• Conservatives' Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament on November 25
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Conservatives' Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament on November 25

    OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will present a to-do list to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday that begins with a specific request: call the House of Commons back to work on Nov. 25.The two leaders are to meet face-to-face for the first time since Trudeau lost his majority government last month, and Scheer's demand for the return of the House of Commons in two weeks time is one of several he's bringing to the table. With major regional divisions exposed by the Oct. 21 vote, an ongoing affordability crisis and trouble in the oilpatch, MPs need to get back to work, said Scheer's spokesman Simon Jefferies in an email Monday."Justin Trudeau can't keep running scared from testing the confidence of the House. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on behalf of Canadians," he said. Jefferies declined to specify what other items Scheer will present to Trudeau on Tuesday, saying they will be "tangible and specific priorities" the Conservatives would like to see in the throne speech. They will be based on the party's overall aims for the 43rd Parliament: national unity, helping Canadians get ahead, restoring ethics and accountability in government, and getting the energy sector back to work.A spokesperson for Trudeau said the Liberals' first measure will be to lower taxes for the middle class, and they expect other parties to support that."We are open to working together on issues that matter to Canadians — Canadians expect this Parliament to be successful and work for them," Eleanore Catenaro said in an email.The Liberals won 157 seats last month, the Conservatives 121.For the Liberals to remain in power, they'll constantly need support from their opponents: the Tories, the Bloc Quebecois who hold 32 seats, the NDP with 24 and the Greens with three. There is also a single independent, former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. The date Scheer is requesting for the return of Parliament comes five days after Trudeau is expected to swear-in a new cabinet to oversee his minority government.When it comes to who should sit in cabinet, the prime minister is faced with tricky choices on that score, with his party now having no MPs from Alberta or Saskatchewan.The Conservatives have pledged to be a strong voice for the West in Ottawa, and the Alberta MPs in the Conservative caucus are working to come up specific strategies. But Trudeau is also doing some outreach. On Tuesday, he'll meet with Saskatchewan's conservative premier, Scott Moe.Moe has said he'll emphasize priorities including adjusting the equalization formula, as well as putting a one-year pause on the carbon tax.Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a former federal Conservative cabinet minister, has already a sent a list of his provinces requests to Trudeau, including a call to get more pipelines built.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 11, 2019.Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

  • Turkey starts returning IS fighters; deports US national
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Turkey starts returning IS fighters; deports US national

    ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey on Monday deported citizens of the United States and Denmark who fought for the Islamic State and made plans to expel other foreign nationals as the government began a new push to send back captured foreign fighters to their home countries, a Turkish official said.The move comes just over a week after the Turkish interior minister said Turkey was not a "hotel" for IS fighters and criticized Western nations for their reluctance to take back citizens who had joined the ranks of the extremist militant group as it sought to establish a "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said last week that about 1,200 foreign IS fighters were in Turkish prisons and 287 members, including women and children, were recaptured during Turkey's offensive in Syria.Several European countries, including Britain, have stripped IS fighters of their nationalities to prevent their return.A U.S. and a Danish national were deported from Turkey on Monday, while a German national was scheduled to be deported later in the day, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli as saying. Seven other German nationals were scheduled to leave the country on Thursday, he said.Two Irish nationals, two German nationals and 11 French nationals who were captured in Syria were also to be transferred to their home countries soon, Catakli said.The U.S. did not immediately comment on Ankara's announcement.Turkey's Sabah newspaper, which is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, reported that the U.S. citizen who had been deported was stuck in a heavily militarized no man's land between the Greece and Turkey borders.Greek police said in a statement that Turkish authorities had first tried to deport a United States citizen of Arab origin on Oct. 11 on grounds that he had exceeded his legal stay in Turkey. The man, however, stated that he did not wish to enter Greece and returned to Turkey, accompanied by Turkish police.On Monday, he returned to the same border station on his own and asked to enter Greece, police said. Greek authorities refused him entry, sending him back to Turkey.Stavros Tziamalides, an official from the border village of Kastanies, said the border gate was shut on the Greek side and there was a greater presence of Greek police and border guards from the Frontex European border agency.In Denmark, Justice Minister Nick Hakkerup told Danish broadcaster TV2 that any Danish citizens who fought for IS and are repatriated to the country "must be punished as severely as possible."Germany said it will not refuse entry to its own citizens, but added that as far as German officials know, the citizen being deported Monday was not involved with IS.In Bosnia, government officials announced on Monday that citizens who had fought with IS could return to the country, while a Dutch court ruled on the same day that the country must attempt to bring home children whose mothers travelled to Syria to join Islamic extremist groups. The decision came in response to a case filed by lawyers on behalf of 23 women and their 56 children who are housed in camps in northern Syria.In Denmark, the weekly newspaper Weekendavisen said the name of the Danish citizen being deported was Ahmad Salem el-Haj, who faces terror charges in Denmark.While Turkey has quietly deported IS sympathizers for years, it raised the issue more forcefully after Western nations refused to back its invasion of northeastern Syria and its offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters, whom Ankara considers terrorists linked to Kurdish insurgents fighting inside Turkey. Many countries have voiced concerns that the Turkish incursion would lead to a resurgence of IS.Turkey has been accused of enabling the influx of thousands of foreign IS sympathizers into Syria over the years. At the height of the extremist group's power, the Turkish border crossings were the main route for those hoping to join IS in Syria. Turkey has denied the accusations and later stepped up security at its borders, including by profiling possible IS fighters at airports and building a wall along parts of its porous border.Turkey was hit by a wave of IS attacks in 2015 and 2016, including one by a gunman who opened fire at an Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations in the early hours of 2017 and killed 39 people.In Bosnia, Security Minister Dragan Mektic said Monday that about 260 Bosnian citizens remained in the camps in Syria, including approximately 100 men and 160 women and children. He says only confirmed Bosnian citizens would be taken in. Bosnia has introduced prison terms of up to 10 years for its citizens who fight in conflicts abroad or recruit others.A court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday ordered the government to make attempts to repatriate women and children whose mothers travelled to Syria to join Islamic extremist groups."The children are not responsible for the actions of their parents, however serious they are," the court said, adding that while Dutch officials must use "all possible means" to repatriate them, the state also "cannot be ordered to take serious security risks."In Berlin, German foreign ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said Turkey told Germany about its plan to deport German citizens. He said they include three men, five women and two children.So far, Burger said, German authorities cannot confirm that the 10 were involved with IS and, in the case of the person being deported Monday, they know of no link to IS. There are indications that two of the women were in Syria, but neither of the children is believed to have been in Syria.__Associated Press reporters Geir Moulson in Berlin, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki, Greece, contributed to this report.Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press

