• Hong Kong descends into chaos again as protesters defy ban
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Hong Kong descends into chaos again as protesters defy ban

    Hong Kong streets descended into chaotic scenes following an unauthorized pro-democracy rally Sunday, as protesters set up roadblocks and torched businesses, and police responded with tear gas and a water cannon.Protesters tossed firebombs and took their anger out on shops with mainland Chinese ties as they skirmished late into the evening with riot police, who unleashed numerous tear gas rounds on short notice, angering residents and passers-by.Police had beefed up security measures ahead of the rally, for which they refused to give permission, the latest chapter in the unrest that has disrupted life in the financial hub since early June.Some 24 people were hurt and treated at hospitals, including six with serious injuries, the Hospital Authority said.Police did not give an arrest figure. One person was seen being handcuffed and taken away to a police van.As the rally march set off, protest leaders carried a black banner that read, "Five main demands, not one less," as they pressed their calls for police accountability and political rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.Supporters sang the protest movement's anthem, waved colonial and U.S. flags, and held up placards depicting the Chinese flag as a Nazi swastika.Many protesters wore masks in defiance of a recently introduced ban on face coverings at public gatherings, and volunteers handed more out to the crowd.Matthew Lee, a university student, said he was determined to keep protesting even after more than four months."I can see some people want to give up, but I don't want to do this because Hong Kong is my home, we want to protect this place, protect Hong Kong," he said. "You can't give up because Hong Kong is your home."Some front-line protesters barricaded streets at multiple locations in Kowloon, where the city's subway operator restricted passenger access.They tore up stones from the sidewalk and scattered them on the road, commandeered plastic safety barriers and unscrewed metal railings to form makeshift roadblocks.A water cannon truck and armoured car led a column of dozens of police vans up and down Nathan Road, a major artery lined with shops, to spray a stinging blue-dyed liquid as police moved to clear the road of protesters and barricades.At one point, the water cannon sprayed a handful of people standing outside a mosque. Local broadcaster RTHK reported that the people hit were guarding the mosque and few protesters were nearby. The Hong Kong police force said it was an "unintended impact" of its operation to disperse protesters andlatersent a representativeto meet the mosque's imam.As night fell, protesters returned to the streets, setting trash on fire at intersections.Residents jeered riot police, cursing at them and telling them to leave. The officers, in turn, warned people that they were part of an illegal assembly and told them to leave, and unleashed tear gas to disperse the crowds.Along the way, protesters trashed discount grocery shops and a restaurant chain because of what they say is the pro-Beijing ownership of the companies. They also set fire to ATMs and branches of mainland Chinese banks, setting off sprinklers in at least two, as well as a shop selling products from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.The police used a bomb disposal robot to blow up a cardboard box with protruding wires that they suspected was a bomb.Organizers said ahead of the march that they wanted to use their right to protest as guaranteed by Hong Kong's constitution despite the risk of arrest."We're using peaceful, rational, nonviolent ways to voice our demands," Figo Chan, vice convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, told reporters. "We're not afraid of being arrested. What I'm most scared of is everyone giving up on our principles."The group has organized some of the movement's biggest protest marches. One of its leaders, Jimmy Sham, was attacked on Wednesday by assailants wielding hammers.On Saturday, Hong Kong police arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of stabbing a teenage activist who was distributing leaflets near a wall plastered with pro-democracy messages. A witness told RTHK that the assailant shouted afterward that Hong Kong is "a part of China" and other pro-Beijing messages.The protest movement sprang out of opposition to a government proposal for an extradition bill that would have sent suspects to mainland China to stand trial, and then ballooned into broader demands for full democracy and an inquiry into alleged police brutality.___Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanmanKelvin Chan, The Associated Press

  • Why the Bloc Québécois came back from the dead to haunt the Liberals
    News
    CBC

    Why the Bloc Québécois came back from the dead to haunt the Liberals

    Throughout the campaign, as the Bloc Québécois rose steadily in the polls, the other leaders would accuse the sovereigntist party of trying to revive vieilles chicanes, old arguments.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer used the line in the TVA debate. The NDP's Jagmeet Singh used a slight variation. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been using the line at least since 2013.But whatever effect the claim once had, it's since worn off. The Bloc is poised to make substantial gains on Monday night. After eight years in the political wilderness, it could once again be a significant player on the federal scene.Accusing the Bloc of obsessing over old arguments was meant, of course, to make the party look like a leftover from a bygone era, when talk of referendums and sovereignty consumed the country's political oxygen.But the problem is that under leader Yves-François Blanchet, the Bloc has reinvented itself.Blanchet has spent most of his time talking about Quebec nationalism, not sovereignty.In Quebec, this brand of nationalism is often called décomplexé, that is, unselfconscious or, literally, without complexes; its champion is Premier François Legault and it's seen as something new, refreshingly so.Recycling the vieilles chicanes line makes it seem like it's the other federal leaders who are the ones stuck in the past.Why nationalism, why nowBooks will be written on why this unselfconscious nationalism has supplanted sovereignty, and why at this moment. In the meantime, though, here are a few sociological trends to consider.For the first time in recent history, according to Scotiabank, Quebec's economy will lead the country in GDP growth this year.There are construction cranes not just in Montreal, but across the province. Mid-sized cities — like Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke and Drummondville — are growing and adapting to the opportunities of a high-tech economy.Along their main streets, help-wanted signs can be spotted in just about every other storefront window.This is a relatively new experience in a province where for years a sluggish economy was understood to be the byproduct of continuous referendum uncertainty.But the long-term prospects of this growth face significant hurdles thanks to an aging population that is leaving the workforce in droves.Economists, business lobbies and mayors are pleading for more workers, for immigrants. But these pleas confront more deeply embedded concerns: Will they speak French? Will they adopt our values?The perception among many Quebecers — especially those older and living outside of Montreal — is that the Trudeau government was deaf to these concerns.Multiculturalism, a word closely associated with the Trudeau name, is understood as putting the needs of newcomers and minority groups before those of the host society.To get a taste of how that was received, here are a few samples from the opinion pages in Saturday's Journal de Montréal, the most widely read newspaper in the province:"[Trudeau] trucks in a radical multiculturalism."He's among the "defenders of the multicultural orthodoxy."Canada is a country divided by its "state multiculturalism."Quebec, in a way, is re-modernizing itself, a process that comes with anxieties about the ability of a collective identity to survive the transformation.As have similar anxieties elsewhere in the world, in Quebec they have been channeled into nationalism. That is what the Bloc is offering voters.Using the vieilles chicanes line not only makes it seem that the federal leaders are out of touch with these concerns, it reminds Quebecers that the outcome of the old argument was never really resolved.The province still hasn't signed the Constitution; its distinct society is still unrecognized by the federation.Return of the repressedJack Layton and the NDP's Orange Wave of 2011 often gets the credit for decimating the Bloc, putting it on life support until Blanchet's arrival.But it's worth remembering that was preceded by Stephen Harper's experiment with "open federalism," which included the parliamentary motion recognizing Quebec as a nation and giving the province a seat at UNESCO.Blanchet points to these measures now as proof of what the Bloc can get done in a minority government. At the time, though, they were seen as stealing the party's thunder.Trudeau had his own opportunity to demonstrate that Liberals too could practise a federalism sensitive to Quebec's continuing anxieties about its constitutional status.In 2017, then premier Philippe Couillard — a Liberal and diehard federalist — unveiled an ambitious 177-page manifesto that outlined a very gradual way to get Quebec to sign the Constitution.Trudeau, walking into a cabinet meeting in Ottawa just hours after the manifesto was released, dismissed the effort with little more than a shrug.When it came time for Couillard to seek re-election, his opponents accused him of cravenly bowing to Ottawa, of being too co-operative with the federal government only to come home empty-handed.He was trounced by Legault's brand of nationalism.If Trudeau loses his majority, or worse, it will in no small part be due to the nationalist energy the Bloc drew from Legault.There is a theory in Freudian psychology known as the return of the repressed, which in its less sexual variant holds that those things you don't confront will eventually come back to haunt you.So long as Quebec's distinct character remains unaddressed in the Constitution, it is likely the Bloc will continue to haunt the other federal parties for some time to come.

  • Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' dominates with soft $36 million
    News
    Reuters

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' dominates with soft $36 million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent" cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," a sequel to 2014's fantasy adventure based on the "Sleeping Beauty" sorceress, debuted to $36 million from 2,790 North American theaters, nearly half of what the first movie made in its inaugural weekend ($69 million). Despite opening below projections heading into the weekend, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" easily towered over competition including holdover from Warner Bros.' "Joker" and newcomer Sony's "Zombieland: Double Tap." The "Maleficent" follow-up did benefit as one of the few offerings catering to younger female moviegoers in a marketplace that's been largely dominated by male-skewed titles like "Joker" and Paramount's "Gemini Man." Women represented 56% of ticket buyers, about 50% of which were under the age of 25.

  • News
    CBC

    Clare's Law may hurt more than help, Edmonton lawyer says

    A proposed law that would give police the authority to share a person's criminal record of domestic violence is raising red flags for at least one lawyer in Edmonton. Alberta's UCP government introduced Bill 17 on Wednesday: the Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence Act, colloquially known as Clare's Law.  The legislation would allow people to ask for their partner's or potential partner's criminal record involving domestic abuse. Amanda Hart-Dowhun, a director Criminal Trial Lawyers Association, said she's inclined to oppose the legislation, saying it would infringe on privacy rights of convicted offenders.Many concerns surround Clare's Law, she said, including the appearance that it solves a complex issue. "It looks simple and it makes people feel good," Hart-Dowhun said. "It makes people think, 'look we've we've stopped domestic violence, now all that all that we need to do we've put it in the hands of the potential victims."She said it ultimately places the onus and the responsibility on potential victims.The rationale behind the law is flawed, she added, by assuming that awareness of a criminal record would persuade someone to leave their abusive partner. "I don't think that is accurate," she said. "The rationale underpinning Clare's Law misjudges the reason that most people get into or stay in abusive relationships."Saskatchewan's lawSaskatchewan was the first province to pass the law in May 2019, based on the original law adopted in the U.K. in 2014.Clare Wood from Manchester was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, whom police reportedly knew had a violent record and did not disclose the information to her.Jo-Anne Dusel, executive director of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services (PATHS) in Saskatchewan, said Clare's Law is a tool for anyone who feels they may be at risk and second-guessing themselves."Unfortunately many people who end up as victims of intimate partner violence tend to minimize the first warning signs, they tend to convince themselves that it's nothing serious," Dusel said. "Maybe they're imagining this sort of gut feeling that something isn't ok." If someone has suspicions about a partner or potential partner, they can request to see their criminal record from police. A committee, made up in part of police, domestic violence advocates and justice ministry representatives will review the applications, Dusel said.  The final decision on whether to show an applicant another person's criminal record will be up to the police. The person who receives a criminal record background gets a verbal report only, she pointed out."They're never going to have a piece of paper that they can take out of the room with that information on it," Dusel said. "The information is strictly for that individual to keep themselves safe." As for concerns about infringing on convicted offenders' privacy rights, "safety does trump confidentiality," she said. Comparing statistics with the U.K., Dusel expects about 80 applications a year in Saskatchewan.Clare's Law has not yet been enacted in Saskatchewan, though it could be in place by early 2020. Alberta's minister of community and social services introduced the legislation on Wednesday. The Alberta government says it has consulted a range of community organizations along with the Privacy Commissioner in developing the legislation.It says it will continue to consult the privacy commissioner to ensure their approach takes concerns into account. it hopes to pass Clare's Law next spring. @natashariebe

  • Alberta premier seeking to spur blue wave in competitive big-name Manitoba riding
    News
    CBC

    Alberta premier seeking to spur blue wave in competitive big-name Manitoba riding

    Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ventured about 1,200 kilometres away from his provincial legislature to convince Manitoba voters to ride the blue wave at a Conservative Party of Canada event in a big-name bid in Winnipeg."I'm trying to send a message to other parts of the country where the election's a bit more competitive about the importance of voting for change," Kenney said."Winnipeg is famously competitive."Kenney said he was asked by the federal Conservatives to send a message to Canadians in Manitoba. The premier spoke to several dozen people crammed into Marty Morantz's Conservative campaign base on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg's Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia–Headingley riding."It's just an honour to have someone like that come here to support what we're trying to do here in our riding," said Morantz, adding that he believes Kenney's visit could drive people to mark blue at the ballot box.Manitobans are likely to recognize some of the seven names on the ballot in the federal riding — one of the more competitive races in the 2019 elections.The Liberal Party of Canada is running Doug Eyolfson, the New Democratic Party is running Ken St. George, the Green Party of Canada is running Kristin Lauhn-Jensen, the Christian Heritage Party of Canada has Melissa Penner's name on the ballot, Brian Ho is listed as an independent candidate and the People's Party of Canada is running Steven Fletcher.Eyolfson said he spent his Saturday canvassing, making phone calls and attending Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's campaign pit stop at the Punjab Cultural Centre in Winnipeg. Fletcher said he was knocking on doors and canvassing all day.Two right-wing candidates — Morantz and Fletcher — have been campaigning on feisty battlegrounds.When the official Leaders' Debates Commission decided to invite Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, to participate in the English and French debates earlier in the election period, it identified the Winnipeg riding as one where the party has a "legitimate chance" of electing a member of parliament.Former Conservative cabinet minister Steven Fletcher was booted from the Manitoba Progressive Conservative caucus for publicly breaking from the party on a number of policies in 2017 and rejected from running under the federal Conservative party's banner.Kenney keeps pledge to Alberta votersKenney said he made a promise to Alberta voters that he would campaign in hotly-contested areas of the country outside the province to elect a new federal government."I committed to Albertans I'd do everything I could to get a change in government this Monday," Kenney said to media."The Prairie economy, Manitoba and Alberta, are very closely linked together," Kenney said.Kenney said he promised to get out the vote beyond his home province based on the premise that he believes Alberta voters are already on track to elect a "clean sweep" of Conservatives."We desperately need a change of government to one that's focused on reducing the cost of living, helping people get ahead, but also that will help us develop our economy, including our resources," he said."We can't do that without a federal government that's going to take off the shackles."Changing the tideKenney said the federal party asked him to make an appearance in Winnipeg after visiting Toronto, Ottawa and New Brunswick on the campaign trail. Kenney said he has no aspirations to run at the federal level."If I was interested in federal office, I would have run for the federal Conservative leadership." Instead, he said he opted to try to get Alberta "back on track" after four years of provincial NDP government under Rachel Notley.Kenney said Trudeau has been treating his province like a "punching bag" throughout the campaign. Kenney, who is a big fan of oil and gas, criticized the Liberal government for "hammering" natural resource and transportation industries out West.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has not publicly endorsed the Conservatives here."Every premier and provincial leader has taken a different approach. I respect that," Kenney said about his last-ditch effort to motivate Conservative supporters and potential voters in Manitoba.Voters across Canada will head to the ballot boxes on Monday.

  • Federal Election 2019: Singh says minority governments are ‘a good thing’
    Global News

    Federal Election 2019: Singh says minority governments are ‘a good thing’

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Sunday that he agrees with B.C. Premier John Horgan’s assertion that minority governments “are a good thing,” adding that no matter what happens on election day in his opinion New Democrats “are going to make your life better.”

