Legion branch pulls newsletter over joke about hunters murdering Indians

first_img(Image of the Cranbrook, B.C., Royal Canadian Legion branch newsletter. On the right, the first newsletter version including the joke. On the left, the reissued version with a publisher’s explanation on why the joke was removed.)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA British Columbia branch of the Royal Canadian Legion pulled their most recent newsletter after publishing a joke about the murder of two “Indians.”The Cranbrook, B.C., branch of the Royal Canadian Legion printed 40 copies of their August newsletter before pulling the issue and replacing the joke with a “Publisher’s Comment” explaining why the text was removed in an updated version. The explanation did not include an apology.The branch has also been ordered by superiors to cease publishing jokes and cartoons in its newsletter.Shirley Green, 77, said she was outraged when she read the joke on page 5 of the newsletter and immediately contacted branch president Edith LeClair, 63, to express her dismay.“When I phoned the president Edith LeClair, my voice was just shaking, I was so upset to think the legion could put have printed a joke that disrespected and dishonoured thousands of Aboriginal soldiers and Metis and Inuit,” said Green, who is of Metis and Ktunaxa heritage. “I don’t feel that I have gotten a proper response, I don’t think this has been handled properly and I do hope the branch of the Legion in Cranbrook gets some education on what constitutes racism.”LeClair, however, was defensive about the joke, which involved two hunters, one from Alberta and one from Saskatchewan, who separately gun down an “Indian.”LeClair said the matter had been dealt with “internally” and that the newsletter’s publisher simply printed a joke someone had sent him.“Obviously people can’t take a joke,” said LeClair. “I am 63 years-old and as far as I am concerned a joke is a joke.Mike Landry, the publisher, wrote in the updated newsletter that he was not “racist, sexist or a bigot” and that the joke was pulled after a complaint from one reader.“My great-grandmother on my mother’s side was an American Native Indian born in North Dakota. My grandparents on my dad’s side are French Canadian born in Quebec. His great-grandfather is of Irish decent and was Cajun,” wrote Landry. “This makes me a bald, native, French, Irish Catholic, nudist Canadian with a warped sense of humour.”Landry wrote that he would no longer publish content that offended readers.The joke begins with the two hunters in northern Saskatchewan when “an Indian runs across the field.”The Saskatchewan hunter aims and shoots the “Indian” dead. The Alberta hunter expresses shock, but the Saskatchewan hunter tells him it’s legal in Saskatchewan.Later, the Alberta hunter buys beer and puts it on the roof of his truck when “an Indian runs by, grabs the beer and runs away.” The Alberta hunter then pulls out a pistol and shoots the person dead.He’s later arrested by an RCMP officer who tells him that it’s illegal to use “bait” when shooting “Indians” in Saskatchewan.Inga Kruse, executive director of the Legion’s B.C. and Yukon Command, said the Cranbrook branch had been ordered to no longer publish jokes and cartoons in their newsletter which will now only carry legion content. Kruse said the branch has also been told to implement a “peer review process” for all content published in the newsletter.Kruse said letters of apology had also been sent to Green and her daughter Joyce Green, a University of Regina professor, in response to their letters of complaint.“We consider the Cranbrook newsletter issue an error within the branch and have worked with them to quickly and thoroughly resolve it,” said Kruse, in an emailed statement. “We are however taking further action to notify all of our branches that they need to exercise diligence in monitoring volunteers who work on publications for their branches.”In a previous interview, however, Kruse said the matter was not worthy of media attention.“I don’t think it’s big news. It was a mistake that somebody made,” she said. “There is going to be a lot of people hurt if that is considered news.”Shirley Green said she had to raise the issue out of respect for all her Indigenous family members who served in the Canadian Forces.“This was something I felt I had to do even though I knew I would come in for criticism,” she said. “There are some things you just have to do. There is no choice, you either stand up and do the right thing or you have to live with it for the rest of your life.”Green is currently planning on compiling a book to honour all First Nation, Metis and Inuit veterans.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img

Kahnawake sends open letter to Prime Minister saying antiterror bill will oppress

first_imgAPTN National NewsKAHNAWAKE – The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake is the latest to voice its concern over the federal government’s anti-terror legislation bill C-51.According to the letter sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday, the council, like many First Nations across the country, is concerned about the effect the bill could have on activists. “While it is clear that the Canadian people and their government are concerned with both real and potential incidents of terrorism in Canada, there is also a great fear that the law may be used to brand legitimate protests by First Nations as acts of terrorism,” said Chief Lloyd Phillips.The proposed anti-terror bill will give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service police-like powers. It also gives police more leeway when it comes to arresting individuals suspected of committing acts of the terror. The bill also aims to crack-down on online speech that is perceived to promote terrorism.A review of the bill by the Assembly of First Nations echoes the concerns of the Kahnawake council. The AFN analysis document says the proposed bill could lead to the “unjust” labelling of First Nations activists as terrorists.“Many of the provisions drafted in the proposed Act could potentially apply to activities of Indigenous peoples living in Canada and there are very few provisions proposed that would prevent the legislation from being interpreted against First Nations people,” said the analysis.The letter, signed by Phillips, goes on to describe the council’s concerns regarding the “fast tracking” of the bill, alluding to the fact that the government cut short debate in the House of Commons and put a limit on the number of witnesses who could appear to speak about the news legislation at committee.“The fast tracking of Bill C-51 into legislation is, in itself another cause for concern. In its zeal to protect Canada’s citizens there is a real danger that Canada’s government may fail in its obligation to protect the right to protest and, quite possibly, other personal rights and freedoms,” the letter states.Government and opposition parties are calling dozens of witnesses. The NDP is inviting Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Philip and Pam Palmater, professor of Indigenous studies at Ryerson University. Both say they oppose C-51.The AFN analysis also raises concerns about another section of the bill that covers activities that “undermines the security of Canada” including interfering with the government’s capabilities around defence, intelligence, border operations, public safety and the economic and financial stability of the country.The council ends the letter with, “We feel that Bill C-51, in its current state, could potentially and perhaps even predictably be used to further oppress our defense of our Aboriginal rights and title.”news@aptn.calast_img

