• Russia's Putin gives China's Xi ice cream on his 66th birthday
    News
    Reuters

    Russia's Putin gives China's Xi ice cream on his 66th birthday

    Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrated his 66th birthday on Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Xi considers a close friend and who gave Xi ice cream as a present, Chinese state media reported. The discussion of senior leaders' private lives is extremely rare in China, and the exact birth dates of most of them are not revealed publicly, as they are considered a state secret. State television showed pictures of Xi and Putin holding up champagne glasses to toast Xi's birthday at the hotel he is staying at in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, where they are both attending a regional summit.

  • Why electric vehicle owners are urging Ford government to fund charging stations
    News
    CBC

    Why electric vehicle owners are urging Ford government to fund charging stations

    Electric vehicle (EV) drivers revving up for a road trip won't find any charging stations at OnRoute stops in Ontario this summer. According to drivers and experts in the industry, it's partly because the Ford government has all but stalled on efforts to encourage people to adopt electric vehicles. "There was an election a year ago and we can see an impact," said Simon Ouellette, CEO of Mogile Technologies, and founder of Chargehub, a digital platform helping electric car drivers find public charging stations in the U.S. and Canada. 'They canned everything'Ouellette, an EV owner based in Quebec, said Ontario was making some headway in adding charging stations under the Liberals. "Essentially, when the new government came in, they canned everything related to EV."Within about a month of winning the election, the Ford government cancelled the cap-and-trade program, the proceeds of which went towards green energy initiatives. That led to the cancellation of the electric and hydrogen vehicle incentive program that gave rebates for EV purchases, and the Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program, formerly the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program. Under EVCO, 346 public charging stations were installed, all of which are currently active. While industry experts say the program wasn't perfect, it helped to spur EV purchases.  We really need to consider [EV charging] as part of transportation infrastructure. \- Wilf Steimle, Electric Vehicle Society"We have made amazing progress in Ontario in the last four years," said Wilf Steimle, president of the Electric Vehicle Society in Ontario."Now, we can drive almost anymore in the province."But Steimle said the province needs to continue investing in charging infrastructure, adding there's currently no provincial program focused on charging."We really need to start considering [EV charging] as part of transportation infrastructure as we shift our economy from fossil fuels," he said. OnRoute chargingOntario's Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek isn't ruling out an investment in EV charging in the future. It was also mentioned in the government's environmental plan unveiled in the fall. "We're had a few comments and consultations with regards to adding them to OnRoutes and definitely taking a look to see if that's the route we want to go," he told CBC News in early June. But he also said the government has a budget to balance, and will take that into consideration as well. Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner is critical of the government's record, citing provincial transit agency Metrolinx's decision to remove 24 chargers at GO stations in November 2018. "We should be leading the EV revolution, not losing jobs to it," he said. Charging station locationsBecause the electric vehicle industry is so new, data about the number and location of charging stations is patchwork at best. Chargehub provides a map of stations (largely user-generated) and is known as the industry standard, according to Ouellette, its creator.Chargehub's data shows Quebec leads the country in EV charging:  * Quebec: 2,188 locations with 4,353 charging ports at those locations. * Ontario: 980 locations with 2,724 charging ports.  * B.C.: 774 locations with 1,676 charging ports. * Rest of Canada: 434 charging locations with 711 charging ports. Ouellette also says Ontario has been slow to add charging locations year over year. "Quebec is adding double the amount of locations," said Ouellette, crediting it largely to government incentives. Because there's currently no "viable business model" for a business to install a charging station, he said the government is critical in spurring the growth of the industry. "The money made from the energy sold does not even cover the cost of installing and operating the infrastructure," he said.

  • News
    CBC

    Ford marches in York Pride Parade amid criticism of decision to skip Toronto event

    After declining to participate in Pride parades in years past, Premier Doug Ford marched in York Region's event in Newmarket along police officers on Saturday afternoon. "Premier Ford said he would participate in this year's Pride month. He's thrilled to march today with the York Regional Police in the York Pride Parade," said Ford's spokesperson, Ivana Yelich, in an email statement."He wishes everyone taking part in events across the province a very happy Pride."Ford was joined by Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Health and Long-term Care Christine Elliott and MPP Stephen Lecce at the parade. While some protesters met the group near the end of the parade, their participation was generally well received.Ford has faced public blow back recently for his refusal to march in Toronto's parade on June 23, traditionally among the largest in North America. The premier said earlier this month that his decision was in protest of the exclusion of uniformed police officers from parade, though he does plan to participate in other Pride Toronto events. He similarly decided not to attend last year, just weeks after his Progressive Conservatives secured a commanding win in the 2018 provincial election.On Saturday, Ford said that he thinks the Toronto Pride Parade is "going to be an incredible event" and noted that the province provided some $375,000 in funding to Pride Toronto this year. "I think both parades are great. I chose this one, the police are marching in it. But I wish everyone all the best in all the other Pride parades," he told reporters.The PC leader has made some very controversial remarks about the Toronto event before, describing it in 2014 as an event where "middle-aged men with pot bellies" ran down the street "buck naked."Meanwhile, as mayor of Toronto, Ford's late brother Rob also caused controversy with his repeated absence from Pride parades in the city. The brothers opted instead to go to the Ford family cottage in Huntsville during Pride week.

  • For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home
    News
    Reuters

    For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

    Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration. Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States. As part of that effort, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members along the border.

