WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Wednesday launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on the imports of automobiles into the United States, moving swiftly as talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled. President Donald Trump predicted earlier that U.S. automakers and auto workers would be “very happy” with the outcome of the NAFTA talks.The White House said in a statement that the president had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether the imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security. The president said in the statement that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.”The U.S. remains far apart on the talks over rewriting the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage in the talks with the two U.S. neighbours. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.Nearly half of the vehicles sold in the U.S. are imported, with many coming from assembly plants in Mexico and Canada. During a meeting with auto executives earlier this month, Trump said he would push for an increase in the production of vehicles built at U.S. plants. He has also criticized European Union auto imports and tariffs and earlier this year threatened a “tax” on European imports.A person familiar with the discussions said the president has suggested seeking new tariffs of 20 to 25 per cent on automobile imports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to speak about private deliberations.Trump brought a little-used weapon to his fight to protect auto workers: Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The provision authorizes the president to restrict imports and impose unlimited tariffs on national security grounds.The Trump administration used that authority in March to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports. Until then, the United States had pursued only two such investigations since joining the World Trade Organization in 1995. Both times — in a 1999 case involving oil imports and a 2001 case involving iron ore and steel imports — the Commerce Department refused to recommend sanctions.Critics fear that other countries will retaliate or use national security as a pretext to impose trade sanctions of their own.Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright PLLC, said the tariff threat is likely meant to pressure Mexico into accepting U.S. demands for NAFTA changes that would shift more auto production to the U.S. from Mexico. But he questioned whether it would work.“I do not believe that it will have the desired effect,” Ujczo said. “Everyone knows that (the investigation) will take too long and has no chance of surviving any legal challenge.”Trump offered a hint about the move earlier in the day on the South Lawn, telling reporters that “you’ll be seeing very soon what I’m talking about.” He noted that both Mexico and Canada have been “very difficult to deal with” during the negotiations.“I am not happy with their requests. But I will tell you in the end we win, we will win and will win big,” Trump said before departing for New York. He said America’s neighbours have been “very spoiled because nobody’s done this but I will tell you that what they ask for is not fair. Our auto workers are going to be extremely happy.”Mexico has so far resisted U.S. attempts to get higher regional content rules in the auto industry and move production to higher-wage U.S. and Canadian factories. The U.S. has also sought to change NAFTA’s dispute-resolution system, and include a sunset clause that would allow countries to exit after five years.The Trump administration has already missed an informal deadline that had been set by House Speaker Paul Ryan to get a revamped deal to Congress in time for lawmakers to vote on it in a midterm election year. Mexico, meanwhile, will hold presidential elections on July 1 and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist candidate who has led in polls, has said the re-negotiation shouldn’t be rushed through and should be left to the winner of the election.If the negotiators fail to agree to a revamped version of NAFTA, the discussions could be extended into 2019. Trump could also carry out his threat to abandon the agreement that he has long railed against, throwing commerce among the three countries into disarray.Trump has sought to overhaul NAFTA in an effort to return auto production to the United States and reduce America’s trade deficit. The U.S. has been demanding that a percentage of a car’s content of auto parts originate in a country — the U.S. or Canada — with average auto worker wages of about $15 an hour to qualify for NAFTA’s duty-free status.But companies have built supply chains that straddle NAFTA borders and changing the rules could disrupt their operations, raise costs and potentially put them at a competitive disadvantage with manufacturers in Asia and Europe.___AP Business Writer Paul Wiseman contributed to this report.