  • SpaceX launches 60 more mini satellites for global internet
    News
    The Canadian Press

    SpaceX launches 60 more mini satellites for global internet

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage.The Falcon rocket blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX. The compact flat-panel satellites — just 575 pounds (260 kilograms) each — will join 60 launched in May.SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern U.S. and Canada, with global coverage for populated areas after 24 launches.Last month, Musk used an orbiting Starlink satellite to send a tweet: "Whoa, it worked!!"Employees gathered at company bases on both coasts cheered when the first-stage booster landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic."These boosters are designed to be used 10 times. Let's turn it around for a fifth, guys," company's launch commentator said.This also marked the first time SpaceX used a previously flown nose cone. The California-based company reuses rocket parts to cut costs.Stacked flat inside the top of the rocket, the newest satellites were going to manoeuvr even higher following liftoff, using krypton-powered thrusters. SpaceX said there was a potential problem with one of the 60 that could prevent it from moving beyond its initial 174 mile-high (280 kilometre-high) orbit. In that case, the faulty satellite will be commanded to re-enter and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.Each satellite has an autonomous system for dodging space junk. In September, however, the European Space Agency had to move one of its satellites out of the way of a Starlink satellite. SpaceX later said it corrected the problem.SpaceX is among several companies interested in providing broadband internet coverage worldwide, especially in areas where it costs too much or is unreliable. Others include OneWeb and Jeff Bezos' Amazon.According to Musk, Starlink revenue can help SpaceX develop rockets and spacecraft for travelling to Mars, his overriding ambition.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all contentMarcia Dunn, The Associated Press

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Spy agencies must be transparent about new data-crunching, analyst warns

    OTTAWA — Rapid technological advances in data collection and analysis are transforming the way spy agencies work, potentially putting civil liberties at risk, an Israeli intelligence expert has warned the Canadian security community.The organizations responsible for keeping people safe must ensure privacy and basic rights are not compromised in the process or chance losing public faith, Shay Hershkovitz said in a presentation to the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies.Spycraft is being revolutionized by the growing number of smart devices, almost-unlimited data storage and the advent of artificial intelligence, Hershkovitz told the association's recent annual conference in Ottawa."Transparency will be key here, and legislators will have to limit the use of these technologies," he said."If intelligence agencies will not ask these questions and will not lead the public debate, they will be dragged into it kicking and screaming, and everyone will suffer and lose."Hershkovitz, a senior research fellow and former intelligence officer in Israel, attended the conference at the Canadian War Museum, though a sudden illness meant the gathering of security officials and academics saw a pre-recorded, multimedia presentation of his ideas about the future of one of the world's oldest professions."If we really want to learn what intelligence will look like, we must look outside the national-security establishment — that is, we should explore not only what governments are doing but, more important, what is happening in the private sector and in academia," he said.By next year, some 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet, growing to 100 billion devices by 2025, said Hershkovitz, head of research at the XPRIZE Foundation, a non-profit organization in California that manages public competitions intended to encourage beneficial technologies."The inevitable conclusion is that in the near future, in about five years from now, information will be spewing from every street, every car, every house and even from the sky."The price of data storage, meanwhile, is falling steadily. The cost of storing one gigabyte of data in 1980 was about half a million dollars, but just two cents today, he said. At the same time, the flood of data will only speed up the development of artificial intelligence, Hershkovitz predicted.Intelligence agencies have traditionally made decisions to collect information about specific people and groups, taking away resources that could have been used to monitor other targets, he said. Now they can collect and sort information on a massive scale and decide later what information already in hand is most relevant.Agencies will have to decide what information to store, and for how long, and analysts will need to work side-by-side with computers to sift the huge amounts of data, Hershkovitz added.Revelations in recent years by former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden about widespread surveillance of communications created public awareness about the privacy risks of digital technologies and society's increasing reliance on them.Newly enacted security legislation recognizes the burgeoning role of big data, requiring the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to seek a judge's permission to keep datasets that primarily contain personal information about Canadians.During a conference panel discussion, engineer and lawyer Samuel Witherspoon emphasized the continuing need for humans to help make sense of such information. Key decisions, possibly involving life or death, can't simply be left to algorithms, said Witherspoon, co-founder of IMRSV Data Labs Inc., which is teaching computers to read, hear and see. "I think that's an incredibly problematic approach."The intelligence community will have to grapple with the necessary restraints as storing vast amounts of data becomes even less expensive in coming years, said Benoit Hamelin, who has worked as a developer, researcher and manager at start-up companies involved in cyberdefence and threat detection. "Of course there are ethical implications," he said. "We have to set out an ethical framework."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

  • Fortnite makers sue Montreal game tester for allegedly leaking game elements
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Fortnite makers sue Montreal game tester for allegedly leaking game elements

    MONTREAL — The maker of the wildly popular game Fortnite is initiating legal action against a Montreal game tester, alleging he violated his contract by leaking a new online map ahead of its release date.U.S.-based Epic Games International filed a statement of claim in Quebec Superior Court in late October against Lucas Johnston, alleging he was responsible for the publication of "highly confidential information" that amounted to a commercial secret.The court document claims Johnston took a screenshot of a new playing environment on Aug. 30 while he was working for Keywords Studios in Montreal, which provides user experience testing to game-makers.Two weeks later, the image ended up on a Fortnite Competitions' official user forum, more than a month before its scheduled Oct. 15 release.The company claims the leak "deprived the claimant of the element of surprise," tipped off its competitors to its strategy and affected its reputation among its peers."As the creative projects created by the claimant require a long period of time between the start of their conception and their commercialization, confidentiality is thus, throughout the process, essential in order to offer its users innovative projects at the forefront of the video game technology industry," the company wrote in the filing.According to the allegations, which have not been tested in court, an internal investigation by Keywords Studios traced the origins of the leak back to Johnston, who was allegedly seen taking the screenshot on security camera footage. The user who posted the image on the forum, who went by the name "chaad4," had three friends in common with a user named "FloocasJ," whose email corresponded to Johnston's. The investigation concluded Johnston had shared the image with his playing partners, the court documents say.Johnston was fired on Sept. 13, the day after the image was posted, the documents say.According to the documents, Johnston admitted taking the screenshot and emailing it to himself, but said he didn't know how it ended up online. Calls and an email to the addresses listed for Johnston in the court documents went unanswered, and The Canadian Press was unable to verify whether he is represented by a lawyer.The company alleges Johnston violated a non-disclosure agreement and is seeking yet-unspecified damages exceeding $85,000.The interactive multiplayer game has become a global phenomenon, with over 250 million downloads to date, according to the filing. A spokesperson for Epic Games confirmed that this is the third time the company has brought legal action against employees under similar circumstances. The other two cases were in the United States.Michael Shortt, a Montreal-based intellectual property lawyer with law firm Fasken, believes the lawsuit is likely less about money and more about sending a message to workers."If they've suffered serious commercial losses on a worldwide scale, (the defendant) is not going to have the assets to pay that back," said Shortt, who specializes in the video game industry."The reason is likely that they want to send a message to everyone they work with, that people who leak information will face legal consequences — it's not something they can do and get away with."He said video game companies such as Epic Games International have become aggressive in protecting their intellectual property, precisely because leaks are virtually impossible to prevent unless employees police themselves and refrain from doing it — under the threat of a lawsuit if need be.He also pointed out that the revenue model of Fortnite — which is free to download and depends on players making in-game purchases to make money — may make the company particularly sensitive to any interference in its marketing strategy.The case isn't the only one to involve Fortnite that is winding its way through the courts in Quebec.In October, Montreal-based Calex Legal Inc. sought permission to sue Epic Games, as well as its Canadian affiliate based in British Columbia, on behalf of parents who allege their children have become dependent on the game.Their class action request likens the dependence to a drug addiction, noting that the World Health Organization made a decision last year to declare video game addiction, or "gaming disorder," a disease.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 11, 2019. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

  • Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy 'Twisted Twenty-Six'
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy 'Twisted Twenty-Six'

    "Twisted Twenty-Six," Putnam, by Janet EvanovichEdna Mazur, Stephanie's eccentric grandmother, marries a gangster named Jimmy Rosolli, but becomes a widow less than an hour later when he keels over from a heart attack.His associates and exes immediately come out of the woodwork accusing Mazur of arranging his death so she could grab his money. It doesn't help that Jimmy hid a set of keys that, if rumours are to be believed, grant access to his enormous fortune. Now everyone believes that Mazur has those keys and is waiting for the right moment to grab the money. When Stephanie and her family start getting threatened, and both her apartment and her mom and dad's house are ransacked, she knows that she will have to protect the people she cares about and find out the truth about the missing keys.Grandma Mazur doesn't want the fuss, and she even doubts that anyone would kill for this missing set of keys, so it's up to Stephanie with the help of her cop boyfriend Joe Morelli and bounty hunter Ranger to keep her safe. They all need to be at the top of their game if they are to find who is behind the threat before Mazur joins her husband in the great beyond.This ongoing series featuring Stephanie Plum and an oddball supporting cast of characters has always delivered exciting story lines with flat-out hilarious dialogue. This one is no exception, though the characters should know by now not to trust Stephanie with an automobile. How Evanovich can continue to deliver consistent fun on the page is mind-boggling. "Twisted Twenty-Six" feels extra special by focusing on arguably the best character in the franchise plus an ending that highlights a significant change is coming. Fans and newcomers alike will finish the book with a big smile on their face.Jeff Ayers, The Associated Press

  • Something old, something new for Michael Stipe
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Something old, something new for Michael Stipe

    NEW YORK — After Michael Stipe opens a gate to the abandoned Manhattan storefront that serves as his studio, you find a man easily traversing his past, present and future creative lives.He's promoting a 25th anniversary package of the R.E.M. album "Monster" while excited by the response to the first solo music he's released since the band's 2011 retirement. Surrounding him are examples of the photography and visual art that has occupied much of his time since then.He made the single, "Your Capricious Soul," available first on his website last month with proceeds going to the environmental group Extinction Rebellion. He held it back from streaming services for a month, a quiet protest against monopolistic behaviour, but it's there now.The song's throbbing electronic pulse and percussion mark a clean musical break from the guitar-based rock of R.E.M.Stipe would generally write lyrics to R.E.M. songs with music composed by bandmates Peter Buck, Mike Mills and, until he left the band in 1997, Bill Berry. With "Your Capricious Soul," it was all on him."It's terrifying," he said. "That's why I'm doing it."Pleased by the reaction, Stipe said he expects more new music soon. He has no record company, so he's free to release it whenever and however he wants."It sounds great," said Rita Houston, program director at WFUV-FM in New York. "It sounds fantastic to hear Michael's voice on the radio in this new incarnation. The song sounds nothing like an R.E.M. song, but it sounds completely like Michael Stipe. It's very 2019."Now 59, Stipe easily rewinds the clock to 1994 when R.E.M. was at the height of its popularity. After two relatively quiet and commercial records, "Out of Time" and "Automatic for the People," R.E.M. wanted to crank the volume with songs that would contrast on a concert stage to hits like "Man on the Moon." They were touring for the first time in five years, with millions of new fans.On "Monster," they embraced glam rock, influenced by forebears like T. Rex and the New York Dolls, as well as contemporaries like "Achtung Baby"-era U2. The signature track was "What's the Frequency, Kenneth," its title inspired by an odd phrase someone once shouted at newsman Dan Rather."I can't believe looking back ... that we had the audacity and the courage to jump off a cliff together, not literally but figuratively, to create something sounding so different from the records before," he said.The new "Monster" has the requisite outtakes that illustrate how the songs took shape in the studio. Stipe recognizes that fans like hearing the progression, but he finds it excruciating. He listened to the outtakes once."To pull the curtain back that far is a bit humiliating, frankly," he said. "I want people to think of me as this perfect genius who emerged completely into the world. Of course, that's not the case."Stipe exhibits a vulnerability, a sensitive side that he takes pride in. In R.E.M.'s early years, he'd often sing from the shadows, his back to the audience. His shyness never left, but he developed into a confident rock frontman.He came out as gay at the time of the album's release, feeling some pressure because rumours spread that he was HIV-positive when the band didn't tour for two albums and he didn't give interviews for a lengthy period."I was never closeted," he said. "That's the thing that's beautiful about it and I'm so proud of. You can never find a single picture of me pretending to have a girlfriend or being somebody that I'm not. I was never that guy. Any longstanding R.E.M. fan who had not figured out I was queer before that point wasn't looking very hard."R.E.M.'s retirement in 2011 was a model. There was no farewell tour, and they released a valedictory song — "We All Go Back to Where We Belong" — that is among the most beautiful in the band's catalogue. Stipe, Buck and Mills haven't regretted the decision, and Stipe suggests it salvaged their friendship.Buck and Mills both remain active musically as Stipe, until recently, stuck to visual art. The business of R.E.M. forges on as the band has methodically marked key points in their career with new projects."Encapsulating the creative work of the band by disbanding allowed us, and I think the rest of the world, to take a step back and look at it for what it was," Stipe said. "We were not the guys who were going to always be there, and I think that did us a huge favour, honestly."David Bauder, The Associated Press

