• As tensions rise in the Asia-Pacific, Japan's PM is calling on Canada for help
    News
    CBC

    As tensions rise in the Asia-Pacific, Japan's PM is calling on Canada for help

    In the military, they call it "painting a target." And it apparently came as a shock to the crew of a lumbering Japanese patrol plane last December when a South Korean warship locked onto them with its fire control radar.The incident, which took place over an empty stretch of ocean southwest of the Korean Peninsula, sparked a diplomatic furor between Tokyo and Seoul.The South Korean military accused the Japanese of swooping low over their destroyer as it was in the process of aiding a disabled North Korean fishing boat — an allegation Japan's defence minister denied.The incident was a riveting demonstration of how tempestuous relations can be in the region, even between supposed U.S. allies.Such disputes — including the more high-profile standoff with Beijing over the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea — have seemed remote and indecipherable to many Canadians, including government decision-makers.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to pitch closer defence cooperation with Canada, among other things, when he visits Ottawa this weekend.One defence expert said Abe's visit is an attempt to gauge how serious the Trudeau government is about becoming more engaged in the Asia-Pacific region.Ottawa will be the Japanese prime minister's last stop on a world-wide tour that's taking him to France, Italy, Slovakia, Brussels and the United States.One of the topics Abe is expected to discuss with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is how the two countries can solidify Canada's regular participation in military exercises in the region.Japan's ambassador to Canada, Kimihiro Ishikane, told CBC News in an interview Wednesday that there has been limited military cooperation between Canada and Japan already, "but there's a lot to be done."Japan would like to see more exchanges of information and personnel between the two militaries. Canada's experience in international peacekeeping operations and capacity-building in the world's trouble spots is another major area where the two nations can work together, Ishikane said."Maybe we can cooperate in that field," he said. "Maybe we can also cooperate in the field of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief ... Maybe we can do all those kind of things step by step."Abe also is expected to compare notes with Trudeau on the pressure-cooker exercise of dealing with the Trump administration during trade talks. Japan and the U.S. plan to open negotiations for their own deal after Washington pulled out of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.Looking for friends in a dangerous neighbourhoodIt's in the realm of defence, however, that the Japanese have begun to express a desire for a more formalized partnership.Dave Perry, a defence expert at the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs, said the Abe government is motivated by both the unpredictable direction of Kim Jong Un's regime in North Korea and the growing willingness of China to test the boundaries of international law and diplomacy."We share a lot of common value systems ... in terms of human rights, support for democracy, good economic linkages," he said. "But I think we're also on the same side of some of the strategic issues in the region, where we want to promote open access, free trade and freedom of movement ... something that has been in place for the last several decades enforced by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, which has benefited both of our countries."The Canadian frigate HMCS Calgary and the navy's leased supply ship, MV Asterix, took part in Exercise Keen Sword last fall alongside dozens of U.S. and Japanese Defence Forces warships in the waters near Japan.It was the first time that Canada had sent a combat ship to the biennial drill, which has evolved into a show of solidarity in the face of rising Chinese ambitions.Perry said Japan's outreach to Canada isn't motivated exclusively by events in the South China Sea, but rather by a wider concern about Beijing's military modernization and how it has the potential to reduce freedom of navigation."The U.S. Navy has been really underpinned the freedom of movement for commerce in that region since the Second World War," said Perry."The fact that the U.S. seems to be withdrawing from the rest of the world and that we may not necessarily ... be able to rely upon the United States to guarantee freedom of movement in those areas is a concern."Ishikane said keeping trade routes open is important to every country in the region."At this very moment, freedom of navigation is not very impaired," said Ishikane, who noted that piracy remains an important issue for governments in the region."But there are some concerns, I have to say, in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. So we need to be prepared and we need to share the idea that freedom of navigation, based upon established international law, rules and norms, is extremely important for the peace and prosperity of the region."North Korea also remains a major source of worry, despite assurances from U.S. President Donald Trump that he is on track to reach an understanding with Pyongyang, said Perry."The last couple of years, I don't think, has done much to put to rest any of the concerns about North Korean involvement with missile technology and nuclear weapons," he said.

