Spinergy GX wheels reduce gravel road buzz

Lance Branquinho
Spinergy GX carbon wheels will reduce fatigue on long rough road rides

Spinergy is best remembered for its pioneering wheelsets from the 1990s, which featured full composite construction.

The American brand’s latest offering might look a lot more conventional, but it remains true to Spinergy’s business of applying advanced technology sourcing to its products.

For those gravel riders seeking a wheelset with special terrain damping properties, Spinergy’s GX carbon line will be of much interest.

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The design combines premium parts and a special rim design, which is claimed to offer superior ride comfort.

Sized for 700c tyres, these GX carbon wheels are generously shaped to purpose, with an 18mm internal rim diameter. Those internal dimensions should ensure great casing stability with any of the new generation gravel tyres.

You’ll notice the profile for these GX gravel wheels too, which have 32mm of depth. Within the rim’s structure, Spinergy has managed to mould a special foam formulation, with vibration absorption properties.

Beyond the rim’s foam inlay, Spinergy’s GX wheels are also built with 24 PBO polymer spokes, which are lighter and stronger than steel. These spokes are laced to custom machined hubs, which engage Hadley freehubs and roll on Enduro bearings.

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Spinergy’s GX wheels can be ordered with a range of compatible freehub bodies, appropriate to your gravel drivetrain preference: Shimano/SRAM/Campy 9/10/11 or SRAM XD/XDR.

Considering the carbon rim construction, PBO spokes and custom hubs, Spinergy’s $999 price point for its GX wheelset is notably competitive, and it only weighs 1495g.

If you desire the rim design and benefits of PBO spoke tension, but are after a more affordable option, Synergy also offers the GX in aluminium. The pricing reduces to $599 and you sacrifice the GX carbon's vibration absorbing foam inlay, yet gain more internal width, which grows from 18- to 24mm. 

  • Trump jabs Maine's Democratic governor; she hits back
    Politics
    The Canadian Press

    Trump jabs Maine's Democratic governor; she hits back

    GUILFORD, Maine — President Donald Trump on Friday laced into Maine's Democratic governor for not moving quickly enough to reopen the state's economy and urged his supporters to help him win the rest of the state in November if they want to see the country rebound from the coronavirus shutdown.Referring to Maine's electoral votes, Trump said: “Get that other half to go with Trump.” He spoke in the small town of Guilford, home to Puritan Medical Products, one of only two major companies producing a special type of swab needed to ramp up coronavirus testing.At stops in Guilford and Bangor, Trump used his first visit to the state as president to lob jabs at Gov. Janet Mills for not reopening businesses more quickly. Trump won just one of Maine's four electoral votes in 2016.“When are you going to open the state up?” Trump demanded as he spoke at Puritan Medical Products. “What's she doing?"Earlier in Bangor, Trump compared Mills to a “dictator” and said she was preventing her state from reaping money from Maine's busy summer tourist season.“She’s going to destroy your state,” he said. "I’m not a fan.”Mills responded with a lengthy rebuttal.“Yesterday, I asked the president to check his rhetoric at the door and to lead us with courage and compassion through this difficult time," she said. “Sadly, but unsurprisingly, he continues to prove himself incapable of doing so.”“What Maine people heard today was more of the same incendiary rhetoric and insults he uses to try to divide us and to stoke tension and fear. What Maine people heard today was largely devoid of fact and absent of reality. What Maine people saw today was a rambling, confusing, thinly veiled political rally.”She rebuffed Trump's claim that Maine remained shuttered by the virus, saying 13 of Maine's 16 counties have been reopened and that the state was the first in New England to allow indoor dining at restaurants.Ahead of Trump's visit, Mills had urged him to cancel the trip because of security concerns given the civil unrest over the death of George Floyd and Trump's heavy-handed response to protests.During Trump's call earlier this week with governors, Mills criticized him for urging governors to “dominate” protesters and toss perpetrators of violence in prison and for his administration’s move to forcibly clear out peaceful protesters near the White House so the president could walk to a nearby church to pose for photos holding up a Bible.Trump’s caravan rolled through Guilford during the searing heat of the afternoon, drawing cheers from supporters and “boos” from detractors. The crowd alternated between “Black Lives Matter!” and “We Love Trump!” chants as his limousine approached. There was some shouting back and forth among the factions, but the crowd was peaceful. Trump did not reference Floyd or the protests during his stops in the state.Supporters heavily outnumbered anti-Trump demonstrators in Guilford. But there were numerous other anti-Trump demonstrations around the state, and some organizers had dissuaded protesters from coming to Guilford.That didn’t stop Pam Chamberlain of Brewer from coming to Guilford with a sign that said “The Bible Is Not A Prop.” She said it was important for opponents of Trump and police brutality to have a presence.“I said, I need to go down there and represent the people who are afraid to be there,” she said. “And maybe the people who are afraid to come out of their house right now.”Paul Layman drove more than two hours from the Portland area to support the president and let protesters know what he thinks of them. He said rural Maine supports Trump because of his work on the economy. “I’m just tired of all these losers and their stupidity,” Layman said before describing protesters as “imps.”Trump is anxious to get beyond the unrest and the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus and focus on his reelection. His visit to Puritan had the feel of a campaign rally.The official White House event showcased the fact that his administration is providing $75.5 million through the Defence Production Act for Puritan to double production to 40 million swabs a month, and the company plans to open a second production site by July 1.More than 350 workers in Guilford have been working long hours since the coronavirus pandemic began.“We’re doing our best to supply the needs. It’s critical that our country is taken care of," co-owner Timothy Templet told The Associated Press.In Maine, the nation’s whitest state, there have been multiple days of demonstrations. Earlier in the week, more than 1,000 people gathered in Portland, stopping traffic, setting trash cans afire and pelting police with objects. More than 30 people have been arrested.Trump began his visit in Bangor, where he met commercial fishermen and signed an order to reopen fishing waters that were closed in 2016 when the Obama administration designated the first and only national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.The president also used the visit to warn the European Union and China that if tariffs aren’t cut on Maine lobsters, they’ll face retaliatory tariffs equal or higher than those hurting the state’s fishermen.___AP writer David Sharp contributed to this report from Portland.—-This story has been corrected to say Maine has four electoral votes, not three.Jill Colvin And Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

  • Know Your Rights: How To Film Police Safely And Legally In Canada
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Know Your Rights: How To Film Police Safely And Legally In Canada

    If a cop tells you to give them your phone during a protest, they're usually in the wrong.

