of the world, like Australia, Brazil, Dubai, Spain, the UK and America, which proves yoga has no religion. They are quite eager to learn the art of yoga. They come with an aim and purpose. Hence, it’s easy to teach them”. “Many have returned to their countries and have started own centres. We keep in touch and they share how happy their students are after learning yoga. Around 50 of my students have completed teacher training course and have started their centres in foreign nations. While we all know Rishikesh is world yoga capital, tourists here have fallen in love with yoga teaching. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say Jaipur is next to Rishikesh in this context,” Sharma remarked.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday extended till tomorrow the interim protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna heard arguments advanced by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that Chidambaram was trying to play “victim card” and prevent ED from exercising its right to arrest him in the case. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case,” Mehta told the bench, which would continue hearing arguments in the case on Thursday. The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED. “A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card,” Mehta said while opposing grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram.
BRAMPTON, Ont. – Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) says it is recalling select packages of chicken nuggets out of what “an abundance of caution.”The grocery chain says some packages of President’s Choice pub recipe chicken nuggets may expose consumers to salmonella if the nuggets are improperly handled.Loblaw says the recalled nuggets bear a best-before code of “2018 MR 15” and were sold prior to Wednesday in most of the country at Loblaw stores and at affiliated outlets such as No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Dominion, Provigo and others.According to Health Canada guidelines, salmonella can be avoided if consumers properly follow cooking instructions and cook frozen raw, breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit).Loblaw says all affected products have been removed from store shelves.Customers can return the product to any store where President’s Choice products are sold for a full refund, with or without a receipt.
Canada’s economic success over the past decade has largely been thanks to Alberta’s success.A new study from the Fraser Institute shows the province contributed $221.4-billion more revenue to the federal government than it received in transfer payments and services between 2007 and 2015.Report co-author Ben Eisen said it works out to a net outflow of about $20-billion in tax revenue per year.“That means if Alberta’s contribution were more in line with the average province, the deficit would be about $20-billion bigger, it would be about twice as large as it is,” he said.“That’s dramatically larger than Ontario’s, despite the fact that Ontario is about three times as populous as Alberta, so it really is difficult to overstate just how big a contribution Alberta makes to the fiscal health of the country.”That hasn’t changed much since 2015.Alberta is also a province of just four million people so, that is a huge per person contribution, about $5,000 per Albertan per year.“Even today, even with oil prices much lower, even with Alberta having recently started to emerge from a very long recession, Alberta is still by far the largest net contributor to federal finances,” Eisen said.But it remains a cautionary tale for provinces who want to slow or stop energy development.“The economic growth in Alberta that comes in large measure from the resource sector and development there benefits people all across the country,” explained Eisen.Eisen added environmental considerations are important but these projects shouldn’t be opposed for opposition sake.
WINNIPEG – Former United States president Jimmy Carter was taken to hospital Thursday after he became dehydrated while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, an international home-building charity he has supported for decades.Carter, 92, was helping with a project in Winnipeg and was building a set of stairs along with other volunteers when he began to feel weak after two hours in the sun.“He had just said that he needed to take a break and so he sat down — there was a chair that was close to him,” said Manitoba Families Minister Scott Fielding, one of the volunteers.“He sat down there and his secret security were there as well. They hydrated him, giving him some water and some Gatorade.”Carter required assistance to walk to a nearby trailer and was taken soon afterward by ambulance across town to St. Boniface General Hospital.“We were out in the hot sun, and you’re doing a lot of work. No matter what age you are, you’re going to get dehydrated,” Fielding said.The chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International said Carter received medical attention as a precaution, but was fine.