Province Celebrates Duke Awareness Week

first_imgYoung Nova Scotians who are challenging themselves and making a difference in their communities are being celebrated today, Oct. 15, with a flag raising at Province House, in Halifax as part of Duke Awareness Week. The awareness week has young people, program participants, leaders, board members, parents and volunteers to take part in events that highlight the great work youth are doing in their communities. “Community involvement inspires participants to reach their full potential,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill. “The award is a chance to recognize their hard work both inside and outside the classroom.” The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program promotes community and national development, while participants learn the life skills that lead to personal growth and achievement. More than 4,000 Nova Scotians, age 14 to 25, participate in the program each year. This is the 46th anniversary of the award in Nova Scotia. For more information, visit .last_img read more

Film Production Announced

first_img Quick facts: To learn more about the application process, eligible costs and guidelines, go to Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund at -30- Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has announced a newly approved production through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund today, Jan. 8. Feature film, Murmur, produced by Houseplant Films Inc., has been approved for a funding commitment of $47,757 based on an eligible Nova Scotia expenditure of $164,682. More details about productions approved for incentives through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund are available on the NSBI website at the fund applies to eligible costs such as labour, goods or services purchased from a Nova Scotia-based supplier when an application is approved, NSBI issues a commitment letter which can be used for bank financing. When the applicant enters the official incentive agreement, the agreement can also be used for the financing process when the production is approved for a funding commitment, the funds are placed in reserve when the production is complete the applicant submits a final claim to NSBI for processing and disbursement all applications and claims are processed and approved by NSBIlast_img read more

Trump terminates USD 56 bln trade concessions for India under GSP programme

first_imgWashington: President Donald Trump has terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation from June 5, ending the country’s USD 5.6 billion trade concessions under the key GSP programme after determining that it has not assured the US that it will provide “equitable and reasonable access” to its markets. The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist “I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019,” Trump said in a proclamation on Friday ignoring the plea made by several top American lawmakers. On March 4, Trump announced that the US intends to terminate India’s designations as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme. The 60-day notice period ended on May 3. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The Trump administration has prioritised working with the Government of India to ensure that US companies have a level-playing field, a senior State Department official told reporters on Thursday, hours after Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time following his spectacular electoral victory in the general elections. Meanwhile reacting to President Trump’s decision, India Saturday said it will continue to work with the US to strengthen economic ties in the wake of America’s decision to withdraw export benefits under the GSP programme. In a statement, the commerce ministry in New Delhi said that in any relationship, particularly in the area of economic ties, there are ongoing issues which get resolved mutually from time to time. It said that the GSP benefits given by developed countries like the US to developing nations such as India are “unilateral, non reciprocal and non discriminatory”. India exported goods worth USD 5.6 billion under GSP last year, but “our total GSP benefits were to the tune of only USD 190 million”, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan had said in March. Under the GSP programme, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress. India was the largest beneficiary of the programme in 2017 with USD 5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status and Turkey the fifth largest with USD 1.7 billion in covered imports, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued in January. The GSP criteria includes, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favour of the US citizens or corporations, combating child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the US with equitable and reasonable market access. Countries can also be graduated from the GSP programme depending on factors related to economic development. The Trump administration argues that New Delhi has failed to assure America that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors. In a statement, Coalition for GSP executive director Dan Anthony said Trump’s decision will cost American businesses over USD 300 million in additional tariffs every year. “Without GSP benefits American small businesses face a new tax that will mean job losses, cancelled investments and cost increases for consumers. Only a year after the Senate and House passed a three year reauthorisation of the GSP by a near unanimous margin, the Trump administration has kicked out the GSP country that saves American companies more money than any other,” he said. Anthony said the Trump administration made the decision in the face of opposition from members of the Congress and hundreds of American businesses that have called for continued GSP eligibility for India. “They also acted despite India’s willingness to negotiate new market access for American exports. Thus, there are no winners from today’s decision. American importers will pay more, while some American exporters will continue to face current market access barriers in India and others, including farmers, are very likely to be subject to new retaliatory tariff, Anthony said. In a statement in March, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said that India has failed to provide the US with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors. The Trump administration had launched an eligibility review of India’s compliance with the GSP market access criterion in April 2018. “India has implemented a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce. Despite intensive engagement, India has failed to take the necessary steps to meet the GSP criterion,” the USTR said.last_img read more

Azim Premji to retire as executive chairman of Wipro son Rishad to

first_imgNew Delhi: IT czar Azim Premji will retire as executive chairman of Wipro with effect from July 30, but will continue to serve on the board as non-executive director and founder chairman, the company said in a statement. His son Rishad Premji, chief strategy officer and a board member, will take over as the executive chairman of the company. “Azim Premji, one of the pioneers of the Indian technology industry and founder of Wipro Limited, will retire as executive chairman upon the completion of his current term on July 30, 2019, after having led the company for 53 years. However, he will continue to serve on the board as non-executive director and founder chairman,” Wipro said in a statement announcing the top deck changes. The board has also announced that chief executive and executive director Abidali Z Neemuchwala will be re-designated as CEO and managing director. “These changes will be effective July 31, 2019, subject to shareholder approval,” the company added.last_img read more