Birth alerts are racedbased genocide says Mikmaw lawyer

first_imgMi’kmaq lawyer Pam Palmater has harsh words for birth alerts. (Justin Brake/APTN)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsAn Indigenous couple in B.C. is living the nightmare all new parents fear – keeping their newborn out of the child welfare system.“It’s quite devastating,” said Cora Morgan, the First Nations Family Advocate with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).“The most violent act you can commit against a mother is to steal their baby.”APTN News has been reporting all week on the hospital or birth alert involving Baby H and the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Kamloops.The stories have sparked strong reaction – even from Morgan.“These babies go into foster homes and shelters causing emotional damage,” she said Thursday.“There can’t be any nurturing when children are ripped away.”At-risk babiesGovernments and child welfare agencies say alerts are used by health professionals and social workers to flag at-risk babies especially when parents are under age or have themselves been in care.But the damage forced separation inflicts on parents, children and their wider communities is becoming better known.Two major Canadian reports identify such alerts as ‘genocide’ and ‘violence’.Both the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada called for major change.“End the practice of targeting and apprehending infants from Indigenous mothers right after they give birth,” said the MMIWG inquiry in its 231 Calls for Justice released June 3.“Indigenous peoples should not be subjected to any act of genocide or violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group,” added the TRC in its June 2015 release of 94 Calls to Action.“Indigenous peoples have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.”B.C. CFS moves in to seize 90-minute-old baby on report of neglectMi’kmaw lawyer Pam Palmater said evidence against the birth-alert system is piling up.“What happened in B.C. is a prime example of – how can a baby be endangered in the first 90 minutes after a mother has given birth? Unless she was physically assaulting the baby – and that wasn’t the case here – there’s simply no justification for this.”Palmater called bedside apprehensions “race-based genocide” against Indigenous women.“We all know that moms who have had their children stolen from them – especially Indigenous moms – are more likely to suffer from suicide, heart attack, stroke, depression, anxiety, addictions, homelessness,” she said in an interview.The TRC suggested parents-to-be receive prenatal services and preventive care to learn how to safely care for their children.First Nations Family Advocate Cora Morgan (left) testified against birth alerts at the MMIWG inquiry. (APTN News)Instead, Morgan said many experience “impending doom” as they give birth.Manitoba has the highest per capita rate of children in care and apprehends about one newborn a day.And the Saskatchewan government – only days after the MMIWG inquiry released its final report – confirmed it would continue to track or seize at-risk babies.Palmater said that’s wrong.“The report said these apprehensions effectively erases the possibility that Indigenous women can create the relationships and care necessary for children, especially if they have been prevented from doing so in the past through forced separation,” she said.“We’re not talking about historic events, we’re talking about the crisis that’s going on now.”With files from Dennis Ward and Justin Brakekmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img

Australia to create its own space agency for economic boost

first_imgCANBERRA, Australia – Australia announced on Monday it will create its own space agency to increase its share of the $330 billion space economy.Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the agency would be part of Australia’s development of an innovation and science economy. But the government has provided few specifics.“It’s a small agency to co-ordinate and lead,” Turnbull told reporters. “The space sector, of course, is one of enormous potential.”Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Michaelia Cash said the agency’s charter would be developed by the end of March.“The global space industry is growing rapidly and it’s crucial that Australia is part of this growth,” Cash said in a statement.“A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry,” she added.The opposition Labor Party said such an agency was needed to increase Australia’s share of a global space economy from less than 1 per cent of what the government estimates is worth $330 billion.Labour said Australia and Iceland were the only countries in the 35-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that do not have a space agency.Australia in 1967 became one of the first countries to launch a satellite and images of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon were transmitted by NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in Australia.But successive governments have baulked at establishing a space agency because of cost. The government has yet to announce how much it will invest in the new agency.last_img