  • Family facing eviction over noisy kids during pandemic
    News
    CBC

    Family facing eviction over noisy kids during pandemic

    An Ottawa family with three young children is looking for a new home after being served an eviction notice following complaints the kids were being too loud while at home during isolation."First it was disbelief, then anger, [then] frustration," said Janybek Abakirov, who's been working at his banking job from the family's third-floor apartment while his wife takes care of their newborn and two boys, ages two and four."The management office is telling us to vacate the property within three weeks due to noise complaints because of our kids."Abakirov said he had previously experienced tensions with a downstairs neighbour in the apartment building on Richmond Road. Since the pandemic began, those tensions have boiled over.Late last month, he got a detailed notice of eviction from his landlord. The notice details noise complaints over a four-week period, including jumping, yelling and running. WATCH: Janybek Abakirov says he's frustrated after receiving an eviction notice during the COVID-19 pandemicWith schools and daycares closed, Abakirov said he and his wife have been doing their best to keep their children occupied."[We] try to manage them as much as possible, making sure they are occupied with different games, books, sometimes cartoons, but, hey, kids are kids," he said. "They like to run around."Citing privacy concerns, Britannia By The Bay Apartments declined CBC's interview requests, but in an emailed statement senior vice-president Mark Hales said the company recognizes its tenants are going through a challenging time. "However, when noise levels are repeatedly problematic, we have an obligation to follow the provincial framework that is in place to handle this type of situation," Hales wrote.Tensions on the riseLegal experts say during this pandemic, these types of conflicts and complaints between tenants have been escalating."Cooking, smoking from balconies, noise disruptions … all of these are on the increase because everybody is forced to stay at home. Nobody gets a break from their neighbour anymore. They're at home 24/7," said lawyer Rodrigue Escayola. He said Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board will need to decide whether those complaints constitute normal behaviour and activities during abnormal times."Is this disruption specific to the current health crisis which forces people to stay at home? If that's the case, I think the adjudicating body would be more flexible," Escayola said.He added that hearings by the Landlord and Tenant Board are on hold in Ontario until emergency measures are lifted.After months of stress and weeks of complaints, Abakirov said he's not planning to appeal."I could go and appeal and I could win, but in the end, is it a healthy environment for my kids to live in?" he asked. Instead, he said his family is currently looking for a new home, but he's hoping his story will make other tenants think twice about the challenges some families are going through.  "I understand these are difficult times, but at the same time these are kids, and kids also have rights," Abakirov said. "All I'm hoping is that there's a little bit of understanding around us."

  • Provincial border bans during pandemic anger barred Canadians, spark lawsuits
    News
    CBC

    Provincial border bans during pandemic anger barred Canadians, spark lawsuits

    Lesley Shannon of Vancouver was infuriated when New Brunswick rejected her request last month to enter the province to attend her mother's burial. "I'm mystified, heartbroken and angry," said Shannon on Wednesday. "They're basically saying my mother's life has no value." Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and the three territories have temporarily barred Canadian visitors from entering their borders unless they meet specific criteria, such as travelling for medical treatment. The provinces and territories say the extreme measures are necessary to protect their residents from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness. But the border bans have fuelled criticism from civil rights advocates who argue barring fellow Canadians is unconstitutional. The travel restrictions have also angered Canadians denied entry for travel they believe is crucial. "I'm not trying to go to my aunt's or cousin's funeral. This is my mother, my last living parent," said Shannon, who grew up in Rothesay, N.B.Protecting health of its citizensOn Thursday, shortly after CBC News asked for comment on Shannon's case, the New Brunswick government announced it will reopen its borders starting June 19 to Canadian travellers with immediate family or property in New Brunswick. It also plans to grant entry to people attending a close family member's funeral or burial.The province's Campbellton region, however, remains off limits.Shannon was happy to hear the news, but is unsure at this point if she'll be allowed to enter the province in time for her mother's burial. She would first have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, as required the province, and the cemetery holding her mother's body told her the burial must happen soon."I'm just hoping that [permission comes] fast enough for me."New Brunswick told CBC News that restricting out-of-province visitors has served as a key way to protect the health of its citizens."It's necessary because of the threat posed by travel: all but a handful of New Brunswick's [COVID-19] cases are travel cases," said Shawn Berry, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, in an email.Legal challengesKim Taylor of Halifax was so upset over being denied entry in early May to attend her mother's funeral in Newfoundland and Labrador she launched a lawsuit against the province."I certainly feel like the government has let me and my family down," she said.> It's not right. No province in Canada can shut its borders to Canadian citizens. \- John Drover, lawyerShortly after speaking publicly about her case, Taylor got permission to enter the province —11 days after initially being rejected. But the court challenge is still going ahead — on principle."It's not right. No province in Canada can shut its borders to Canadian citizens," alleged Taylor's lawyer, John Drover. Violates charter, CCLA saysThe Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has joined the lawsuit and has sent letters to each of the provinces and territories banning Canadian visitors, outlining its concerns. The CCLA argues provinces and territories barring Canadians violates the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that every Canadian has the right to live and work in any province. The CCLA said if a province or territory limits those rights, its reasons must be justified. "So far, what we've seen from these governments hasn't convinced us that there is good evidence that these limits are reasonable," said Cara Zwibel, director of CCLA's fundamental freedoms program."The existence of a virus in and of itself is not enough of a reason."Newfoundland and Labrador also face a proposed class-action lawsuit launched this month, representing Canadians denied entry who own property in the province."The issue that our clients take is that this [restriction] is explicitly on geographic grounds and that seems to be contrary to the Charter of Rights," said Geoff Budden, a lawyer with the suit, which has not yet been certified.The Newfoundland and Labrador government told CBC News it's reviewing the lawsuits. They have both been filed in the province's Supreme Court.On Wednesday, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball defended the province's travel restrictions, arguing they remain necessary to avoid spreading the virus."This is put in place to protect Newfoundlanders and Labradorians; it's not about shutting people out," he said. WATCH | Inside the fight against COVID-19:What about a 14-day isolation?The rest of Canada's provinces have each advised against non-essential travel for now but are still allowing Canadian visitors to enter their province. Nova Scotia and Manitoba, however, require that visitors self-isolate for 14 days. CCLA's Zwibel said that rule may be a less restrictive way for a province to protect its residents during the pandemic. "The Charter of Rights does require that if governments do place limits on rights, they do so in a way that impairs them as little as possible," she said. Back in Vancouver, a frustrated Shannon points out that New Brunswick is already allowing temporary foreign workers into the province — as long as they self-isolate for 14 days. However, her invitation is still pending."It's very upsetting to think I'm less welcome in New Brunswick than somebody who was not even born in Canada," she said.

  • 'Dangerous' prisoner escapes Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility
    News
    CBC

    'Dangerous' prisoner escapes Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility

    Nova Scotia RCMP are advising people to stay away from the Coalburn and Priestville area after a prisoner described as "dangerous" at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility escaped Friday evening.Police say Kevin Edward Clarke-McNeil, 33, is believed to be on foot and may be trying to travel to Halifax.A tweet from RCMP late Friday night states that he was incarcerated for serious criminal charges, including attempted murder, and is considered dangerous.Police say anyone who sees Clarke-McNeil should not contact or approach him, but call 911.Clarke-McNeil is white, five feet eight inches tall, 200 lbs, with long brown curly hair and a large beard. He has tattoos on both upper arms.Police say he was last seen wearing grey jogging pants, but no shirt.According to the Nova Scotia Justice Department, Clarke-McNeil is originally from Ontario and was on remand at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on several charges, including attempted murder, unlawful confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and resisting/obstructing a peace officer.In a news release, the department said he had been in custody at the facility since December 2019 and escaped between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Friday. The department said anyone with knowledge of Clarke-McNeil's whereabouts should call 911 or local law enforcement.Correctional Services will conduct a full review of this incident, the department said.