South Bengal to face heat wave as monsoon continues to elude state

first_imgKolkata: South Bengal will continue to burn under the scorching sun for the next couple of days before monsoon finally sets in. Meanwhile, thundershower is predicted in North Bengal in the next 48 hours, said the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.Rains have already entered the North Bengal districts, which will further intensify in the next few days, the weather office said. The MeT office also predicted that mercury may slide up, resulting in discomfort for people in the South Bengal districts, at least for the next two days. The Western districts will continue to experience a hot spell as well. The districts like Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore will witness high temperature, with the humidity shooting up as well. A heat wave will continue to sweep through the region. However, there will be relief for the people in North Bengal districts, as the weather office has forecast thundershower and gusty winds in various parts, while the South Bengal districts are expected to face very hot and humid conditions. “There will be extremely hot and humid conditions in various South Bengal districts. Temperature will continue to remain above 40 degree Celsius in Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Jhargram. In other South Bengal districts, the highest temperature may remain between 36 and 39 degree Celsius in the next few days,” said a weather official. The weather office is yet to announce the date of arrival of monsoon in South Bengal. There will be intense heat spell in all the South Bengal districts, including the city. The discomfort level will be high during the day but during the night, the temperature will go down slightly in South Bengal. There is no prediction of rain in the city and its adjoining districts in the next 48 hours.last_img read more

Indian jailed for molesting minor girls in Singapore swimming pool

first_imgSingapore: A 37-year-old Indian national was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail on Wednesday for molesting six minor girls at a Singapore swimming pool last year. Job Mathew Panakkal, who was working in Singapore as an infrastructure engineer, pleaded guilty to three charges of outraging the modesty of a minor, with another four charges taken into consideration. The girls were aged between 10 and 13, the Channel News Asia reported. According to a police report filed by a social worker, Job pursued the girls by swimming faster than them even when they tried to swim away from him at the Hougang Swimming Complex in September in the north eastern suburb housing estate. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’The court heard that Job entered the adult pool at about 7pm and began swimming laps in the first lane. A group of boys and girls entered the pool after him, and some girls began swimming in his lane. “When he swam in the direction of the girls in lane 1, the accused felt the urge to touch them and formed the intention to outrage their modesty,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting. One of the victims, who was 13, was in the pool when she noticed Job swimming quickly on her right. As he swam past her, he stretched out his hand and touched her right thigh. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingAfter she felt this, the girl swam faster, but Job continued following her until she swam between other swimmers who were in a group. The youngest victim, who was 10, felt two fingers on her left thigh and turned to see Job. Feeling “disgusted and outraged”, she went to the end of the pool and told her swimming instructor about what had happened, court documents said. A 12-year-old victim was molested on her buttocks as Job swam past her, tapping her with his hand.last_img read more