  • Green Leader Elizabeth May promises electoral reform, lowering voting age to 16
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Green Leader Elizabeth May promises electoral reform, lowering voting age to 16

    VANCOUVER — Green Leader Elizabeth May said Sunday that if her party is elected Monday, it will be the last federal government in Canada chosen by the first-past-the-post system.May spent much of the last day of the federal election campaign in Vancouver, dealing with weighty subjects: besides pledging electoral reform, she spoke at a rally in the city's Downtown Eastside calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women.But her plans to go finish up in southern Vancouver Island, believed to hold the Greens' best hope to boost their standing in the House of Commons from the two seats they had at the election call in September, were frustrated by bad weather that indefinitely delayed her flight.Besides May's own seat of Saanich-Gulf Islands, the Greens picked up Nanaimo-Ladysmith from the New Democrats in a byelection earlier this year. May had been going to campaign with three Green candidates in and around Victoria.May said a Green government would launch a citizens' assembly with a mandate to make recommendations to Parliament on a new electoral system based on proportional representation."Canada is among the very last free and prosperous countries in the world still using the outdated first-past-the-post voting system," May said in a statement. "We need to change immediately to proportional representation, a system that translates all votes into representation in Parliament and doesn't classify more than half the electorate as losers unworthy of representation."The Greens also say they will lower the voting age to 16."It flies in the face of fairness that 16- and 17-year-olds are old enough to work and pay taxes but are not allowed to vote for the government that spends that tax revenue," May said.The Liberals included electoral reform as part of their platform for the 2015 election but dropped the idea once they were in power.May also said a Green government would have Elections Canada develop a framework to fight dishonest campaign advertising, claiming that "current political parties seem to be able to lie with impunity."That comment came after the Green party issued a release Saturday claiming it had contacted former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page to clear up what it called "NDP misinformation."According to the release, the NDP distributed a flyer throughout Vancouver Island saying the Greens' platform budget had failed a review by Page.However, Page said in the release that the Green platform received an overall passing grade on a fiscal assessment from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy, which he leads, at the University of Ottawa. He said the same grade was given to the Conservatives and the NDP. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2019.The Canadian Press

  • India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir, killing 9
    News
    The Canadian Press

    India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir, killing 9

    SRINAGAR, India — Pakistani and Indian soldiers traded fire in disputed Kashmir on Sunday, killing at least nine people on both sides, officials said.The Indian military said Pakistani soldiers targeted an Indian border post and civilian areas along the highly militarized frontier in Kashmir early in the day, leaving two army soldiers and a civilian dead.Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, said three Indian civilians were also injured in the Pakistani firing. Kalia called it an "unprovoked" violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord between India and Pakistan.Pakistan's army later said that "unprovoked cease-fire violations" by Indian troops killed five civilians and one soldier and wounded another three civilians and two troops across the highly militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India.The army said Indian troops targeted civilians in Jura, Shahkot and Nousehri sectors. It said Pakistani forces responded with heavy fire on Indian soldiers.India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, which is divided between the rivals but claimed by both in its entirety. The renewed fighting comes amid an ongoing lockdown in Kashmir that was put in place after India stripped the region of its semi-autonomy in early August.Since then, soldiers from the two nations have regularly engaged in cross-border shelling and firing along their de facto frontier in Kashmir, where rebel groups are fighting for the territory to be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. In the past, each side has accused the other of starting the hostilities in violation of the 2003 accord.India accuses Pakistan of arming and training anti-India rebels and also helping them by providing gunfire as cover for incursions into the Indian side. Pakistan denies this, saying it offers only moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris who oppose Indian rule.Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.On Aug. 5, India's Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status and imposed a strict crackdown, sending in tens of thousands more additional troops to the region, which is already one of the highest militarized zones in the world. India has arrested thousands of activists and separatist leaders in the days leading up to and after the revoking of Kashmir's special status.More than two months later, the region remains under a communications blockade. Authorities have restored landline and some cellphone services, but the internet remains suspended.___Associated Press writer Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.Aijaz Hussain, The Associated Press

  • Do You Care About Women's Rights This Federal Election? Then Read This.
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Do You Care About Women's Rights This Federal Election? Then Read This.

    Melanee Thomas speaks quickly and authoritatively. An associate professor of political science at the University of Calgary who focuses on gender-based inequity in politics, Thomas does not mince words when it comes to her field of research.But when asked how gender issues are discussed during this year's federal election compared to the previous one, she takes a long pause."I'm trying remember back to 2015, whether or not we actually talked about women in meaningful kinds of ways," she told HuffPost Canada.What's top of mind for women in Monday's federal election is important, not least because they make up just over half of the country's population, but because they represent different kinds of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and gender identities.But Thomas doesn't feel like any of the parties are making a significant effort to make life better for Canadian women. "If I was going to be looking at how gender is being activated in this particular campaign, what's striking to me is that it isn't," she said.Watch: May calls out male party leaders at debate. Story continues below. Toby King, a 24-year-old child care worker from Toronto who's currently living in Israel but who voted from abroad, agrees with Thomas's assessment. "I didn't get much of a sense that the parties were particularly speaking to women's issues," she told HuffPost Canada.In her line of work, she sees the high cost of child care as a gendered issue, given that women are more likely to be caretakers, both to children and other family members. "One of the reasons that there's children in poverty is because single mothers can't afford child care," she said. "If you work, most of your salary will go to child care, and it's a cycle of poverty for a lot of women." 'Masculinized way of looking at cost of living'Affordability -- in housing, transit, and particularly child care -- are issues that matter more to women than tax credits, according to Thomas.Yet one of the most consistent talking points in almost any election is taxes. Research shows that while men regularly rank taxes as one of their top three issues, women rarely do. Men also benefit more from Canadian tax breaks than women."When we're talking about affordability in this campaign, we're getting boutique tax credits, and that is it," Thomas said. "That is, I would argue, a masculinized way of looking at cost of living."She said she's "annoyed" that leaders are framing financial issues around taxes, as opposed to money out of pocket. "If we were going to be looking at affordability through a gendered lens, we would be talking about this stuff." Is abortion an issue?Conversations about abortion have come up this election cycle as Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer faced questions from other parties, particularly Liberals, about his views. Scheer has said that while he is personally "pro-life," he will not re-open the debate and will vote against measures that seek to do so.There are significant policy conversations that we should be happening on abortion access and time restrictions, Thomas said, rather than having fruitless debates about whether or not to re-criminalize the medical procedure."I get the impression that he's quite annoyed and often insulted that people ask him about this," Thomas said."Andrew Scheer did this to himself," she continued. "He played on social conservatism, and he deliberately played to anti-choice groups to win the Conservative Party of Canada leadership."Scheer got a boost from social conservatives to win his party's leadership race in 2017. During that campaign, he promised to allow his MPs to bring forward private members' bills that opposed abortion rights, although he said he would not endorse them. His leadership win was applauded by several anti-abortion groups.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet have all affirmed their support for abortion rights.While some Green Party candidates have expressed views against abortion, party leader Elizabeth May has said if they form government, Greens would "never allow a single inch of retreat from the hard-earned rights of women in this country -- not one inch." The announced closure this month of New Brunswick's only freestanding abortion clinic is one example of what can happen without conversations about access.Clinic 554's medical director, Dr. Adrian Edgar, said upon news of the closure, "I am sad, that during this federal election, our leaders have focused on whether or not they'll 'reopen the debate' on abortion, rather than the real crisis at hand: access." When race intersects with genderWhile the Bloc says abortion rights are "anchored" in Quebecers, it has also made Bill 21 a major part of its platform.In 2015, the public conversation about the niqab was largely seen as xenophobic and racist, but the way those forces intersect with sexism should have been considered too, Thomas said. Similarly, conversations about Bill 21, the Quebec secularism law that prevents people working in public service from wearing religious symbols, should be examined for the ways race and gender intersect to affect the largely racialized women who are religious minorities in the province. Muslim women are disproportionately affected by the bill."I do think that they are targeting women, and in particular a marginalized and vulnerable sector of the population," said Kulbinder Saran Caldwell, a producer and mother of two who lives in Toronto.Watch: 'It's pretty obvious I'm against Bill 21,' says NDP Leader Jagmeet Story continues below. As a Sikh woman, Caldwell wears a kara, a bangle that's symbolic of the relationship to God. Someone would have to examine it closely to distinguish it from a regular bracelet -- but under the law, she couldn't wear it if she worked in public service in Quebec.She and her husband have decided they won't travel to the province any time soon: "We just don't feel safe." Equal treatment for Indigenous womenIndigenous women are even less likely to get equal treatment during policy discussions. The report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls this summer called Canada's treatment of Indigenous girls and women a "genocide." Trudeau initially avoided using the term, saying the violence is "not a relic of Canada's past" but part of its present, and that the justice system has failed Indigenous girls and women. He did later refer to "genocide" while at a policy conference in Vancouver aimed at strengthening the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women.Both May and Singh supported the categorization of "genocide."Scheer has rejected the term: "I believe that the tragedy that has happened to this vulnerable section of our society is its own thing. I don't believe it falls into the category, to the definition of genocide." To Thomas, Scheer's repudiation of the term signals a reluctance to talk openly about both racism and sexism in Canada."We talk about racism, and not included in that discussion is about how racist it is for there to be a public inquiry that says, there is a genocide that's happening, and one of the major political parties in Canada, the leader openly says no," she said.None of the federal parties have gender equity in their candidates, but the NDP is closest: 165 of its 338 candidates, or 49 per cent, are women. The other parties come in at: * Greens - 46 per cent * Bloc Quebeecois - 45 per cent * Liberals - 39 per cent * Conservatives - 32 per centAs someone who studies gender in politics, Thomas said she is asked all the time about why the number of female candidates matters."When people see themselves as their representatives, it really fundamentally changes how they see their politics. You get a lot more buy-in," she said. "This is why I think people are super resistant to seeing more women and racialized folks in politics." RELATED * A Parents' Guide To The 2019 Canadian Election * Here's How Canada's Abortion Policies Work * OPINION: This Election, Feminist Voters Have A Choice Between Bad And Terrible Also on HuffPost