  • News
    CBC

    24-year-old migrant worker in critical condition with COVID-19

    Several Essex County migrant workers have been hospitalized with COVID-19.The news comes days after the death of a 31-year-old farm worker from Mexico.The Leamington hospital, Erie Shores HealthCare, went to hotels where COVID-19-positive workers are staying in self-isolation, to check on their condition. After a board meeting, Windsor Regional Hospital president and CEO David Musyj said he is staying abreast of the initiative, and said six workers have now been admitted to hospital."One of the six who wasn't visited by Erie Shores, but simultaneously came to Windsor Regional Hospital, is a 24-year-old, and he is not doing well. He's now in critical care."Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Thursday he had not yet received the autopsy report on the 31-year-old who died Saturday. Migrant worker youngest death due to COVID-19 in Windsor-EssexThe 31-year-old man had no underlying health issues, said Ahmed, and is the youngest person to die in our region from the disease. Steve Laurie is responsible for the facilitation of temporary foreign workers to Woodside Greenhouses Inc., the pepper farm in Kingsville, Ont. where the man worked. Laurie, who said the man's name is Bonifacio Eugenio-Romero, said he took the man to the hospital on May 21 for treatment and a COVID-19 test after he said he had a fever. By May 23, the test came back showing the man had COVID-19, said Laurie, and all migrant workers who the man worked closely with were put into a hotel. Laurie said the man was put into a room by himself.On May 25, Laurie said the health unit tested the 22 other workers at the facility. Of those, two came back positive, two need to be retested and the remaining were negative.By Saturday, Eugenio-Romero had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital by EMS, both the health unit and Laurie confirmed.Laurie said 30 minutes later, the man died, leaving his co-workers upset and worried. "They're rattled," he said. "It's been a wake-up call for a lot of them."

  • La Loche men hailed as heroes after extinguishing fire, rescuing dog from RCMP officer's home
    News
    CBC

    La Loche men hailed as heroes after extinguishing fire, rescuing dog from RCMP officer's home

    Alfie Piche says he never thought he'd find himself kicking down a police officer's front door."It's usually the other way around, isn't it?" Piche said with a laugh.Piche and his uncle Ronnie Lemaigre are being hailed as heroes in their home of La Loche, Sask., after extinguishing a fire and rescuing a dog from the home of a local RCMP officer.On May 26, Piche and Lemaigre were volunteering as security staff at the main doors of the Northern department store in La Loche, a town located approximately 600 kilometres from Saskatoon. They were helping customers sanitize their hands and instructing them to practise physical distancing in the store.La Loche has had more COVID-19 cases than any other Saskatchewan community.Piche said he and Lemaigre noticed flames and smoke in a window of the duplex across the street. They ran across the street and looked inside. The kitchen was on fire.Piche ran to the attached residence and knocked on the door. They got an RCMP officer who lived there out and she joined them outside the other unit.They heard a dog barking frantically inside, Piche said. They kicked down the front door and went in. Piche said the smoke was heavy, but their COVID-19 masks helped a bit.Piche said they got the dog out, then put out the fire with an extinguisher from another nearby home before emergency services arrived."I'm a dog lover, so it felt good," Piche said.RCMP spokesperson Rob King lauded Piche and Lemaigre for their actions. He said the RCMP officer was taking care of a friend's dog.King said the officer had recently returned to the house with groceries."He put them on the stove because he was babysitting the dog and didn't want the dog to get the groceries," King said.The officer turned the stove on by accident without noticing, then left before the groceries ignited.King said the damage was limited to the kitchen and the front door and credited Piche and Lemaigre."It was definitely the two guys who noticed it, called it in and helped put out the fire," King said.Piche said he and Lemaigre have been thanked by town residents and RCMP."I'm glad those guys were there to help," wrote one Facebook user.Another called it "a heroic day for Alfie Piche [and] his Uncle Ronnie!"Piche said he's glad they were able to help."I was in the right time in the right place."

  • Halifax woman injured during Walmart arrest says Floyd's death 'extremely overwhelming'
    News
    CBC

    Halifax woman injured during Walmart arrest says Floyd's death 'extremely overwhelming'

    A Halifax woman says she knows what George Floyd was feeling the day he died.Santina Rao was injured when police arrested her while she shopped at Walmart with her kids earlier this year.Rao, who suffered a broken wrist, concussion and bruising in the encounter with police in January, said she watched in horror as Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, was pinned under the knee of a white police officer for nearly nine minutes."It's been extremely overwhelming emotionally to say the least," Rao told CBC's Information Morning on Friday. "Just to hear his story and know that he's gone and I'm here is just emotional in itself."Rao's case sparked renewed calls for an end to racial profiling by Halifax Regional Police. She said watching the video of Floyd's final moments took her back to what happened to her on Jan. 15 at the Mumford Road Walmart.  "It's just almost like a PTSD trigger once I saw what was happening over there just so vividly in the news, but I'm just not surprised by it happening again," she said. That day in January, Rao was shopping with her baby and toddler after recently moving into a new house.She said police officers confronted her inside the store, accusing her of trying to steal a head of lettuce, two lemons and a grapefruit that were in the bottom of her stroller.Her lawyer said police then asked Rao for identification, which she showed them. But the lawyer said that things escalated when the officers questioned Rao about her identification and one of them stood between Rao and her three-year-old daughter. A video posted by the Halifax Examiner to YouTube shows part of the altercation. It shows Rao swearing at a police officer to get off of her before one officer physically brought her to the ground and they struggled.Rao was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and causing a disturbance, but not for stealing. Her case is expected to return to provincial court on July 7. "There was no disturbance, there was no assault, there wasn't anything until the situation was created by her being inappropriately detained and questioned and someone getting in the way of her toddler," lawyer Gordon Allen said. Halifax police referred the case to the Serious Incident Response Team, which continues to investigate, although Allen said that body has no jurisdiction to wade into questions of racial profiling. Public calls for charges to be droppedNova Scotia's Public Prosecution Service said Thursday that it's received numerous requests from the public to drop the charges against Rao, but that her case will go ahead.In a statement, the service said it cannot halt a prosecution "based on requests from the public and the Crown does not argue cases through the media," but that a Crown attorney will decide based on the available evidence.Chief Dan Kinsella with the Halifax Regional Police said he can't speak specifically to Rao's case, or whether she was being street checked when officers asked to see her ID, as the case is being investigated.But he told CBC's Information Morning that any time a situation like that happens "it's of great concern.""Those details will certainly come out, and we'll make whatever steps we need to take, correction or otherwise when we move forward," Kinsella said.> Communication and de-escalation are the most important things that have to occur. \- Chief Dan Kinsella, Halifax Regional PoliceKinsella said in any encounter with police "communication and de-escalation are the most important things that have to occur." He said all front-line supervisors on the force recently received refresher training on de-escalation techniques, and that officers have also had anti-black racism, diversity and bias training."So there is regular communication about this, and the vast majority of calls we deal with appropriately, but there are those areas where we need to do some work and we will continue to do that," he said.Floyd's death has "shaken all of our communities to the core," Kinsella said. "It's a horrible thing that is a gigantic setback."Daughter remembers incident Rao said everywhere she goes she worries about being racially profiled. She said the same was true when she went to Walmart that day in January."It almost feels like you have to double check to make sure that you're looking around to be like, 'Am I allowed to be here?'"She said because she's a black woman, people assume she's stealing. She said a white parent can put groceries in their stroller without a second thought. She doesn't know what will happen with her case, and said her main priority is caring for her kids. Her daughter, who is three, remembers everything that happened that day. She talks about it often and notices when her mom gets upset."My children and I have been through enough already before this incident happened," Rao said. "We've dealt with enough trauma and enough pain in our lives and then on top of this to deal with it, it's just, it's enough."MORE TOP STORIES

