Come back every weekday for a new cartoon from one of our Canadian artists.
Check out even more editorial cartoons here.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday broke nearly 72 hours of silence over alleged surveillance and threats to the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, saying he believed the allegations would prove to be wrong but that he had an obligation to evaluate and investigate the matter.In interviews with conservative radio hosts, Pompeo said he had no knowledge of the allegations until earlier this week when congressional Democrats released documents from an associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney suggesting that Marie Yovanovitch was being watched. He also said he did not know and had never met Lev Parnas, the associate of Rudy Giuliani who made the claims.Pompeo, who was travelling in California when the documents were released, had been harshly criticized by lawmakers and current and former diplomats for not addressing the matter. The documents provided by Parnas suggested there may have been a threat to Yovanovitch shortly before she was abruptly recalled last spring.“We will do everything we need to do to evaluate whether there was something that took place there,” he said in a radio interview with Tony Katz, an Indianapolis-based broadcaster. "I suspect that much of what’s been reported will ultimately prove wrong, but our obligation, my obligation as secretary of state, is to make sure that we evaluate, investigate. Any time there is someone who posits that there may have been a risk to one of our officers, we’ll obviously do that.”“It is always the case at the Department of State that we do everything we can to ensure that our officers, not only our ambassadors but our entire team, has the security level that’s appropriate," Pompeo said.“We do our best to make sure that no harm will come to anyone, whether that was what was going on in our embassy in Baghdad last week or the work that was going on in Kyiv up and through the spring of last year when Ambassador Yovanovitch was there, and in our embassy in Kyiv even today,” he said.Pompeo made similar but less specific comments to conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt.Until he spoke, the State Department had declined repeated requests to offer any public defence of Yovanovitch, drawing fire from many.House Democrats on Friday evening released a new batch of messages from Parnas that added to the questions about the ambassador's security. In them, an unidentified individual with a Belgian country code appears to describe Yovanovitch's movements.“Nothing has changed she is still not moving checked today again,” the individual wrote in one message, later adding, “it's confirmed we have a person inside.” In another message the person wrote, “She had visitors.”The ouster of Yovanovitch as ambassador is central to the impeachment inquiry into Trump, who faces a charge that he abused his presidential power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump says the inquiry is a “hoax.”At the time, Trump’s allies were trying to have Yovanovitch, who was seen as a roadblock to a Biden investigation, removed from her post. She was recalled in late May ahead of the end of her tour.Yovanovitch returned to Washington after being told in a late-night phone call to get on the next plane home for her own safety by the director general of the Foreign Service, according to witness testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The nature of any possible threat was not specified and remains unclear, although the Parnas documents suggest the surveillance was a prelude to some kind of action.Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The Weather Channel says the folks at “Jeopardy!” need to get their directions straight.Jim Cantore and Jen Carfagno of The Weather Channel said in a video on Friday that the popular show got a question about winter storms wrong in an episode televised on Thursday.The clue: “In a 2-week period in 2018, the East Coast was walloped by 3 of these storms named from the direction from which they came.”The correct response, as deemed by “Jeopardy!", was: ”What is a nor'easter?"Not so, Cantore explained. Nor'easters usually come barrelling up the coast from south to north, generally in the winter. They get the name because the storms are usually accompanied by howling northeast winds.“You know what, Alex, I'm surprised you didn't catch that," Cantore said about “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.There was no immediate response to the correction from “Jeopardy!.”The Associated Press
Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's controversial ban on religious symbols have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Last month, Quebec's Court of Appeal rejected a request to suspend portions of the law, known as Bill 21, pending a ruling on its constitutionality.In a statement Friday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along with plaintiff Ichrak Nourel Hak, said they have filed a request to seek leave to appeal to Canada's top court. The request was presented in a 27-page brief. Supreme Court judges will have to decide whether or not to accept the case.In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said in December the law should be allowed to stand until the challenges are heard in Quebec Superior Court. All three justices, however, said there is evidence the law is causing harm to Quebecers who wear religious symbols. The law is being challenged in four separate lawsuits, three of which are expected to be heard together in October.It bans public school teachers, government lawyers and police officers, among other civil servants, from wearing religious symbols at work.The application to the Supreme Court raises two major issues: whether there has to be a "clear case of unconstitutionality" as the standard for a law to be suspended while it is further challenged in the courts, and whether the notwithstanding clause can prevent a law from being stayed. The Quebec government invoked the notwithstanding clause in a bid to restrict challenges to the law's constitutionality. 'Merit this court's attention'The applicants have argued the legislation is beyond Quebec's power to create since "regulating religion for a moral purpose falls under federal jurisdiction to adopt criminal laws."They say it is "impermissibly vague," excludes people from public careers and is sexist."Quebec residents have already suffered serious and irreparable harm because this legislation was not stayed pending the constitutional challenge," they write in the application. The first judge to rule on the request for a stay, Quebec Superior Court Judge Michel Yergeau, said the applicants hadn't sufficiently demonstrated the harm the law could cause. The request for the stay was made July 9, less than a month after the law passed. On appeal, the applicants presented stories of mostly Muslim women, who had either been harassed in the streets because of their religious garb or whose teaching job applications had been turned down by school boards citing Bill 21.The two of three Quebec Court of Appeal judges who rejected the stay request on appeal presented different reasons for their decision, but both found "it was not sufficiently clear that the legislation was blatantly unconstitutional," the applicants wrote.The applicants argue that standard is unreasonable, saying, "if that is the standard, no amount of harm suffered would be sufficient for applications to obtain a stay of any law."They say it is in the Supreme Court's interest to rule on the case to clarify the threshold of potential unconstitutionality for future stay requests and to determine how a government's invoking of the notwithstanding clause could affect requests for stays. "The questions that this case raises are ones of public importance and merit this court's attention," the document said.'There are people who are suffering'And while the challenges to the law's constitutionality make their way through the courts, it is causing more harm, the groups said."There are people who are suffering," said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, equality program director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "It does require an urgent remedy."Mendolsohn Aviv said the groups are asking for the court to hear the case on an "expedited basis."Premier François Legault has argued the law protects Quebec's secular culture and will put an end to long-running debates about how to accommodate minority cultural practices.