  • Five suspects arrested and charged for 2018 Kamloops homicide
    News
    CBC

    Five suspects arrested and charged for 2018 Kamloops homicide

    Five suspects have been arrested and charged in the 2018 murder of 35-year-old Troy Gold of Kamloops, B.C.Gold was reported missing to the RCMP on Oct. 3, 2018, and, due to his affiliation with organized crime, police said he was labelled a high-risk missing person.Investigators with the Kamloops Serious Crime Unit came to the conclusion that Gold was murdered, and that he was targeted due to a conflict in the local drug trafficking community.His body was found northwest of Kamloops in the Lac du Bois Grasslands on Oct. 30, 2018.Investigators identified five suspects, all from Kamloops, who are known to RCMP for their involvement in the local drug trade: Nathan Anthony Townsend, 23, Jayden Michael Eustache, 24, Darian Fredrick Rohel, 44, John Wade Daviss, 38, and Sean Gavril Scurt, 46.On Friday, the B.C. Prosecution Service approved second degree murder charges against all five men. The men were arrested over Friday and Saturday and remain in custody."I hope this serves as a lesson to drug traffickers in our community that violence, regardless of whom it occurs to, will not be tolerated and the Kamloops RCMP remain committed to holding those responsible accountable," said Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay. Police have released photos of the men charged, and are asking people with information on the men's involvement in Gold's murder or other drug related activities to contact the RCMP.

  • News
    CBC

    Man rescued from St. John River after falling through bridge

    A man had a chilly evening Saturday in Fredericton after he fell through the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge and into the St. John River.According to Fredericton police Sgt. Ross Chandler, police and fire responded to a report of a person in the water.When they arrived they found the man had fallen through the bridge, which has been closed for renovations since mid-September.Fredericton fire dispatched a boat and rescued the man."He was walking on the bridge and it was dark and he didn't realize that some of the planking had been taken up and he just walked into a hole and fell through," said Chandler."I think it's pretty obvious that the bridge is under construction."There are numerous signs, barricades and even chain-link fencing to keep people from walking onto the bridge.While Chandler could not confirm where the man through, or which direction he was travelling, the bridge is 7.6 metres off the water at mid-span.Paramedics attended to the man at the scene. He was taken to hospital but did not sustain any serious injuries."The water was pretty cold and I think he was pretty cold himself," said Chandler.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Lincoln library receives book collection of famed biographer

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A treasure trove of about 130 books once owned by a renowned Abraham Lincoln biographer has been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.The books that once belonged to Benjamin Thomas could be a gold mine for Lincoln scholars as many of them contain the author's handwritten comments, observances and notations.The donation comes from the Lincoln Land Community College Library, which was given the books by Thomas' widow, Salome "Sally" Pasfield Thomas, before her death in 1999.Benjamin Thomas lived in Springfield from 1932 until his death in 1956. During that time, his best-known works were published, including "Lincoln's New Salem" in 1934 and "Abraham Lincoln: A Biography" in 1952."(Thomas') biography on Lincoln was kind of the gold standard for that era," Ian Hunt, the museum's chief of acquisitions, told the State Journal-Register. "I would say he's still very high in the pantheon, not only because of the 1952 book, but also because he had a heavy hand in what is called the 'Lincoln Day-by-Day.' There are scholars who look at this research every single day (and he's) someone I go to on a regular basis."Hunt accepted the collection earlier this week at a ceremony at the LLCC campus.The books are a combination of biographies of Lincoln and other historical figures from that period, as well as Civil War reference books, Hunt said.During his time in Springfield, Thomas headed the Abraham Lincoln Association's research program and was also a trustee of the Illinois State Historical Library.The books will go into a special collection at the museum, which already contains Thomas' personal papers and manuscripts."I know that we're doing the right thing," Tammy Kuhn-Schnell, dean of the LLCC Library, said of the donation. "It's just going to further the scholarship of Lincoln and Thomas himself into future generations."___Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.comThe Associated Press

  • Tofino gets a new bottle depot inside a shipping container, a first in B.C.
    News
    CBC

    Tofino gets a new bottle depot inside a shipping container, a first in B.C.

    Residents of Tofino, B.C., have a new way to return their refundable beverage containers — by dropping them off at a shipping container.The small oceanside district has been without a bottle depot for the past two years after the previous depot shut down. Residents have had to drive their recyclable containers to neighbouring Ucluelet, roughly 40 minutes away."It's been a thing of frustration and inconvenience ... [for] residents and businesses in Tofino," said Mayor Josie Osborne. "It's just time and money and greenhouse gases that people are spending to move recyclables around." In the new model, created in partnership with non-profit Return-It, residents and businesses can drop off their bagged, unsorted beverage containers at the shipping container. They simply put a printable label on their bag, enter a pin code to open the door of the container, and leave their bags inside for pick-up.The bags are then picked up by Return-It workers and trucked to a sorting depot. Any refunds are uploaded to an online account.A first in provinceThe new system is a first in the province, says Return-It CEO Allen Langdon.The shipping container model allows bottle depots to be placed in remote communities where a depot would be hard to staff, or in cities where land is at a premium, Langdon said. "We knew there would be challenges to start a traditional depot in Tofino just because of the land values and [we were] not sure if we would have the amount of refundables available to make our depot worthwhile under a conventional model," he said.Langdon says the shipping container "Express & Go" model can be deployed in other small communities."What we're trying to do is find a way to increase the accessibility of our program both in small communities like Tofino as well as larger communities where you know commercial spaces at a premium." Langdon says they'll be looking at how things go in the first six months before seeing whether it's worth replicating the model in other places.

  • Canadian marathoners Trevor Hofbauer, Dayna Pidhoresky are Olympic-bound
    News
    CBC

