World Cupwinner Jofra Archer in England squad for Ashes opener

first_imgLondon: Uncapped fast bowler Jofra Archer has been included in England’s 14-man squad announced Saturday for next week’s Ashes opener against Australia, with all-rounder Ben Stokes re-appointed as vice-captain. The pair both enjoyed starring roles in England’s stunning World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s on July 14, with all-rounder Stokes ensuring England drew level with the Black Caps total in regulation play before Archer bowled the decisive Super Over that sealed victory. Archer, 24, who only became England qualified earlier this year, could now make his Test debut when the first of a five-match series starts at Edgbaston on August 1. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhHe carried a side strain throughout the World Cup but reported fit after a brief holiday in his native Barbados, with Archer returning to action for Sussex on Friday, where he took 2-21 in a tied Twenty20 Blast match with Surrey. Meanwhile Stokes was restored to his position as Joe Root’s deputy after being stripped of the vice-captaincy following a late night brawl in September 2017. He was subsequently cleared on a charge of affray last year, with Jos Buttler acting as vice-captain. Both Buttler and Stokes were rested from a see-saw Test against Ireland that England eventually won by 143 runs at Lord’s on Friday, with veteran spearhead James Anderson also returning to the squad after missing the match with a side injury. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterBut while 10 of the 11 players who defeated Ireland were included, there was no place for left-arm spinner Jack Leach following his man-of-the-match heroics that saw the nightwatchman make a career-best 92 in England’s second innings. Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad finished the Ireland match in spectacular style, the seamers taking six for 17 and four for 19 respectively as the visitors collapsed to 38 all out.last_img read more



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EOW books Amrapali builders its officials in fraud case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Economic and Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police has registered a case against Amrapali and it’s officials for cheating.Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) Suvashis Choudhary said that a case was registered on the complaint of Anurag Sahay. “The promoters of Amrapali Group had launched its project identified as “Crystal Homes” in Silicon City Sector 76, Noida in the year 2013 for 2, 3 and 4 BHK,” police said. Police further added that the complainant alleged that several promises were made at the time of booking. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIt was claimed that the project is a part of Amrapali Silicon City will be equipped with all modern amenities and facilities. The completion of the project was fixed for 48 months from the signing of the agreement. Police further added that upon this impression the complainant had booked a flat after completing all the requisite formalities including the execution of Builder buyer agreement. But the company failed to fulfil their commitment and till date, only structural construction has not been completed. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsTo extract money from the buyer, the accused directors/persons of the company hatched a conspiracy and collected the amount through Mission Completion scheme and subvention scheme . Based on pre-registration enquiry and contents of the complaint, prima facie an offence under sections 409/ 406/420/120 IPC is made out. Man held for fraud A 56-year-old man was arrested for fraud by EOW. Police identified the accused Pawan Kumar Verma. Addl CP Suvashis Choudhary said he was arrested for the allegations of inducing the general public to give money in the name of loan to be returned at the exorbitant rate of interest against postdated cheques as security. He was running a jewellery shop at Vasant Kunj.last_img read more



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Noah Lana start shooting for To All the Boys3

first_imgLos Angeles: Actors Noah Centineo and Lana Condor have announced that they are shooting for the third installment of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and that the Netflix film’s part two will premier on February 12. The two made the announcement on Instagram. In a video shared by Centineo, who plays the role of Patrick in the original film, the actors were heard saying: “Hey guys! We are on set of To All The Boys… 3. We are shooting To All The Boys… 3…. This is the coolest thing we have been keeping as a secret for a long time and it has been hard!” “We also have the release date for To All The Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love you premiers February 12,” the two said. A video shared by Netflix on Instagram suggested that newcomer Jordan Fisher will step in as Lara’s new love interest in the sequel. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series is based on Jenny Han’s bestselling trilogy following high schooler Lara Jean’s romantic entanglements.last_img read more



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Rahulled opposition team sent back from Srinagar

first_imgSrinagar: An opposition party delegation, led by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, was on Saturday stopped at the Srinagar airport and sent back to Delhi, soon after they landed here. The delegation of 12 opposition leaders had left Delhi by 11.50 a.m. Air Vistara flight. It was not allowed to leave the airport, sources said. The delegation wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation. The Valley has been placed under security lockdown since August 5, when Article 370 was abrogated. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The delegation comprised the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and K.C. Venugopal, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Chief Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Janata Dal Secular’s D. Kupendra Reddy. On Friday, the J&K administration had advised the opposition leaders not to visit, saying attempts should not be made to disturb the gradual restoration of normalcy in the state. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The visit of the opposition delegation comes almost three weeks after the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to J&K. Before leaving for Srinagar, Raja said they were not going to the Valley to create any law and order problem. Azad also said they were not going to break any law as they were leaders of responsible political parties. “The government says situation in J&K is normal. But then they don’t allow leaders to visit? Haven’t seen such a contradiction. If things are normal there, why aren’t we allowed to visit?” Azad said. “We are citizens of the country. So is everyone in J&K. We are not people who will make things difficult for anyone. We just want to see the situation on the ground,” Yadav told the reporters. On August 8, Azad had tried to visit Srinagar, but was not allowed to leave the airport. Similarly, CPI and CPI-M General Secretaries Raja and Yechury, respectively, were also detained at the airport and then sent back to Delhi. Earlier in the month Rahul Gandhi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had entered into a war of words on Twitter. The Governor had said Gandhi was responding to fake news and trying to politicise the situation. The Governor on August 12 had offered to send Gandhi an aircraft to visit the Valley and see for himself the ground situation, to which the Congress leader had responded saying he didn’t need an aircraft but freedom to travel and meet the people.last_img read more



