• High drama, few results as Trump warns of 'long' shutdown
    News
    The Canadian Press

    High drama, few results as Trump warns of 'long' shutdown

    Staring down the next deadline to pay federal workers, the White House shifted tactics Tuesday, trying to bypass House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to negotiate with rank-and-file lawmakers even as President Donald Trump dug in for a prolonged shutdown. The House and Senate announced they would stay in session, cancelling an upcoming recess week at home if the shutdown continued, which seemed likely. On the shutdown's 25th day, Trump did not move off his demand to have Congress provide $5.7 billion to build his promised border wall with Mexico.

  • Person of 'national security concern' was accidentally granted permanent residency
    News
    CBC

    Person of 'national security concern' was accidentally granted permanent residency

    A person of "national security concern" was granted permanent residency "due to a series of failures" by the Canadian border agency and immigration department. In light of the incident, both departments have had to introduce changes in what the public safety minister's office is calling a "completely unacceptable" mistake. The changes were outlined in a briefing note sent by Canada Border Services Agency president John Ossowski to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in early 2018 regarding the 2017 error. A heavily redacted copy of the document was recently obtained by CBC News through access to information laws. The briefing note, titled "Subject of national security concern granted permanent residency" says the subject —  their name, age and gender are redacted for privacy reasons — was granted permanent resident status "due to a series of failures on the part of both Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada and the CBSA." That means the person is entitled to most social benefits — including health care —  can live, work and study anywhere in Canada, and is protected by Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but isn't considered a Canadian citizen. Most of the details about why this person is considered a security concern and how they were granted permanent residency were redacted because, among other reasons, officials believe releasing information could hurt "the conduct of international affairs, the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada." Disconnect between agencies However, the document does mention that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had "derogatory information," meaning information that could be relevant to a finding that the person was inadmissible to Canada. CSIS and the RCMP were also tapped to monitor a national security investigation linked to this case. Kelly Sundberg, an associate professor in the department of economics, justice and policy studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said it appears there was a disconnect in communication between Canada's intelligence agencies. Those mistakes were completely unacceptable. — Scott Bardsley, spokesperson for the public safety minister "To me it's unacceptable. As a Canadian I expect more, and I think other Canadians expect that our federal law enforcement, intelligence and border security agencies can work seamlessly, share information seamlessly. And if there are administrative or legal hurdles, then that's something  Parliament needs to look at," he said. A spokesperson for Goodale would only say a combination of "several unique errors" led to the "oversight for a single permanent residency application." "Those mistakes were completely unacceptable. Changes have been made to prevent them from happening again," said Scott Bardsley in an email to CBC News. "While we do not comment on operational matters related to security, we can say that the government of Canada monitors all potential threats and has robust measures in place to address them." Most new permanent residency cards are valid for five years, but Goodale's office pointed out that permanent residents can become inadmissible on security grounds or for a misrepresentation, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. "The government of Canada is unwavering in its commitment to protect the safety and security of Canadians," said Bardsley. "We continue to take appropriate action to counter threats to Canada, its citizens and its interests around the world." Changes raise red flags Ossowski told Goodale that the border agency identified a number of "vulnerabilities" and is taking steps to "respond to this incident and to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future." Those steps include introducing new fail-safes to the global case management system, updating the national targeting program, which helps the CBSA identify suspected high-risk people and goods, and changing the passenger information system. In a statement to CBC News the border agency said its internal review policies and procedures have been "refined" in light of the incident. But Sundberg, who spent 15 years working for the CBSA's predecessor, said the changes involve updating significant computer systems and working with international partners, raising some red flags. "I don't think one case, one mistake would trigger all of these major changes," he said. "I don't believe this is the only case. I think that this is probably more common than we believe, and it comes down to process, it comes down to organizational structure and it comes down to investment in officers. So, it's concerning." Asked about the incident, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it's offering its officers more training. Call for oversight  "The department is delivering ongoing training to IRCC officers to identify potential security concerns in order to mitigate human error," said spokesperson Nancy Caron. Sundberg said cases like this highlight the need for independent oversight of the CBSA. "I don't buy it. I don't believe that this is a one-off, that this is the 'something went wrong.' I think that this is yet another case that went public, that the government is like 'Uh oh, we better do something,'" he said. "This is why we need to have arm's-length oversight of the CBSA so that when things go aside, when things go wrong that there is an independent civilian body that's overseeing this for the interests of Canadians and to ensure best practices." When asked about a review board for the agency, Goodale pointed to a pending bill that attempts to overhaul Canada's national security regime, "An issue relating to national security within CBSA or within any department of agency of the government of Canada will be subject to the independent oversight and review of the national security and intelligence review agency that is created by Bill C-59," he said. The bill is at second reading in the Senate. Last month the Opposition Conservatives called for a review and audit of the immigration screening system after a CBC News investigation revealed a Somali gang member with an extensive criminal record was twice released in Canada. The case of Abdullahi Hashi Farah also highlighted a lack of communication, this time between the CBSA and the Immigration and Refugee Board. Officers gained access to his phone, which had evidence of illegal activity, but didn't immediately pass that information on to the IRB.