“He has been taken off-site for observation. He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and to keep building,” Jonathan Reckford said.Carter was in Edmonton earlier this week helping Habitat For Humanity, which builds affordable housing for low-income earners.Carter served as U.S. president from 1977 to 1981. He was diagnosed with melanoma in 2015 and was treated with an immunotherapy drug. He said months later medical scans no longer showed any cancer.His wife, Rosalynn, was with him at the project Thursday and by his side at the hospital. The St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation gave its annual International Award to her in 1979 when she was first lady. The award, which pays tribute to medical and humanitarian efforts, has in other years been given to people such as Mother Teresa and basketball star Steve Nash.In an interview with The Canadian Press earlier this week, the former president said that Canadian governments should consider emulating the non-profit group he has promoted for years as a way to alleviate an affordable housing crunch in this country.He pointed out that other countries such as Peru have adopted similar models to help build more affordable housing units and reduce reliance on the social safety net.He acknowledged the housing challenge remains a difficult one to tackle for policy-makers and volunteers.“What the local, state and federal government do, and what volunteers like we do … makes a big dent in the need, but it’s still not enough,” he said.Habitat for Humanity is building 150 homes across Canada this year to mark the country’s sesquicentennial.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had Mother Teresa spelling incorrectly
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate Wednesday in a Montreal meeting with the federal-provincial task force charged with managing an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers over the Canada-U.S. border.While officials say the number of those crossing into Quebec has declined to about 140 a day this week compared to from 250 a day last week, the federal government continues to ramp up its ability to process their claims for refugee status — and to be ready for a potential new spike in arrivals.More than 6,000 people have crossed illegally into Quebec from New York since July, the vast majority Haitians. They’re believed to be fleeing an announcement by the U.S. government that it is considering lifting temporary protected status for Haitian nationals, meaning thousands could end up deported back to Haiti.But they’re not the only group facing that policy change: temporary protected status for citizens from nine other countries is set to expire in the coming months and there’s no guarantee the U.S. will renew it.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says he’s aware citizens from those countries could very well be seeking to tread the same rocky paths over the Canada-U.S. border as Haitians continue to do.Canada doesn’t know if protected status will be lifted, Hussen said in an interview Tuesday.“Every country has a sovereign right to decide who comes into their country, who stays, who gets removed and the United States is no exception,” he said.“But we will be vigorous, we will be proactive.”The federal Liberals have been accused by the Opposition Conservatives of being anything but proactive in their response to the increased numbers of asylum seekers coming into Canada since the start of the year.While the change in U.S. policy is likely the root cause of the Haitians migration, they’ve been spurred as well by false information circulating since the spring on social media and elsewhere, claiming that Canada will give them special status because of their temporary protected position in the U.S.Hussen said it was not fair to suggest the government hasn’t been doing enough outreach.He noted that he and others have been stressing for months that those crossing illegally into Canada have no guarantee of asylum and have also repeatedly pointed out that all security screening procedures are being followed.It was, however, was only last week that Canadian consulates in the U.S. were drafted into efforts to clear up misconceptions about Canada’s system.On Wednesday, Liberal MP Emmanuel Dubourg will travel to Miami for direct contact with the Haitian diaspora there, using his status as a member of Canada’s Haitian community and fluent Creole skills to try and manage the issue.Dubourg is also a member of the task force that will meet in Montreal.He said in an interview with The Canadian Press this week that, for now, he’s unaware of any efforts being made to directly reach out to groups from other countries who could be looking to come to Canada.Trudeau is also scheduled to meet Haitian community leaders in Montreal on Wednesday.Hussen said the efforts underway in Canada to deal with the current flow will stand the government in good stead should there be another wave.Among the measures to be discussed Wednesday include progress in increasing the number of immigration officers available in both Montreal and Cornwall, Ont., — where hundreds of asylum seekers are being temporarily housed — in order to process claims faster.Eventually, the goal is to build a mobile team of immigration officials who could process claims on site — a group that could be deployed should another surge materialize.
