Province Opens New Affordable Housing in Chester

first_imgSeniors in Chester will soon have a new place to call home with the opening of four new affordable housing units. Premier Darrell Dexter, along with Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse and Senator Gerald Comeau, on behalf of Diane Finley, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, officially opened the new units today, July 4, on Highway No. 3. The $685,000 project was jointly funded by the province and federal government, through the Economic Stimulus Program. “Families, seniors and persons with disabilities deserve affordable, accessible homes, like the units opening today,” said Premier Dexter. “For the residents who are about to move in, these units will allow them to stay in their communities and live independently, longer. Affordable housing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and the province will continue to work with its partners to ensure affordable housing is available to those who need it most.” The barrier-free units are designed to accommodate seniors and persons with disabilities and include energy-efficient features, easier maintenance and outdoor storage space. The units are also designed to meet or exceed the LEED Silver standard for energy and water. “On top of significant investment in affordable housing across the province, the province has taken a number of steps to make life better for Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “The province has introduced and increased the Poverty Reduction Credit and Affordable Living Tax Credit, removed the provincial portion of the HST from home heating and other family necessities, increased and the Nova Scotia Child Benefit for the second year in a row, and returned provincial income tax to 17,000 seniors.” More than $145 million has been invested in affordable housing in Nova Scotia since 2009. “The government of Canada is proud to contribute more than $340,000 in funding for this project,” said Senator Comeau. “These new units will provide quality, affordable housing and benefit the economic and social well-being of the entire community.” The federal and provincial governments contribute equally to an overall investment of $96 million under the amended Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement. More than 1,900 affordable housing units have been created or preserved in Nova Scotia under the program. For more information on these projects, visit www.gov.ns.ca/coms/affordablehousing .last_img read more

Amendments to Cellphone Legislation

first_img allowing customers to have a 15-day trial period to ensure the service meets their needs providing caps on monthly charges: $100 for roaming and $50 for overage charges rules governing prepaid service contracts requiring companies to allow customers to unlock their phones at a specified price The cyberbullying provision will move to the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, helping the Department of Justice’s cyber safety initiatives. Cellphone service providers will continue to provide educational materials to customers that support responsible cellphone use. Nova Scotians will be protected under provincial cellphone rules until June, when the federal Wireless Code applies to all contracts. Cellphone users in Nova Scotia will have broader protection when a new federal Wireless Code applies to all cellphone contracts on June 3, 2015. Currently, the federal Wireless Code only applies to contracts that start on or after Dec. 1, 2013. In June, it will apply to all cellphone contracts, no matter when they began. Because of this, provincial provisions, which only apply to contracts made on or after May 1, 2013, will no longer be needed, and will be repealed when the federal code covers all cellphone contracts. Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey introduced amendments to the Consumer Protection Act today, Oct. 23, which will allow the cellphone legislation to be repealed and amend the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act to preserve protections against cyberbullying. The federal Wireless Code covers areas addressed in the provincial legislation with a few updates, which include:last_img read more

Nova Scotia Continues to Reduce Trade Barriers and Increase Regulatory Efficiency

first_imgPremier Stephen McNeil will continue to focus on red tape reduction and reducing trade barriers at next week’s annual summer meeting of the Council of the Federation with provincial and territorial colleagues. Nova Scotia continues to be a national leader in eliminating internal trade barriers and reducing red tape. Government’s goal of helping businesses save $25 million annually through reduced regulatory burden was exceeded, reaching $34 million by the end of 2018. A new target has now been set – to reduce overall regulatory burden on businesses by nearly $45 million annually between 2017 and 2020. “Eliminating trade barriers by aligning regulatory differences among provinces provides businesses with better access to more markets across Canada and customers with more choice,” said Premier McNeil. “It ultimately makes us more competitive on a global basis and that results in more jobs for Nova Scotians across the province.” At last year’s premiers’ and territorial leaders’ meeting in New Brunswick, premiers called for immediate and real action to speed up the pace of reducing barriers to internal trade in Canada. Nova Scotia eliminated extra provincial business registration fees for businesses formed in another province or territory. This allows businesses registered in Nova Scotia to operate in another province without paying again. The province also removed the personal exemption limits for alcohol products transported into the province for personal use and continues to allow direct to consumer shipments of wine. By the end of this year, 10 reconciliation agreements will be finalized to resolve regulatory differences nationally in the areas of occupational health and safety, transportation, technical safety, construction codes and standards, business registration, aquaculture, agriculture and corporate registries. Work is also underway to align federal, provincial and territorial building, fire, energy efficiency and plumbing codes, as well as energy efficiency standards for household appliances. The Council of the Federation meeting takes place July 9-11 in Saskatoon.last_img read more