People gathered at the University of Regina Thursday for an emotional ceremony remembering the victims of last week's plane crash in Iran.Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot down the aircraft on Jan. 8, killing all 176 passengers and crew members — including 57 Canadian citizens.Ali Hezaryan says he's been having trouble sleeping and has had nightmares since he heard the news. His friend Amir Hossein Saeedinia died in the crash."I hope I can sleep some day," Hezaryan said. "But for now, we can't leave ourselves alone. We have to be together and share the sympathy. "I know it's hard, but this is life, I guess. We can't let something like this beat us. We have to be strong, to be with the families who are affected, so it can be a little healing for their pain."At the ceremony, there was a wall of photos showing the victims, adorned with flowers.After the speeches, some comforted each other with hugs. No student or faculty member at the University of Regina was directly affected by the air tragedy of Ukrianian Airlines flight PS752 but the university nevertheless wished to pay tribute to the victims of the air tragedy.
A Regina woman has put together a multimedia exhibit about the emotional trauma many semi-truck drivers face. Morgan Beaudry, a graduate student at Royal Roads University in Victoria, says the idea started three years ago when she was working as a driving examiner with SGI. "This exhibit came from a tragic incident that happened on the Ring Road in April of 2017. A 63-year-old man took his life by stepping in front of a semi-trailer," Beaudry said.The media coverage focused on the horror experienced by the emergency personnel and other drivers, but had very little to say about the truck driver, she said. That gave Beaudry the idea to talk to truckers about their experience. There was very little academic research on truck driving and mental health issues, Beaudry said. One year after she had the idea, a semi-truck collided with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others. "The Humboldt crash changed absolutely everything," Beaudry said. She knew people in the industry were discussing the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, as well as their own personal experiences, but she felt it would have been inappropriate to start her research at that time. She starting reaching out to the industry in May 2019. Beaudry said she thinks truck drivers don't feel the general public understands how profoundly affected the drivers are from accidents. Instead, they are often only mentioned in the media to say if they were injured or not, she said. "They're an invisible workforce," Beaudry said. "They don't have a uniform so they could be standing behind us at the bank machine, sitting next to us in the movie theater."The trucking industry doesn't have a large place in popular media or films, and when truck drivers do appear, the representations tend to be highly negative and stereotypical, she said. The exhibit aims to help break the stereotypes."It allows the people taking part in the research to speak for themselves using photographs and using their own personal stories," Beaudry said. "Putting it out publicly allows their voice to be heard by policymakers, by people in the caring professions, that would benefit from knowing how personal and professional tragedy has affected the truckers lives."The people featured in the exhibit speak about a variety of topics. Many spoke about their relationship to their vehicle, she said. "What I was surprised by most was the words that they would use to describe their trucks," Beaudry said. "Companion, friend, spouse, karaoke machine. They talked about it as though it was their favourite co-worker." People also wanted to share about how important peer support was for their mental health concerns. "The way they describe it here, they found that the only people who understood did trucking or were close to trucking," she said. The tragedies they went through changed their lives, Beaudry said. "They feel incredible empathy and compassion for the victims," she said. "There was no bitterness, no self-pity, no anger. But more 'I feel terrible for the family of the person whose life was cut short.'"Beaudry was amazed at the generosity of the truckers, she said. She also had inquiries from the southern United States, Northwest Territories and more, so she hopes to continue her research. "There is so much more to find here and so many people ready to talk." The exhibit is on display at the Regina Public Library until Feb. 3.