  • Don Cherry poppy remarks an opportunity for history lesson, says WWI historian
    News
    CBC

    Don Cherry poppy remarks an opportunity for history lesson, says WWI historian

    A historian in Surrey, B.C., hopes offensive remarks made by hockey commentator Don Cherry will be an opportunity to learn more about contributions made during World War I by Indian soldiers to Commonwealth forces.The 85-year-old Hockey Night in Canada personality said on Saturday on his weekly Coach's Corner segment that he's seeing fewer people wearing poppies to honour fallen Canadian soldiers, and he singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto.The comments prompted swift backlash, and apologies the following day from his broadcaster, Sportsnet, and his co-host Ron MacLean. Today, Cherry has reportedly been fired, with Sportsnet tweeting: "It has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down.""During the broadcast, he made made divisive comments that do not represent our values or what we stand for."Steven Purewal, a historian based in Surrey B.C. and the author of a book about more than 1 million Indian soldiers sent to fight in World War I, said before news of the firing that Cherry's comments vilify new immigrants."What Don Cherry did was endorse a stereotype of the thankless immigrant, of an immigrant that isn't patriotic, of an immigrant that hasn't paid his way, and it's completely wrong," he said.Listen to Steven Purewal discuss his book with the CBC's Sheryl MacKay:On Monday, Purewal will be at the Museum of Surrey with an exhibition he created called Duty, Honour & Izzat, the same title as his book.It highlights the role Sikh soldiers played in World War I. Izzat is a word for code of honour, central to Punjabi culture.Purewal says the British called upon the Indian Army to help protect ports along the English Channel at the outset of World War I. Sikh soldiers also fought in Flanders Fields in the first battle of Ypres five months before the Canadian Expeditionary Force arrived.Soldiers from the Punjab helped protect the port of Calais, a key port for the Allies to bring troops and supplies to the Western Front.Purewal says if Punjabi soliders weren't able to maintain the port, the whole history of Canadian participation in the First World War wouldn't have taken place."We wouldn't have had the moment when John McCrae wrote the poem, we wouldn't have had the road to Vimy, we wouldn't have had Vimy itself, we wouldn't have had the stories around Passchendaele," he said."All of those would be negated because the Canadian Expeditionary Force could not have landed in France in 1915 without the help of the Punjabis."Purewal says Punjabi soldiers were also called to assist Canadians fighting in the second Battle of Ypres. Soldiers from the two armies fought and died side by side, he said.Purewal says 1 in 6 Commonwealth soldiers along the Western Front during World War I wore a turban.Inclusive historyPurewal says Cherry's misguided comments are an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about the diversity of soldiers and their common sacrifices."I think he needs to sit across a table with someone more informed and use that platform of his to inform Canadians about the heritage of all people that served in the war," said Purewal.His books says that 73,000 Indian troops were killed in World War I. Canada lost around 67,000 lives.

  • Pipers continue to honour the fallen by playing at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country
    Global News

    Pipers continue to honour the fallen by playing at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country

    The distinctive sound of pipers serves as a reminder for many of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Shelley Steeves has more.

  • Australia battles devastating wildfires
    Yahoo News Canada

    Australia battles devastating wildfires

    Australians in the states of New South Wales and Queensland are being warned of a “catastrophic” threat.At least three people have died and thousands more have been displaced since the bushfires started three days ago. About 120 bushfires are estimated to be burning.The worst threat for Sydney is expected to come Tuesday, as nearby fires spread closer to the city."Everybody has to be on alert no matter where you are and everybody has to assume the worst and we cannot allow complacency to creep in," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, according to the BBC.“Catastrophic” is the highest warning level for bushfires on the country’s threat alert system.

  • News
    CBC

    2 found critically hurt in midtown building died by murder-suicide, police say

    Two people who died after they were found critically hurt in a highrise residential building in October died by murder-suicide, Toronto police say.In a news release on Monday, police identified the woman and man who were found in critical condition in a unit at 141 Davisville Ave., near Yonge Street, on Oct. 26. Emergency crews were called to the unit at about 12:30 a.m. Both people died in hospital later.On Monday, police revealed the cause of death of both people.Bethelhem Geleta, 22, of Toronto, died by strangulation, an autopsy has revealed. When Geleta was found, she had no vital signs, police added.Geleta is Toronto's 59th homicide victim of the year.Aboma Daba, 30, of Toronto, was found suffering from obvious trauma.At the time, police said their deaths were suspicious.Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said in an email to CBC Toronto on Monday that police believe that Daba killed Geleta.Sidhu said police are not commenting on the nature of the relationship between the two and she could not say whether a weapon was found at the scene.In the release, police said: "The deaths are not being treated as suspicious. There are no outstanding suspects."No other details were released.

  • Veteran's loving words for daughter and family hidden away for 75 years
    News
    CBC

    Veteran's loving words for daughter and family hidden away for 75 years

    The weathered ink from Cpl. Sidney Wilson's letters say the words he was never able to bring himself to utter again after he returned from the Second World War: "I love you."The words were written in 1944, four years into Wilson's service, and were addressed to his family, including his daughter Connie Regier — now 81-years-old. "I cried and cried and cried. I opened them and saw his handwriting and I realized how vulnerable he was. He was so young," Regier said.The letters were found in the attic of a Weyburn home, some 75 year after they were first written by Wilson in 1944. By then, he had been gone four years and most of it was spent on the front lines. Wilson enlisted at the age of 22 and his service would see him deployed to France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He would return a changed man, Regier remembers.She said she would hide behind a chair, unable to talk to her father because she was told never to speak to strangers. Derek Madigan recently found the letters while renovating his home. When he read them he knew they had to be turned over. So, Madigan took the letters — signed "love to the kids, dad" — to Weyburn's local legion."I have been thinking about you and the kids all day, wishing I was spending this new year with you," reads one of Wilson's notes from the war.The letters were given to Connie Nightingale, manager at the Legion, who would meet Regier the very next day. Regier was there to speak about her father and a poem she wrote."[Regier] told me his name and I just about fell out of my chair," Nightingale recalled. Regier doesn't remember her father ever saying he loved her.However, in the letters, love is all Wilson shows for family.

