Racist tirade caught on video at Lethbridge Dennys restaurant goes viral

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Monir Omerzai was still stewing weeks after a fellow diner at a Denny’s spewed a racist tirade at him and his friends.So on Tuesday, he decided to post on Facebook a video that he had filmed of the heated exchange at the restaurant in Lethbridge, Alta.The video shows a woman turning toward a group in the next booth and unleashing a profanity-laden rant, telling them to go back to where they came from and saying they don’t pay taxes.“Go back to your f—ing country,” she is heard saying. “We don’t need you here.”The people at the table try to interject.“We’re all the same,” says a man’s voice off camera. “You’re a human being. I’m a human being. There’s nothing special about you.”As the exchange escalates, the woman gets up to kneel on her seat overlooking the group’s booth.“You’re not dealing with one of your Syrian bitches right now,” she says. “You’re dealing with a Canadian woman and I’m not going to be talked down to by you.”At one point, she appears to lunge at the table as a man beside her holds her back.By Wednesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 350,000 times and been shared 7,300 times.Omerzai said he’s never experienced anything like it since arriving in Canada from Afghanistan 13 years ago and thought others should know what happened.“It’s sad to see people like this and it makes me upset deep inside,” he said Wednesday.“The hate that we get from people for no reason, just to have a dinner there. It shouldn’t turn out to be like that.”Omerzai said he was out with three friends and they were laughing at a joke and chatting in Dari, their native language. A woman at the next booth turned around. They asked her if everything was OK. That’s when things got heated.Police were called, but Omerzai said officers told him there was nothing they could do. He said the restaurant asked them to leave just as their food arrived.When Omerzai and his friends left, the woman and her companion were still there, he saidHe has not heard from police or the restaurant since, he added.Lethbridge police said they continue to investigate a report of two groups having a verbal dispute, including one person using “racial slurs.”Police said restaurant staff refused to serve both groups and asked them to leave.“Both groups eventually complied and left the restaurant without further incident,” police said in a release.“There had been no further outreach or reports to police by any of the involved parties or witnesses prior to … when the video garnered attention on social media.”Dencan Restaurants said the manager followed proper protocol, but was unable to de-escalate the situation and called police.“At Denny’s, we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and do not in any way condone or accept this type of behaviour and language.” the company said in a statement.“We do apologize and regret that our guests had to endure this customer’s terrible behaviour and continue to work with local officials on their investigation of this incident.”Kelly Pocha of Cranbrook, B.C., confirmed to Lethbridge News Now that she was the woman in the video.She told the news outlet she had been drinking during a visit three weeks ago and went to Denny’s with her husband for a late-night bite.Pocha said the men were looking at her and laughing, while saying things in a language she didn’t understand.“I got extremely heated and that’s basically when they hit record,” Pocha said. “It’s gotten way out of hand. People aren’t seeing the whole story.”Pocha, who described herself as a hard-working mother of three, admitted that what she said was racist and said it doesn’t reflect who she is.“If I could rewind and take it back I would. But I can’t.”The video cost Pocha her job as controller at Cranbrook Dodge.“We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees,” dealership owner Dave Girling said in a statement.“The employee in question has been terminated and we deeply apologize for her actions.”Stephanie McLean, Alberta’s minister for the status of women, was criticized for offering a qualified defence of the woman on social media.“She was definitely not right and was saying horrible bigoted things. That being said — (am) I hearing right? At the beginning of the video does the man on the left say to her, ‘You ask to speak.’ Then says something about her mother?” McLean tweeted.She later deleted the post and apologized.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley denounced the “racist, bigoted comments” on Twitter.— By Lauren Krugel in Calgarylast_img read more