Two suspects have been identified by police in relation to a string of high-value liquor thefts that were reported across Calgary in December.Police have issued arrest warrants for Garion Ronald James Delday, 29, and Shannon Delanie Wright, 23, both of Calgary.They are being charged with theft under $5,000, according to a police release Friday.Delday is described by police as five feet, eleven inches tall and 160 pounds. He has a slim build, blond hair, blue eyes, a birthmark on his left wrist, and tattoos on the right side of his neck and upper right arm. He sometimes goes by the name Garrion Tye, the press release said.Wright is described as five feet, five inches tall and 140 pounds. She has a slim build, black hair, blue eyes and a tattoo on her left shoulder.6 Liquor Depots robbed in DecemberPolice initially asked the public for help identifying a couple seen on security camera footage after high-end bottles of scotch and whisky were stolen from at least six Calgary stores on Dec. 31.It's believed the thieves hit at least six Liquor Depot stores in December: * Dec. 4, at 11:50 a.m. — Liquor Depot, 120 36th Street S.E. * Dec. 17, at 7:15 p.m. — Riverbend Liquor Depot, 8338 18th Street S.E. * Dec. 20, at 8:50 p.m. — Dover Liquor Depot, 3525 26th Avenue S.E. * Dec. 23, at 9:20 p.m. — Elbow Drive Liquor Depot, 10233 Elbow Drive S.W. * Dec. 26, at noon — Altadore Liquor Depot, 3504 19th Street S.W. * Dec. 27, at 10:50 p.m. — North Hill Liquor Depot, 1636 14th Avenue N.W.Police said that in each incident, a man and woman in their 20s entered the stores and removed high-value bottles without paying for them.Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to contact the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Almost a year after the death of Martin Michaud, there's still a culture of silence at the Restigouche Hospital Centre, New Brunswick's ombud says. Michaud, 38, died by suicide in his room on February 9, 2019. Vitalité Health Network has provided few details on his death and the internal investigation it sparked."I do see some signs of progress, but the reality is cultural change is difficult and takes time," said Charles Murray."Cases like this may demonstrate that there's a lot furthfer to go than we have gone so far." Murray, who is also the province's right to information and privacy commissioner, is investigating CBC's recent appeal to Vitalité Health Network. CBC has been trying to obtain records regarding Michaud's death and Vitalité's internal investigation through the province's access to information system. Vitalité has only turned over an incident report and the text of two recommendations that were made. It said it doesn't have any more notes from its internal investigation. The health authority initially refused to hand over any records concerning Michaud's death.Murray's investigation into CBC's appeal is expected to take a couple of weeks. Although Murray can't comment on the ongoing investigation, he emphasised the importance of transparency. Murray's 2019 report into the Restigouche facility, which was released two days before Michaud died, detailed a culture of silence and poor record keeping at the institution. "Without adequate notes, it becomes very difficult to ascertain what took place and to improve things," Murray told Information Morning Moncton."Mistakes happen in any system, but the ability to correct those mistakes starts with identifying those mistakes. Bad record keeping is the enemy of improvement." Patient confidentiality shouldn't be a way to deflect Vitalité initially cited patient confidentiality as one of the reasons why it would not release any information. Although patient confidentiality is important, Murray said it should not be used to avoid releasing documents to the public. "We want to ensure that what's being done is truly protecting the interests of the patient or the patient's family in some cases, and not really a broad brush being used to avoid releasing documents," he said."That the agency or government would rather not [release documents] because they're embarrassing or they put it in a bad light." Family wants transparency Michaud's family has said they would like to see more transparency from the health network. "My big frustration is after almost one year, we never had a letter or a phone call from the hospital or from Vitalité for condolences or something like that," said Roland Michaud, Martin's father, in an interview with Radio-Canada.And there's nothing legally stopping Vitalité from issuing an apology to the Michaud family."Sometimes inside large agencies people feel like, 'Well it's not my place to do that. Someone above me should make that decision,'" Murray said."But that sort of leadership has to come from the very top."Coon asks for coroner's inquestPoliticians of all stripes have called on the government to be more transparent. Green Party Leader David Coon said he would like to see a public coroner's inquest into Michaud's death. But Murray said it's up to the government to decide whether it wants to pursue an inquest.If an inquest were conducted more information may be brought to light, but another inquest also runs the risk of repeating information the ombud's office has already found."That's a decision for government to make in terms of how they want to spend their resources."
SYDNEY, Australia — One of the original members of the popular Australian children's band The Wiggles has been hospitalized after collapsing during a wildfire relief concert.Greg Page, the 48-year-old original Yellow Wiggle, fell as he left a stage in New South Wales and went into cardiac arrest. He had been performing with the other original band mates to raise money for the Red Cross and the wildlife rescue group WIRE."Our friend Greg Page suffered a cardiac arrest at the end of the bush fire relief performance and was taken to hospital," The Wiggles' official Twitter account said Saturday. “He has had a procedure and is now recovering in hospital.”With their peppy dancing, waggling fingers, exaggerated facial expressions and maniacally catchy songs like "Hot Potato" and "Fruit Salad," The Wiggles have sold more than 23 million DVDs and videos, 7 million CDs and 8 million books. They have been broadcast in more than 100 countries.In 2006, Page left the group because of a rare nervous system disorder. He rejoined in 2012, but soon he and fellow original Wiggles Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook retired. The part of the Yellow Wiggle was given to Emma Watkins.The Associated Press