  • Ottawa has fallen back to 'managing the problem' with Indigenous Peoples, says Jody Wilson-Raybould
    News
    CBC

    Ottawa has fallen back to 'managing the problem' with Indigenous Peoples, says Jody Wilson-Raybould

    Former Liberal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told a First Nations justice conference Wednesday she is concerned the federal government is falling back into old patterns in its dealings with Indigenous Peoples. Wilson-Raybould and former Indigenous services minister Jane Philpott were invited to speak by the First Nations Justice Council, a B.C. group working with the province to develop a First Nations justice strategy. "Today and every day I do remain optimistic and hopeful," Wilson-Raybould told a room of more than 100 First Nations leaders and provincial officials gathered in Richmond for the two-day forum.

  • 'Passengers are afraid of this airplane': How Boeing is handling its 737 Max problem
    News
    CBC

    'Passengers are afraid of this airplane': How Boeing is handling its 737 Max problem

    Boeing has made changes to its 737 Max airliner and conducted more than 130 test flights to show that apparent problems have been fixed in the wake of two deadly crashes. Convincing passengers will be much harder. "Passengers are afraid of this airplane," aviation industry analyst Henry Harteveldt says.

  • New York City wants more of Quebec's clean energy, but how green does that make Legault?
    News
    CBC

    New York City wants more of Quebec's clean energy, but how green does that make Legault?

    In recent months, he's hawked the province's hydroelectricity at a first ministers meeting in Montreal, while visiting Premier Doug Ford in Toronto, and in Boston, at a one-on-one meeting with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The response has been tepid on the Canadian side.

  • The federal budget bill can't actually 'free the beer'
    News
    CBC

    The federal budget bill can't actually 'free the beer'

    For the federal Liberals, lifting the remaining federal restrictions on the interprovincial liquor trade is "low-hanging fruit," said Dan Paszkowski, CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA). The CVA cites polls that suggest up to 90 per cent of Canadians want to see interprovincial trade in alcohol freed up.

  • Rookies excited for start of MLA orientation at Alberta legislature
    News
    CBC

    Rookies excited for start of MLA orientation at Alberta legislature

    "I'm a little bit nervous but I'm also incredibly excited to be here and to get started right away this week," Rebecca Schulz, UCP MLA-elect for Calgary Shaw, said shortly after she arrived in Edmonton on Tuesday. Of the 63 United Conservative Party candidates elected last week, 41 are new to the legislature. The NDP will make up the balance of the 87 seats.

  • NDP leader Jagmeet Singh claims he was sexually abused as a child
    CBC

    NDP leader Jagmeet Singh claims he was sexually abused as a child

    NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has claimed in a new memoir that he was sexually abused by his taekwondo coach when he was 10.

  • Death toll from Sri Lanka bombing attacks rises to 359: police
    News
    Reuters

    Death toll from Sri Lanka bombing attacks rises to 359: police

    The death toll from the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose to 359, police said on Wednesday without providing any further details. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera released the toll but did not give a breakdown of casualties from the three churches and four hotels hit by suicide bombers. The attacks were claimed on Tuesday by the Islamic State militant group, which said they were carried out by seven attackers but gave no evidence to support the claim.

  • Myanmar lawmaker: 50 believed dead in mudslide at jade mine
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Myanmar lawmaker: 50 believed dead in mudslide at jade mine

    More than 50 people are believed to have died in a mudslide at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar, a lawmaker representing the area said Tuesday. Tin Soe said three bodies have been recovered and 54 people remain missing after the accident Monday night in the Hpakant area of Kachin state. The mud covered not only the workers but also mining equipment, including bulldozers and backhoes, from the Myanmar Thuya Co. and 9 Dragons Co.