KINDERSLEY, Sask. – A British Armed Forces veteran is facing the prospect of his first Remembrance Day without his nine medals for years of service in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Iraq.Jim Watson’s medals were stolen during a break-in at his apartment in Kindersley, Sask., over the weekend along with military memorabilia and other household items.The 54-year-old discovered the theft early Monday when he returned from a weekend visit to his family’s home in Medicine Hat, Alta. The medals, which had just been remounted for the Nov. 11 ceremony, were missing from the sideboard where he left them.The former staff sergeant, who now works as a general sales manager in Kindersley during the week, says the theft left him devastated and in disbelief.“It’s just sickening,” Watson said Wednesday. “I’ve never attended a Remembrance Day parade and not had my medals.”Watson, a married father and grandfather, immigrated to Canada in 2003 after a 24-year military career and worked in the oilpatch before the economic downturn.“We love it in Canada and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else,” he said. “We’ve always felt safe here.”Watson said he planned to leave the medals to his family in his will but that may not be possible now.“They’re going to lose that,” he said. “The rest of the stuff I can replace … Even if I got replicas, they are not the same medals. They have to be those medals.”Along with his medals, the thieves took a series of keys hanging on hooks, including one to the Kindersley legion hall. The hall was also broken into over the weekend and alcohol was stolen.Kindersley RCMP spokeswoman Meghan Mochoruk says no one has been arrested and investigators are not sure how many people were involved in the break-in.Watson is considering offering a $500 reward for the return of his medals. He said he hopes someone who knows something about the break-in contacts police or that the medals are just dropped off somewhere in time for him to wear them on Remembrance Day.“This Nov. 11 is going to be really hard if I don’t have them.”— By Ken Trimble in Edmonton
OTTAWA – Hidden away somewhere on Parliament Hill is the bronzed relief of Lt.-Col. Samuel Sharpe.Finished two years ago, the sculpture appeared destined for a spot in the foyer outside the House of Commons to commemorate the former MP and recognize all Canadian veterans struggling with psychological injuries.Yet despite mounting calls for the Trudeau government to have it unveiled, the sculpture remains in storage, raising fears that Sharpe and other veterans suffering with mental trauma won’t get the recognition they deserve.“He was hospitalized and then sadly he died by suicide,” said Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, who occupies Sharpe’s old seat and, as veterans affairs minister in 2015, first started the push to recognize the former MP.“Let’s use that sad legacy to help people today make sure they come forward to get help. It’s not a political project; it’s the right thing to do.”Sharpe was a sitting member of Parliament when he helped raise the Canadian Expeditionary Force’s 116th battalion and then headed overseas to command the unit during the First World War.Not only was Sharpe involved in some of the biggest and bloodiest Canadian battles of the First World War, he was re-elected in absentia only a few weeks after Passchendaele, where he received an award for gallantry.But Sharpe would never retake his seat. The strain and trauma of Passchendaele, where more than 16,000 Canadians were killed or wounded, including one of his closest friends, would be too much.Sharpe was hospitalized for “nervous shock” a few months later and returned to Canada. On May 25, 1918, he jumped from a window at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and killed himself.There is already a sculpture in the foyer dedicated to the only serving MP to have died in combat; Lt.-Col. George Baker was killed during the Battle of Mount Sorrel in June 1916, and his statue was erected in 1924.But O’Toole, whose tenure as veterans affairs minister was dominated by concerns about vets suffering from psychological injuries, felt it was time to honour Sharpe — and send a message of support to those in need.“By talking about it, and by putting a small plaque up to honour him, we’re going to show that we recognize there can be mental injuries just as severe as physical injuries from war,” O’Toole said Wednesday.The initiative received support from the Liberals and NDP, as well as retired lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire, whose experience in Rwanda and subsequent struggle with PTSD are known to many Canadians.“Putting a commemoration plaque not far from Baker’s is to recognize that they don’t all die on the battlefield. A bunch of them die at home from injuries of the battlefield,” Dallaire said. “And it should not be hidden away.”Several Liberal MPs have also quietly come out in favour of the project.Yet the space originally set aside for the relief, which was created by artist Tyler Briley, who himself has struggled with PTSD from his days as a firefighter, remains empty.The sculpture’s fate currently lies with Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, who will have to bring the matter to the House of Commons and Speaker Geoff Regan if he wants it in the foyer.Spokesman Alex Wellstead said O’Regan’s commemoration advisory group, which is comprised of veterans and other stakeholders, are reviewing the matter and will come up with a recommendation on where it should go.Wellstead would not say when a decision will be made, but Dallaire said he has heard some advisory group members are worried the Sharpe statue will be seen as glorifying suicide, which he called a “cop-out.”One Liberal MP who supports the sculpture being placed in the foyer said he has also heard that officials are weighing whether to put the sculpture in a mental-health facility for veterans or inside the minister’s office.O’Toole said his concern is that the Liberals are dragging their feet because they associate the initiative with the previous Conservative government, even though it had support from all parties in 2015.And with Centre Block set to close next summer for 10 years of renovations, the fear is that Sharpe will be forgotten again if the sculpture isn’t erected soon.“He deserves his place on the wall,” O’Toole said.“And if the minister wants to cancel this project, he should come out and say he’s cancelling this project. Don’t defer to some committee of veterans or political excuses. Take ownership.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