  • Big week ahead for Canadian pipelines, as key moves loom on TMX, bill C-69
    News
    CBC

    Big week ahead for Canadian pipelines, as key moves loom on TMX, bill C-69

    Two decisions coming next week could have a big impact on the future of energy projects in Canada.The federal cabinet will announce Tuesday if it will approve the Trans Mountain pipeline. The decision comes after the federal government conducted a second round of consultations with Indigenous communities along the pipeline's route. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled the initial consultations fell short of meaningful dialogue.The Senate will also take a final vote on the Liberal government's controversial overhaul of federal environmental assessment legislation — bill C-69.Not surprisingly, there are distinctly different views on the outcome of the decisions."I think if you look at the state of Canadian energy these days, it's certainly being hampered," Enbridge CEO Al Monaco told CBC Radio's The House, when asked about bill C-69. The Liberal government accepted substantial changes to C-69 this week, but rejected almost all amendments put forward by the Conservatives. The legislation overhauls how major natural resource development projects, such as pipelines and mine proposals, are assessed and approved.Environmental groups have argued that the regulations set out in Bill C-69 do not go far enough, while others — including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney — say the bill is so tough on the natural resources industry it will make it impossible to get new energy projects approved.The legislation is now going back to the Senate, which must accept the Liberal government's changes before Bill C-69 can become law.All about transparency and certaintyIt is a challenge to get pipelines approved on both sides of the border, Monaco told host Chris Hall in an interview airing Saturday, adding that Canada's proposed new rules would bring forth their own obstacles."It really comes down to the certainty and transparency in the process and ultimately its predictability to attract investment," he said. While regulatory review can also be difficult in the U.S., Monaco said, delays are more manageable."Average times for approval are definitely better in the United States, for the most part, compared to Canada."  Enbridge currently has two projects in jeopardy that straddle the Canada-U.S. border.The company's Line 3 pipeline — that would carry crude oil from a terminal near Hardisty, Alta., through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wis. — is facing new delays from Minnesota regulators. The existing Line 5 is also under threat of closure after Michigan's attorney general said she would shut down the pipeline if the company and the new state government couldn't reach an agreement on how to deal with the 65-year-old pipeline.Still, Monaco prefers those odds, saying it is possible to address environmental concerns while also developing energy projects.'All they offer us is pennies'But while the federal government looks for ways to get projects like Trans Mountain rolling, one Indigenous group living along the pipeline route isn't backing down from its demands for inclusion in the decision-making process. "The meaningful dialogue we were supposed to have never happened and the consultation process is flawed," Coldwater Indian Band Chief T. Lee Spahan told The House. Spahan said his band is worried about Trans Mountain contaminating local water sources. He also said the federal government is disrespecting Indigenous peoples because it is not allowing them to protect their traditional land for future generations. Spahan said he is extending invitations to several ministers, and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to tour their land in British Columbia and hold discussions. Spahan said he has been underwhelmed by their responses — or lack thereof, as he said only Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi has paid a visit. A spokesperson for Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan said in a statement that a special ministerial representative who is assigned to work with Coldwater regularly meets with the band.  "Ministers Sohi and O'Regan, and our whole government, remain committed to getting this right," the statement said.Spahan said he has low expectations for Tuesday's pipeline announcement. "I probably won't be happy about it and I'll be going back to my council and my membership to seek direction as to where we go from here."There's also economic concerns for the chief. He said the compensation for bands along the route isn't on par with the cost to the land and the people."Everybody gets rich off of it. In the end all they offer us is pennies."

  • 21 Savage donates $25K for legal aid for detained immigrants
    News
    The Canadian Press

    21 Savage donates $25K for legal aid for detained immigrants

    ATLANTA — Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage has given $25,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center after the watchdog organization helped him while he was in federal immigration custody earlier this year.The rapper, whose real name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested Feb. 3 in what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said was a targeted operation over his expired visa. Abraham-Joseph is a British citizen and moved to the U.S. when he was 7.In a statement, immigration attorney Charles Kuck said that the Atlanta-based rapper wants to support the work the SPLC has done to give immigrants legal representation and fight what Kuck called ICE's "oppressively adverse conditions of detention."The rapper spent 10 days at the Irwin County Detention Center before he was released on a $100,000 bond.The Associated Press

  • Come From Away cancels world's biggest screech-in after backlash
    News
    CBC

    Come From Away cancels world's biggest screech-in after backlash

    The world's biggest screech-in is now a screech-out after some Newfoundlanders decried a Toronto-based theatre company's plan to hold the ceremony on the mainland.Mirvish Productions said in a release Friday afternoon that its marketing department believed the plan to screech in an entire Come From Away audience would celebrate "the unique culture of Newfoundland." "In our enthusiasm we took a misstep and we apologize," the statement said."Rightly, many people in Newfoundland took exception to a screech-in happening outside of the actual province that created the tradition. We've heard them loud and clear and will no longer be organizing a screech-in."A spokesperson for the company said nobody was immediately available for an interview Friday evening to discuss the decision.Concerns over locationAs feedback over the plan percolated online Thursday, one Newfoundland resident traded emails with Mirvish to voice her concerns about the company's choice of location."It's ironic that non-Newfoundlanders spent years making fun of us and now they're stealing our traditions," wrote Nicole Collins. "I expect better from a company that spent so much time and money on this production."An unsigned response from someone at the company told Collins: "I'm sorry that we have upset you and many other Newfoundlanders. That certainly wasn't our intention. We are not stealing your culture; we think we are celebrating it."The email went on to describe how the "publicity event" was "designed to get more attention" for the show, claiming that more tickets had been sold thanks to the media spotlight."The more people who see the show, the more they will be exposed to the reasons to visit your province," the email said."We believe we are not taking anything away from Newfoundland and Labrador; instead, we are attempting to build a higher profile for your land and its culture, all of which we think can only benefit your province."'Silly' ideaCollins told CBC News she found the entire concept of holding a screech-in outside the province illogical, but the company's response set her teeth on edge."If it was just someone doing this event in Toronto without making a profit, I would still think it was silly," Collins said."But the added fact they're doing it at the end of a show, and that's going to attract people and they're going to make money from it, that definitely adds another layer of annoyance to it."Collins said she wouldn't call what happened cultural appropriation, but despite acknowledging the tradition is "a modern one, and not something that many people take seriously," said she still felt the company was "stealing" an aspect of Newfoundland culture — one always meant to welcome outsiders into the province.Keith Vokey, whose father is widely credited with developing the ceremony into what it is today, agrees: a screech-in is only a screech-in if it occurs in its birthplace, he said."In my mind, you can't be an honorary Newfoundlander if you haven't actually come to Newfoundland," said Vokey, the master screecher at Christian's Pub in St. John's.Tradition or money-maker?Despite enough outcry for Mirvish to backpedal on its idea, the plan didn't bother everyone. Bob Hallett, a former musical consultant for Come from Away, felt the tradition in general has always been a lighthearted means to leverage a profit."It's a marketing ploy for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, it's a marketing ploy for tourism everywhere," Hallett said."It's a great way to get people into bars, it's a great way to get people to embrace our culture, and I think that the producers of Come From Away in Toronto recognize this and just want to have a bit of fun, and I think for us to take it so seriously is a sign of our overall foolishness."The original plan, to set the Guinness World Record for largest-ever screech-in at Toronto's Elgin Theatre, has now been replaced by another promotion: sending "four lucky couples" who attend the performance in July for an official screech-in in Gander.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Cardiologist monitors heart health of Toronto Raptors fans during NBA Finals matchup
    CBC