    Canadian marathoners Trevor Hofbauer, Dayna Pidhoresky are Olympic-bound

    Trevor Hofbauer and Dayna Pidhoresky were the top Canadian male and female finishers at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday, securing automatic berths for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.Hofbauer, from Calgary, won his second Canadian marathon championship in three years and unseated Cam Levins, who finished third among Canadian men in 2:15:01. In his debut marathon a year ago in Toronto, Levins clocked 2:09.25 to break Jerome Drayton's 43-year-old national record."My training going into this was absolutely perfect and I couldn't have done it without the support of everybody back at home," Hofbauer, who was seventh in the men's race, told Athletics Canada. "I knew there was the possibility of making the Olympic team today and I just left it all out here."The 27-year-old started the 42.2-kilometre event in strong fashion and never looked back. As he approached the finish line, an elated Hofbauer raised his hands to his head and said, 'Oh my God' before crossing in a personal-best 2:09:51.WATCH | Trevor Hofbauer shaves nearly 7 minutes off his personal best:"I'm just happy that I didn't screw it up," said Hofbauer, who was among 27,000 runners from over 70 countries on Sunday. "I was giving high-fives down the finish line, so for anybody who has been bashing me for that, I left it out there today so you can't take that away from me."Hofbauer's previous best was 2:16:48, set on April 28 at the Hamburg Marathon in Germany while his winning time in Toronto two years ago was 2:18:05. For the last five years I've continued to believe I could get myself to this position. — Canada's Trevor Hofbauer on clinching a spot in the 2020 Olympic marathonHofbauer received a $5,000 bonus for meeting the men's 2:11:30 Olympic standard. He was the lone Canadian male to do so as Tristan Woodfine of Cobden, Ont., finished more than three minutes behind Hofbauer with a 2:13:16 PB as the second Canadian while two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet clocked 2:15:23 for third."After 10K things smoothed out, I relaxed and came out with a PB so I'm happy with that," said Woodfine, who was 11th overall in the men's race. His previous best was 2:15:19, set on Jan. 20 in Houston.'Ran my guts out' with 2:11:30 groupWoodfine, who pocketed $2,000 for his sub-2:14 effort, pointed to the continuity of his training working with coach Greg Kealey since last fall for his 2019 breakthrough season."The program is very different [and has] taken a while to get used to," he said. "The training has got harder and harder the past two years and now I'm seeing the fruits of all that work."Hofbauer, who elected not to wear a watch to gauge his pace, went out with the 2:11:30 group and "ran my guts out.""For the last five years I've continued to believe I could get myself to this position," he added, "and if everything went well I could do something special. The energy [from the fans] was electric."'It came together at the right time'Hofbauer prepared for Sunday's race by finishing sixth at the Edmonton half marathon (1:06:29) on Aug. 18 and a month later second at the Vancouver Eastside 10K (29:58).Calgary-born Rory Linkletter and Evan Esselink of Courtice, Ont., are two other elite runners who debuted in the marathon on Sunday. They placed 16th and 20th, respectively, in 2:16:42 and 2:18:38.Pidhoresky, 32, was the fastest Canadian woman and 10th overall in 2:29:03, achieving the women's Olympic standard by 27 seconds.WATCH | Dayna Pidhoresky clocks personal-best 2:29:03:In May, the Vancouver resident was sixth at the Ottawa Marathon (2:37:19) and fell one place short of a top-five result and automatic Olympic berth."Honestly, I feel I've had that in me for years, and it just came together at the right time," said Pidhoresky of Sunday's PB showing. "I had probably [my] rockiest [marathon] build ever."Pidhoresky's coach and husband, Josh Seifarth, reminded her to stay patient and it paid off. Pidhoresky was running at a 2:22 pace near the 50-minute mark and later said the fear of blowing up midway through the race motivated her to finish strong.Emily Setlack, who hails from Kingston, Ont., fell 18 seconds shy of standard but did earn a $3,000 bonus for finishing under 2:31.Victorious Kenyans set course recordsKinsey Middleton was unsuccessful in defending her Canadian women's title, stopping the clock in 2:34:36 for third place and 11th overall. The Canadian/U.S. citizen, whose mother was born in Guelph, Ont., posted the third fastest Canadian debut of all-time in 2018 at 2:32:09.Sunday's 12th-place overall finish was Levins' first marathon since his memorable 2018 debut after a knee injury forced the native of Black Creek, B.C., to withdraw from the London Marathon in April. At times in his Toronto build, the 30-year-old also experienced abdominal pain on the right side, mostly during long training runs.Levins said he is eager to return to the Olympics after competing on the track in 2012 at London, where he placed 11th in the 10,000 metres and 14th in the 5,000."It's the ultimate level of competition and representation of your country and I would like that again," Levins told CBC Sports ahead of Sunday's marathon, while adding "I don't think I ever lost that goal" following 2016 surgery on his left foot that kept him from training on the track until this past July.Levins and other Canadian men and women have until May to achieve the respective Olympic qualifying standards before team selections are announced June 1.Philemon Rono won the men's race and the $30,000 top prize on Sunday in a course-record 2:05:09 after fellow Kenyan Benson Kipruto ended his two-year title reign a year ago.WATCH | Rono runs to Toronto Waterfront Marathon win:Kenya's Magdalayne Masai-Robertson won the women's race and $30,000 in 2:22:16, also a course record.WATCH | Masai-Robertson claims women's Toronto Waterfront Marathon title:

  • Hollywood Rock? N.L. filmmakers say recent boom means they're not going anywhere
    News
    CBC

    Hollywood Rock? N.L. filmmakers say recent boom means they're not going anywhere

    As industry leaders and up-and-comers wrap up in St. John's after its annual women's film festival, one thing is clear: many of them aren't flying home to Toronto or Los Angeles.Given the scope of the industry's growth right here in Newfoundland, some of them live just a stroll away from the international festival's main venues.And those who do live away say shooting here is less of a challenge than one would expect — especially considering the island's proximity to mainland resources."Shipping things can be a bit tricky sometimes," said Nicole Dorsey, director of Black Conflux, a feature drama that screened last week. The L.A.-based filmmaker said the production team quickly learned to plan ahead if they needed supplies."It was different than shooting in a bigger city. Just the support that was available — and there's an energy and excitement for shooting here," she said."But overall I think the benefits outweighed any challenges."Dorsey's project is part of what some describe as a thriving decade for the province's film industry. Gina Rae Anderson, a production and set designer who got her start nine years ago on Republic of Doyle and who recently worked on home-grown feature Body and Bones, said the demand for crew is so high that sometimes productions find themselves scrambling."There's definitely been times when you're sitting around with a group of people wracking your brain, asking 'who else can we hire?'" she said.A report released last December seems to give their observations credence: big productions like the Jason Momoa-fronted Frontier and crime drama Hudson and Rex pump millions into the broader economy. The resulting job market means labour on the set is often in demand, Anderson says."I've thought about moving," Anderson said, but there's been so much work "it's never come to that."Gender parity also growingAs the St. John's International Women's Film Festival winds down, Anderson said in recent years, it's also become easier for women to nab those coveted crew positions — and make a career here, too."There's room to grow," she said, describing how she and her colleagues have found jobs on various parts of sets, from location scouting to design."It feels like a bit of a boys' club, is what we used to say," she said. "I don't feel that struggle so much anymore."Anderson said the industry here acted as an incubator for her colleagues, many of whom moved up the ranks as more productions set up shop. Now there's no need to seek guidance, training or income elsewhere, she said.Dorsey, too, noticed a shift."It's grown a lot over the past 10 years," she said, pointing to the natural backdrop of the island's coast and the "talented crew" on offer as reasons the province has witnessed a sustained boom."I think it will absolutely continue to grow."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • RCMP building close-knit relationships with sewing workshop
    News
    CBC

    RCMP building close-knit relationships with sewing workshop

    A mitten making workshop in Paulatuk, N.W.T., is doing more than warming hands.RCMP officers are holding the sewing workshops in the small community in an effort to connect with residents, learn about Inuvialuit culture, and talk about some tough subjects.The coyote fur mitten workshop began on Thanksgiving, and there was so much interest that the RCMP held a draw for attendees. Five community members took part, along with two officers, two elders, and a nurse."The elders are wonderful," said Cpl. Cara Streeter, the detachment commander in Paulatuk. "They're teaching us how they were taught so that we can learn about their culture and traditions too."The detachment is able to put the workshop on thanks to a grant from the RCMP's Family Violence Initiative Fund. Streeter says the get-togethers are a chance to talk openly about what healthy relationships are and what they aren't, and it's led to some great conversations."I think that it will build trust with people that maybe down the road, when they may or may not need help, they may feel more comfortable speaking to the police just because that trust is now built," she said.Together, the group has cut out fur, learning to make patterns, and most were finished on Thursday. "For me personally it's harder than I thought," Streeter said. "I feel really proud seeing the progress that I've even made on the mittens that I'm making."'They can see us as people too'Streeter hopes the workshops will build bridges and reduce gaps between police and residents."They can see us as people too. And we can connect on a different level."In a news release, the RCMP quoted one participant as saying it's been "so nice to see the police connecting and hanging out with us."Up next is a parka workshop in November. Streeter says there are beautiful, colourful materials at the detachment, with wolverine fur to line the hoods and cuffs."I'm really excited for this workshop as well, and a lot of people are showing interest in it," she said. "I just think it's another way to connect with the community and just to socialize and everybody seems to be really enjoying it."