Ontario lost 1000 planned rental units since new housing rules introducedreport

first_imgTORONTO – At least 1,000 planned rental units in Ontario have been cancelled or converted to condominiums since the province introduced new rent control rules, a report released by a group representing rental-housing providers said as it warned of a supply crunch if the issue isn’t addressed.The report, commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario and released Monday, said the Liberal government’s Fair Housing Plan has negatively impacted the province’s rental housing supply.Before the introduction of the government legislation, 28,000 rental units were in the planning pipeline, but since the new rules were introduced 1,000 of those units have been cancelled or converted to condominiums, the report said.The federation’s president, Jim Murphy, said Ontario needs 34,000 rental units built a year to keep pace with demand and it is currently falling 6,250 short each year.“We need more supply, full stop,” Murphy said. “And we’ve got to encourage everyone, the industry included but also governments to come to the table with policies that will create the environment for new rental units”In April, the Ontario government announced what it called a comprehensive housing package aimed at cooling a red-hot real estate market.Amongst the 16 measures were a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax to be imposed on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations and expanded rent control that will applied to all private rental units, including those built after 1991, which were previously excluded.According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data in the report, vacancy rates in the province have already fallen to 2.1 per cent across the province.Murphy said both provincial and municipal governments could make policy and tax changes to help encourage developers to deliver more purpose-built rentals.“The problem right now is that there has been uncertainty created because of that change and we’re starting to see cancellations of projects at a time when we need more supply,” he said.Housing Minister Peter Milczyn said the province does not plan to change rules which cap annual rent increases.“I am listening to the industry, monitoring the situation, but we’re taking our action, which was to ensure there’s fair rental policies for tenants and releasing surplus provincial lands to build more rental supply,” Milczyn said.Milczyn said he is skeptical about the findings of the report, adding that over the past decade only about six per cent of housing starts in Ontario were for rental housing.“Under the old rent control regime that wasn’t generating lots of purpose-built rental housing,” he said.last_img

European cities battle fiercely for top agencies leaving UK

first_imgBRUSSELS – Brexit is still well over a year away but two European cities on Monday will already be celebrating Britain’s departure from the European Union.Two major EU agencies now in London — the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority — must move to a new EU city because Britain is leaving the bloc. The two prizes are being hotly fought over by most of the EU’s other 27 nations.Despite all the rigid rules and conditions the bloc imposed to try to make it a fair, objective decision, the process has turned into a deeply political beauty contest — part Olympic host city bidding, part Eurovision Song Contest.It will culminate in a secret vote Monday at EU headquarters in Brussels that some say could be tainted by vote trading.The move involves tens of millions in annual funding, about 1,000 top jobs with many more indirectly linked, prestige around the world and plenty of bragging rights for whichever leader can bring home the agencies.“I will throw my full weight behind this,” French President Emmanuel Macron said when he visited Lille, which is seeking to host the EMA once Britain leaves in the EU in March 2019. “Now is the final rush.”At an EU summit Friday in Goteborg, Sweden, leaders were lobbying each other to get support for their bids.The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. It has around 890 staff and hosts more than 500 scientific meetings every year, attracting about 36,000 experts.The EBA, which has around 180 staff, monitors the regulation and supervision of Europe’s banking sector.With bids coming in from everywhere — from the newest member states to the EU’s founding nations — who gets what agency will also give an indication of EU’s future outlook.The EU was created as club of six founding nations some 60 years ago, so it’s logical that a great many key EU institutions are still in nations like Germany, France and Belgium. But as the bloc kept expanded east and south into the 21st century, these new member states see a prime opportunity now to claim one of these cherished EU headquarters, which cover everything from food safety to judicial co-operation to fisheries policy.Romania and Bulgaria were the last to join the EU in 2007 and have no headquarters. Both now want the EMA — as does the tiny island nation of Malta.“We deserve this. Because as we all know, Romania is an EU member with rights and obligations equal with all the rest of the member states,” said Rodica Nassar of Romania’s health care ministry.But personnel at the EMA and EBA are highly skilled professionals, and many could be reluctant to move their careers and families from London to less prestigious locations.“You have to imagine, for example, for the banking authority, which relies on basically 200 very high-level experts in banking regulatory matters to move to another place,” said Karel Lannoo of the CEPS think-tank . “First of all, to motivate these people to move elsewhere. And then if you don’t manage to motivate these people, to find competent experts in another city.”As the vote nears, Milan and Bratislava are the favourites to win the EMA, with Frankfurt, and perhaps Dublin, leading the way for the EBA.last_img

Construction to go ahead on Site C dam but cost soars to

first_imgVICTORIA – The B.C. government had no choice but to complete the Site C hydroelectric dam rather than absorb a $4 billion hit to its bottom line by cancelling the project, which would have jeopardized plans for more spending on schools, hospitals and bridges, Premier John Horgan said Monday.The price tag for Site C is rising, with the $8.3 billion dam on the Peace River in northeast B.C. now estimated to cost $10.7 billion.The government estimated the $4 billion cost of terminating Site C would amount to $860 for each B.C. resident. Horgan said he could not ask people to take on such a debt and get nothing in return.The province also risked a credit downgrade and debt-servicing costs of up to $150 million annually if the project was cancelled. It could also mean a one time, 12 per cent rate hike that would last for a decade, Horgan said.“We have listened,” said Horgan. “We have deliberated and we have debated and at the end of the day we have come to the conclusion that although Site C is not the project we would have favoured, and it’s not the project we would have started, it must be completed to meet the objectives of our government.”The decision on the project’s future is one of the first major challenges the minority NDP government has faced since it came to power this summer.Site C has been at the centre of a polarized debate between politicians, environmentalists, First Nations, labour groups and landowners in the Peace River Valley.Horgan said he has met with Indigenous groups, construction workers, environmental activists and residents about Site C.“I can say without hesitation this is a very very divisive issue,” said Horgan, adding he and his wife have argued about the dam.The decision to complete Site C, which has been under construction for more than two years, caused intense debate in his caucus and cabinet, he said.The $4 billion cost of cancelling the project could fund 66 secondary schools or 11 hospital projects, 12 highway improvements or three bridges in Metro Vancouver, Horgan said.Former premier Christy Clark gave Site C the green light in December 2014, saying the decision to approve the province’s most expensive megaproject marked a historic milestone that would be felt for a century.Horgan said the Liberals have taken Site C to the point of no return.“They gave us, sadly, just one clear choice,” he said. “That was to proceed with a $10.7 billion project or cancel a project and absorb $4 billion in construction and remediation costs.”National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said Indigenous people will likely take the matter to court.“I am confident that First Nations will continue their efforts to stop Site C and the next step will be legal challenges,” he said in a statement.The government asked the B.C. Utilities Commission to determine if Site C would be finished by 2024 and on budget, while providing advice on proceeding with the project, suspending construction until 2024, or terminating it.The province’s independent energy regulator concluded in its report last month that the dam is over budget and behind schedule.The Opposition Liberals, who started Site C, applauded the NDP’s decision.“For the businesses, for the families, for the local First Nations in the area, this is the right decision,” said Mike Bernier, who represents Peace River South in the legislature.Green Leader Andrew Weaver said the decision could end up costing more than the new estimate of $10.7 billion.“Today, it’s $10.7 billion projected cost,” he said. “So, who believes the $10.7 billion? I certainly don’t.”Site C has been part of the province’s hydroelectric generation plans since 1958.It will be the third dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John. It will provide enough power to light up to 450,000 homes a year.BC Hydro’s environmental impact statement for Site C forecasts flooding more than 5,550 hectares of land, of which at least 3,800 hectares is agricultural. Site C would also flood Indigenous heritage sites and force up to 20 families, many lifelong ranchers, to move.last_img