Availability of credit and timely clearance of goods at ports to help

first_imgNew Delhi: The government should take six concrete steps such as reducing cost and time of port clearance for goods and enhancing availability of credit with a view to boost exports, TPCI said Sunday. Suggesting the six point agenda to push exports, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) said identifying new product basket which can easily find world market would have inherent advantage over India’s global competitors. Besides, it asked for promotion of Indian products to new and emerging markets creating a national portal for global trade inquires and providing incentives to exporters based on their performances. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”Indian port charges should be reduced as it make exports less competitive compared to rest of the world. India has one of the highest port charges, number of days for port clearance and delivery as compared to our major competitors,” TPCI Chairman Mohit Singla said in a statement. The logistic cost per kilometer of road transport for India is high as compared to China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, he said. “The custom and port clearance takes six days for India, 1.5 days for China, six days for Vietnam and three days for Sri Lanka,” he said. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefSingla said availability of credit at competitive rates would significantly increase competitiveness. Calling for external outreach and promotion of Indian products to new and emerging markets, he said, India could utilise 80 trade promotion offices for promotion of various products and brands. He added that in terms of products, processed food alone has huge scope after value addition and can fetch forex exchange. On phasing out subsidies for exports, he said, the government need a cautious view to deal with this matter as the buyers also negotiate and demands some part of the subsidy. Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around $300 billion. During 2018-19, the shipments aggregated at $331 billion. Promoting exports helps a country to create jobs, boost manufacturing and earn more foreign exchange.last_img read more

An32 to continue flying in mountains IAF chief

first_imgGwalior: Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief B.S. Dhanoa on Monday said that the An-32 transport aircraft will continue to fly in the mountains as there was no other option. The Air Force Chief’s statement came more than a fortnight after An-32 aircraft, with 13 IAF personnel on board, crashed in Arunachal Pradesh. Addressing a press conference here during a commemoration to mark 20 years of the Kargil war, Dhanoa said: “The An-32 will continue to fly as we have no choice.” Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana “The Air Force is in the process of getting a more modern aircraft. When we get it, we will put it to critical roles and take the An-32 out and assign it for routine transport and training roles,” he said. “Like the Avro 748 transport aircraft, which is around 55 years old now. An old age aircraft, it is not flying to extreme environments. Similarly, when the new aircraft comes, it will take An-32’s role and An-32 will be taken off. But right now we do not have a choice, An-32 will continue to fly in the mountains,” the Air Force Chief said. The June 3 crash in Arunachal Pradesh was the third An-32 crash in recent years. In 2016, an aircraft with 29 people onboard disappeared over the Bay of Bengal and was never found. Before that in June 2009, another aircraft went missing and was later found to have crashed in the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh.last_img read more