    Cardiologist monitors heart health of Toronto Raptors fans during NBA Finals matchup

    A cardiologist hooked up a group of Toronto Raptors fans to heart monitors to see what kind of impact the game was having on their tickers.

  • Construction underway for new 41 B-Line
    News
    CBC

    Construction underway for new 41 B-Line

    TransLink has announced the construction of a new high-frequency 41 B-Line service from Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain Station to the University of British Columbia is now underway.It will launch in January 2020 and serve commuters along 41st Avenue in Vancouver — the second-busiest transit corridor in the region after Broadway.The 41 B-Line will run every three to six minutes during rush hour with the capacity to carry up to 4,400 people every hour. It is expected to expand the corridor's transit capacity by 33 per cent, according to TransLink's estimate. 41 B-Line will replace 43 bus route"Right now, 40 to 60 per cent of people travelling on 41st Avenue between Dunbar and Granville Street during rush hour are on buses," said Sarah Ross,  director of system planning at TransLink. And on each weekday, TransLink estimates there are around 36,000 bus boardings on the street's current routes — 41 and 43. The new B-Line will replace the current 43 express bus service and add improvements. It will operate more frequently on extended hours — running from 6 a.m. to  1 a.m. Expect new parking restrictions The City of Vancouver is also changing the street to enhance the B-Line services. It plans to  add bus-priority lanes, new left and right turn bays at key intersections and convert some parking lanes into travel lanes.The city says the changes won't cause congestion for traffic in general. "The 41st B-Line aligns with the city's congestion management strategy to support our economy, promote access to local businesses, and continue to use our limited street space more efficiently," said Lon LaClaire, director of transportation with the City of Vancouver. The 41 B-Line is also expected to ease the commute for some 40,000 UBC students who, according to UBC's estimates, don't live on the UBC campus. The 41st Avenue service is one of three new B-Lines launching around Metro Vancouver beginning early next year.  Construction for the Lougheed Highway B-Line between Coquitlam and Maple Ridge and the Marine Drive B-line on the North Shore is slated to begin in June.

  • Starbucks leaving Windsor's downtown core after 15 years
    News
    CBC

    Starbucks leaving Windsor's downtown core after 15 years

    A downtown Windsor staple is closing — the Starbucks at Wyandotte and Ouellette.Joe Mikhail owns the building and said it's a sign of longstanding issues in the downtown core."We only heard second-and-third hand," said Mikhail. "We haven't been told officially."Mikhail said customers were calling him to ask — so he went to the store to find out what was going on. The manager confirmed the store would be closing by the end of July. Starbucks has occupied the space for 15 years, according to Mikhail. "How do we fix downtown? This has to be the canary coming out. The largest coffee chain in the world decided they don't want to be here." Ward councillor Rino Bortolin said it's troubling to hear a business is closing, but he thinks the move is a corporate decision."It's not a testament to what is happening on the ground downtown," said Bortolin, noting this store didn't have a drive thru which may have affected its business.Mikhail said it's not troublesome for him from a real estate perspective — he just wants to know what's happening downtown. "For some reason, the pieces aren't coming together," said Mikhail, pointing to investments by the college and the university and the addition of Quicken Loans to the downtown. But Bortolin thinks the void will be filled quickly."There's a need for coffee shops downtown," said Bortolin. "There's no dispute ... if you're ever in Starbucks you can see the sheer volume that they do. I think it's a tough situation and we'd love to keep them, but at the same time I think this is just a corporate decision."

  • Julio Iglesias reflects on a life that 'has been a miracle'
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Julio Iglesias reflects on a life that 'has been a miracle'

    "In fact, my life has been a miracle," says Iglesias, recalling how he spent "months and months" in bed unable to move, and then needed canes to walk for more than two years. "You see life differently, you learn to live again," Iglesias says. While Iglesias was struggling to move his arms and fingers, his physician-father's assistant gave him an old guitar as a gift.