End to government shutdown in sight as Dems halt filibuster

first_imgWASHINGTON – Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday, as Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other contentious issues.Senate Republican leader McConnell’s commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant “Dreamers” was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. The measure needed 60 votes, and Democrats provided 33 of the 81 it got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed.Before the government can reopen the Senate must vote on final passage, the House must approve in turn, and President Donald Trump must sign the measure.Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new reassurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber’s floor. “Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate,” he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at “Dreamers,” who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally.The White House downplayed McConnell’s commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. “They blinked,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN.Earlier Monday, McConnell raised hopes for a quick end to the shutdown, saying “I hope and intend” to reach agreement soon on immigration and other contentious issues — if the Democrats agreed to the stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.Feinstein said she wasn’t persuaded by McConnell’s assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House.House Speaker Paul Ryan told “Fox and Friends” Monday that if the Senate approved a temporary spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, the House would approve it, too.The Senate vote came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek.McConnell said he hoped to reach bipartisan solutions on immigration, border security, disaster aid, military funding and more by Feb. 8. If not, he said “it would be my intention to take up legislation” addressing those issues.The Senate over the weekend inched closer but ultimately fell short of a deal that could have reopened the government before the beginning of the workweek. McConnell and Schumer said negotiations lasted late into the night.On Sunday night, Democrats appeared to be holding out for a firmer commitment from McConnell. “We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward,” Schumer said then.There were hours of behind-the-scenes talks over the weekend between the leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers over how to end the display of legislative dysfunction, which began at midnight Friday after Democrats blocked a temporary spending measure. Democrats have sought to use the spending bill to win concessions, including protections for roughly 700,000 younger immigrants.Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats are bearing the brunt of criticism for the shutdown and that they will ultimately buckle. The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government is reopened.President Trump on Monday accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. “Not good,” his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, “Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don’t want to do it but are powerless!”Trump’s first tweet appeared to undercut comments by his legislative affairs director, Marc Short, who told CNN that the immigrants in question are law-abiding and “productive to our society.” Short says the administration wants to “find a pathway for them” to stay in the U.S.It appeared that Democratic resolve was beginning to waver, with growing worries that a prolonged shutdown could prove to be an electoral headache for the party just as it has grown more confident about prospects in November midterm elections.Although they initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, Democrats had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and Trump, seeming sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations read more

Dow Jones down over 1100 points as global equity slump continues

first_imgTORONTO – North American stock indexes extended last week’s slump, as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 1,600 points during Monday’s trading session — bringing an end to a period of record-setting calm in the market.In New York, the Dow finished the day down 1,175.21 points to 24,345.75, or 4.6 per cent, erasing its gains for the year. The S&P 500 index fell 113.19 points to 2,648.94 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 273.42 points to 6,967.53.The Dow’s point loss would be its biggest of all time, though in percentage terms, its 5.6 per cent decline wasn’t as big as its worst drop during the financial crisis.The market’s sharp drop began on Friday as investors worried that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly, which could slow down economic growth by making it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money.“I look at the broader factors that are driving this sell-off, and it’s really the pick-up in interest rates that seems to be at the heart of the anxiety in the marketplace,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.“And I look at a driver like that — and to the extent that interest rates are rising because economic optimism is picking up and that’s stoking some concerns about rising inflation — that for me is a healthy backbone for the fundamentals.”“That means, in my opinion, this sell-off while certainly aggressive is probably likely to prove more temporary then to be a harbinger of an imminent bear market,” Fehr said.“Any pullback that’s driven by increasing optimism, that’s a buying opportunity.”North of the border, Canada’s largest stock market also experience a sharp drop Monday.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 271.22 points to 15,334.81 in a broad-based decline that saw all sectors finish in the red.Stocks in Europe also fell Monday, as Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 1.5 per cent while France’s CAC 40 slid 1.5 per cent. The DAX in Germany shed 0.8 per cent.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.6 per cent and the South Korean Kospi shed 1.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sank 1.1 per cent.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 80.11 cents US, down 0.67 of a U.S. cent.On the commodities front, the March crude contract fell US$1.30 to US$64.15 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 10 cents to US$2.75 per mmBTU.The April gold contract gave back 80 cents to US$1,336.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was up three cents to US$3.22 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.last_img