GTA announces 1 lakh exgratia for families of bridge collapse victims

first_imgDarjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured in a bridge collapse incident in the Kalimpong district on Sunday. Two persons died and five were injured.The incident occurred at Mungpel village under the Pabringtaar gram panchayat, Kalimpong Block 1 of the Kalimpong district on Sunday. A suspension constructed of wooden planks and bamboo poles collapsed killing two and injuring five. The village is located around 100 km from Kalimpong town. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaOn Sunday, the villagers had gathered to carry out repair works on the bridge when the wire on one side snapped resulting in the collapse of the bridge. The bridge is located 2km from the village on the Turung river. During monsoons the villagers cross this mountain river to the agricultural fields. “The villagers were repairing the bridge on Sunday when the accident occurred,” said Sukraj Rai, a local resident. When repairs were on, a wire on one side snapped and the suspension footbridge collapsed. People repairing the bridged plunged into the river. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersTwenty-three-year-old Aitaraj Rai died on the spot. Tek Bahadur Subba (52) later died in the hospital. The five seriously injured people — Ribendra S Wazi, Nahang Subba, Tikaram Subba, Sukman Subba and Bibek Subba — were admitted to the hospital. “We are with the affected people in this hour of crisis. We appeal the public to inform the GTA about vulnerable bridges in our area. The concerned officials will take necessary steps after inspection,” said Anit Thapa, Chairman, GTA. The suspension bridge was built in 1986 and repaired by the DGHC and repaired twice. “This time, however, the GTA had decided to reconstruct the bridge and work was scheduled to commence soon. There is another footbridge. However, as it takes around 30 minutes more if one uses the foot bridge upstream, villagers used to prefer the suspension bridge,” said GTA member Sanchabir Subba. On October 22, 2011, a footbridge collapse on River Little Rangeet at Bijanbari, 38 km from Darjeeling, had resulted in the death of 33 persons, including children. More than 150 persons had been injured in the incident. On that day, local residents had gathered to attend a foundation stone laying ceremony by the then GTA Chief Bimal Gurung. An event had been organised to mark the occasion. With a huge crowd trying to cross the footbridge, the cables had snapped.last_img read more

US okays 22 bn arms sale to Taiwan

first_imgWashington DC: The US State Department has approved the potential sale to Taiwan of USD 2.2 billion in arms, including Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles, the Pentagon said on Monday. The announcement is likely to anger Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of its territory and has previously expressed “serious concerns” about the possible sale. It coincides with other strains in US-China ties, particularly over trade. Congress has been notified about the potential deal, which would include 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, about 250 Stinger missiles, related equipment and support, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingUS lawmakers have 30 days to object to the sale but are unlikely to do so. The proposed tank sale “will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” DSCA said. And the missiles would “support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security and defensive capability of the recipient, an important force for political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” it Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiangsaid. Neither would alter the “basic military balance in the region,” according to DSCA. Beijing registered its opposition to the possible sale earlier this month. “We have repeatedly emphasized to the US to fully understand the extremely sensitive and damaging nature of their decision to sell arms to Taiwan, and abide by the One China principle,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. Taiwan has been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but China maintains it is a part of its territory to be retaken, by force if necessary. China has significantly stepped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taipei since Beijing-sceptic president Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016. It has staged military exercises near the island, and steadily reduced the already small number of nations that recognize Taiwan. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, but Taipei has remained an important ally. In recent years, Washington has been wary of completing big ticket arms deals with Taiwan, fearful of stoking China’s anger. But President Donald Trump — whose administration is locked in a trade war with Beijing that has seen the two sides impose tariffs on hundreds of billions in two-way commerce — has sought to strengthen ties with Taipei and appeared more willing to sell major weapon systems. Taiwan acknowledged the US support for its defense systems in a statement released by its Foreign Ministry.last_img read more

Zomato shuts up bigotry says food has no religion

first_imgNew Delhi: Food delivery company Zomato is winning the internet after it refused on Wednesday to resolve a customer’s complaint about being assigned a Muslim delivery executive for his food order.”Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion,” the company tweeted in response to the customer’s request for change of the rider. On Tuesday night, a man tweeted about cancelling his order placed on Zomato as the designated rider was a “non-Hindu”. “Just cancelled an order on @ZomatoIN they allocated a non Hindu rider for my food they said they can’t change rider and can’t refund on cancellation I said you can’t force me to take a delivery I don’t want don’t refund just cancel,” Amit Shukla, a resident of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, tweeted. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsIn a series of tweets, he also shared screenshots of his conversation with Zomato’s customer care, saying he would take up the issue with his lawyers. The company stood its ground and refused to change the delivery executive. Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal echoed his company’s stand with a firm message. “We are proud of the idea of India – and the diversity of our esteemed customers and partners. We aren’t sorry to lose any business that comes in the way of our values,” he tweeted. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayZomato’s response won it many admirers. “Respect. I love your app. Thank you for giving me a reason to admire the company behind it,” former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted. Former Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi tweeted: “Salute Deepinder Goyal! You are the real face of India! Proud of you.” Goyal had in an internal message to his team at Zomato applauded the customer team for “upholding our values and not discriminate on basis of caste or religion for sake of growth (or customer satisfaction)”. Sources said he told his team that they should not succumb to any demands of a customer, partner, or even an employee on racial grounds or grounds of any form of diversity.last_img read more