VANCOUVER – The union representing postal workers wants Canada Post to release the number of community mailboxes that have been broken into across the country.Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said he’s frustrated by the Crown corporation’s unwillingness to share how frequently mail theft occurs.“We know it’s a problem and we know it’s a big problem,” Palecek said Monday in an interview. “We’re trying to find out how big so we can look for solutions.”The union has campaigned for the restoration of door-to-door service since the former Conservative government announced in 2013 it would be cutting the service. The Liberals campaigned in the last federal election to restore home delivery, and the results of a review into the future of Canada Post are expected to be released later this year.Palecek said that while exact numbers are unavailable, anecdotal reports from postal workers indicate that mail sent to between 1,500 and 4,000 addresses in Richmond, B.C., is being held.That could be for a variety of reasons, including break-ins to apartment panels or damaged community mailboxes, he said.“We’re just trying to know what we’re dealing with here. This should be a simple question.”Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton disputed the union’s claims, saying there are only 1,000 townhomes in Richmond that are without postal service, and none of them receive mail via community mailboxes.All of those addresses are part of a single development where private mailboxes were vandalized and have yet to be repaired, he said, adding that the boxes are the responsibility of the residents association.“We take security of the mail very seriously,” Hamilton said, adding that Canada Post does not release statistics on mailbox theft or vandalism because of security concerns.“We work with police so there’s no secret. It’s just we don’t provide those publicly.”Canada Post doesn’t want to encourage thefts and doesn’t discuss security measures it puts in place, he said.Home delivery started to be phased out in 2015, but the Liberals stopped the process pending the review of Canada Post’s operations.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter
An Arctic climate change study has been cancelled because warming temperatures have filled the sea off northern Newfoundland with hazardous ice up to eight metres thick.Instead of cruising north with a team of scientists, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen has been busy freeing fishing boats and helping other ships surrounded in ice that usually doesn’t travel so far south at this time of year.David Barber, the expedition’s chief scientist, says the irony is that climate change itself has put the climate change research project on ice.“I have been in the Arctic for 35 years and this is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had,” he said Monday.“Normally these conditions aren’t so bad. This is climate change fully in action — affecting our ability to make use of marine resources and transport things.”Barber said warming temperatures have made the ice in the high Arctic thinner. When buffeted by storms and high winds, the ice can move much more freely and travels south on ocean currents.The expedition of 40 scientists was planning to travel to Hudson Bay, but the Amundsen had to be diverted to help ships caught in the Strait of Belle Isle and along the coast of Newfoundland.Barber, a University of Manitoba Arctic ice expert, said the heavy icebreaker helped rescue stranded fisherman and carved a path for tankers carrying diesel fuel to remote communities.At times, the ice was so thick the ship had to repeatedly back up and ram its way through the frozen barrier.“Typically we run into this when we overwinter in the High Arctic,” he said. “To be doing that off the Newfoundland coast in June was completely unheard of.”Barber said the delay caused by the ice prompted the cancellation of the expedition, but scientists put the time to good use. They will share information about the ice conditions with the Coast Guard and shipping companies.The Coast Guard said last week that some fishing boats that had been stuck in thick ice had returned safely to shore. Five fishermen were flown to safety by a military helicopter after their boat started to take on water.Scientists said the ice conditions are another indicator that climate change is not something that is going to happen — it is already here.Barber said the shifting of thick ice will have implications for ship movements in other areas of the Arctic, including Baffin Bay and parts of the Northwest Passage.He suggested the federal government needs to be more prepared for the changes through better monitoring of ice conditions and ensuring that Canada’s fleet of aging heavy icebreakers is up to the task.“It was a real eye-opener for me — just how unprepared we are for climate change when it comes to ice hazards,” he said.“This is a wake-up call for all of us in the country.”