  • 'We couldn't believe it!' When the lights came on in the Bygone Days
    News
    CBC

    'We couldn't believe it!' When the lights came on in the Bygone Days

    Reginald "Dutch" Thompson's column The Bygone Days brings you the voices of Island seniors, many of whom are now long-departed. These tales of the way things used to be offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. Every second weekend CBC P.E.I. will bring you one of Dutch's columns. Anyone who lost power in post-tropical storm Dorian knows how inconvenient it can be to go without electricity.But in the bygone days, in the 1950s when electricity first came to rural P.E.I., some people weren't sure electricity was even a good thing.Minnie Langille, who died on P.E.I. in 2013 at the age of 94, was originally from River John, N.S.She grew up poor in Pictou County, N.S. Her father, Leonard, was a farmer and a blacksmith. Her mother, Hazel, raised five children. She made butter, knit and sewed clothes out of bags flour came in. Minnie Langille was married and had kids of own before electricity arrived in the River John area in 1952, but her days of self-sufficiency weren't over then. First, they had to convince the neighbours that electricity was a good idea. They had to get thee houses per mile hooked up and on board before the government would pay for it. Once they got wired, Langille said, they had to wait about a year before the power actually was turned on.Waiting for power"There was men from New Glasgow from a store came out and they went around and they sold wringer washing machines and refrigerators — and no power for about a year," she said."And I remember my children, my daughter was about five, she hadn't gone to school yet. And then my son was five years older and we lived about a mile on a side road. And we were coming up the road, coming home from a dentist in New Glasgow and the lights were on. We couldn't believe it!"Some people were wary of the change to electricity, like Dutch Thompson's grandfather Joe Cunningham. Dutch recalled his uncle Joe was not what you'd call a techno geek, though he did have a crank telephone like many, but that was only because he landed the job of putting up the poles and installing the phones for the Maple Leaf telephone company. He refused to get indoor plumbing and all he had for electricity was a single 15-amp fuse box — just enough power to run a couple of light bulbs — one upstairs, one downstairs — and the radio, so he could listen to the death notices after the 12:30 afternoon news.Langille said she knew a couple of men like Cunningham. He thought his eyes were getting better because he could see more. — Minnie Langille"A bachelor from River John, his niece came from the States and she read his meter. He was paying for a flat rate and he wasn't using it so he was paying for something he wasn't using so he had it taken out," she said. "Of course, he was a bachelor, he didn't have any women to complain."Langille said there another family — a grandfather, parents and children, in the same house with the same electricity. She said the grandfather "ruled the roost" and insisted on using only a 25-watt bulb, which didn't throw off much more light than the oil lamp it replaced. But his daughter-in-law was able to outsmart him."She left the 25-watt bulb in and then she put in a 40 and that was getting better. And then she left that for a while and she put in a 60. And then she left that for a while and she put it 100," Langille said."And he thought his eyes were getting better because he could see more. Of course, they never told him because he was saving electricity by using a small bulb which was very little good."Years later, when the Langilles added a bathroom, Minnie wired in the lights and the electric razor plug all by herself. Langille did it all: she made her own soap, she drove horses, and she worked as a domestic, earning $10 a month working seven days a week. She said back then, a winter coat cost $10 — a month's wages  — so she learned to make her own clothes. As a girl, she knit sweaters made from wool from the family's own sheep. Nicking the sheepMeanwhile over on P.E.I., Roy Clow's dad was also raising sheep in Murray Harbour North. The Clows' wool went to Condon's Woollen Mills, which started off in Murray Harbour North and then wound up in Charlottetown. Clow was born in 1917. He's from the same generation as Langille,  and also not afraid to tackle any job, but shearing sheep wasn't one of his favourites."Oh my God, I hated shearing sheep," he told Dutch. "And in the spring of the year before we put them out to pasture I'd have to shear them. Hand shears, you know, just like a pair of scissors, only they're flat.The sheep were probably glad when it was all over too."When I let them go you'd see little dots of blood here and there where I nicked them with the shears.""And we never watered them. You  never had to water a sheep, they get enough dew off the grass to satisfy them," Clow noted.'DIY' taken to new levelThere is another Langille-Clow connection. Clow worked in a Pictou County lumber camp back in the 1930s, when money was scarce.After Clow got home from the Second World War he moved to Montague. He and his wife Margaret were newlyweds, and started building their own 26-by-36-foot house in Montague. To make a few extra dollars, Roy built a few lobster boats as well. Where he built them takes "do-it-yourself" to a whole new level."I built the boat in my house," he said, adding "Margaret helped me.""I took the corner of the house and took the boat out and I went fishing. She was a dandy sea boat. And there wasn't a boat down in Murray Harbour that could follow me. So I started building boats. I built 13."He said his neighbours thought he was crazy to build the boats in his house, but he sold them for $300 each.More P.E.I. news

  • 'I want my voice heard': Get-out-the-vote effort underway in North Central
    News
    CBC

    'I want my voice heard': Get-out-the-vote effort underway in North Central

    Sandy Wankel and her team are literally driving people to the polls in Regina's North Central — a neighborhood dealing with widespread poverty, addiction and violence. "It's just the time to have a voice and that voice is really important," said Wankel, executive director of the North Central Family Centre (NCFC).The small family centre is behind a big push to help people vote. More than half of the residents in North Central live below the poverty line and more than half aren't employed, according to the city's neighborhood profile. NCFC will operate three vans taking people to the polls and offer free childcare on Monday.North Central had one of the lowest voter turnouts in Regina on election day in 2015.  "When you have marginalized people that have never felt that they were part of the process and you're kind of beaten down, that doesn't surprise me. I think you find that in any society," Wankel said. "They think, 'What's the use of voting?' "What's behind low turnout Social barriers need to be addressed in order to create massive change in the community, said Morris Eagles, who moved to North Central in 1974. He moved out of the neighbourhood in May, but remains president of the North Central Community Association board. It's a different neighborhood from what Eagles once knew. He's seen increases in drug use, vacant homes, cost of rent and the transient population. "When people are caught in that rut, in those types of social issues, in reality, voting is the last thing on their mind," Eagles said.He listed several factors that contribute to low turnout, mirrored in other communities with the same socio-economic challenges.North Central is located in the rural-urban Regina-Qu'Appelle riding, which has a large Indigenous population. Eagles notes the low number of Indigenous candidates and said people aren't inspired to vote when they don't see themselves represented.Lost faith in a system Eagles said people in the community haven't seen positive change or growth. They've lost faith in the system as problems with mental health, housing, guns, gangs, poverty and addiction have grown."It's bread and butter issues. They've heard promises made by people running in elections during the election campaigns," he said. "A lot of those promises have never been fulfilled."Eagles said others in the community are too busy focused on survival to think about the broader system. Four years can seem like a lifetime for those grappling with survival-based questions like whether to pay rent or buy food.'People are energized'Despite these challenges, Wankel has seen a subtle shift in participation this election cycle. "I think people are more energized to get out there now when people are finding out what's important to them ... and their families."Carla LaFontaine, 32, plans to vote for the first time. "I have a bunch of peers that tell me it's a good idea," said LaFontaine, laughing. "It's probably that time that I should probably do it — put my say in." The new process is a little bit scary for the NCFC youth worker. There's so much to consider.LaFontaine said she fears making a mistake, or the wrong choice. She said she hasn't voted because she didn't know anything about the process and didn't know where to start."It's kind of intimidating for your first time voting — you don't want to make mistakes and you're not sure where to go," Wankel said. That's why the NCFC hosted a public Elections Canada information session with soup and bannock earlier this month. 'An awakening' The engagement at the election information session was "amazing," said Jamiy Moran, employment coordinator at NCFC. She's 30 and has always voted since being eligible. "There's an awakening in the community," she said. "I see people who are historically beaten down and disadvantaged finding their own voices."She said it's both empowering and overwhelming, particularly because advocacy is close to her heart. "To make people feel important is a huge process." She said she'll do anything to help people vote come Monday — even if it means walking beside someone to the polling station. "As much as voting is important to the person it's voting for our community," she said, adding she has a close eye on Indigenous issues. "Voting for the North Central community is reconciliation giving them a voice to overcome what's historically happened."Part of the change Community resident and youth worker Louis Felicien voted in advance. When he was 18, he didn't vote. Now, he is trying to get the teens he works with excited about voting. "They are the future, however, if they want to see it [change] they need to be a part of it," he saidHe joined a record number of people who went out to the advance polling stations this year. "I want my voice heard," he said.Felicien said sometimes the conversations seem to go over young peoples' heads because they're unfamiliar with politics. Other times, he sees the light bulb flicker. Eagles said he hasn't heard strong rhetoric during this campaign targeted at the people dealing with these day-to-day challenges in low-income neighbourhoods across Canada. He said the next federal government must act on issues and barriers affecting communities like North Central or nothing will change. "Looking at the next four years, we could be sitting down talking about the same subject, addressing exactly the same thing."

