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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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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WOMEN BEHIND CANADIAN TV ALISON REID DIRECTOR AND STUNTWOMAN

first_imgThe path to working behind the scenes isn’t always a straight one. For some, a career in the television industry isn’t something they necessarily knew they wanted, despite eventually ending up there. However, there are other people who always had that passion and just knew that there was no other choice. That’s the way it was for stuntwoman and director Alison Reid.Reid knew from an early age that she wanted to perform stunts on screen and has done exactly that, accumulating over 300 credits to her name over the course of her career. Reid has coordinated stunts on many different Canadian TV series, most recently working on Killjoys, Saving Hope and Murdoch Mysteries.Reid’s work in stunts and her passion for storytelling eventually allowed for a natural transition into directing. She’s an alumnus of The Canadian Film Centre’s Producer’s Lab and well as CWW’s Women In The Director’s Chair Program. She’s also directed episodes of Murdoch Mysteries, Saving Hope and Heartland. Reid recently joined The TV Junkies as part of our Women Behind Canadian TV series to discuss her career and that transition into directing. She also shared with us how she played an active role in getting more roles and better treatment for female stunt performers. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementcenter_img The TV Junkies: Can you share a little about your background? How did you get into stunts in the first place?Alison Reid: ‘I fell into it’, is my usual answer but that is far from the truth. I knew I wanted to be a stunt performer from quite a young age, and pursued it hard. When I was in school I told everyone I knew that’s what I wanted to do, and tried to get leads on how to do it. The film business in Canada was very young then, and no one could tell me how to get a start here. So at 16, I hopped on a bus and went down to L.A. to meet some stunt folks and find out about the business. Eventually, I heard about a stunt coordinator in Toronto named Dwayne McLean who was in need of more stunt performers and was running a training program. I signed up right away and that led to my first stunt performing job on The Littlest Hobo when I was 17.I also had a passion for horses and did a lot of show jumping as I was growing up – that really helped when I landed my first stunt coordinating gig on a series called Road to Avonlea. My mom thought my attraction to stunts was a phase I was going through. She was right, it was a 30-year phase.TTVJ: You’ve been doing stunts for a long time, and with films like Wonder Woman coming out, I think we’re seeing more attention brought to that position. How do you think the attitudes towards women in stunts have changed since you began?AR: As the community of talented, skilled stuntwomen has grown, things have definitely improved. When I began, it was quite common for stunt coordinators to double female characters with male stunt performers — especially on the larger, higher paying gag — like fire gags. Alison Reid – Photo by Ryan Cox Facebook Twitterlast_img read more



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Aurora Cannabis to spin off US holdings to publicly traded Australis Capital

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. is planning to spin off its Australis Capital subsidiary as a separate entity that would focus primarily on investing in the U.S. cannabis and real estate sectors.The spin-off will be achieved by distributing shares and warrants of the new company — to be listed on the Canadian Security Exchange.“The fragmented U.S. cannabis market has many innovative and successful operators that struggle to access growth capital,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth in a statement. “This creates exciting and attractively priced opportunities for the well-connected and knowledgeable team at Australis to capitalize on… While regulatory requirements vary greatly from state to state, Australis are well prepared to navigate this landscape.”Recreational and medicinal pot is legal in several U.S. states but remains an illegal Schedule 1 drug under federal law, resulting in a hazy legal environment that has complicated things for Canadian companies looking to expand their footprint south of the border.Last fall, Canada’s biggest exchange operator TMX Group said that federal law takes precedence over state laws, and Canadian marijuana companies with exposure to the U.S. market could face delisting. Prior to this clarification, many pot companies had largely focused on markets outside of the U.S. or listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, which is less risk-averse.Since then, some Canadian pot companies have shifted to exchanges other than the Toronto Stock Exchange or reduced their U.S. exposure.Licensed producer Aphria Inc. had aggressively pursued a U.S. expansion strategy, but earlier this year it was looking to reduce its direct investments in the U.S. The Leamington, Ont.-based company’s recent moves include a deal announced in February to sell part of its stake in U.S.-focused marijuana company Liberty Health Sciences, which is listed on the CSE.Meanwhile, in January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that suggested that the federal government would not intervene in states where marijuana is legal, though U.S. President Donald Trump later gave Colorado senator assurances that the recission would not impact its legal pot industry. Still, other American politicians are warming up to cannabis, with New York governor Andrew Cuomo creating a task force to consider whether or not to propose legalizing marijuana for recreational use.Australis is applying to list its shares and warrants on the CSE, Aurora said Wednesday.“Recent changes in U.S. federal positioning with respect to cannabis have positively impacted the perception of risk to invest in U.S. cannabis assets,” the Edmonton-based company said in a statement. “This has further incentivized capital market participants to seek opportunities to fund U.S. based operations.”Aurora shareholders who reside in Canada will receive the shares at no cost to them while non-resident shareholders of Aurora will receive cash, net of withholding taxes, instead of equity in Australis.Australis intends to issue 75 million shares at 20 cents each through a private placement for gross proceeds of $15 million.Australis also receives $500,000 from Aurora, as advance payment for warrants to buy Australis stock for up to 10 years.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB, TSX:APH)last_img read more