Indias balancing act

first_imgWith India, the largest democracy of the world, rapidly rising to its potential as a global player during the Modi regime, its natural placement in the international arena is attracting the limelight after a long period of survival without shine. The hallmark of this is an implicit acknowledgement by the world powers that India stood for sanity in global affairs. Three things have helped in establishing this image for India–all to be credited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. First, he sent down a clear message that India had shed the ideological baggage of the Cold War era and would bilaterally strike a friendship with everyone based on mutual economic benefit and shared security perspectives. Secondly, he showed an uncanny understanding of ‘knowledge economy’ in projecting India as one of the largest markets of the world that was available to others for equitable offers. And, finally, he convincingly presented to the world an India committed to ‘nation first’ but otherwise completely pledged in working for global peace and development. Also Read – A special kind of bondIt is his personal integrity, belief in India’s higher values as a nation with a world view and an intrinsic boldness about dealing with an external threat to national security that together made it possible for him to develop upfront a remarkable personal equation with world leaders like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Emmanuel Macron. It cannot go unnoticed that at every international gathering in his time, India has emerged stronger as an advocate of cooperation for the common good. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe G20 Summit in Japan saw India successfully handling the US-Japan combine on one hand and the Russian and Chinese leadership on the other. With the US and Japan, Modi regime has struck a remarkably high level of convergence of thought in economic and security affairs. It is on the global threat of terrorism that the Indo-US relationship, rooted in a total identity of outlook, has enabled India to push Pakistan to near isolation in the world community–as a breeding ground of Islamic militants. President Donald Trump, with his visceral aversion to violence of Islamic extremists, has called out Pakistan for providing a safe haven to terrorists and unlike his predecessors, not drawn a line between Islamic radicals who attacked the US-led West and the militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen that targeted India alone at the behest of the Pak army-ISI combine. With the US emerging as the biggest supplier of defence equipment to India and the Modi-Trump consonance on promotion of trade between the two countries helping to create an atmosphere of accommodation, there is every likelihood of issues like S-400 missile deal with Russia and tariff imbalance being resolved in time, and even the conundrum of American sanctions on Iran softening up to India’s advantage. The US spokesperson specifically mentioned that 5G rollout had figured in the bilateral meeting between Modi and Trump–this is a major business opportunity that India offers at present. As regards Japan, Modi’s personal rapport with Abe is strong and technology-based industrial cooperation between India and Japan is gathering momentum. India’s stand on sharing of Indian data with Japan is going to be incumbent on the evolution of India’s policy on the subject–taking into account the fact of ‘data being the new oil’, as Mukesh Ambani put it at a conference last year, and weighing in the mutuality of economic and security interests of both sides. India’s collaboration with the US and Japan for preserving our long-sighted interests in the Indo-Pacific region against any aggressive pursuits of China is a new fulcrum of Indo-Japan strategic partnership. India has appropriately emphasised the need for ‘a rules-based order’ in the Indo-Pacific region. A new nomenclature–Indo-Pacific–given by the US to the maritime segment earlier called the ‘Asia Pacific’ had certainly strengthened India’s position in this part of the world. It is not surprising that the first group meeting held on sidelines of the G20 Summit at Osaka was between the US President and the Prime Ministers of Japan and India. It demonstrated the resurgence of this triangular relationship which focused on both the Indo-Pacific region and the global economy. In a smart diplomatic move, Modi emphasised on the acronym JAI for the group to give it a special identity. He talked of the importance of connectivity, infrastructure and peace, reiterated his own governance motto of ‘sabka saath, sabka vishwas’ and showered fulsome praise on Trump and Abe for carrying the mission of the new troika forward. The meeting gave a message loud and clear that nothing would come in the way of the three countries completely working together for development and global security. What is even more significant for India is the astute handling of our relations with China and Russia by PM Modi both at the policy and personal levels in his time. BRICS and SCO have been brilliantly utilised by Modi for giving a distinct flavour to the relationship of India with Russia and China as something that could stand on its own outside of the powerful bonding this country has with the US and Japan at present. Mutuality of gains of economic cooperation is being broached with China regardless of the obvious concerns India has over the CPEC and the military alliance that China and Pakistan have had for some time now. On the threat of terrorism that the world now shares with India, China had to bend its wings in the context of Maulana Masood Azhar being named a global terrorist by UNSC and this combined with the recall of Doklam might have made Xi Jinping do some course correction and not take India for granted at a time when his ‘trade war’ with the US might obstruct China’s vision of becoming the second Super Power through the economic route. India’s relations with Russia, of course, serve both economic and security interests–a good advantage is that there is Russian support for our stand in Afghanistan. It is also significant that Donald Trump does not carry the legacy of Cold War hostility in dealing with Putin. Both in BRICS and RIM–forums that bring India to the proximity of China and Russia–Prime Minister Modi boldly spoke against ‘unilateralism’ and ‘protectionism’ being injected in the international system and thus endorsed the call of ‘multilateralism’ raised by President Xi to record China’s disapproval of the sanctions unilaterally invoked by the US in the context of Iran or trade with other countries. India under Modi has thus built a sound framework of policy in dealing with all other major powers of the world and managed to earn a position of recognition and respect in the area of decision making at the global level on matters affecting the world economy and international peace. At G20, Modi warned the world once again that terrorism was the biggest global security challenge. On the threat of faith-based terror instigated by Pakistan, India does not have the comfort of distance that the US and other major powers had and this must be fully realised by the policymakers here. Kashmir is the keystone of our security policy for the near future–Pakistan is converting it into a Muslim issue and seeking to invoke Jihad to lay claim on the Valley. Home Minister Amit Shah has struck a note of reality in showing the pro-Pak separatists their place, pulling up the Jammu and Kashmir administration for its failures and reiterating the importance of the relentless pursuit of terrorists. Prime Minister Modi has set the world stage right for India and there is little doubt that the new Home Minister would take charge of the Internal Security scene–getting the states to have their share of responsibility in neutralising the enemy agents on our own soil and not mixing domestic politics with national security issues. (The author is a former Director of Intelligence Bureau. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

140 new posts created in Alipore Zoo Bratya Basu

first_imgKolkata: The Alipore Zoological Garden authority has released various animals into the enclosures for public viewing on Monday as part of the International Tiger Day celebrations. He also mentioned that 140 new posts have been sanctioned at Alipore Zoo.Several species including a white tiger, hyenas, leopards and yellow anacondas were brought to the Zoo earlier. They have now been shifted to the enclosures. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee always wanted a balanced eco-system. Keeping that in mind, several species including a white tiger, hyenas, leopards and yellow anacondas were kept open for public viewing at the enclosures today (Monday),” said state Forest minister Bratya Basu on the sidelines of the International Tiger Day programme held at the Alipore Zoo premises. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe International Tiger Day is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conversation. It is observed annually on July 29. While Rishi, the white tiger, was brought from the Patna zoo in exchange of zebra, four yellow anacondas were brought from the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology in Mallapuram. “We stay in a city where we don’t get to hear the voice of wild animals. But people residing in and around the zoo hear the roar of tigers and whines of hyenas after dark. This makes the presence of wild animals felt in the city which is very important to balance the eco-system,” added Basu. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe minister reiterated that the government has decided to increase the number of employees in the zoo. 140 new posts in different departments have seen sanctioned. Spreading awareness about tiger conservation, the zoo authority organised a sit-and-draw competition and a skit competition for school children. The participating schools were Barisha High school, Barisha Vivekananda Girls’ High School, Jadavpur Vidyapith and Mount Litera Zee School, Maheshtala. Basu distributed the prizes to the winners. On June 28, a lioness named Shurti gave birth to three cubs at the Alipore Zoological Garden. Just after birth, the cubs and their mother were put under observation. The officials and employees are very excited to get three lion cubs in the zoo. The cubs will be put inside the enclosure for public viewing after three months.last_img read more