  • Study finds emergency department visits jumped after valsartan recall
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Study finds emergency department visits jumped after valsartan recall

    TORONTO — A large recall of contaminated medications appeared to spark confusion among many hypertension patients who were forced to give up the drug last year, with many turning to hospital emergency departments for medical help.The non-profit group Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences says emergency department visits jumped 55 per cent among those affected by a Health Canada recall of some valsartan products.Lead author Cynthia Jackevicius says that while the number of people who went to emergency was relatively small at just 0.17 per cent of affected patients, the increase was still significant.The medications were taken off the market in July 2018 after they were found to contain an impurity known as NDMA, a potential carcinogen that can cause cancer with long-term exposure.Researchers examined the impact on 55,461 affected patients and found that 10.7 per cent did not replace their medication within the three months that followed. Of those studied, 95 per cent had hypertension, while five per cent had heart failure. The average age was 76.It wasn't clear whether the emergency patients were among the 10 per cent who failed to replace their medication, or whether they went to hospital to get a new prescription, or lost control of their hypertension.Jackevicius says the data suggests the need for better co-ordination between Health Canada, prescribers and pharmacists when a recall is announced."While government agencies issued advisories to continue taking medications until contacting their prescribers, there is a high potential for misunderstanding by patients, particularly given the mass media news that may have heightened the alarm regarding the potential negative consequences," said the report, released Monday."Patients may have been willing to risk the short-term potential of uncontrolled hypertension to avoid ingesting a potential carcinogen."Before the recall, emergency room visits by the group studied averaged 0.11 per cent per month. In the month following the recall, the rate jumped to 0.17 per cent.Researchers also found a delayed six per cent spike in emergency department visits for stroke patients taking valsartan, as well as an eight per cent jump in hospitalizations, but most of that jump did not appear until November.Health Canada announced a voluntary recall of six generic valsartan products in July 2018 due to nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.At the time, the federal agency urged those taking the affected medications to discuss treatment options with their health-care provider while the Canadian Pharmacists Association told affected patients they should not immediately stop their medication.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

  • Wet harvest forces farmers to dry grain, face carbon tax on their bills
    News
    CBC

    Wet harvest forces farmers to dry grain, face carbon tax on their bills

    As leaders in the legislature squabble over how to save farmers from the carbon tax after a wet harvest, the province's grain dryers are working overtime.September and October brought heavy rain that wreaked havoc on crops, forcing farmers to harvest acres of wet product.Natural gas grain driers are one of the last resorts for salvaging crops. The bill is adding to farmers' bottom line and the federally-imposed carbon tax adds to it. Since Saskatchewan has not come up with a plan to tax its emissions, farmers face the federal tax by default.The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to hear Saskatchewan's challenge to the carbon tax in December.In the meantime, provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili has sent a letter to the prime minister asking for a tax rebate to farmers using natural gas driers.Exceptionally hard yearOne of the difficulties of this year's harvest is that farmers are forced to send their grain away to be dried. It's a necessary service.Billy Husarewich runs a small grain drier on his farm. He owns about 1,500 acres Southeast of Saskatoon with his in-laws."Most years we typically don't dry any grain at all," he said, standing in front of two full silos ready to be dried."Maybe a few thousand bushels here and there. This year will be dry and close to 40,000 bushels - Between about 25,000 of our own and ten or fifteen thousand for neighbours."It's a process that involves pouring wet grain into a silo, then turning on a fan that pushes heat into the silo, forcing the moisture out.In addition to a higher propane bill, he's dealing with fallout from the wet harvest in other ways.Husarewich notes that normally, a combine can run four or five miles an hour, picking up crop flat on the ground. This year, his combine moved at two and a half miles an hour, which adds up.According to Todd Lewis, the president of Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, frustration began months ago, since a lot of crops were weeks behind throughout the entire growing year."There's so much frustration in the countryside with the slowness of this year's harvest and really just the lack of days in a row that we've been able to work," he said.Husarewich says this year marks the first time he's ever taken a second look at his propane bill, just to check the carbon tax.'It takes a bite out of your bottom line'Husarewich feels for the owners of the grain elevator just down the road in Bradwell."The more you dry, the more you're gonna pay. And you know I'm buying five hundred gallons per week, but there's guys that are buying two, three, four thousand gallons a week so that would be twelve cents on a gallon."Frustration is mounting on the Husarewich farm."I mean it takes a takes a bite out your bottom line," he said."I can't go to the grain elevator and ask for four cents or five cents more. They pay me what it is and that's all there is to it."

  • Tencent Music's quarterly revenue beats on subscriber growth
    News
    Reuters

    Tencent Music's quarterly revenue beats on subscriber growth

    Tencent Music's U.S.-listed shares rose as much as 2% before trading down about 1% in volatile extended trade. The company's monthly average revenue per paying user from its social entertainment services unit rose 7.4% to 127.3 yuan ($18.20), the slowest growth since it went public in December. Tencent Music competes with Alibaba-backed NetEase Cloud Music in streaming services, and with short video sites such as Bytedance's Douyin and Tencent-backed Kuaishou in social entertainment.

  • Author makes readers care about boys about to become men
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Author makes readers care about boys about to become men

    "Nothing More Dangerous," Mulholland, by Allen EskensNothing is more dangerous, says one character quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., than "sheer ignorance." That danger can be extended to hatred, bigotry, uncontrolled anger and family ties as Allen Eskens' sixth novel poignantly shows. "Nothing More Dangerous" works well as a mystery, a dissection of hatred and racial prejudice, and a coming-of-age novel.Positioned as a memory novel set in 1976, "Nothing More Dangerous" follows 15-year-old Boady Sanden, who dreams of leaving his small town of Jessup, Missouri, where he lives with his single mother in a small house. Boady feels out of place, especially at his Catholic school where he is constantly bullied by three mean boys or ignored by the rest of his classmates. But Boady's life changes when he becomes friends with Thomas Elgin, a black boy whose family moves in across the road. The boys don't exactly hit it off — Boady accidently knocks Thomas into a pond and then carelessly uses a racial epithet, a phrase he doesn't think is offensive because everyone uses it. Eventually, the two become real friends, and through fishing, camping and talking, they find out how similar they are.This friendship will force Boady to re-evaluate the "us versus them" attitude of local whites against blacks. This is especially brought home when he sees how the Elgins are treated. Thomas' father, Charles, was transferred to Jessup to take over Ryke Manufacturing, which moulds plastic and is the town's largest employer. Charles is charged with finding out what happened to Lida Poe, an African American woman who worked in the purchasing department and who is missing, along with $160,000 of the plant's money. The resentment over a black man being in charge, and demoting a local resident, has violent ramifications.In "Nothing More Dangerous," Boady also will learn life lessons about tolerance, his community and how his mother has coped since his father died.Eskens gracefully moves the novel through the little moments that help to shape people and see the world with a different attitude. Although the ending is predictable, Eskens makes us care deeply about these boys on the verge of becoming men.Oline H. Cogdill, The Associated Press