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Climate change talks must include focus on adequate housing says UN expert

Raquel Rolnik, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, said the international debate on climate change has to date focused on issues such as carbon credits and technological innovation.“However, current discussions are lacking concrete proposals to protect those worst affected by climate change – the poorest and those who live in vulnerable settlements,” she told a news conference in New York. “This is what we must now bring to the core of the climate change debate.”Global warming is increasing the magnitude and severity of extreme weather events, which often lead to disasters, she said earlier in the day as she presented her report to the General Assembly. Furthermore, the areas exposed to and constantly affected by flooding, landslides and earthquakes still attract the poor because of cheaper land and housing costs.“Market mechanisms – and unregulated markets – result in locations at risk of flooding and landslides being left for the poorest,” she told reporters. “This population does not have the means to get insurance or move to other places when they are threatened by natural disasters.”In particular, she emphasized the need for States to prioritize investments for irregular or unplanned settlements. “Those areas must be consolidated, must be urbanized and better protected from climate change-related disasters.”She added that their inhabitants must be protected without destroying their livelihoods and social organizations. “There is a danger here of using climate change and the [insecurity] of the locations of the poor to promote resettlement and relocation of these communities to so-called safer places.” The State must observe human rights norms so as to treat people with dignity, to safeguard due process, and to ensure appropriate housing alternatives and not just temporary shelter, said Ms. Rolnik. She said this is crucial given the lessons learned from past disasters, particularly in post-tsunami reconstruction. In some countries, certain villages were entirely relocated to resettle the inhabitants in safer locations and were never given the opportunity to return to their lands. But then the vacant lands became tourist resorts. “So it was not safe enough for the people to live there but it was suitable for tourist or commercial or industrial purposes,” she noted. On mitigation and adaptation strategies, Ms. Rolnik stress that States must ensure that measures intended to protect people from the effects of climate change do not result in the unintended violation of other human rights. 23 October 2009The decisions to be taken in Copenhagen in December, when countries hope to reach agreement on a new climate change pact, must fully comply with human rights norms, including the right to adequate housing, an independent United Nations expert said today. read more



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Innovative agriculture key to meeting future demand for water and energy –

17 November 2011Innovative agricultural approaches will be crucial to respond to increasing competition for water and energy resources, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), calling for more integrated planning and policies that protect small farmers and promote sustainable rural growth. “Tackling the challenges of food security, economic development and energy security in a context of ongoing population growth will require a renewed and re-imagined focus on agricultural development,” said FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources, Alexander Mueller. “Agriculture can and should become the backbone of tomorrow’s green economy,” he said, speaking on the sidelines at the Bonn 2011 Nexus Conference, where development leaders are discussing new approaches to manage water, energy and food resources.FAO estimates that to feed the world population, which is forecast to reach nine billion by 2050, global food production will need to be increased by 70 per cent. In addition, global energy demand will increase by 36 per cent by 2035, intensifying competition for water for farming and industrial purposes, as well as for consumption in cities.“It’s time to stop treating food, water and energy as separate issues and tackle the challenge of intelligently balancing the needs of these three sectors, building on synergies, finding opportunities to reduce waste and identifying ways that water can be shared and reused, rather than competed for,” Mr. Mueller said.Instead of the ‘business-as-usual’ approach to economic development and natural resource management, FAO is encouraging innovative agricultural approaches that make better use of resources, minimizing waste and reusing resources whenever possible.“Climate-smart farming systems that make efficient use of resources like water, land, and energy must become the basis of tomorrow’s agricultural economy,” Mr. Mueller said.Among the issues being discussed at the Bonn Nexus Conference is the intersection between bioenergy production, water supplies and food security. In a news release issued by the agency, FAO warned that while bioenergy offers a potential source of cleaner energy, biofuel crop production must be done in such a way that it promotes rural growth, provides small farmers and rural workers with employments, and minimizes negative environmental impacts. read more



