Prateek Awasthi, the executive director of the Green Party has resigned two days after CBC News reported the party was in turmoil over the handling of an internal investigation into his behaviour and harassment complaints at his past workplace.Awasthi denied the allegations, but said regardless it had become a distraction for the party."I signed up to help lead this party through its transition to a new leader," Awasthi said in a statement on Sunday evening. "That goal has been accomplished and I couldn't be happier with the work of Green Party staff and volunteers.""I recognize that allegations against me, while untrue, are a distraction to the work of the party."The Greens hired Awasthi as the executive director in May, and within months former leader Elizabeth May launched her own internal investigation into his past after learning of allegations. When the party hired Awasthi, he disclosed his version of events about what unfolded at his past workplace Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Awasthi shared he was part of EWB's efforts to "disparage and ignore claims of sexual harassment and assault," according to an internal investigation report written by May and leaked to CBC News. Awasthi claimed he learned from his experience, apologized and resigned after realizing he didn't take a survivor-centric approach, according to a letter he wrote to council in July.But Awasthi did not tell the party he'd personally faced harassment allegations, interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts said. It doesn't appear that anyone from the party verified Awasthi's version of events, according to May's report, nor did the Green Party's hiring committee share what it did know with the party's federal council. Roberts, who was on the hiring committee and recommended Awasthi for the role, told CBC News it was an oversight to not share what they knew to council. On Sunday, Roberts wished Awasthi luck on his next endeavour. "Prateek has done a great deal for the Green Party in a short period of time, building staff, putting an emphasis on diversity, ensuring we have the financial resources for the next election," said Roberts in a statement. Anik Lajoie, the deputy executive director, is now taking on Awasthi's duties on an interim basis. New leader says it's not her decisionIn August, the party's federal council had voted to accept Awasthi's resignation that he suggested in July if the party didn't think he was fit to lead. However, for months the vote was under dispute, according to several federal council members. The council was divided and internally struggling with whether Awasthi should stay or go. Party president Jean-Luc Cooke resigned, a council member resigned and other grassroots members threatened to leave the party. The federal council held an in-camera meeting on Sunday before the party announced the decision Awasthi was resigning. After new leader Annamie Paul was appointed on Saturday, she said it wasn't her decision if he stayed or departed. She said the Greens are governed by a federal council and she only has one vote."That's absolutely not my decision," Paul said. "Those kinds of decisions that we're accustomed to being jammed down the throats of membership in other parties, I don't have any authority to do that. And I'm happy that's the case."On Sunday, Paul told The National's Ian Hanomansing that she cannot comment on Awasthi's resignation. Paul said she spent her first day on the job doing media interviews and said she's been isolated from the internal party operations.Internal probe into Awasthi's pastCBC News learned a group of employees at EWB filed harassment complaints personally against Awasthi in 2019 — including claims of aggressive behaviour in meetings, talking to employees in a demeaning tone and contributing to a toxic work environment, according to two former employees with direct knowledge of the matter. An internal EWB investigation found no evidence of harassment as of June 2019 and added the organization's human resources department concluded there was a workplace conflict in Awasthi's team, according to internal emails viewed by CBC News.May had conducted her own internal investigation into the matter and said she did "believe" Awasthi "bullied junior staff in the spring of 2019, but has amended his conduct and learned from his experience," she wrote in an internal email. "We, as a party, are at a perilous moment. We are on the verge of a public lynching of an innocent human being."May told CBC News on Friday she didn't stand by those comments anymore and that the report was confidential and was never "definitive." Since then, she said the party did more investigative work and moved toward a consensus on the issue. She maintains her position has always been neutral on the issue.In a statement to CBC News, Awasthi said he's been "open" about his "brief role in the [EWB's] response to claims that it had failed to properly address a case of sexual harassment that occurred in 2011." He said that when he learned in 2019 that information he had was in dispute, he corrected the record and apologized."I have every confidence in the Green Party's internal processes," he said. "I will not comment further."EWB Canada said it had conducted a full review and two independent legal reviews confirmed its position that "EWB's duty of care was fulfilled through our mediated process."