LONDON — Christopher Tolkien, who played a major role protecting the legacy of his father's "The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died. He was 95.The Tolkien Society and publisher HarperCollins UK confirmed Tolkien's death. The Centre Hospitalier de la Dracenie, a hospital in southern France, said the son of author J.R.R. Tolkien died there Thursday.Tolkien's life work was closely identified with that of his father. He helped edit and publish much of the science fiction and fantasy writer's work after J.R.R. Tolkien died in 1973.Among the books the younger Tolkien worked on were “The Silmarillion,” “The Children Of Hurin,” and other texts that flesh out the complex world his father created.He also drew the original maps that adorned the three Lord of the Rings books - “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” - when they were published in the 1950s.Tolkien Society chairman Shaun Gunner said “millions of people around the world will be forever grateful to Christopher for bringing us" so many of his father's literary works.“Christopher's commitment to his father's works have seen dozens of publications released, and his own work as an academic in Oxford demonstrates his ability and skill as a scholar,” he said. “We have lost a titan and he will be sorely missed.”J.R.R. Tolkien scholar Dimitra Fimi said Christopher Tolkien helped the public understand his father's works.“Tolkien studies would never be what it is today without Christopher Tolkien's contribution,” she said. “From editing ‘The Silmarillion’ to the mammoth task of giving us ‘The History Of Middle-earth’ series, he revealed his father's grand vision of a rich and complex mythology."The newspaper for the Var region in southern France, Var Matin, said Tolkien and his wife, Baillie, had lived quietly on the edge of the village of Aups since 1975. No funeral date has been set, the newspaper said.The Associated Press
TORONTO — A Toronto firefighter has been charged with careless driving, police said Friday, more than a month after an 11-year-old girl was hit by a fire truck in the city's midtown area.The truck had its lights and siren on and was responding to an emergency call when the incident took place on Dec. 16, police said.The girl was crossing the street in a crosswalk at the time, spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said in an interview Friday. She was given first aid at the scene and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Gray said."She's actually still in hospital today being treated for her injuries," she said.Police said their traffic services division investigated in consultation with provincial prosecutors.They said the Toronto firefighter driving the vehicle — whose name wasn't provided — has been charged with careless driving causing bodily harm and passing a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk.While emergency vehicles responding to calls are exempt from speeding infractions and those related to crossing red lights, there is no exemption for stopping at crosswalks, Gray said."We're alleging that the fire truck failed to stop at the pedestrian crossover," she said.Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the firefighter remains on active duty and is highly trained, with 22 years of service.Pegg said in a statement that Toronto Fire Services is conducting an internal investigation to ensure there are no more such incidents."My thoughts, and the thoughts of the entire Toronto Fire Services team, are with the young girl and her family during this difficult time," he said. "Each of us sincerely hopes for a full and speedy recovery."Meanwhile, provincial police said Friday two men have been charged after a fire truck rolled over into a ditch in Kincardine, Ont., last fall.They said a passenger was injured in the single-vehicle crash that took place the afternoon of Oct. 24.Michael Moore, 54, is charged with careless driving and Mark Stopford, 33, with failing to properly wear a seatbelt. Both are from Kincardine.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.The Canadian Press
When Epcot opened at Florida’s Walt Disney World in 1982, it was the materialization of Walt Disney’s vision of an ever-changing experience with evolving technology. In 2020, this area of the park will go through a historically robust upgrade.“We know guests love Epcot and we’re leaning into the things that they know and love, our festivals, our great iconic attractions like Spaceship Earth, our nighttime spectacular the World Showcase,” Michael Hundgen, executive producer with Walt Disney Imagineering told Yahoo Canada. “But we’re now bringing attractions and experiences that also relate to some of the newest guests who are coming to the park...we’re trying to make this park more Disney, more timeless, more relevant and more family.”There’s no doubt that there is a lot of pressure on the Disney team to execute the upgrade with great precision and accuracy, particularly with the emotional attachment so many have to the brand, its parks and legendary films.“I think everybody feels pressure because, obviously we have huge expectations from everyone,” Marilyn Meyreles, producer for Disney Parks live entertainment told Yahoo Canada. “But I think our teams have worked together so closely for so many years and even with newcomers who have that passion for Disney, that it’s always going to show in all the work that we do.”Meyreles worked on Epcot’s newest nighttime spectacular, Epcot Forever.“Imagine yourself being around the lagoon and you hear this little girl say with one little spark, and you hear Walt’s voice and all of a sudden the music starts,” she said.In order to decide which elements of the past should be included in Epcot Forever, the creative team gets together to brainstorm the elements that will spark emotions for guests. With tears in her eyes, Meyreles explained that the show is a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot and Disney.“To me, the little girl represents the future...when I hear the little girl talk, they’re singing...I just feel like it’s really bringing it home that this is a new generation so we’re looking to the future,” Meyreles said.What experts are most excited aboutIf you’ve never been able to experience Epcot before, Meyreles says Spaceship Earth is a must.“It kind of brings everything together, it’s one world,” she said. “I love to visit the pavillions because there aren’t many opportunities that you can go and visit all these countries in one promenade around the world.”While you’re at the pavilions, there are a ton of food options for guests to enjoy, but Chelsea Florig, project manager for food and beverage at Epcot, and Al Youngman, culinary director at Epcot, have some favourites.“The salmon at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen is amazing,” Florig told Yahoo Canada. “Salmon with like a Crown maple whiskey glaze...it’s really good.”“The Arepas at Three Kings, I think that’s just so, it’s warm and cheesy, you get shrimp or cheese Arepas,” Youngman said. “The cookie stroll, that’s a really good one,... we have peppermint cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate pecan, we have a linzer cookie, a black and white cookie.”In terms of upcoming attractions, Hundgen says the upcoming enhancements to the France pavilion will be a must-see in summer 2020.“When I think about what I’m excited about next year it’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” Hundgen said. “The whole France pavilion, you’re going to have a new film, a new creperie with sweet and savory crepes, and you’ve got this really great new family attraction, nestled in sort of a beautiful part of the park that we haven’t been to before.”If you’re looking for a way to get to or from Disney, the Skyliner is the way to go. You don’t have to wait for a particular bus to arrive and you can take a beautiful, leisurely ride to and from Epcot. It’s part transportation, part park attraction. The Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot, and four resorts on the property: Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
As parents struggle to find child care solutions during Monday’s teachers’ strike various programs across the GTA are being launched. Caryn Lieberman reports.