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WatchOil pipeline squeeze to cost Canadian economy 107 billion in 2018 Scotiabank

CALGARY — Delayed oil pipeline construction is causing a steep discount for Canadian crude prices that is costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year or about 0.75 per cent of GDP, according to Scotiabank.“Pipeline approval delays have imposed clear, demonstrable and substantial economic costs on the Canadian economy,” said bank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault in a report Tuesday.The discount, however, is expected to ease through the year as more rail capacity becomes available to ship oil, bringing the expected cost to roughly $10.7 billion or 0.5 per cent of GDP for 2018 and then $7 billion or 0.3 per cent of GDP a year until more pipeline capacity comes online.Main oil pipelines to U.S. will be full for next 3 years — even one not yet builtPembina Pipeline’s new purpose: Get Canada’s oil and gas to the rest of the worldNothing to attract investment here — experts weigh in on Canada’s new resource project rulesThe costs come as delays continue for all three major proposed oil pipelines to export more oil from Western Canada, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement, and TransCanada’s Keystone XL.Canadian producers would need Line 3 and at least one of the other pipelines to go forward or face indefinite pipeline constraints that would have an impact on Canada’s well-being with consequences that extend well beyond Alberta, said Perrault.“The elevated discounts come with a steep economic cost, and represent to a large degree a self-inflicted wound,” he said.The latest economic impacts of the pipeline constraints come as Alberta and British Columbia continue to quarrel over the construction of the Trans Mountain project, pitting arguments of economic impact against the importance of protecting coastlines and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.The current squeeze in pipeline capacity has been expected for some time, but the leak and temporary shutdown on TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline last November sped up the problem, said Perrault.The shutdown led to oil storage tanks in Alberta to fill to record volumes and sent the spread between Western Canadian and U.S. crude to more than US$30 a barrel, while the regulator-imposed 20 per cent reduced capacity on Keystone has continued to limit a recovery.The discount on Western Canadian oil production since the spill has hovered around US$24 a barrel, much higher than the US$13 spread for the past two years, and Scotiabank expects it to average US$21.6 a barrel for 2018.Western Canadian production is discounted somewhat both by quality and transportation costs, but has spiked several times in the past decade as pipeline space runs tight. read more



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Sri Lanka condemns nuclear test by North Korea

Pyongyang said on Friday that it successfully carried out an explosion test of nuclear warhead that can be mounted on ballistic missiles. Several countries, including China had condemned the latest nuclear test by North Korea. South Korean President Park Geun-hye denounced North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, describing it as “reckless and fanatic” adherence.The South Korean leader said the DPRK’s fifth nuclear test was conducted during her series of trips to China, Russia and Laos where Park said she confirmed the international community’s unified determination not to accept the DPRK as a nuclear state. Sri Lanka today condemned the nuclear test carried out by North Korea on 9th September 2016. The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka notes with concern that this is the second such test to be carried out by the North Korea this year.Sri Lanka called upon North Korea to abide by its international obligations and refrain from any action which would compromise peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. Park cut short her visit to Laos following the DPRK’s fifth nuclear device test that happened just eight months after the fourth test in January.Park said South Korea is seeking to adopt stronger sanctions against the DPRK rapidly in cooperation with the international community.In March, the UN Security Council introduced tougher-than-ever sanctions on Pyongyang over its fourth nuclear detonation in January and the launch in February of a long-range rocket. The DPRK is banned from any test of nuclear and ballistic missile technologies under UN Security Council resolutions. (Colombo Gazette) read more



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UN marks International Family Day with calls to rise to the challenge

In his message for the Day, whose theme this year is ‘Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities,’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted recent profound transformations such as the worldwide decrease in average family size, an increase in the age at which couples marry or mothers have their first birth, and a decline in infant mortality rates.“Many of these transformations call into question the structure of society as we know it,” he said. “They require us to work together to adapt, to shape public policy in a way that addresses the needs of families, to ensure that basic services such as education and health are provided to all citizens – especially children – irrespective of their family situation.”Other changes he highlighted included the replacement of the traditional, extended family by the nuclear unit even as grandparents live longer, alternative unions such as unmarried cohabitation, increased divorce with more children living in a family with a step-parent, and significant numbers of single-parent families and single-person households with a rising number of older persons living alone.The HIV/AIDS pandemic is also wreaking havoc on families, often depriving children of their parents, leaving grandparents to care for children.“During this time of ongoing change, we need to build an environment that sustains and supports families, while reinforcing the opportunities for fulfilment that a positive family life provides,” he concluded. The Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said one of the most dramatic transformations is urbanization with nearly half of all people living in cities compared to less than 15 per cent a century ago. The numbers of children attending school, especially girls, has risen and, as a result, there are more and more women participating in the formal workforce, she added.“Today, UNFPA calls on communities and nations to actively discourage child marriage and to promote secondary education, gender equality and economic opportunities for young women and men,” she declared. “UNFPA also calls on governments to increase investments in sexual and reproductive health.“Today, millions of children are orphaned each year because their mothers die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, or from AIDS. Surely, we can do better. Many lives could be saved, and families strengthened, if the international goal of universal access to reproductive health were achieved.” read more