HALIFAX – NHL superstar Sidney Crosby said it’s “just a number,” as he turned 30 on Monday and brandished the Stanley Cup in a parade that wound through Halifax in his native Nova Scotia.Crosby rode on the back of a white pickup truck as marshal of the city’s annual Natal Day parade, waving to thousands of fans who lined the streets for a glimpse of “Sid the Kid” and the revered cup.Crosby told reporters he’ll enjoy the celebrations before setting his sights on training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins later this month. The team will be making a bid for its third straight championship.“I have a pretty good understanding of how hard two is, so I don’t imagine what three must be like. I’d love to find out,” Crosby said.“It’s gonna be tough but we’re going to training camp with that in mind so it’ll be a big challenge but, you know, why not?”The three-time Stanley Cup champ and future Hall of Famer said NHL hockey just keeps getting faster, “And I like that.”He smiled when asked if, at 30, he has any grey hairs yet.“Lots,” he said to laughter from the room. “Greys and whites.”People lining the parade route sang Happy Birthday as Crosby passed, behind a marching band at the front of the parade.It began in Halifax’s historic north end, and then across a harbour bridge to Dartmouth. Crosby rode on the back of a white pick up truck, waving to the crowd with one hand and steadying the large silver cup with the other.The crowd cheered when the marching band played a rendition of Hockey Night in Canada.Parade-goer Colin Roberts, 12, plays peewee hockey and said Crosby is a role model.“He’s so good but he stays low key. He signs autographs.”Roberts’ nine-year-old brother, Eric, said Crosby is also kind.“He’s such a good player but he also takes the time to visit old folks’ homes.”Photos on social media over the weekend showed Crosby taking the cup to a local children’s hospital and hoisting it over his head beside an airplane in Halifax.Sana Rehan said she became a Crosby fan after watching him play in the 2010 Winter Olympics.“He’s so good, on and off the ice. He’s so humble and such a strong work ethic.”Rehan said her family has bonded over hockey and watching Crosby ever since, and Monday was the first time they saw the hockey star — and the Stanley Cup — in person.“He’s the best player in the world and we all became fans after that (Olympic) game.”Her 12-year-old brother Ahmad, who will play bantam hockey next year, said Crosby made him want to play hockey.“He’s got such skill. It makes you want to cheer for him.”Monday afternoon, Crosby was to take the cup to Rimouski, where he played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
VANCOUVER – A British Columbia man convicted of criminally harassing his ex-wife says he created a revenge website to destroy her reputation because she insulted him in emails and had him deported without their teenage son.Patrick Fox told his sentencing hearing on Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court that he blames Desiree Capuano for his deportation from the U.S. in 2013 following his conviction for perjury. She had custody of their son at the time.“If she had allowed (our son) to choose where he was going to live … maybe I might not have felt or believed that Desiree was such an evil person that the whole world should know the kind of person she is,” he said.Fox was found guilty by a jury in June of criminally harassing Capuano through threatening emails and the website, which maligns her as a white supremacist, drug addict and child abuser. He also posted private photos and her phone number and address.He repeatedly defended his online posts on Tuesday and claimed that the allegations are all true to the best of his knowledge.Fox, a Canadian citizen, testified that Capuano informed U.S. authorities that he was staying in the country illegally following his perjury conviction. He said that after border agents dropped him off at the Washington state-B.C. border in 2013, he was homeless for a period.Crown counsel Mark Myhre questioned Fox about the factual basis for blog posts in which he described Capuano’s fiance as a drug user and Capuano as a white supremacist. The posts are written as if she is the author, with titles including, “Yes, I am a racist.”Fox responded that he assumes her fiance uses caffeine, which is a drug, and pointed to an email in which Capuano compared him to a “dirty Mexican.”He also defended a post in which he described the logistics of travelling to Arizona, where Capuano lives, and shooting her. He said he was merely responding to her allegation in a CBC story that she feared he would cross the border to shoot her.“Otherwise, it would be a situation where Ms. Capuano could go on the news and say anything she wants about me and I can’t defend myself at all,” he said.He also alleged that Capuano has not taken meaningful steps to get the website taken down. Myhre responded that she repeatedly complained to police, as well as the company that hosts the website, and went to an Arizona court to get a protective order.“I don’t believe she really wants it taken down,” Fox replied.Fox arrived at the sentencing hearing on Tuesday in a red prison jumpsuit and carrying a stack of 700 pages of emails, dating back to 2011, which he alleged showed that Capuano and her fiance had threatened and taunted him for years before he created the website.Myhre told the judge that Fox had initiated many of the conversations.“They amount to nothing more than petty squabbling … and just don’t possibly amount to the kind of thing that might be considered provocation,” Myhre said.Fox also submitted to the court audio recordings of radio and television interviews Capuano conducted. He said a CBC story in February 2016, which prompted widespread media coverage, made him look like a “monster.”He said Capuano’s “false claims” and the negative media attention cost him his job, friends and business associates. His favourite restaurants stopped serving him, he added.Capuano has also filed a lawsuit against Fox alleging defamation, emotional distress, intimidation and loss of economic opportunities. She is seeking damages and an order requiring Fox to take down the website.None of the allegations contained in the notice of civil claim has been proven and Fox has not yet had an opportunity to respond.The sentencing hearing is expected to continue through Wednesday.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
EDMONTON – It was a short court appearance this morning for a Somali refugee accused of attacking an Edmonton police officer before running down four pedestrians with a truck.The case against Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was adjourned until Nov. 14 so he can get a lawyer who can prepare a bail application.Sharif, who is 30, is charged with attempted murder, dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.Edmonton police have raised the possibility of terrorism charges against Sharif because there was an Islamic State flag in his car and he was investigated two years ago for espousing extremist views.But the RCMP has said the investigation is complex, and no terrorism charges have been laid so far.Sharif said nothing during his brief time in court.