Nine stories in the news for today June 12

first_imgNine stories in the news for Monday, June 12———CANADA’S MEDICATION COSTS SECOND HIGHEST IN STUDYA new study says Canada had the second-highest medication costs for common conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol in 2015 compared to nine other affluent countries with universal health-care systems. The analysis looked at the volume and daily cost of drugs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Canada was the only country in the study that lacked universal coverage of outpatient prescription medications.———COURT HEARING ON ASSISTED DYING BEGINSA court hearing begins today that will determine how long grievously ill Canadians must wait to find out if their right to a medically assisted death has been violated by the federal government’s restrictive approach to the issue. The Supreme Court of British Columbia is scheduled to hear arguments over two days on the government’s contention that the facts on which the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ban on assisted dying two years ago are not applicable to the new federal law.———HUSBAND OF GAS AND DASH VICTIM DIES IN CRASHA family that came to Canada from Iran to start a new life has been struck by a second devastating tragedy. Ahmad Nourani Shallo died in a crash last week while driving to Calgary to mark the second anniversary of the death of his wife, Mariam Rashidi, who was killed trying to stop a gasoline thief. Shallo was travelling from Vancouver with his new wife and his seven-year-old son when the accident happened on the Trans Canada Highway in B.C.———POVERTY GROUPS ASK FOR CHILD BENEFIT BOOSTA national coalition of anti-poverty groups is asking the Trudeau government to boost the basic amount it provides in child benefits in hopes of cutting child poverty rates in Canada in half by the end of the decade. The coalition wants the government to change the rules so those earning less can keep more of the benefit, and to increase payments with the cost of living, retroactive to when the new benefit was first introduced last July. It also wants Ottawa to consider more lucrative employment insurance benefits and to further expand job training programs.———REPORT RAISES ALARM ON CHILD LABOURA new report says Canadians could be unwittingly purchasing billions in dollars of goods made by child labourers in other parts of the world. The report, to be released today by World Vision Canada, suggests imports of so-called risky goods into this country totalled $34 billion last year, up from $26 billion in 2012. It points to rising garment imports from Bangladesh, tomato imports from Mexico and footwear from India as reasons for consumers to check where products are made.———NDP PROPOSES RULE CHANGE FOR WATCHDOGSNew Democrats are proposing a change to parliamentary rules aimed at ensuring only non-partisan individuals become the independent watchdogs who oversee crucial activities such as government spending, ethics, lobbying and federal elections. The motion, which will be put to a vote on Wednesday or Thursday, comes as the government scrambles to repair the damage inflicted by Prime Minister Trudeau’s first pick to fill one of the watchdog roles — fellow Liberal Madeleine Meilleur as official languages commissioner.———COURT TO HEAR CLOSING ARGUMENTS AT MURDER TRIALLawyers are expected to make their closing arguments today in the first-degree murder trial of a Halifax medical student. The defence wrapped up its case in the first-degree murder trial of William Sandeson in Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week. Sandeson is charged in the death of 22-year-old Dalhousie University student Taylor Samson, whose body has never been found.———MARIJUANA MEETINGS OVER INVESTING IN U.S.Marijuana industry insiders say they’ve met with the operators of Canada’s largest stock exchange to devise a policy on investing in the U.S., where growing and selling cannabis violates federal laws. Lawyers who work with publicly traded Canadian marijuana producers say there is an unwritten rule that companies traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the TSX Venture Exchange are not permitted to have investments in the U.S. cannabis sector.———‘COME FROM AWAY’ WINS A TONYThe people of Newfoundland were celebrated in speech and song at last night’s Tony Awards but the heartwarming Canadian musical “Come From Away” fell short in its historic bid to capture Broadway’s biggest musical prize. It headed into the Tonys with seven nominations, including for best musical. Christopher Ashley won the award for best director of a musical but “Come From Away” was shut out in all other categories. The musical is set in Gander, N.L., in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks when the town sheltered thousands of passengers and crew from planes after U.S. air space was closed.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan travels to Halifax to highlight investments in Royal Canadian Navy— Opening day of the Conference of Montreal to discuss global business and economic issues— Fatality inquiry into the death of Rod Lazenby, a Calgary peace officer killed when he responded to a dog complaint— Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott delivers opening remarks at the 2017 National Health Leadership Conference in Vancouverlast_img read more

Justin Trudeau will lead delegation to UN General Assembly opening next week

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, underscoring Canada’s commitment to multilateralism as it vies for a coveted seat on the Security Council.He addressed the opening of the General Assembly last year as well, making for a perfect attendance record since taking office in late 2015.That’s in stark contrast to former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, who only attended UN events sporadically, famously choosing in 2009 to attend an opening of a Tim Hortons innovation centre in Oakville rather than speak to the General Assembly.Harper’s thinly veiled disdain for the world body has been widely blamed for Canada’s failure to win a seat on the Security Council in 2010. Until then, Canada had won a council seat every decade since the UN’s inception.Trudeau last year announced that Canada will try again for a two-year term beginning in 2021. To that end, he has repeatedly emphasized Canada’s renewed commitment to the world body and a multilateral approach to foreign policy.The General Assembly, “with its 193 member states, provides an important opportunity for Canada to voice its commitment to strengthening multilateralism and the rules-based international order, advancing human rights, including gender equality and women’s empowerment, and championing diversity and inclusion,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a news release announcing Trudeau’s visit to the UN next week.However, Trudeau may have some explaining to do, particularly as to why his government has still not delivered on its two-year-old promise to re-engage in UN peacekeeping missions. Last year, the government committed to deploy 600 Canadian troops to various missions but it has so far not identified any missions in which they’ll take part.Asked Wednesday what he’ll tell the UN about that failure to make a decision, Trudeau said our allies “know that Canada is serious about stepping up, about doing the right thing, about being a positive actor on a challenging world stage.”“I look forward to returning to New York, to the United Nations, to talk about all the positive ways that Canada is continuing to engage in the world. This is a world where we’re seeing a broad range of challenges, conflicts stemming from resource depletion, to climate change, to sectarian violence or migrations of people from one corner of the world to the other,” he said as he wrapped up a two-day cabinet retreat in St. John’s, N.L.“There are many challenges in the world and Canada, as always, will look to be helpful … It’s who we are, it’s what we do.”Trudeau made no apologies for the delay in deciding where to send peacekeepers.“Canadians expect the government to make the right choice by both the brave men and women of the Canadian forces but also by the countries and communities where we will be serving and that’s something that we’re going to do properly.”Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador to the UN, doubted the dithering over peacekeeping will hurt Canada’s chances of winning a Security Council seat. He noted there is still plenty of time before the vote for the government to announce participation in peacekeeping missions and other initiatives.“I don’t think it matters yet, frankly,” Heinbecker said.“There’s still time enough to put some things in the window to give people a reason to vote for us.”In the meantime, Heinbecker said the prime minister has other things he can tout at the General Assembly next week, including his government’s recently announced feminist foreign aid policy.The speech to the assembly is just part of a packed New York schedule for the prime minister.He is to lead the Canadian delegation to the start of the assembly’s 72nd session and give his speech on Thursday.Trudeau is also to be honoured with a Global Citizen Award at the Atlantic Council in recognition of his leadership on inclusiveness, diversity and economic growth that works for everyone.Before addressing the UN, Trudeau is to speak to more than 6,000 youth at WE Day New York to help mobilize young people on the world body’s sustainable development goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.He is also to participate in the Bloomberg Global Business Forum to discuss how to create a more transparent, equitable, and sustainable framework for the global economy.last_img read more