14day judicial custody for MLA Anant Singh

first_imgPatna: A Barh court on Sunday remanded controversial Bihar MLA Anant Singh to judicial custody for two weeks in connection with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case lodged against him.Singh, who had surrendered on Friday in Delhi, was produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) of Barh, Pankaj Tiwari. The ACJM sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody. Singh will be lodged in Patna’s Beur central jail. “An application for seeking Anant Singh on remand for interrogation could not be taken in the absence of regular court. Police will make application on Monday in this regard,” Patna Superintendent of Police (Rural) Kantesh Kumar Mishra said. The legislator, who was on the run after the police had registered the case against him following seizure of an AK-47 rifle and grenades from his ancestral home on August 16, had appeared before Saket Court Metropolitan Magistrate Harun Pratap on Friday and surrendered. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’A police team headed by Barh Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Lipi Singh and Danapur ASP Ashok Mishra brought the Mokama MLA from New Delhi on Sunday morning and took him directly to Barh from Patna Airport amid tight security. Police had raided the ancestral home of Singh, an Independent MLA from Mokama, on August 16 and seized an AK-47 rifle, a magazine, live cartridges and two hand grenades. Police conducted a second raid at the 1, Mall Road, official residence of Singh in Patna on August 17 but he was not present. His accomplice Chhotan Singh was, however, apprehended from there. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA sword and a mobile phone were also seized from the legislator’s official residence. Singh had claimed that he has not visited his ancestral house in the past 14 years. Singh – nicknamed as “Chhote Sarkar”- has a long criminal record and was recently summoned to the police headquarters in Patna for giving his voice sample in connection with an attack on a Mokama-based contractor. He was formerly known to have shared a close relationship with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but the two apparently fell out ahead of the 2015 assembly elections. Singh then left the JD(U) and contested and retained his seat as an Independent.last_img read more

10 foreigners released on bail ahead of final NRC list

first_imgGuwahati: Ahead of the publication of final NRC list in Assam, ten persons declared foreigners have been released on bail from a detention camp in Goalpara district, a police official said here Monday.The ten have been released as per a Supreme Court direction that those declared foreigners and are under detention for more than three years should be released on bail, he said. The ten persons, including a woman, have been granted bail by the Foreigners Tribunal for a surety bond of Rs two lakh each and their biometric details, district additional superintendent of police Amitabh Basumotary said. Their conditional release began on August 9 and they were allowed to leave the camp which is located inside Goalpara district jail, Basumotary said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The final National Register of Citizens list, which will identify bonafide citizens of Assam, is set to be published on August 31. Of the ten granted bail nine are from Goalpara district and one from neighbouring Chirang district. They are aged between 39 and 69 years. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updation of the NRC, had during the hearing of a PIL last month on detained foreigners had set five conditions – deposit of a bond with two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each from an Indian citizen, a verifiable address of stay after the person’s release from the detention centre and reporting once every week to the police station specified by the home and political department. The other two conditions are biometrics of the person’s iris (if possible) and fingerprints of all 10 fingers and photos. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAssam has six detention centres inside district jails in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Silchar for persons declared foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals if they failed to prove that they or their forefathers lived in Assam before March 24, 1971 – the cut-off date as per the Assam Accord, 1985, to determine illegal foreigners. Assam is the only state in the country where the exercise to update the citizens’ register has been undertaken after 1951 when the exercise was done for the first time. The first draft NRC of the current updation was published in December 2017. The final draft NRC was published on July 31, 2018 in which 40,07,707 out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants were excluded. In June this year the number of ineligible persons rose to 41,10,169 after 1,02,462 persons were added in the list of excluded persons.last_img read more

Shah Nadda meet former JK Governor Jagmohan

first_imgNew Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah and the party’s working president J P Nadda met former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan on Tuesday as part of the party’s contact and public awareness programme to reach out to leading members of the society over the Centre’s move to revoke provisions of Article 370.The BJP has embarked on a month-long ‘Sampark and Janjagran Abhiyan’ exercise to seek people’s support on the decision to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, with its leaders and workers asked to fan out across the country to hold meetings. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Met Shri Jagmohan Malhotra ji, former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir as part of BJP’s nationwide Sampark and Janjagran Abhiyaan, to spread awareness about the benefits of abrogating Article 370 & 35A, a historic decision, by PM Shri Narendra Modi ji (sic),” tweeted Shah, who is also the Union home minister. Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan accompanied Shah and Nadda to the meeting. Jagmohan (91) is known for his hardline stand on the Kashmir issue and his opposition to Article 370. He was also a minister in the first BJP-led NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Union government on August 5 abrogated provisions of Article 370, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.last_img read more