OTTAWA – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says stress testing has confirmed its mortgage loan insurance and securitization businesses are able to withstand a severe shock.The housing agency tested the strength of its businesses against several extreme scenarios.It looked at the impact of an earthquake in a major urban centre, a steep drop in the price of oil and a U.S.-style housing correction where unemployment rises along with a fall in house prices of 30 per cent.CMHC also examined an anti-globalization scenario that included a rise in protectionism, widespread use of tariffs and a euro-zone break-up.The agency began publicly releasing its stress test results in 2015.CMHC provides mortgage loan insurance for home buyers as well as securitization guarantee programs to help financial institutions.
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wants to re-examine Canada’s legislation to join a global arms control treaty after criticism that it gave her too much power, says the Liberal head of the committee studying the bill.Liberal MP Bob Nault said Freeland also wants to take a second look at another heavily criticized portion the bill: that it contains a loophole that could lead to weapons flowing to countries with poor human rights records.The House of Commons foreign affairs committee, which Nault chairs, is studying the bill, which would allow Canada to join the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty aimed at regulating the trade of a wide range of armaments from handguns to tanks.Groups such as Amnesty International have urged the government to amend the bill to close a loophole they say would allow Canada to sell arms to the United States, with no assurances they could not then be transferred to countries that abuse human rights, including Saudi Arabia.Alex Neve, Amnesty’s Canadian secretary general, testified that the proposed bill isn’t strong enough to prevent “diversion” of its U.S.-bound exports to rights abusing countries.He said a recently released U.S. Department of Defence audit found that it could not account for $1 billion worth of U.S. weapons, including tens of thousands of assault rifles, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of armoured vehicles exported to Kuwait and Iraq.Nault said he recently discussed the issue with Freeland and “she’s quite prepared to look at some amendments.”“We’re hearing that people feel we can do a better job, we can do more,” Nault added.Peggy Mason, head of the Rideau Institute think tank, told the committee the bill gives too much discretion to the foreign affairs minister to approve arms exports. Human rights groups say the problem with that was exemplified last year when former foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion approved export permits for a large chunk of the controversial $15-billion sale in light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.She said that a “key step in bringing Canada into line with the ATT involves placing hard limits on this discretion.”Nault said a committee meeting set for Thursday was postponed so the government could take a closer look at amendments put forth by the NDP to potentially strengthen the bill.The government didn’t want to use its majority on committee to force passage of the bill, he added.Helene Laverdiere, the New Democrat foreign affairs critic and committee member who proposed amendments, said she is happy with the decision to postpone hearings so the government can contemplate changes.“It’s better than outright refusal,” she said. “But we have to wait to see what they come back with.”The former Conservative government kept Canada out of the UN treaty because it feared it was a back door way to bring back the federal gun registry, which it abolished in 2012 as the fulfillment of a long-standing election promise to its rural base of supporters.Nault said he doesn’t believe the treaty contains any provision that would affect lawful gun ownership in Canada. But he added he is “comfortable we could put some language in there to assure domestic gun owners that this would have no impact on them.”