GRAND BEND, Ont. – Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says talks continue in an effort to resolve an issue that led to the closure of a provincial park nearly two weeks ago.Pinery Provincial Park in southwestern Ontario was closed to the public on Nov. 9 after demonstrators set up a trailer by the front gate in support of what police said was a land claim.Ministry spokeswoman Emily Kirk says the trailer has been moved so that it now blocks the park entrance.Kirk says the ministry and Ontario Provincial Police are involved in discussions with the individuals involved.The park near Grand Bend, Ont., boasts about 10 kilometres of sand beach along Lake Huron and 21 square kilometres of forests and rolling dunes.It has been the site of land claim protests in the past.An Aboriginal family led by demonstrator Maynard T. George has made several attempts to “repossess” Pinery Provincial Park in past years, saying the land belongs to approximately 100 of his great-grandfather’s descendants.In 2004, then Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant told the legislature that George’s claim was “an individual grievance” and not a land claim.Bryant noted that the First Nations in the area — Kettle and Stony Point First Nation — had said that they didn’t endorse the grievance and that they have no land claim at Pinery.Pinery Park is near Camp Ipperwash, where a land claim demonstration turned deadly in 1995 when a police sniper killed Dudley George — no relation to Maynard George — during a raid on the protesters’ camp.The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation approved the deal with the federal government in 2015 to settle that claim.
MONTREAL – Montreal’s La Presse has published its final print edition after more than 133 years.The French-language newspaper will continue to publish content on its digital platforms.La Presse had already ceased publishing a daily print product on Jan. 1, 2016, and announced in June that the Dec. 30 Saturday paper would be its last.The company said at the time that the move to a fully digital platform meant that 49 full- and part-time jobs would be eliminated.La Presse’s president writes in the final edition that the decision was inevitable given the public’s adoption of new forms of communication and the shift of advertising dollars to digital platforms.Pierre-Elliott Levasseur says the end of the print era is part of a gradual shift to digital that began several years ago.“Today, the information sector is evolving at an accelerated rhythm and the emergence of social media giants brings us face to face with a completely different form of competition,” he wrote in Saturday’s paper.“Given this new reality, the transition towards digital had become as necessary as it was inevitable.”Torstar and the parent company of La Presse hold investments in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail.
Canadian women stepped up at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Friday, securing the country its best showing at a Winter Games.Kelsey Serwa of Kelowna, B.C., and Brittany Phelan of Mont-Tremblant, Que., started the day with gold and silver, respectively, in the women’s skicross final. Less than three hours later, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., took bronze in women’s figure skating for Canada’s 27th medal — one more than the 26 it earned in Vancouver in 2010.RECORD: #PyeongChang2018 is #TeamCanada’s most medals won at a single Olympic Winter Games! 27 pic.twitter.com/ZhHJ51I7TR— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) February 23, 2018Osmond, all smiles after her performance, wasn’t aware of the significance of her bronze.“I did not know that, but that is very exciting,” she said.Skate Canada’s high performance director Mike Slipchuk was keeping track of the medal tally, however.“That was in the back of my mind when I saw the two skicross medals today,” he said. “I thought, ‘OK, we’re the first gold of the Games (the team figure skating event) and we can be the first ones to put us over to 27.”Serwa’s gold was the 10th first-place finish for Canada in Pyeongchang. It was also her second Olympic medal after taking silver in Sochi four years ago.“Our skis were rockets today,” the 28-year-old Serwa said.“I had a plan and executed it, and was so fired up. And to be there with my teammate and best friend Britt too.”Phelan called the 1-2 Canadian finish “absolutely amazing.”“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” she said. “To finish second behind my best friend, it’s like a dream come true.”Related contentCanadians win gold, silver in Olympic women’s skicrossKaetlyn Osmond wins Olympic bronze medal in women’s figure skatingOlympic medal count for Pyeongchang Winter GamesThe day didn’t start well for Canada on the skicross course, though. Sochi gold medallist Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., was eliminated after falling in the opening heat at Phoenix Park while India Sherret of Cranbrook, B.C., was also eliminated after crashing into a roller.The 21-year-old Sherrett had to be taken off on a sled. She was in stable condition and was taken to hospital for tests.Friday’s race was Thompson’s first competitive event since she ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament during a training run in October that forced her to sit out the World Cup season.Her comeback bid appeared to be on track after she led the 24-skier field in the seeding round on Thursday.