One held for firing in Nihal Vihar

first_imgNew Delhi: Three persons were injured in an incessant firing by a rival group in Nihal Vihar area. Police have arrested one of the accused in the case from Dichaun Enclave area in Dwarka. Police identified the accused as Rahul alias Mota (23), a resident of Nangloi. Deputy Commissioner of Police(Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said that on the intervening night of September 7 and 8, one Deepak Mathur along with his associates Pradeep and Rahul had gone to a food stall at Ranhola Extension on main Najafgarh Road. The accused reached the spot in the black colour car and started indiscriminate firing on three men. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Mathur, Pradeep and Rahul ran for cover but received multiple gunshots. The PCR van reached the spot immediately and injured were rushed to hospital in Mongol Puri where their condition is said to be serious, ” police said. Police claimed that the accused started private work of cable TV and fitment of CCTV cameras in the areas of Nihal Vihar and Nangloi. Soon, one Narender also joined him in partnership. Their business began to grow briskly which was taken note of by one Deepak Mathur, who is a bad character of Nihal Vihar police station. Often arguments and quarrels took place between the two groups. Assaults and counter-assaults also took place between the two groups in the past. “A few months ago, Narender was fired upon by the members of Deepak Mathur group. Narender, despite being shot in the head, survived and he vowed to avenge the attack on his life,” police said.last_img read more

Canadian border agents among five charged with drug smuggling offences

first_imgTORONTO – Two Canadian border agents are among five people arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency say the agents worked out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.Authorities allege the pair facilitated the importation of more than 30 kilograms of cocaine between January last year and April this year.They also seized cocaine shipped from Colombia and Jamaica to Toronto.Charged with offences including breach of trust, conspiracy, and importing a narcotic are CBSA agents Patrick Ruddy, 37, of Toronto, and Brano Andrews, 41, of Barrie, Ont.Facing similar charges are Roberto Leyva, 32, of Niagara Falls, Ont., and Keith Hamid, 41, and Rennie Escoffery, 57, both of Brampton, Ont.“Allegations of improper or illegal behaviour by CBSA employees are taken very seriously,” Goran Vragovic, CBSA regional director general, said in a statement. “These allegations in no way reflect upon the true professionalism, dedication and integrity displayed each and every day by our CBSA staff.”last_img read more

Canadian banks to benefit from rising US interest rates

first_imgTORONTO – Canadian banks are expected to benefit from rising U-S interest rates and fewer bad loans in the oil patch as they start reporting their latest quarterly results this week.But analysts say worries about the housing market remain a key concern.Meny Grauman, an analyst with Cormark Securities, says that even if results are good, people may dismiss them as being quote — “backward-looking” because of fears about the Canadian mortgage market.Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded the credit ratings for Canada’s big banks earlier this month, in part due to concerns that high house prices have left lenders vulnerable to potential losses.Since Home Capital had to secure an emergency 2-billion line of credit after savers started pulling out their deposits in recent weeks, some observers are worried about broader implications.But a C-I-B-C analyst says concerns that Home Capital is the so-called canary-in-the-coal-mine are overblown.The Bank of Montreal will kick off the earnings parade on Wednesday, followed by Royal Bank, T-D Bank and C-I-B-C on Thursday.last_img read more

Cab company not liable for drivers alleged sex assault on passenger

first_imgTORONTO – A taxi company cannot be held liable for the alleged sexual assault of a passenger by one of its drivers, Ontario’s top court ruled on Friday.In dismissing an appeal by the complainant, the Court of Appeal sided with a lower court judge that the company had done no wrong.“The alleged sexual assault may be characterized as only coincidentally linked to the activities of the taxi company,” the Appeal Court said. “The taxi company did not require or permit the driver to touch the customer in any intimate body zones.”The alleged incident arose when a woman had a friend at a party call United Taxi in Kitchener, Ont., late one evening to come get her. The woman, who was intoxicated, claimed the driver sexually assaulted her. She sued him and the owner of the cab. She also sued the cab company on the basis that it was liable for the driver’s actions.In September last year, Superior Court Justice David Broad dismissed her claim against the company.Evidence was that the driver had no criminal record. Nor was there any indication the company knew, or should have known, that he might have had a propensity for, or history of, sexual or other violence. As a result, Broad said, it would defy common sense to hold the company responsible for the alleged assault.“The wrongful acts alleged by the plaintiff against (the driver) were only coincidentally linked to United Taxi’s activities as the operator of a taxi-dispatching business,” Broad ruled.The woman appealed. While she didn’t argue the company had actually done anything wrong, she nevertheless maintained it bore responsibility.The Appeal Court disagreed even though an employer can sometimes be held responsible for an employee’s misdeeds without having been negligent or having done something blameworthy.Such a situation is known as “vicarious liability,” and most commonly occurs when an employee accidentally causes loss or damage to a third party. An example might be when a supermarket worker leaves a mop on the floor and a customer trips on it.“The more difficult issue is when an employer should be found vicariously liable for an unauthorized, intentional wrong, such as a sexual assault, committed by the employee,” the Appeal Court said.In such cases, Associate Chief Justice Alexandra Hoy wrote in the decision, courts generally refrain from imposing liability for an employee’s “abhorrent, intentional acts.”A key consideration in making an exception, Hoy said in citing case law, is the existence of a strong connection between what an employer asks an employee to do and the wrongful act itself.“It must be possible to say that the employer significantly increased the risk of the harm by putting the employee in his or her position and requiring him to perform the assigned tasks,” the Appeal Court noted.In analyzing this case, Hoy agreed that a driver has some power over a lone, intoxicated woman, but said the connection to the company’s demands of its employees wasn’t strong enough to make it responsible.“Sadly, however, she is prey not only to taxi drivers,” the court said. “The power the driver allegedly wrongfully exercised was not predicated on his employment.”The court also noted the alleged assault did not further the company’s aims. In fact, its driver rules state: “Do not touch any customer if possible,” and “Do not ask a customer out for a date.”The Canadian Press does not name alleged victims of sexual assault without their active consent.last_img read more