OTTAWA – Advocates for a Montreal man who is suing the federal government over his detention and treatment in Sudan are crying foul over what they are calling a new, unjustified delay in the case.Lawyer Paul Champ says the Justice Department will ask a Federal Court judge on Monday to indefinitely adjourn the civil trial launched by Abousfian Abdelrazik while it seeks a review by another judge of the evidence disclosed in the case so far.Abdelrazik is suing the Canadian government for an apology and compensation over his lengthy overseas detention, claiming that he was tortured by Sudanese intelligence officials.Champ told a news conference Friday he received a letter from Justice this week calling for a review of thousands of pages of material under national security provisions of the Canada Evidence Act.“It’s inexplicable,” he said. “You don’t choose to do that two days before the start of a trial. There is no excuse, in our view.”The adjournment request could result in a further delay of the trial for months or even years in what has already been a long-running case, Champ added.Ten weeks of proceedings in the case were to get underway on Monday and Champ said flights and hotels for witnesses from overseas had already been booked.“We are asking the government to do the right thing: stop these obstructive tactics, go to trial, have the evidence come out,” he said. “Or alternatively, they have the option of settling this case.”Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, called the move a violation of Canada’s international human rights obligations. “The word that comes to mind? Unconscionable.”The office of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould had no immediate comment Friday.Abdelrazik, 56, became a Canadian citizen in 1995, five years after he arrived in Canada from Africa as a refugee.He was arrested during a 2003 visit to Sudan to see family. In custody, Abdelrazik was interrogated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service about suspected extremist links. He says he was tortured by Sudanese intelligence officials during two periods of detention.Abdelrazik denies any involvement in terrorism and Canada has said it knew nothing of his purported abuse.A Security Intelligence Review Committee probe of the Abdelrazik case, made public in 2013, found that while CSIS followed proper authorities in seeking approval to interview Abdelrazik following his initial imprisonment, the spy service “inappropriately, and in contravention of CSIS policy, disclosed personal and classified information.”
HALIFAX — Advocates say Nova Scotians’ access to the abortion pill remains a major issue, with one student saying she had to wait nearly three weeks because of barriers including finding a doctor to prescribe the drug, testing delays and billing issues.The woman, from the Toronto area, says she was five weeks pregnant when she took a home pregnancy test.But she was almost eight weeks by the time she obtained the abortion pill Mifegymiso — a wait she describes as excruciating, and advocates say fails to realize the potential of the two-drug combination used to terminate early pregnancy.“I was having severe morning sickness and on top of that feeling a lot of shame. Trying to go through this whole process was daunting and intimidating,” she says.The student says she booked an appointment at Cape Breton University’s health clinic in Sydney, N.S., as soon as she found out she was pregnant and asked for the abortion pill.Instead, she was told to call an abortion clinic in Halifax.“It’s very overwhelming trying to figure out the health care system when you’re facing an unwanted pregnancy,” she says.Inquiries by The Canadian Press have revealed that only one of six university health clinics contacted across the province will prescribe Mifegymiso, a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol tablets available in Canada since 2016 and publicly funded in Nova Scotia since last November.The only Nova Scotia university that currently offers medical abortions — via the abortion pill, rather than a surgical procedure — as part of its primary care is St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. Students at other universities are referred elsewhere, potentially delaying access. That’s despite data that shows people aged 18-29 are the most likely to obtain an abortion, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.Perhaps surprisingly, even the Halifax Sexual Health Centre — formerly Planned Parenthood — does not yet offer Mifegymiso, citing a physician shortage, funding issues and inadequate nursing support.