“I’m quite disappointed with how that race went, especially having won seeding yesterday,” Thompson said. “But I’m really proud that I was able to race here and to compete for Canada, so that was an accomplishment unto itself.”On the ice, Osmond scored 152.15 in her long program to music from “Black Swan” for a combined score of 231.02. The 22-year-old, who almost quit skating after breaking her leg in a training accident in 2014, nailed her long program with seven triples jumps. Her only mishap was a slight bobble on a triple Lutz.Canadians experienced agony & ecstasy as Kaetlyn Osmond achieved a historic fourth medal for Canada figure skating: https://t.co/ZGM44fZdte (@ShiDavidi) pic.twitter.com/sNmQkjgIn8— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2018Russia’s Alina Zagitova, just 15 years old, scored a combined 239.57 to capture gold. Teammate and reigning world champion Evgenia Medvedeva won silver with 238.26 points.In the moments after her medal-winning skate, Osmond thought of the gruesome broken leg that almost drove her out of the sport, and she was so thankful that it happened.“It feels like forever ago,” Osmond said. “To think that I almost hung up my skates then and called it quits, it’s amazing.“But I don’t think I would have been able to perform the way I did today without that injury. I re-grouped and almost became a new person afterwards. I had to mature. I had to refocus on how to stay on the ice and feel strong. And I don’t think I would have been able to perform this choreography as good as I could without that experience.”Dressed in black, her hair pulled up in a tight ballerina bun — think Natalie Portman’s character “Nina” — Osmond knelt on the ice afterward, hands on knees, grinning to herself.“When I hit my ending position, I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to enjoy every minute of it,” Osmond said.It was a disastrous day for Gabrielle Daleman, who was seventh after the short program. The 20-year-old from Newmarket, Ont., fell three times and was deducted 4.00 points.A day after Canada’s disappointing 3-2 shootout loss to the United States in the women’s hockey final, Canadian defenceman Jocelyne Larocque said she regrets taking off her silver medal after it was placed around her neck.Larocque issued a statement through Hockey Canada apologizing to the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and her teammates and fans.“I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games,” Larocque said. “Being on the podium at the world’s biggest sporting event is a great achievement and one that I’m thankful I was able to experience with my teammates.”Larocque removed the medal as soon as it was placed around her neck. The image was captured on television and then shared widely on social media.
OTTAWA – Gender equality and a national pharmacare plan are expected to be two of the cornerstones of the federal budget when it is presented in the House of Commons Tuesday afternoon by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.He has already hinted at efforts to boost the participation of women in the workforce as part of an overall plan to promote so-called inclusive growth.One measure expected in the spending plan is dedicated paid leave for new fathers — or, in the case of same-sex relationships, the non-birthing parent. The goal is to allow parents to handle the task of raising children more equitably.The focus on gender equality — a key priority for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government — could also mean federal dollars to help close the gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces.The budget will also include plans to take the first steps toward a national pharmacare plan — a strategy which would outflank NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who has made such a program one of his top priorities.Senior government officials have told The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity that former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins will be tasked with leading the effort to breathe life into the pharmacare plan.Hoskins hinted at his new position when he abruptly resigned both his cabinet position and his seat in the Ontario legislature Monday, saying he was leaving “to continue building better health care for all Canadians.”The parliamentary budget watchdog calculated last fall that a national, universal pharmacare program would cost more than $19 billion, but could still slash the overall cost of drugs in Canada by more than $4 billion a year.The federal budget is not expected to balance the books, nor is it likely to include a revised timeline for erasing the deficit, which the Liberals initially pledged to do by 2019.The budget is instead expected to unveil major investments in basic scientific research and environmental conservation.It is also expected to include nearly $80 million over five years to build and run a computer system aimed at ending no-fly list mismatches and $50 million over five years to support local journalism in underserved communities.Investments in child welfare and housing for Indigenous communities, expanding a tax credit for low-income earners and spending to help Canadians upgrade their skills for a rapidly changing job market are other expected budget measures.