  • B.C. to cover $1-million-per-year drug for Victoria girl, 3, with rare, fatal disease
    News
    CBC

    B.C. to cover $1-million-per-year drug for Victoria girl, 3, with rare, fatal disease

    A Victoria family says the province has agreed to cover a life-saving, million-dollar drug for their young daughter. The parents of Charleigh Pollock, 3, said the province has granted them access to Brineura, a promising new medication that has received federal approval but is not covered by B.C.'s public health system.Their daughter suffers from CLN2 or Batten disease, a rare and fatal genetic disorder that results in multiple seizures each day.She is the only person in British Columbia with the disease and one of 13 children in Canada with the condition, the family says. Most children who have it die between the ages of six and 12.The case went before the province's independent drug review committee, which agreed to fund the treatment for Charleigh."We are in shock. We're excited. We're nervous. We have every emotion going on right now," said Jori Fales, Charleigh's mother, in an online video posted Friday.The case highlights a growing class of drugs that the B.C. health ministry has described as "expensive drugs for rare diseases." In Oct. 2018, the province covered the cost of 16 expensive drugs for rare disease, with list prices ranging from $100,000 to $3 million.The ministry declined to comment on Charleigh's case, citing patient privacy.'The first step'Charleigh's family learned of her diagnosis three weeks ago and launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the costly treatment, also known as enzyme replacement therapy.Patients with CLN2 are missing an enzyme which leads to brain damage. Brineura, administered every two weeks through a tube into the brain, helps replace that missing enzyme.The treatment is new and costs more than $1 million a year.  But clinical trials have shown promising results, the family says.It will slow Charleigh's rapid deterioration until a cure is found, they say.The girl suffered an unexplained seizure, the first sign of the disease, eight months ago.As the disease worsens, a child will go blind and lose the ability to walk and speak. They eventually develop dementia and lose all cognitive function.So far, Charleigh, who's a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday, is still walking and can say a few words. She's being nourished with a feeding tube.She will have to endure infusions and brain surgery in the months ahead, said Trevor Pollock, Charleigh's father, in the video."This is the first step in a long journey ahead for our family."

  • 'This might be the biggest season we've ever had,' says Vancouver Canadians president
    News
    CBC

    'This might be the biggest season we've ever had,' says Vancouver Canadians president

    If you're spending time with your dad this weekend, there may be some sports involved.A new season of Vancouver Canadians baseball kicked off Friday at Nat Bailey Stadium  and Andy Dunn, president of the club, is expecting an exciting summer. The Spokane Indians beat the Canadians 9-1 in the afternoon game. The teams will meet again Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Vancouver."I think this might be the biggest season we've ever had," Dunn earlier told CBC's Jason D'Souza."The pre-season sales ... the excitement ... I really think we're going to have a good ball club on the field, and I think it's going to be a special, special summer."Fan experienceFor the last four years, Nat Bailey Stadium has been at 98 per cent capacity for the season, says Dunn. A lot of that has to do with the kind of experience the stadium offers fans. Baseball fans can purchase a three-foot hot dog, hot dog sushi or a pretzel "as big as your chest" that comes in a pizza box, says Dunn."Just little fun, tongue-in-cheek type things that you go back and tell your friends, 'jeez, look what these weirdos at the ball park came up with' ... You can't take yourself too seriously when you go to a ball park."First year for broadcastsThis season the Vancouver Canadians will be the first minor league baseball franchise in North America to have a television contract, says Dunn.Every Saturday night home game will be broadcast nationally on Rogers Sportsnet. Six games will go national."A lot of fans in Toronto will get to see the young kids out of this year's draft immediately," said Dunn.Traditionally fans have had to wait about five years to see these players when they make it to the national league in Toronto.  Dunn says he's more than ready for this baseball season."It's great because the city comes alive ... I really think our season is the official kick-off to summer in Vancouver. With files from Our Vancouver.

  • Ivanka Trump, Kushner took in as much as $135M last year
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Ivanka Trump, Kushner took in as much as $135M last year

    NEW YORK — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took in as much as $135 million in revenue during their second year as aides to President Donald Trump, generated from their vast real estate holdings, stocks and bonds and even a book deal, according to their financial disclosures released Friday.Ivanka Trump's stake in her family's Washington, D.C., hotel down the street from the Oval Office generated $3.95 million in revenue in 2018, barely changed from a year earlier. The hotel, a favourite gathering spot for foreign diplomats and lobbyists, is at the centre of two federal lawsuits claiming Donald Trump is violating the Constitution's ban on foreign government payments to the president.Another big Ivanka Trump holding, a trust that includes her personal business selling handbags, shoes and accessories, generated at least $1 million in revenue in 2018, down from at least $5 million the year before. Ivanka Trump announced in July of last year that she planned to close her fashion company to focus on her work as a White House adviser for her father.The disclosure for her husband, Jared Kushner, shows that he took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his holdings of New York City apartments and that he owns a stake in the real estate investment firm Cadre worth at least $25 million.The disclosures released by the White House and filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics show minimum revenue for the couple of $28 million last year generated from assets valued at more than $180 million. The disclosures filed by federal government officials each year show revenue, assets and debts in broad ranges between low and high estimates, making it difficult to precisely chart the rise and fall of business and financial holdings.Among the dozens of sources of income for Ivanka Trump was a $263,500 book advance for "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success," published in 2017. Trump has pledged to donate royalties to her charitable fund.Kushner's holdings of apartment buildings through his family real estate firm, Kushner Cos., were the source of much of his income. Westminster Management, the family business overseeing its rental buildings, generated $1.5 million. Separately, one of the family's marquee holdings, the iconic Puck Building in the Soho section of Manhattan, generated as much as $6 million in rent.Among other properties cited in the disclosure was a former warehouse-turned-luxury-condominium in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn that brought in more than $350,000 in sale proceeds and rent.Former and current tenants in the building have filed a suit against the Kushner Cos. alleging it used noisy, dusty construction to make living conditions unbearable in an effort to push them out so their apartments could be sold. The Kushner Cos. has said the suit is without merit.Cadre has also drawn conflict-of-interest questions. It launched a fund to take advantage of massive tax breaks by investing in downtrodden areas designated "Opportunity Zones," a Trump administration program pushed by both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.Also, this month the Guardian newspaper reported that Cadre received $90 million in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since Kushner entered the White House.Kushner lawyer Abbe Lowell did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.Kushner appears to have cut his debt. He had loans and lines of credit worth at least $27 million at the end of last year, down from a minimum value of $40 million the previous year. His lenders include Bank of America, Citi Group and Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank is also a major lender to President Trump's company and has been subpoenaed by congressional investigators looking into his finances.Both Kushner and his wife took steps to distance themselves from their businesses before taking on their roles as unpaid White House advisers. Kushner stepped down as CEO of Kushner Cos. and sold stakes in many holdings, while Ivanka Trump similarly stepped away from executive roles at her companies.Bernard Condon, The Associated Press