“The biggest issue continues to be that this is considered a specialized service instead of the primary care that it is,” says Martha Paynter, a Halifax-area nurse and women’s health advocate. “We as clinicians need to step up.”She adds: “Medical abortion is very time dependent. When you’re eight weeks pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy … that’s a really difficult moment to become an advocate.”A series of stories by The Canadian Press in 2017 shone a national spotlight on barriers to abortion access in Nova Scotia, as multiple women described facing “agonizing” and “cruel” hurdles. The stories helped prompt a number of changes, including a new toll-free information line, the removal of a historical practice requiring women to obtain a referral before booking an abortion, and provincial funding for the abortion pill.But it appears women are still facing delays in some cases.The CBU student was told to call Nova Scotia’s only abortion clinic — the Women’s Choice Clinic at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.It offers both surgical and medical abortions, and can also refer women to a province-wide network of health professionals that are willing to prescribe Mifegymiso. There are currently nine family doctors, three gynecologists and one nurse practitioner on the list — though Lianne Yoshida, the medical director of the clinic, says it’s possible others are prescribing Mifegymiso to their own patients but are not part of the clinic’s network.The slow pickup could be attributed in part to early restrictions on the drug — including a training requirement for prescribers that has since been dropped, and the lack of a billing code in Nova Scotia until last spring.Still, demand for the abortion pill has been steady, with 670 Mifegymiso prescriptions logged in the provincial Drug Information System from Nov. 1, 2017, to Oct. 31, 2018, according to provincial data. That’s nearly two women terminating early pregnancies using medication every day in Nova Scotia.Meanwhile, the CBU student called the Halifax clinic as directed by the university health clinic, and she says she was then referred to a prescriber in Sydney.But she faced further delays obtaining an ultrasound and blood work, and ran into billing issues as a student from out-of-province.Although the abortion pill is publicly funded both in her home province of Ontario as well as in Nova Scotia, she found herself without any coverage for the abortion pill — which comes with a roughly $400 price tag.Without money to pay for the drug, she scrambled to obtain private health insurance through the university and ended up still paying about $70 out-of-pocket.Health Department spokeswoman Tracy Barron says the billing issue stems from Ontario’s coverage rules. She says if a Nova Scotia resident is studying in another province, for example, Nova Scotia would still provide coverage.Frederique Chabot, director of health promotion with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, says Alberta’s coverage of Mifegymiso is considered “gold standard.”“Alberta actually anticipated this kind of issue,” Chabot says, noting the province only requires proof of address to have the prescription covered.Although still within the nine-week limit to take the drug, the student says by the time she took the abortion pill she was further along than she had hoped.She says neither her doctor nor the pharmacist prepared her for the immense pain and nausea.“My body went into shock, it was terrible,” she says. “They told me to have maxi pads and expect a lot of blood. But it was excruciating.”The student says she was told that if she vomited, the medications wouldn’t work properly and she’d have to start the process again.“I was alone and started to throw up and I had to keep swallowing it … I was curled up, my whole body was shaking for four hours.”She says she would have appreciated more information to make a fully informed decision about a medical abortion and to prepare for the physical pain.Dr. Dustin Costescu, a family planning specialist, says pain increases with advanced gestational age — and that’s why timely access to Mifegymiso is important.“There’s always a wait inherent to anything in health care,” he says. “But more than two weeks for a medical abortion seems long.”Shannon Hardy, an abortion doula and co-ordinator of Atlantic Abortion Support Services, says despite recent improvements there remains an “underground” element to accessing an abortion in Nova Scotia.“People will share by word-of-mouth which doctors will prescribe Mifegymiso and which pharmacies will even stock the medication,” Hardy says, pointing out another potential barrier women may face filling the prescription.Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says she hasn’t campaigned with the federal party leader because her focus is on what’s best for the province — including pipelines.During a campaign stop in Calgary today, Notley was asked about a Thursday rally with federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney.They attacked what they call the “Notley-Trudeau alliance.”Notley said the Kenney-Scheer rally makes her wonder if Kenney is even interested in standing up for Albertans.She questioned whether he’s trying to get back into the ring in Ottawa for his own political purposes.Notley said her job is to stand up for the people of Alberta rather than align with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.“As you know, I don’t necessarily agree with the leader of our federal party as far as how that connects with the matter of pipelines,” she said. “So, no, we are not going to campaign together because we have two very different opinions on the issue.”The Canadian Press