  • Woman's complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Woman's complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

    A Catholic priest in Alberta is being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a church more than six years ago. Police investigators say the woman told them last October about assaults at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in Calgary's northeast between September and October 2012. Malcolm Joe D'Souza, who is 62, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of sexual assault.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Ontario reviewing 82 municipalities, raising possibility of amalgamations

    TORONTO — Ontario is reviewing 82 municipalities, a move that raises the possibility of amalgamations and comes not long after the Progressive Conservative government slashed the size of Toronto's city council nearly in half. The province said Tuesday that it has tapped two experts to conduct the review of Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, Oxford County, the County of Simcoe and their lower-tier municipalities. One of the questions the experts will consider is whether two-tier structures are appropriate for all of the municipalities. Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said the government wasn't ruling out amalgamations. "People are open to talk about whatever they feel is their local priority," he said in an interview. "If that's something they feel should be looked at in their community then they can use the advisers for that purpose." The NDP's municipal affairs critic said the last amalgamations came with "a massive wave of service costs and new cuts for people to bear." "The Ontario NDP is deeply concerned that the Ford Conservatives are planning to use the regional review as a pretext to impose amalgamation on municipalities," Jeff Burch said in a statement. "The premier's job is to respect the will of democratically elected local governments and work with them, not attempt to override their wishes and control their regions." Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie suggested that being part of the Peel regional government may no longer make sense for her municipality. "I think there are inefficiencies and duplication in two levels of government and we have proven in the past that Mississauga could realize up to $30 million in savings should we control our own destiny and be a single tier," she said. "There are certainly cities much smaller than Mississauga — Windsor, Sudbury, Barrie, Hamilton, Guelph for that matter, that are single tier." The regional government model has been around for nearly 50 years, so it was time for a review, Clark said. "Things have changed, populations have grown, infrastructure pressures have mounted, taxpayer dollars have been stretched, and I think it's really important that we look at the regional level," he said. Michael Fenn, a deputy minister and founding CEO of regional transportation agency Metrolinx, and Ken Seiling, who recently retired as Waterloo Region chair, are set to give their recommendations to the province by early summer. The experts' mandate also includes examining the ways regional councillors and heads of council get elected or appointed and whether the distribution of councillors represent the residents well. The review will also look for cost-saving opportunities and ways to deliver services more efficiently. Marianne Meed Ward, the mayor of Burlington, Ont., said her government is already a lean one. "We're all about finding efficiencies, there's no argument there, but you don't do it with a hatchet, you do it with a handshake," she said. Premier Doug Ford introduced legislation in July that cut Toronto's council from 47 to 25 and cancelled elections for regional chair positions in Peel, York, Muskoka and Niagara regions, turning them back into appointed roles. At the time, former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown was running for Peel chair after resigning as party leader over sexual misconduct allegations that he denies. Once that election was axed he successfully ran to become mayor of Brampton, Ont., which is also a part of Peel Region. Brown said he doesn't assume any inappropriate motivations for putting his municipality under the microscope, and said he hoped the consultations are sincere. "Obviously there are savings when you work in numbers and I would suggest whether it's waste management or the Peel police it is working well, but you could always make the system better," he said. Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

  • Planned throne speech suggests no Alberta election in March
    News
    CBC

    Planned throne speech suggests no Alberta election in March

    It looks like Alberta won't have an election in March. Assuming the government sticks to that plan — and given that election campaign periods in Alberta last 28 days — the next provincial election wouldn't be held until mid-April at the earliest. According to the province's fixed-date election legislation, the next election must be held sometime between March 1 and May 31, 2019.

  • Easy street or road to ruin? West Van road changes for B-Line bus proving controversial
    News
    CBC

    Easy street or road to ruin? West Van road changes for B-Line bus proving controversial

    A new B-Line bus route slated for Marine Drive on the North Shore is shaping up to be a controversial development. The route will connect Dundarave in West Vancouver to Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver and will lead to changes on Marine Drive, home to many shops.