TVO to investigate sexual harassment allegation against Steve Paikin

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s public broadcaster says the host of its flagship current affairs program will remain on the air while being investigated for alleged sexual harassment.TVO said Monday that Steve Paikin is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a woman during a lunch in 2010.The broadcaster said it became aware of the allegation on Saturday, when Paikin notified TVO of an email he received from the woman.TVO’s chief executive officer said in a statement that an independent third party will investigate, during which time Paikin will continue to host “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.”“TVO does not tolerate sexual harassment. We believe it is important that allegations be fully heard and investigated,” Lisa de Wilde said in the statement, also posted on TVO’s website.“However, based on the evidence to date, TVO sees no reason to remove Mr. Paikin from his role as host for ‘The Agenda’ pending the outcome of the investigation. During the investigation, stories related to this subject matter will be handled by other TVO journalists.”The move comes amid a social justice movement under the #metoo and Time’s Up banners that have undone the careers of several personalities named in sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.CTV News reporter Paul Bliss was suspended hours after a woman made a sexual misconduct allegation against him, while politician Patrick Brown resigned as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.Paikin could not immediately be reached for comment. The allegations have not been verified by The Canadian Press.The former CBC-TV correspondent is TVO’s best known personality, and has become a fixture of provincial and federal political coverage since joining the network in 1992.His show “The Agenda” airs weeknights on TVO, a channel primarily funded by the province of Ontario and a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors.Its programming is a mix of current affairs shows, documentaries, educational fare and kids series.An annual list of the province’s highest public sector earners shows Paikin made $302,622.30 in 2016.Paikin also serves as chancellor of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., and holds honorary doctorates from Victoria University, Laurentian University and Humber College.He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.last_img read more

Purported Rob Ford crack confession tie up for auction on eBay asking

first_imgTORONTO – A tie purported to be the one late Toronto mayor Rob Ford wore on Nov. 5, 2013, when he admitted smoking crack cocaine, is up for sale on eBay again.There were 111 bids on the tie over a seven-day auction in 2015, with the winner putting in a bid of $16,100 for the neckwear featuring logos from NFL teams past and present.The tie is currently listed on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $9,999.The listing says the tie is “professionally framed” and comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Ford as well as the actual box he shipped it in.Ford’s assistant said at the time that he sold the tie and other items on eBay as part of a spring cleaning.Ford became internationally notorious when he admitted having smoked crack cocaine, “probably in one of my drunken stupors,” while apologizing and insisting he was not an addict.last_img read more

Ottawa funds health changes aimed at giving First Nations more control

first_imgWINNIPEG – The federal government has taken another step in transferring control over Indigenous health programs to First Nations.Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announced $68 million over three years for Indigenous communities in Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.The money follows up on plans first announced in the 2017 budget to boost First Nations-led health services in sometimes remote communities.Philpott says the money will help boost First Nations health services closer to home.She says this should help reduce the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in areas such as diabetes and infectious disease.Final funding amounts to each First Nations organization are still being worked out.“The idea is to increase the control and the design of health systems in the hands of First Nations governments,” Philpott said Thursday.“The health outcomes for First Nations are vastly different, in many cases, from non-Indigenous Canadians. If you look at the rates of diabetes, if you look at rates of infectious diseases …. the disparities are absolutely there.”Grand Chief Garrison Settee, who represents dozens of northern Manitoba Indigenous communities, said the funding will help set up more services in communities, which will mean less travel for patients.“We can bring these services to the north that are so, so needed,” he said.The initiative is somewhat similar to the move in 2013 to transfer Indigenous health programs in British Columbia to a First Nations health authority, Philpott said.“The evidence is there that the health outcomes have improved considerably,” Philpott said.The funding announced Thursday will be split between the provinces, with Manitoba getting $42 million, Saskatchewan $13.6 million and Ontario $11.9 million.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous versions referred to Jane Philpott as health minister.last_img read more

CIBC chief calls for clearer foreign investment rules more competitive tax scheme

first_imgTORONTO – The CEO of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says Canada must boost its global competitiveness and prepare for a future downturn by offering clearer foreign investment rules, matching a U.S. policy which allows companies to immediately write off the full cost of capital investments and attracting more skilled immigrants.Victor Dodig said Tuesday in a wide-ranging speech that a lack of clarity on foreign investment rules is making business leaders and their clients hesitant to make significant long-term investments in Canada. Canada’s approval systems need to work better and more predictably, as there are other destinations where the returns and rules are more certain, he added.“This brand halo can only go so far,” he said. “They need confidence, they need an element of certainty… We need to be attracting that capital, we need to be attracting those people to our country to help cushion us during the downturn — and there will be a downturn.”His comments come just weeks after the Trans Mountain pipeline project expansion, which would double the existing line from Alberta to B.C. to triple the amount of oil shipped to the coast, was struck down by the Appeal Court on grounds including a lack of proper consultation with First Nations by federal government. Ottawa now owns the existing Trans Mountain line after purchasing it and other assets earlier this year for $4.5 billion to ensure the expansion gets done.Dodig on Tuesday in his speech to the Empire Club of Canada pointed to Trans Mountain as an example of one of the problems “we’ve created on our own.”The chief executive of Canada’s fifth-largest bank stressed that decisions should be made more quickly, “at this point especially, as we’re getting towards the end of an economic cycle.”He warned about rising global debt levels and interest rates that have been “too low for too long.”“That same debt that helped the world recover is actually infusing risk into the global financial system today and it’s generating headwinds… There’s a real serious global challenge of this low interest rate party developing a big hangover of debt.”He added that Ottawa should allow companies to expense capital investments with a one-year period, a measure which is now in place south of the border under U.S. President Donald Trump.Dodig said changing this rule in Canada would spur immediate capital investment and help level the playing field.The CIBC CEO’s comments echoed that of Royal Bank of Canada’s CEO earlier this year. Dave McKay told the Canadian Press in April that there is an investment capital exodus from Canada to the U.S. happening in “real time” due to tax reforms, including a corporate tax cut to 21 per cent from 35 per cent, and a U.S. change that enables American companies to immediately write off the full cost of new machinery and equipment.Dodig also said that Canada should remove interprovincial trade barriers to drive economic growth, barriers which he called “an embarrassment to our country.”He also called on the federal government to do more to attract skilled immigrants to Canada, pointing to the fact that although unemployment is low there are some 400,000 jobs that went unfilled for four months or longer, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.Dodig added that “at a time in the world where others are saying no” Canada needs to do more to continue to attract the best and brightest.“There is a lot of talented technology refugees that aren’t welcome in certain markets, that should be welcomed into our market. To help our companies become stronger and more competitive in the future.”last_img read more