Price tag in for potential 2026 Calgary Olympic bid

first_imgCALGARY — A draft plan for Calgary to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games states the total cost will be approximately $5.23 billion.The bid corporation Calgary 2026 says the required public investment from taxpayers — the city, province and country — would be about $3 billion.The #Calgary2026 Hosting Plan is now publicly available. We are doing our due diligence to review the plan to make sure #yyccc & citizens have info about the costs, benefits, opportunities & risks of hosting in #yyc. To view their Hosting Plan, visit https://t.co/EVLyDsrDQu— City of Calgary (@cityofcalgary) September 11, 2018The remainder will be paid for privately via ticket sales, corporate sponsorship and a contribution from the International Olympic Committee in cash and services.Olympic Bid Corporation Chair Mary Moran says these games will be very different from the ones we witnessed in Calgary back in 88 #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018The calculations presented were in today’s dollars and did not include the potential rate of inflation over the next eight years, which Calgary 2026 estimates will be 2.25 per cent annually.A new fieldhouse, which has long been a priority for Calgary, and a mid-size arena seating up to 6,000 were the only new venues proposed in the plan, although a curling venue has yet to be identified.They’ve grouped the venues into clusters – they’re showing a map – there’s one around Winsport, there’s a Foothills cluster and one around Stampede Park – part of the concept to make it easier for spectators and organizers alike #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018Existing facilities from the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary and Canmore, Alta., as well as the ski jump in Whistler, B.C., from the 2010 Games would be used again in 2026.They’ve had conversations with Canmore – which they say could become the Paralympic host – they add they are very excited about the possibility #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018 The plebiscite is just for the city of Calgary – Canmore Town Council would have a vote on November 6. Moran says they are viewing them as equal partners and they’ve been in conversations with them and they’re comfortable with where that is – they anticipate a positive vote #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018Edmonton is under consideration as a possible site for curling.The economic impact on Alberta’s gross domestic product was estimated at $2 billion.“This is the one initiative that will put people back to work right away,” Calgary 2026 chief executive officer Mary Moran said. “It will leave us with legacy infrastructure we can use for generations to come.“It allows us to showcase the great culture, sport, environmental and social expertise we have here in the community.”They’re anticipating 70 per cent of tickets to events will be affordable – sponsors would pay extra for their tickets so they would be motivated to come out. #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018Calgary has not yet committed to submitting a bid for the 2026 Winter Games. City council has reserved the right to pull the plug on the process at any time.A plebiscite asking Calgarians if they want to host the 2026 Winter Games is scheduled for Nov. 13, although the vote would be cancelled if council bails on a bid.Nenshi says city has seen from all political parties a commitment to this plebiscite #yyc— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) September 11, 2018The IOC’s deadline to submit a bid is January. IOC members will vote on a host city in September 2019.A Calgary Bid Exploration Committee pegged the price of the 2026 Games at $4.6 billion in June 2017.By comparison, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler cost roughly $7.7 billion.Calgary’s draft plan proposes spending just over $500 million on upgrading and improving McMahon Stadium, Scotiabank Saddledome, the Olympic Oval, Canmore Nordic Centre, the sliding track and ski hill at WinSport and the alpine ski hill at Nakiska.The plan does not include a new NHL-sized arena.The city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment — owners of the NHL’s Calgary Flames — have been in a stalemate for several months over who should pay how much for a new arena.“The timing of confirmation of this project may not meet our bid deadlines,” the draft hosting plan concept stated.“Should this facility move forward, it would result in a significant strengthening of the hosting plan and afford more opportunities for spectator participation.”The security budget is $610 million, which is less than the $900 million required in Vancouver and Whistler.last_img

US agribusiness looks to boost sales to Cuba

first_imgHAVANA – Representatives from the United States’ agricultural sector arrived in Cuba on Thursday for a conference aimed at promoting sales, one of the few U.S. business areas allowed to deal with the island under a half-century-old trade embargo that Cuban leaders blame for most of its economic troubles.The U.S.-Cuba Agriculture Coalition will explore potential opportunities for American agriculture producers seeking a market on the island. Cuba imports most of its food products from abroad, a multibillion-dollar market that has flourished despite U.S. sanctions.Relations between both countries normalized somewhat after former U.S. President Barack Obama loosened the trade embargo while in office. But President Donald Trump has intensified sanctions, making it harder for Americans to travel to Cuba and conduct business.In 2017, the United States sold $260 million of food to the Cuba, but the figure was one of the lowest in this decade and paled in comparison to the $450 million of U.S. food sold in 2012.The island still cannot sell its own products in the U.S. and is not given credit to help pay for imports as a result of the embargo.Cuba spends about $2 billion a year to import food for its 11 million citizens, who are given almost free rations each month of products such as chicken, rice and milk.Phil Peters, a trip organizer, said U.S. agribusiness is interested in exporting more products to Cuba and improving regulatory conditions, and in “building a broader and more normal relationship in which there is investment and shared business.”About 30 participants were meeting with officials at the conference and visiting farms and co-operatives in the Caribbean nation. The group is scheduled to stay until Saturday.“Our country finds itself fully updating its economic model,” Cuban deputy agriculture minister Jose Miguel Rodriguez de Armas said at the opening of the conference. “The concerns of the agriculture sector are very important for the development of our country.”last_img