  • Reflections on writing about the lives of Beckett, Beauvoir
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Reflections on writing about the lives of Beckett, Beauvoir

    "Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, by Deirdre BairDeirdre Bair has spent her life writing well-received biographies of some of the 20th century's most fascinating people, including Al Capone and Carl Jung. Yet the only two subjects that anyone has ever wanted to talk to her about were Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir.After years of fielding questions about what they were like, Bair began to think it was time to write a memoir about the writing of those books. Luckily for her, she discovered among her files detailed journals in which she wrote down virtually everything she did or thought in connection with that work.Now Bair has drawn on her so-called Daily Diaries to produce "Parisian Lives," a "curious hybrid," or "bio-memoir," of biography and memoir.For readers, it's a "three-fer": two brief but vivid and absorbing portraits of Beckett and Beauvoir, and a searing account of Bair's evolving feminist consciousness as a novice biographer trying to launch a career, raise kids and run a household in the early 1970s, when women were just starting to tell their own stories, and those of other women, in earnest."Although feminist theory was on the upswing," Bair writes, "women were told (mostly by men) that they could never achieve success because their subjects were not worthy of study, and besides, when they did write, they approached their topics with too much timidity to make them authoritative."Bair, 84, was anything but shy. She had written to Beckett with "the grandiose idea" of demonstrating that he "was not (as the reigning view ... then held) a writer steeped in alienation, isolation, and despair, but rather one who was deeply rooted in his Irish heritage." To her surprise, he agreed.Over the next seven years, despite being shunned by Beckett scholars, manipulated by his friends and propositioned by countless sources, Bair persevered, eventually winning the National Book Award.For her second subject, she chose Beauvoir because she "appeared to be the only contemporary role model who had made a success of both her personal and her professional lives, and I was searching desperately for someone to tell me how to do the same."Bair's indefatigable energy and can-do attitude are likely to inspire a new generation of writers and biographers working in a field where the boundaries between genres — memoir, fiction, autobiography, biography — aren't as clear as they once were.But some things never change. As recently as 2017, a friend of a writer she knows asked him how many times Bair had slept with Beckett to gain his co-operation.___Follow me on Twitter:https://twitter.com/annlevinnycAnn Levin, The Associated Press

  • Quick Facts on Canada's climate plan, compared to other G20 members
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Quick Facts on Canada's climate plan, compared to other G20 members

    OTTAWA — Some quick facts about Climate Transparency's 2019 report card on Canada's climate plan as part of its annual report card on G20 climate action.Canada's emissions picture within the G20:— Canada's per-capita emissions in 2016 were 18.9 tonnes per person, compared with a G20 average of 7.5 tonnes per person. (For comparison purposes, the average passenger car produces about 4.5 tonnes of emissions each year).— The lowest per-capita emissions in the G20 were in India, at 1.9 tonnes, and the highest in Australia, at 21.8 tonnes.— Almost one-third of Canada's emissions come from transportation, and per-capita emissions from transport are the second-highest in the G20. Canada's emissions from transportation are also rising while they are falling in the G20 as a whole.— Buildings produced 13 per cent of Canada's emissions, and Canada has no national strategy to reduce emissions from existing buildings. Building emissions in Canada are twice the G20 average, but while the G20 average has gotten slightly worse in the last five years, Canada has cut its emissions from buildings almost 10 per cent.— Canada is among the three least likely countries within the G20 to hit its existing 2030 emissions-reductions targets, goals the report says are already less than half of where Canada needs to go.Energy use:— Canada's energy supply per capita is the highest within the G20, and has gone up in the last five years faster than the G20 average. Overall Canada's primary energy supply — everything from oil and gas to wind, solar and hydroelectric power — is almost 3.5 times the G20 average.— Canada's economy is the third-most energy intensive within the G20, meaning only two countries need more energy for every $1 of economic activity.The good:— Canada's national price on pollution implemented in April 2019. Canada is now one of 18 G20 nations that either have some kind of carbon price or are implementing one. Only Australia and India have no plans for any kind of carbon-pricing scheme.— Canada's new energy regulator system, enacted earlier this year, which introduced new oversight for the energy industry and a more stringent assessment process for major projects like pipelines and mines.— Canada's electricity supply is already cleaner than most G20 nations', with 66 per cent of electricity coming from renewable sources. That includes 58 per cent from hydroelectricity and the rest from solar, wind and biomass. The G20 average is 25 per cent of electricity coming from renewables.The bad:— 16,000 people die in G20 nations each year from extreme weather. In Canada, on average, 11 people die each year from extreme weather and more than 5,000 from air pollution. India, with nearly 3,700 deaths a year, and Russia, with almost 3,000, have the most deaths from extreme weather.— The average cost to Canada from extreme weather each year is about US$1.7 billion. Across the G20 extreme weather costs $142 billion a year.— If the G20 nations don't drastically cut emissions more than they currently intend, global warming will exceed 3 C by the end of this century, twice the increase scientists say is the threshold to prevent catastrophic climate change.— At 3 C, Canada becomes far more likely to experience water shortages and drought, and there is a high likelihood of frequent heat waves and days above 35 C. There will be a high impact on corn, soybean and wheat crops at 3 C, while the impact on those crops at 1.5 C is considered to be low.Key recommendations for Canada:— Canada's current emissions target for 2030 is to get to about 511 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents. Climate Transparency says for Canada to pull its weight, based on how much it contributed to global emissions over the past century, that target needs to fall to closer to 327 million tonnes. That is less than half of the 716 million tonnes Canada emitted in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.— Canada needs to adopt a clean fuel standard. The federal Liberals are working on one but it won't be implemented for liquid fuels until 2022 and for gaseous fuels until 2023.— Provinces need to be encouraged to do massive energy retrofits of existing buildings to reduce energy consumption.The Canadian Press

  • Truro banners aim to share stories of black Nova Scotian veterans
    News
    CBC

    Truro banners aim to share stories of black Nova Scotian veterans

    The town of Truro has its annual Remembrance Day events, including a veterans parade and a ceremony at the cenotaph at Civic Square.But there is also a relatively new Remembrance Day tradition flying high above the town — a banner campaign that started up just a few years ago continues to grow. This year it honours 60 veterans, including 19 black Nova Scotian veterans."I heard a great story yesterday where a friend of mine called and he said he was walking with his grandchildren, looking at all the banners," said Nolan Borden, one of the organizers of the black veterans project."He was going through with the kids all of the individuals he met and grew up with and that's the main purpose for the posters, so kids will learn about who started our communities here in Truro."Wayne Talbot is a Truro town councillor.The banners hold special meaning for him because one of them is posted on a pole outside his home. The soldier featured is his father, Lloyd Talbot."The soldiers never told the story of the war," said Talbot. "They'd come home scarred from the war mentally and they probably weren't where they were prior to leaving, I know my father never talked about the war."Borden says the banners went up on Nov. 4 and will come down on Tuesday.They cost $100 each and some businesses in the Truro area helped pay for a portion of them."It started out small but it's growing like crazy," said Borden.Borden says he expects there will be many more new banners around Truro this time next year.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Warming up your car can lead to theft, fuel waste
    News
    Yahoo News Canada

    Warming up your car can lead to theft, fuel waste

    With the mercury below zero across much of the country, the age-old question is being asked: do you need to warm up your car before driving in winter?