Canadian sexassault survivors share WhyIDidntReport stories amid US scandal

first_imgTORONTO – Fresh debate surrounding a sexual assault allegation involving a U.S. lawmaker has spurred hundreds of Canadians to offer support to silent survivors by adding their names to trending online hashtags including #WhyIDidntReport and #BelieveSurvivors.The wave of social media warriors included Ontario NDP member of provincial parliament Jill Andrew and former Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo, who each referenced the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport on Twitter in recent days to call attention to the reasons many assault victims don’t speak out.“Because I was 7. Because he said he would cut my mother up, put her in a black plastic bag and put her body in a river,” Andrew tweeted from her account @JILLSLASTWORD.“I didn’t report for the same reasons they don’t — someone you care for. How would the justice system help?” DiNovo tweeted from her verified account @CheriDiNovo.DiNovo said Monday she was reminded of the #BeenRapedNeverReported hashtag of 2014, which emerged in the wake of allegations surrounding Jian Ghomeshi. The former CBC Radio star was acquitted in March 2016 of sexually assaulting three women following a high-profile criminal trial.DiNovo says she’s continually stunned by the number of sex-assault allegations she hears as a minister in the United Church.“What is upsetting is that there’s a new hashtag every year or couple years saying the same thing and still the numbers (of allegations) are pouring in and they’re young women,” says DiNovo.“A lot of these are recent assaults and again, they’re not the kind of assault where it’s a stranger crawling in your window at night with a knife or a gun. These are what most assaults are: friends, lovers, relatives and you’re not going to turn them in. Justice is not an option for you for a variety of reasons.”The #WhyIDidntReport hashtag exploded following a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump who asked why a woman accusing his Supreme Court pick did not report her decades-old claim of sexual assault.Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, alleges that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when both were teenagers more than 30 years ago. Another accusation emerged over the weekend, when Colorado resident Deborah Ramirez alleged Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face at a party during his first year at university. Kavanaugh has denied both allegations.Meanwhile, thousands of women answered Trump’s question on Twitter in recent days, including many in Canada, where a concurrent social media campaign around #BelieveSurvivors also found some support. That movement urged people to wear black on Monday and participate in a “walk out” in solidarity with Ford.Toronto resident Nicole Rajakovic shared a photo of herself on Twitter wearing black jeans and a black shirt on Monday, tagged #BelieveSurvivors.“A lot of the reasons that this woman in the U.S. has spoken about were very, very similar to mine, which is why it’s become very top of mind for me,” says Rajakovic, identifying herself as a survivor, but noting she has not spoken to her family about the assault.“I have a daughter. I want to be able to speak openly about it, to show her how important it is for women to speak up.”Seeing scores of others reveal their experiences is “powerful,” she adds.“The more people you meet, the more you realize how it’s really not that unique of a situation, that there are so many people who have experienced this,” she says.Communication, media and film professor Jessalynn Keller, who has studied digital feminist activism through her work at the University of Calgary, says people seem emboldened to participate in thorny debates around sexual misconduct as they increasingly unfold in public.But any notion that it’s easy for victims to come forward and share their stories is false, she says.“The predominant narrative is that everyone just jumps online and posts their story and in actuality, research is telling us that it’s not quite that simple. A lot of women post it and then delete it. And then repost it again,” says Keller, noting that while it can be cathartic for some victims, many have said they agonized over whether to participate in #MeToo-related hashtags in the past.“A lot of women thought for several days of whether they wanted to post — how their friends and family would react. The participants of these hashtags are quite self-reflective. This is not an easy decision to even decide to share their story online, even if it was years ago or even if their name isn’t attached.”Keller says the Ghomeshi story resonated deeply in Canada and points to a sustained effort to keep the conversation going.And she’s hopeful that today’s teenagers are much better informed on issues surrounding gender and consent, noting that many Ontario youth battling over a contentious sex-ed curriculum seem very plugged in to social issues.“They have a very sophisticated language around these issues and a keen understanding about what consent is and it seems like adults don’t have this,” says Keller.“These conversations we’re having — they’re filtering down, they’re making sense. But it takes a long time for us to see those changes in our institutions.”last_img read more