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Alberta Mountie found not guilty of dangerous driving causing pedestrian's death

    FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — There was stony silence followed by tears Friday as a Mountie was found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death of a man near Fort McMurray, Alta.RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips was also found not guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm of another man.Court heard that Tracy Janvier, 41, was struck by a vehicle on Aug. 21, 2016, while walking along a remote part of Highway 881 in the dark.James Cardinal, who was a passenger of the truck that struck Janvier, got out of the vehicle and made a 911 call about the pedestrian collision.Phillips was responding to that call in her police truck when she ran over Janvier, who was laying in the road, and also struck Cardinal's hand.Justice John McCarthy of Court of Queen's Bench said he was unable to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Phillips' actions were a contributing cause of Janvier's death."I find that the Crown has failed to establish that the accused caused Mr. Janvier's death, either in fact or in law," McCarthy said Friday in Fort McMurray court."Rather, this is one of the rarest cases where the court is unable to determine on the evidence before it, whether the deceased was in fact alive at the time of the alleged prohibited act."Phillips didn't move and showed no emotion as the verdicts were read.Janvier's sister, Marina Nakahoo, cried and soon left the courtroom.McCarthy said Phillips made a mistake by hitting Cardinal's hand with her truck, but not to the degree required to have legal consequences."Const. Phillips' evidence is clear that she did not see Mr. Janvier or Mr. Cardinal prior to hitting them."During the trial, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim testified that she couldn't determine which collision caused Janvier's internal injuries.Cause of death was significant trauma and blood loss from impact with a motor vehicle.Cpl. Mark Podesky, an RCMP collision reconstruction expert, said the initial collision was unavoidable because Janvier was walking in the middle of the highway in the dark.He also testified that Phillips' impact with Janvier was unavoidable.— With files from CJOKThe Canadian Press

  • Ottawa to issue apology to Italian Canadians mistreated during Second World War
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Ottawa to issue apology to Italian Canadians mistreated during Second World War

    VAUGHAN, Ont. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is committed to issuing a formal apology to Italian Canadians mistreated in the country during the Second World War."We have to face the dark chapter in our country's history," he said Friday. "Italian Canadians have lived with these memories for many years and deserve closure."Trudeau made the announcement in Vaughan, Ont., at an event celebrating Italian heritage month. He said during the war, Italian Canadian families and businesses struggled and no one was held responsible."It was a time when their patriotism was questioned and their lives thrown into chaos. During the Second World War, hundreds of Italian Canadians were interned," said Trudeau.He did not say when the formal apology would be issued, but said it would offer closure to the community.Trudeau also announced that the federal government would be opening a permanent trade centre in Milan, Italy.Trudeau did not provide further details, but he said the centre will ensure that the "future is bright" between Canada and Italy.The Canadian Press

  • 3rd suspected suicide in less than 2 weeks for NY police
    News
    The Canadian Press

    3rd suspected suicide in less than 2 weeks for NY police

    New York City police say a 29-year-old officer died Friday in the department's third suspected suicide in less than two weeks.Police say he shot himself in the head around 3:45 p.m. on a Staten Island street near the 121st Precinct to which the officer was assigned. His identity had not been released as of late Friday.Last week, two longtime officers died in suspected suicides within 24 hours of each other. Deputy Chief Steven Silks was found dead in a police vehicle in Queens on June 5. Detective Joseph Calabrese was found the next day at a Brooklyn beach.Police say both died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.In the wake of the deaths, Commissioner James O'Neill sent a note reminding the more than 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilians in the NYPD that help is available if they're feeling depressed, hopeless or otherwise contemplating self-harm."This is about keeping our family healthy — and about saving lives," O'Neill wrote. "Your jobs require that you spend so much of your work day helping people in crisis. But, before you can take care of others, it's imperative that you first take care of yourselves."After Friday's suspected suicide, O'Neill and Chief of Department Terence Monahan retweeted a message from the NYPD's Talk to Me program encouraging officers in crisis to text a special help line.The New York City officers' suicides come amid a rising nationwide trend: More than 47,000 U.S. suicides were reported in 2017, or 14 per 100,000 — the highest rate in at least half a century.Among police, at least 159 officers died by suicide in 2018, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a Massachusetts-based organization devoted to preventing police suicides.__Editor's note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press