  • No criminal charges for people arrested during injunction enforcement on Wet'suwet'en territory
    News
    CBC

    No criminal charges for people arrested during injunction enforcement on Wet'suwet'en territory

    The B.C. Prosecution Service has announced it will not be laying criminal charges against any of the people arrested by the RCMP during enforcement of the Coastal GasLink injunction in northern B.C. in February. In announcing that Crown was not moving forward with criminal contempt charges, Coastal GasLink lawyer Carrie Kaukinen told the court her client would follow the Crown's lead end its civil contempt proceedings.Justice Marguerite Church said Friday's case conference would mark the end of contempt proceedings. "I am of the view that in light of the submissions I've heard today that the public interest does not lend itself to further contempt proceedings," she said. At the same time, she noted the seriousness of the matters they were discussing. "Court orders, particularly such as the one in this case, uphold the rule of law and allegations with respect to breach of those court orders are serious matters," she said. The injunction arrests in Wet'suwet'en territory happened over a span of five days, sparking protests and blockades across the country by those who were showing solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Nation who continue to oppose the pipeline project. The court granted Coastal GasLink an injunction on Dec. 31, 2019 and instructed named defendants and others they could not block or impede the roadway or prevent the company and contractors from doing work in the area. RCMP made arrests at four different sites along the Morice Forest Service Road, ending at the Unist'ot'en Healing Centre at the road's 66 kilometre mark.A total of 28 people were arrested but only 22 had files sent to Crown Counsel for criminal contempt consideration, according to Crown Prosecutor Trevor Shaw. The Unist'ot'en Camp posted a statement on social media expressing relief.Wets'uwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose the pipeline being built through the Nation's traditional territory and have stated that entering the territory without their consent is a violation of Wet'suwet'en trespass law. "Protecting my territory is not criminal," Freda Huson, Chief Howilhkat of Unist'ot'en, was quoted in the statement.She was among those arrested outside the healing centre on the last day of the RCMP's enforcement operation."Industry and government is criminal for breaking all the environmental laws. They're the ones that should be charged."The Unist'ot'en Camp statement said there are many other people who were arrested at solidarity actions across the country who still face charges that aren't related to the Coastal GasLink injunction. More than 100 people were arrested at blockades and other sites of protest across Canada. "We are forever grateful for the solidarity and support from our relatives and allies," the post stated. Factors in not laying chargesShaw said factors that went into the B.C. Prosecution Service making the decision not to proceed with criminal contempt charges included no further breaches of the injunction being reported to police since February and "the absence of violence when the individuals were arrested."The B.C. Prosecution Service also factored in the memorandum of understanding agreed to by Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, the province of B.C. and Canada. Shaw said there was no evidence found by police that linked those who were arrested with the damage to a bridge on the Morice Forest Service Road or the "dangerous devices placed in the area." However, in its filing to the court, the B.C. Prosecution Service wrote "should further evidence come forward about dangerous conduct, potential liability under s. 247 (traps likely to cause bodily harm) or other provisions of the Criminal Code could be considered." Martin Peters, the lawyer for 27 of the people arrested, said he was pleased by the outcome from the case conference on Friday.He said one of the important pieces touched upon in court was the ongoing process between Canada, B.C. and the Wet'suwet'en regarding the Nation's rights and title. "I have to believe that this will add to reconciliation and hopefully a negotiated result all around, including the matter of the pipeline," he said.  While contempt proceedings have now concluded, the Coastal GasLink injunction remains in place and construction of the natural gas pipeline is ongoing.Peters said the opposition of his clients to that construction remains."As to the manner of which that opposition goes forward, is really in their hands."

  • Wear masks in public says WHO, in update of COVID-19 advice
    News
    Reuters

    Wear masks in public says WHO, in update of COVID-19 advice

    The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its guidance on Friday to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where there is a risk of transmission of COVID-19 to help reduce the spread of the pandemic disease. In its new guidance, prompted by evidence from studies conducted in recent weeks, the WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission, and should not give a false sense of protection. "Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19," the WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a briefing.

  • Shellfish harvesters frustrated over area closure one day into shortened season
    News
    CBC

    Shellfish harvesters frustrated over area closure one day into shortened season

    Just a day after some wild oyster fishermen started their season without a buyer, P.E.I.'s shellfish association says the industry has been dealt another blow. On Tuesday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shut down a popular oyster and quahog fishing area near Stratford in the Hillsborough River, known as Area D.  That's after officials in Stratford discovered higher than allowable bacteria levels in the effluent coming from the town's sewage lagoon. "So I have to move to other areas, which makes it more dangerous. I have to sail further up the East River," said Carl Palmer, who learned of the closure after picking quahogs Tuesday. "I get about half the catch elsewhere, as I would if I could fish Area D. So it cuts my catch in half."Bob MacLeod, the shellfish association's president, says about 25 fishermen typically fish in the area. Given the season was already delayed by a month due to market concerns fuelled by the pandemic, MacLeod said the closure hurts. "This closure could last 14 days. So that's two weeks of the season gone, when most buyers are only talking buying [for] a month," he said. "Those 25 fishermen have to go to another river.… It puts a lot of pressure on overfishing in those areas."Sewage sludge not removed in time Stratford officials say the pandemic can take part of the blame for the effluent issues. Jeremy Crosby, the town's infrastructure director, says back in early March, the town started planning to remove sewage sludge from the lagoon, which he says collects on the bottom and can interfere with the water treatment process in the spring. Crosby said the goal was to have a company remove that sludge and and pump it into geotube bags next to the lagoon for storage, well before the scheduled start of the shellfish season on May 1. "But as a result of travel restrictions, and getting permission for this company to come over during the COVID-19 pandemic, it did delay the process longer than we would've liked," said Crosby. He said the company didn't start the sludge removal until May 22, and wasn't able to finish the job before the start of the delayed season on June 1. So some of the sludge was left behind and interfered with the process to treat the water before it was released into the Hillsborough River."We still felt that it would be best to try to remove as much of the sludge as we could," said Crosby. "We're hopeful the effluent quality will return to normal, and the season can open up here soon."But MacLeod points out this isn't a new problem. He said the same fishing area was closed down twice last May due to water quality concerns at Stratford's sewage lagoon. "This is a little bit ridiculous, the hardship it's putting on people," he said.Lagoon shutting down this fall Crosby acknowledges that even with sludge removal taking place every few years, the town's water treatment process has had its problems. He said it's one of the reasons the town is decommissioning the lagoon this fall and spending $10.9 million dollars to start pumping sewage to Charlottetown's waste water treatment plant.  "We've struggled with the lagoon system over the years. And with it not being there and being pumped to a mechanical plant, we're confident we're going to resolve this problem," said Crosby. "I just hope they're right," said Macleod. "I really hope this is solved after this year. But we'll just have to wait and see on that one I guess."It's not clear when fishing will be able to resume in Area D. Crosby said while the town is conducting daily water testing, it will ultimately be up to DFO to decide when it's safe to open the area back up. The oyster and quahog season officially ends July 15. More P.E.I. news