Hidco to create awareness on biodiversity on International Owl Awareness Day

first_imgKolkata: Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will observe International Owl Awareness Day on August 4.An event will be held on the August 4 to create awareness about biodiversity. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched Save Green Stay Clean programme and has urged all the municipalities, corporation and state-run agencies to take steps to conserve nature. On Thursday, she took part in a rally on the environment and later distributed saplings to create awareness. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAK Sanyal, chairman West Bengal Biodiversity Board, VK Yadav, member secretary West Bengal Zoo Authority and Arjan Basu, noted nature expert will address the gathering at the meet to mark the occasion. Hidco will also release a booklet on the biodiversity at Eco Park on the occasion. There is Pancha More in New Town, which is gateway to the financial hub. There is a statue of an owl at the intersection, which known as Pancha in Bengali is considered to be auspicious. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAlso, it is situated opposite gate No. 3 at Eco Park where biodiversity is conserved. World Owl Board has been set up to prevent poaching of owl. Owls are considered to be lucky in Japan while in Western culture they are symbol of intelligence and knowledge. This originates from the ancient Greek goddess Athena whose symbol was an owl. From Aesop’s fables to Harry Potter the owl has been a source of constant fascination, folklore myth and legend. There are two families of Owl. The typical owl belongs to the Strigidae type while the other one is Tytonidae (Barn owls). The main difference between the two is while the true owls feature the circular discs, the second type features the heart shaped discs. There are 225 species of owls. The hoot of owl is not appreciated anywhere and Sukumar Ray in Abaol Tabol has compared the course voice of the wife with the hoot of Owl. Jibonanda Das has referred to owls in many of his poems.last_img read more

India exporting defence equipment to friendly countries Defence ministry official

first_imgKolkata: India is stressing on increasing export of defence equipment to friendly nations and has received requirements from some central Asian countries, a defence ministry official said here on Saturday. The country is already exporting defence equipment to various friendly nations, including the US and those in the Middle-East, South Asia and Africa, Secretary of the Department of Defence Production under the ministry Ajay Kumar said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIndia had produced defence-related equipment worth Rs 80,000 crore in 2018-19, of which Rs 11,000-crore worth armaments were exported, he added. “We are exporting everything related to armaments, but the biggest increase has been in the component level,” Kumar said after the launch of a fast patrol vessel (FPV) manufactured by defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) for the Indian Coast Guard. He added that all types of components made by Indian defence production units were being bought by large and reputed companies worldwide. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “This clearly indicates that our defence industry has the capability to fulfil the requirements of global OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and not just our own requirements,” Kumar said, adding that the country is currently exporting defence equipment to South-East Asia, Middle-East Asia and even to the US. “Many of the global OEMs we are exporting to are US-listed. We are also exporting to South Asia, Africa and have also received requirements from countries in central Asia,” he said. The country is indigenously manufacturing warships, fighter jets, helicopters, trainer aircraft and efforts are always on to use the latest technology for the purpose, he added. Kumar said the naval shipyards were ahead in indigenous production, manufacturing warships like corvettes, frigates, destroyers and also submarines and aircraft carriers. He said there were three or four companies in the country that made artillery guns, including the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which was making state-of-the-art long-range guns and tanks. “We are continuously making efforts to use the latest technology for the productions and also to increase capacity,” he said. Lauding the GRSE for becoming the first naval shipyard in the country to manufacture 100 warships, a feat that the defence PSU achieved earlier this year, Kumar said the FPV launched on Saturday was indigenously designed. “We have set a goal for the GRSE to manufacture warships for other countries as well,” he said.last_img read more