Canada should do more to help women refugees worldwide Oxfam Canada

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s self-proclaimed feminist government could and should be doing more to address gender-specific challenges faced by female refugees affected by wars and displacement.That’s according to a new report from Oxfam Canada, which takes a close look at how Canada provides international humanitarian aid and the gaps that exist when it comes to outcomes for women and girls in refugee situations.Canada has made great strides when it comes to making gender equality and feminism a key priority of its domestic and foreign policy agenda, but more can be done to help women being disproportionately affected by global crisis, the report says.“Currently, Canada’s international assistance funding is out of step with its ambition to be a world leader on gender equality and feminist aid and foreign policy,” the report states.“The fact that Canada’s international assistance spending is at a near historical low, merely reaching 0.26 per cent of gross national income, as compared to the UN aid target of 0.7 per cent, undermines its credibility and leadership on the international stage.”The study zeros in on areas where women in conflict zones are not getting the help they need or where efforts to improve gender equality in these areas are not being fully realized.Some of the findings are unsettling, including a statistic showing 25 to 50 per cent of maternal deaths in refugee camps are caused by unsafe abortions and related complications.This is due, in part, to a lack of adequate access to sexual and reproductive health services, which are often seen as a “second-tier” priority when people are forced to flee their homes due to conflict.“Our argument is that services are totally life-saving when you consider, for example, that last year 500 women and girls died during emergencies every single day from pregnancy and childbirth complications simply because sexual and reproductive health and rights weren’t a priority,” said Brittany Lambert, a women’s rights policy and advocacy specialist with Oxfam Canada.“These things should be prioritized from the very inception of these humanitarian responses and could save many lives.”Oxfam Canada also published findings last month following a series of interviews, focus groups and surveys of hundreds of women and men from the host and refugee communities in Bangladesh, suggesting Rohingya women and girls who survived genocide in Myanmar are facing new risks in refugee camps, notably when it comes to access to water and sanitation facilities.Some women are choosing to go hungry and thirsty and are restricting their children’s diets in order to limit their trips to these facilities to reduce risks of physical and sexual abuse and harassment, according to this research.The organization is calling on Canada to develop a 10-year plan to achieve the United Nations aid target of 0.7 per cent of national income.It also wants Canada to establish a dedicated pool of 15 per cent of all its humanitarian aid to be specifically earmarked to address the needs of women and girls.“Right now the way Canada’s funding system works is that humanitarian assistance is aligned with the global humanitarian system priorities, which are things like shelter, water, food — but gender is not one of those categories,” Lambert said.“Women’s needs can be inserted into these categories but there are really limited funding opportunities to actually undertake programming that address gender inequality as a main goal so that’s why we’re calling for a stand alone pool of funding where Canada could actually fund this kind of feminist programming.”In addition, Oxfam Canada says the Trudeau government should take firmer action to ensure weapons do not end up in the hands of those who commit gender-based violence.Several international aid agencies, including Amnesty International, have said loopholes exist in Canada’s arms export policy that would allow arms sales to the United States — weapons which could end up being transferred to countries that abuse human rights.The government has announced several measures aimed at championing women’s issues both at home and abroad, including launching a feminist international assistance policy and a national action plan on women and government. Canada also disbursed more than $68 million in humanitarian assistance to support sexual and reproductive health needs in 2017-18.In addition, Canada has committed to increase its foreign aid effort by $2 billion over five years, which will bring total assistance to nearly $6 billion by 2021, says Global Affairs Canada.“We agree with the report that we need to ensure that the voices of civil society partners and affected communities, particularly women and girls, are included throughout the humanitarian response,” said the statement from Global Affairs Canada.“That is why Canada expects its partners to directly consult affected communities, and ensure that women and girls, in particular, are involved in the design of initiatives and decision-making processes that affect their lives.”—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

Quebec slams door on New Brunswicks pipeline dream at premiers meeting

first_imgMONTREAL — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs remained optimistic Friday that, someday, a pipeline would be built to bring western crude oil to ports in his region for transport overseas. But the Quebec premier tried his best to kill that dream.While the prime minister and Canada’s premiers found common ground on issues such as trade during their meeting in Montreal, they were confronted with the harsh reality that Quebec will not accept a pipeline.“I understand that Alberta and the other provinces that produce oil want to find ways to get it (to tidewater), but I was very, very clear,” Francois Legault told reporters after the closed-door meeting.“There is no social acceptability for a pipeline that would pass through Quebec territory.”Legault saw no contradiction in lobbying premiers Friday to buy more hydroelectricity from his province while rejecting western energy.“We are offering an energy that is not expensive and is clean,” Legault said. “I am not embarrassed to refuse dirty energy while we are offering clean energy at a competitive price.”TransCanada Corporation had proposed the $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline to bring western crude through Quebec and onwards to New Brunswick before being shipped overseas.The company abandoned the project more than a year ago, and a spokesperson recently said it has no plan to revive it.But despite the hurdles placed by TransCanada and Quebec, Higgs told reporters Friday he isn’t giving up.“This is the first time I had a discussion with Mr. Legault (about the pipeline),” Higgs said. “I understand the political sensitivities. And the first process (for Energy East) was a flawed one.”The New Brunswick premier acknowledged Legault gave him “no indication (the pipeline) will be a possibility — so I won’t pretend otherwise.”“But I am optimistic that if we work together with people in our province and his province and across the nation that we’ll find solutions.”While he remained hopeful, Higgs also offered a warning.The country is still very much dependent on oil revenues and if Alberta continues to suffer economically, it will hurt the entire country — regardless of how much hydroelectricity Quebec has.He said New Brunswick continues to receive federal equalization payments, which represent 30 per cent of the province’s budget.Quebec is also a major benefactor of equalization, while Alberta remains a “have province” that subsidizes others.“Alberta has been feeding our kids for a long time with the royalties, with the money that has come from oil,” Higgs said.“My concern is how will the federal government continue to pay, how will transfer payments survive in the current form? Will the next message be that transfer payments need to be cut because the revenue is no longer there?” Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