  • Swiss investment firm, Bitfury launch bitcoin mining fund
    News
    Reuters

    Swiss investment firm, Bitfury launch bitcoin mining fund

    Both companies, however, did not disclose the size of the fund, which was developed by Final Frontier for institutional and professional investors to gain access to the esoteric world of bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining entails updating the ledger of bitcoin transactions known as the blockchain. Bitfury, which holds a minority stake in Switzerland-based Final Frontier, said in a statement it is providing the hardware and end-to-end services for the bitcoin mining fund.

  • Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' activists jailed for role in mass protests
    News
    Reuters

    Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' activists jailed for role in mass protests

    A Hong Kong court on Wednesday jailed key leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy "Occupy" movement in a move that highlights political divisions nearly five years after protests rocked the China-ruled city. The sentences came after nine leaders of the Occupy movement were found guilty of public nuisance during the protest in a trial that critics said underscored the decline of political freedoms in the former British colony. Law professor Benny Tai, 54, and retired sociologist Chan Kin-man, 60, were each jailed for 16 months for conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

  • Leafs face another long summer of second-guessing after devastating Game 7 loss
    News
    CBC

    Leafs face another long summer of second-guessing after devastating Game 7 loss

    Another Toronto Maple Leafs season died in Boston and another long summer of second-guessing began on Tuesday evening. The Boston Bruins were the victors in a critical Game 7 for the third time at TD Garden since 2013. Rookie general manager Kyle Dubas added a talented free agent in 47-goal scorer John Tavares and a Stanley Cup-winner before the trade deadline in defenceman Jake Muzzin.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    BC study suggests there's strong support for policies that encourage vaccination

    VANCOUVER — Most British Columbians support policies aimed at encouraging vaccinations, such as requiring parents to report their child's immunization status when they enter school, but punitive measures are less popular, a new study suggests.Lead author Julie Bettinger, an investigator with the Vaccine Evaluation Centre at BC Children's Hospital, said governments across Canada would benefit from seeking input on attitudes toward vaccine-preventable diseases before implementing policies that could backfire.Ontario and New Brunswick are the only provinces requiring proof of vaccination for school entry, though both allow exemptions for medical, philosophical or religious reasons.In response to a recent increase in the number of measles cases in British Columbia, the province has indicated it will make it mandatory for parents to report their child's immunization record starting in September, but the measure will not require children to be vaccinated in order to attend school.More than 80 per cent of 1,300 people surveyed online in April 2017 were in favour of such a policy being adopted in B.C., Bettinger said of the study that was published Wednesday in CMAJ Open and includes a subset of about 300 parents with young children. About 42 per cent of respondents had no children.Less than 40 per cent of those surveyed supported penalties, Bettinger said, noting that could include fines like those introduced in Italy, where parents may risk paying up to 500 euros, or about $750, if they don't provide a doctor's note showing their children received 10 compulsory vaccines before starting school.The policy in Italy is based on a law enacted in 2017 following a measles outbreak and means children up to age six could be banned from attending school if they are not vaccinated against the highly contagious viral illness that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing.Parents and younger survey responders, even if they did not have children, favoured rewards such as a tax break or credit if kids received all age-recommended vaccinations, Bettinger said."Interestingly enough, they were less likely to support the idea of banning children, who were not immunized, from school," she said."Ideally, these types of results would encourage others in some of our other provinces to find out what people think there as well and if they're really interested in seeing immunization rates increase, implement policies that are acceptable to the majority of people," she said, adding that would prevent backlash such as in Italy and elsewhere.Legislators in Washington state passed a bill last week removing personal belief from a list of exemptions parents have used to shun immunizing their children. Medical and religious exemptions could still be used.In neighbouring British Columbia, an increase in the number of measles cases to 27 since February prompted Health Minister Adrian Dix to launch a three-month measles immunization catch-up drive this month for children in kindergarten to Grade 12 as the province aims to ensure they have up-to-date vaccinations. The first is provided at age one, followed by the second between the ages of four and six."All of this will assist us in the fall when we bring in the mandatory registration program for all schools, both public and independent," Dix said, adding his ministry will provide more details next month to ensure parents have the information they need to get their children vaccinated."What I want to make sure is that we don't just have a short-term increase," Dix said of vaccination rates, adding 82 per cent of seven-year-olds in B.C. were vaccinated against measles in 2018, down from 90 per cent in 2014, following 342 cases of the disease."It's a sustained approach to raise the rates," he said of the catch-up campaign, adding the government will report monthly statistics on the number of children who have been immunized, starting in the first week of May, and those numbers will provide some information on the public's attitude toward vaccination.Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest. If the disease is not treated early enough, complications such as pneumonia and hearing loss can result in children.Measles was declared eradicated in Canada 1998 but there is no national immunization registry as the disease makes a comeback, sometimes spread by those who have travelled elsewhere, including Vietnam, the Philippines and the Washington state area, Dix said of some of British Columbia's recent cases.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