  • Pond Inlet educator honoured after 41 years of teaching
    News
    CBC

    Pond Inlet educator honoured after 41 years of teaching

    Oopa Arnakallak knows exactly how long a Grade 3 student's attention span will last.That's why, when she received a minutes-long standing ovation from former students at her retirement ceremony, she started to get antsy."It was awkward for me, knowing that children cannot pay attention for too long," she told the host of CBC Nunavut's morning show, Qulliq.Over the past 41 years, Arnakallak has taught generations of Mittimatalingmiut — residents of Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She's taught everything from Grades 1 to 6, in English and Inuktitut, mostly at the community's Ulaajuk School.The 60-year-old says Grade 3 is an important year, because it's when Inuktitut-speaking students are prepared for the English-language education that begins in Grade 4."Getting them ready for the transition from Inuktitut to English … academically, socially, physically, to go on into the next grade, has always been my field," she said, "and teaching Inuktitut has always been my interest."At a special ceremony on June 5, she was honoured with a recognition from the school for her long service. Many of her former students were in attendance."Our superintendent … asked the audience [to] stand up if I had been their teacher ... and the majority of the audience stood up and applauded me," she said.One speaker, she said, told the crowd she had taught "over 1,000 children.""That was very impressive and emotional for me."Since she was a child, she said, Arnakallak has wanted to teach. She started teaching in 1978, pursuing her qualifications in the summer months. She became fully certified in 1982.She said seeing students grow and develop their skills kept her going over four decades in the job.Former students with children of their own would tell her, "one day, you'll be her or his teacher also.""So that made me [say], 'Maybe I'll try a few more years,'" she said.This year, though, Arnakallak says she's feeling the need to slow down."I feel that teachers should be vibrant, full of energy and be ready for anything that comes around," she said."I don't have the energy to keep up with those demands ... it's about time somebody takes over. And I feel confident that I will be replaced by competent teachers who are vibrant and full of energy."Arnakallak says she'll spend her retirement working on traditional skills, like sewing, that she never had time to acquire — and, of course, helping out at the school when a substitute is needed.She says she hopes her example will show to other Inuit the rewards of the teaching profession."Especially for children who did not have the skills, when they develop the skills … they always show their appreciation," she said.

  • 'A long time coming': SheNative Goods opens new storefront in Saskatoon
    News
    CBC

    'A long time coming': SheNative Goods opens new storefront in Saskatoon

    As a child, she dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and now Devon Fiddler is opening her first permanent storefront for her clothing line, SheNative Goods, in Saskatoon.Fiddler, 31, founded the clothing company in 2014 and previously had only had short term lease agreements or pop-up shops in places like Midtown Plaza, Saskatoon's downtown shopping centre, and the Centre Mall, located on Saskatoon's east side, as well as an online presence."It has been a long time coming," said Fiddler of her new digs at 714A 2nd Avenue North."I was pretty stoked when I got the keys but I also knew it was going to be a lot of work to put into building this base, and making it look beautiful and really making it reflect the SheNative brand."The shop offers their line of T-shirts, hoodies, accessories and leather bags. Fiddler said she is proud her shop can offer clothing for all shapes and sizes.The business prides itself on being fully operated by Indigenous women with a mandate to lead by example to inspire other Indigenous women to pursue their own dreams.The SheNative team consists of seven people from administration, design, development and production as well as retail. Now everything will be under one roof."So we have our studio in here, we have our thinktank in here, we have our administration happening here and then of course our retail space as well," said Tori-Lynn Wanotch, director of business growth and marketing."It just feels really good to have our entire team together, so that was the biggest and most important part of opening this space." Building the businessFiddler is Cree from the Waterhen Lake First Nation in northern Saskatchewan. While going to school at the University of Saskatchewan for her degree in Aboriginal Public Administration, she worked as a business development officer helping other entrepreneurs begin their own business ventures.Fiddler then decided to follow her childhood dream of being a fashion designer and started SheNative.  "I started this company without any samples, just an idea," said Fiddler"I had some illustrations, a couple of different designs and a line I wanted to create. And I had zero money."Fiddler used her savings to hire a consultant from Toronto who taught her how to get her business idea rolling. She made several crowdfunding campaigns that allowed her to start production on her first line. She also completed numerous leadership, economic development, entrepreneurship and business certificate programs over the years. Striving to make changeShe said SheNative's success is due to the community support from family, friends and customers. She also drew inspiration from other Saskatchewan Indigenous businesses' successes."I have learned a lot from Kendal Netmaker of NeechieGear," she said."He is a good example of an knowledgable Indigenous businessman." Fiddler also aims to inspire other female entrepreneurs."A change maker is somebody who strives to make change in community and somebody who tries to use their platform to change perceptions," said Fiddler.Fiddler said she aims to help others to become those change makers with workshops that are geared to promoting opportunities for women to succeed.Former participants of the workshops have pursued their own businesses.Alexandra Jarrett said she began her own photography business after taking a workshop with Fiddler."It kind of opened my eyes that there ... are things available for Indigenous women who want to be business owners and entrepreneurs," she said. "She taught me so much."Fiddler plans to give more workshops in First Nations communities. "We're using it as a platform to build confidence in young girls lives and obviously it gives us an opportunity to promote the brand."Fiddler said she and her team are working on a new summer line that will be out in the next few months.

  • Front line Children Services Workers learn from Indigenous elders out on the land
    News
    CBC

    Front line Children Services Workers learn from Indigenous elders out on the land