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Supreme Court to review 1969 deal that sparked longtime QuebecNL hydro feud

The Churchill Falls power development in central Labrador, is pictured under construction which was completed in late 1971. The Supreme Court of Canada says it will review the 1969 Churchill Falls energy deal that has been highly profitable for Hydro-Quebec but much less so for Newfoundland and Labrador. Under the deal, Hydro-Quebec agreed to buy almost all the energy generated by a hydroelectric plant to be built on the Churchill River in Labrador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO Supreme Court to review 1969 deal that sparked longtime Quebec-N.L. hydro feud by Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 20, 2017 7:50 am MDT Last Updated Apr 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Perhaps no one was more cautiously thrilled than Tom Marshall to hear Thursday that Canada’s top court will review the long disputed Churchill Falls hydro deal — a case that could reap big money for a cash-strapped province.The former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador was justice minister seven years ago when he read a collection of legal opinions. They offered hope that there might be a way to win one of the most bitter political feuds in the country: the fight over wildly lopsided benefits from the Churchill Falls hydroelectric dam and power station in Labrador.Terms of the 65-year contract signed in 1969 have so far delivered about $27.5 billion for Hydro-Quebec versus $2 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.If the Supreme Court of Canada rules the deal should be reopened, it could mean a massive windfall in a province that desperately needs one.“We’re not asking for the contract to be cancelled,” Marshall said in an interview. “We’re asking the court to order Hydro-Quebec to renegotiate the contract with us and, if they don’t, that the court itself establish a new contract.“It would give us the fairness that the people of the province have always wanted.”A spokesman for Hydro-Quebec said Thursday it’s “unfortunate that both parties are devoting so much energy to litigation rather than looking into more constructive avenues.”“The courts have always found in favour of Hydro-Quebec with respect to its position to uphold the 1969 contract,” Serge Abergel said in an emailed statement.Under the deal, Hydro-Quebec agreed to buy almost all the energy generated by the hydroelectric plant it financed on the Churchill River in Labrador.The contract set a fixed price for the energy that would decrease in stages over time.At issue in this latest legal argument is whether Hydro-Quebec has a “good faith” obligation to take into account how electricity markets have changed since 1969, Marshall said.“When you have long contracts, in many cases the circumstances that existed when you entered into them have changed, and changed substantially. That’s what happened here.”The case draws on legal opinions based on civil law in Germany and France, Marshall said.“We all owe a duty, especially in long contracts, of good faith to each other — not only at the time we started, when we entered into it, but when we execute it over its long term.”Still, Marshall is realistic about the prospects of the case. Various aspects of the contract have already been argued before the highest court on different legal principles, twice, without success.“There’s never a guarantee you’re going to win, especially when a new law would have to be made here.”This most recent court challenge began seven years ago.Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. Ltd. — whose parent company is Crown corporation Nalcor Energy — went to Quebec Superior Court in 2010. It argued, without success, that profits of such magnitude from electricity were unforeseen in 1969 and that Hydro-Quebec had a duty to renegotiate the contract.The Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the 2014 lower court ruling, agreeing the provincially owned power utility has no obligation to reopen the agreement.Under the 1969 terms, Hydro-Quebec may purchase the electricity at low prices before reselling it at much higher values on the domestic market and for export.The legal challenge said the contract was unfair and essentially broken by “unpredictable events” that have transformed energy sales.But the five Quebec Court of Appeal judges rejected those arguments.“It is inappropriate to re-examine the parties’ circumstances when they signed the contract,” they ruled. “The uncontradicted evidence establishes that they knew that the price of hydroelectric power was subject to fluctuation but they voluntarily agreed to fix the price.”The court also found the general principle of “good faith,” as found in Quebec’s civil code, doesn’t apply to Churchill Falls as the contract has remained “profitable” for Newfoundland.Siobhan Coady, natural resources minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, welcomed news that the Supreme Court of Canada will take another look.“That would be of tremendous financial benefit,” she said of a potential win. Public spending soared during an offshore oil boom and the province has suffered punishing fiscal hits since prices dropped. It faces years of deficits and escalating net debt.For now, Coady said the high court hearing, expected sometime in the next year, must play out.“This has been a very long process.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter. read more