Air Canada and Jazz parent extend agreement securing regional airlines future

first_imgCompanies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:CHR)The Canadian Press MONTREAL — Air Canada and Chorus Aviation Inc. have extended a purchase agreement by 10 years that will see Chorus subsidiary Jazz Aviation LP continue to provide Canada’s biggest airline with regional service through to 2035.Analysts say the deal will quell concerns around Chorus’s future after Air Canada announced last February it would expand its Rouge fleet and fly the lower-cost airplanes on Canadian regional routes — Jazz’s traditional stomping grounds.Chorus says the agreement, announced Monday, will grow its revenues by $940 million for a contracted total of $2.5 billion in aircraft leasing and fixed fees over the next 17 years. The deal also amends a 2015 agreement by lowering the fixed fees and incentive revenue Chorus receives by about $50 million annually.Under the new contract, Air Canada will make an equity investment of $97.3 million in Chorus, giving the carrier about 9.99 per cent of Chorus’s Class A and Class B voting shares, cumulatively.Chorus aims to put some of the proceeds from the investment to its leasing business, facilitating the purchase of new, larger-gauge aircraft, including nine CRJ900s in 2020.Chorus, a Halifax-based holding company, saw its stock shoot up 15 per cent to $7.21 from $6.29 in midday trading following the announcement.last_img

June building numbers double yeartodate construction value in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The city of Fort St. John has released building numbers for the month of June which show that the value of construction last month more than doubled the year-to-date total.According to the statistics for June, construction was started on eleven projects, with a total value of $7,699,000.At the end of May, the total value of construction in the Energetic City was $7,251,650, which means that the total value of construction so far this year now totals $14,950,650. Though last month’s statistics are encouraging, 2018 is so far on track to be a slower year than last year, when the year-to-date construction value at this time was $17,499,500.So far in 2018, there have been 49 building permits in the city, most of which are for commercial construction or for garage/renovations.Last month, the majority of permits were issued for renovations, but the big increase in value came from multiple-family home and industrial construction.The largest project started in June was an industrial project by Urban Systems in the 9100 block of 77th Ave. worth just under $4.2 million.Another $2 million project was begun in the 11500 block of 91st Ave., while a multi-family home at 8303 92 Ave. was valued at $1 million.With the big increase in construction value, the City saw a big jump in revenues compared to the month prior. Last month, the City saw revenues of $70,820.90 from permits and charges, bringing the year-to-date total to $119,707.90.Despite the large increase, revenues from permits and fees are still $50,000 less than at this point a year ago.last_img

Heres an updated list of official candidates in this years municipal elections

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After the nomination period for next month’s municipal elections in B.C. officially opened one week ago, there have been a number of changes to the lists of candidates that have submitted their nomination papers in communities across Northeast B.C.According to CivicInfoBC, which operates as an information hub for all local governments in the province, candidates have officially submitted papers in five out of eight municipalities in Northeast B.C. Candidates have so far been posted by Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Pouce Coupe, Fort Nelson, and Tumbler Ridge while none have been posted yet in Taylor and Hudson’s Hope.As of 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, there are eight candidates running to become a councillor in Fort St. John, while mayor Lori Ackerman is still the only declared candidate for mayor. All current incumbent councillors with the lone exception of Trevor Bolin have filed their nomination papers, along with Becky Grimsrud, Tony Zabinsky, and Justin Jones. In Dawson Creek, incumbent mayor Dale Bumstead is still the only mayoral candidate that has submitted nomination papers.As for the rest of Council, incumbents Charlie Parslow, Shaely Wilbur, Cheryl Shuman, and Paul Gevatkoff are officially running for re-election along with newcomer Jerimy Earl.In Chetwynd, the list of candidates has grown to five: four for council and one for mayor. Councillor Alec Brownlee has officially submitted nomination papers to be elected as the District’s next mayor, while incumbent Merlin Nichols, who has been the District’s mayor since 2011, has not yet officially submitted his nomination. Incumbent councillors Rochelle Galbraith and Mel Deck are officially running for re-election, along with newcomers Jocelyn Disher and Janet Wark.Hudson’s Hope looks to be getting a new mayor as Dave Heiberg is the only candidate to have so far submitted paperwork. The District’s Chief Electoral Officer Tammy McKeon said that current mayor Gwen Johansson has verbally indicated that she will not be running for re-election.The race for District Council currently only has three official candidates: incumbents Kelly Miller and Mattias Gibbs, along with newcomer Val Pace.In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, there are six candidates currently officially running, five of whom are incumbents. Incumbent councillors Kyle Andrews, Laurie Dolan, Lorraine Gerwing, and Danny Soles have submitted their nomination papers. Bill Streeper, who has served as mayor since 2008, is officially running for re-election. He faces a challenge from Gary Foster, who was elected to both Fort Nelson Village Council and the former Fort Nelson-Liard Regional District Board in 1999, serving for only that year.In Pouce Coupe, the list of candidates has dropped from four to three after councillor Andre Lavoie withdrew his bid so unseat Lorraine Michetti from the mayor’s chair. Meanwhile, incumbent councillor Barbara Smith is seeking re-election along with Donna White, who was elected to public office prior to 2014.So far, only two incumbents have submitted nomination papers in Taylor: mayor Rob Fraser and councillor Betty Ponto.Tumbler Ridge currently has the most number of officially-declared candidates in Northeast B.C.: four candidates for mayor and six candidates for council. Of the four mayoral candidates, only two previously served on District Council in the community: incumbent mayor Don McPherson and former councillor Jerrilyn Schembri. The two are joined by Garret Golhof and Keith Bertrand, neither of whom has been previously elected to public office.center_img Monty Hendrickson, Bernie Lehmann, Curtis Miedzinski, and Chris Norbury have thrown their hats in the ring to become councillors, along with incumbents Darryl Krakowka and Joanne Kirby.In the Peace River Regional District, the only official candidates so far are the four incumbent Electoral Area Directors: Karen Goodings, Brad Sperling, Leonard Hiebert, and Dan Rose.The nomination period officially closes at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14th.last_img