    First Nation teepees pitched up in a wooded area in Kananaskis country set the tone for the Miskamaso, (mis-ka-ma-so), — Cree for "discover for yourself" — conference.Miskanawah (mis-con-a-wa), in collaboration with Calgary Children's Services, hosted a two day training this week that brought together 20 Indigenous elders from across Alberta, B.C and Saskatchewan for in-teepee sessions.Participants gathered together for a land-based conference that covered cultural knowledge, traditions and Indigenous teachings.The land-based training aimed to have front-line workers discover themselves in the Indigenous way of life, support the healing and ongoing reconciliation.Miskanawah (mis-con-a-wa) Cree for "many little roads and paths" is a non-profit organization with a focus on Indigenous traditions — a leader in the social services field, working from a harm-reduction perspective.Rare occurrenceAccording to organizers, it is rare for elders from Treaty 7 Territory and beyond to have come together for a single event to teach.Siksika Nation Elder Ruth Scalplock facilitated a session on lateral violence."I have been doing this work for quite some time. It really gets people to look at themselves, their behaviour and how they treat others," Scalplock said.Each in-teepee session focused on areas related to the children's services field, she said."This training is going to help participants to recognize those behaviours and attitudes and to really work with our people." Miskanawah supports vulnerable children and youth in a holistic way throughout Calgary and the surrounding area.Woods Homes Youth and Family Counsellors, Emma Perry and Faisal Qureshi participated in the conference. "I think it was a very positive experience" Perry said. "I don't think we have the training to include the cultural aspect."She added that the training definitely increased their treatment with clients.Faisal Qureshi said the conference was interesting — adding that overall, it was a peaceful experience."Compared to the conventional approach in the traditional classroom, this is really hands-on," Qureshi said. "We really immersed ourselves into the environment."Elders beyond southern AlbertaMiskanawah CEO Kirby Redwood said this is the second year but the first time it has been held outdoors with elders beyond southern Alberta."I think while it is about changing the story about forming, building relationships," Redwood said."We see the impact that it has with our children and families. The ones dealing with trauma — so having them come out here to be exposed to this is huge to their well-being and to us as service providers."Children service workers also got the opportunity to camp, participate in ceremonies and healing lodges as part of their training.Redwood said the conference was utilized to connect with other organizations as well."This is an opportunity to connect with funders, and service providers so that they may be better prepared and informed for serving indigenous children and families," he said.The land-based education was open to anyone interested in exploring indigenous culture, said the CEO.Miskanawah (mis-con-a-wa) in partnership with Calgary Children's Services is hosting a series of Indigenous teachings and opportunities for Children Services workers leading up to Aboriginal Awareness Week, June 17 – 22.

  • 'It's like that friend who betrayed you': Emotional toll of flooding is felt long after waters recede
    News
    CBC

    'It's like that friend who betrayed you': Emotional toll of flooding is felt long after waters recede

    If you didn't live through one of the catastrophic floods that hit Canada this spring, you might think they're over.Once the water recedes, it easy to assume that people's lives return to normal. After all, when the rivers and lakes go back down, the story disappears from the news and the public's attention turns elsewhere.But what happens to the people still living in the flood zone?Many Canadians experienced some of the worst flooding in recorded history this spring — one of the hardest-hit areas in New Brunswick, where more than 5,500 homes flooded or were threatened, was still recovering from a 2018 inundation. The National sent reporter Nick Purdon and producer Leonardo Palleja to  to find out what happens after the flood.Dawn Burke"Every time the waves hit, the house shook."Dawn Burke remembers how the water of Grand Lake rose so high that it reached the ceiling of the main floor inside her house."It wasn't worth risking our lives to be in there, so that's when we left,"  she says. * Climate change is a critical issue for our readers, viewers and listeners. Recent polling suggests that it is a leading concern in this election year.In Our Backyard is an ambitious and comprehensive CBC News project about how climate change is affecting our lives. You'll see and hear it wherever CBC News is... online, on television, on the radio and on CBC Kids News, because Canada's youth care deeply about this issue.That spring day in 2018, her house battered and completely surrounded by water, Burke, 52, and her husband didn't believe there was anything they could do to save it.So instead they went to help a neighbour.When they finally returned to the house, Burke says she opened the front door and water poured out."That was very dramatic," she says. "But I didn't cry for it. I didn't cry once for it," even though it was the home where she had raised her six children."I think for me it was more important to show my kids that material possessions come and go, and that's not what is going to define what we are," Burke says. "There was a lesson there for us all to learn."Burke says it would have cost more to fix her house than it was worth.In the end, the province paid Burke a percentage of its value and the family walked away.Now they've started again."My husband is 64 — we never thought at our age we'd be trying to come up with a downpayment," she says."But what's the choice?" she adds.This spring the family managed to buy a house — far outside the flood zone.Burke admits she'll miss the lake she loves, but she won't risk being flooded again."How high do you build?" Burke asks. "How bad are the floods going to get? So that was a struggle for us."Sarah KirsteadChildhood for Sarah Kirstead was all about the cottage her grandfather built almost 50 years ago."We played hide and seek, we picked berries, and had campfires all the time," she says. "The cottage was home. I think what it was to me as a child was freedom."Then the flood of 2018 destroyed it.Kirstead, 22, who is now a professional photographer, has used her camera to make sense of her loss."I remember standing in what was their kitchen — the whole front of the cottage was open to the water, the walls were completely gone," she says."I thought, 'I lost an era of my life.'"Kirstead is worried about her grandparents, too, because she knows how much they loved the cottage."There was a little bedroom — that was grammy's room," Kirstead remembers. "She used to have a window right onto the lake and she would always listen for the waves in there."Kirstead says her grandmother was usually at the window of the cottage looking out at the lake when Sarah came to visit."In a way it's gone, but it's still here too," Kirstead says."That's one thing my grandmother said when we were processing the aftermath. She was like, 'You know, the view is still there. At least the view is still there.'"Kirstead's family decided not to rebuild the cottage. With catastrophic floods two years in a row, they say the water levels are too unpredictable.Instead, Kirstead's grandparents have parked a trailer near the spot — but higher up and closer to the road.Kirstead says the flooding has taught her a lot about which things in life really last."You want to feel secure and permanent, but I don't necessarily need the cottage to physically be there to understand what it meant to me growing up."That's still there," she says.Lisa Sanderson"I haven't actually been down to the beach since the flood," Lisa Sanderson admits as she stares out at the St. John River.On this day the river is perfectly calm."I just…" she tries to explain, but pauses."It's a little too real to see the water."Sanderson has been through a lot over the past couple of years.She and her partner checked the historical flood data before they bought the property in 2012 — water had never come close to the house.They thought they were safe.  Then in 2018 it took 2,500 sandbags, a dozen people and days of pumping water out of her house to save it.A flood like that wasn't supposed to happen more than once in her lifetime — but then the water rose again this spring.One of the things she has learned about floods, Sanderson says, is that they don't get easier the more they happen.They get harder."This year the helplessness was worse. The anxiety was worse, because you know what to expect," she says. "You know how hard it is to see the water coming. It's a feeling of doom and dread. It feels like it is attacking your life."Sanderson says she has decided to seek counselling to help her with the stress of the floods."It's really hard. You picture your life here," she says. "It looks like just a little piece of land to someone, but to us it perks us up when we come home — every single day. But at the same time, we can't go through what we went through the last couple of years."Sanderson, a high school music teacher in St. John, isn't sure what to do. She and her partner have discussed building a flood wall, and they've looked into moving, too — but how do you sell a house that floods?"Who is going to want to build here? Who is going to want to live here?"It was never a concern before," Sanderson adds. "Things are changing. The world is changing."Standing on the beach as the sun begins to set, Sanderson admits her perspective on the St. John River has changed too."When we first came down here this was one of the selling points — standing here and looking at this river," she says.And now?"It's like that friend who betrayed you who you still hang out with — you're just careful."Watch the story from The National about how the aftermath of major flooding continues to affect the lives of people in New Brunswick:

  • News
    CBC

    Beaches now open in Ottawa and Gatineau

    It might not feel like beach weather, but if you're itching for a dip, most public beaches in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., are now open to the public.Six beaches run by the National Capital Commission in Gatineau Park were staffed by lifeguards as of Friday. In Ottawa, Mooney's Bay Beach, Westboro Beach and Britannia Beach are now open for swimming between noon and 7 p.m.East-enders will have to travel a little further for a swim because the Petrie Island Beach is closed until further notice due to the spring flooding.The flooding has also delayed the opening of the Leamy Lake Beach, with the NCC urging people to stay off it for the time being.City of Ottawa beaches will remain open until Aug. 25. Beaches do close if high levels of e-coli are found in the water, which is tested each day.In Gatineau, the O'Brien, Blanchet, Breton, Parent and La Pêche Lake beaches are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Smith Beach is open only to those staying at the Phillipe Lake campground.The beaches in Gatineau will be open until Sept. 3.For those who prefer some inland swimming, most City of Ottawa outdoor pools are also now open.Saturday's forecast includes rain, but sun and warmth should return Sunday and hang around for a few days.

  • Trump accuses Iran of involvement in tanker attacks
    CBC

    Trump accuses Iran of involvement in tanker attacks

    U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the assessment of his top advisers and publicly accused Iran of responsibility for recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

  • What's up for grabs at Saturday's government warehouse sale
    News
    CBC

    What's up for grabs at Saturday's government warehouse sale

    Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is giving the public a rare chance to buy government surplus items and forfeited goods in a warehouse sale on Saturday.These kinds of goods used to be sold at live silent auctions until bidding on the website was launched in 2008."All of these assets have a finite useful life and when they reach that for [the government], a lot of them still have value," said Nicholas Trudel, director general of PSPC's specialized services sector.Shoppers will get a chance to walk into a warehouse and buy things such as a used Jet Ski or seized jewelry without bidding or waiting for shipping."Given our volume, given how the business has evolved and given our intent to improve and be efficient, we though we'd give this a try," he said.He said the vehicles end up being resold because it's cheaper to buy them, sometimes modify them and flip them than to rent them.He singled out former museum display pieces as some of the most interesting pieces they have, though he's partial to some of the camping and outdoor gear.PSPC doesn't have an "everything-must-go" mentality, however."It's not a garage sale, it's not a blowout where we're trying to get rid of stuff, the goal is not to dispose willy-nilly without regard for price, our intent is to get market value … If it doesn't sell here they'll be listed online."The sale is from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 3020 Hawthorne Rd., near Russell Road, in unit 500-E.

  • Kids learning a latte at student café in Whati
    News
    CBC

    Kids learning a latte at student café in Whati

    A unique program at Mezi Community School in Whati, N.W.T., is helping kids on the road to success — one cup at a time.The sounds of laughter and rich smells of coffee waft from a small room in the high school at Mezi Community School where a group of students crowd around an espresso machine.At the hands-on student café, they learn everything from baking cookies and making a regular cup of joe to making lattes and cappuccinos."I think they really like it," said Jessica Barber, a high school and junior high teacher who oversees the café."They certainly are more energetic when they come to school, especially my senior high boys. They're very motivated by the coffee. So it's something that's new for them and it's kind of novel."Among the students is Todd Wetrade, a returning graduate who said he learns a lot at the café and that it's fun.Donning a Toronto Raptors' hat, he packs coffee grounds into the basket of a portafiller — the device on an espresso machine that holds coffee grounds — and tightens it into place.  Once his cup of coffee is brewed, Wetrade uses the steam wand on the machine to froth a cup of milk with a satisfying gurgling sound. Barber said beyond making making drinks, the café teaches students other skills they can use outside the classroom like food handling and business skills."I saw that the life skills [were] lacking and that there was a need for it," she said on starting the café. Currently, there isn't a formal coffee shop in Whati, but some people operate businesses out of their homes."It would be really great for especially the youth right now if they could establish their own business and become entrepreneurs," Barber said. Construction on an all-season road to and from the community is set to begin this fall and it's expected to open in 2020, which could bring more visitors to Whati, she added. "That would be cool," Wetrade said, when asked about a coffee shop opening in Whati.Around 10 students are involved with the café, Barber said, which takes place during the school's "wind cycle" standing for "whatever is needed." During this time students also read, do remediation, or take part in things like the chess club."I'm just really proud of my students," Barber said. "Especially some of them, they're very hard workers, they clean up after themselves and I'm very proud of how much pride they've put into this.""I hope in the future that … we can actually do something with this and make it a much larger scale."