  • Bill Cosby fighting $1M a month legal bill in arbitration
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Bill Cosby fighting $1M a month legal bill in arbitration

    A fee dispute between actor Bill Cosby and one of the many law firms hired to address his legal problems shows the Los Angeles firm alone was billing Cosby $1 million a month in the run-up to his first sex assault trial. The imprisoned Cosby is challenging a California arbitration award that upholds nearly $7 million of the $9.2 million billed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan for nine months work. The Quinn Emanuel team was led by partner Christopher Tayback, the son of the late actor Vic Tayback.

  • What could be 'leftover debris' from Detroit-Windsor Tunnel work falls onto car
    News
    CBC

    What could be 'leftover debris' from Detroit-Windsor Tunnel work falls onto car

    The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel may have reopened after its ceiling renovation that went on for more than a year, but work is still ongoing.Contractors working Monday to Friday in portions of the ceiling may have been the reason behind a piece of concrete falling, hitting a passenger vehicle a couple of Saturdays ago.CBC News reporter/editor Jonathan Pinto said he heard a noise on the roof of his car while waiting inside the tunnel, in the portion with the new ceiling. That was on April 13, 2019 in the afternoon.He's heard water drip from the ceiling before, but he said "this was a bit louder than that.""It wasn't crazy loud, but it was definitely noticeable," said Pinto.When he made it to the U.S., he heard a rattling noise from the back.It turned out it was a piece of concrete, just a bit larger than a dime, that had been wedged between the trunk hood and rear glass of his car."Isn't this ceiling brand new? That's kind of strange," he recalled thinking when he realized what that noise had been.Pinto's vehicle was not damaged in any way by the fallen concrete. He will not be filing a complaint or an insurance claim. Pinto was travelling to the U.S. for leisure.Ongoing constructionAccording to Robert Howell, director of operations for the tunnel, his best guess is "leftover debris" from ongoing work above the ceiling area during weekdays.There are parts of the tunnel ceiling that are open, he said.While some people had filed complaints during the year contractors were working on the ceiling, none of them had to do with "concrete-type debris," said Howell.However, he reassured the tunnel will speak with construction workers about the issue Pinto raised.If people experience issues in the tunnel like falling debris, Howell said once they exit the tunnel, they should alert officials.They can do so by speaking with the custom officer, who will be able to help them get a hold of the supervisor.Moving forward, there will be additional construction work taking place within the next month or two, Howell said. People can expect periodic closures with the tunnel.If you've had a similar experience as Pinto, let us know by sending an email to windsor@cbc.ca.

  • Saint John will continue 'aggressive' demolition of vacant buildings
    News
    CBC

    Saint John will continue 'aggressive' demolition of vacant buildings

    Saint John plans to continue an "aggressive" program targeting owners of vacant and dilapidated buildings and that could mean as many as 30 unsightly structures could be razed in 2019. The city demolished 27 buildings in 2018 as part of the Dangerous and Vacant Building program while property owners voluntarily removed another six. Near the top of the list, according to Saint John Mayor Don Darling, is a long-vacant former motel building on Rothesay Avenue.