  • State attorneys general meet in Colorado to discuss Google antitrust probe
    News
    Reuters

    State attorneys general meet in Colorado to discuss Google antitrust probe

    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - State attorneys general are meeting on Monday in Colorado to discuss their probe into whether Google's business practices break antitrust law, according to two sources knowledgeable about the meeting. The gathering was expected to be similar to one held in New York in October, where state and federal enforcers from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission discussed their probe of Facebook. The probe of Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, is being led by the Texas attorney general's office.

  • News
    CBC

    Vancouver man returns to Dunkirk to pay respects for grandfather he never knew

    Thomas Michael McDonald was killed during the Second World War on a beach in Northern France, and nearly eight decades later his grandson has travelled to the same shoreline to pay his respects and say thank you for his greatest gift — Canadian citizenship.McDonald never knew his grandfather, a British soldier who died on the beach in Dunkirk in 1940 during the evacuation of Allied forces.But, the soldier, who had spent time in Canada as a young man, instilled a love of Canada in his own young son — Shane's father — before he was killed when the boy was six.Shane McDonald said his father had been told about a "wondrous mystical far off place" by his own dad, and moved here as a newlywed to raise his own family. Shane McDonald, who grew up in Canada, always felt the need to see where his grandfather had made the ultimate sacrifice.He finally made the journey this Nov. 11."I can't imagine the hell it must have been," said Shane McDonald by phone from France on CBC's The Early Edition. He said it was an emotional experience to walk the beach where he said his grandfather spent days with over 60,000 other soldiers waiting in the sand for a rescue that never came.A relative rememberedShane McDonald also found his grandfather's name on the local memorial and attended Remembrance Day ceremonies in Dunkirk. He said the ceremony was so emotional for him he had to return to his hotel mid-day to compose himself.But, he said, there have also been joyous moments. He said many French ceremony attendees took notice of his Canadian pin he is wearing with his poppy and it has sparked conversations with the locals."I don't know whose English or French was worse ... but the actual meaning behind the conversation was one hundred per cent understood," said Shane McDonald.Shane McDonald said standing on the blustery beaches of Northern France made him reflect on his own father, who lost his dad as a child, and feel overwhelmingly grateful for the childhood he had that was largely due to a man he never met."Part of his posthumous legacy, I truly believe, is I am a Canadian citizen," he said. "He gave me one of the greatest gifts any parent or grandparent can give."To hear the complete interview with Shane McDonald, tap the audio link below:

  • Little Rock teachers to go on strike over district's control
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Little Rock teachers to go on strike over district's control

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock teachers will go on strike for one day this week over an Arkansas panel's decision to strip their collective bargaining power and complaints about state control of the 23,000-student district, union officials said Monday.The strike that will take place Thursday will be only the second time teachers have walked out of the job in Little Rock history. The Little Rock Education Association's announcement comes after the state Board of Education in October voted to no longer recognize the union when the contract expired Oct. 31.The union has been calling for the state to give them back their bargaining power. Before the contract ended on Oct. 31, the Little Rock School District had been the only one in Arkansas where a teachers union had collective bargaining power. But union leaders said Thursday's strike was focused more broadly on returning full local control to the district.Arkansas has run Little Rock's schools since the state board took over the district in January 2015 because of low test scores at several schools. The state board has voted to put the district under a local board that will be elected in November 2020, but with limits on its authority. The strike will occur the day the state panel is expected to vote on establishing the zones for the new local board."As educators, we would rather be in the classroom with our students, not on the picket line," Teresa Knapp Gordon, the union's president, said at a news conference outside Little Rock Central High School. "However, this community and the passionate, dedicated educators of this district will do what is necessary to protect the futures of our students."While the union billed it as a one-day strike, Gordon left open the possibility of it stretching beyond Thursday if the panel doesn't return full local control."No options are off the table at this point," she said.The only other teachers strike in the district was in 1987, when Little Rock students missed six days of school before a new two-year contract was approved.Little Rock Superintendent Michael Poore said the district's schools will remain open and buses will continue to run, though some classes may have to be combined. In anticipation of the strike, school officials have been lining up hundreds of substitute teachers and said between 250 and 300 district and state employees can also work as educators."We are going to try to have as normal of a day as we possibly can," Poore told reporters. Poore said officials don't know how many teachers will join the strike.The state Board of Education last month backed off a plan to divide control of the school district after critics said it would return Little Rock to a racially segregated system 62 years after nine black students integrated all-white Central High School.The union, however, criticizes the latest plan because the state would still maintain some authority.State Education Secretary Johnny Key and Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who appointed eight of the nine state board members, said they were disappointed with the strike decision."I am disappointed that the union has chosen to lead a strike that encourages teachers to walk out on their students," Hutchinson said in a statement. "Superintendent Mike Poore has made it clear we are going to continue classes and continue education and that we will not let a strike stop the education of our students. We all desire local control and next year's school board election is a major step approved by the state Board of Education."A teachers strike in Little Rock would follow similar actions elsewhere. A strike in Chicago, the nation's third-largest school district, cancelled 11 days of classes for more than 300,000 students before a contract deal was reached on Oct. 31. And teachers in several states, including Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky, protested last year at state capitols over wages and other issues.Those in support of ending the Little Rock union's recognition have said more teachers will be represented by the district setting up a personnel policies committee made up of teachers that would offer advice on salaries and other issues. The state board also voted to reinstate employee protections for teachers in the district that it had waived in December.Wendy Sheridan, a Little Rock parent, said she and her two children will join teachers at the picket line on Thursday before going to the state board meeting."While as parents we want what's best for our children, and that's to be in school, at this point what's best for our children is to support our educators and support others who are trying to do what's right for them in the long run," she said.___Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo___This story has been corrected to reflect that that 1987 was the last time a strike was held in the district, not the state, and that the announcement was made Monday.Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press