  • Catching the warning signs: N.W.T. workshops promote suicide prevention
    News
    CBC

    Catching the warning signs: N.W.T. workshops promote suicide prevention

    Alyssa Carpenter knows depression and suicidal ideation from the inside, and she's learned the formal skills to not only help herself, but to help others.Now, whenever she can, she uses those skills to make a difference in the North.Which is why even though she's on maternity leave, she's been holding safeTALK workshops, where people learn to recognize the signals that someone is considering suicide, and how to respond."I had experience with anxiety and depression, and [of] being an individual who has had thoughts of suicide, of really being on that that side of the spectrum of life," said Carpenter."Knowing that … people were open to having these conversations, probably when I was a young teenager, it would've helped a lot."Carpenter grew up in Sachs Harbour and Inuvik but has been recently working for the Whitehorse-based organization BYTE-Empowering Youth. It focuses on educating youth through various workshops and activities.It was with that organization that Carpenter got certified as a safeTALK trainer. The safeTALK program is endorsed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention, a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association."I'm not the only one who knows how to do this but I am the only one living in the Northwest Territories," Carpenter said. "I'm just recognizing a need and it's so valuable to have someone who can understand the perspective a little bit."She held workshops in Inuvik on Wednesday, and in Fort McPherson on Friday.Don't treat as tabooCarpenter said the Tetlit Gwich'in First Nation invited her to come to Fort McPherson to put on a workshop after she asked on social media who would be interested in attending.Carpenter said the three-hour sessions deal with lots of conversations revolving around suicide, different ways of coping, what types of behaviour to look out for, and how to "respond in a caring way.""It's about having a conversation and not treating it as a taboo," Carpenter said."We have to acknowledge that people are human, and that things impact people differently so it's also bringing in that conversation."Carpenter said she was partly motivated to hold workshops now, because she said it's been a tough summer for the Beaufort-Delta region in terms of suicides.In June, a community-run suicide hotline was started in Fort McPherson. It's a list of names in the region people can call if they need someone to talk to.Jordan Peterson, deputy grand chief of Gwich'in Tribal Council, is one name on the list."I think that too often, we as people are only putting the resources in place and talking about the issue of suicide when it happens," he said.Peterson said he couldn't make the workshop this time around, but said getting safeTALK trained was a priority for him, as is getting more programs in the communities on a regular basis. "I think that it's important that our leadership in our communities are trained in this way because sometimes young people feel more comfortable reaching out to someone that they know, and that's why that list is so important," Peterson said.According to federal government statistics, the suicide rate in the Northwest Territories is almost double that of the rest of Canada. In the Beaufort Delta region, there have been two suicides in 2019.Carpenter said she plans to hold more safeTALK workshops in Inuvik and Yellowknife in the next couple of months.Need help?If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, the Crisis Services Canada website is a good resource. You can also call them toll-free at 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    As campaign closes, social policy groups prepare for post-election advocacy

    OTTAWA — Cindy Barnes has spoken with friends about the need to expand employment insurance sickness benefits to provide more help for those who deal with serious illnesses like cancer, as she once did.But Barnes, 57, hasn't had much opportunity to talk about the issue during the election campaigning because it seems buried under others, even though the sickness benefit, and its future, appear in the NDP and Liberal platforms.That experience has been shared by multiple advocacy groups and think-tanks: Many of the issues they expected to get a lot of attention on the campaign have instead been muscled to the sidelines."It seems like they have only gotten a news cycle or two and maybe that is because they have been so micro-targeted" to specific groups, said Katie Davey, founder of the policy platform Femme Wonk.She pointed to changes to taxation of parental benefits that, while helpful to a number of new parents, doesn't address larger issues about the future of the EI system. Employment insurance wasn't designed for a labour market defined increasingly by part-time or contract work instead of long-term, full-time employment."We haven't seen that broad vision on a number of social-policy issues that people are keeping their eyes on in this campaign," Davey said.In cases where issues got attention, there were also concerns about a lack of detail. Housing groups, for example, wondered if the Conservative promise to delay infrastructure spending that hasn't been committed to projects would affect the decade-long housing strategy the Liberals unveiled two years ago."Cutting housing investments balances budgets on the backs of those least able to afford it and ends up costing more than the cuts would save," the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness wrote in an online platform analysis.Geranda Notten, a professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, said the lack of discussion could be a result of the steps the Liberals took over the last four years, pointing to the housing strategy and poverty-reduction plan.The hard work on those efforts happens when plans are implemented, monitored and tweaked over ensuing election cycles, she said."There is a bit of a feeling that, 'We've got the strategy now, we can move on to something else,' " said Notten, who researches poverty and social policy. "But that's not how it works with these topics."The EI sickness benefit could fall into this category since the benefit hasn't changed since its introduction in the 1970s, even though data suggests it needs updating. Barnes, like many cancer patients, maxed out her 15-week benefit.The Liberals have proposed expanding the benefit to 26 weeks; the NDP to a full year. Having 26 weeks, Barnes said, would have been helpful for her and for other cancer patients whose treatments can take longer."It wouldn't have made me anxious about thinking, 'I've got to go back to work and how am I going to do this?' because I knew I wasn't physically able to go back to work."Katherine Scott, a senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said most campaign policy talk gravitated to pocketbook issues of affordability and tax cuts. Broader issues of poverty or gender equality, for instance, became wedge issues that candidates steered away from, she said.Looking ahead, Scott said organizations will likely work extra hard after Monday's vote to get their issues into mandate letters so they become part of ministers' marching orders."Clearly, the challenges are still there," she said. "The community groups will regroup, they will attempt to obviously make sure their issues are in front of politicians and officials as they draft the plans for a new government."Davey said the possibility of a minority government — which polls suggest is a likely electoral outcome — shouldn't be a hurdle to a broader vision for social programs largely missing from campaign talk."We have gotten some of our largest social policy at a federal level from minority governments," she said. "It is highly possible that we could see the same thing over the next few years."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2019.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

  • Rare mineral discovered near Nepisiguit Falls
    News
    CBC

    Rare mineral discovered near Nepisiguit Falls

    A Bathurst man who collects minerals as a hobby stumbled across a rare substance that has never been recorded in the New Brunswick Museum's archives. Jesse Chamberlain went to a former mining site near Nepisiguit Falls in May to dig for minerals with his girlfriend. After digging about two feet deep into the side of the hill with a small gardening tool, Chamberlain stumbled across a blue-green mineral called melanterite."It was the first time I ever seen that colour come out of the ground," Chamberlain said. "I was very surprised, so I called my girlfriend over to take a look at it. We weren't sure what it was, so we collected as many samples as we could." The couple brought the brittle substance home with them and made a post on a New Brunswick geology Facebook page, asking for leads on what the specimen might be.  Matt Stimson, assistant curator of geology and paleontology at the New Brunswick Museum, responded to Chamberlain's post and asked the mineral hobbyist if he'd be willing to donate some for analysis."I thought who better to give it to than the museum so they can keep it for future studies," said Chamberlain, who subsequently donated 50 samples to the museum's geology collections. Stimson and two researchers at the University of New Brunswick's Earth Sciences department, David Lentz and Ven Reddy, banded together to study the mineral.At first, the trio thought the substance was a mineral called chalcanthite because of its colour and shape. Like the mystery substance, chalcanthite also dissolves in water. However, further inspection and months of analysis revealed the substance is actually melanterite, a cousin to chalcanthite. Stimson described melanterite as an iron sulphate, a mixture of water and copper that disintegrates when submerged in liquid. "If it's left out in the desert you're more likely to find it, but here in New Brunswick where we have a humid [and] very wet climate, the chances of it being found are not very good," Stimson said.Melanterite can be used to detect zinc and copper deposits and is common worldwide near iron-rich sulphide deposits. The 50 samples donated by Chamberlain are now stored at the museum in air-tight, water-sealed containers with silicon gel and desiccant to absorb moisture. "We can take care of it here and it will survive for the next century or longer under the right conditions," Stimson said.