Cop buys shirt tie for alleged thief who was taking them for

first_imgTORONTO – A Toronto police officer who purchased a shirt and tie for an alleged shoplifter after learning the young man needed the clothing items for an upcoming job interview said Tuesday that he wanted to show kindness to someone who had fallen on hard times.Const. Niran Jeyanesan said he wasn’t rewarding the behaviour of a hardened criminal when he made the purchase, but rather using his discretion as an officer in deciding that this case merited credit card charges rather than criminal ones.“He was very remorseful, very ashamed,” Jeyanesan said of the teen. “… I could see that this is truly a mistake and this person wanted a chance at life.”Jeyanesan said the case unfolded on Sunday night when he and his partner were called to a Walmart in the city’s north end in response to a report of shoplifting.Such calls are routine, but Jeyanesan said the details of this incident quickly caught his attention.The would-be thief had attempted to steal a long-sleeved shirt, a tie and a pair of socks, he said, adding such items are not common targets for shoplifters.Jeyanesan said the unusual merchandise prompted him to try and dig deeper and find out the reasons behind the teen’s actions.The story he heard was of a young man in a time of crisis, he said.His family had recently lost their home after his father — the principle bread-winner — fell seriously ill, he said, adding the 18-year-old felt mounting pressure to fill the financial void and help provide for his parents and younger siblings.Jeyanesan said the teen had secured a job interview for a “service industry position,” but did not have professional-looking clothes to wear.As the interview date approached, he resorted to shoplifting out of desperation and a lack of awareness of other options available to him.“We try to get everybody’s story when we attend calls. Everyone has their own battles that they’re fighting,” he said. “It doesn’t excuse them, but behind every action there’s a reason why this person is doing it.”Before police transported the teen back to the station for some additional questioning, Jeyanesan decided he would acquire some suitable clothes for the teen.He went back into the store to try and select something himself, but didn’t know the teen’s size. He eventually asked the manager to hand over the original shirt and tie, which he purchased for about $40. He opted not to acquire the socks.Jeyanesan did not present the clothes to the teen himself, but rather left them with the other belongings he had surrendered when entering the police station.The teen found his interview outfit waiting for him when he recovered his possessions and walked out of the police station without any charges.Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash praised Jeyanesan’s compassionate approach to the situation, calling it an intelligent use of his officer’s discretion.“He understood the importance of what happened, that this could easily be seen as a crossroads in this young man’s life, and took the very commendable decision to assist in the way he did,” Pugash said.Jeyanesan said he has not been in touch with the teen since Sunday. Not even to find out the results of the job interview, which was set to take place on Tuesday.Follow @mich_mcq on Twitterlast_img read more

North Korea says it released Canadian pastor Ontario congregation celebrates news