Azam moves HC for quashing of 27 FIRs

first_imgAllahabad: Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Thursday moved the Allahabad High Court for quashing of a spate of FIRs registered against him in a single week in a Rampur police station for allegedly grabbing farmers’ lands to build a university there. As the matter came up for hearing, a bench of justices Pritinkar Diwakar and Justice Raj Beer Singh adjourned the hearing on the petition for August 29 on the request of Khan’s counsel R K Jain. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’As soon as the court began the hearing, advocate Vijay Gautam, appearing for farmers on whose complaints a total of the 27 FIRs have been registered against Khan in Rampur’s Azeem Nagar police station, objected to the “maintainability” of the petition. Gautam argued that the petition is not worth hearing and need to be dismissed at the outset as it is not maintainable for the petitioner has sought quashing of all 27 FIRs in a single petition. He should have filed one petition each for quashing of each of the FIRs, he contended, prompting Khan’s counsel Jain to seek adjournment of the hearing for another day. The farmers on whose complaints the FIRs were registered had already filed a caveat in the court requesting it to give them an opportunity to have their say if Khan moved court for quashing of the FIRs.last_img read more

Jaishankar meets Singapore deputy prime minister defence minister

first_imgSingapore: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and the two leaders discussed new avenues of relationship through the opportunities provided by “New India.” Jaishankar, who is on a visit to Singapore, was accompanied by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep S Puri during his meeting with Keat, who is also Singapore’s finance minister. “Cordial meeting with Deputy PM & Finance Minister @MOFsg Heng Swee Keat along with Minister @HardeepSPuri. Discussed refreshing the India-Singapore agenda by exploring opportunities provided by New India,” Jaishankar tweeted. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Jaishankar also had a meeting with Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. “A meeting of minds with Defence Minister @Ng_Eng_Hen. Benefitted from his insights and assessments as always,” he tweeted. On Monday, Jaishankar called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and discussed with him bilateral ties and the issues concerning the world. He also co-chaired the 6th Joint Ministerial Commission with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan and reviewed the whole range of bilateral issues. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He also had good interaction with Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on scaling up trade and investment. During his visit, Jaishankar also attended the India-Singapore Business & Innovation Summit and expressed India’s reservations on joining the proposed mega free trade agreement RCEP as it is concerned over the “protectionist policies” of China that have created a significant trade deficit between the two nations, as high as USD 57 billion in 2018. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed mega free trade agreement being negotiated among 16 countries including 10-nation ASEAN bloc (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and its six trading partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.last_img read more

Senators bow to will of elected government on transport modernization bill

first_imgOTTAWA – The Senate has bowed to the will of the Trudeau government on an omnibus transportation modernization bill.Senators voted 41-31 Tuesday to drop their insistence on amendments to Bill C-49 — which, among other things, is aimed at preventing rail shipments of grain from getting backlogged again.The bill had been bouncing back and forth between the two houses of Parliament for the past month, much to the frustration of grain farmers.It was passed by the House of Commons in November but the Senate last month sent it back to the elected chamber with 18 amendments.The government accepted two of those amendments and modified three others but rejected the rest.Rather than defer to the will of the elected chamber as is usually the case, Conservative senators joined forces with a handful of independent senators earlier this month to insist on two further amendments and send the bill back to the Commons for a second time — a rare move that was last employed in 2006.The Liberal majority in the Commons voted Tuesday to reject those additional amendments and sent the bill back to the Senate once again, where this time all but Conservative senators agreed to end the standoff.Among other things, C-49 would financially penalize railways that fail to deliver promised rail cars for grain shipments on time. It would also require railways to publicly report each summer on their abilities to move that year’s grain crop, and to publish by Oct. 1 each year a winter contingency plan for keeping shipments moving regardless of bad weather.The bill would also create a new air passenger bill of rights, relax international ownership restrictions on Canadian airlines and require railways to install voice and video recorders in locomotives.Conservative Sen. Michael MacDonald said the amendments rejected Tuesday were aimed at ensuring equitable treatment for the Maritimes when it comes to rail shipments. The fact that some independent senators who supported the amendments earlier this month ultimately “fell in line” with the government proves they’re “not really independent,” he said.last_img read more

Quebec ticket claims Friday nights 55 million Lotto Max jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – A ticket sold in Quebec claimed the $55 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.The exact location of the sale has yet to be revealed.There were also eight Maxmillion prizes of $1 million each up for grabs, and three of them were won by ticket holders in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on June 9 will be approximately $15 million.last_img