Scheers middleclass roots make him perfect foil to Justin Trudeau for Tories

first_imgAnd although his Conservative party was soundly defeated four years ago under the leadership of Stephen Harper, who had become deeply unpopular in many regions of the country, Scheer and his team believe they have a real chance at victory.Caucus members and party insiders say Scheer’s thoughtful and measured approach, his ability to build consensus among his team and his more humble beginnings make him the perfect foil to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on the campaign trail. Trudeau was born when his father Pierre was prime minister, grew up in material comfort, and has been something of a celebrity his whole life.Scheer’s more down-to-earth beginnings have become a key talking point for his team and for Scheer himself, especially as he criss-crossed the country in the weeks leading up to the election campaign’s official start.During a speech in Cape Breton in August, Scheer told supporters about his vision for a “new Conservative government” that would create a country in which “a kid who grew up in a townhouse in a family who didn’t own a car, whose grandparents lived in a two-room house with nine children on a dirt road in rural, now suburban, Toronto — can stand in a room like this, running to be the next prime minister of Canada.” OTTAWA — It was a hot August day in 2003 when Conservative campaign manager Hamish Marshall first learned not to underestimate Andrew Scheer.It was Scheer’s wedding day and Marshall was a guest, sitting at a table with a few well-to-do Regina businessmen, when talk about Scheer’s future began.At the time, the 24-year-old Scheer had recently moved to Saskatchewan and was working at an insurance company, waiting tables on the side. During one of the wedding speeches, someone mentioned young Scheer had ambitions to run for public office — which caused the businessmen to emit a few quiet chortles.“Oh, well isn’t that cute,” Marshall recalls them saying to one another.  Nine months later, Scheer was elected a member of Parliament, first beating a player for the popular Saskatchewan Roughriders for the Conservative nomination, then winning the Regina-Qu’Appelle riding from NDP MP Lorne Nystrom, the longest-serving member in the House of Commons at the time.It’s a pattern of miscalculation that Marshall says has been a common theme for Scheer since entering politics.“There’s this long history of people underestimating Andrew and him overcoming the expectations,” Marshall said in an interview with The Canadian Press.Scheer, 40, is now the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and is in a race with a much higher office at the finish line.center_img Barely glancing at his prepared remarks, Scheer appeared jovial and at ease at the podium in Cape Breton — a polish that Marshall admits has taken time to achieve as the father of five evolved from being a young MP to a party leader.Born in Ottawa to a nurse and a newspaper librarian, Scheer finished his undergraduate degree in Saskatchewan and then ran for Parliament there in 2004.He spoke too quickly back then, recalls Conservative Sen. Denise Batters with a laugh. Her late husband Dave Batters, also from Saskatchewan, was also a rookie member of Parliament with Scheer in 2004.When she first heard Scheer was challenging the NDP’s Nystrom for the seat in Regina-Qu’Appelle, Batters says she was among those who didn’t believe he could beat the veteran MP.“I thought, ‘Well, good for you,’ but I thought ‘That’s going to be a bit of a tough one,’ ” she says.The same thing happened when Scheer sought — and won — the speakership of the House of Commons in 2011. At 32, he became the youngest person in the chamber’s history to hold the title.“A lot of people said, ‘Are you kidding? We’re never going to have a speaker that young,’” says Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre, who was also was elected to Parliament at the same time as Scheer.“I think they’d underestimated how many relationships he had built across party lines, how much respect he had earned as a hard worker and a thoughtful parliamentarian.”Batters says Scheer and his team used a similar approach in 2017 when he ran to become leader of the Conservative party as he did when he ran for Speaker: appealing to Tories as a “solid second choice” in the ranked-ballot vote.It worked. He trailed from the first ballot but eked out a win on the 13th against the frontrunner, Quebec MP Maxime Bernier. He became the second leader ever of the modern Conservative Party of Canada, following the 2003 merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives.Since then, he has used his steady, quiet approach to keep the party from churning into a mess of internal squabbles — an achievement party insiders are quick to highlight, in light of the party’s history of splintering after electoral defeats.They don’t count Bernier’s dramatic departure last year. He quit the read more

Theresa May hopes to be third time lucky with Brexit vote

first_imgLondon: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday called on her rebellious MPs to do the patriotic thing to strike an honourable compromise over Brexit as she prepares to table her twice-defeated withdrawal agreement to another Parliament vote next week, hoping it would prove third time lucky for her. Her latest plea came at the end of a frenetic week in Westminster as MPs voted on a flurry of motions, not just ruling out leaving the European Union (EU) with May’s deal but also without any deal in place at all, calling for a delay to the March 29 Brexit Day deadline. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang May warned deeply divided Brexiteers within her own party and across the House of Commons that failure to once again support her deal, which was defeated by a resounding 230-vote margin in January and a smaller 149-vote margin last week, would mean the UK may not leave the EU for many months and may even rule out Brexit altogether. She urged MPs to get behind her improved deal before a European Council summit in Brussels next week, with legally binding changes to the controversial Irish backstop clause addressing concerns that the UK could be tied to EU rules indefinitely. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: Trump If Parliament can find a way to back the Brexit deal before European Council, the UK will leave the EU this spring, without having to take part in the European elections If it cannot, we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever, she writes in The Sunday Telegraph’. As things stand, May is hoping to return to Brussels with a Parliament-backed deal to seek a short delay until June 30 to complete procedures. It is for the EU to decide the terms and conditions of any extension because legally the UK is still due to leave the economic bloc on March 29. With European Parliament elections scheduled to take place towards the end of May, if the UK Parliament remains deadlocked over an exit strategy, the EU is expected to agree to only a lengthy delay to the Article 50 Brexit mechanism. Such a move would necessitate Britain’s participation in the European Parliament polls. The idea of the British people going to the polls to elect MEPs [Members of European Parliament] three years after voting to leave the EU hardly bears thinking about. There could be no more potent symbol of Parliament’s collective political failure, Theresa May warned. Against this backdrop, she is set for a last-ditch attempt at getting her deal through the Commons as she seeks to change the mind of 75 MPs to vote differently from last week and win the required majority. For those who backed remain, I am asking them to remove any chance of the UK staying in the EU. For those who backed leave, I am asking them to vote for a form of Brexit that may not be everything they hoped for, she urged. There are some signs that hard-Brexiteers might be ready to change their minds over fears of a lengthy delay or no Brexit at all, with a letter signed by Tory MPs from Leave-backing constituencies, including former Brexit Secretary David Davis, urging colleagues to back the deal. The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has voted against the agreement twice already, also held out some hope, saying that while there were “still issues to be discussed”, it remained in talks with the government. The 10 votes provided by the DUP, which provides Theresa May’s Conservative Party government with its crucial Commons majority, are key to the British Prime Minister proving third time lucky with her withdrawal agreement. Meanwhile, Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to MPs across the Commons inviting them for talks to find a cross-party compromise over Brexit. In his letter, he called for urgent meetings to find a “solution that ends the needless uncertainty and worry” caused by May’s “failed” Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile, a latest opinion poll conducted by Opinium for the Observer’ newspaper exposed the lingering divisions across the country over Brexit, with an equal set of people (43 per cent each) found backing a second referendum and leaving the EU without a deal by March 29. The poll found that if a second referendum were held with the options of accepting Theresa May’s deal or remaining in the EU on the ballot paper, 46 per cent said they would back remain, against 36 per cent who would vote to leave on the terms of the British Prime Minister’s proposal. The figures will encourage remain supporters ahead of a mass demonstration and march in favour of a second referendum scheduled to take place in London next Saturday.last_img

Deve Gowda to contest from Tumkur

first_imgBengaluru: Ending days of suspense, Janata Dal (Secular) Saturday said its National President and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda will contest the Lok Sabha poll from Tumkur.The 85-year-old JD(S) patriarch had earlier expressed doubts about contesting the polls, saying he was thinking about his “usefulness” in the national capital. “Former PM and JDS National president H D Deve Gowda will contest from Tumkur Parliamentary constituency as JD(S)-Congress combined candidate,” JD(S) Spokesperson Ramesh Babu said in a statement. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Gowda will file his nomination on March 25, he said, adding that JD(S) and Congress leaders will be present on the occasion. Gowda ceded the Hassan seat that he had been representing to his grandson Prajwal Revanna. Amid doubts about Gowda contesting the polls, as he had earlier indicated he would not, there was speculation that he may contest from Bangalore North. Though there was pressure within JD(S) for their party supremo to contest from Bangalore North, it was apprehensive about Congress’ complete support there as most party’s MLAs there are considered close to Gowda’s bete noire Siddaramaiah. It was feared that the MLAs may seek to take revenge for the former Chief Minister’s defeat from Chamundeshwari in the 2018 assembly polls. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KInterestingly, JD(S)’ announcement on Gowda’s constituency comes on a day when Congress’ sitting Member of Parliament from Tumkur S P Muddahanumegowda Saturday said he would file his nomination on Monday as the party candidate. Muddahanumegowda’s decision goes against the seat sharing arrangement reached between the Congress and JD(S), according to which Tumkur seat has gone to the regional party. If Muddahanumegowda contests from Tumkur as a rebel, it will add to the Congress-JD(S) coalition worries as the alliance is facing backlash at several places,including Mandya and Hassan, with party workers unhappy with the seat arrangements. In Tumkur, there is simmering discontent within the Congress’ local leadership about ceding the seat to JD(S), despite party having a sitting MP there. For the coalition to emerge as a formidable opposition to BJP and win more number of seats, it is crucial for the Congress to transfer its votes to JD(S) and vice-versa, including Mandya.last_img