first_imgTORONTO – An Ontario church congregation is celebrating news of the release of their pastor from a North Korean prison more than two years after he was arrested in the country.A decision from North Korea’s central court freed Hyeon Soo Lim from the prison where he was serving a life sentence for anti-state activities, the country’s Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday.The pastor’s release, which came on the heels of an official visit from a Canadian government delegation, was described as “sick bail” by the news agency. No other details were provided.In a brief statement issued early Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “pleased and relieved” that Lim had been released.“Pastor Lim’s health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada, and we are working to ensure that he receives any required medical attention,” said Trudeau.The prime minister also thanked Sweden for its assistance in the matter but said “operational security considerations” prevents the government from discussing the matter further.Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ont., had been sentenced by a North Korean court to life in prison with hard labour for what it called crimes against the state.Charges against him included harming the dignity of the supreme leadership, trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system, disseminating negative propaganda about the North to overseas Koreans, and helping American and South Korean efforts to help people defect from the north.Word of Lim’s release drew members of his congregation to their church, just west of Toronto, where they were seen hugging and crying Wednesday morning.Charles Baik, an associate pastor with the church’s English ministry, said members are ecstatic at the prospect of Lim’s return.“We’re so happy he’s been released, ” Baik said from outside the church.Lim, who has a wife and son living in the Toronto area, started the Light Korean Presbyterian Church nearly three decades ago, shortly after he emigrated from South Korea.He grew the congregation from about a dozen people in 1986 to more than 3,000 members. He also runs a smaller church in downtown Toronto that caters to young people.The church has taken on numerous humanitarian projects in North Korea, one of which prompted Lim’s last trip there in January 2015.Family and friends previously said he was visiting an orphanage, nursery and nursing home in the country at the time of his arrest. The pastor had successfully travelled to North Korea more than 100 times over the past two decades, they added.Baik said the pastor’s ordeal would not deter the church from future humanitarian projects in the country.“Missions will never stop, no matter where they may be,” he said.Family members had urged the Canadian government to put pressure on North Korea to secure Lim’s release.Their calls for action took on fresh urgency in June following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who lived only one week after being released from North Korean custody due to health concerns.Lim’s own health was of concern to his family members, who had said the pastor needed medication to manage his blood pressure.A Canadian delegation led by Daniel Jean, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this week to discuss Lim’s case.“Pastor Lim’s health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada as we continue to engage on this case,” Cameron Ahmad, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.Neither Ahmad nor Global Affairs responded to request for comment on Lim’s release.Canada does not have an embassy in North Korea, and has advised against all travel there.— With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

Yazidi boy gets short meeting with Trudeau after showing up at town

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Yazidi boy who was held captive for three years by Iraqi militants got his wish to meet with Justin Trudeau, simply by showing up to the prime minister’s town hall meeting in Winnipeg.Thirteen-year-old Emad Mishko Tamo made a video appeal to Trudeau that was posted to social media by the Yazidi Association of Manitoba last month.But a spokesman for the group says they never heard back from Trudeau, and decided to try to see him at the forum at the University of Manitoba on Wednesday.Hadji Hesso says when Emad arrived at the venue with his uncle, political staffers approached him and brought him to a dressing room, where he met Trudeau for about five minutes.Emad was reunited with his family in Winnipeg last year after a relative saw his picture, taken in a refugee camp, on social media.Hesso says they’d hoped for a much longer meeting with Trudeau, so Emad could talk more about the plight of other Yazidi children and bringing more refugees to Canada.“It was not the meeting that we were looking for,” said Hesso, who is a spokesman for the family. “But hopefully this is just the beginning.”“We requested a further meeting, another meeting, to discuss more details — if possible in Ottawa — but nothing has been confirmed yet.”Emad was separated from his family after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant displaced thousands of members of the Kurdish-minority Yazidis in 2014. He was freed last summer in the city of Mosul.In the Yazidi Association’s video, Emad held up a sign thanking Canada for helping him, followed by another sign stating that he wanted to share his story and be a voice for other Yazidi children still in captivity.“There’s a thousand other kids like me who are still held captive,” one of Emad’s signs stated. “Hon. Justin Trudeau, will you meet me?”Hesso said he got to the Max Bell Centre at the University of Manitoba early, and was waiting for Emad to arrive with his uncle and another representative with the Yazidi association. The plan wasn’t complicated — just try to find the prime minister.But Hesso said he got a text telling him Emad was already with the prime minister.During the short meeting, Hesso said Emad gave Trudeau a list of some of the issues he hoped the government could address.“Emad was excited,” Hesso said, but noted more time was needed.“We were hoping for something better, longer, more detailed.”The day before the town hall, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel posted a Facebook video where she criticized Trudeau for failing to meet with Emad, noting the prime minister did meet with freed hostage Joshua Boyle.Boyle and his family were rescued in Pakistan in October after five years of captivity in Afghanistan. Less than two weeks after their meeting with Trudeau, Ottawa police laid 15 criminal charges against Boyle, including eight counts of assault and two counts of sexual assault.“The plight of the Yazidi people is something we should be prioritizing here in Canada and I can think of no better emissary than a young boy who has survived this and has the courage to speak for his people,” Rempel said in the video.The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion in 2016 calling the persecution of Yazidis a genocide, and committing to provide asylum to Yazidi women and girls.An email last month from a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen stated that as of Dec. 31, 2017, the government issued just over 1,200 visas to government-supported survivors of ISIL.More than 1,000 had arrived in Canada and 81 per cent of them were Yazidi, the email stated.However, the email stated that the government would not be receiving any new applications under the initiative.—By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.last_img read more