Talks between Ontario's teachers' unions and the provincial government have broken down and job action is ramping up.Now that all four of the province's major education unions are taking part in some form of labour action, here's a look at how your family could be impacted next week. Rotating 1-day strikesMonday, Jan. 20Unless a deal is reached with the province by the end of this week — and that doesn't appear likely given recent developments — the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will begin rotating, one-day strikes on Monday. ETFO's first strike will affect the following boards: * Toronto District School Board. * Toronto Catholic District School Board (only Designated Early Childhood Educators, DECEs). * York Region District School Board. * Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.The Toronto Catholic board says that during Monday's walk out, administrative and support staff will be reassigned to fill the roles of early childhood educators. Tuesday, Jan. 21Both the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) will join ETFO in another one-day strike that will affect boards across the province.OECTA's strike means teachers in publicly-funded, English Catholic school boards across Ontario will not be reporting to work or performing any of their duties.OSSTF's strike will affect the following boards: * Rainy River District School Board. * Near North District School Board. * Grand Erie District School Board. * Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board. * Toronto District School Board. * Simcoe County District School Board. * Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. * Trillium Lakelands District School Board. * Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.Important to note: All French Catholic and public schools will be affected by the strike, since the education workers and support staff at those schools are part of the OSSTF.Meanwhile, exams are next week for most high school students across the province. The Toronto public board confirmed any exams scheduled for Tuesday will have to be rescheduled. OSSTF has said that after Tuesday's action, its members will not strike action during the high school exam period.ETFO's strike on Tuesday will affect the following boards: * Grand Erie District School Board. * Trillium Lakelands School Board. * Renfrew County District School Board. * Superior-Greenstone District School Board.Wednesday, Jan. 22ETFO will hold another one-day strike that will impact the following boards: * Thames Valley District School Board. * Rainbow District School Board. * Rainy River District School Board.Thursday, Jan. 23ETFO will hold a one-day strike that will affect the following boards. The union served a five-day notice on Saturday. * Avon Maitland District School Board * Halton District School Board * District School Board of Niagara * Lakehead District School BoardProvince paying up to $60/day per child during strikesThe province has offered up to $60 a day, per child, to parents whose children would be affected by the strikes.Parents are eligible if their children are 12 years old or younger and are enrolled in a publicly-funded school or a school-based child-care centre that will close due to the strike. Also eligible are parents with children up to the age of 21 with special needs who are enrolled in a publicly-funded school. The details of the compensation are as follows: * $60 per day for children up to 6 years old who are not yet enrolled in school but attend a school-based child-care centre closed by the strikes. * $40 per day for students in junior or senior kindergarten. * $25 per day for students in Grades 1 to 7. * $40 total per day for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 12 (or aged 21 and under) with special needs.According to the Ministry of Education, parents only have to sign up once to get a payment each time there is a strike affecting their child. Once they do, the money will be directly deposited into their bank account. The ministry says that as of Thursday morning, more than 33,000 people have applied for compensation. If all the teachers' unions were to strike at the same time, more than one million children would be eligible for a subsidy.Sam Hammond, president of ETFO, said the province's compensation offer amounts to a "bribe.""The minister of education in this province blatantly — in a very transparent way — is trying to bribe parents to get their support in this ongoing battle," Hammond said this week.Work-to-rule campaignsWork-to-rule campaigns are a limited withdrawal of some services, which means different things for different unions. The OSSTF has been on a work-to-rule campaign since November. This means high school teachers have not completed ministry data reports or participated in ministry, or school board-driven, professional activities.Thursday, the union representing Ontario's French-language teachers, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), started work-to-rule job action, which affected mostly administrative tasks. For the OECTA, the action includes not participating in standardized testing, preparing report cards or participating in Ministry of Education initiatives.ETFO ramped up their work-to-rule action on Monday, meaning teachers won't be supervising extra-curricular activities outside regular school hours, participating in field trips, or participating in assemblies, except to supervise students.
Even with their win in Philadelphia on Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens' playoff hopes are thin as they head into the NHL all-star break.The optimists can look to the St. Louis Blues, who held a similar record to Montreal at this point last season, yet still went on to win the Stanley Cup. But the pragmatists could already be thinking about resetting for next season.General manager Marc Berrgevin is ultimately the man who is going to decide if the Habs are going to sell off some of their veteran players ahead of the trade deadline. A case can be made to stay the course.The Habs have endured a wave of injuries. It started in early November when the team's sniper Jonathan Drouin needed surgery on his wrist. He was joined on injured reserve by other key players who missed significant time, such as Paul Byron, Joel Armia, Victor Mete and Brendan Gallagher.WATCH | Habs' Kovalchuk, Price shine in win over Flyers:The injuries took a toll on the team's fortunes and as a result they endured two eight-game losing streaks which are largely responsible for knocking them out of the playoff picture. Following the all-star break, it's expected the team will be back at or near to full health and it is possible they could claw their way back into contention.Despite their hardships, the team has improved in key areas such as the penalty kill. Earlier this season they were the worst in the NHL in that department. They have since jumped ahead of 9 teams to 22nd overall. Players on the trading blockIf Marc Bergevin is ready to give up on this season then it is time to take a look at the roster and see who could be moved.Tomas Tatar is at the top of most lists right now. The Slovak forward is leading the team in scoring this season with 43 points and with only one year left on his contract after this season, there would likely be several playoff bound teams interested in his services.Trading Tatar could bring a nice return in the deal but it would also mean cutting ties with someone who is only 29 years old and has been a great fit. Tatar has 100 points in 129 games since being traded to Montreal from Vegas. Carey Price's name has also once again been a topic of trade discussion among fans. Surely there are teams out there who would love to add him ahead of a run for the Stanley Cup, but Price's contract of $10.5 million US against the cap per season until 2026 might not be something a contender could absorb.Also complicating things, Price's contract includes a no-movement clause so he would have to sign off on any deal before hand. At 32 years old, Carey Price understands that the clock is ticking on his career and has expressed his desire to win now. He's also made his frustration with losing well known but he's yet to show any sign that he wants to leave Montreal. Shea Weber — like Price — is another player with a big contract which would be tough for an contending team to pick up. Weber is also the captain of the team, and while that doesn't make him untouchable per se — the Habs have traded many of their captains away over the years — it does complicate things. The team's attitude was a focus of concern for Marc Bergevin before Weber took over as captain and since he's had the 'C' on his jersey, there has been a noticeable improvement in the chemistry in the locker room. Shaking that up by trading Weber could end up doing more damage in the long term than good. Young players aren't going anywhereBergevin has made one thing clear: he's not willing to trade away any of his young prospects in order to acquire veteran help in the short term.Players such as Nick Suzuki, Ryan Poehling and Jersperi Kotkaniemi — who are already with the team — and prospects such as Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov and American forward Cole Caufield are building blocks and are unlikely to be traded. In the eight-years Bergevin has been running the Habs, he has not deviated from his plan to hold onto his draft picks and young players to develop them. His plan hasn't come to fruition yet and fans are losing patience as the team is on track to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. But despite it all, Bergevin's job security does not seem to be in doubt. So there is no reason to believe that he will change course this year and do something differently ahead of the trade deadline.