  • Tours offer newcomers chance to learn about Canadian military history
    News
    CBC

    Tours offer newcomers chance to learn about Canadian military history

    Dale Welta leads a group of people through the Regina Legion Museum on a tour. He pauses every time he speaks as an interpreter relays his message.Welta is used to giving tours to students and adults, but on this day he's touring around a number of new Canadians. Some had only been in Canada a few months."It's a learning curve — it takes a bit of getting used to but it's a lot of fun," Welta said. "It's a real pleasure to see the looks on their faces when they understand." "If we don't know our history we're bound to repeat the same mistakes," he said. "And the more people we can tell — whether new Canadians or people who have lived here all their lives — we want to get that message out that it's part of our history and we need to honour those people."The tours were organized through the Regina Legion Branch 001 and the Regina Open Door Society. They are a way to educate newcomers about the history of Canada and the sacrifices people have made for the country.  All that we are currently living in is because of them, because of their sacrifice. \- Mubarak NajemMubarak Najem has been in Canada for six months. He said it's important for him to know the history of his new home."[I] wanted to come and see the history of Canada and all the people who sacrificed their lives for the peace," Najem said through an interpreter. "All that we are currently living in is because of them, because of their sacrifice."Najem said living somewhere with peace and calmness means a lot. He's originally from Kuwait and also lived in Jordan before coming to Canada."I got to feel how it really was," Najem said. "Through pictures and all the stuff that was displayed in the museum, I got to understand the life that these people went through."  Learning a history of a new country that you move into is as important as learning the language and learning the culture. \- Shams BadriOne of the highlights for the Newcomers has been the new mural at the Legion, Welta said. It was painted last summer by a local artist and it depicts the different wars Canada has fought. It tells a story about the different states soldiers can be in when they come home: safe and okay, mentally injured, physically injured or in a casket. "It was the first time for me too, to come to this museum," said Shams Badri, the tour's interpreter. "It was exciting." Badri translates English into a variety of Arabic languages around Regina. She said she hopes the newcomers take away two major aspects from the Legion tours: the role of Canada on a world stage and the role of men and women in the war. "Learning a history of a new country that you move into is as important as learning the language and learning the culture," Badri said."You need to understand the history in order to appreciate the country and feel union to it and to teach your children to appreciate this country."

  • 'An ecological train wreck': Prof says Ontario needs to do more than just track wild pigs
    News
    CBC

    'An ecological train wreck': Prof says Ontario needs to do more than just track wild pigs

    They're massive, elusive and they'll eat virtually anything — even white-tailed deer.Wild pig sightings have been reported across Ontario thanks to a tip line from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), but one expert says simply monitoring them isn't enough. The province needs to act now."Much like a forest fire, if you wait, that fire becomes completely out of control," explained Ryan Brook, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan and director of the Canadian Wild Pig Research Project. "That's exactly where Ontario stands right now. If they don't get really aggressive really fast and have a action plan to find and remove these pigs very actively ... there's no question southern Ontario could support a million wild pigs."Brook speaks from experience. About 20 years ago he says Saskatchewan was in a similar situation, with a relatively low number of pig sightings. But the professor says a decision to "bury our head in the sand" led to an explosion across the southern half of the province to the point pigs are "essentially out of control now."MNRF spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said there have been roughly 51 wild pig sightings across the Ontario in recent years, stretching from Windsor to north of Algonquian Park.A pair of wild pigs were spotted in Norfolk County last month, part of a recent surge in sightings Kowalski says the MNRF is experiencing thanks to its efforts to raise public awareness through social media.The ministry is asking anyone who spots wild pigs to post a photo and description on the the iNaturalist Ontario Wild Pig Reporting webpage or to email wildpigs@ontario.ca."We're tracking sightings and once we've gathered the information then that will help us determine what next steps are," she explained.The 'ideal invasive species'But while he applauds the idea of a tipline as a good first step, Brook described Ontario's plan to stick to simply monitoring wild pigs as "laissez faire" and "insane," adding "That is exactly the wrong attitude."The fact that the number of sightings is relatively low and no big herds have been reported are good signs, but that doesn't mean officials can sit back, says Brook. When it comes to wild pigs there's a very narrow window to take action."They expand so fast, there's huge reproduction rates, they're so smart, highly mobile, they have all the characteristics of an ideal invasive species," he explained.Pigs can be slippery and hard to find in the wild, meaning the reports that are coming in could only reflect a sliver of the true population.And as their numbers grow Brooks said they'll get into wetlands and remote river valleys, making them even more difficult to root out and requiring a huge amount of resources along with "millions and millions of dollars" to get a handle on.The professor said in places like Texas, where pigs wreak havoc, people think "you're crazy if yo don't drop everything" to focus on getting rid of them."Ontario has years, at best, to deal with this. Blink your eyes twice and they could have the same problem as Saskatchewan real fast."Wild pig is a term used to describe the hybrid offspring of domestic swine and imported Eurasian wild boar, which were imported to Canada starting in the 1980s to diversify livestock production.Some of those animals escaped from farms while other wild pigs are the descendants of domestic pigs that turned feral over generations.'Super pigs' present a big problemBrook says they're sometimes called "super pigs" because the crossbreeding in their backgrounds led to bigger animals and larger litters that allow them to thrive in the wild.The largest wild pig he's heard of being handled in Saskatchewan was a hefty 638 lbs — but an animal in the 100 to 300 lbs range is more typical.Wild pigs come in a range of appearances, too. Brook said some are jet black, grey or brown, while others are reddish, speckled or just plain old pink.Regardless of how they look, the professor says all wild pigs present a problem."Anything that looks and acts like a pig that's not inside a fence, in my view, should be brought back inside a fence or euthanized immediately."Kowalski said people in Ontario can legally "destroy" wild pigs if they're threatening their property or safety. The MNRF has not received any reports of wild pigs injuring people, but it advises residents to treat pigs like any other big, potentially dangerous animal and keep their distance."Is a large partially wild animal and they're heavy so … you would want to avoid them," she explained.Brook says the the real threat from wild pigs is to things like the environment, agriculture and essentially everything else in their path.That's because they will eat "virtually anything," including rooting up and destroying wetlands with their snouts, devouring crops, gobbling up amphibians, eggs and birds."They will eat white-tailed deer fawns and adults," Brook added. "They are often referred to, correctly, as an ecological train wreck. They are a disaster."