OTTAWA – Lawyers for the Senate warned of dire consequences for Canada’s democracy Wednesday as they laid out their case for why Sen. Mike Duffy shouldn’t be allowed to sue the upper chamber over his dramatic and protracted suspension without pay five years ago.Allowing Duffy to target the Senate with his $7.8-million lawsuit would obliterate the protective walls aimed at keeping the courts and Parliament separate, they argued. They cited parliamentary privilege — a centuries-old right designed to protect legislators from legal consequence in the course of doing their jobs.Senate lawyer Maxime Faille told the court that while parliamentary privilege may appear arcane, it cannot be taken for granted when looking at “recent events around the globe, near and far.”Chipping away at that right could potentially unleash a flood of cases that would result in an unprecedented tearing down of the separation of powers between the government and the courts, Faille said.The portion of the lawsuit against the Senate hinges on Duffy’s arguments that senators acted unconstitutionally and violated his charter rights when they decided to suspend him without pay in 2013 over questioned expense claims.Faille said the Senate, like the House of Commons, has the right to discipline its members free from judicial review, even if their actions appear repugnant.“The Senate may be wrong, the Senate may be incorrect, but that is a matter for the Senate to determine,” he said.“If we are to sort of crack open this exception — but if they really did it for a really harebrained reason — then we have eviscerated parliamentary privilege and the courts would be sitting in regular review of (parliamentary) discipline actions.”If the court agrees, Duffy’s suit would proceed only against the federal government over the actions of the RCMP during the investigation.Unlike Duffy’s high-profile criminal trial, the arguments made in the first of two days of hearings on the Senate’s request happened in a sparse courtroom. Federal lawyers representing the government and RCMP sat on one side of the room. Duffy sat opposite, with his criminal trial lawyer, Donald Bayne, one row ahead.Duffy is seeking damages from the Senate and the Mounties in the wake of the high-profile investigation and suspension surrounding his expense claims, an explosive political scandal that plagued then prime minister Stephen Harper’s government, culminating in Duffy’s acquittal on 31 charges in April 2016.He filed his claim last August, claiming “an unprecedented abuse of power” when senators voted to suspend him without pay in November 2013 before any criminal charges were filed.Senators who supported Duffy’s suspension stuck fast to the argument that the Senate should be allowed to govern its internal affairs and dole out administrative penalties without fear of judicial sanction.Indeed, Faille said the court lacks any jurisdiction to review the Senate’s decision, order the Senate to pay any money to Duffy, or make a value judgment on whether the upper chamber acted appropriately.Lawrence Greenspon, another of Duffy’s lawyers, told the court later Wednesday the Senate waived its right to privilege when it turned to outside auditors and the RCMP to review Duffy’s spending. He argued the Senate now “seeks to stand privilege on its head” in order to quash Duffy’s lawsuit.Greenspon is expected to resume his arguments Thursday.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.