  • Samsung plans $116 billion investment in non-memory chips to challenge TSMC, Qualcomm
    News
    Reuters

    Samsung plans $116 billion investment in non-memory chips to challenge TSMC, Qualcomm

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd plans to invest $116 billion in non-memory chips through 2030, to cut its reliance on the volatile memory chip market and develop chips to power self-driving cars and AI-enabled devices. The plan underscores the South Korean firm's ambition to challenge bigger rivals - Taiwan's TSMC in contract chip manufacturing and San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc in mobile processing chips - as the memory chip market contracts sharply after years of an unprecedented boom. In March, U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp agreed to buy Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for $6.8 billion, beating rival Intel Corp in a deal that would help Nvidia boost its data center and AI businesses.

  • News
    CBC

    'Great problem to have': Glove factory in central Newfoundland wants more workers

    For the mayor of a small Newfoundland town, it's likely the best problem you can have: not enough employees to work at the biggest economic driver in the seaside community of Point Leamington. In a town of more than 500, the Superior Glove factory resting on the harbour's edge in the community, north of Grand Falls-Windsor, is a big employer for the central region, employing about 160 people. "Great problem to have, isn't it?" Mayor Wilf Mercer said with a smirk during a tour of the facility Tuesday.

  • News
    CBC

    University of Windsor increasing international student tuition to offset Ontario's domestic decrease

    International students at the University of Windsor will see a tuition fee increase to offset a provincially-mandated 10 per cent decrease for their domestic counterparts.The board of governors voted in favour of the motion Tuesday, which will see tuition rise by five per cent for most international students in the next school year. There's no increase for the applied computing program, but a nine per cent tuition spike for overseas students in engineering."I think among international students there's a consistent messaging that the university doesn't care about them," said University of Windsor Students' Alliance president Jeremiah Bowers. "We need to be holding ourselves accountable in the sense that if we're increasing international student tuition, we need to know what additional supports are being provided," he said.This is one of three ways the school is trying to find $10 million it will be losing from the 10 per cent tuition cut for domestic students, put in place by the Ford government. The University of Windsor calls this the biggest revenue shortfall in its history.In addition to the "strategic tuition fee increases," the school is also trying to increase enrolment in first-year undergraduate students and international masters students as well as internal "belt tightening", including a 1.5 per cent cut to the president and vice president budgets."You have a limited repertoire of strategies to deal with those foreseen and unforeseen costs," said interim president Douglas Kneale.

  • Bias at the border? CBSA study finds travellers from some countries face more delays
    News
    CBC

    Bias at the border? CBSA study finds travellers from some countries face more delays