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Ron Sexsmith tunes up Brocks 2014 Spring Convocation

Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith performs at Tuesday’s Convocation ceremony at Brock University.More than 460 students from Brock’s Faculty of Humanities received their degrees and certificates today at the first of nine convocation ceremonies taking place this week at the University.The crowd of graduates and guests gathered in the Ian. D. Beddis gymnasium was also treated to a couple of songs by Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith.Sexsmith, who hails from St. Catharines, was presented with an honorary degree from Brock. And as part of his address to the graduates, he performed two of his songs – “For a Moment” from the album Cobblestone Runway (2002), and “Galbraith Street” from his 1995 self-titled release.In her introductory remarks, Debbi Slade, director of the Centre for the Arts, noted: “Ron Sexsmith has never forgotten his roots. He is a true professional both on and off the stage, he has helped to put St. Catharines on the map with his world-class talent and has always worked hard to win our respect.“To be celebrated by his hometown is a sweet and meaningful reward.”After receiving his honorary degree and before breaking into song, Sexsmith remarked, “This is an incredible and unexpected honour. I certainly never saw this coming.”“It’s such a huge honour to be included in today’s ceremony,” he added,” and I just have nothing but admiration for you all for what has taken so much determination, I’m sure, hard work and focus, and probably some money I would imagine.“It’s remarkable looking out at everyone, it just gives me great hope for the future.”In his opening remarks for the day, Brock President and Vice-Chancellor Jack Lightstone acknowledged and honoured the ancestors of those on whose traditional lands the University is situated. He then went on to welcome all those in attendance.Brock President and Vice-Chancellor Jack Lightstone addresses the Brock grads at convocation. “Every one of us who work at Brock are also proud of you because today not only represents the culmination of your achievements, but in a very real way it also represents the culmination of our work as well,” he said. “So we share in the joy that you feel today and that your family and friends feel as well.“This is above all a day of celebration and a day of appreciation of our loved ones and our friends who have seen us through to today’s accomplishments.”Joe Robertson, Chair of the Brock Board of Trustees, presented Humanities Spirit of Brock medals to Olivia Grace Meriano (undergraduate) and Shaunna Hubert (graduate).“The Board of Trustees recognizes the commitment, dedication and sacrifice that it takes to become a graduate of Brock University,” said Robertson. “We take great pride in your achievements and share with you and your family in the celebration of your success.”At today’s ceremony, Professor Barbara Seeber, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, was presented with the 2014 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.Humanities Dean’s Medals were also presented to Miriam Grace Brouwer and Ruchama Jedida Lelie.Joe Robertson, Chair of the Brock Board of Trustees, presented Humanities Spirit of Brock medals to Olivia Grace Meriano (undergraduate) and Shaunna Hubert (graduate). read more



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Sorry Nexus One owners no Ice Cream Sandwich for you

first_imgStill toting a Nexus One, and wondering if it will get an update to Android 4.0? It looks like you won’t be getting any help from Google, as the search giant has confirmed that the original “Google experience” phone will not be getting an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.This comes from the mouth of Android Product Management Director Hugo Barra. He cites the phone’s aging hardware as the reason for the snubbing. The Nexus One was released in January of 2010, and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, with 512MB of RAM.Barra said that the Nexus One’s successor, the Nexus S, will be getting the update within the next few weeks. It too has a single-core 1GHz CPU (though it’s a Samsung Hummingbird chip) along with the same 512MB of RAM. The Nexus S does have an upgraded GPU over its predecessor, which could be influencing the decision.While the Nexus One is starting to grow long in the tooth, it’s still less than two years old, and many of Google’s most loyal fans are still in their original two-year contracts. It’s understandable that the Android team wouldn’t want to deliver a compromised (slow, laggy) experience, but this will still likely lead to some disappointed Nexus One owners. This is the first time that we’ve seen Google cut one of these “pure Android” phones off from major Android updates.The obvious solution, then, will come from the development community. There will undoubtedly be a high demand for custom Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs for rooted Nexus One owners, and we will likely see those available for flashing soon after the source code is released. SDK-based Android 4.0 ROMs are already popping up on some devices.One of the biggest perks of buying a Nexus phone has always been your guarantee of getting the latest Android updates before anyone else. If you’re thinking about signing a two-year contract for the upcoming Galaxy Nexus, just know that those updates may not keep coming for the entirety of that agreement.via The Telegraphlast_img read more