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State govt looks to adopt Japanese tech for converting waste to energy

first_imgKolkata: The state Municipal Affairs department will explore Japanese technology for conversion of solid waste to energy, with all the landfill sites across the state overburdened with wastes.”The people in our country and those in Japan have different food habits but I have learnt that a waste-to-energy plant has come up at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, with technology inputs from Japan. I will send a team there to examine the effectiveness of the plant. The time has come for us to channelise wastes and recycle it effectively so that it can provide us with some sort of income,” said state Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim on the sidelines of the 12th Edition of the Annual Environment and Energy Conclave organised by Bengal Chamber, in association with H Energy. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHakim said that he would seek the papers of the conclave from the Bengal Chamber and take note of the deliberations where Hiroyuki Ito from a leading company in Japan has talked about their technology of converting waste to energy. Hakim, who is also the state Urban Development minister and Kolkata Mayor, said that Uttarpara Municipality in Hooghly has been successfully doing segregation at source and has set up the infrastructure for converting wet waste into compost. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”The dry waste is being picked up by rag pickers and now channelising this waste is posing a big challenge for us,” he said. The minister said that the government is laying a lot of emphasis to push for electric vehicles across the state in a bid to reduce carbon emissions, which is a major contributor to air pollution. “We are also encouraging vertical gardens and rooftop gardens in the city. We have already floated tender for a vertical garden under Maa flyover,” he maintained. Hakim also lashed out at the Metro Railway authorities for not taking up the vertical garden project under the flyovers, even though land was provided to them for the purpose. “They have put up advertisements for their own publicity,” he said. Later in the day, while addressing a meeting on solid waste management with ADMs at Subhanno, Hakim reiterated that processing solid waste is a major challenge for all urban local bodies across the state.last_img read more



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AP PHOTOS Portraits of an icebreaker crew researchers

first_imgThe ship hadn’t yet left Vancouver for the Arctic Circle’s Northwest Passage when the icebreaking began — with a round of “introduce yourself to the others.”We’d already met a few crew members of the MSV Nordica icebreaker the day before, including Capt. Jyri Viljanen, a master mariner from Finland who has been going to sea for 39 years.This month’s expedition through the Northwest Passage, with an Associated Press team and international researchers aboard, is Viljanen’s first transit through the passage.Helping guide the ship safely through the treacherous waters is ice navigator Capt. David “Duke” Snider, a Canadian Coast Guard veteran with 35 years at sea and current president of The Nautical Institute for maritime professionals.Others aboard include Cmdr. Bill Woityra, the ice operations division chief for the U.S. Coast Guard; marine consultant Nigel Greenwood, a retired Canadian admiral in charge of maritime forces in the Pacific; and Capt. Victor Gronmyr, a serving officer in the Canadian Coast Guard.Two members of Canada’s indigenous Inuit community, Maatiusi Manning and David Kullualik, are on board to gain “ship time” as part of their merchant marine training. Manning and Kullualik hope eventually to work on an Inuit-owned fishing ship off Canada’s northeast coast.Six scientists are accompanying the mission. Some, such as Daria Gritsenko of the University of Helsinki, are there to document the state of the ice and marine infrastructure along the Northwest Passage. Others, such as Scott Joblin of the Australian National University, will examine the legal and political issues arising from Arctic exploration and development.The Nordica also has an experienced field biologist, Paula van Weller, on board. Van Weller is documenting wildlife encounters, including any sightings of polar bears, whales or seals.___Follow the team of AP journalists as they travel through the Arctic Circle’s fabled Northwest Passage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/NewArcticlast_img read more