GRANBY, Que. — A seven-year-old girl whose death has become a rallying cry for change to Quebec’s youth protection system was laid to rest Thursday at a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners —including many complete strangers.A hush fell over those gathered as pall bearers carried the child-sized wooden coffin into St-Eugene Church in Granby, Que.The 78-year-old church was decorated with several dozen stuffed animals amid the ornate stained-glass windows and religious statues.“There were numerous messages — but above all to the little girl, we asked forgiveness,” said Serge Pelletier, the priest who presided over the sombre ceremony that he said was meant to help the family mourn.“And for the community — and Quebec at large — it was ‘Can we be more attentive to one another?’” Pelletier added. “Particularly for those most vulnerable, the children.”The emotional ceremony was interspersed with tears and hymns for the little girl, who cannot be named because she was involved with youth protection and is also the subject of a court-ordered publication ban.The young girl died in hospital April 30, one day after police found her at a home in the city about 80 kilometres east of Montreal.Two adults — identified by people close to the family as the girl’s father and his partner — were charged with unlawful confinement. The partner — described as the young girl’s stepmother — was also charged with aggravated assault. They return to court on May 23.Her death has triggered a number of probes and the Quebec government has ordered a public coroner’s inquest into the death of the girl, whose case had been known to youth protection services for several years prior to her death.The girl’s paternal grandmother and mother struggled with emotions as they read a poem, and were overcome as they sang a song by late French singer Johnny Hallyday called “Que Je t’aime.”The girl’s paternal uncle, who has actively advocated for the girl and for change, burst into tears as he read a card perched in a bouquet of flowers.“You left us on tiptoes, quietly, without warning,” he said through sobs. “We are still in shock.”Hundreds of people had paid tribute in the week since her death, leaving stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial at the girl’s home a few kilometres from the church.Her family donated half to the hospital in Sherbrooke, Que. The other stuffies, placed all over the church, went home with mourners, with instructions from the family to give them to a child who needs it.“We had to promise to give one to a child in need and I think that’s the most beautiful message the family could have given today,” said Darlene Ryan, a victims’-rights advocate mandated to speak on behalf of the family.Ryan said they want a full accounting of what happened in the girl’s case and for Quebec to create an ombudsman to deal specifically with child protection cases.“Children are in need of help,” Ryan said. “And the victim we were here for today desperately needed help and the system was not there to do so.”Ryan said the family is emotionally spent, but adds that their ordeal is just beginning. Her organization, which deals with families of missing and murdered individuals, says they want an independent inquiry into how the system failed the girl.The family’s immediate concern is the victim’s younger brother, who was removed from the home after his sister died and is now in the system instead of being put in the care of the paternal grandparents.“He’s with strangers at the moment, we don’t know where and we don’t know what type of help he’s getting,” Ryan said.Pelletier said the same shock and disbelief heard elsewhere in Quebec is being felt in Granby, but perhaps on a more visceral level given the closeness of the community.Some people among the mourners had vague connections to the family, such as having helped one relative move or crossing paths with another.Others didn’t know them at all, but the story has filtered throughout town.“I came to commemorate the little girl, to show our sympathies,” said parishioner Helene Bourdeau, who’s been a member of the parish for 69 years and said she felt for the girl’s mother.“I lost a little guy too, so I feel close to her.”For Therese Fournier, a Granby resident since 1979, the young girl’s death brought about a level of indignation as details have emerged about the girl’s life.“I feel like there was a lot of outrage and pain,” Fournier said, as she clutched a newborn member of her own family outside the church.“When I heard of her death, I felt anger, it’s something we didn’t think could happen.”— Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitter.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
EDMONTON (CITYNEWS) – You’ve heard of a bull in a china shop, but what about a deer in a thrift store? One West Edmonton business is assessing the damage after a wildlife encounter.John Francis, the manager of Mission Thrift Store says if it weren’t for security video of what happened just after opening on June 26, he might not have believed his employee’s claim.“I was getting to the stations and getting the day started,” he says. “The deer trotted through pretty quickly, right onto the sales floor.”It took advantage of an open back door, slipping past volunteers unnoticed, skipping the racks of clothing and shelves of books, when its eyes fell on the china.“It jumped straight ahead right through the shelving, busted a bunch of dishes, took the plate glass out immediately, kind of landed on the sidewalk, got up and trotted across the road,” Francis says.The non-profit now has to replace the window, but they say they are impressed the deer seemed unharmed, with no blood or fur left behind as it went trotting off down the busy street.“This neighborhood gets more interesting every day I’m here,” Francis adds.And he says the deer is welcome to come back, the staff just it hope it leaves through the front door.
MONTREAL — The Canadian Judicial Council says it will launch a public inquiry into the alleged conduct of a Quebec Superior Court judge.A five-member judicial conduct review panel looked at two separate allegations against Justice Gerard Dugre and decided they warranted an inquiry.In both instances, the allegations are not proven.One allegation involves a lengthy delay in rendering a decision in a divorce and family-related matter, rendered in late November 2018, more than nine months after the judge took the case under deliberation.The council says this was not the first allegation of a tardy decision, and it could demonstrate a pattern.The other allegation involves intemperate and inappropriate language stemming during a family law hearing in September 2018.“The allegations were that the judge was discourteous and the review panel found indeed the judge was intimidating, he was sometimes threatening and he did not let the parties provide their views, he did not let them make their arguments appropriately,” the council’s executive director, Norman Sabourin, said.The panel reviewed the matter and spoke with the judge and the chief justice of the Quebec Superior Court before concluding it might be serious enough to warrant the removal of the judge if found to be valid.The next step will involve creating an inquiry committee and the federal justice minister can appoint members of the bar to sit on the committee, Sabourin said.The council is responsible for investigating allegations against federally appointed judges.The Canadian Press
Some of the greatest names from the worlds of fashion, art and music attended the British Heart Foundation’s Tunnel of Love fundraiser at the Victoria and Albert Museum earlier this month to raise money for their fight against heart failure.Video: Tunnel of Love 2015The event was fronted by British model Amber Le Bon and Youtube sensation Jim Chapman, with other guests including fashion vlogger Tanya Burr, model Millie Mackintosh, blogger Niomi Smart, TV presenter Angela Scanlon and Ladies of London star Marissa Hermer.High-profile artists in attendance included Gavin Turk and novelist Anthony Horowitz OBE.Pixie Lott took to the stage during the evening, with Lilah Parsons hitting the decks to get the party started followed by Billy Clark taking the later DJ slot.Hugh Edmeades, Christie’s International Director of Auctioneering, conducted the live auction which raised almost £70,000 for life saving research. The star prize of the evening was the chance to feature in Anthony Horowitz’s new Sherlock book – and two parts were auctioned for an incredible £23,000.The chance to have a portrait painted by Humphrey Ocean RA went for an incredible £11,000 and a week in a private house in Barbados raised £10,000.Guests also had the chance to bid on unique lots, including Kylie Minogue’s couture dress; a sought-after photograph of the Rolling Stones from 1968; a mentoring day to see inside workings of a top London fashion magazine and flowers for a year from Absolute Flowers and Home.Guests enjoyed Boujis cocktails during the canapé reception and a sumptuous three course meal by Zafferano accompanied by William Hardy Chardonnay and Shiraz.After dinner, guests played games including The Shoopla by Rayne Shoes, the Designer Bag Raffle and Perfume Roulette and Boujis hosted an after party.All proceeds from the event will help raise funds for the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.Simon Gillespie, BHF Chief Executive, said: “It was such an incredible evening and we’re so grateful to everyone who came for making it such an unforgettable night.“The money raised will help our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal and specifically a new ground-breaking Institute to drive forwards our mission to find a cure for heart failure.”