The province has announced it plans to bring back a regular black bear spring hunting season, subject to annual review.On Friday, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski announced the start of government's consultation on the proposal."Ontario is home to a healthy bear population," said Yakabuski. "The province will continue to monitor black bear populations, harvest results and sustainability indicators to inform an annual review and ensure bear populations are managed sustainably."The bear hunt was cancelled by the province in 1999. In 2014, Ontario re-introduced a spring black bear hunting season, and the pilot has continued each year since then.As part of this latest proposal, all protections for Ontario's black bear population would remain in place. It would remain illegal to harvest black bear cubs and females with cubs in the spring, a crime that carries a potential fine of up to $25,000 and up to one-year imprisonment.In addition, Ontario is also proposing to take action to support the long-term sustainability of the declining black bear population on the Bruce Peninsula by reducing the bear hunting season in this area.The government said the proposal was recommended by the Big Game Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC).Last spring, the government formed the BGMAC to advise the province on how to improve big game management in Ontario.The province is also proposing to eliminate bear hunting opportunities for non-resident landowners and non-residents hunting with immediate relatives.The proposal would also require people guiding resident bear hunters for commercial purposes to obtain a "Licence to Provide Black Bear Hunting Services."The proposed changes are now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for public feedback until Feb. 18.
MONTREAL — The RCMP says a Quebec man has been charged in connection to alleged online threats made against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Muslim community.Andre Audet, 62, appeared at a courthouse in Longueuil, Que., on Jan. 9 in connection with two charges — public incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred.Charges filed at the courthouse say both alleged crimes occurred between Jan. 1 and Oct. 22, 2019 — the day after last year's federal election.The RCMP says in an emailed statement that the investigation was carried out by its Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.Given a rise in online threats, the RCMP says it has focused resources on online surveillance and investigators are now better able to identify and deal with threats made on the web.Spokesperson Cpl. Melanie Cappiello-Stebenne says in an email that the force takes all threats seriously and violent comments are not tolerated."Individuals who write such comments are liable to severe penalties," Cappiello-Stebenne wrote. "Although the individuals being investigated may not have been in direct contact with the persons or groups they targeted, their comments are just as worrisome and could lead to acts of violence."According to court filings, Audet, of Boucherville, Que., had been given a summons to appear in court on Dec. 19.The Prime Minister's Office declined to comment on the charges."We never comment on matters relating to the prime minister's security," said spokesperson Elanore Catenaro in an email.Audet returns to court on Mar. 24.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.The Canadian Press
The organizing committee for the World Canoe Sprint Championships in 2022 has asked the Halifax Regional Municipality for $1.8 million to replace the existing judging tower on Lake Banook."It is no longer functioning," said Chris Keevil, co-chair of Canoe '22."But we also recognize that tower is iconic and we want to make sure a future building maintains that presence."The three-story tower is located at the western end of the lake and sits on the finish line of the race course. It was built in 1988.According to Keevil, it is not just in poor shape structurally but would also require accessibility upgrades and modern technology."So starting systems are required, high-band internet and cameras, because we will be livestreaming the event to over a million users in Europe," he said.Some of the money being requested would also be used to update buildings adjacent to the tower that are used for storage and medal ceremonies.The work is needed to ensure that Lake Banook can compete for future international competitions, Keevil said. He believes hosting the events is critical for attracting young people to the sport.Coun. Sam Austin said the request for municipal help was sent at the end of October 2019. A staff report is expected soon.MORE TOP STORIES
A union representing education support staff says it will file grievances after at least 12 members were told to remove shirts that support a provincial labour campaign because, according to the province, they could be viewed as "intimidating or violent" by students.Directives from the provincial government sent out through the seven school districts in recent days warn against wearing the black and yellow shirts, or principals and other managers would tell them to remove the shirts or cover them. Dominic Cardy, the province's education minister, said in a statement to media released late Friday afternoon after stories about the issue were published that members would be allowed to wear the shirts.The shirts show an image of a yellow fist, in comic-book style, surrounded by "bargaining forward" in French and English with logos for the Canadian Union of Public Employees in New Brunswick. The back of the shirts say "Proud CUPE member." Theresa McAllister, president of CUPE Local 2745, said the union's legal team considers the directive an infringement of members' charter rights. "I think it's disgraceful," she said in an interview Friday. "I think it's a push from the government to quiet us down, and we're not going to quiet down."She said she was personally contacted by 12 members of the local, which represents school bus drivers, custodians, educational assistants and clerical staff, who told her they had been threatened with or disciplined for wearing the shirts Friday. A union member in Fredericton was told by school officials the symbol was racist, while one in Moncton was told it was "sexual in nature," according to CUPE national representative Trent Snikkers. McAllister said two union members wearing the shirts at Northrop Frye School in Moncton were told Friday to remove them or be relocated from their usual workspace to a smaller "isolation room." She said they were moved to such a room. She said some union local members had been wearing the shirts on Fridays over the last two years without issue before the directive was issued. District won't commentA spokesperson for Anglophone East School District, which operates Northrop Frye, directed questions to the provincial education department. Cardy, the education minister, said in a statement that he had spoken to CUPE representatives about the