The people in charge of investing your money for the long term are in the throes of a wrenching internal conflict that is reshaping Canada and the world.While new federal incentives for low-carbon investment as part of a COVID-19 recovery play a part, those in the know say the private sector is already embroiled in its own painful energy investment transition.Part of the agony of the split in this country is that it inflames the long-term political fault line between those regions that depend on the oil and gas sector for their livelihood and those that don't.Sophisticated new analysis shows that the interests of the fossil fuel-based economy so important to places like Alberta no longer coincide with the well-being of the country's centres of finance and industry, principally — but not only — in Ontario.A changing mood in OntarioAs French energy giant Total adds its name to the list of companies expecting oil demand to peak in a decade as electricity use doubles, finance specialist Ryan Riordan sees a changing mood within the Ontario investment sector and within the Ontario government, which so recently fought an election against carbon pricing, low-carbon energy and the green transition."I think particularly the provincial government is at an inflection point," Riordan, associate professor of finance at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and author of a new research-based report for the Institute for Sustainable Finance, said in a phone interview last week.Riordan's research shows that it's become increasingly clear that the success of Ontario's financial and industrial sectors depends on a quick move toward a low-carbon transition.What others have called "fossil-fuel entanglement" has meant the province and even Canada's respected pension and banking sectors may have been acting against their own best interests by investing in a fossil-fuel sector that could see sharp losses.Riordan said the institute's research has shown that carefully targeted, a relatively modest $13 billion a year for 10 years from Ottawa is enough to accelerate a nationwide burst of private-sector low-carbon investment that is already underway."It's just hard to ignore what's gone on in the world in the last three or four years, and I think that's also had an impact on people in Ontario," he said.While forest fires, storms and melting ice may be the apparent cause, Riordan — a longtime finance guy who began his career on the European trading desk of HSBC before getting into high-level financial modelling — observes that market trends have become increasingly obvious.The Exxon Mobil signal"The biggest one was Exxon Mobil leaving the Dow Jones index," he said, noting that the company that had been on the exclusive list of top U.S. industrial giants for close to 100 years was kicked off last month after market capitalization fell from $340 billion US five years ago to $160 billion."I think that's just the tip of the iceberg, and this is just not what's on most institutional investors' wish lists," Riordan said, contrasting the oil giant's decline with the soaring market cap of tech companies that don't depend on carbon.On Friday after our interview, the Financial Times reported that the clean energy group NextEra had become more valuable than Exxon.Now, new developments — including expectations that Ford will build electric cars in Oakville — are forcing Ontario into the realization that its future economic advantage is more closely aligned with making the shift to a low-carbon economy based on an entirely different energy source."We have 80 per cent zero-emission electricity right now in Canada," said Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a research group at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.Canadian nickel miners are already producing low-carbon nickel, a crucial step for electric automakers committed to greening the production chain.Smith points to the Borden mine near Chapleau, Ont., on its way to becoming the first all-electric underground mine in Canada. Many Ontario manufacturers can make similar boasts.But some analysts fear that another keystone of the Ontario economy, the long-term investment sector — the smart money that manages insurance and pension money 20 or 30 years into the future — is still struggling to make the transition.As former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney has repeatedly warned, decarbonizing the global economy means that at some point in the coming decades, the value of fossil-fuel assets will fall toward zero.'Those assets will diminish in value'Adam Scott, director of Shift, a group that monitors the way Canadian pension funds invest their money, worries that institutional investors, including the Canada Pension Plan, have not done enough to secure their assets against a precipitous decline.In its annual report on sustainable investing, published last week, the CPP boasts that "investments in global renewable energy companies more than doubled to $6.6 billion."But Scott points out that a lot of money is being invested in fossil-fuel companies in the expectation that they will complete the energy transition, even if such energy companies simply have no credible path to accomplish the change."There is a mindset that 'we can't abandon this sector; we have to somehow protect it,'" said Scott who observes that over a long period when the oil and gas sector was the motor of the Canadian economy, many investment leaders also spent time in the energy sector.Scott said CPP and other finance giants are trying hard to find new investments to replace their enormous portfolios of oil and gas firms and are having many successes, but they are struggling to find enough of the enormous investments they need outside the traditional energy sector they know so well."We are already seeing a rapid repricing of [fossil energy] assets because of COVID, but that's just a taste of what's going to come from climate," Scott said. "It's inevitable that those assets will diminish in value."While inevitably the Alberta oil and gas economy will continue to suffer from the rush for the door, he said, the success of the Ontario-centred finance sector will depend on getting out of those positions before they lose their value.Follow Don Pittis on Twitter: @don_pittis
The latest developments from Canada on Oct. 4, relating to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has issued a lengthy list of dos and don'ts when it comes to having a safe Halloween this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said nearly a month ago that Halloween need not be cancelled this year in B.C. and that officials would guide people on how to approach the day and night, which can see thousands of people out on city streets, knocking on doors for candy and setting off fireworks at private parties.The BCCDC advises skipping indoor parties, trick or treating in small groups and planning how to hand out treats in a way that will respect physical distancing rules."Stick to the treats — not tricks," it said as part of its list of 14 general best practices. "Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19."The centre suggests people enjoy Halloween outside as much as possible, for costumes to include a non-medical mask or face covering and have hand sanitizer at the ready. But be careful around candles and other open flames because sanitizer is flammable.How to Trick or TreatThe BCCDC recommendations for trick or treating include staying in local neighbourhoods, avoiding busy or indoor areas and staying in small groups"Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks," it said.It advises people to wash their hands before going out and before eating treats. It says you can use hand sanitizer if you want to eat treats while on the go.The centre says it's not necessary to clean treats."You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face," it said.Handing out candyWhen it comes to handing out candy the centre says homeowners should wear a mask and use tongs, a baking sheet or even make a candy slide to create more space between people.It says to go outside to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl and to only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats."If you're unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening," say the guidelines.Other guidelines include not sharing drinks, snacks or smoking materials such as cigarettes or vapes.For people looking to take a year off from Halloween or who are not well enough to safely participate, the BCCDC says to turn off exterior lights on homes, such as porch lights, so people know not to approach.