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Wife and stepson of KKK leader charged with his murder

first_img Short URL Malissa Ancona was arrested and charged in relation to the death of Frank Ancona. Source: Provided by the St. Francois CouAncona called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. A website for the group includes an image of him in a white hood and robe standing in front of a burning cross. The website describes the group as a “White patriotic christian organisation that bases its roots back to the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20th century.”The Park Hills Daily Journal said investigators placed yellow police tape around his home in Leadwood on Saturday, believing he was killed there. His safe had been broken into and the contents removed. Several of his guns were missing, police told the Daily Journal.Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said a U.S. Forest Service employee found Ancona’s car Thursday on a service road near Potosi, about 30 miles from where his body was eventually found. He was reported missing on Friday after his employer told Leadwood police that he hadn’t shown up for work for two days. Co-accused Paul Jinkerson. Source: Washington County Sheriffs OfficInvestigators found evidence of a burn pile near Ancona’s abandoned vehicle, Jacobsen said.Prior to the discovery of the body, Malissa Ancona told police her husband had left the state on a delivery job. She said he planned to file for divorce when he returned.Investigators said Malissa tried to destroy blood evidence and altered the crime scene in an effort to conceal the killing, the Daily Journal reported. Investigators said she was acting with her son.Read: Landlords will have to provide an oven, fridge and microwave under new rules >Read: Irish rugby fan arrested in Italy after ‘trying to grab soldier’s machine gun’ > No Comments Image: YouTube Feb 14th 2017, 10:15 AM Tuesday 14 Feb 2017, 10:15 AM Wife and stepson of KKK leader charged with his murder The KKK leader was shot in the head. 29,096 Views center_img http://jrnl.ie/3238770 Image: YouTube By Associated Press THE WIFE AND  stepson of a Ku Klux Klan leader found shot dead next to a river in eastern Missouri were charged in relation to his death.Malissa Ann Ancona, 44, and her 24-year-old son, Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr, were charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse in the death of Frank Ancona.A probable cause statement alleges that Jinkerson shot his 51-year-old stepfather as he slept  at his home in Leadwood, about 70 miles south of St Louis, Missouri.Jinkerson’s attorney, Eric Barnhart, said he didn’t believe his client was involved in the killing, but he declined to comment further. It wasn’t immediately clear if Malissa Ancona had an attorney.A family that was fishing in the Big River found Frank Ancona’s body on Saturday. An autopsy revealed that he died of a gunshot to the head. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share116 Tweet Email1 last_img read more



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San Diego based agency aims to improve the lives of homeless youth

first_img Posted: June 2, 2019 San Diego based agency aims to improve the lives of homeless youth Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom June 2, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- A local agency is improving the lives on dozens of homeless youth here in San Diego. Director Joanne Newgard and President and Founder of Doors of Change, Jeffrey Sitcov, joined the show this morning to explain their award winning music program and their upcoming auctions event, “Taking Music and Art to the Streets.” last_img read more



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Walmart US extends military leave and pay policy

first_imgWalmart is to extend its military leave of absence policy to offer differential pay to US employees undergoing basic training for the US armed forces.The organisation introduced differential pay for employees on active military duty in 2008. Under this policy, if an employee’s military salary is lower than their salary at Walmart, the organisation will pay the difference while they are on a military leave of absence.From 24 June 2017, the policy will apply to staff on military assignments of more than three days, including basic training.The enhanced policy is designed to enable employees who are considering enlisting in the US armed forces to do so free of concern about losing pay.Walmart, which employs over two million people worldwide, is also streamlining its internal processes around differential pay in order to make it easier for US military employees and their families.The military leave of absence policy is among a number of schemes the organisation offers to support staff serving in the US armed forces. This includes guaranteeing a job at a local Walmart store or Sam’s Club for military staff and military spouses employed by the organisation when they move to another part of the country as a result of a transfer by the US military.Retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programmes at Walmart, said: “At Walmart, we’re turning jobs into fulfilling careers for veterans, active service members and their families, and we’re making it easier for them to work, live and serve.“We believe that anyone who wants to serve in our armed forces should be able to do so without fear of losing wages or leaving their family in [the] lurch. The changes we’re making will remove financial barriers for all associates serving their country, including those who are starting their service journey through basic training.”last_img read more