McCallum fired because he didnt toe government comms line on China Freeland

first_imgOTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says John McCallum was fired as Canada’s ambassador to China because he didn’t toe the government’s line on the arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive.McCallum apologized last week for misspeaking about the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested on Dec. 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States, which wants to extradite her on fraud charges.He was then fired after telling a Vancouver newspaper it would be “great for Canada” if the United States dropped its extradition request for Meng.Freeland says McCallum’s comments were inconsistent with the position of the government, which is that Meng is the subject of a legal proceeding that is not politically motivated.She says that made it untenable for McCallum to continue in the job.She says the government remains focused on gaining the release of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, who have been arrested on vague suspicions of violating Chinese national security.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Kai the Hitchhiker convicted of killing elderly man in New Jersey

first_imgELIZABETH, N.J. — A Canadian man who gained internet fame as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” has been convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of a New Jersey man almost six years ago.Jurors in Union County convicted 30-year-old Caleb “Kai” McGillvary on Wednesday in the May 2013 death of 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy.Authorities say the two met in New York and the defendant stayed at Galfy’s home.McGillvary was arrested in Philadelphia days later.He alleged that he acted in self-defence following an attempted sexual assault, but prosecutors said his statements were inconsistent and also cited the victim’s extensive injuries.The Canadian gained some online fame after intervening in a 2012 assault on a California utility worker in which he described using a hatchet to fend off a further attack.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Whats in a name How Canadas national birthday as we know it

first_imgMany hail July 1 as Canada Day, others may hearken back to when the nation’s birthday was labelled Dominion Day, and some may wish to ignore it altogether, just like those who refused to celebrate the country’s founding for the first dozen years of its existence.No matter the approach, the official celebrations of Canada’s creation are arguably more controversial than many realize.Matthew Hayday, a University of Guelph history professor who has studied the celebrations through the years, said squabbles over Canada’s birthday became mired in some of the hottest political issues in the country’s history and mirrored efforts to carve out a distinct national identity.“Canada Day … is part of a broader continuum of symbolic ways in which our national identity is presented,” he said. “It’s this long-simmering controversy that has attracted interest, and where people care about it, they can care quite passionately.”This year marks the 140th anniversary of a public holiday honouring Confederation, said Hayday, noting the festivities have evolved considerably from their earliest incarnations.No official celebrations took place during the first 12 years of Canada’s existence, he said, due in part to Nova Scotia politicians who felt they had been forced into Confederation against their will and believed July 1 ought to be treated as “a day of lamentation.”When Dominion Day was officially declared and made a public holiday in 1879, Hayday said it was done over the objections of a faction from British Columbia aggravated by the failure to complete a cross-country railroad.The earliest Dominion Day gatherings were grassroots affairs, he said, noting the federal government had no hand in the festivities.That did not change until 1958 when then-prime minister John Diefenbaker decided Ottawa should play a more direct part in the nation’s birthday.At the time, Hayday said calls had already begun to abandon the name Dominion Day and replace it with one that better reflected Canada’s growing autonomy from the British government. But while Diefenbaker may have been in favour of honouring Canada’s formation, Hayday said he had no interest in weakening ties with its imperial past.“From the end of the Second World War onwards, you had the Liberals doing things to subtly remove the word ‘dominion’ from various government institutions because ‘dominion’ was seen as being … a particularly British designation,” he said. “Diefenbaker was very pro-British, so celebrating Dominion Day was a way of celebrating that.”The earliest government-sponsored celebrations were relatively modest, Hayday said, noting events grew more elaborate throughout the 1960s. The government of Lester B. Pearson began incorporating more bilingual elements into the festivities, he said.The tide turned again in the 1970s, he said, as government celebrations grew more subdued and were eventually cancelled altogether in 1976.A shift in Canada’s political winds, however, re-energized efforts to commemorate Dominion Day when Quebec’s sovereigntist movement helped bring Rene Levesque to power later that year.“There’s a sense of panic that goes through official Ottawa about what’s going to happen to national unity,” he said. “They decided they needed to do some big, massive show.”A resulting four-hour broadcast, aired on nearly every television and radio station in the country, placed some Quebecois performers in the position of fending off criticism from residents who viewed them as betraying the separatist cause, he said.Even as Dominion Day festivities evolved, several politicians lobbied to see its name changed to Canada Day. Hayday said numerous bills were tabled only to be defeated or die on the order paper without undergoing debate.That changed in the summer of 1982, days after what would prove to be the final Dominion Day celebration.Hayday said 13 members of Parliament remained in the House of Commons one July day and began debating a private members bill tabled by Quebec Liberal MP Hal Herbert.“No one actually asked the Speaker of the House to verify that there was still quorum,” Hayday said. “Unless someone asks, it’s assumed that it still exists. But there was some doubt as to whether, in fact, there were enough members of Parliament in the House.”Undaunted, the MPs held first, second and third reading in a single day. While the bill did receive Senate scrutiny later that summer, it encountered no significant hurdles and became law later that year.The public holiday may now be officially known as Canada Day, but Hayday said changes to the federal festivities have been relatively subtle in recent years.One notable addition is a more culturally sensitive inclusion of Indigenous traditions, he said.Early performances featuring residential school students clad in kilts and playing bagpipes have been replaced by artists donning clothing of their choosing and performing in a variety of Indigenous languages.Anthony Wilson-Smith, chief executive of Historica Canada, said the colourful history that has shaped modern Canada Day celebrations has enhanced the country’s sense of national identity.Both he and Hayday acknowledge that many purists still prefer the Dominion Day concept, but Wilson-Smith is not among them.“There’s a virtue to simplicity,” he said. “The day is what it is — it’s the day we celebrate our country.”Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Montreal mayor commits to 55 per cent emissions cut at UN says