  • Shaman critical of Putin loses bid to end enforced psychiatric treatment
    News
    Reuters

    Shaman critical of Putin loses bid to end enforced psychiatric treatment

    A Russian court on Friday rejected a challenge by a Siberian shaman critical of President Vladimir Putin who says he has been illegally incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital, his lawyer said. Alexander Gabyshev drew media attention when he set off last year on an 8,000-km (5,000-mile) walk to Moscow, a journey he said would culminate with him banishing the Russian leader, whom he described as a demon. Gabyshev made several attempts at the journey, but was always stopped by police, who took him back to Yakutsk, his home town in eastern Siberia.

  • City councillor joins growing call to defund police
    News
    CBC

    City councillor joins growing call to defund police

    An Ottawa city councillor is calling for a rethink of the police budget in the wake of widespread protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.In a tweet Thursday, Capital ward Coun. Shawn Menard used the hashtag DefundThePolice, a slogan attached to a growing movement urging governments to reconsider the use of taxpayers' dollars to militarize local law enforcement, and use the money instead for mental health supports and other services that benefit the community. Speaking on CBC's Ottawa Morning Friday, Menard clarified that he's not calling for the Ottawa Police Service's entire budget to be withdrawn."Obviously context is important in this discussion," he said. "I don't mean zeroing out a budget. What I do mean is there are a number of expensive services currently provided by police where outcomes could improve and which could be better handled by other professionals." The police service's operating budget for 2020 is nearly $358 million, including $38 million in revenue and an additional $4 million from various fees. Most of that money goes toward paying officers.Menard noted that accounts for approximately 10 per cent of the city's total budget, and has increased threefold over the past two decades, a higher rate than other city-funded services. "I'm not calling for a reduction in broad-based funding, what I am calling for is a shift in that funding," Menard said. Kitchissippi ward Coun. Jeff Leiper has also issued a statement about "moving resources from policing to more effective measures."Chief open to discussionThe discussion about redirecting police funding gained momentum after the death of Floyd, who died after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minn., pressed his knee into the handcuffed man's neck for nine minutes, asphyxiating him.In a video of the killing, Floyd can be heard gasping the words, "I can't breathe" before going silent. Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly has signified he's open to discussions surrounding changes to his force's budget, but told CBC "not out of retribution.""How do we actually make this dollar go as far as it can? And who's willing to make sacrifices and do something differently?" Sloly asked The Current's Matt Galloway."That's a different discussion than punish the police, disband the police, defund the police — that's a much more healthy discussion." Menard argued funds allocated for police services could instead be funnelled toward social services and other community investments, potentially lowering the city's crime rate. "One of the areas we really need to look at is the new emergency service that connects people with unarmed mental health emergency service workers that are trained to provide health and social care required in crisis situations," he said. "This is happening already, in other places around the world. It's front-line programs that work in conjunction with the police." Mayor opposes move to defund policeMayor Jim Watson, however, appeared to criticize the councillor over his comments to defund the city's police service. "Mayor Watson is strongly opposed to slashing the budget of the Ottawa Police Service - a budget approved unanimously by Ottawa City Council on December 11, 2019," a statement from the mayor's press secretary, Patrick Champagne, reads."Mayor Watson is surprised by the inconsistency of a few councillors who constantly demand a greater police presence in their communities and then turn around to support deep cuts to the police service. "Further, having just concluded a round of council outreach on this issue, he is confident that an overwhelming majority of members of council are not in favour of defunding the OPS."The statement also notes Sloly was hired with the express mandate to reform the organization, and that cutting the budget would undermine those efforts. While Menard voted in favour of the city's 2020 budget, he said that doesn't mean he supports the budget in its entirety.  "I know there is a need for some police resources within certain areas within communities. I'm not saying that you want to completely cut that out. What I am saying is that we can be doing things a lot better," he said.

  • Anti-black racism protesters fill streets at Toronto rally
    News
    CBC

    Anti-black racism protesters fill streets at Toronto rally

    Thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Toronto Friday to protest against anti-black racism.Delsin Aventus, one of the organizers of the rally, told CBC Toronto that protesters hope to create dialogue between the community and civic leaders about issues of racism and violence."Today started as a march in solidarity both with lives lost both to racism and unfortunately some to police," he said.Aaron Morgan and Erica Johnson, who both identify as biracial, stepped away from the march to speak with CBC News."People like us are basically fighting for equality and we want to be seen and heard," Morgan said.Johnson said it's important the voices of racialized people aren't shut down. "This is a fight that has been going on for years and generations," Johnson said, adding that needs to end "right now, right here."Police Chief Mark Saunders, meanwhile, told reporters that he spoke with the protesters, and thanked them for being there."I said, 'Look, you're trying to keep a message alive, it's important, the message is the right message,'" he said. Saunders could be seen on one knee with protesters, though some have criticized police officers kneeling with demonstrators as ringing hollow, considering reports of police violence at protests in recent days.Protesters could be heard asking Saunders to take a knee and put his hand up before he kneeled with them.WATCH | Toronto's police chief meets with protestersHe also added that there would undoubtedly be some people who are heading out to protest with a "negative message." Retailers on sections of Bloor and Yonge streets, as well as around the Eaton Centre and other areas downtown, had fixed boards in place around their buildings in advance of the protests.Saunders said anyone causing trouble should be handled by police."Right now, it's about getting this right. It's about trust, accountability, it's about saving lives. So anything that moves toward that is a good day in our city," he said.As the protest wound through city streets, the crowd stopped near the intersection of Bloor and Yonge to sing happy birthday to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician from Kentucky who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door in March. Today would have been her 27th birthday.Mayor John Tory said he would "without hesitation," also kneel with protesters if asked.At a news conference Friday afternoon, Tory said  his words and the actions he's undertaken as recently as this week, indicate his profound, personal commitment to do more to combat anti-black racism, Indigenous racism and racism of all kinds."It is not who we are, it is not what we are as a city and I will continue to do that I have been doing for some considerable period of time now," he added.Tory said earlier he is hoping for peaceful protests this weekend, with a number of anti-racism demonstrations planned around the GTA.Tory appeared on CBC Radio's Metro Morning Friday, noting that a large-scale protest that happened in the city last weekend went off largely without any violence."I hope the same will be true of the protests that are planned for today and tomorrow," Tory said, adding that he hopes for a "made in Toronto" sort of rally."I'm listening very carefully to what the people are saying,' Tory said.Premier Doug Ford echoed that sentiment at a press conference Friday, saying he encouraged peaceful and safe protests."But I emphasise the word peaceful," Ford said.He also commented on the police chief kneeling with protesters."I have a great deal of respect for Chief Saunders. [He's] showing incredible leadership," Ford said."I saw the picture, man, that was impactful. That's what you call true leadership, what the chief did."Friday's march comes after thousands of people took part in a rally downtown last Saturday to protest racism around the world and to demand answers in the death of 29-year-old Toronto resident Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Protests have also been raging across the United States and other parts of the world following high-profile incidents like the death of George Floyd and violence at demonstrations.Saunders also acknowledged Thursday that police have work to do with people in Toronto's black community."We as members of the Toronto Police Service are also grieving at the recent events, but we are hoping that as a community, we can all continue to work together," he said. "We will listen, we will continue — through words and actions — to help restore any public trust that is fractured, especially when it comes to anti-black racism," he said.Posts over concerns about the protests have also been circulating on social media.Black Lives Matter Toronto tweeted Friday morning that it has no involvement in any marches or actions this weekend."We believe in Black people mourning, grieving, and protesting however works for them & hope everyone look out & care for each other," the group said.Aventus said organizers have had "dialogue with certain individuals from Black Lives Matter" as well as other black groups and initiatives."Whether or not these organizations choose to endorse us, we're simply here to make ours and the community's voices heard through peace," he said.Continue to practise physical distancing, expert warnsAt this afternoon's news conference, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, said even as people protest this weekend, it's still important that they continue to put in practise the public health advice the city has been providing, including physical distancing."Things that can be done in the context of protests to try to minimize risk [include] using things like drums or signs rather than shouting so as to minimize the spread of droplets from your mouth as you speak or shout," de Villa said."If for some reason you are not able to maintain physical distancing, we would encourage people to use a face mask or covering."She said there are also virtual options that are available in terms of participating in protests and making sure that people are able to express their views and partake in the democratic process.