Russia called on Monday for an evaluation of the legal and financial repercussions of the Trump administration announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) next July. Russia's delegation, addressing a two-day meeting of WHO's Executive Board, said: "We need to analyse legal procedures and administrative and financial procedures regarding steps taken by the United States against the WHO."
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 3:42 p.m. EDT on Oct. 5, 2020: There are 168,028 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Quebec: 79,650 confirmed (including 5,884 deaths, 66,180 resolved) _ Ontario: 54,814 confirmed (including 2,980 deaths, 46,360 resolved) _ Alberta: 18,357 confirmed (including 272 deaths, 16,527 resolved) _ British Columbia: 9,381 confirmed (including 238 deaths, 7,813 resolved) _ Manitoba: 2,191 confirmed (including 23 deaths, 1,429 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 1,968 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,801 resolved) _ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved) _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 276 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved) _ New Brunswick: 203 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 196 resolved) _ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved) _ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved) _ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved) _ Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 7 presumptive _ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved) _ Total: 168,028 (7 presumptive, 168,021 confirmed including 9,492 deaths, 141,686 resolved) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2020. The Canadian Press
Jimmy Butler is not ready to go home. A triple-double later, he joined NBA Finals lore — and the short-handed Miami Heat might have made this title matchup a series after all. It was the third 40-point triple-double in finals history, Butler coming up with the game of his life when the Heat needed it most.
President Donald Trump’s long-hidden tax returns leaked out. Trump's reelection team, battered on all sides, now enters the final month of the campaign grappling with deficits in the polls, a shortage of cash and a candidate who is at least temporarily sidelined. The crises, many of Trump's own making, have come so quickly that they are hard to keep straight.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili is to be in Regina today to make an election announcement about health care. The family doctor, who is campaigning to form government in the Oct. 26 provincial election, has said improving health services is a priority. Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe is planning to be in Prince Albert to make a platform announcement.
Alphabet Inc's Google has extended its deadline for Indian app developers to comply with a new billing system for commission fees by six months, it said on Monday, days after local startups voiced anger about the charges. Google will now enforce its global policy more strictly and charge a 30% commission fee for in-app purchases from Indian developers from March 31, 2022, the company said, saying it was "being mindful of local needs and concerns". The move comes after many startups in India banded together to consider ways to challenge the company by lodging complaints with the government and courts over the original deadline for compliance of Sept. 30 next year.
Highway 16 has been fully reopened about 20 kilometres east of Prince George after the road was closed around noon on Sunday when a semi-trailer truck caught fire in a collision with another vehicle, according to RCMP.RCMP say that around 11:30 a.m. PT on Sunday it received reports of the vehicle on fire across both lanes of Highway 16 near Upper Fraser Road in northern B.C.Police have not said if there are any injuries as a result of the incident, but that paramedics did go to the scene.The road fully reopened before midnight, according to DriveBC.
A five-centimetre needle is found in a woman's spine at least 16 years after giving birth — which hospital staff failed to report at the time. Experts say with Canada's medical malpractice system stacked against patients, it's likely no one will have to take responsibility.
Stewart scored 22 points to lead five Storm players in double figures in a 104-91 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday in Game 2 of the best-of-five series. “This is our moment to really finish the series and take home the championship,” Stewart said. Two days after she set the WNBA Finals and playoffs record with 16 assists, the 39-year-old guard had 10 to go along with 16 points.
President Donald Trump said he will leave a military hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19 later on Monday, and urged people not to be afraid of the disease, which has killed more than a million people worldwide and wreaked economic havoc. Despite a wave of coronavirus infections that has torn through the White House four weeks before the U.S. presidential election, Trump said he was feeling well and would leave the hospital later in the afternoon after a three-day stay. Trump, 74, had a high fever and received supplemental oxygen after his blood oxygen levels dropped on Friday, according to his medical team.
Toronto police say a man has died and two others suffered serious injuries after a shooting in an apartment early Saturday. Police say they found three people shot inside the apartment at about 5:15 a.m. They say one man died at the scene, while the others were taken to hospital with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. Police have identified the deceased as 36-year-old Gary Douglas Gallant. They say a dark SUV was seen leaving the area. The investigation is ongoing. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2020. The Canadian Press
Newly minted Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says the party she now helms is the one Canadians need to guide them through "the challenges of this time," an ambitious pitch one observer says she will have to champion in a field of stiff political competition."I think the challenge for the party today remains: what does it stand for and how does it compete with a crowded group of parties on the centre left … who all have strong environmental platforms?" said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. "They really are competing against the same voters in that space."According to a national survey recently conducted by the polling firm, 66 per cent of respondents said they would not vote for the party, while 34 per cent said they would either vote for the party or would be open to the idea.The survey was conducted online from Sept. 23 to 28 with a representative sample of 2,400 Canadian adults and weighted to match Canada's population by age, gender, education, region and official language.Paul, 47, won the leadership of the federal Greens on Saturday and is now tasked with charting a new path — and capturing new voters — for a party that was led by Elizabeth May for nearly 14 years. The Toronto lawyer ran on a moderate platform that didn't diverge from the party's vision during the last federal election, though she is pushing the Greens to embrace a policy that would slap a tariff on imports from countries with lax carbon emissions standards.But Paul said that right now, her party's appeal extends far beyond its environmentally conscious reputation."The policies that have mattered the most and the policies that have been spoken about the most are not our environmental or climate policies at the moment," Paul told CBC News on Sunday. "It has been our social policies — our role in championing and leading the way on guaranteed livable income or universal pharmacare or reform to our long-term care system. People in Canada are starting to see all of the dimensions of the Green Party."WATCH | Newly elected Green leader says social policies will grow party:Attracting new supporters without alienating existing onesIn broadening the party's appeal, Paul will also need to avoid alienating more radical Green supporters.Paul was not swiftly handed a victory on Saturday in large part because of those supporters. She won the leadership contest on the eighth ballot, edging out self-described "eco-socialist" Dimitri Lascaris by just over 2,000 votes. Eco-socialism, an ideology that combines elements of ecology and socialism, underpinned Lascaris's platform and that of another candidate in the race, Meryam Haddad. "I think the proof is going to be in the pudding," Lascaris said Saturday when asked if he thought Paul would be a voice for that wing of the party. "I think Annamie's certainly expressed an intention this evening to bring all the members of the party together."Paul has not directly addressed how she plans to appeal to those supporters, instead choosing to focus on the party's progressive policies and shared values. Coletto said it may be "limiting" for the Greens to throw their support behind a socialist or eco-socialist agenda."Where I think the Green Party has had success provincially and federally is finding a way to build a coalition of voters who are looking for something different, who maybe want to do politics differently — and that might be both on the left and the centre left and the right — and come together to support a green agenda," he said.Byelection a 'tough first act'For her part, Paul is confident that the party can secure a "great deal" of seats in the next federal election —a task that starts with locking down her own.The new leader has been nominated to run in the Oct. 26 byelection in Toronto Centre, the riding previously held by former finance minister Bill Morneau. During her victory speech, Paul said she was tired of candidates "being parachuted" into the Liberal stronghold."I was born in Toronto Centre. My mother taught in the schools in Toronto Centre. My grandmother worked as a front-line service worker in the hospitals of Toronto Centre and broke her back doing it in the process," she said. "I will not abandon the residents of Toronto Centre to a Liberal Party that has neglected that constituency, that riding for the last 27 years."Coletto said the upcoming vote will be a real test to see where the Greens stand when pitted against other parties. "It is a chance for the new leader of the Greens to go out, road test her message, introduce herself to voters. But because she is now the candidate in that riding, there may be even higher expectations on how she performs," he said. "So it's a tough first act."
State health officials in New Jersey have contacted more than 200 people who attended a campaign fundraiser at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster on Thursday, hours before the president announced he had COVID-19, as they try to contain the spread of the deadly virus. In a joint statement issued Sunday, the officials asked guests and employees to monitor their symptoms and, if they were close to President Trump or his staff, to quarantine for 14 days. The officials, who started seeking the information on Friday, said on Sunday that the White House had sent them a list of 206 guests.
A week after the presidential election, the court will hear arguments in a bid by the Trump administration and Republican-led states to overturn the Obama-era health care law. President Donald Trump, who has promised but never delivered a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, and Democratic rival Joe Biden sparred over the case in the first presidential debate.
The switch from Surrey RCMP to a municipal police force is a contentious issue in the fast growing Metro Vancouver city. Our legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey has more on whether the pledge from the B.C. Liberals will work.
Protests were held in Montreal as Quebec announced a public inquiry in the racist verbal abuse of Joyce Echaquan at the Joliette Hospital during her final hours. Activists for Indigenous women say her experience was typical of the abuse Indigenous women encounter in health care.