use of the logo which "has caused confusion and concern in the province.""Next week, I will have discussions with the school districts on how we can permit members of CUPE to use the logo in an educational context and a learning opportunity for students," Cardy said.Emails sent before Cardy's statement between the union and the province that CUPE provided to CBC News say the employer is aware of the significance of the fist logo and doesn't intend to infringe on employees rights. Paméla E. Boulay, executive director of employee relations with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, wrote in a Jan. 14 email that students may not understand the significance of the logo. Boulay said the province is concerned that the fist "may appear intimidating or violent to them.""We are asking the employees for their co-operation and to exercise discretion and judgment as to when and where to wear the T-shirt or other items of clothing displaying the large logo when around students," Boulay wrote. On Jan. 15, Boulay told the union the directive would not be rescinded and the province expected employees to adhere to it. Boulay said the union could then file a grievance or complaint if it wanted to.McAllister said the union intends to file grievances for each employee wearing a T-shirt who was told to remove it Friday. As well, she said the union is considering filing a complaint with the province's labour and employment board. The department directive states the right of employees to demonstrate support of their union in the workplace is not unlimited. "We have put considerable effort into providing a positive learning and working environment and into preventing and addressing acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying," the directive states.
John Crosbie left behind a long and storied legacy, but it goes beyond his economic accomplishments, says Liberal MP Seamus O'Regan.While he was a long-standing member of the Progressive Conservatives, Crosbie held firm to Red Tory beliefs.In 1990, Crosbie fought for the reinstatement of funding that had been cut for women's programs across Canada, as well as protecting LGBT people from discrimination.O'Regan knew Crosbie for most of his life and said while the man was a political icon, he was also a "champion" for equal rights, even when it was unpopular with his own party."He made amendments to the human rights code to make sure that there was no discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal civil service, the military, the RCMP," O'Regan said."It was a move that was so controversial at the time … within his own party. And he had to take it to the floor of the House of Commons."O'Regan said that, in itself, is an accomplishment to be proud of."When you come to his funeral with your husband, you don't forget that."'Extraordinary feat'As the federal minister for natural resources, O'Regan said it's a daunting role to fill, knowing it's a department established in large part thanks to Crosbie's work through his years in Ottawa.In particular, the signing of a renewed Atlantic Accord last year highlighted for O'Regan the extent of the work Crosbie put into ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador's economic prosperity."When you get into how intricate that deal was, you realize the political capital he expended, you realize how savvy he was to get that for us politically," O'Regan said. Look at the years of public service that he put in for this province. \- Seamus O'Regan"It was an extraordinary feat. That document, the Atlantic Accord, is our document of prosperity in this province. If he is remembered singularly for anything in this province, I think it's that."But, as many who knew Crosbie will attest, there are a great many other things he will be remembered for.O'Regan said he will remember Crosbie's humour — his "poetic profanity" — as well as being a man dedicated to his home province."Look at the years of public service that he put in for this province and for the people of this province," O'Regan said."[He was] a man, I think, of such intelligence and such empathy and a man who showed you can be every bit as patriotic to your province without it taking away from being patriotic to your country."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Sandee Ewasiuk has been painting for 30 years, but says sometimes as an artist she struggles to understand "why we do it" — for now, WHY is Australia's wildfires.Ewasiuk, 55, who teaches at the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Dundas Valley School of Art, is selling paintings of images she took in Australia with all proceeds going directly to the WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organization. She started Sunday and says she already raised about $2,000."The fires just came up and we had just been there and that's when I realized 'this is it,' " she tells CBC."There's a sense of urgency to this, it's important to do it while people still have it on their mind."Ewasiuk has lived in the Kirkendall North neighbourhood for 23 years and says she travelled, from September to November in 2019, to Australia in a camper van with her Australian husband and their children.While she was there, she spent time under baby blue skies that met soft sandy dunes — home to kangaroos, wallabies, emus, kookaburras and koala bears.Ewasiuk stood feet away from some of Australia's wildlife, but during her visit she also saw embers burn among the greenery."Mostly we saw places that were burned out … it was smouldering still," she says."We didn't have to drive through the fires because they weren't raging, but Port Macquarie on the east coast was blocked and we couldn't get through."Ewasiuk downloaded an app on her phone to watch the status of the fires every day."We were watching it all the time because we weren't sure we could go," she says.Ewasiuk vividly remembers a rude awakening while camping at Coffs Harbour. It was about three in the morning when she woke up to a hazy sky and smell of smoke, despite the nearest fire being 50 kilometres away.While she and her family avoided the fires in Australia, they followed her home."We came back home, watching them get worse and worse and worse," Ewasiuk says."We saw so much wildlife there, we spent time right beside them. For me, it was just, 'oh my god, how do we do anything for this?' Working as a painter, I just thought, 'let's give this a shot.' "Fire has ravaged the country, scorching forests and suffocating animals, with reports of more than a billion animals killed.Now, Ewasiuk is making mixed-media paintings of pictures she snapped in Australia to raise money for the fight against the fires.Some of the canvases are smaller and others, she says, are life-sized, like her 36 by 60 inch painting of a kangaroo at Mimosa Rocks National Park."It's supposed to show the beauty we experienced … with a very colourful background," she says.Ewasiuk will also paint emus, kookaburras and koala bears.Interested buyers can reach out to her on social media.