  • Investigation of shooting death of Chantel Moore could take months
    News
    CBC

    Investigation of shooting death of Chantel Moore could take months

    An independent investigation of a police officer's actions leading up to the shooting death of Chantel Moore early Thursday in New Brunswick could take months to complete as First Nations leaders and federal ministers call for answers.Eight investigators with Quebec's independent police watchdog group are investigating her death in Edmundston. Moore, a 26-year-old woman from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia, was shot as police were carrying out a wellness check. Police in the northwestern New Brunswick city say Moore ran out of her apartment onto a balcony with a knife, threatening the officer, who then shot her. In a news release, Quebec's Independent Investigations Office said it will determine if the information released by police is correct. Sylvie Boutin, a spokesperson for the organization, said no interviews will be provided during the investigation, which could take a few months to complete.Sharon Dumont lives in an apartment close to where Moore lived. Dumont told Radio-Canada she heard multiple shots early Thursday. Nora Martin, Moore's great-aunt, said the family was told that the officer had shot Moore five times. Edmundston police said Thursday the officer didn't attempt to use non-lethal force, though that would be part of the independent investigation. The force in the city of 16,500 along the border with Maine does not use body cameras. Moore's death has drawn national attention at a time of increased scrutiny on the use of force by police in Canada and the United States.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, speaking during a news conference Friday in Ottawa, said he's "outraged" by the continuing pattern of police violence against Indigenous people in Canada."I don't understand how someone dies during a wellness check," Miller said about Moore's death, adding when he first heard about it he thought it was some kind of a morbid joke.Locally, few leaders are talking publicly about what happened. Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard has yet to comment. Madawaska Maliseet First Nation Chief Patricia Bernard, whose community is close to  Edmundston, did not respond to an interview request.New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and other provincial ministers also did not respond to an interview request Friday.Ross Perley, chief of Neqotkuk, a Wolastoqey community about 100 kilometres south of Edmundston, expressed disappointment with the incident that happened just over a year after the release of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls."Makes me feel disappointed that we had a year to come up with solutions to this problem," Perley said in an interview. Unanswered questionsRuth Levi, council member of Elsipogtog First Nation in eastern New Brunswick, said she felt "lots of anger" when she heard the news of Moore's death."Is he fully trained, this man? The question comes to my mind," Levi said about the officer who shot Moore early Thursday morning.A spokesperson for the city said neither the municipality or the police force would be commenting now that the independent investigation is underway.Shooting condemnedFirst Nations leaders in British Columbia where Moore was born issued a statement Thursday evening condemning the police actions and expressed outrage over her "tragic and senseless death."Doug White, chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council, said the government has failed to act on the MMIWG inquiry report. "De-escalation training and racial bias training is urgently needed across this country to avoid another senseless loss," White said.Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett tweeted Thursday that her heart is with Moore's family, friends and community. "Another Indigenous woman is no longer with us," Bennett wrote. "Significant work remains to ensure that all Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people have access to the supports they need and can walk safely, wherever they live."The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, representing 14 First Nations along the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, issued a statement calling for answers. "The family and community of Chantel needs answers as to why she was shot on a health check by the police," the statement said. "Justice must not wait and every power must be exerted to ensure that justice is served in an appropriate, immediate, and respectful way."The council also called for police practices that de-escalate situations and to use trauma-informed approaches.

  • What a dinosaur's last supper reveals about life in the Cretaceous period
    Science
    CBC