    The Canada Border Services Agency is conducting a series of tests to learn if its human agents, and its passport-reading machines, are prone to discriminating against certain kinds of travellers.The CBSA's research to date, obtained by CBC News through Access to Information requests, suggests that most of the discrepancies in the treatment of different nationalities and ethnicities at Canada's international airports are driven by procedures, rather than prejudice.But border service officers did use their discretion to order secondary inspections for travellers from the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean at far higher rates than for travellers from the U.S. or Western Europe.The surveys also confirmed that border officers are more likely to look twice at the customs declaration of a returning Canadian traveller than that of a U.S. visitor.And internal CBSA communications suggest that the new Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK) that read passports at some Canadian airports may have higher error rates when processing people with certain ethnic backgrounds.One analysis obtained by CBC News was undertaken by the border agency in response to a CTV News report in May 2018."The news report implied that referrals for secondary inspection were biased with respect to travelers from certain countries and regions," says the analysis report. "As a result of the news report, the CBSA formed a task force to analyze the accuracy of these findings."The Air Traveler Referral Analysis was delivered to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen in July of last year.The results seemed to bear out the news report, says the document: "The CBSA determined that the conclusions drawn by the media could be inferred from the assessment of the information provided through the ATIP (access to information) request."In 2017, about 3,500,000 travellers arriving at Canadian airports were flagged for secondary inspections — for immigration purposes, for customs, to pay taxes and fees or to meet other requirements regarding health or imports.The analysis report reveals that very few travellers are selected randomly for secondary inspection — just 70,000 out of 4.2 million in 2017, less than 2 per cent of the total.Iranians v. IcelandersThe CBSA analysis found that the rates at which travellers were referred to secondary inspection differed wildly depending on their countries of origin.For example, Iranian travellers arriving in Canada in 2017 were on average about twenty times as likely to be referred to secondary inspections for Customs purposes — and about six times as likely to be referred for immigration purposes — as were visiting Icelanders.A Jamaican visitor was about ten times as likely as a Dane to face a secondary inspection for Customs purposes, and almost ten times as likely to be followed up for immigration purposes.Canada openly treats travellers differently depending on their passports, of course. Iranians and Jamaicans require a visa to visit Canada as tourists. Icelanders and Danes do not.But CBSA's analysis suggests that the discrepancies in the rates of secondary inspections are not a matter of policy."While Jamaican and Iranian nationals were referred more often for inspection than some other foreign nationals, looking at a macro level analysis, this report found no systematic evidence of bias," says the CBSA analysis.It notes that about 10 per cent of all travellers are referred and, of the 4.2 million referrals it examined, "the vast majority of referrals were for mandatory reasons, with the largest proportion having been referred by a kiosk."The percentage of individuals referred as a result of an 'on the spot' exercise of judgement by a border services officer was low in comparison."Many of the referrals were triggered automatically because of something in the traveller's documents, declarations or immigration status.For example, a permanent resident arriving in his or her new country of residence for the first time is automatically referred to a secondary immigration inspection in order to confirm residency, and is also subject to a customs referral to document the personal effects they are bringing to Canada. A tourist or business traveller is not subject to either of those requirements.Iranians travelling to Canada are more likely than Icelanders to be coming here to settle. Icelanders also are more likely to be tourists on short-term visits.Booths flagging more peopleOnly about 140,000 out of two million secondary customs inspections were actually ordered by human agents acting on their own discretion. The rest were automatic, mostly ordered by machines.The primary inspection booths flag any traveller who presents a customs declaration with irregularities — such as a person who checks the box saying they are bringing in food.Because CBSA is aware of the tendency of kiosks to refer people to secondary inspection unnecessarily, a human officer is given the task of "referrals management". For example, the referrals management officer might let through the passenger who checks the food box because of a candy bar, while ensuring someone bringing in raw meat is inspected.The analysis found that those human officers overrule six out of every ten machine referrals for customs purposes.Last spring, CBSA began adding more questions about food and plants at the automated booths — a step that the report credits with reducing by half the number of passengers being sent to secondary inspections for those reasons.Immigration stops more 'selective'The 2.2 million immigration-related secondary inspections were far more likely to be ordered on a "selective" basis than customs-related cases, which were mostly "mandatory" orders for things like food inspections or payment of duties.But even the "selective" immigration inspections were more likely to be ordered by machines (88 per cent) than by human agents (12 per cent). The main reasons booths order inspections are problems like incomplete information, stays of more than six months' duration, or permanent resident cards close to their expiry dates.CBSA found that an Iranian or Jamaican flagged for secondary inspection was no more likely to have been selected for a secondary inspection by a human officer exercising discretion than a French or South Korean passenger (in fact, they were more likely to have been picked by a machine).But when looking at the total number of people arriving from each of those countries, the French and Korean travellers were much more likely to sail through the airport without being flagged — by either an automated kiosk or a CBSA officer — than their Iranian or Jamaican counterparts.Machines bias-free?"Officer selective referral is the only type of referral that requires 'on the spot' officer discretion or judgement which could potentially involve personal bias," says the CBSA analysis.But internal CBSA communications hint at problems that may affect kiosk machines' even-handedness in dealing with different ethnicities.Emails obtained by CBC News through Access to Information discuss the roll-out of electronic inspection booths at Canadian airports and early efforts to measure their accuracy.CBC News also obtained a report entitled "Facial Matching at Primary Inspection Kiosks" that discusses 'false match' rates. False matches include 'false positives' — innocent travellers incorrectly flagged as posing problems — and 'false negatives' — a failure by the machine to detect such problems as fake documents or passport photos that don't match the individual.The documents released were heavily redacted, with entire pages blanked out. "The CBSA will not speak to details of this report out of interests of national security and integrity of the border process," the agency's Nicholas Dorion said.'I thought maybe it was just the press'While all discussion of Canadian findings was redacted from the documents CBSA released, the documents do include some revealing emails in which the evaluation team discusses U.S. findings.Referring to articles that suggested facial recognition technology had serious problems reading darker-skinned faces, one of the evaluation team wrote:"I thought maybe it was just the press making a fuss and actually it's not an issue. However … you do see that (U.S. agency) NIST has found a similar bias."The false match rate shows a massive increase for visa images when the imposter is from South Asia region, etc.""I never thought it was just press," responds a colleague, sharing a link with another U.S. study that shows that facial recognition algorithms are wildly more inaccurate when dealing with dark-skinned travellers than with light-skinned travellers, and are also worse at assessing women.That study found that two of the main facial recognition technologies available — from Microsoft and IBM — misidentify gender in dark-skinned individuals at 18 and seven times the error rate the two technologies experience, respectively, when assessing light-skinned individuals.The MIT study evaluated three commercial face-scanning systems and found that while the maximum error rate for classifying the gender of light-skinned men was 0.8 per cent, the same systems produced error rates of up to 34 per cent for dark-skinned females.