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More people have overdosed in Vancouver so far this year compared to

first_imgVANCOUVER – More people have fatally overdosed in Vancouver so far this year compared with the total number of illicit-drug deaths for all of 2016, the city says.It says 232 overdose deaths have been recorded since the beginning of the year. The BC Coroners Service reported 231 fatalities for Vancouver last year, many involving the opioid painkiller fentanyl.The numbers suggest more than 400 deaths are anticipated by the end of the year, the city said in a news release Monday.Mayor Gregor Robertson called the rising number of overdose deaths “horrendous and absolutely heartbreaking” and said the city will work with the new provincial government and pour its resource into tackling the issue.First responders have handled an average of 135 overdose calls a week this year, he said.“We can’t be complacent and let the number of deaths from this public health crisis be the new normal,” Robertson said.Decriminalization of illicit drugs and expansion of injectable treatment options, such as medical-grade heroin, must be explored, he said, echoing a report issued last week by the BC Centre for Disease Control.Injectable heroin is available for a limited number of people at one Vancouver clinic, the only one of its kind in North America, and health officials have said stigma against illicit-substance users has stalled the expansion of the program.Robertson also wants more supportive housing for drug users and an increase in the number of overdose prevention sites so staff or volunteers can provide the overdose-reversing medication naloxone when someone overdoses.The coroner’s service reported 780 deaths provincewide by the end of June, suggesting this year’s overdose fatalities will far exceed the nearly 1,000 deaths in 2016.It said cocaine, fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine were the top four drugs involved in overdose fatalities in 2015 and 2016.In April 2016, the provincial medical health officer declared a public health emergency over the high number of overdose deaths and said it will remain in place for as long as necessary.last_img read more



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Controversial US education secretary to visit Ontario on public education trip

first_imgTORONTO – U.S. President Donald Trump’s education secretary, who holds controversial views on publicly funded education, is set to visit Ontario to learn about its public school system.Ontario government officials confirmed Betsy DeVos’ trip is taking place but wouldn’t provide details. U.S. embassy officials provided few specifics, except to say DeVos’ visit is on Thursday and Friday and involves a study tour to Toronto “to examine best practices in Ontario’s education system.”“Secretary DeVos plans to engage with Ministry of Education officials from Ontario and other provinces, visit local schools, and learn about U.S. Consulate support for U.S.-Canada higher education linkages,” spokesman Joseph Crook said in a statement.The province often welcomes international delegations who come to look at its publicly funded education system, said Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter.“We’re very proud of our education system in Ontario and we welcome international delegations who come here to learn from us and to really meet our great teachers and educators in our system,” she said.When asked what lessons the American school system can learn from Ontario, Hunter cited full-day kindergarten, graduation rates, specialist high skills major programs — such as agriculture, construction and forestry — and inclusive education.DeVos’ department of education rolled back rules allowing transgender students to use school restrooms of their choice this year. She has also attracted protests recently for revoking a guidance that instructed colleges on how to handle sexual assault cases, saying the previous policy was unfairly skewed against those accused of assault.But much of the criticism directed at DeVos has focused on her positions on public schools, with critics saying she prioritizes the needs of private schools.She advocates for school choice, which includes vouchers that allow kids to attend charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — or private schools on the public dime.Ontario teachers’ organizations and unions expressed disappointment at news of the visit.“DeVos represents everything a public education advocate opposes,” Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Chris Cowley wrote on Twitter. “She should keep her backwards ideas out of Ontario.”The head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation said in a statement that he is “extremely concerned” about plans to allow DeVos to visit Ontario schools.“Ms. DeVos is a vocal proponent of programs that divert government funding away from public education and into private hands, to pay for tuition at private and religious schools,” Harvey Bischof wrote in a statement.“The Ministry of Education should reconsider this visit and send a strong, clear message to Ms. DeVos and other proponents of privatization that public education in Ontario is not for sale.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously attributed Ontario Teachers’ Federation comments to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.last_img read more



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Nova Scotia hires consultant to examine governance of school system

first_imgHALIFAX – A consultant is promising to examine all options in a review of how Nova Scotia’s school system is run.Avis Glaze, who served as Ontario’s education commissioner and as senior adviser to that province’s education minister, said Wednesday that she comes to her new job with no pre-conceived notions or government directions on such things as the possible elimination or amalgamation of the province’s eight school boards.“I think all the options are on the table and I have not at all pre-judged the situation. I want to listen first, think, reflect, look at the research and what works, and then write recommendations,” said Glaze, who now lives in British Columbia.Education Minister Zach Churchill confirmed the $75,000 review would have a broad mandate, including looking at the structure of the Education Department and the province’s eight school boards.“We haven’t looked at our administrative model in two decades,” he said. “We are moving forward aggressively in a number of key areas for the education system and I think it’s important that we also look at how we administer the system too, while we have conversations around inclusion, early learning and classroom conditions.”The review, first promised in 2015, would look at all areas of administration and operations and would also look at ways of increasing accountability and transparency around budgetary decisions and the allocation of resources.Churchill said it would begin immediately and the final report is to be submitted by Dec. 31. He said the government would consider giving Glaze more time if she requests it, but Glaze said she believes she can handle the time frame.“It is a tall order,” she said. “I’ll work day and night … but we will get it done.”Glaze said she will consult across the system including with school boards.Hank Middleton, president of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, said he was pleased Glaze is conducting the review.“If this review is going to be carried out in an impartial manner she would seem to be the person to do it.”Middleton questioned whether enough time had been allotted for the review, but said his association had been assured by Churchill that more time would be given if needed.He said boards wouldn’t be opposed to structural improvements as long as they help deliver services. In order to get there, he said Glaze would have to talk to boards which are diverse geographically, culturally and linguistically.He then made the case for keeping them.“I think we need democratically elected school boards,” said Middleton. “They are the voice of the community … and the voices of communities have to be heard. Everything can’t be run out of Halifax.”The department later said that in addition to the consultant’s fee quoted by Churchill, it would pay for other expenses including travel needed to conduct the review.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said Glaze was based in Ontario.last_img read more