    What a dinosaur's last supper reveals about life in the Cretaceous period

    A beautifully preserved armoured dinosaur found in an Alberta oilsands mine died on a full stomach. The "extraordinarily rare" preservation of its last meal offers new clues and surprises about how the dinosaur lived during its last days.The 5.5-metre-long, 1,300 kilogram spiky, plant-eating nodosaur, similar to an ankylosaurus but without a tail club, is the only known one of its species, Borealopelta markmitchelli. (Its name means "shield of the north" and honours Mark Mitchell, the technician who spent 7,000 hours carefully extracting the fossil from the surrounding rock). The nodosaur lived 110 million years ago during the early Cretaceous, in a lush forest of conifers, ferns and palm-like plants called cycads, near the coast of what was then an inland sea. At the time, the climate was warmer, similar to that of South Carolina, said Caleb Brown, a paleontologist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta and lead author of the new study. It was published this week in the journal Royal Society Open Science.The fossil was discovered by accident in 2011 by Shawn Funk, a shovel operator at the Suncor Millennium Mine near Fort McMurray. Paleontologists from the Royal Tyrrell were called to have a look and realized at once that it was no ordinary fossil.While most fossils include only bones, this one included skin. It was so well-preserved that it has been described as "mummified."In the dinosaur's belly, "there were these massive concentrations of what looked like rocks," Brown said.Those were in a mass about the size of a soccer ball, and it appears they were gastroliths — rocks that some plant-eating dinosaurs use to grind up their food in their stomachs, as modern birds do, instead of using their teeth.Sure enough, when chunks of the mass were encased in resin, sliced and examined under the microscope, the researcher could see well-preserved twigs, leaves, mosses, pollen and spores.To get some help at identifying the plant material, the dinosaur researchers turned to paleobotanists, including University of Brandon researcher David Greenwood and his team, along with their retired Royal Tyrrell colleague Dennis Braman.Ferns and charcoalThey discovered that the dinosaur was a bit of a picky eater. While it lumbered through a landscape that was lush with conifers, horsetails and cycads, there weren't a lot of those in its stomach."It's almost all ferns," Brown said, noting that ferns aren't actually very nutritious. "It wasn't just hoovering up everything on the landscape."But to him, the biggest surprise was that the stomach also contained a significant amount of wood, mostly charcoal, suggesting it was feeding in an area that had recently been ravaged by wildfires."And that's a really cool result," Brown said. "Because if you look at large mammals that are herbivores today, they often seek out areas that are recovering from forest fires."That's because the new growth tends to be lush, more nutritious than older plants, and low to the ground where it's easily accessible.Forensic paleobotanyBy looking at the types of spores and the fact that the twigs appeared to be in the middle of their growing season, the researchers figured out that the animal died during the wet season, which was late spring or early summer.In Dinosaur Cold Case, a recent documentary about the fossil on CBC's Nature of Things, Greenwood said extreme storms and flash floods would have been a problem at that time of year on the coastal plain where the dinosaur lived and suggested that being swept away by rushing water may have been what caused its death.The discoveries about the nodosaur's last meal are significant because to date, Brown said, "we know almost nothing about what herbivorous dinosaurs eat."Only guesses can be made based on what plants lived nearby and the dinosaur's teeth. There are also clues in fossil dinosaur feces, but the plant material in those are often digested beyond recognition and it's difficult to know which dinosaur they came from.Part of the problem is that finding preserved stomach contents from a dinosaur is "extraordinarily rare," Jim Basinger of the University of Saskatchewan, a co-author of the study, said in a statement. Nine cases of possible dinosaur stomachs of plant-eating dinosaurs have been found, the researchers note, but most have turned out to just be plant material found nearby rather than actual stomachs. In this case, the dinosaur was washed far out to sea, without any plants from the landscape it lived in, before it was fossilized."So in this case we have what I would say is by far the best evidence that these are stomach contents," Brown said.That said, he notes that it may not necessarily be representative of what this species normally ate, as an animal's diet can vary depending on its age, its health, and the seasonal availability of different foods.Still, he said it's useful to be able to compare it to what scientists think plant-eating dinosaurs were eating at that time and raises new questions to investigate, such as: How much of this food a dinosaur this size would have needed to eat to sustain itself? And how did it digest it? "I think give us a benchmark for figuring out how this animal may have lived."

  • Women struggle to get back to work in Canada as 'she-cession' weighs
    News
    Reuters

    Women struggle to get back to work in Canada as 'she-cession' weighs

    Women are having a harder time than men returning to Canada's labour force as persistent childcare issues weigh, and jobs in the male-dominated goods sector return faster than those in the service industry, data showed on Friday. Total employment increased by just 1.1% for women in Canada in May, compared with 2.4% for men, the Statistics Canada agency said. Canada unexpectedly gained 289,600 jobs in May, with the jobless rate hitting a record 13.7%.

  • French forces kill al-Qaida's North African commander
    News
    The Canadian Press

    French forces kill al-Qaida's North African commander

    BAMAKO, Mali — French forces have killed Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of al-Qaida’s North Africa affiliate, the France’s defence minister announced late Friday, in what would be a major victory for France after years of battling jihadists in the Sahel.There was no immediate confirmation of his death from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, which has made millions of dollars abducting foreigners for ransom over the years and made large swaths of West Africa too dangerous for aid groups to access.French Defence Minister Florence Parly tweeted that Droukdel and several of his allies were killed Wednesday in northern Mali by French forces and their partners. It was not immediately clear how his identity was confirmed by the French.Droukdel’s reported death comes after French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of the G5 Sahel group -- Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad -- launched a new plan in January to fight jihadists in the area. France deployed 600 additional soldiers to its Barkhane force, raising the number of troops there to 5,100.In a March video released by the extremist monitoring group SITE, Droukdel urged governments of the Sahel region to try to end the French military presence, calling the troops “armies of occupation.”It was not clear how long Droukdel had been in Mali, Algeria’s southern neighbour. For years he was thought to be holed up in the Kabyle region east of the capital of his native Algeria, and many people had questioned why he was never captured by Algerian security forces, which had honed their counter-terrorism skills over the decades.He was widely seen as the symbolic leader of al Qaida’s North African branch, whose operational centre for attacks shifted to northern Mali over the past decade. That led to the French military invasion of the region in 2013 seeking to counter Islamist extremist designs on southern Mali and the capital, Bamako.Droukdel made his reputation as a feared extremist leader in Algeria, which beginning in the early 1990s was convulsed by violence in what the nation now calls the “black decade.” Droukdel’s al Qaida affiliate had claimed responsibility for numerous deadly suicide bombings in Algeria, including targeting a United Nations building in Algiers in 2007, shattered by a vehicle packed with explosives.Droukdel, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, transformed the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known as the GSPC, into al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, spreading the movement across Africa’s Sahel region under the umbrella of the global terror network.More recently he had been commanding all the al-Qaida groups in North Africa and the Sahel, including the JNIM, which has claimed responsibility for devastating attacks on the Malian military and U.N. peacekeepers trying to stabilize the volatile country.Parly identified him as a member of al-Qaida’s “management committee.” Related anti-terrorist operations in the region also led to the arrest May 19 of a major figure in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Mohamed el Mrabat, she said.She said the operations dealt a “severe blow” to terrorist groups in the region that have been operating for years despite the presence of thousands of French, U.N. and other African troops.___Associated Press writer Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.Baba Ahmed, The Associated Press

  • Belleville residents call for firing of veteran police officer over Confederate flag controversy
    News
    CBC

    Belleville residents call for firing of veteran police officer over Confederate flag controversy