  • 2 N.S. lobster fishermen take licence fights with DFO to court
    News
    CBC

    2 N.S. lobster fishermen take licence fights with DFO to court

    A second Nova Scotia fisherman with health issues is joining a legal fight to challenge federal fisheries rules that cap the number of years they can hire a replacement to catch lobster under their licences. Lawyer Richard Norman filed in Federal Court separate requests for judicial reviews on behalf of Dana Robinson of Parkers Cove, N.S., and Lester Martell of L'Ardoise, N.S., earlier this month. The decisions Martell and Robinson received said their concerns about financial hardship and a succession plan weren't enough to warrant making an exception to the five-year rule.

  • Moncton proposes sidewalk removal policy in bid to cut costs
    News
    CBC

    Moncton proposes sidewalk removal policy in bid to cut costs

    Richard pointed to Dieppe, where sidewalks aren't installed and the city doesn't plan to plow them in the winter. A city staff report says the city has a $6.5 million sidewalk repair backlog. Some sidewalks are cracked or portions raised by tree roots, creating an uneven surface.

  • News
    CBC

    City's parking revenue up despite lost spots

    Revenue from the City of Ottawa's parking operations held steady last year despite losing nearly 200 metered spots. Ottawa's 6,631 metered parking spots, both curbside and in city-owned lots, generated $17.6 million in 2018, up slightly from $17.4 million the year before.

  • Landlords should keep better tabs on electrical systems, St. James Town report says
    News
    CBC

    Landlords should keep better tabs on electrical systems, St. James Town report says

    A new report suggests high-rise owners need to do more to ensure their electrical systems are properly maintained and their most vulnerable residents kept informed during emergencies. The report comes just a few months after a flood in a basement electrical room left about 1,000 tenants at 260 Wellesley St. E. without power and heat for more than three days. The previous August, 1,500 people were displaced by a fire in an electrical room at nearby 650 Parliament St.

  • Exclusive: Gold worth billions smuggled out of Africa
    News
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Gold worth billions smuggled out of Africa

    Customs data shows that the UAE imported $15.1 billion worth of gold from Africa in 2016, more than any other country and up from $1.3 billion in 2006. Much of the gold was not recorded in the exports of African states. Five trade economists interviewed by Reuters said this indicates large amounts of gold are leaving Africa with no taxes being paid to the states that produce them.