  • They're still in elementary school — but these students' vote will count
    News
    CBC

    They're still in elementary school — but these students' vote will count

    An elementary class in Port Williams, N.S., had a big decision to make this week — who should they vote for?The students in Temma Frecker's Grade 5/6 class at The Booker School are still several years away from casting a ballot themselves, but Frecker has entrusted her sacred civic duty to the next generation. It's a responsibility the students didn't take lightly."I learned tons of new stuff," said 10-year-old Forest Lussing. "I had a brief idea, but I didn't know anything about candidates. I just thought you chose a party and that was all.""We've learned probably more than the average Canadian," agreed 10-year-old Giffin Starratt.In order to make an informed decision, the students spoke directly with some of the candidates running in Kings-Hants, a riding formerly held by Liberal Scott Brison. They also read news articles and watched the leaders' debates. On Thursday, one by one, the students debated why the party they support deserves their teacher's vote. The class of six was split: three for the NDP, one for the Liberals, one for the Greens, and one undecided. The only party not represented by the students was the Conservatives. "They're making a really informed choice here, and I was even trying to sway some people, play the devil's advocate and get them to consider other options, and they very strongly felt like based on the research that they had done that they couldn't do that," said Frecker. In the end, the kids decided their teacher should vote for the NDP's Stephen Schneider. They voted using a preferential voting system with a ranked ballot. Frecker said she got the idea from her husband's parents, who gave him control of their vote when he was a kid. She said she isn't worried about handing her vote over to a group of kids."I mean you've seen just how engaged and informed they are," she said. "So for me it's that they're making an informed choice, and that's what I ask of all Canadians."Lussing, who was solidly in the Green Party camp, said he ranked every party's platform on climate change, and Elizabeth May's team came out on top. Eleven-year-old Mason TeStroete, meanwhile, argued for Justin Trudeau's Liberals. He said he was especially impressed with Kody Blois, the 28-year-old Liberal candidate for Kings-Hants. Even though the students have different political views, they all agreed the exercise was worthwhile.For Jacob Townsend, 10, it's given him a base knowledge of federal politics that he can use when he heads to the polls himself. TeStroete said the big issues that matter to his classmates are the same ones that will matter when he's grown up. "Just thinking of what a world will be like in 2050 or something like that when we're like 30. When we have our kids and they're talking about this, what is it going to be like for them?" he said.The other candidates running in the Kings-Hants riding are Conservative candidate Martha MacQuarrie, Green Party candidate Brogan Anderson, Matthew Southall for the People's Party of Canada, Stacey Dodge of the Veterans Coalition Party of Canada and Nicholas Tan for the Rhinoceros Party.

  • Water cannon hits mosque amid Hong Kong protests
    BBC News

    Water cannon hits mosque amid Hong Kong protests

    A mosque was hit by a water cannon as police attempted to disperse protesters during a banned rally that turned violent in Hong Kong. Footage shows a water cannon truck spraying blue liquid at protesters outside a mosque in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Hong Kong police said the water cannon "accidentally affected the entrance and front gate” of the mosque. The Muslim Council of Hong Kong said the mosque was not targeted by police, whose officers later apologised and helped with the clean-up effort.

  • Halifax council to discuss guidelines for boulevard gardens
    News
    CBC

    Halifax council to discuss guidelines for boulevard gardens

    A Dartmouth, N.S., councillor wants the municipality to establish guidelines for boulevard gardens.Boulevards are the narrow strips of green space between the sidewalk and the curb, and are usually just home to grass.But Coun. Sam Austin wants to encourage alternate uses of the space, including other plants and flowers."It's not just a spot that you toss the garbage on," he said. "It could be much more."Austin said there are ecological and social benefits to the tiny gardens."Grass is almost from an ecological point of view, it's basically a desert, right? It's a monoculture. If you're doing gardening out there, particularly if you might be using native species, you're creating habitat for pollinators and other life," he said."And there's a community pride piece — you go down the street and it looks like it's lovely and well cared for, right? ... And when people are out there in that common space gardening, well, you tend to end up getting to know your neighbours."'No man's land'Some residents have already taken the matter into their own hands, planting hostas, flowers or even fruit and vegetables."Right now it's happening, but it's happening in a bit of a no man's land, right? The city has not said yes you can, so there's a lot of people who believe that you're not allowed to do that."There's no bylaw preventing people from gardening in the space. The only bylaw governing the space is that any grass must be cut to a height of no more than about 15 centimetres.Austin said he would like to use some of his community grant funds to develop an incentive program for residents to branch out from traditional lawn in the space. But in order to do that, clear guidelines must be established.Austin said other cities such as Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Kitchener, Ont., have formal policies on the issue, laying out rules about obstructing municipal services, how deeply residents can dig and how tall plants are permitted to grow.Council is scheduled to discuss requesting a staff report on boulevard gardens at Tuesday's meeting.MORE TOP STORIES

  • OPINION | It's been 49 years since the voting age was lowered. It's time to do it again
    News
    CBC

    OPINION | It's been 49 years since the voting age was lowered. It's time to do it again

    Next week, over two million Canadians will not be eligible to vote in the federal election — and in Nunavut alone, over 10,000 people will not be allowed to cast a ballot. In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms embedded into the constitution the right of all citizens to vote. While this freedom is true for most Canadians, currently our laws systematically exclude people under the age of 18 from voting in elections.It's about time that we changed that.Many young Canadians under 18 become employed years before they're eligible to vote, with our laws allowing Canadians as young as 13 to become employed. Once engaged in the wage economy, taxes are collected, and through participation in the labour force, youth become contributors to public funding. Youth are also contributors to our society through volunteering, accounting for 25 per cent of volunteers in Canada. With youth participating in all factors of public life, it only makes sense that they have a voice in how our government operates. But the impact could be even greater in Nunavut, which boasts Canada's youngest population: according to the 2016 census, over 40 per cent of our people are under the age of 19.Youth voices invaluableWith such a young population, the current voting age creates large gaps in public services and systematic barriers. One serious and even lethal service gap youth have been vocal about is receiving federally-responsible public services in our Inuit languages: Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut. Many Inuit don't speak English as their first language, nor French. Yet, over 20 years after the creation of Nunavut, our public services are still not given in our language, and our only choices are English and French. There are youth that would benefit from communicating in their language when it comes to public services: education, medical, and mental health services, just to name a few. Topics that affect youth should have youth first and foremost at the table — they're old enough to contribute and help make decisions for a better Nunavut. Through fair representation, we can shift our resources to become effective, ultimately saving lives.Many youth are already engaged in politics and are creating a better world; like my niece, Teghan, who recently received her diploma from Kiilinik High School in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Teghan is a great student, a dedicated entrepreneur, and a hard working employee. At Kiilinik High, she enjoyed participating in mock elections that are held in parallel to federal elections, learning about government and following current topics. Teghan also participated in an annual Nunavut Youth Mock Parliament in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly in Iqaluit, where students take on roles of Members of the Legislative Assembly. During the informed discussions, students are vocal about what is needed in order to improve the quality of life in Nunavut. In the mock sessions, students discuss challenges and solutions; solutions our leaders need to be listening to. One of the challenges discussed was the education system, and how its failing our youth in many ways, a system contributing to a low 68 per cent attendance rate across Nunavut. The youth asked for the curriculum to include Inuit knowledge and language — and not only Western knowledge — to get school attendance and graduation rates up. Teghan and her contemporaries showed that youth have a place in policy discussions, and also gave a great example of the kind of topics that most need their input. Nunavut's outdated and irrelevant curriculum needs a reform, and youth need to be a part of that reform. Don't we want to raise our children to be the best adults they can be? Time to make a changeCanada is benefiting from driven youth, some of which are also driving motor vehicles on public roadways by age 15, yet they cannot vote until age 18. Most provinces in Canada have set 16 as the minimum age requirement to be eligible for a learner's permit. In Alberta, a learners permit can be attained at 14, in Nunavut, 15.  Wouldn't it make sense for youth to have the option to drive to the nearest polling station to go vote too?In the last federal election, voter turn out was only 68 per cent across Canada, and only 57 per cent of Canadian youth aged 18 to 24 years old cast a vote. Let's continue to improve equity for everyone.Lowering the voting age will increase the number of voters and help foster the habit of voting, thus creating more young people who are engaged and educated about our government. We already know so many young Canadians who are engaged and eager to help create a better, more inclusive country. It's the leaders that need to do more.If you're wondering, the voting age was last changed 49 years ago in 1970, from 21 to 18.  Changing the rules of voting isn't new. Women were not eligible to vote until 1917, and Indigenous peoples only got their right to vote in 1960. We must continue to strive for equal representation. It's time we start talking about lowering the voting age again. This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.