  • 'BuckingJam Palace': Couple hosts jazz concerts in their Mount Royal heritage home
    News
    CBC

    'BuckingJam Palace': Couple hosts jazz concerts in their Mount Royal heritage home

    Jazz used to make Lisa Buck's head spin, but now she hosts much-loved concerts that have become a destination for musicians and fans. Buck and her husband, Tom Buck, host the near monthly shows that range from organ jazz music to crooners, to listen-and-learn sessions. Jazz can be considered, she says, "the olive of the music world," or an acquired taste.

  • Social media tensions boil over in Prince Rupert water advisory row
    News
    CBC

    Social media tensions boil over in Prince Rupert water advisory row

    An update on the ongoing boil water advisory in Prince Rupert dominated the first city council meeting of 2019, but a citizen advocate group is criticizing council for using the meeting to shut down discussion of the problem. Tom Kertes of the local group, Community for Clean Water, attended the meeting. "This was city council on the attack for people being critics," he told Carolina de Ryk host of CBC's Daybreak North.

  • Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics

    Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson is attempting a political comeback, nearly 15 years after his theft of an expensive diamond ring brought an end to his decades-long career. Standing outside his childhood home in Burnaby, B.C., Robinson said he expects to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour at a nomination meeting on Saturday. "How many times does one have to pay for a stupid mistake?" Robinson asked Tuesday.

  • Putting together a car safety kit before travelling could save your life
    News
    CBC

    Putting together a car safety kit before travelling could save your life

    The latest tragedy happened last week, when a 34-year-old woman died near Waseca, Sask. Becoming stranded on a desolate road can happen to anyone travelling in the dead of winter in Saskatchewan. Lyle Karasiuk, director of public affairs for Parkland Ambulance, said staying safe on Saskatchewan's winter roads begins before you get in the vehicle.

  • Kid gets loud applause after asking Trudeau question about Alberta oilsands pollution
    Global News

    Kid gets loud applause after asking Trudeau question about Alberta oilsands pollution

    When asked what his government is doing to mitigate pollution from the Alberta oilsands, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quipped, "it may surprise you, but folks in Alberta" share a concern for a "cleaner world."

  • Council complaint to integrity commissioner about Farkas will proceed
    News
    CBC

    Council complaint to integrity commissioner about Farkas will proceed

    Council turned down a bid on Tuesday to scrap its complaint to the integrity commissioner about Coun. The complaint, which was originally signed by 14 of 15 council members, related to a social media post Farkas made last month about a council vote on its salary that never actually occurred. Council members say the post is a violation of council's code of conduct and merits investigation.

  • Seminars on sexual consent now mandatory for UBC fraternities
    News
    CBC

    Seminars on sexual consent now mandatory for UBC fraternities

    Fraternity members at the University of British Columbia are now required to take workshops on sexual consent, bystander intervention and healthy masculinity. The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), which represents 10 fraternities voted last week to require all 1,500 fraternity members to attend yearly workshops. There are 10 fraternities and eight sororities at UBC, involving thousands of students.

  • Nissan plans to file for damages against Ghosn: source
    News
    Reuters

    Nissan plans to file for damages against Ghosn: source

    Nissan Motor Co Ltd plans to file a civil suit against ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn to claim damages resulting from the alleged misuse of company funds, a person with knowledge of the issue said, adding to the high-profile executive's legal headaches. Ghosn, who remains chairman and chief executive of Nissan's French partner Renault SA, has already been charged with three counts of financial misconduct and has been held at a detention centre in Tokyo for nearly two months. Ghosn denies the charges against him, which include understating his salary for a total of eight years and temporarily transferring personal financial losses to Nissan's books.

  • Verizon deepens ties with Apple, offers free Apple Music to some U.S. customers
    News
    Reuters

    Verizon deepens ties with Apple, offers free Apple Music to some U.S. customers

    Verizon Communications Inc said on Tuesday it will include free Apple Music subscriptions in some of its top-tier U.S. data plans, deepening its ties with the iPhone maker. Apple Inc is increasingly turning for growth to its services segment, which includes businesses such as iCloud storage, Apple Music and the App Store, and has been partnering with rivals in recent months. Verizon customers opting for its "Beyond Unlimited" and "Above Unlimited" plans will also get access to free Apple Music from Jan. 17, the U.S. wireless carrier said in a statement https://vz.to/2RtAiYk.