VANCOUVER – Perry Bellegarde has reclaimed his seat as national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, in an election that also saw his challengers accuse the federal government of interference.Bellegarde won 328 of the 522 votes in a second ballot, giving him just over the 60 per cent needed to be elected as leader for a second term.Bellegarde, who is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan, has said his close relationship with the federal government has secured billions of dollars in new funding for Indigenous issues over the last three budgets. He has been criticized by other candidates for being too cosy with Ottawa.Following his election, he said the assembly’s strong voice has meant positive change for Indigenous communities.First Nations leaders are “bringing about policy and legislative change, and starting to see investments in education, in water, in housing, in health care, and commitments to really do something vital to our survival as Indigenous peoples by bringing about the Indigenous Languages Revitalization Act. So (the federal government is) responding to our agenda that we’re putting in front of them,” Bellegarde said.Sheila North of Manitoba won 125 votes, Miles Richardson of B.C. won 59 votes and Russ Diabo of Quebec won 10 votes.Katherine Whitecloud of Manitoba was eliminated in the first round of voting for having the fewest number of votes.The vote in Vancouver sparked some controversy, as all four of Bellegarde’s challengers claimed election interference by the federal government because Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett was at the convention during the vote.“Our four candidates are standing together to make sure at least the integrity of our decision(-making) political process is protected and honoured amongst our people. We do not condone the interference of the federal government, and anyone who does should be accountable to this assembly,” Richardson said.North said Bennett’s presence represented a “disgusting display of interference” and a direct attack by the Liberal government on the assembly, while Diabo called for the minister to be sanctioned.“This is what we’re talking about, running our own affairs. We don’t need the federal government to interfere in our elections,” she said.Both North and Richardson said they accepted the election results in their concession speeches, while Diabo said there would be consequences — a statement that was met with boos from the audience.Bennett’s office issued a statement saying the minister was invited by Chief Marlene Poitras of Alberta to listen to her regional concerns, and at no point was the election for national chief discussed.“In no way did the minister interfere in the electoral process for national chief. This is a decision for First Nations to make without outside interference,” the statement said.Bellegarde said he considered it the right of the Alberta caucus to invite the cabinet minister.“They’ve got regional issues and national issues of concern they wanted to raise directly to the minister and that’s their right, that’s their call,” he said.Bellegarde said he will use his next term to continue working with federal and provincial governments to improve quality of life for Indigenous peoples, including closing the gap in youth suicide rates, which are five to seven times the national average, and putting resources toward the 40,000 First Nations children who are in foster care.“This gap is not good for us and it’s not good for Canada. So once we start closing this gap it’s good for our people but ultimately it’s good for the country as a whole,” he said.
TORONTO — Kraft Heinz has acknowledged a rather unexpected potential Cree translation of its latest buzzy condiment to reach Canada.Mayochup, the crowd-sourced name for its pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup mashup, can mean something entirely else in some Cree dialects.Arden Ogg, director of the Cree Literacy Network, says that around Moose Factory, the name can be heard as, “shit face.”She says that mayo sounds like the Cree word “meyiwi,” which means feces, while the second half sounds like eye, which in parts of Northern Ontario is also used to mean face. Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen says the company has heard of the “unfortunate translation,” adding that “the only thing we want our consumers, whichever dialect of Cree they speak, to have on their faces this summer is our newest condiment mash-up.”Cree was reported as the most widely-spoken Indigenous language in Canada in the 2016 census with 96,575 speakers, though heavily concentrated in the Prairies. The Canadian Press
Milk+Bookies’ annual Story Time Celebration took place in LA on Sunday, bringing families together to enjoy an afternoon of reading books, participating in story-inspired arts & crafts and most importantly, teaching the importance of giving back.Magic Characters entertained the children with music provided by DJ Groovy David, making Story Time Celebration a highly anticipated event for the whole family.Among the stars who attended were Julie Bowen, Josh Dallas, Amanda Peet, Jason Biggs, Jenna Elfman, Jerry Ferrara, Mark Feuerstein, Dana Kelin, Dan Bucatinsky, Peyton List, Max Greenfield, Johnathon Schaech, Tom Everett Scott, Stefan Lessard and Marla Sokoloff.Milk + Bookies is a nationwide charitable organization that gets books into the hands of thousands of children who need them. At Milk + Bookies events, boys and girls are provided the opportunity to select, purchase and inscribe books that are then donated to their peers who do not have access to books of their own. The organization combines two essential and worthwhile efforts: Service Learning and Literacy Promotion. Just as important as the book donations, is instilling the seed of giving into each participant, sparking feelings of importance, self-confidence and the desire to give and give again. For additional information, visit www.milkandbookies.org or call 310.393.3201.