Manitoba RCMP bag man on lawn mower for impaired operation of motor

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba man found driving a lawn mower on a road leading to the Trans-Canada Highway in the dark has been charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle.RCMP say officers pulled over a man on a John Deere riding mower in the rural municipality of Headingley at around 2 a.m. Saturday.The man told the Mounties he was heading to a gas station to buy smokes and figured it was “responsible” to ride his lawn mower instead of a car.A 39-year-old woman was along for the ride.RCMP say that while lawn mowers are not specifically mentioned in Manitoba’s Highway Traffic Act, they are not allowed on streets or highways.The 41-year-old man is to appear in Winnipeg court on Aug. 23. (CTV Winnipeg)last_img

NSborn prof and sovereigntist wants to run for Parti Quebecois

first_imgMONTREAL – A small fishing village in southwestern Nova Scotia seems like the last place you’d find a voice for Quebec independence.But the latest Parti Quebecois hopeful seeking to run under the sovereigntist party’s banner in next year’s provincial election is hoping that small town background will come in handy.Jennifer Drouin, a native of Shelburne, N.S., who has lived on-and-off in Quebec since 2001, is hoping to secure the nomination in the downtown Montreal riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques.After several years teaching English literature in the U.S., she’s been a visiting scholar with McGill’s Institute of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, all the while doing a double major in law at the university.Drouin is not new to the party, having been a PQ member for nearly 20 years.The political novice said being a lesbian and playing an active role in the LGBTQ community made the riding, which comprises Montreal’s Gay Village, the right choice for her.Her smalltown upbringing and educator background put her at ease with people, noting her hometown doesn’t have a street light.“So it’s a very small community and I feel like I can talk to regular people in the community (in Montreal) because that’s the background I come from,” she said.Her interest in Quebec’s long-standing debate came about during the province’s 1995 sovereignty referendum — where she found herself cheering for the federalist side as a Canadian but slowly developed a soft spot for the sovereigntist cause as the night wore on.She recalled seeing the faces of Yes side supporters: “Seeing all the emotion on the faces of these people and seeing there’s something really big going on here, and it really mattered to them,” she said.Eventually, it mattered to her too. Drouin said she wants to bring together all Quebecers around the independence project, regardless of language or ethnicity. She called the decline of French worrisome.A rarity as an anglophone sovereigntist, Drouin said she wants to bring together all Quebecers around the independence project, regardless of language or ethnicity, while stemming the decline of French.“Whereas English isn’t going anywhere: we’re good, we’ve got all of English Canada, we’ve got the United States next door,” she said. “English is not under threat.”The riding was once considered a PQ stronghold, but has been held recently by incumbent is Manon Masse, a co-spokesperson for left-leaning Quebec solidaire.Drouin said her family is mostly OK with her political leanings and respect her commitment, even if they don’t share her opinion of Quebec independence.“Generally, they don’t necessarily agree with everything but we have an agreement to agree to disagree on some things,” Drouin said.“Or just not talk about it at the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table.”— with files from Michel Saba in Montreallast_img read more

Federal report suggests workplace violence rarely dealt with properly

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says an “awakening” is sweeping society about the issue of workplace harassment and violence as the dominoes continue to fall from the Harvey Weinstein scandal.Trudeau suggested that awareness being raised around the issue could reverse trends that show incidents are not only under-reported, but are often not dealt with properly when they are brought forward.A newly released federal survey on the issue hints at such a trend.Three-quarters of those surveyed in the federal consultations said they recently reported harassment, sexual harassment or violence, but two-fifths of those complaints were never addressed.Federal officials caution that the results of the online survey should not be taken as representative of the population because it was not a random sampling.Speaking in Toronto, Trudeau said far too many victims — women and men — don’t feel safe coming forward with their stories.But with the fall of one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, a Weinstein effect has swept across industries with actors, producers, singers, CEOs, journalists and chefs ousted and forced to apologize for inappropriate behaviour as victims felt safer to come forward with their stories.“There is an awakening,” Trudeau said.“There is an increasing awareness that it’s not all right, it’s never all right and regardless of the power or influence or money or fame of the person doing the harassment, it’s never excusable and it should never be kept hidden.”The consultation report released Thursday also focuses on education to help reduce incidents, saying “prevention should be the primary focus” of any federal efforts and “precede any legislative changes.”The Liberals say they will tackle the issue soon, but won’t say what they plan to do.Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act suggest officials previously expected to see regulatory changes after the consultation report was released. The briefing note late last year to Labour Minister Patty Hajdu’s top official also suggested further consultations with the public could flesh out any “approved, non-legislative initiatives.”Any change to the labour code would only apply to federally-regulated companies, like Crown corporations, banking, rail, telecommunications and broadcasting.Trudeau said no workplace in the country is immune from harassment and intimidation, including Parliament, requiring the federal government to set the tone for the country in how to deal with the issue.“This is something that affects all of us and we need to realize that harassment, intimidation in any workplace, in any place in this country is unacceptable and needs to stop.”The government launched consultations on dealing with workplace violence in the summer of 2016 to review the existing laws and regulations under the Canada Labour Code.The government’s consultation report says most survey respondents believe employers, followed by the government and then unions, should provide support for victims of workplace violence.Employer and employee groups asked for simpler language in the labour code and clarification of legislative and regulatory requirements, including differentiating sexual harassment from other forms of workplace violence because of privacy concerns.last_img read more