  • Rihanna sues dad to keep hands off her Fenty trademark
    News
    Reuters

    Rihanna sues dad to keep hands off her Fenty trademark

    Rihanna has sued her father for trading on her Fenty brand name and suggesting that a business venture he set up in 2017 is associated with her. The "Diamonds" singer, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday accusing Ronald Fenty and two business partners of fraud and false advertising over his Fenty Entertainment talent and production company. The Barbados-born Rihanna, who uses the Fenty trademark to sell cosmetics, lingerie and sneakers, asked the court for an injunction to stop her father using the Fenty name, and an unspecified amount of damages.

  • One third of U.N. workers say sexually harassed in past two years
    News
    Reuters

    One third of U.N. workers say sexually harassed in past two years

    One third of U.N. staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years, according to a report released by the United Nations on Tuesday. The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in November, was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies - just 17 percent of those eligible. The survey comes amid the wider "Me Too" movement around the world against sexual harassment and assault.

  • 'Edmonton really needs it': Hometown soccer pro impressed with indoor soccer dome
    News
    CBC

    'Edmonton really needs it': Hometown soccer pro impressed with indoor soccer dome

    It's been nearly 15 years since professional soccer player Tosaint Ricketts moved from Edmonton to Chile to train year round. Now, he wants to help the next generation of Edmonton players. On Tuesday, Ricketts was at the soccer dome south of Ellerslie road where the group behind the facility announced a sponsorship agreement, which led to the building being re-named Edmonton Soccer Dome by Brookfield Residential. Ricketts is impressed by the air-conditioned indoor dome, which has artificial turf and will allow players to train in the winter.

  • Investigators hired to look into dumped medical records
    News
    CBC

    Investigators hired to look into dumped medical records

    Investigators hired by the Northwest Territories health department are looking into how hundreds of health records wound up in the dump in Fort Simpson, N.W.T. "They're doing all the heavy lifting on this in terms of figuring out what happened because they have the resources to do it, they have the background, the history," Elaine Keenan Bengts, the territory's information and privacy commissioner, told a standing committee of N.W.T. MLAs on Monday. Last month, a man in Fort Simpson contacted CBC to report that he found the health records, which included applications to addictions treatment facilities and detailed notes from counselling sessions.

  • SaskTel says Huawei equipment is safe and regularly tested
    News
    CBC

    SaskTel says Huawei equipment is safe and regularly tested

    SaskTel says it is comfortable that using equipment from Chinese telecom giant Huawei doesn't compromise Canadians' privacy or security. "I'm quite comfortable with the security measures we've taken and the testing that's done on our equipment," said SaskTel chief technology officer Daryl Godfrey. SaskTel uses Huawei equipment in its radio access network, or the radios and antennas that provide the connection between people's cell phones and cell towers.

  • 'We need to work together': Former Wet'suwet'en elected chief on moving on from pipeline protests
    News
    CBC

    'We need to work together': Former Wet'suwet'en elected chief on moving on from pipeline protests

    An Indigenous LNG advocate and former elected chief is raising concerns about the narrative around the recent pipeline protests in Northern B.C. and opposition to an LNG project on Wet'suwet'en traditional territory. Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance of B.C. and a former elected chief of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, said the focus on disagreements between elected and hereditary chiefs unnecessarily pits people against one another and overlooks the bigger picture. "Whether we're elected chiefs or hereditary chiefs, we must find ways forward for our people," Ogen-Toews said.

  • Sixties Scoop settlement admins urge anyone who thinks they could be eligible to fill out a claim form
    News
    CBC

    Sixties Scoop settlement admins urge anyone who thinks they could be eligible to fill out a claim form

    Attending an information session about Canada's Sixties Scoop Settlement Agreement helped lift a heavy weight off Don Barnaby's shoulders. The information session, held in Montreal on Tuesday, was one of 21 organized across Canada to help shed light on the $875 million settlement agreement, which set aside $750 million for compensation to status First Nations and Inuit children placed into foster care with or adopted by non-Indigenous parents between 1951 and 1991.

  • Wrong parts and burned-out motors: Problems plaguing new Charlottetown well field
    News
    CBC

    Wrong parts and burned-out motors: Problems plaguing new Charlottetown well field

    Nine months after Charlottetown officially opened its new well field in Miltonvale Park, there's still little water being pumped from the site. 