After the Task force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) published their definitive analysis that neonics cause serious risks to bees and other beneficial species – such as butterflies, earthworms and birds – activist David Suzuki is calling on government to ban neonics in Canada.The TFSP, made up of international scientists concerned about the impact of pesticides on biodiversity and ecosystems, concluded a four-year analysis of 800 peer reviewed studies on neonics.“Unlike other pesticides, which remain on the surface of treated foliage, systemic pesticides are taken up by the plant and transported to all the tissues (leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar),” says TFSP.Designed to kill aphids and grubs, neonics are ‘systemic’ pesticides that disrupt the central nervous systems of insects. But according to TFSP, they are still toxic even at very low doses and remain in place for months on average, resulting in exposure to non-target organisms, and because they are water-soluble, they run off into aquatic habitats easily.They affect the species that “chew the plant, sip its sap, drink its nectar, eat its pollen or fruit, [… causing] impaired sense of smell or memory; reduced fecundity; altered feeding behaviour and reduced food intake including reduced foraging in bees; altered tunneling behaviour in earthworms; difficulty in flight and increased susceptibility to disease.”The EU has already placed restrictions on their use. Suzuki wants to see an outright ban on neonics in Canada.“Bees may be small,” says Suzuki, “but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.”You can join the David Suzuki Foundation’s petition to the Canadian government to ban bee-killing pesticides here.Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars
philosophy, the women’s wellbeing beauty brand, is collaborating with Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield on an exclusive, original song to spread hope to women everywhere.The song, “hope,” penned by Natasha and a new writing and production team made up of Matt Robinson, David Saw and Ryan Freeman, was written to draw attention to the mental health needs of women and further the message of the hope and grace initiative — an unending commitment by philosophy to support community-based mental health organizations. Releasing simultaneously with the product launch of renewed hope in a jar, “hope” will be available for download on iTunes on January 13th with 20% of the net proceeds from iTunes sales benefitting the hope and grace initiative until 2016.By encouraging and promoting the idea of hope when faced with any adversity, this original song clearly captures the spirit of philosophy. For over 18 years, philosophy has been devoted to bringing women products that inspire them to live better lives. Most recently, in July 2014, philosophy launched the hope and grace initiative, the cornerstone of the brand’s philanthropic mission wherein 1% of philosophy product sales across all retailers support community-based organizations working to empower women through the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, and the prevention and treatment of related issues.“At philosophy, we believe that it is important to nurture the skin as well as the soul, and music offers a powerful way to lift spirits and spread a message,” says Jill Scalamandre, Senior Vice President, philosophy and Chief Marketing Officer, skin care for Coty. “The philosophy of renewed hope in a jar is ‘live with optimism, renew with hope,’ a sentiment that not only ties perfectly to this beautiful song, but also to the hope and grace initiative’s mission of helping lift the stigma that surrounds mental health.”“philosophy understands the power of words, and as a songwriter this resonates deeply with me,” says Natasha. “I was thrilled to collaborate with philosophy on the song and to help raise awareness about mental health, particularly among women. This song is about how powerful hope is and that we all need to be reminded sometimes of how even the darkest nights become bright mornings, and hope can carry us through any hardship.”To celebrate the release of “hope,” which is named for its reimagined iconic product, renewed hope in a jar, philosophy will host a special event where Natasha will perform “hope” live for the first time. The performance will be simulcast via Livestream as part of a larger digital media campaign that will further promote the renewed hope in a jar product and the hope and grace initiative.Changing the landscape of philanthropic efforts in the beauty industry, the hope and grace initiative established the hope and grace fund as a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501c3 public charity dedicated to supporting innovative and effective public interest projects. With guidance from an advisory board made up of committed and notable leaders in the mental health arena, philosophy will annually award multiple grants with an average amount of $25,000 through the hope and grace fund to support hundreds of qualified organizations around the world.In its first year, the fund plans to target organizations that work with women in the United States who are currently underserved by mental health services by providing grants to community-based mental health organizations. These unsung heroes of the mental health field include those organizations that are working to overcome the barriers and stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental health issues, providing access to mental health treatment, and fostering support networks for women with mental illness.Join the movement at hopeandgracefund.com.