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Trudeau to cut small business tax rate

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau will unveil changes today to his government’s controversial small business tax reform proposals as his Liberals try to re-establish themselves as the champions of middle-class Canadians.The prime minister will head to the Toronto-area where a source says he’ll honour his campaign promise to lower the small business tax to nine per cent from the current rate of 10.5.The Liberals have been scrambling to undo the damage from weeks of controversy over proposed tax reforms for private corporations.Doctors, lawyers, accountants, shop owners, farmers and even some Liberal backbenchers have denounced the plan.Other changes to be announced today are likely to be largely technical in nature, aimed at more clearly targeting wealthy individuals who’ve used small businesses to gain what the government says is an unfair tax advantage.They’re also expected to address concerns the reforms would disproportionately impact women, inhibit the ability of small business owners to save for a rainy day and make it impossible for people such as farmers to pass their businesses on to their children.last_img read more



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Canadas envoy to the Rohingya crisis issues interim report

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s special envoy on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar says it’s hard to put the extent of the humanitarian crisis into words.Bob Rae issued his interim report on Thursday night on the crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh because of a crackdown by Myanmar security forces.Rae’s interim report said refugee camps are “deplorably overcrowded and pose a threat to human health and life itself.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the former Ontario premier earlier this year to give him advice on the humanitarian crisis, which the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.Rae travelled to Bangladesh earlier this year to see the situation and has also met with a number of leaders, officials and non-governmental organizations in the region.His interim report drew particular attention the plight of women, saying he heard detailed and graphic accounts from women who made it to Bangladesh about sexual violence and abuse at the hands of the Myanmar military.Rae said those accounts included sexual violence as a weapon of war and there is clear evidence of sexual trauma among the women who survived.“A focused effort to deal with this issue is required,” the report said.“Seeing these words in print makes me realize how inadequate words are to express the extent of the damage and trauma being suffered by women and girls among the Rohingya refugees.”Rae said the international community must get involved in addressing the issue and additional resources will be required.“These allegations of crimes against humanity need to be addressed directly by the international community, and there is a need for post-traumatic measures to help those who survived this ordeal.”The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed a fact-finding mission to examine the treatment of the Rohingya, but officials have not been allowed to visit Myanmar or interview officials in the country’s government and military, Rae said.The investigation into what happened must be “thorough and systematic” and must gather evidence and examine events over the past several years, the report said, adding that Canada must remain involved in this “important” international work.The International aid group Doctors Without Borders said last week that it conducted a field survey that found at least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed between August and September in the crackdown.International rights groups blame the government and military for being unwilling to investigate possible wrongdoing by government officials and have urged Myanmar to accept the assistance of international investigators.Myanmar’s military said in a statement Monday that legal actions would be taken against the perpetrators.Rae said he intends to return to Bangladesh in the New Year to continue his “challenging assignment” and have more talks with officials in Myanmar, Bangladesh and international organizations before completing his final report and issuing recommendations.last_img read more



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Man two women found dead in car on northern Alberta access road

first_imgCONKLIN, Alta. – RCMP say three people have been found dead in a car in northern Alberta.They say a security guard found a 29-year-old man and two women, ages 21 and 22, in a two-door car on a semi-remote access road near the hamlet of Conklin over the noon hour on Tuesday.Emergency medical responders were called, but all three were declared dead at the scene.Cpl. Teri-Ann Deobald said at this point there is no indication of any criminal connection to the deaths, or if carbon monoxide poisoning played a role.“The vehicle was off when it was found. Depending on toxicology reports, we will also be looking at the vehicle,” she said. “The time of death is unknown at this point.”There was also no immediate word on what the fuel level was in the vehicle’s tank at the time. Temperatures in the region have been around -30 C.Autopsies are pending and police have not released the names of the people, although Deobald said all three have different surnames and are not residents of the Conklin or Fort McMurray areas.“One of the individuals did not have information on them,” the spokeswoman said. “I don’t know if they had temporary housing here or where their families are from. It’s not uncommon for (the Municipality of) Wood Buffalo to have transient workers coming through from different cities.”The fatalities follow the deaths of a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl who were found unconscious in a running vehicle in a parking lot in Drayton Valley, southwest of Edmonton, just days before Christmas.RCMP said there was a strong smell of exhaust fumes in the Volkswagen Jetta when a patrolling Mountie discovered Gage Bogart and Shaina Lynn Ridenour.Police said late last month that a faulty exhaust system could be behind the deaths.Deobald said investigators in northern Alberta have the Drayton Valley case in mind as they look into the Conklin deaths.“That’s why (carbon monoxide poisoning) is one of the possible contributing factors. Everything is being considered.”last_img read more