    The Belleville Police Service is facing pressure to fire a veteran officer shown in social media posts wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt and expressing support for the Confederacy, a group of Southern U.S. states that fought against the other states in the U.S. Civil War.Const. Todd Bennett, who has been a police officer for 29 years, posted a photo to his Facebook page last year showing him at a U.S. Independence Day celebration on July 4 wearing a white T-shirt with the rebel flag on it. In a comment accompanying the post, Bennet called it "the real Independence Day flag" and said "The South will rise again! Trump 2020."Another photo from 2015 shows Bennett riding in a golf cart with a large Confederate flag attached to the back of the vehicle.The flag, flown during the American Civil War by the Confederates, who fought in part to preserve the institution of slavery, is widely seen today as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.An online petition calling for Bennett to be fired had garnered 9,000 signatures as of Friday morning."You can't hold such strong views about what the Confederate flag stands for and hold a job that is meant to support, protect and serve the community," Belleville resident Sydney Jarvis said in an interview with CBC Radio's Ontario Morning.Jarvis, a person of colour, is organizing an event called Vigil for Black Lives in Belleville on Sunday, in solidarity with those who have been affected by racism and police brutality.Jarvis said while she sees Bennett's behaviour as an isolated incident and believes that people can change, she thinks the officer deserves to be reprimanded. Bennett has since taken the post down and apologized, the Belleville Police Service said in a tweet on Wednesday. CBC News reached out to Bennett for comment but has not yet received a response.Police officers across Canada and the U.S. are facing increased scrutiny at the moment as tens of thousands of people protest and march against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota who died after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.'Isolated post': police chiefBelleville police Chief Ron Gignac issued a statement saying that Bennett's actions shouldn't tarnish the good work Belleville police officers do."One isolated post from 47 weeks ago does not represent the hundreds of thousands of events and instances where Belleville police officers have kept this community safe over the past year," Gignac said. "We work tirelessly to serve with distinction to keep this community safe."Gignac said he can't comment on the specifics of Bennett's case, and said "the matter in question is dealt with according to the legal frameworks that I have to abide within and by." Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk, who is also a member of the city's police board, told Ontario Morning that the board will review the action taken by the police chief."It's a very disappointing situation for all of us," Panciuk said. "We're going to continue to work to make sure everyone not just is welcome but is able to live a life of equality." Belleville residents took to Twitter to express their frustration, with many saying Gignac's statement did not go far enough.In a post accompanying the online petition, Lorraine Postma said this is not an isolated incident."This is not enough ... This is not just one bad apple," Postma wrote. "The community of Belleville is calling for a thorough and independent investigation of this police officer's behaviour."For Jarvis, the episode is a painful example of the inequalities people of colour face every day."It just reminds me that it's still a struggle for people of colour to live normal lives," she said. "It's a reminder that there are people out there that still think our lives aren't as relevant or important as theirs."

  • Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara Facing 4 Criminal Charges After April Arrest
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara Facing 4 Criminal Charges After April Arrest

    The backbench MP is scheduled to appear in court on June 19.

  • What Does 'Systemic Racism' Mean? 20 Terms To Help You Understand Allyship
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    What Does 'Systemic Racism' Mean? 20 Terms To Help You Understand Allyship

    What are anti-racism resources? Who was George Floyd? What is a microaggression?

  • Trudeau says discrimination by Canada police must end, after indigenous woman killed
    News
    Reuters

    Trudeau says discrimination by Canada police must end, after indigenous woman killed

    The comments came amid protests against police brutality, sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minnesota who was in police custody. "Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of a law enforcement officer," Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

  • Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States

    MONTREAL — The death of George Floyd in Minnesota following a police intervention has spurred massive protests in both Canada and the United States and societal soul-searching on the need to fight racism on both sides of the border.But while many Canadian leaders have denounced the death of Floyd, who died in Minneapolis last week after pleading for air while a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck, his death has also prompted some public figures to claim systemic racism doesn't exist in Canada as it does in the United States.The Canadian Press asked several black Canadians to share their experiences with racism and their thoughts on systemic discrimination in both countries.Kenrick McRaeMcRae, 49, said Floyd's experience in the United States hit home with him, because it has echoes of his own experiences with Montreal police."What I've been seeing (in the United States) is a reflection of what I went through," he said. "In my cases, if there were no video recordings, these police here in Montreal would have gotten off."In March 2017, McRae was stopped by police who claimed his car's licence plate light was out. When he argued that the light was working and got out of the car to film the officers, he says, they rushed at him, tried to take his camera, and arrested him and held him in their car for 90 minutes before releasing him without charges.In a 2019 decision, the police ethics board upheld McRae's complaint and concluded that the two officers had illegally arrested and detained him during a stop that was "founded on his race."McRae, who now keeps several cameras to film his interactions, says this incident is one of dozens over the years in which he's been stopped and harassed by police without cause."I would say in an average of two years (I've been stopped) over 25 times," he said. "And out of the 25 times, there's never been a ticket, for anything."Omari NewtonNewton, a Vancouver-based actor and writer, says he's experienced racism both in that city and in Montreal, where he grew up.He recalled one time when he was pulled over by police when driving home from an intramural basketball game with three black friends and one of their girlfriends, who is white. He said he was initially confused when police started flashing their flashlights and demanding ID.Eventually, Newton said, the officer leaned in to ask the sole white passenger if she was OK."She's confused. She's like 'Yeah, what are you talking about?' " he recalled. "The cop says 'You're here on your free will?' "He said he then realized what was happening."These cops decided that four brothers with a white girl in the middle, clearly, this is like a kidnapping or potential assault situation. There's no way that these guys are friends," Newton said.Newton, 40, said those who deny there is racism in Canada "don't know the history of our country's formation.""I'm proud to be Canadian. We've come a long way as a nation, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. That doesn't mean we are a utopia," he said.Sharon NelsonNelson, who works with Montreal's Jamaica Association, believes firmly that what happened to Floyd could have happened anywhere, including Canada.She said most black people, including herself, can tell stories about being followed by sales staff while shopping, being treated differently depending on whether they're wearing business attire or clothes perceived as "ethnic," and being told to "go home."Nelson, 49, bristles at Quebec Premier Francois Legault's statement this week that there is no systemic discrimination in Quebec."Why is it harder for people of colour to find a decent apartment, or housing or places to live?" she asked."Why is it that when racialized people move into certain neighbourhoods, certain people start moving out of that neighbourhood? Those are the questions that those individuals who say there's no systemic discrimination in Quebec need to ask."Lauren Jiles"As a black and an Indigenous woman, I don't have the privilege to think of the police force as a helpful resource," says the burlesque performer known by her stage name Lou Lou la Duchesse de Riere."I've been pulled over with an ex, and then I was accused of being a prostitute once my band card was taken as an ID. I was 17 years old. I've been detained at the border and accused of smuggling cigarettes when I was 18, and I've been directly assaulted by police when I was 30."She said she regularly has her accomplishments diminished and accredited to some form of affirmative action. "I was accepted to McGill's law faculty when I was 19, straight out of (junior college) without a bachelor's degree. It's really hard. I was told by a lawyer, a potential colleague and employer, that the only reason was because it looked good for the university."Jiles, 32, says that while working in clubs, she has been exoticized and targeted as an Indigenous woman and has repeatedly watched as black people are not let in, are kicked out or are given poor service."Racism is more in your face in the U.S., and I feel like here (in Canada) it's insidious and it intrinsically hides into our policies, into our legal system, into all of our infrastructures," she said."We have just as much work to do in our own backyard, and this lie, this narrative that things are so much better here, it's a form of racism. It's a form of blindness."This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2020.Julian McKenzie and Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version referred to a bank card being taken as ID from Lauren Jiles.

  • Anti-Black racism protest underway in downtown Toronto
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    Anti-Black racism protest underway in downtown Toronto

    Since George Floyd’s death 11 days ago, anti-Black racism protests have occurred worldwide. Miranda Anthistle has more from downtown Toronto, where a similar march was set to get underway Friday.