Tom Brady to struggle vs. Eagles?

FFL Flash Alert - Can Tom Brady go big in today’s Super Bowl LII rematch? Matt Harmon gives his take.

  • News
    CBC

    After investing billions in project, Kenney marks start of Keystone XL construction in Alberta

    Alberta Premier Jason Kenney marked the start of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the province on Friday, in the small town of Oyen."We are here at long last, kicking off construction of the Alberta spread of the Keystone XL project," said Kenney. "We're finally getting it done."The 1,947-kilometre project will be able to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., where it will connect with TC Energy's existing facilities and eventually reach refineries on the Gulf Coast. About 270 kilometres of the line will be within Alberta. Work is already underway in three U.S. states. Controversy in U.S.The pipeline has been beset by controversy for at least a decade, facing protests and legal challenges. It was twice rejected under the presidency of Barack Obama. It received approval under Donald Trump, but a looming election south of the border could change that. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has said he would cancel that permit if elected. The Alberta government has bet on the project moving forward and has invested $1.5 billion, while also putting forward a $6-billion loan guarantee.Kenney said at the time of the investment that there was too much risk, scaring away private investors from the $8 billion project."I've always been skeptical about government intervention in the market, but our failure to get pipelines built has been a failure of government policy and politics, not of markets," Kenney told reporters after making the announcement at the end of March.Selling the pipelineOn Friday, Kenney said his government would not rest until the full project is built and will work hard to pitch the benefits of the project to officials in the U.S."We will be reaching out, as we already have... to members of [Biden's] party, many of whom support the project," Kenney said, citing both lawmakers and unions. He said the investment by his government helped get the project moving and is a "conscious risk" to create "facts on the ground" that could force the hand of any U.S. administration in overturning a project that is already partially constructed. TC Energy says it anticipates the pipeline will be operational in 2023.

  • Video of family feeding bears through patio door leads to charges for West Vancouver man
    News
    CBC

    Video of family feeding bears through patio door leads to charges for West Vancouver man

    A man from West Vancouver, B.C., has been charged with one count of feeding dangerous wildlife and one count of attracting dangerous wildlife after video surfaced of a family hand-feeding black bears from their home in 2018.The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says the B.C. Wildlife Act prohibits such close contact with wild animals."The biggest concern for the [Conservation Officer Service] with respect to feeding dangerous wildlife is the serious risk to public safety, as well as the safety of the bear" said Chris Doyle, head of provincial operations for organization. Doyle said when people feed bears or any wild animal, they can become conditioned to human food, putting the safety of the animal at risk."It also puts the individuals involved in the activity at risk of being hurt, or worse," said Doyle.The videos sparked outrage when they surfaced on Instagram and news reports. In one of the videos, two unidentified girls giggle when a bear cub swats at one of them after she gave it a cracker through an open patio door.Another video shows a man, who appears to be their father, feed an adult-sized bear a full package of crackers through a screen door.In 2019, 542 black bears and 26 grizzlies were killed by conservation officers in B.C. due to human conflict, according to provincial statistics.The destruction of bears has caused issues in some communities, including a neighbourhood in Coquitlam where three people were charged last summer for allegedly obstructing a conservation officer who had been called to search for a family of black bears. In August 2019, a B.C. man was fined $2,000 and ordered to stay 50 metres away from bears for six months after he posted photos of himself feeding Timbits and hot dogs to bears on social media.Conservation officers said the man had been posting pictures on social media of himself feeding bears along the Alaska Highway since 2017.The West Vancouver man is expected to appear in North Vancouver Provincial Court on July 29.

  • Business
    CBC

    Cenovus oil shipment leaves West Coast bound for eastern refineries — via Panama Canal