Father of woman missing in BC fundraises for drones to help other

first_imgVANCOUVER – John Simpson is determined to use the novel experience he gained in a troubling search for his daughter to help others who have lost loved ones.Ashley Simpson went missing in Salmon Arm, B.C., in April 2016, and this spring her father travelled there from Ontario for a second time. He believed her body might be along the banks of a river or creek.The area had been flooded and it was too dangerous to search on foot, but Simpson had an idea. He told friends he wanted to borrow a drone, and was put in touch with a surprisingly young expert — a 14-year-old boy with a fleet of drones and a strong commitment to his hobby.“It really got me thinking,” said Simpson in a recent phone interview from his home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.“Watching this young man, and his drone … He can go thousands of feet in the air and he can hover just three or four inches off the ground. If it was going to come to an obstacle, it would stop. … It’s absolutely amazing.”Simpson hired the boy to search the mouth of the Salmon River where it flows into Shuswap Lake. Although his daughter wasn’t found, Simpson was resolved to get more drones into the hands of volunteer crews searching for missing people.Since Ashley Simpson went missing last year at age 32, her family in Ontario has held an annual barbecue to fundraise for women’s shelters. This year, they added a golf tournament and her father used the proceeds to purchase four inexpensive drones, two of which he sent to a missing-women’s advocate in B.C.RCMP wrapped up a wide-scale search of a Salmon Arm farm last week. Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said human remains found at the property were confirmed to belong to one person, 18-year-old Traci Genereaux. Her death is being treated as suspicious but no charges have been laid.At least four other women, including Simpson, remain missing in the region.Jody Leon of the Splatsin First Nation in Enderby, near Salmon Arm, organized a search party for the women this spring that covered more than 100 kilometres. Last week, she received the drones from Simpson and held a meeting for interested volunteers.Leon said she’s connected with a number of experienced drone operators, including some with longer-range drones and another who will help volunteers get licensed under Transport Canada regulations. Their first drone search could be as soon as next week, she said.“John Simpson has been a huge teacher for me in terms of resiliency,” she added. “In any situation, no matter how painful it is, you can still get up and keep fighting.”Transport Canada currently requires anyone using drones for anything other than fun to obtain a special flight operations certificate. Applicants for the certificates are evaluated on a case-by-case basis according to criteria including proposed use, safety record and experience, Transport Canada said in a statement.Even those with a certificate are not allowed to fly drones outside their visual line-of-sight. This makes it difficult for search and rescue crews to use them over distances, said Ali Miri, president of UAViation Aerial Imaging Solutions.Search and rescue organizations in Kamloops and Coquitlam are participating in a pilot project that allows crews to use drones. The project is set to expand to more groups next year, said Andrew Morrison of Emergency Management BC.There are limitations, including that drones can’t see through the tree canopy and weather conditions and battery life make it difficult to search large areas. But they have been useful in assessing hazards before volunteers enter an area and to pinpoint people’s locations using infrared cameras, Morrison said.RCMP have access to drones but Moskaluk declined to say whether they were used in the search for Ashley Simpson. Salmon Arm Search and Rescue said they conducted a three-day ground search.John Simpson doesn’t believe drones will now find his daughter. His aim is to help others who are searching for their loved ones, especially in the crucial first days after they go missing. He eventually hopes to have a Canada-wide network of volunteer drone search teams.But he said he and his wife won’t ever give up searching for their daughter, a jack of all trades who loves to cook, travel and entertain children, and who turns 34 on Nov. 15.“We’ll fight this right to the very end,” said Simpson. “We’ll bring our daughter home and lay her to rest here.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