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Liberals need to step in and fix asylum system advocates Opposition

first_imgOTTAWA – The Immigration and Refugee Board can only go so far to manage historic numbers of asylum claims and it’s now up to the Liberals to decide what kind of refugee system it wants, say refugee advocates, opposition MPs and the arms-length tribunal itself.The board took the formal step this week of invoking an element of Canada’s immigration law that says it doesn’t have to follow legislated timelines to hear claims if doing so would unduly impact the operations of the board.The switch to the new first-in, first-out approach is more fair to those seeking asylum, said Shereen Benzvy Miller, deputy chairperson of the refugee protection division.But while measures like that and others have seen the board increase output by 40 per cent over the last year, it can still only hear about 2,000 cases a month — with 2,100 more being added to a backlog that currently has wait times of 20 months for new hearings.“Is it my problem there’s a backlog? It’s my problem from a position as an administrator, because who likes a backlog,” she said.“The truth is that at the end of the day we’re a tribunal. Our real job is to do refugee determination on individual claims and we are doing that to the best of our ability. If others feel that we should be doing more, they will fund us more.”Around 47,000 new asylum claims were referred to the IRB in 2017, twice the number in 2012 — the year the Conservative government legislated timelines for hearings as part of a new designated countries of origin policy, or DCO, which triages claims depending on where they are from.The Tories said DCO would discourage unfounded claims for asylum, because the timelines, a bar on getting work permits and less access to appeals would lead to failed claimants being deported faster.Critics said it created a discriminatory refugee system and the timelines would never work. The Liberals promised a review. While the courts have struck down some elements of the program, the review has never materialized.Hursh Jaswal, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, declined to say why. The IRB’s decision was its prerogative under the law, and the government remains committed to orderly migration and an efficient and fair system, Jaswal said in an email.The IRB’s move doesn’t address the fact that claim numbers aren’t likely to decrease any time soon, said Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel.“It feels like admitting defeat when we should be coming up with a plan,” Rempel said. “I don’t know how we go to the Canadian public and tell them the system is working.”The board’s move is simpler than a law reform process often fraught with tension, said Sharry Aiken, an expert in immigration and refugee law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.But no action on the DCO and a “stay the course” approach as asylum seekers have surged across the border do raise questions about the Liberal approach to asylum policy, Aiken said.“It’s fair to say, though, that we’ve been quite worried about what might be in the works behind the scenes.”Last year, Hussen ordered a third-party review of the IRB. An interim report has been delivered, but the government has yet to make it public. The full report is due later this year.Sources tell The Canadian Press one option being explored is having civil servants more engaged in the refugee determination process, as well as better co-ordination between the board, Immigration Department, Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.It isn’t a broken system, said NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan, but no amount of efficiency is going to solve the issue of backlogs that leave thousands of people in limbo for years.“The only thing they can do to fix this problem is to resource it so that the IRB can have the tools that they need to process the cases; if we want to ensure that the integrity of our system is intact, the government needs to step up, Kwan said.“We have a budget coming up on (Feb. 27), and the big question is will they put money into the IRB to address this situation which has now reached, in my view, a crisis.”last_img read more



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Toutant wins gold in mens big air debut to lead Canada to

first_imgSebastien Toutant won the Olympic title in his event’s debut Saturday to give Canada it’s 500th medal in all Winter and Summer Games.Toutant, from L’Assomption, Que., won gold in men’s snowboard big air, outperforming Canadian medal favourites Max Parrot and Mark McMorris at Pheonix Park.Toutant scored 84.75 points on his first run and 89.50 on his second for a combined 174.25 points. He didn’t land his final run, but he didn’t need to — the top two scores of a rider’s three runs make up their final score.“It’s such a big day for snowboarding because we got to show at such a high scale what it’s all about,” Toutant said. “I’m just happy to be that guy, that day, who won it.”Kyle Mack of the United States won silver with 168.75 points and Britain’s Billy Morgan took bronze with 168.00.Parrot of Bromont, Que., who won silver in slopestyle last week, finished ninth while Regina’s McMorris, the slopestyle bronze medallist, was 10th after struggling to land his first two jumps.Toutant hadn’t won a World Cup in big air since 2011 in Stoneham, Que. He finished the World Cup season ranked 10th.McMorris was competing in Pyeongchang less than a year after suffering a series of gruesome, life-threatening injuries in a back-country crash in B.C.“It was so frustrating. This is what I was most looking forward to but it didn’t go my way today,” the 24-year-old said.In other snowboarding competition, Canada was shut out of a medal in parallel giant slalom.Jasey-Jay Anderson of Mont-Tremblant, Que., finished 24th in the 32-man field in one minute 26.76 seconds while Darren Gardner of Burlington, Ont., was 28th in 1:26.94. The top 16 competitors advanced to the afternoon elimination rounds.The 42-year-old Anderson, who won a World Cup event a month ago, is the only Canadian to compete in six different Winter Olympics. He won gold at the Vancouver Games.Justin Kripps, from Summerland, B.C., and his four-man bobsled of Alex Kpacz of London, Ont., Jesse Lumsden of Burlington, Ont., and Ottawa’s Seyi Smith sit just off podium position in fourth place after the first two heats. The final four heats were scheduled for Sunday.“I’m super proud of the boys, pumping off some huge starts,” said Kripps. “We just got to find a bit more speed down the bottom and we’ll move up tomorrow.”Hamilton’s Nick Poloniato and his crew were 13th while Chris Spring of Priddis, Alta., was 15th.last_img read more