PASADENA, Calif. — Steve Martin and Martin Short are taking their touring act to television with a new Hulu comedy.The untitled show about three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one was announced Friday at a TV critics meeting.Martin and John Hoffman ("Grace and Frankie") co-created and will write the series for the streaming network. They will serve as executive producers, along with “This is Us” creator Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal and Short.Martin and Short are currently touring in their comedy and musical show “Now You See Them, Soon You Won't.”They previously toured in “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.” Those performances led to a Netflix special in 2018 that was nominated for an Emmy. Martin and Short first worked together in ”Three Amigos," a 1986 western comedy.The Associated Press
A senior policy analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says it's tough to tell exactly when P.E.I.'s vacancy rate will rebound.According to recently released data by the CMHC, the Island had a vacancy rate of 1.2 per cent last October.Chris Janes said in a market like P.E.I., the ideal vacancy rate is between three and five per cent."Within that range, renters are able to find adequate rental accommodations or apartments and the buildings are still able to earn a normalized return on their investment," Janes said. "So they're not losing money by having units vacant."However based on a "normal housing cycle," getting to that three to five per cent rate won't happen overnight."It typically takes a minimum of five years before we see any type of a housing market dynamic come back to a normal equilibrium, where we have adequate supply and still have adequate demand to absorb that supply," Janes said.He said in situations where vacancy rates approach close to zero, there should be a focus on building affordable housing."Obviously the market can't keep up to demand as quickly as some people may hope or like."He said when vacancy rates are low it becomes very profitable for multi-unit constructors to build new supply and eventually that will lead to a "more normalized rental market.""Near zero is not good for anybody. I would say now … at 1.2 per cent it's still very low," he said.People 'unable to find adequate accommodations'Janes said while the vacancy rate on P.E.I. and in Charlottetown is better than it was a year ago, it is still not good."Unfortunately there's a lot of people I think in P.E.I. right now, and Charlottetown in particular, who are still unable to find adequate accommodations — affordable rental accommodations," Janes said.He said a lot of the new buildings going up on P.E.I. are "not cheap.""We need to start to focus on affordable rental housing in situations where we see near-zero vacancy rates, and that's really right across the country right now in most major centres," Janes said.He said it's important for all levels of government and the private sector to work together to solve the issue.More P.E.I. news
A fatal ultralight plane crash in a Rougemont orchard last July may have been caused by the pilot flying below safe altitude, a report from Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) suggests.Two men — a 51-year-old from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and a 66-year-old from Mont-Saint-Grégoire — died from injuries suffered in the crash.The TSB report notes that witnesses saw the aircraft circling over the orchard at a low altitude — less than 200 feet above the ground — in a counter-clockwise turn. Then the aircraft changed direction and turned northeast, the report says, before losing altitude and crashing into the trees."Flying an aircraft at low altitude leaves the pilot with little margin for error and increases the risk of not having enough time to manage an emergency," the report's conclusion states. The weather was not considered a factor, and the pilot had over 600 hours of ultralight experience. The TSB was not able to determine how many hours the pilot had flown in that type of aircraft, a Rans S-6ES Coyote II, although he had flown that particular plane before.The ultralight itself "had no known deficiencies before the flight," the report says, and was not low on fuel. The type of aircraft in question is not required to carry a flight data recorder. The TSB conducts investigations of this nature to advance aviation safety, not to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
A Canada Post driver is seriously hurt after being hit by falling ice on the Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel. The 49-year-old man from Surrey was alone in the vehicle and driving southbound on Highway 99 when the incident occurred just after 1:30 p.m. on Friday. "Reports are that a piece of ice fell through the front windshield," said Sarah Morris, a spokesperson for B.C. Emergency Health Services. "Two ambulances were dispatched to the scene and one patient was cared for by our paramedics and transported to hospital in serious condition."The B.C. government says it conducted an initial assessment of the tunnel and doesn't believe there is an ongoing risk to commuters. "The tunnel has been in operation for over 50 years and we've never experienced an event like the one described today," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a written statement. "However, the ministry takes such concerns seriously and is conducting a full assessment." The maintenance contractor in charge of the tunnel has driven down all the travel lanes going in both directions and says there is no sign of any similar debris, the statement said.Southern B.C. has experienced a series of winter weather warnings over the last week, with significant snowfall and below freezing temperatures. RCMP are investigating to determine the source of the ice and are asking any witnesses, or anyone with dashcam video of the incident, to contact the Lower Mainland Traffic Services at 604-526-9744, citing file 2020-108.The tunnel is open in both directions.