Police say 24 in hospital after highway bus crash in eastern Ontario

first_imgPRESCOTT, Ont. – A bus carrying Chinese tourists crashed into a rock cut Monday in eastern Ontario, sending at least 24 people to hospital, four with life-threatening injuries, provincial police said.Const. Suzanne Runciman said the bus was carrying about 37 people, including the driver and a tour guide, when it went off the westbound lanes of Highway 401 and hit the rock cut.Runciman said the crash took place at about 2:30 p.m. between Brockville and Prescott.“My understanding is they are tourists, there was a tour guide with them,” Runciman said.The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said in a tweet Monday evening it was aware of the collision and “very much concerned about the conditions of the injured passengers.”“We are contacting the Canadian side for more information,” it said.A truck driver who passed by shortly after the crash said he could see passengers standing outside the bus holding bloody noses and some appeared to have facial injuries.The bus was sitting in the ditch, up against some rocks, he said. A dash cam photo of the scene he shared showed at least three ambulances and first responders, with about half a dozen people standing at the side of the road.“It definitely looked very surreal and chaotic,” said the man, who would only give his name as Robert. “OPP officers were assisting those who could get off the bus and to waiting ambulances. You could definitely see heavy damage to the front of the bus, including the passenger side of the front window.”Aiden Liang, a manager at Massachusetts-based Union Tour Express, said he had heard one of their buses was involved in the collision, but did not have any further information.Meanwhile, Ornge air ambulance spokesman Joshua McNamara said at least one person was taken to Ottawa via air ambulance.About 20 of the crash victims were also transported by school bus, with emergency personnel on board, to Ottawa’s Queensway-Carleton Hospital.Dr. Bhaskar Gopalan, the hospital’s chief ER physician, said the hospital was told that crash victims were on their way, but they didn’t know exactly how many.He said the hospital set up a triage centre in a garage beside the emergency department.“Then news came that these patients only spoke Mandarin, so we put the call out to see if anyone in the hospital could help translate, and several physicians and nursing staff showed up,” he said.The hospital said the injured were all in stable condition when they arrived and were being treated for a range of injuries that included cuts, bruises and possible broken bones. All of the injured ranged in age from 40 to 60, Gopalan said.Brockville General Hospital said it received five patients who all required critical care and said one other patient was sent to a hospital in Kingston by air ambulance.“All of the people that we have received are all Mandarin-speaking,” said spokeswoman Abby McIntyre. “What I’ve been advised is that we have received five of the most critical.”McIntyre said others injured in the crash are believed to be “walking wounded,” who were taken to other hospitals.“Our teams are working hard with the folks that we’ve received and there’s all hands on deck for the moment,” she said. The hospital said it had a Mandarin translator on site to support the patients.The leaders of Ontario’s three main political parties, who are days away from a provincial election, all tweeted that their thoughts were with those affected by the crash.last_img read more

WestJet commemorates Western Canadas inaugural airmail flight

first_imgIt was 100 years ago Monday that the first airmail flight in Western Canada took off from Calgary to Edmonton, and a woman was at the controls.WestJet has marked the historic trip by Katherine Stinson. She was the fourth woman ever in the U.S.A to get her pilot license, in 1912 at the age of 21, and set a number of endurance and distance records south of the border and in Canada.In honour of Stinson, flight 3143 was flown by Captain’s Athenia Jansen and Janna Breker Kettner.“As a female pilot it’s an honour to fly WestJet Encore flight 3143 in recognition of Katherine Stinson’s first airmail flight in Western Canada,” Jansen said. “Stinson was one of the world’s leading female aviators and Janna and myself are thrilled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of her flight.”The flight also transported 259 letters destined for Edmonton from Calgary including a letter from Mayor Naheed Nenshi to the Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson.Open Gallery4 itemslast_img read more