first_imgUNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante was on the international stage at the United Nations Climate Summit today, telling the audience that cities will have a key role to play in the fight against climate change.Plante says two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban centres by 2050, putting cities at the forefront of the climate fight.And she vowed that Montreal would take a leadership role, committing to reduce carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, which Plante called an ambitious but reachable goal.In a brief speech to the UN General Assembly, she noted Montreal is aiming to surpass the UN target of a 45 per cent reduction in emissions from countries by 2030.The UN seeks to achieve carbon neutrality — when as much carbon is removed from the atmosphere as is added — by 2050.Plante said cities are working to tackle climate change, but much more needs to be done, and it will require the help of governments and the private sector.“We know the recipe, and we know exactly what to do,” she said Monday in a speech delivered in French.Plante said reaching those goals will require such actions as reducing the use of cars for solo trips, increasing active transport and making buildings carbon neutral.She also noted the city has moved to protect local biodiversity by stopping a large real estate project that would have destroyed the last of Montreal’s large green spaces and added 10,000 more vehicles to the roadways.Plante thanked youth who have mobilized in favour of the planet and “remind us every day that this Earth, we do not inherit from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”Plante’s office says she was the only mayor to be invited to speak at the event.Her remarks came ahead of Friday’s climate march in Montreal to be attended by Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg will be given the key to the city during her visit.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Tommy Lee Makes a Splash for Orcas in Twitter Blitz

first_imgAs Mötley Crüe’s farewell tour gets underway, Tommy Lee isn’t just causing fans to leap from their seats ― he’s causing them to look under them.In an innovative way to engage his fans in an issue close to his heart, Tommy hosted a scavenger hunt at the band’s show near SeaWorld San Diego. Following clues that Tommy tweeted, fans tried to find a “SeaWorld Kills” T-shirt hidden by his friends at PETA. The fan who found the shirt won backstage passes to meet Tommy and celebrated his win by tweeting a picture of the shirt.“In addition to the buzz generated at the show, Tommy’s half-million Twitter followers all learned about the cruel treatment and confinement of orcas at SeaWorld, which is a huge boost to our campaign,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews.Here are a couple of examples of Tommy’s strongly worded tweets. A PETA blog post about the unique blitz can be read here.Tommy and PETA will conduct similar scavenger hunts at Mötley Crüe shows near SeaWorld parks in Texas and Florida. SeaWorld has been rapidly losing favor with the public ever since the documentary Blackfish exposed its inhumane treatment of marine mammals, and its sinking popularity reached new depths last week when Southwest Airlines ended its more than 25-year partnership with the park.Source:PETAlast_img read more

John Stamos To Host PBS A Capital Fourth Event

first_imgEmmy Award-nominated actor and producer John Stamos (FULLER HOUSE, SCREAM QUEENS) is set to host the 37th annual edition of PBS’ A CAPITOL FOURTH, broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.The all-star musical and fireworks extravaganza will kick off the country’s 241st birthday with performances by: soul men Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi of The Blues Brothers; iconic multi-platinum selling music legends The Beach Boys, with special guests John Stamos (drums) and Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath (vocals); legendary Motown stars The Four Tops; THE VOICE Season 12 winner Chris Blue; and Tony-nominated Broadway star Phillipa Soo (AMÉLIE, HAMILTON); with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional performers to be announced). Multi-talented actress and singer Sofia Carson (DESCENDENTS 2) will open the show with a special performance of the “National Anthem.”The concert will also feature a tribute to our men and women in uniform by country music star and Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry Trace Adkins who will perform his new single “Still A Soldier.” The inspiring moment will be dedicated to our troops and veterans, and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom. A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Tuesday, July 4, 2017 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide. The concert will also be live-streamed online on Facebook Live and here and available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, July 4 to July 18, 2017.The top-rated, award-winning program features twenty cameras positioned around the city to capture the fireworks display including the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Capping off the show will be a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition.Also participating in the event will be the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.last_img read more

Barry Manilow To Perform At Columbus Citizens Foundation 2017 Gala

first_imgPop music legend Barry Manilow will perform at the Columbus Citizens Foundation 73rd Annual Gala on Saturday, October 7 at the New York Hilton.The Gala will honor Leonard Riggio, the Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble, and will benefit the Foundation’s Italian-American Student Scholarship Fund.The theme of this year’s Columbus Day Celebration and parade is “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors.” Mr. Riggio, the parade Grand Marshal, created the theme to recognize the achievements of Italian-American writers. The black-tie Gala will incorporate this theme and feature Mr. Manilow as the guest performer.All proceeds from the Gala will be used to support the Foundation’s mission of providing quality education to students of Italian descent who have academic ability but need financial assistance.Having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, Barry Manilow is one of the world’s all-time bestselling recording artists. He’s had an astonishing 50 Top 40 singles including 12 #1s and 27 Top 10 hits and is ranked as the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all-time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award in every decade since the 1970s and, in addition to winning the Best Pop Male Vocal Performance Grammy in 1979 (for “Copacabana”), is an Emmy, Tony and American Music Award winner three years in a row.“It is an honor to have renowned performer Barry Manilow as this year’s Gala entertainment,” said Foundation President Angelo Vivolo. “The Gala holds high significance in the celebration leading up to the Columbus Day Parade, and to have legendary singer Barry Manilow perform shows the importance of the Foundation and its goals.”Mr. Manilow will be a part of a program that pays tribute to Grand Marshal Riggio, Italian-American authors, and this year’s honorees, Tom Iovino, CEO of OHL America, and Dr. Laura Forese, Executive Vice President and COO of New York-Presbyterian.Tickets are still available for this exceptional evening. Please email gala@columbuscitizens.org for further details.last_img read more