    Cenovus Energy is sending a shipment of crude oil down through the Panama Canal as part of its first-ever transaction with New Brunswick's Irving Oil.The oil shipment will make the 11,900-kilometre journey to Irving's refinery in Saint John by tanker ship, Cenovus announced in a social media post on Wednesday.The news comes two months after Irving Oil, the operator of the country's largest refinery, surprised the sector with its plans to begin receiving more crude from Western Canada by using tankers starting this summer. Cenovus vice president Keith Chiasson said in a statement provided to CBC News that it's a "one-off "shipment for now."But we believe this Canadian success story has the potential over time to create significant value for both companies and the entire country," he said, adding Cenvous is pleased with the economics of the transaction.On Friday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he considered Irving Oil's decision to seek more oil from the West to be an "important expression of confidence" in Canada.But he said the long journey via tanker also underscores the need for national pipeline infrastructure."On the one hand, it makes me happy that we're finally going to be able to supply a Canadian refinery on the East Coast with Alberta oil, but it just underscores how crazy this whole situation is," said Kenney, pointing to the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline nearly three years ago.The Energy East project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined or exported from facilities in New Brunswick and Quebec.The energy giant then known as TransCanada — since renamed TC Energy — had proposed adding 1,500 kilometres worth of new oil pipelines to an existing network of more than 3,000 kilometres, which would have been converted from carrying natural gas, to carrying oil.About 99 per cent of Canada's exports now go to refiners in the U.S., where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount.Privately held Irving applied this spring to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to use foreign tankers in order to increase the amount of domestic crude it gets from offshore Newfoundland and Western Canada. Irving Oil's application included a proposal for the tankers to transport oil from a terminal in Burnaby, B.C., through the Panama Canal and on to Irving Oil's refinery in Saint John.The company said at the beginning of May that it wanted to increase the mix of Canadian crude it uses, which at that time was in the range of 20 per cent.Increasing the amount of Canadian oil that the refinery uses would displace the crude imports the company gets from around the world, but it wasn't clear which shipments might be affected. An official with the refinery said at the time that it uses a "significant" amount of oil from the United States.Chiasson said the transaction shows the ability of the two companies "to help drive Canada's economy even during these unprecedented times of turbulence created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting challenges for the energy industry."Tanker shipment comes as TMX, Keystone XL pipelines move forwardNews of the Cenovus shipment via tanker to the East Coast came as the Supreme Court released a decision dismissing a First Nations' legal challenge to the Trans Mountain expansion project.The Trans Mountain pipeline will allow Canada to diversify oil markets and vastly increase exports to Asia, where they can command a higher price than those sent to the U.S.Some experts said the top court's decision to end the years-long legal battle demonstrates stability to potential investors and provides clarity about what constitutes adequate consultations with Indigenous groups.And on Friday, Alberta's premier visited the small town of Oyen to mark the start of construction within the province of the Keystone XL pipeline. Work is already underway in three U.S. states. The 1,947-kilometre project will be able to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., where it will connect with TC Energy's existing facilities and eventually reach refineries on the Gulf Coast.

  • 'I procrastinated,' says B.C. lawyer who sat on sex assault claim for 5 years
    News
    CBC

    'I procrastinated,' says B.C. lawyer who sat on sex assault claim for 5 years

    A Squamish lawyer who agreed to represent an alleged sex assault victim in court and then did no real work on her case and ignored most of her messages for five years has been fined $10,000.Douglas Bernard Chiasson, who has spent 30 years as a lawyer in B.C., blamed procrastination for his lack of action on the planned civil lawsuit, according to a June 30 decision from the Law Society of B.C.Meanwhile, "the client suffered undue stress, confusion and frustration. The client was deprived of five years in which the legal matter did not progress," the law society panel wrote, finding Chiasson guilty of professional misconduct.According to the decision, Chiasson first met with the client on May 17, 2013, when he advised her to file a civil claim for sexual assault in small claims court.This was the first time Chiasson had been involved in a sex assault case — his experience is mainly in family law, residential real estate, motor vehicle claims, and wills and estates. Nonetheless, he agreed to take on the case, and accepted a retainer cheque for $1,130 five days after his first meeting with the client.For the next three years and four months, the client left voicemails and hand-delivered letters for Chiasson about her case, but received no reply until Sept. 16, 2016.After that first response, the client continued emailing "with increasing frustration and urgency," according to the decision, but Chiasson "either did not respond or advised that a response would be forthcoming without following through."Finally, on May 1, 2018, after Chiasson had taken "no substantive steps" on the file, the client filed a complaint with the law society.Lawyer 'wholeheartedly embarrassed'In a July 13, 2018 letter to the law society, Chiasson admitted he hadn't taken any action on the file and said there were "no excuses" for what he'd done."I am apologetic in my reply to the law society and wholeheartedly embarrassed by my inaction on the file," Chiasson wrote in an excerpt of the letter included in the law society decision."I procrastinated on this file and did not follow up with the client when I found myself incapable of handling the matter. In retrospect I ought to have returned the retainer then and suggested she approach new counsel to take on her matter."He admitted to law society representatives that "he had not previously acted on a civil sexual assault file prior to taking on the client's file, which was one of the reasons why the file was not being worked on," the decision says.According to the decision, Chiasson has personally apologized to the client and returned her retainer.The law society notes that Chiasson has had previous issues with procrastination, including a 2013 citation for failing to communicate with another client for 17 months as well as two similar complaints filed in 2006.Chiasson will have until May 21, 2021 to pay his fine, along with $1,000 in costs.