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Dunleavy retains Michael Johnson as education commissioner

first_imgAlaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson during a press conference in Anchorage on June 28, 2016. (Photo by Graelyn Brashear, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy announced Wednesday he will retain the state’s education commissioner. Michael Johnson will continue to serve as the head of the Department of Education and Early Development.“I am honored to serve alongside Governor Dunleavy and look forward to working with the state board and Alaskans across the state to make sure every kid’s getting a great education,” Johnson said.Unlike other members of the cabinet, the education commissioner is not directly appointed by the governor. Instead, the choice is made by the State Board of Education and Early Development. The governor confirms the board’s pick.Of course, as Board Chair James Fields pointed out, the governor has other options.“As far as I understand, if the governor wanted to un-appoint board members, he could literally start over and appoint all new board members. That would be at his discretion,” Fields said.But Fields says he doesn’t see that happening. Johnson and Fields have discussed their goals for education in the state with the governor-elect, and both said the underlying mission of their work will remain the same.“Are there going to be changes? I’m sure there will be. Like with any administration there’s going to be some adjustment. But I think we have the right leadership, and we have a good board that can deal with those adjustments and not lose sight of making sure we’re trying to do the best we can for every student in Alaska,” Fields said.“I think that’s one of the wonderful things about education,” Johnson said. “That common focus stays the same through administrations.”Gov.-elect Dunleavy himself is a former educator and administrator.last_img read more



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Two men nabbed for flying drone over Chandrababu Naidus

first_imgAmaravati: Tension prevailed at the residence of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu at Undavalli in Guntur over the flying of drone above the bungalow on Friday. The police detained two men on the suspicion of flying drone trying to record the Krishna floods at Karakatta. The police rushed to the spot upon receiving the information about the capture of the alleged drone visuals at the residence of the former Chief Minister. The police said that they began investigation into the matter. Also Read – Fit India rally held in Vijayawada Advertise With Us Meanwhile, the TDP leaders expressed shock and anger over the use of drone camera near the residence of their leader. They staged dharna at the bank of Krishna River.The party activists caught two men and demanded the police to take severe action and to conduct thorough inquiry into the matter. The leaders also demanded the state government to take action against the men who allegedly trying to take video footage by using drones at restricted places near the residence of Chandrababu Naidu. The TDP leaders claimed conspiracy against their leader. They also claimed that the two men had been taking drone videos of the sensitive areas. A day after the High Court’s verdict to strengthen the security of Naidu, the incident gained significance.last_img read more



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Raising Awareness for Domestic Violence in DC

first_imgBy Brianna McAdoo, Special to the AFRODomestic Violence is a complex issue that takes shape in many forms. Domestic Violence can take place in any type of relationship, to anyone and according to the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is not limited to physical abuse but often includes “the pattern of control, intimidation and verbal abuse.”The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hosting over 30 events in October to support domestic violence survivors and increase public awareness about how domestic violence affects so many lives. The events are an opportunity to learn more and support organizations and individuals dedicated to the fight against domestic violence.(Courtesy Photo)On Oct. 23 the coalition partnered with Ujima to host the “Be A Voice for Survivors: Op-Ed Writing Workshop.” This workshop showed individuals how to write a persuasive opinion piece with a strong emphasis on incorporating survivors needs and being true to their own voices.Many who couldn’t make it to an event in person, joined a twitter conversation entitled: “What is your #1thing?” 3 p.m., Oct. 24. In collaboration with the Domestic Violence Awareness Project’s Advisory Group, they challenged people to share the steps they took to turn their awareness into action. To see the conversation, search the #1thing hashtag.At 5 p.m., Oct. 25 the Mission Dupont “DCVLP Happy Hour” in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month takes place so participants can mix and mingle with members of the DC Volunteer Lawyers program and learn how to volunteer for future opportunities.Then, Washingtonians have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Latino Agencies United to Stop Violence Against Women at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26 for their annual “Latinx March and Vigil.” This event, at Lamont Park, is an opportunity to increase awareness and support the Latinx immigrant community as they fight to end domestic violence.To see the full list of events this month, visit www.spreadlovedc.org. To find out more about DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, their work and how you can get involved, visit www.dccadv.org.last_img read more



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Cal HC stays WB panchayat polls till further orders

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court today stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal. While staying the election process, Justice Subrata Talukdar also sought from the State Election Commission by Monday a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, amongst other information.The court said it would hear on April 16 the pleas challenging the SEC’s decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsJustice Talukdar had on April 10 stayed the withdrawal of SEC’s April 9 notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.Justice Talukdar also imposed a cost of Rs five lakh on the BJP for misrepresentation.He held that the BJP had moved both the high court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas and likened its conduct to “forum hopping”.The apex court had yesterday directed the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal.Apart from the BJP, the CPIM and the Congress too has moved the high court challenging the SEC’s decision.last_img read more



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The Unique Island Where People use Huge Stone Disks as Currency

first_imgYap Island is in the Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia, east of the Philippines. One thing that makes Yap notable is the unique historic form of currency that is still in use to this day. While Yap Islands’ primary currency is the United States dollar, for large, important transactions, islanders use Rai stones — the largest and heaviest currency in the wold. These carved limestone carved disks can weigh as much as seven tons.Valuation of each stone depends on its size, and also on the story behind its manufacture and transport to Yap from the islands where they are quarried, hundreds of miles away. For example, if many people died trying to bring the stone to Yap, this can increase the perceived value. They may be used for large transactions such as purchasing land, or for significant social occasions like paying for a wedding dowry.Yap, Micronesia.Because of their size, the disks never actually physically change hands, just owners. Records of each stone — what it’s worth and who owns it — are kept only in the oral history of the community.The villages are so small that everyone knows who owns which disk. Shells and whale teeth were previously also considered currency and were much easier to carry.Scenes from Yap in Micronesia.Portuguese explorer, Diego DeRocha, claimed discovery of Yap in 1526. The island was settled by Filipinos and Indonesians possibly thousands of years before the birth of Christ.In 1731, a Spanish mission was erected by Father Jan Cantova and Father Visitor Walter, Catholic priests from nearby Ulithi Island. A year later, a supply ship found the Spaniards had been killed.By 1800, trade between the Europeans and Yapese had been established and Germany set up a permanent trading store, Godeffroy & Son, which quickly become profitable.Presentation of Yapese stone money for Federated States of Micronesia inauguration.Although Great Britain, Spain, and Germany claimed Yap, it wasn’t until 1874 that Spain actually took possession of the island, causing problems with the Germans.Rivalry ensued until Pope Leo XII stepped in and awarded the island to Spain, but allowed free trading rights to all countries. Spain immediately sent soldiers and started building churches.In 1899, Spain sold the island of Yap to Germany for $4.5 million dollars, according to visityap.com.Scenes from Yap in Micronesia.With the influx of Germans and Spaniards came influenza and other communicable diseases, killing more than 1,000 of the islanders.At the outbreak of World War I, the British bombed the island and destroyed a German communication network. The Japanese Expeditionary Squadron occupied the island from October 1914.At the end of the war, the League of Nations and Japan signed a treaty giving the Japanese the Pacific islands north of the Equator, excluding Hawaii.Stone depicted on Yap license plate. Photo by David Weekly CC BY 2.0Between the years 1920 and 1940, the Japanese population of Yap jumped from 97 to almost 2,000. As the years went by, the Japanese forced the Yapese to labor in the mines until the end of World War II, when America captured both Yap and Ulithi.Rai stone, local currency on the island of Yap, Micronesia.The islands remained under United States Navy jurisdiction until 1952 and used natives rather than foreigners for administration duties. A constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia was established in the 1980s.A massive piece of Yapese stone money lies near the quarry it was carved from in Palau, Micronesia. This money is the largest type of currency in the world.The area in which Yap lies has about 130 islands and atolls nestled into an archipelago on a coral reef.Tourist economy is very important; scuba diving and the chance to swim with manta rays in crystal clear water with a yearly temperature of about 80 degrees make an attractive place to vacation.The main island is around 50 square miles of mostly volcanic rock and limestone.Local currency in Yap, Micronesia.The Yapese hold three celebrations yearly to honor their heritage. March 1st and 2nd are set aside for Yap Day, where everything Yap is celebrated.Food, family life, and tradition are featured, with native dancing in Yapese traditional dress, races, competitions including conch shell blowing, speeches, and scuba diving.Two men’s houses in a village near Colonia in Yap.The third Saturday in June is the Homecoming Festival. Shared with Palau, the Festival includes Bamboo dances, Japanese juggling, student presentations, and scuba diving. There is also a living history museum and a fishing tournament.Read another story from us: One Man’s Solitary Nightmare on a Deserted Island full of Haunted DollsThe third festival is the Canoe Festival in November or December. The Yapese are experts at canoe building and take this opportunity to show off their skills with canoe racing, bamboo raft construction, and sailing, as well as weaving of traditional sails and ropes from coconut husks, weaving baskets, and, of course, scuba diving.last_img read more



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