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Nova Scotia education bill subject to heavy criticism in committee hearing

first_imgHALIFAX – Proposed legislation that would radically change the administration of Nova Scotia’s school system was derided as “undemocratic” and “unneeded” Monday as critics lined up to condemn the bill before a legislature committee.More than 60 speakers were scheduled to make presentations before the law amendments committee on Bill 72, which would largely implement reforms recommended in a recent report by education consultant Avis Glaze.Among other things, the legislation would eliminate the province’s seven English language school boards while revamping the membership of the 9,600-member Nova Scotia Teachers Union to remove about 1,000 principals, vice-principals and senior supervisors.Union president Liette Doucet called on the government to remove provisions that would shift administrators from the union to an affiliated association.“This is punishment, pure and simple, for the strong role that principals, vice-principals and administrators have played in the NSTU since its inception, up to and including work-to-rule last year and the first provincewide strike of the NSTU,” said Doucet.She said the change would rob school administrators of basic protections, including the right to challenge discharges, suspensions or demotions for just cause.It was a change of tone from last week when Doucet said there was hope of a new start for the union’s relationship with the government. On Monday, she said trust would once again be an issue if the legislation is passed as is.“We can never trust that a collective agreement — a contract — is worth any more than the paper it’s written on. This government’s strong-arm approach to unions and collective bargaining has the potential to destroy collective bargaining in this province for the foreseeable future.”Peter Day, a middle school teacher from Sydney Mines, N.S., said there was nothing in the legislation that would improve student achievement.“The recommendations of the Glaze report are a fabricated solution to a crisis in education that does not exist,” he said, adding that the closing of school boards was “an attack on democracy.”Day said more human resources — including teachers, speech language pathologists and social workers — would make a bigger difference in schools than administrative changes.Suzy Hansen, a member of the Halifax Regional School Board, told the committee she opposes the elimination of boards as an African Nova Scotian with six children in the school system.Hansen said she was worried about the unintended consequences on “the achievement gap” between the academic performance of African Nova Scotian children and other students.“We are unaware of what policies are going to be kept and what aren’t going to be kept,” said Hansen. “There definitely are things that need to be addressed, but doing a clean sweep and an abrupt change so quickly is not going to help. It’s only going to push us back further.”While most of the early speakers before the committee spoke against the legislation, consultant Paul Bennett spoke in favour of it, although he said it could be improved.Under the legislation, the Acadian school board would remain in place, while the other boards would be replaced by a new Provincial Advisory Council of Education composed of 15 members representing all regions of the province.School board offices would remain in place, but they would become regional education centres that would continue to make regional and local decisions, although the superintendents would report to the deputy minister of education. There would also be local advisory councils under the proposed model.“I think you need to consider the regional centres and the executive directors of education. I really don’t think they are going to be sufficiently strong to represent the public,” Bennett said.He said regional school advisory councils should be governing bodies to make them more accountable.“Phase out the school boards, yes — decentralize decision making, restore democratic accountability and we’ll all be further ahead,” he said.Meanwhile, a small group of protesters gathered outside the legislature to call on the government to pause the legislation.“Nova Scotia is losing 57 elected women and removing African Nova Scotian and Indigenous voices from local decision-making,” the group said in a news release.The legislation could pass final reading as early as Wednesday.last_img read more



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Questions persist after oil spill at Nova Scotia Power generating station

first_imgHALIFAX – An environmental activist says an oil spill in Halifax harbour might be a good opportunity for Nova Scotia Power to reconsider its use of crude oil.The utility said Monday it could be weeks before crews fully clean up about 5,000 litres of oil at the Tufts Cove generating station, and Ecology Action Centre policy director Mark Butler said he has questions about how the oil spilled and how long it took to be discovered.“One of my questions would be, understanding better what kind of inspection program they have with their pipes, and why this hole developed,” he said.The leak, which was discovered Thursday, came from what Nova Scotia Power officials said was a thumb-sized hole in an exterior pipe that runs from storage tanks to the Tufts Cove generating station.Butler said the oil involved — a tarry, viscous fuel known as bunker C — is “dirtier” than natural gas and is the kind of substance you would be looking at in a photo of a sea bird covered in oil.The spill was mostly contained within a day of its discovery, and Butler expressed relief that, to his knowledge, no sea birds were reported to have been caught in it, though he said he is still concerned about how long it took to be discovered.“Sounds like the ecological impacts of the spill is not severe, however 5,000 litres is quite a bit,” he said.“It would take quite some time for 5,000 litres to pass through a hole the size of a thumbnail, so the leak must’ve been in progress for some time before anybody noticed it.”In a phone interview Monday, utility spokesperson David Rodenhiser said a crew of around 60 people worked over the long weekend to clean up the oil.He could not provide a concrete estimate of the time it would take to sop up the spill, which contaminated land as well as harbour water, but Rodenhiser said they will continue working until the cleanup is finished.“We’re dealing with oil that’s in the land as well as the oil that’s in the water, so it’s going to take weeks, not days,” he said.Environmental response crews have five vacuum trucks on site to suck out oil from the top of the water, and materials to sop up oil from deeper down.In the meantime, Nova Scotia Power is looking into how the leak occurred, and Rodenhiser said they’ll be consulting with outside experts throughout the investigation.“They’ll be looking at what caused the pipe to fail and mitigation methods to make sure something like this doesn’t happen at the Tufts Cove site or any other location where oil might be on hand,” he said.He said more information should be released this week.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that Nova Scotia Power’s comments were made on Tuesday.last_img read more



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Misrepresenting product as kosher could cause spiritual trauma court says

first_imgTORONTO — A Toronto-area flour company has been ordered to pay $25,000 for misrepresenting a cake mix as kosher, after an Ontario court said the move could cause “spiritual trauma” to consumers who bought the product for religious reasons.A small-claims court found earlier this month that Adee Flour Mills breached its contract with the Kashruth Council of Canada, one of the country’s biggest kosher certification agencies, by misusing its logo on a devil’s food cake mix that was not, in fact, certified as kosher.Deputy Judge Lai-King Hum ordered the Mississauga, Ont.-based company to pay the council $20,000 for the breach and the harm it caused to the council’s reputation, as well as $5,000 in punitive damages for the potential harm to consumers.“Since the products that are not authorized to be kosher certified are sold to unsuspecting consumers who adhere to a kosher diet for religious reasons, the failure to adhere to a kosher diet could foreseeably result in spiritual trauma,” the decision said.“I find the defendant Adee’s actions are highly reprehensible, departing markedly from the ordinary standards of decent behaviour, as there is foreseeable harm to the innocent consumer.”The deputy judge did not, however, order the company to stop selling the products and pull them from stores, saying such orders are outside the small-claims court’s jurisdiction.Richard Rabkin, the Kashruth Council’s managing director, said the organization has reached out to others in the kosher community to alert them of the issue with the product.“I think the message is loud and clear here, that a company that engages in this sort of behaviour is unacceptable,” he said in an interview.He stressed it’s “extremely uncommon” to see a company act in this way, noting that most are happy to comply with the kosher program in order to market their products to those consumers.“This was obviously an exceptional situation where you had a company that was basically flouting the law and doing so even after they had been advised and representing themselves as kosher when they weren’t,” he said.Adee could not immediately be reached for comment. The company did not file a defence in the case, according to the court decision.The document shows Adee was granted kosher certification in May 2016 but it was revoked more than a year later after the company failed to pay the annual certification fee, despite several calls and emails from the council.In April of last year, the council learned that one of its rabbis found one of Adee’s Easy Bake devil’s food cake mixes bearing the kosher certification logo during a routine inspection at a factory store, the decision said.The council testified that Adee products with the logo continued to be sold as late as November, it said. The organization argued that diluted its trademark and undermined its reputation.It’s not the first time a company has been accused of trying to pass off products as kosher.A Toronto-area food manufacturer and distributor was charged in 2017 after allegedly forging documents to knowingly sell non-kosher cheddar cheese to Jewish summer camps in the summer of 2015.Creation Foods Co. was fined $25,000 after pleading guilty to two counts of contravening the Food and Drugs Act, according to a release by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.The agency said at the time it was the first case in Canada brought before a provincial court in connection with the misrepresentation of a kosher food product.“The fine is significant and may lead to improved future compliance under this statute,” it said.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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Judge orders UK man who was unruly on flight to pay WestJet

first_imgHe forced his way into the washroom and after returning to his seat became aggressive towards other passengers and the flight attendants.The aircraft then returned to the Calgary International Airport where Young was arrested and charged with offences including causing a disturbance, criminal harassment and assaulting a peace officer.Media reports say last week he pleaded guilty to Criminal Code and Aeronautics Act charges.The aircraft had to dump fuel before it landed.Young was ordered to pay $21,260.68 to cover fuel costs and sentenced to one day in prison for each of his offences.His attorney said his client is a recovering alcoholic who had several drinks before boarding the aircraft. (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Press CALGARY — A United Kingdom man who was removed from a WestJet flight after becoming disruptive has been ordered to reimburse the airline for the fuel used to bring him back to Calgary.On Jan. 4, David Stephen Young was on a flight from Calgary to London when he was refused access to the aircraft washroom while the seatbelt light was activated.last_img read more



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Liberal backbencher apologizes for not including women in notable calendar

first_imgWINNIPEG — A Liberal member of Parliament is apologizing for putting out a calendar that features notable Canadians — all of whom are men.Robert-Falcon Ouellette, who represents the riding of Winnipeg Centre, recently sent a calendar by mail to his constituents that profiled 12 Canadians.The list includes former politicians, a hockey player and an Indigenous leader, and no women.The calendar was quickly condemned on social media, and Ouellette’s Facebook account responded by posting apologies dozens of times.In one online comment, Ouellette said he is sorry for the mistake and plans to issue another calendar soon featuring notable women.Ouellette was first elected in 2015 in a seat that had been a long-time NDP stronghold.“I was attempting to highlight notable people of Winnipeg. I am very sorry,” reads one post on Ouellette’s Facebook page.“I will be getting another calendar ready tomorrow,” reads another.The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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Strategic messaging Russian fighters in Arctic spark debate on Canadas place

first_imgRecent Russian moves in the Arctic have renewed debate over that country’s intentions and Canada’s own status at the top of the world.The newspaper Izvestia reported late last month that Russia’s military will resume fighter patrols to the North Pole for the first time in 30 years. The patrols will be in addition to regular bomber flights up to the edge of U.S. and Canadian airspace.“It’s clearly sending strategic messaging,” said Whitney Lackenbauer, an Arctic expert and history professor at the University of Waterloo. “This is the next step.”Russia has been beefing up both its civilian and military capabilities in its north for a decade.Old Cold-War-era air bases have been rejuvenated. Foreign policy observers have counted four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports and 40 icebreakers with an additional 11 in development.Bomber patrols have been steady. NORAD has reported up to 20 sightings and 19 intercepts a year.Commercial infrastructure has kept pace as well. A vast new gas field has been opened in the Yamal Peninsula on the central Russian coast. Control and development of the Northern Sea Route — Russia’s equivalent of the Northwest Passage — has been given to a central government agency. Russian news sources say cargo volume is expected to grow to 40 million tonnes in 2020 from 7.5 million tonnes in 2016.Canada has little to compare.A road has been completed to the Arctic coast at Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories and work for a port at Iqaluit in Nunavut is underway. The first Arctic patrol vessel has been launched, satellite surveillance has been enhanced and a naval refuelling station built on Baffin Island.But most northern infrastructure desires remain unfilled.No all-weather roads exist down the Mackenzie Valley or into the mineral-rich central N.W.T. Modern needs such as high-speed internet are still dreams in most of the North. A new icebreaker has been delayed.Nearing the end of its term, the Liberal government has yet to table an official Arctic policy.Canada needs to keep pace if only because it can’t count on the current international order to hold, said John Higginbotham of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo.“If the globalized system fragments, we’re going to get a world of blocs. The blocs will have power to close international shipping channels.“It’s a dreadful strategic mistake for Canada to give up our own sea route.”Arctic dominance would also give Russia a potent card to play, said Rob Huebert of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.“It gives you presence,” he said. “Whenever there’s issues that happen to occur elsewhere, we’ve already seen the behaviour of the Russians — they start doing overflights of other countries to bring pressure.”Norway, the Baltics and the United Kingdom have all reported increased airspace violations, Huebert said.Few expect Russian troops to come pouring over the North Pole. The country is sticking with a United Nations process for drawing borders in Arctic waters and is a productive member of the eight-nation Arctic Council.“There’s vigorous debate over whether their posture is offensive-oriented,” Lackenbauer said. “The Russians insist this is purely defensive. It also offers possibilities for safe and secure shipping in the Northern Sea Route.“They’re not doing anything wrong.”Canada would be mistaken to ignore the awakening bear, said Ron Wallace of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute in Calgary.“It’s important for Canadians to be aware of their Arctic and the circumpolar Arctic and what’s going on in the North,” he said.Canada is unlikely to take much from Russia’s command-and-control style of development, Wallace said, but there are lessons to learn. Combining civilian and military infrastructure is one of them.“That’s the kind of thinking I haven’t seen here, but that’s the thinking the Russians are using,” he said. “They see the northern trade route as an excuse to put up military bases at the same time they’re working with the Chinese to open up trade routes for the export of their resources.”That would also help fulfil federal promises to territorial governments, said Wallace.  “Somewhere in the middle there is a better policy for northern Canada.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960Bob Weber, The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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