  • First Nations coalition rejects recommendation to lift Sen. Beyak's suspension
    News
    The Canadian Press

    First Nations coalition rejects recommendation to lift Sen. Beyak's suspension

    OTTAWA — A coalition of First Nations chiefs and residential school survivors are rejecting new recommendations to lift Sen. Lynn Beyak's suspension from the Senate.They say her most recent anti-racism training undermines and disregards calls from Indigenous Peoples to remove Beyak from the upper chamber."For them to somehow come up with this finding that Lynn Beyak has been rehabilitated, she's ready to resume her duties as a senator without speaking with any of the survivors, that we know of anyway, in the region, is an insult," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.Fiddler represents dozens of First Nations communities in northern Ontario, the same area Beyak represents in the Senate.Last week, the Senate ethics committee tabled a report recommending Beyak's suspension be lifted now that she has taken anti-racism training and apologized for posting derogatory letters about Indigenous people on her website.The committee says Beyak has acknowledged the wrongs of her past conduct and committed herself to improvement after taking a four-day virtual program to learn about Indigenous history and the role of the Senate in promoting minority rights.The training program was conducted by a team of what the committee report describes as "experienced and qualified experts from the University of Manitoba," engaged by the Senate ethics officer. "Your committee was of the view that the qualifications of the experts would allow for a professional, impartial and informed evaluation to be provided to the committee upon the completion of the training," the report says, also adding that the Senate ethics officer vetted and approved the training program, characterizing it as "sophisticated and elaborate."The work was led by Jonathan Black-Branch, dean of law at the university, who submitted a performance assessment of Beyak's work with his team.He determined that through the sessions Beyak was co-operative and willing to learn and that she "seems to accept 'the need to refrain from acting in a way that could reflect adversely on the position of senator or on the institution of the Senate in respect of racism' and understand her obligations in relation to racism as a senator."A coalition of chiefs from Ontario and Manitoba together with a group of residential school survivors has now penned a letter to Black-Branch, saying the education program given to the senator was an inappropriate process, as it offered no involvement or input from First Nations and residential-school survivors in Beyak's home region of northwestern Ontario."It's a top-down and paternalistic process," said Danielle H. Morrison, an Anishinaabe lawyer who is a coalition spokesperson."Why is a university deemed more highly qualified and impartial than we are? All these institutions are really far removed from our own lived experiences, our own ways of learning, our knowledge-keepers and our own governance and justice systems. Those should be given priority and those are the voices and the systems that should be centred over an academic university."A request for comment made to Beyak's lawyer was not immediately answered Thursday. A request to ethics committee chair Sen. Murray Sinclair for comment was also unsuccessful.This is the second time Beyak has received anti-racism training after she was suspended by the Senate for refusing to take down the racist letters from her website, some of which suggested Indigenous people and their culture are inferior.In February, the Senate ethics committee concluded she'd not gone far enough in her first attempt at education after she clashed with different training staff last year. They reported she was resistant to their efforts and also said she had claimed to be Metis because her parents adopted an Indigenous child.Beyak denied making that claim.Grand Chief Fiddler said Beyak has been given many opportunities over the last three years to hear and learn from residential school survivors the painful realities they faced and the harm that she caused by minimizing their experiences and using the situation to instead argue the merits of free speech.He said he rejects the recommendations of the "outside group" engaged by the Senate ethics officer to conduct her anti-racism training and questions why the residential school survivors in the territory she represents were not engaged in this work."They want to be heard. They want the country to validate their experience. They want the country to know about what happened to them," Fiddler said."When you have someone like Lynn Beyak who posts racist material on her website to try to deny those painful experiences, that's creating harm. That is going against everything that these survivors are telling us."The group of chiefs and survivors say they reject Beyak's latest apology that was tabled last month — which they say was delivered to the Senate and not to the Indigenous people she represents — and they are calling on the Senate to reject the findings and recommendations of the ethics committee saying she should be reinstated.They insist Beyak must resign."She needs to go. She's created enough harm by her actions and there's no place for someone like her in the Senate," Fiddler said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

  • B.C. premier concerned about Americans allegedly using 'Alaska loophole' to visit province
    News
    CBC

    B.C. premier concerned about Americans allegedly using 'Alaska loophole' to visit province