Federal Budget 2018 12 things to watch for

first_imgTake Our PollFinance Minister Bill Morneau has said science, gender equality and preparing Canadians for the jobs of the future will be key themes in Tuesday’s federal budget. Here are some more details on what it is expected to contain.Paternity LeaveThe federal budget is expected to include a five-week, “use-it-or-lose-it”’ incentive for new fathers to take parental leave and share the responsibilities of raising their baby. The goal is to give parents a greater incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities so that new mothers can more easily return to the workforce. Quebec already has a policy with a paid, five-week leave for fathers that covers up to 70 per cent of their income.ScienceThe budget is also expected to include a major financial boost to basic scientific research across Canada, which would address some of the concerns outlined last year in a national review of the state of fundamental science. That review recommended phasing in $1.3 billion more for researchers, scholarships and facilities over four years. The research community also thinks the budget could include new efforts to support young and Indigenous researchers, as well as help advance the role of women in science.EnvironmentSince the Liberal government feels it has checked climate-change financing off its long environmental to-do list, Ottawa is expected to shift its funding focus to other international obligations on the environment, such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The 2010 agreement says Canada must protect at least 17 per cent of its terrestrial areas, including inland waters, plus at least 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020.Pay EquityThe government is expected to detail the cost of its long-held promise to achieve proactive pay equity in Canada this year. The exact figure remains to be seen, but the price tag on closing the gender wage gap in the public service and federally regulated workplaces, which together employ nearly 1.2 million people, will likely be significant.Social ProcurementThe budget could include an effort to increase procurement opportunities for female entrepreneurs, following the recommendation of the Canada-U.S. women-in-business group created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump. The government has already been taking concrete steps toward adjusting procurement practices to increase the diversity of bidders. Groups promoting social procurement have seen more and more encouraging signs that additional commitments are on the way.Still in the RedThe Liberals blew through their 2015 campaign promise to keep the annual deficit below $10 billion in their first federal budget, and their ability to stick by their commitment to return to balance by 2019 remains in doubt. The latest federal forecast, released last October, projected a $14.3-billion deficit for 2019-20 and doubts persist that Tuesday’s budget will show a revised timeline for getting back to black.Gender-Based AnalysisThe Liberals have also put this budget through a gender-based analysis, which involves thinking about how a certain measure might affect men and women, or boys and girls, in a different ways, while accounting for other intersecting factors such as income, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.MediaThe budget is also expected to devote $50 million over five years to support local journalism in underserved communities across Canada, according to media reports. The Liberal government could also announce a plan to look at new business models that could allow charitable organizations to support non-profit journalism.Working Income Tax BenefitThe budget is expected to detail how the government will deliver on its commitment to add $500 million more to the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), beginning next year. The benefit allows people typically earning the minimum wage or less to receive more income by subsidizing their wages with a tax credit.Housing in Indigenous CommunitiesThe budget is also expected to devote big money to tackle the acute housing shortage in Indigenous communities, where homes are often overcrowded and in serious need of repairs. The Liberals have promised unique housing strategies for Inuit, Metis and First Nations communities alongside the 10-year, $225-million plan announced last year to fund groups that help house Indigenous Peoples living off-reserve.CybersecurityThere are high expectations from government and industry insiders that the budget will include large investments to help bolster Canadian cybersecurity defences at a time of heightened online threats around the world. The budget is set to fund a multi-departmental effort to strengthen the ability to protect and respond in the event of an attack.No-Fly ListThe budget is expected to include almost $80 million over five years to build and operate a federal computer system aimed at ending no-fly list mismatches that have seen many innocent travellers — including dozens of children — endure anxious airport delays.With files from Andy Blatchford, Jordan Press, Jim Bronskill and Stephanie Levitz What should the priority be for the 2018 Federal Budget?Gender equalityPare down deficitNational pharmacareOpioid crisisPaternity leaveVoteView Resultslast_img read more

Winnipeg man guilty of trying to kill exwife two lawyers fires own

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba man found guilty of attempting to murder his former wife and two lawyers by sending them letter bombs has fired his own legal counsel and told court Wednesday that evidence was “implanted” and fabricated.Guido Amsel was arrested after three explosive packages were found in July 2015. Maria Mitousis, a lawyer who had represented Amsel’s ex-wife in a financial dispute, lost her right hand when one of the bombs went off in her office.Last month, Amsel was found guilty on 15 charges, including four counts of attempted murder.Amsel’s lawyer, Saheel Zaman, applied to withdraw from the case Wednesday. He told court Amsel fired him after the guilty verdict.While waiting for a trial in 2016, Amsel also fired lawyer Martin Glazer.Amsel told court he has been having difficulty getting a new lawyer. He blamed it on “a huge conflict of interest” since many lawyers know Mitousis. He said he was looking out of province and suggested he intended to appeal the conviction.Judge Tracey Lord gave Amsel a few weeks to find a lawyer but said the “opportunity isn’t an endless one.” She told him sentencing would have to take place before any steps to appeal the conviction could begin.In her verdict, Lord said Amsel’s motive was to punish Iris Amsel and the lawyers for their role in a contentious lawsuit he had filed over profits from an auto-body shop he co-owned with his former wife. He dropped the lawsuit shortly before the letter bombs were sent.The bomb sent to Mitousis was the only one that exploded. The other two were safely detonated by police.Amsel, testifying in his own defence, said he was being framed by his ex-wife.last_img read more