Ted Danson And Katharine McPhee Headline Oceanas SeaChange Summer Party

first_imgTed Danson, Dennis Haysbert, Austin Nichols, Hassie Harrison, Christina Ochoa, and Oscar Nunez were among those who attended the 11th annual SeaChange Summer Party in Laguna Beach on Saturday evening to support Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organization.Katharine McPhee Performs at SeaChangeCredit/Copyright: Oceana/Tom VickersThis year’s SeaChange Summer Party was emceed by Ted Danson and featured a special performance by singer-songwriter-actress Katharine McPhee.“It’s a challenging time for our seas,” Ted Danson told the crowd. “We’ve all seen the headlines: marine life imperiled, critical habitat destroyed, warming waters, coral bleaching, oil spills, and more – the oceans are under threat. But Oceana is built to meet this challenge head on.”The sold-out evening was held at a private coastal villa in Laguna Beach. Approximately 400 guests attended the event, raising more than $1.2 million for Oceana and local ocean conservation efforts.Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless spoke on the night’s theme – protecting corals – and noted that “Oceana’s teams are winning battles that will give the corals a chance. We’re fighting to stop expanded ocean oil drilling – a real threat that exists right here off the entire California coast. We’re also fighting to stop coral-destroying bottom trawling. And we’re winning, including recent victories in Chile and the Philippines and new protections for 16,000 square miles right offshore of here.”Ted Danson and Katherine McPheeCredit/Copyright: Oceana/Tom VickersSeaChange was co-chaired by Oceana Board Vice Chair Valarie Van Cleave and Elizabeth Wahler together with Event Vice Chair Jeff Blasingame.“Every year, I am so inspired by the generosity and spirit of this community,” Valarie Van Cleave said. “For more than a decade, the people of Orange County have come together to support healthy oceans. I am humbled by their continued support and thank everyone who came to this year’s SeaChange.”The program concluded with a performance from Katharine McPhee who sang songs including “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “She Used to Be Mine,” and “God Bless the Child.”“I made a commitment to be at Oceana’s gala six months ago, and I am so happy I was able to come after all,” Katharine McPhee said. “An amazing cause, and a beautiful purpose. Thank you for having me! I adopted two turtles tonight!”The SeaChange silent and live auctions included a wide array of exclusive items including a Luxury Charter to French Polynesia on Hemisphere, the world’s largest luxury Catamaran, BMW 530e Luxury Hybrid car, a Mikimoto triple strand pearl and diamond Necklace, stunning Villa in Phuket, Thailand and jewelry from Twila True Fine Jewelry and Watches, custom suits from Zegna and David August, jewelry from David Yurman, Julia Post, K. Brunini and Chopard, gorgeous luxury items from Baccarat, Diptyque, Giorgio Armani, Lanvin, Liuli, Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, Neiman Marcus-Fashion Island, Porsche Design, Ralph Lauren, Roger Vivier, Salvatore Ferragamo, South Coast Plaza, TOD’S, Versace. Amazing trips and getaways from Royal African Safaris, Four Seasons Lana’i, Lindblad Galapagos, Four Seasons Papagayo- Costa Rica, Baja Discovery Whale Expeditions, Silversands-Grenada, Montage, St Regis-Aspen, Four Seasons-Bora Bora, Rosewood-Las Ventanas, among others.The SeaChange Summer Party is made possible by the generous support of various distinguished local and international businesses and philanthropists. Special thanks to Burgess Yachts, Hemisphere, BMW and the Southern California BMW Centers, Coast Magazine, Nolet Spirits and Ketel One, One Ocean Beauty, and BV Coastal Estates Wines.SeaChange partners and underwriters include Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation, Jean and Tim Weiss, Tricia and Michael Berns, Marisla Foundation, Elizabeth Wahler, Valaree Wahler, South Coast Plaza, the Cahill family, Jeff Blasingame, Commerce Printing, Signature Party Rentals, PPS Parking, and Brite Ideas.For a full list of underwriters and partners, host committee members, auction items and more information about SeaChange, click here.last_img read more

Tangerine works the night shift

first_imgThe spot will run on TV, in cinema and online through social channels as well as pre-roll.It was created by John St., which also did the “Hard Work” spot that positioned Tangerine as a bank that understands how hard people work for their money by showing them in all kinds of different high-stress job situations, promising that it would work just as hard for them. Advertisement Login/Register With: Tangerine is continuing its positioning as a hard-working bank that helps Canadians get the most out of their hard-earned dollars in a new campaign for its money back credit card.In the new spot, we see a cab driver during a typical night shift and the passengers that regularly test his patience, from yelling businessmen to soaking wet dogs to rowdy groups headed for a night on the town. Along the way, he uses his Tangerine credit card to purchase the things he needs to get through the night, from gas to ibuprofen to a warm cup of coffee. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more