    Premier John Horgan turned to a board game metaphor Thursday when asked about Americans apparently playing around with the so-called "Alaska loophole" to visit B.C. despite strict border rules."Do not pass go. Go directly to Alaska," Horgan said, referencing the game of Monopoly, during a news conference about a hospital expansion in Richmond.Canada's borders were closed to most travellers on March 21, but Americans travelling for non-discretionary purposes, such as returning home to Alaska, have been granted permission to enter Canada.These Americans must travel along a direct path. When they need to stop, they must maintain distance from the public as much as possible, according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).Horgan, however, said he has heard from communities across the province that are concerned some travellers are not following this guidance.He said the chief of Pacheedaht First Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island told him licence plates from California and Texas have been spotted in the community."If you're heading to Alaska, you don't go through Port Renfrew," Horgan said."You shouldn't be stopping along the way to enjoy the sights and sounds of British Columbia. That's not part of the plan."Horgan said he has raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and reiterated his desire for the U.S.-Canada border to stay closed for the foreseeable future.'They're not taking these quarantining measures seriously'Cameron Barker-Fyfe is one B.C. resident concerned some Americans may not be abiding by the rules.Barker-Fyfe has been staying at the Westin Bayshore hotel in downtown Vancouver while he sells his condo in the city.He said he overheard a conversation on Tuesday night between the front desk clerk and an American couple who said they had just driven from Seattle and wanted to check in.He says he asked the couple whether they had quarantined for 14 days — as per orders from both provincial and federal governments — to which the couple replied no, adding they hadn't been given any information about COVID-19 or quarantine restrictions while at the border.The hotel eventually turned the couple away, says Barker-Fyfe, but it raised concerns that this isn't a one-time occurrence."Our best defence [to the virus spreading from the U.S.] is keeping our border closed," he said."So, I'm at a loss to understand why we're seeing people continually being able to cross into Canada and it's not for the right reasons. And if they do get in, they're not taking these quarantining measures seriously."The Alaska loopholeIf a U.S. citizen is allowed entry with Alaska as their intended destination, the CBSA says they are given a Public Health Agency of Canada handout, which instructs the traveller not to make any unnecessary stops and avoid contact with others en route."Should an officer have any doubts with regards to the traveller's intended purpose, they will require the traveller to prove/substantiate their purpose of travel," the CBSA said in a statement to CBC News.Such travellers are also advised to: * Remain in the vehicle as much as possible. * Avoid staying at a hotel. * Pay at the pump if they need gas. * Use a drive-thru if they need food. * Use a mask and be mindful of physical distancing and good hygiene practices if they need to use a rest area.Yukon gives Alaskans a 24-hour limit to travel through the territory, but neither B.C. nor the federal government has a similar requirement.Penalties for providing false information at the border include being denied entry and a ban on entering Canada.Strict penalties are also in place for any traveller who fails to comply with border restrictions under the Quarantine Act, such as self-isolation, including a fine of up to $750,000 fines or six months imprisonment.Those penalties jump to a $1-million fine and up to three years imprisonment if travellers' actions result in risk of death or serious harm to someone else.Border travel is downBorder travel has, unsurprisingly, seen a huge decline.During the week of June 15-21, the CBSA says border crossings were down across Canada by 86 per cent via land and 96 per cent at airports compared to the same time a year ago.The CBSA says these numbers are consistent with previous weeks.

  • Hockey Culture Wants 'Good Canadian Boys,' Just None That Look Like Me
    Sports
    HuffPost Canada

    Hockey Culture Wants 'Good Canadian Boys,' Just None That Look Like Me

    As a half-Thai player, I was part of the team — until I wasn't.

  • News
    CBC

    Girl, 7, and man, 61, killed after semi drives into row of cars at Manitoba highway construction site

    A seven-year-old girl and a 61-year-old man are dead and 15 others were injured after a collision west of Winnipeg Thursday morning, when the driver of a semi-trailer crashed into a row of vehicles waiting to pass through a construction zone, Manitoba RCMP say.Five passenger vehicles, two semi-trailers and one motorcycle were involved in the crash on Highway 2, Mounties said in a news release on Friday.They say the vehicles were stopped in the eastbound lane in a construction zone about three kilometres east of Fannystelle, Man. — a community about 50 kilometres west of Winnipeg — waiting for direction to safely drive through. An eastbound semi failed to stop and drove into the line of vehicles, police say.Carman RCMP responded around 11:50 a.m., the release said.The seven-year-old Winnipeg girl killed was in one of the passenger vehicles, while the 61-year-old St. Andrews man was on the motorcycle, the release said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.Fifteen people were injured in the crash. Six of those — two adults, two kids under the age three and two others under the age of 16 — were taken to hospital, the release said. One of those adults and one of the children under three have since been released.A 22-year-old woman, a 14-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl are still in hospital with serious injuries, the release said.The 56-year-old driver of the semi-trailer that crashed into the row of cars was arrested at the scene and is still in custody. The Saskatchewan man is charged with two counts each of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing death and criminal negligence causing death, the release said. He is also charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing bodily harm.Carman RCMP, the criminal collision investigation team, a forensic collision reconstructionist and a provincial motor carrier enforcement officer are investigating the crash, the release said.

  • 'COVID divorce' is very real, say lawyers on the front lines of marriage breakdowns
    Lifestyle
    CBC

    'COVID divorce' is very real, say lawyers on the front lines of marriage breakdowns

    In another sign of how the global pandemic is taking a toll on families, some lawyers in St. John's say their workload has intensified in recent weeks as clients inquire about separations and divorce.Melanie Del Rizzo, a specialist in family law said one recent Monday morning, she had eight new clients before 11 a.m., a figure that increased to 20 midway through the week."That's unheard of. It's absolutely crazy," said Del Rizzo, who said June was her busiest month in 25 years of practising family law.Sharon McKim-Ryan tells a similar story."We're used to advice calls on a regular basis, but the sheer volume? It's unprecedented," said McKim-Ryan, a family law lawyer with 15 years' experience as a solicitor.Both say the workload is so intense they're having trouble keeping up."I would say I probably would need someone else to come help me fairly soon. Absolutely," said Del Rizzo.Early on during the pandemic, both lawyers said they were swamped with issues related to child custody, with parents bickering over child-sharing arrangements because of fears it would increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.With the courts closed to all but urgent matters during the height of the pandemic in Newfoundland and Labrador, they were busy hashing out alternative dispute resolutions."Some decided that they were going to have the children or the child remain in one household as a measure of protection," said McKim-Ryan.Parents bickered over child-sharingIn other cases, she added, parents agreed to lengthen the stays at each household in order to lower the number of transitions for the child.McKim-Ryan said some of her clients who worked in high-risk sectors like health care also placed children with grandparents."Some parents came up with creative ways to minimize the risk of exposure during this pandemic," she said.Issues relating to child and spousal support payments were also amplified by the fact that thousands of people lost their jobs. Some had to make tough choices, said McKim-Ryan."Some parents decided they would agree to a reduced amount of child support for the duration of time that the payer parent was unemployed. Other parents weren't able to come up with an agreement, and some parents had to liquidate investments in order to meet their child support obligations," she said."I received calls from small business owners who were forced to close their doors during the pandemic, and they also had concerns about their ability to pay."The crisis has placed a great deal of stress on marriages, and lawyers like Del Rizzo said the early indicators point to something she's calling "COVID divorce.""To me it appears to be something that is real," said Del Rizzo."I actually have never seen this level before," added McKim-Ryan.Del Rizzo said it reminds her of the week after Christmas, when marriage breakdowns are most common, but this trend appears to be showing no signs of slowing down."It could be be the strain and stresses of quarantine shone a bright light on problems that people were having in their relationships," said Del Rizzo.People often take stock of their lives during a crisis, and McKim-Ryan said it appears those in relationships that may have been declining before the pandemic may be feeling that added motivation to make a change in their lives."There certainly was an increase, and there still is an increase in the volume. Absolutely," she said.For many households, the last few months have delivered a cascade of challenges, ranging from employment and economic uncertainty and the closure of schools, to wider concerns about the coronavirus disease.Blend that with a quarantine that required families to shelter in their homes for weeks on end, and it's not surprising that some notable patterns have emerged, said Del Rizzo, including an increase in incidents of gender-based violence."I can see every day I'm getting more and more calls from people looking for help," she said.Adding to the workload for lawyers like Del Rizzo and McKim-Ryan is the fact that a handful of very senior family law lawyers in the St. John's region have retired in recent months, and that family law is not attractive for many new lawyers entering the profession."It's not a very popular area of law. It's very difficult emotionally," said Del Rizzo. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

    REGINA — Saskatchewan's health minister says the province has learned lessons from a decision several years ago to clear thousands of expired masks from the province's stockpile.Jim Reiter says he was concerned to learn that about 166,000 N-95 respirator masks were disposed from a storage room at a Regina hospital in 2014.The issue was raised by the Opposition NDP, which says the province hired a consultant that year to clear some of its pandemic inventory.NDP health critic Vicki Mowat says the government failed to properly maintain supplies and wasted tax dollars.Reiter says there isn't a current shortage of personal protective equipment but, like other provinces, Saskatchewan faced supply chain pressures when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in the spring.Reiter says officials are putting plans in place to ensure supplies like masks aren't left to expire."We've learned from this one," he said Thursday."It's as simple as an eye is kept on expiry dates and before it expires it gets put into the mainstream of the health-care system and is used. And then those supplies are replaced with new ones."Earlier Thursday, Saskatchewan reported another fatality from COVID-19, bringing the provincial death toll to 14. The person was in their 70s and in the far north region.Health officials reported 10 new infections over the past two days, for a total of 795 cases in the province. Most of the new infections are in the far north.So far, 701 people have recovered from the illness, while six remain in hospital.Officials also said that they are no longer cautioning against non-essential travel to northern Alberta.The advisory was put in place in April after cases of COVID-19 in northern Saskatchewan were linked to travel in northern Alberta, with an outbreak at an oilsands facility near Fort McMurray. The Saskatchewan Health Authority says officials in Alberta have announced that outbreak is over. But residents travelling between the areas are still encouraged to take precautions and to get tested if they develop symptoms related to COVID-19.Saskatchewan's far north region has been one of the areas hit hardest by the virus and is reported to have 46 active cases.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

  • Canadian drivers with U.S. licence plates harassed by fellow Canadians
    News
    CBC

    Canadian drivers with U.S. licence plates harassed by fellow Canadians

    Some Canadians driving cars with U.S. licence plates say they've endured vandalism, harassment and even a minor assault from fellow Canadians convinced that they're Americans illegally in Canada. Lisa Watt said she was harassed twice in Calgary last month — she believes because of her Texas licence plates. In one incident, she said a driver stopped right behind her car in a parking lot and glared at her, and in another situation, a driver tailgated her car for several kilometres before pulling up beside her and flipping her the finger. "It made me angry," said Watt, a Canadian citizen who moved to Houston in 2000 for work. She drove to Calgary in June to visit her 84-year-old mother, who was feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I'm here to help my mother. I have every right to be here."To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential traffic. As a result, some Canadians are alarmed when they spot cars with U.S. licence plates, especially as COVID-19 cases south of the border escalate.There is reason for concern. Alberta RCMP said that since mid-June, they have fined 10 Americans $1,200 each after they sneaked in to Banff National Park. Americans are allowed to drive straight through Canada to Alaska for work or to return home, but they can't stop in Banff — or anywhere else — to see the sights.However, not all drivers of cars with U.S. plates in Canada are breaking the rules. They could be Americans who are essential workers or have immediate family in Canada, or Canadian citizens — all of whom can enter the country legally. Watt wants Albertans to know she's a patriotic Canadian who's taking every precaution while in Canada. She self-quarantined for 14 days when arriving in Calgary and wears a face mask in stores. She said both incidents of harassment happened on June 21, the day she finished her quarantine and headed to town to run errands.'You can't judge a book by its cover'As a result of her experiences, Watt started driving her mother's car — which has Alberta plates. "I'm a little afraid to leave my car parked anywhere for fear somebody does something to it," she said. "I'd like people to understand that people with U.S. licence plates have legitimate reasons for being here."Mayor Phil Harding of the Township of Muskoka Lakes also wants to spread that message. "You can't judge a book by its cover," said Harding, whose township is part of the Muskoka region, a vacation hot spot in Ontario. The mayor said he recently heard from several Canadians with U.S.-plated cars in the region, who claimed they were accused of being Americans unlawfully in Canada."'You shouldn't be here. Americans aren't allowed. How did you get across the border?'" said Harding, about the types of accusations the drivers have fielded from local residents. Car keyed at marinaIn one case, a woman reported that her husband's car — which has Michigan plates — was scratched with a key, said the mayor. CBC News confirmed the incident with the woman who said the approximately metre-long scratch appeared after the car had been parked at a marina on June 6. The woman said she and her husband are Canadian but that her husband works for an American company and drives a company car with U.S. plates. The woman asked that their names be kept confidential because her husband doesn't want his workplace associated with this story. "We think it's terrible and are really aware that we are a target with our U.S.-plated company vehicle," said the woman about the incident in an email. "This makes you aware that the cross-border tension is building."WATCH | COVID-19 could close Canada-U.S. border for a year, expert says:Snowbird accostedIn another incident in Huntsville, also in the Muskoka region, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said a Canadian filed a police report after he was allegedly accosted by two men upset over the Florida plates on his car. OPP spokesperson Jason Folz said the incident happened on June 12 at a car wash. "They harassed him, and the assault was they poked him in the chest, demanding to know why he was in Canada."Folz said the man is a snowbird who spends winters in Florida and owns a car with Florida plates. "People are stressed [about COVID-19], and it comes out in strange ways. This is perhaps one of those ways," said Folz about the incident. Lawyer avoids crossing borderU.S. immigration lawyer Len Saunders said several of his clients — who are dual Canadian-U.S. citizens or essential workers — have complained of mean looks when driving their U.S.-plated car in Canada. As a result, Saunders said he avoids crossing the border, even though he can as an essential worker and a dual citizen. "I'm concerned about being socially shamed up there in B.C., driving a U.S.-plated car because I've heard from multiple clients, stories of dirty looks," said Saunders, whose office sits close to the British Columbia border in Blaine, Wash.He said he can understand why some Canadians get upset when spotting U.S. licence plates in the country, considering COVID-19 cases are spiking in some U.S. states.But they must remember that many people driving U.S.-plated cars in Canada are there for a valid reason, Saunders said. "They really have to look at the big picture before they pass judgment."

  • Death toll rises to 26 in Mexican drug rehab centre attack
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Death toll rises to 26 in Mexican drug rehab centre attack

    IRAPUATO, Mexico — The killing of 26 people in an unregistered drug rehabilitation centre in central Mexico is the deadliest such attack in a decade and has led to calls for change in a prosperous state that has become a cartel battleground.Authorities in the city of Irapuato in Guanajuato state on Thursday raised the death toll from 24 after two of the seven people injured in the attack died.Police in Guanajuato state said Wednesday's attack occurred at a modest two-story house on the outskirts of Irapuato. Apparently the attackers shot every male at the rehab centre, letting only the females go.Rosa Alba Santoyo, three of whose sons were killed in the attack, said a female addict at the centre said the gunmen told the women to get out, before gunning down the men.Santoyo said two of her sons, construction workers aged 29 and 39, were at the centre because they had problems with drugs. Her youngest son, 27, had been at the centre previously and recovered, and had only returned Wednesday to bring his brothers soft drinks when the gunmen killed all three of them.Two of her sons were in a photograph of the massacre on the front page of the local newspaper. Their bullet-ridden bodies lay next to the other victims, prone on the floor of the centre amid piles of blankets. They were apparently made to lie down before being massacred. Her youngest son was found shot to death at another spot.Santoyo, who works at a factory that make cleaning products, said that up until a month or two ago, there had been a military post across the street from the centre, but that for some reason it had been withdrawn. Mexico's army and national guard have been given a number of tasks in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic that may have required those troops.A woman who lives near the centre, Mary Moreno, said the gunmen simply burst into the rehab and started shooting. Guanajuato, a prosperous industrial hub with foreign auto plants, has become Mexico's most violent state, a situation the government seems unable to remedy.“The government doesn't do anything anymore,” said Moreno.The state is the scene of a bloody turf battle between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and a local gang - the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel - and the state has become the most violent in Mexico.No motive was given in the rehab centre attack, but Gov. Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said drug gangs appeared to have been involved."The violence generated by organized crime not only takes the lives of the young, but it takes the peace from families in Guanajuato,” the governor wrote. Rodríguez Vallejo belongs to the conservative opposition party National Action, and the state's crime problem has been the subject of political divisions.President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that “changes must be made to solve Guanajuato's problem, because the circumstances demand it.”“The problem was allowed to grow, it grew a lot and we have to see if there was some sort of co-operation, criminal conspiracy between the criminals and officials,” López Obrador said, without specifying who he was accusing.There have been persistent reports that state authorities who once tolerated the Santa Rosa de Lima gang, turned in the recent years to allowing the Jalisco cartel to enter the state in hopes they would the end the local gang's systematic extortion of businesses.But while Santa Rosa is a less sophisticated gang that started out with robbing freight trains and stealing fuel from government pipelines, it has proved tougher than expected for Jalisco to crush, in part because Jalisco's rival, the Sinaloa Cartel, may be contributing money and guns to Santa Rosa.Mexican drug gangs have killed suspected street-level dealers from rival gangs sheltering at such facilities in the past. It was one of the deadliest attacks on a rehab centre since 19 people were killed in 2010 in Chihuahua city in northern Mexico. More than a dozen attacks on such facilities have occurred since then.Mexico has long had problems with rehab centres because most are privately run, underfunded and often commit abuses against recovering addicts. The government spends relatively little money on rehabilitation, often making the unregistered centres the only option available for poor families.In addition, addicts and dealers who face attacks from rivals on the streets sometimes take refuge at the rehab clinics, making the clinics themselves targets for attack.Eduardo Verdugo, The Associated Press

  • Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP

    OTTAWA — A member of the Canadian Armed Forces has been arrested after someone rammed a truck through the gates of Rideau Hall and drove up the path toward the official residences that house Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before being stopped by police.The RCMP has not identified the man, who was arrested shortly after a vehicle broke through the gates around 6:40 a.m. local time Thursday. The Mounties said in a statement that the truck was disabled on impact with the gate, which is known as Thomas Gate."While an RCMP member began dialogue with the suspect, the RCMP National Division Emergency Response Team was also dispatched and arrived shortly after 7 a.m.," the RCMP said in a statement."The armed suspect was apprehended shortly before 8:30 a.m. without any incident and he was brought into police custody for questioning. As a precaution, the (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives response) team was also deployed to search and secure the suspect's vehicle."The RCMP did not identify the individual arrested near Rideau Hall, but both the police force and the Department of National Defence confirmed he is a member of the military. The Mounties say charges are pending."The Canadian Armed Forces is collaborating closely with the RCMP," the Defence Department said in its statement Thursday. "As the RCMP is the lead investigative body for this matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."The RCMP have not provided a motive for Thursday's incident, but have said that neither Payette nor Trudeau were present at the time.The iconic Rideau Hall has long served as the home to Canada's governors general.Trudeau and his family have also lived in Rideau Cottage, which is located on the grounds of Rideau Hall, since he became prime minister. The government is still working on whether to renovate 24 Sussex Dr., where past prime ministers have lived.''Thanks to the swift and diligent actions of our employees, the incident that unfolded earlier this morning on the grounds of Rideau Hall was quickly and safely resolved," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bernadine Chapman, commanding officer of National Division.The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General issued a statement Thursday to thank the RCMP and police for resolving the situation quickly."All of our staff are safe," said the statement.The statement also noted that Payette has only occasionally been at Rideau Hall during the COVID-19 pandemic."Given the number of staff required to support Her Excellency when she is on the grounds of Rideau Hall, during the pandemic she has chosen to prioritize the health and safety of the employees of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General by only being there when Constitutional duties require, such as Royal Assent," the statement said."Prior to the pandemic, the Governor General was living on the grounds of Rideau Hall."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

  • News
    CBC

    Blackfoot Confederacy calls for Jason Kenney to fire speechwriter

    The Blackfoot Confederacy is the latest group of Indigenous Albertans calling for the firing of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's speechwriter after a 2013 column resurfaced that called residential schools a "bogus genocide story.""We call upon the province to make the right decision and dismiss this person," said Blood Tribe/Kainai First Nation Chief Roy Fox in a statement."Some of our residential school survivors and their multi-generational families continue to be blamed by others as a result of their experiences as victims, and these misguided statements by governments only encourages continued racism against Indigenous people."The Blackfoot Confederacy includes the Siksika, Kainai and Piikani Nations, representing more than 23,000 members in Alberta and another 19,000 in the state of Montana.Bunner has been under fire for the past week after a series of articles and columns written from the late 1990s to 2016 resurfaced.His article from 2013 called residential schools a "bogus genocide story" and said Indigenous youth could be "ripe recruits" for violent insurgencies. In another article, he called homosexuality "socially destructive.""Bunner's views on residential schools are offensive, dehumanizing and has hurt our Treaty relationship," said Judge Eugene Creighton, a Blackfoot community member, in a release. "These stereotypes of First Nations fuel systemic racism that we're struggling with in Treaty No. 7, Alberta and Canada."If Bunner's views have changed, he needs to demonstrate that."Bunner was a speechwriter for prime minister Stephen Harper from 2006 to 2009 and was hired by Kenney last spring. In a statement provided to CBC News on Friday, a spokesperson said that Bunner's views had evolved over time.When asked for comment on the new comments from the Blackfoot Confederacy, a spokesperson for the premier's office referred to the statement provided on Friday.Treaty SixOn Friday, the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations also called for Bunner's resignation, writing that Bunner "does not have the ability to see past his own privilege and prejudice to apologize for insulting our Indian residential school survivors and their children.""Any government with an interest in building trust with Indigenous communities must hold their employees accountable for blatantly discriminating against Indigenous peoples, especially when working to achieve reconciliation," read the statement from members of Treaty Six.Other Alberta Indigenous leaders, including Marlene Poitras, the regional chief in Alberta for the Assembly of First Nations, have also called for Bunner's resignation."The premier should take heed of the calls for his resignation and release him immediately," Poitras told CBC News on Saturday.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Finnish Air Force Command drops swastika logo as insignia

    Finland's Air Force Command has discreetly dropped a swastika logo from its unit emblem — after a century — and replaced it with a neutral insignia featuring a golden eagle. The change, made to avoid false and uncomfortable associations with Nazi Germany’s notorious logo, took place in January 2017 but wasn’t announced publicly by the Nordic nation's military at the time. University of Helsinki world politics professor Teivo Teivainen, who is researching the use of swastikas in Finland during the 1920s and 1930s, noted the unit emblem issue in a Twitter post this week that brought the modification to public attention.

  • Call grows to put Indigenous war hero Tommy Prince on $5 bill
    News
    CBC

    Call grows to put Indigenous war hero Tommy Prince on $5 bill

    An online campaign to honour Canada's most-decorated Indigenous war hero by making him the new face on the five dollar bill is rapidly gaining support.Tom Kmiec and two other Conservative MPs are suggesting sergeant Tommy Prince be the new face of the bank note."He was homeless, he lost his kids, he went through a residential school system, so there's so many interesting aspects of his life. And he's a combat veteran and he's someone who served this country in two major conflicts," Kmiec said. "Here's an interesting fellow who represents bravery, courage, citizenship — all these wonderful attributes."The Bank of Canada announced in January that it was looking for recommendations."Tommy prince would be just the perfect, perfect pick," Kmiec said.Kmiec says the petition received 1,500 supporters within its first 48 hours, after launching on June 21."He's a founding member of Canada's elite first Canadian parachute battalion, and the Devil's Brigade during the Second World War," Kmiec said. "He was one of the soldiers who defended hill 677 in the battle of Kapyong during the Korean War. He won 11 medals. That makes him the most decorated Indigenous war veteran, combat veteran, in the history of Canada."Josie Nepinak is the executive director for the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society in Calgary. She's from Manitoba, where Prince was born."People often say, 'well, all Indigenous people do is complain and take and take,' but we don't do that," