New Delhi: A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a Delhi police head constable in outer Delhi’s Mundka area, officials said on Thursday. The incident took place on Tuesday when the accused and his domestic help were alone in the house, they said. According to a senior police officer, after getting the information about the incident, a case under POCSO and IPC sections has been registered. The accused, in his late 40s, is absconding and police have formed teams to nab him, they added.
Seoul: South Korea’s president on Monday described the country’s escalating trade war with Japan as a wake-up call to revamp its economy and also issued a nationalistic call for economic cooperation with North Korea, which he said would allow the Koreas to erase Japan’s economic superiority in “one burst.” President Moon Jae-in made the comments during a meeting with senior aides to discuss Japan’s move to downgrade South Korea’s trade status and tighten controls on exports to South Korean manufacturers. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMoon has described Japan’s moves as a deliberate attempt to damage South Korea’s export-dependent economy and accused Tokyo of weaponizing trade to retaliate over political disputes surrounding the countries’ bitter wartime history. Earlier on Monday, South Korea said it plans to spend 7.8 trillion won (USD 6.5 billion) over the next seven years to develop technologies for industrial materials and parts as it moves to reduce its dependence. The government will also financially support South Korean companies in mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies and expand tax benefits to lure more international investment, while easing labor and environmental regulations so that local companies could boost their production, the country’s trade ministry said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSouth Korea’s plans are aimed at stabilizing the supply of 100 key materials and parts in semiconductors, display screens, automobiles and other major export sectors, where its companies have heavily relied on Japanese imports to produce finished products. “We need to do more than just overcome Japan’s trade retaliations and arm ourselves with broader sight and extraordinary determination to surpass Japan’s economy,” Moon said during the meeting at Seoul’s presidential Blue House. “We should invest efforts to significantly enhance the competitiveness of (South Korea’s) parts and materials industry and also apply economic policies to revive vitality across all areas of our economy,” he said. Moon used the meeting to convey a positive message to North Korea, which has significantly reduced its diplomatic activity with the South amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations with the United States. The North has been ramping up its weapons tests in recent weeks while expressing frustration over the slow pace of diplomacy and the continuance of U.S.-South Korea military drills that it sees as an invasion rehearsal. “The advantage Japan’s economy has over us is the size of its (overall) economy and domestic market. If the South and North could create a peace economy through economic cooperation, we can catch up with Japan’s superiority in one burst,” Moon said. “Japan absolutely cannot prevent our economy from taking a leap. Rather, (Japan) will serve as a stimulant that strengthens our determination to become an economic power.” North Korea didn’t immediately respond to Moon’s comments. The North has been demanding that Seoul turn away from Washington and restart inter-Korean economic projects held back by U.S.-led sanctions against the North. The United States has said the sanctions should stay in place until the North takes concrete steps to relinquish its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. On Friday, Japan’s Cabinet approved the removal of South Korea from a list of countries with preferential trade status, which would require Japanese companies to apply for case-by-case approvals for exports to South Korea of hundreds of items deemed sensitive.
TORONTO – The Ontario government is contributing $150,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to help people in the Caribbean recovering from hurricane Irma.Premier Kathleen Wynne says in a statement that Irma and its consequences are “a worst nightmare come true” for millions of people.Wynne also says she has sent a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott offering her sympathies and support.Hydro One employees and equipment are already on their way to Florida to help restore power to millions of Floridians.And Wynne says she has informed the federal government that Ontario is ready to assist a Canadian response to the disaster.The death toll from hurricane Irma stood at 47 on Tuesday. At least 37 people were reported killed across the Caribbean islands while 18 deaths were reported in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.“On behalf of the people of Ontario, I extend our heartfelt compassion to all of the people who are suffering in the destructive aftermath of hurricane Irma,” Wynne said Tuesday.“I want to thank every single person here in Ontario who has committed to help, and encourage everyone to consider making a personal donation to the Canadian Red Cross,” she said.
VANCOUVER – There won’t be any uniformed police officers marching alongside the colourful floats in Vancouver’s Pride parade next August.Andrea Arnot, executive director of the Vancouver Pride Society, says the group has decided not to allow uniformed officers, police vehicles or weapons in the annual parade.She says the decision was made in September after more than a year of community consultations where members of the LGBTQ community told board members they were uncomfortable seeing uniformed officers or police vehicles at the event because of historic police oppression.Plainclothes officers will be welcome to march with the City of Vancouver’s parade entry and Arnot notes many officers are strong allies of the LGBTQ community.Vancouver Pride spoke with the police force about the decision in September and Arnot says they found the officers very receptive.The Vancouver Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Vancouver Pride’s decision follows similar moves across the country after the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter halted the city’s parade in 2016, demanding Pride organizers agreed to a list of conditions, including a ban on uniformed police.Black Lives Matter has argued that allowing uniformed officers at the parade could discourage marginalized communities from attending.Forces in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto were all asked to leave their uniforms at home for Pride festivities this summer.Vancouver Pride came to a compromise with the police department this year, where the majority of the officers marching were not in uniform and no vehicles were included in the parade.But Arnot said the move has never been about excluding police.“When we started out with these conversations way back in 2016, our intent was not to ban the police from the parade,” she said. “It was how to have the police participate in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable and for them to show their support in a different way.”Reaching the decision has been a long, often uncomfortable process, Arnot said, noting that the board and staff spoke to more than 300 people in the community consultation process.“I’m really glad that we’ve been able to move things forward,” she said.
PENTICTON, B.C. – Police say the search continues for an Alberta couple who were in a small plane believed to have gone down in southeastern British Columbia.RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says pilot 28-year-old Dominic Neron and 31-year-old passenger Ashley Bourgeault were flying from Penticton, B.C., to Edmonton on Saturday when the single-engine aircraft vanished.He says Penticton RCMP are helping the Victoria Joint Search Co-ordination Centre in the search for the missing couple and plane.Rescue centre spokeswoman Katelyn Moores said earlier this week that the search area had been narrowed to a region 18 kilometres outside Revelstoke.She said the grid was refined based on more complete information from radar and the cellphone tower that picked up a signal from the pilot’s phone at about the same time the plane was reported missing.Heavy snowfall, low clouds and densely treed terrain has made the search effort more difficult.
MUMBAI, India – An Indian politician who publicly accused members of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement will meet the prime minister later this week.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the meeting, but provided no further details on exactly what he plans to talk about with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.The meeting comes amid simmering tensions between India and Canada about the demands in some Sikh communities for an independent state called Khalistan. Indian government officials want Trudeau to be firmer in clamping down on separatist elements within Sikh communities in Canada, which they believe provide a platform for some to commit acts of violence to achieve independence.Singh has been outspoken about the issue and has publicly accused several members of Trudeau’s cabinet of being involved in Sikh separatist causes. Last April, he refused to meet visiting Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan because of it.Sajjan has called Singh’s accusations defamatory and ridiculous. Last week, as Trudeau prepared to leave Canada for his seven-day Indian state visit, a meeting with Singh was not in the offing, even though Singh had told Indian media he was to serve as Trudeau’s tour guide during a tour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar this week.On Trudeau’s first full day in India, there was a change of heart and Sajjan was behind it, asking Trudeau to request a meeting with Singh for both of them.As it currently stands, Sajjan is not part of the meeting, though details are still being worked out on that front, Trudeau said in Mumbai on Monday.The dispute is largely a disagreement over freedom of speech. Indian officials want Trudeau to clamp down on movements within Canada pushing for an independent Sikh state. While Trudeau has been firm that Canada’s policy is for a united India, he will not step in to tell people what they can say, as long as they do not advocate violence.“I think people know that I defend Canada’s values and Canadian interests and diversity of views in Canada is extremely important to me and will always remain that way,” Trudeau said.Rohinton Medhora, president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., is in India to participate in some of the business and trade events associated with Trudeau’s visit. He said Monday the Khalistan issue is a tough for one for Canada and India to navigate, but does not believe it hurts trade.“It’s big for some people, but I don’t think it’s a big issue in terms of the economic and political relationship between the countries,” said Medhora.Trade between Canada and India has grown more slowly than hoped. It reached $8 billion in 2016, far shy of the goal of $15 billion by 2015 set by the former Conservative government.Trudeau himself pointed out Monday in a question-and-answer session with students at Ahmedabad’s Indian Institute of Management that the number is small compared with the $2 billion in daily trade between Canada and the U.S., but said this trip is designed in part to encourage growth.Medhora said the biggest barrier to increased Canada-India trade is the fact that India used to be very closed to external investment and trade and when it started to open up, Canada was slow to jump in.“Ultimately these two countries and their businesses don’t know each other,” said Medhora. “They have to understand each other and that’s what’s going to make the trade grow. Free trade deals are nice to have but not necessary for trade to grow .”He said there are a number of areas where both countries need each other. Notably India is a big market for Canada for farm products, particularly lentils and chickpeas, as well as for uranium. India also needs Canadian expertise to help with energy security.The agriculture issue is another bilateral irritant, as India slapped import tariffs of 50 per cent on peas and 40 per cent on chickpeas in the last two months. The tariffs hurt Canadian pulse crop producers by virtually eliminating India as a market.Trudeau said Monday he raised that issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they met at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January. It was also the first thing he mentioned after landing in India on Saturday, when he told the minister of state for agriculture who greeted him that he looked forward to talking about the pulse crop issue in the days to come.Trudeau was welcomed warmly as he spent most of Monday in Modi’s home state of Gujarat.Throughout the city of Ahmedabad, billboards and banners with Trudeau’s and Modi’s photos and the slogan “Long Live India-Canada Friendship” lined the motorcade route.Trudeau — who visited the home of Mahatma Gandhi and a Buddhist shrine while in the city — is the first Canadian prime minister to visit Gujarat and some Indian reporters said they had never seen anything quite like the billboards erected for his arrival.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.
HALIFAX – Dozens of people rallied outside a downtown Halifax office building Monday in support of a group of black janitors who were fired from their jobs after they revealed plans to file a human rights complaint based on allegations of racial discrimination.About 70 people gathered outside Founders Square to support janitorial workers, who were told they would be laid off at the end of this week, but were terminated last Friday after the allegations were made public.Darius Mirshahi, an organizer with the Service Employees International Union Local 2, said the group will file another complaint alleging that the workers were fired abruptly for complaining about alleged racism.“This is a very heavy-handed response to people exercising their right,” he said before the Monday rally.“So the union will be helping the workers file another human rights complaint because the act forbids retaliating against any individuals in response to them stating their intention to file a complaint.”The unionized workers of African descent clean Founders Square and say they are lodging their complaints against the property manager, Armour Group Ltd.A spokeswoman for Armour Group said the company had terminated its contract with GDI Integrated Facility Services because of poor cleaning services, saying the company would continuing paying the janitors until the end of the month.“We have a contractual obligation to our tenants to maintain standards of cleanliness in the building and our decision was based on consistent tenant feedback about the quality of their cleaning services,” Tara Wickwire, a senior director with National Public Relations, said in an emailed statement.The company said it received more than 200 complaints from tenants in 2017 regarding GDI’s services.Mirshahi dismissed the assertion, saying “this discussion is about which workers that currently clean this building are being continued as employees and which ones aren’t.”The property manager recently awarded its cleaning contract to Deep Down Cleaning Services, prompting GDI to issue layoff notices to all its cleaners at Founders Square.Taylor MacLean, one of the janitors who received a pink slip, said last week that it has been a stressful experience.“I’ve still got to pay rent. I’ve still got to feed myself,” he told reporters.
AIRDRIE, Alta. – The parents of a paralyzed Humboldt Broncos hockey player are preparing for the next phase of his recovery — his return home.Ryan Straschnitzki, 19, is undergoing physiotherapy at the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia after becoming paralyzed from the chest down in a crash between a semi-trailer and a bus carrying the Broncos junior hockey team at a rural Saskatchewan intersection in April.He’s expected to return home to Airdrie, just north of Calgary, in a matter of weeks.His father, Tom Straschnitzki, says he’s already gone through six training programs on how to care for his son once he’s no longer under the constant watchful eye of medical personnel.The programs include basics of day-to-day care, medication his son is taking and warning signs if something goes wrong.“Because he can’t feel anything, if there’s a wrinkle, he’ll turn all red and his blood pressure will drop. We’ve got to figure out the signs and try and fix the problem,” said Straschnitzki in an interview at his home with The Canadian Press.“It’s scary. Hopefully we’ll know what to do and they’ve trained us pretty good.”Straschnitzki says the family home is about to be renovated to accommodate his son. An elevator is being installed, walls are being knocked down, doorways widened and bathrooms adapted. The reno could take up to six months and, during that time, they’ll need to find a new place to live.“It’s daunting,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, like building a brand new house.”The basement where his son will be living is crammed with souvenirs he collected growing up and a lot more that have come in since the accident.“That’s Connor McDavid’s stick over there,” Straschnitzki said as he pointed to a corner in the basement. “There’s boxes and boxes of letters and we ran out of room here so we put the rest in his room.”Two books on the floor included “99” by Wayne Gretzky and “Against All Odds”, the untold story of Canada’s university hockey heroes.A fundraiser to help with the family’s costs was scheduled for Saturday night at the Genesis Centre in Airdrie.Cody Thompson, Ryan Straschnitzki’s former trainer and the event’s organizer, said it’s important the young man have access to treatment and resources.“Any time you talk to anyone with a spinal cord injury, the first thing they will tell you is the younger you are, the more expensive it becomes, because of the longer time you will live with that injury,” he said.“If you have the financial wherewithal, the likelihood of you coming out of this with more meaningful movement, mobility and strength to lead a normal life is exponentially higher (than) if you don’t have that ability.”This time last year, Thompson said, Ryan was focused on playing with a junior A hockey team.“Now he’s focused on gaining his ability to walk again and gaining full control over his body.”Sixteen people died, including 10 players, and 13 others were injured as a result of bus crash. RCMP continue to investigate and no charges have been laid.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
Ottawa is working on a policy to ensure health care for Inuit children isn’t delayed while governments argue over who pays.“Minister (Jane) Philpott is going to work with us over the summer to hopefully create a structure that allows for Inuit children to not be tied up in jurisdictional issues,” Natan Obed of the national organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said Wednesday.Obed said the Indigenous services minister agreed this week at a meeting in Inuvik, N.W.T., to work towards an equivalent to Jordan’s Principle for Inuit children.“All partners agreed to work together towards the development of an Inuit-specific child-first initiative to address the challenges faced by Inuit children,” Philpott said in a statement.“We will continue to work together with Inuit to improve access to quality services and ensure that children are supported.”Jordan’s Principle is aimed at overcoming red tape that delays or prevents Indigenous children from getting the services they need. It ensures that the department first contacted pays for the service to a child and can later seek reimbursement.It is named after Jordan River Anderson, a five-year-old boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, who died in hospital in 2005 while the federal and provincial governments bickered over who would pay for his home care.More than 33,000 requests for support and services have been approved under the principle since July 2016, but it doesn’t cover Inuit.Obed said the on-reserve, off-reserve disputes that arise with First Nations are echoed in squabbles between the territories and provinces. Agreements between those jurisdictions cover basic care, but don’t deal with rare diseases or chronic illnesses.“Specific care for rare diseases or certain issues in relation to ongoing illnesses that receive constant care, that’s when we get to some challenges,” said Obed. “Inuit children get caught up in jurisdictional issues around care and then they don’t receive the care they should receive.“Minister Philpott has pledged to work with us to resolve those challenges.”Obed said he didn’t know exactly how many children are affected, but he called it a recurring issue for parents in all Inuit regions of Canada.“We have received many complaints from Inuit parents because their children aren’t receiving the care that they should.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960
TORONTO — After days of backlash over its cuts to institutions serving francophones, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government says it’s making changes meant to recognize the “significant and ongoing” contributions of the Franco-Ontarian community.In a statement Friday evening, Premier Doug Ford says his government is creating the position of French-Language Services Commissioner within the provincial ombudsman’s office, and seeking to turn the office of francophone affairs into a ministry.The Tories announced last week they were transferring the commissioner’s mandate to Ontario’s ombudsman and scrapping plans for a standalone French-language university.The moves sparked massive outcry from francophones in Ontario and Quebec and were publicly denounced by a member of Ford’s own caucus, Amanda Simard, who represents a largely francophone riding.Both Ford and the minister responsible for francophone affairs, Caroline Mulroney, said the cuts were necessary to bring down the province’s deficit, although they did not say how much would be saved.In Friday’s statement, Ford thanked “all the people who reached out” to his office following last week’s announcement and said he looks forward to building a “constructive dialogue” with Franco-Ontarians.“They’re fighters. They’re part of the history of Ontario. They continue to work hard for generations to promote and preserve their beautiful culture and language in our province,” he said.The government also said Ford’s office will hire a senior policy adviser on francophone affairs. No changes were announced in regard to the university, but Mulroney was quoted as saying she looks forward to the day when the province is in a “financial position” to proceed with such projects.The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — A woman in her 70s has died after driving her car into a massive sinkhole caused by flooding in western Quebec, police say.The accident left her sedan upside down in a swollen stream after rising river levels swept away part of the road in the Outaouais region overnight.Sgt. Martin Fournel of the MRC des Collines police said witnesses parked near the washout tried unsuccessfully to warn the driver as she approached.“That lady, who was driving by herself on that road, fell into a sinkhole basically because of the flooding. There was a culvert that was not there anymore, so the road was cut in half and she was not able to brake and avoid the accident,” Fournel told The Canadian Press.The woman was taken to hospital but pronounced dead soon after, he said.The accident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in the Municipality of Pontiac, about 30 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.Pontiac, which sits along the Ottawa River, is one of at least three municipalities in the Outaouais region to declare states of emergency, along with Saint-Andre-Avellin and Val-des-Monts. Trois-Rivieres is also in a state of emergency.On Friday, both the Quebec and New Brunswick governments called for federal assistance — including Canadian Forces soldiers on the ground — as the provinces brace for heavy spring flooding this weekend.Quebec Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault told a news conference in Quebec City that the risk level hasn’t changed in recent days, but authorities now expect the brunt of flooding will begin on Sunday and last longer than expected.While the situation could change depending on the weather, Guilbault said she elected to ask for assistance as citizens scrambled to protect their homes while heavy rain warnings were in effect for much of southern Quebec.About 40 millimetres of rain fell on the Montreal area since Thursday, with five to 10 millimetres more expected Saturday, according to Environment Canada. Rainfall warnings have been lifted, but water levels were already high and were expected to rise sharply with warm temperatures and snowmelt runoff.“My only priority is the safety of citizens,” Guilbault said, shortly after the request for help was accepted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.“I will spare no effort over the next few days to ensure the safety of citizens.”Officials in several communities are worried the flooding could be even worse than the record flooding of 2017 that forced thousands from their homes.Guilbault said Canadian Forces brass were discussing with provincial officials where to deploy military resources. She added she’d spoken directly with Brig.-Gen. Jennie Carignan and added the duration of their stay will depend largely on the situation on the ground.Across Quebec, municipalities have been preparing sandbags and reinforcing homes as flood waters continue to rise.“Today is an important day, we’re predicting we’ll reach the water levels reached in 2017 in the next 24 hours and even exceed it,” said Ginette Bellemare, the acting mayor of Trois-Rivieres, Que., about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.“For our citizens, it’s a race against time. They must mobilize and protect their property.”Guilbault said the province will also allow stores — usually closed on Easter Sunday — to remain open this weekend so residents can stock up on supplies.Thomas Blanchet, a spokesman for the province’s public safety department, said residents should be ready for a sharp spike in water levels that could come quickly, and he implored them to follow the instructions of local officials.Blanchet said while there are no official evacuation orders in the province, some municipalities have issued preventative orders, such as Rigaud and Pointe-Fortune in southwestern Quebec.Rigaud officials reported they expect a rapid rise in water flows on Saturday.“The latest data confirms that water levels as high as those observed at the height of the May 2017 flood could be reached, depending on the amount of rain received, by next Monday,” the town said in a release.In Laval, just north of Montreal, officials said some 1,500 homes and businesses were under flood watch. In Montreal, Mayor Valerie Plante toured various parts of the city under flood watch.Plante said the boroughs were well prepared, having learned lessons from record floods two years ago.“We’re putting all our energy, but in the end Mother Nature decides,” Plante said.In Saint-Raymond, about 60 kilometres northwest of the provincial capital, 24 seniors in three residences have been moved to higher ground as the Ste-Anne River levels continue to rise.Earlier this week, the Chaudiere River burst its banks and flooded a large part of downtown Beauceville, about 90 kilometres south of Quebec City. Officials there called it the worst flooding since 1971, with 230 homes and businesses flooded. At least 28 people remained unable to return home on Friday.Meantime, Quebec City and the Gaspe Peninsula can expect up to 30 millimetres of rainfall this weekend, said Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Cantin.“That will help the snow to melt again and we do not expect the river will be able to go down until at least 48 hours,” he said Saturday morning.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The assault trial of former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle will be delayed for weeks or even months while the courts settle a dispute over whether his sexual history with his wife is admissible evidence.Boyle has pleaded not guilty in Ontario court to offences against his wife Caitlan Coleman, including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.The offences are alleged to have occurred in late 2017, after the couple returned to Canada following five years as captives of extremists who seized them during a backpacking trip to Asia.Coleman’s lawyer, Ian Carter, is asking a superior court to review a ruling that allows Boyle to introduce evidence concerning certain consensual sexual activity with his wife.Judge Peter Doody, who is presiding over Boyle’s case, says today that Carter’s move automatically suspends the trial while the review plays out.Doody suggests that the review and any subsequent appeals could put Boyle’s trial on hold for many months.The Canadian Press
A Senate committee proposed changes to Canada’s first federal accessibility law Thursday that members of the disability community said addressed some of the most pressing concerns about the legislation, though some worried the bill may still be too weak to be effective.Nearly a hundred disability organizations and advocacy groups had been calling on the committee to introduce major changes to Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act, arguing it lacked teeth.Following a detailed hearing, the Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology voted to propose the government include a timeline in the bill that would require it to be fully implemented by 2040 rather than leaving the date open-ended.“We are dealing with a bill that is very important for Canada and is going to make our country a better country,” said Sen. Donna Dasko. “The issue of a timeline has come up many times … this is an important thing, this gives accountability to the bill, this gives a goal to the actions being undertaken.”The committee also voted to recognize various forms of sign language as an official language of deaf Canadians and see it included among government services. That amendment also included Indigenous sign languages among those that should be acknowledged. The committee’s proposed amendments will now go to the full Senate for a vote.David Lepofsky, a long-time disability rights advocate, said the full impact of the committee’s proposed amendments won’t be known until they’ve been formally incorporated into the act. He noted that the House of Commons could vote to reject any steps the Senate may suggest to strengthen the law.But he said the committee’s moves signal hope the existing bill, which he had previously described as “inadequate,” could be improved.“We do know that the amendments do, to some extent, strengthen this bill,” Lepofsky said. “Any improvement is welcomed.”Lepofsky said adopting a timeline would mark a significant step forward, adding that doing so would bring the federal government in line with the three Canadian provinces that have put accessibility legislation on their books.Senators on the committee said during Thursday’s meeting that the absence of a timeline was the unifying issue that emerged from hours of testimony from disability rights groups.It was also one of the core issues activists raised in an open letter to the committee last year that detailed concerns about the power and scope of the proposed law. The October 2018 letter also said the bill should enshrine American and Quebec sign language as the official language of the deaf community.While the committee tackled those concerns, it did not address others raised in the letter signed by 95 organizations including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, National Network for Mental Health and March of Dimes Canada,The letter had criticized the bill for granting the government broad powers to exempt people from the new rules, spreading enforcement over numerous agencies, and opting not to withhold federal funding from organizations that don’t comply with accessibility measures.Advocates also raised concerns about the way the bill was written. The bill repeatedly uses “may” rather than “shall” or “must” when describing initiatives, meaning the government is empowered to take actions but never required to follow through on them, they argued. An amendment brought before the committee addressed that concern but was defeated.The Council of Canadians with Disabilities, who helped spearhead the letter, focused on what it viewed as positive developments from the committee vote.“These proposed reforms did not get much traction at the time (the bill was passed through the House of Commons), So today, we are very pleased to learn that the Senate’s Social Affairs Committee has been more responsive to our calls for reform,” it said in a statement.But Gabrielle Peters, a Vancouver-based wheelchair user, expressed disappointment at the committee’s unwillingness to change the bill’s language from “may” to “must.” Not addressing the issue of federal funding, she added, risks allowing governments and those supported by them to continue treating disability rights and accessibility as a perk rather than a basic human right.“They keep using the word ‘historic,’” Peters said of the government. “Historic means you create legislation that will fundamentally shift the direction we continue to be on … (The Accessible Canada Act) is not … a historic document.”The office of Accessibility Minister Carla Qualtrough did not respond to request for comment.Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
TORONTO (680 NEWS) – Drake has a new ride, and it will be pretty hard to miss. The Toronto rapper unveiled a new plane on Instagram on Friday.The Boeing 767, dubbed Air Drake, has a customized interior with couches, TVs, and reportedly has two bedrooms.The exterior of the plane has the rapper’s signature OVO owl logo on the side, and his 6ix-god praying hands on the tail.Drake partnered with Canadian airline Cargojet to make his sky-high dreams a reality. He serves as an ambassador for the airline.“Supporting home grown businesses has always been a top priority of mine, so when an opportunity came up to get involved with a great Canadian company I was honored to do so,” Drake said in a release.There’s no word on how much the plane cost.
OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is taking aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of this fall’s federal election.Kenney, a former federal Conservative cabinet minister, took to Twitter over the weekend to say the people of his province have been “rightfully frustrated” by an “unfair deal” they are getting in the federation.He says Albertans are proud Canadians and he doesn’t want to let Trudeau “push us out of our country.”Kenney also says he would rather focus on separating Trudeau from the Prime Minister’s Office.Trudeau’s office has not issued a statement in response to the premier but Alberta Liberal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi did weigh in, saying the federal government is delivering for the province despite the “premier’s rhetoric.”During his campaign to become premier, Kenney was outspoken about opposing Trudeau on issues including the carbon tax and equalization payments.The Canadian Press
EBONY Magazine has unveiled its annual EBONY Power 100 list, which salutes the remarkable achievements of African-Americans.Among the game changers honored this year are President Barack Obama, actress Kerry Washington, NBA legend and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson, actor Michael B. Jordan, entertainer Nick Cannon, film director Lee Daniels, chef Marcus Samuelsson and activists Harry Belafonte and Marian Wright Edelman.Berry Gordy, founder of the famed Motown record label, music impresario and legendary songwriter will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The gala celebration will take place in New York City on November 4, 2013, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.The EBONY editorial team selected the 100 most influential African-Americans in the country. These achievers have made noteworthy accomplishments over the past year. Our list of outstanding leaders highlights individuals from many disciplines, including business, medicine, sports, media, religion, the creative arts and more. These game-changers have positively impacted our society in profound and lasting ways.By being named to the EBONY Power 100, these leaders are honored and recognized for changing the course of history and making an enduring and lasting impact in their communities and across the globe.“The EBONY Power 100 speaks volumes about the diversity of our accomplishments and the power of our collective influence across virtually every spectrum of society,” said Amy DuBois Barnett, Editor-in-Chief of EBONY. “We are thrilled to honor these exceptionally talented people who have inspired and enthralled us, and who have helped to shape our lives.”The 2013 Power 100 list will appear in the December/January issue of EBONY on newsstands the week of November 4. The full list of the EBONY Power 100 can be found here.
More than $500,000 was raised in support of older foster kids needing permanent families with the help of Broadway and Hollywood heavy-hitters this week at the St. James Theatre, including Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Darren Criss, Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty, Caroline Rhea and many more.Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and Seth RudetskyCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThe inaugural event, hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley with BeachBody.com, supported youth in foster care through You Gotta Believe, New York’s only nonprofit specifically focused on finding permanent families for youth in foster care aged 10 year and older, and the Council on Adoptable Children (COAC).This one of a kind event raised necessary funds for and awareness about the plight of kids in foster care, particularly those ages 10 to 21 years whom many consider unadoptable because of their age. A new video of the difference that family can make is being launched today as a thank you to the supporters.The star-studded evening included special performances of “A Song for You” by Tituss Burgess, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked by Eden Espinosa, “Stronger” by Rachel Crow, and “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music by Megan Hilty. Composer Marc Shaiman joined Hilty on-stage for a special performance of “Second Hand White Baby Grand” from Bombshell.The audience erupted in laughter as “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” duo Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski took to the stage for a Seth Rudetsky-signature deconstruction of “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” Krakowski sang each lyric as Fey followed up with her interpretation of the meaning.Another highlight of the evening was a live auction – hosted by Caroline Rhea – to have a personal performance from Darren Criss on stage at the event. After a bidding war between two spirited women that brought the tally up to $11,000, Criss joined Rhea on stage and offered to sing a second song if both of the competing bidders could win. The bidding landed at $15,000 each – for a total of $30,000. One of the winners sent her 7-year-old daughter on-stage to claim the prize, who blushed and giggled as Criss serenaded her with The Carpenters classic “Close to You” and “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry in front of the packed theater.Additional performers and supporters for the evening included Lisa Lampanelli, Lilla Crawford, Debra Monk, Andrea Martin, Santino Fontana, Tony Yazbeck, Rachel York, Ruthie Ann Miles, Jennifer Simard, Jose Llana, Christine Pedi, Barrett Foa, Kate Shindle, Howard McGillin, Janice Huff, Antwone Fisher, Charlene Tilton, Tony Shellman and Alec Mapa.In New York City, there are about 1,300 kids waiting to be adopted right now. There are an additional 700+ kids on the verge of aging out alone — many of whom were deemed ‘unadoptable’ by the system long ago. As each day goes by, they are one day closer to being pushed out onto their own without a family safety net unless an adoption takes place.Every year nationwide, nearly 25,000 kids age out of foster care in the U.S., left on their own to make it into adulthood without the safety net of a forever family to provide the security and comfort most of us take for granted. As many as 50 percent of kids who age out of foster may experience homelessness and other dire outcomes.Sponsors for the evening included Jujamcyn Theaters, Something Rotten!, Playbill, Inc., The Knickerbocker, Blue Fin, A+E Networks, Barbara Baekgaard & family, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Cablevision Systems Corporation, Cyndx, LionTree, Rosie O’Donnell, The Shubert Organization, Time Warner Cable, Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, Daryl Roth and Burba Hayes.For more information, visit www.yougottabelieve.org and follow at @AdoptOlderKids.
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement A local singer-songwriter is making a name for herself on the big stage.Elequen General from Forest ON, is one of the contestants appearing on CTV’s new show The Launch Wednesday, February 14.The Launch is a series where unsigned musicians create a new original song as they’re mentored by renowned artists such as Shania Twain, Nikki Sixx and Fergie to name a few. Twitter Login/Register With: The 23-year-old says if there any young girls or boys in the area that want to be in her shoes one day, don’t give up.“I know that coming from a small town you feel like you’re the only one that’s doing it and you feel very distant from the actual music and entertainment industry,” she says. “I would just say to keep pushing and work towards finding people that do the same thing that you do.”For General, her love for performing arts began with writing poems at a very young age.“Once I realized you could put that to music, I started songwriting,” she says. “I think I really started when I was 12 because I got recording equipment for Christmas so then I took the singing to the next level.”The Northern High School graduate says messages of support keep pouring in from people in the community.General will appear on the sixth and final episode of the season alongside Grammy Award-winners Boy George and Alessia Cara.by Colin Gowdy Facebook
Advertisement Login/Register With: “Nobody’s safe,” Hamza Hatoum exclaimed after securing all the power as both the Head of Household and the Veto winner during a whirlwind week inside the Big Brother Canada house. And he meant it. The 27-year-old soccer coach grew sick and tired of navigating the game’s herd mentality and after barely surviving the block last week, the cut-throat Thunder Bay competitor made it his mission to turn the house upside down and shake up the game.By doing so, he waged war against alliances, sent shivers of paranoia through the house and eventually took his shot at 24-year-old Saskatoon sales executive Jesse Larson. And after the pair of athletic alphas faced off in a tense week-long battle of wit and egos, their crusade ended when Jesse exited the house on Thursday following a vote of 9-2. Jesse Larson, Big Brother Canada. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
Login/Register With: To play the lead role in Crystal, figure skater Nobahar Dadui has added acrobatics to her repertoire. (PHOTO BY MATT BEARD) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Iranian-born Canadian Nobahar Dadui was getting ready to hang up her skates when she got a surprise phone call from an unexpected company: Cirque du Soleil.The famed contemporary-circus troupe was workshopping a new show on ice and was looking for talent. Dadui, still a young 26 after years of competitive figure skating and professional shows on cruise ships and in theme parks, was game for a change.Now the athlete has become an acrobat, taking a starring role as the title character in Crystal, Cirque’s first show set on a frozen surface—an NHL–sized one, to be exact. Advertisement “What I found out was that I would be flying, and I was going to be in straps,” she says of the aerial routine she performs in the show—while wearing skates. Dadui is speaking to the Straightfrom a tour stop in Arizona, before Crystal heads to Abbotsford, the closest it will get to Vancouver. “It took me out of my comfort zone—but what’s good is that I don’t care about comfort zones,” she adds with a laugh. Even after years of competition in her chosen sport, the physical challenges of the acrobatic show were formidable: “I had done gymnastics when I was young, but it took me long hours to get upper-body strength. I couldn’t even do half a pull-up when I started.” Facebook Advertisement Twitter