  • New pen may allow sale of horses for slaughter
    News
    The Canadian Press

    New pen may allow sale of horses for slaughter

    RENO, Nev. — The U.S. Forest Service has built a new corral for wild horses in Northern California, which could allow it to bypass federal restrictions and sell the animals for slaughter. The agency acknowledged in court filings in a potentially precedent-setting legal battle that it built the pen for mustangs gathered in the fall on national forest land along the California-Nevada border because of restrictions on such sales at other federal holding facilities. The agency denies claims by horse advocates it has made up its mind to sell the more than 250 horses for slaughter. But it also says it may have no choice because of the high cost of housing the animals and continued ecological impacts it claims overpopulated herds are having on federal rangeland. "While slaughtering wild horses does not present a pleasant picture, the reality of this dire situation is not pleasant," Justice Department lawyers representing the agency wrote in its most recent filing last month. "The Forest Service is taking a step to reduce what is universally recognized as a natural catastrophe." Horse advocates have been suing the government for two decades over mustang roundups that private ranchers say are necessary to curb growing herds that reduce the forage on federal lands they lease for cattle and sheep grazing across the U.S. West. The region holds roughly 90,000 wild horses. A sharp reduction in demand in recent years for a federal program that offers the horses for adoption to the public has left little room in existing corrals. Horse advocates argue the mustangs are federally protected and that taxpayers subsidize the livestock grazing on U.S. land. A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 in federal court in San Francisco on a motion filed by the Animal Legal Defence Fund and American Wild Horse Campaign seeking an injunction to block the sale of the horses captured in the Modoc National Forest in October and November for possible slaughter. The new pen is in the forest, about 170 miles (273 kilometres) northwest of Reno. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen announced late last year she would postpone any sales for slaughter until at least Feb. 18. The protection groups say it would be the first time in nearly a half-century the government has sold mustangs "without limitation," or for any purpose, including slaughter. Horse slaughterhouses are prohibited in the U.S. but legal in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe where horse meat is considered a delicacy. The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act that President Nixon signed into law in 1971 prohibits the inhumane destruction of wild horses. Congress approved an appropriations amendment in 2004 that allows the Forest Service, under its parent Agriculture Department, to sell horses without limitations if they're over age 10 and have been offered for adoption three times unsuccessfully. But in most years since then, Congress has specifically prohibited the Bureau of Land Management, under the Interior Department, from using any appropriations for such purposes. President Donald Trump proposed allowing such sales in his 2017 budget, but Congress refused to go along. The Forest Service normally holds the horses it gathers at pens belonging to the BLM, which manages 385,000 square miles (997,000 square kilometres) of public lands in the West. With few exceptions, lawsuits have targeted the bureau because it captures the vast majority of the horses. BLM lands hold an estimated 83,000 wild horses, while national forests managed by the Forest Service hold about 8,000. The Forest Service gathered 932 horses in the Modoc National Forest late last year and shipped about 260 to the new corral, while placing about 650 at a BLM facility in nearby Susanville, California. Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in the December filings "BLM is not permitted to humanely destroy healthy, unadopted horses or conduct any sale that could ultimately result in their destruction, which includes any Forest Service horse in BLM custody." "What has changed is that the Modoc now has its own short-term holding facility ... which is not subject to congressional restrictions," they wrote about the corral, which currently can hold up to 300 horses but has room for expansion to accommodate as many as 1,500. They said local ranchers "generally support these sales" because of the horses' economic impact on leased grazing land. The attorneys also said the opponents' assertion the horses will be slaughtered "is only speculative, not concrete and imminent." Horse advocates say the government can't have it both ways. "It cannot both argue it is harmed by plaintiffs' delay in bringing this action because of all the time and resources it has expended to allow the sale of horses without limitation, yet also insist to the court that it has not yet made any such decision," their lawyers wrote Jan. 8. "In short, the record and defendants' own statements make clear that the decision to sell horses without limitation is final and judicially reviewable." ____ This story has been corrected to show the new corral is the first built by the U.S. Forest Service in California. Scott Sonner, The Associated Press

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Correction: Met Opera-New Music Director story

    In a story Dec. 3 about Yannick Nezet-Seguin, The Associated Press, based on information provided by the Metropolitan Opera, erroneously reported Pierre Tourville is Nezet-Seguin's husband. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts his first performance as just the third music director in the Metropolitan Opera's 135-year-old history when he mounts the podium of the financially challenged company Tuesday night in a new production of Verdi's "La Traviata" by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer. Rafael Kubelik lasted just six performances as the Met's first music director in 1973, quitting after clashes over casting.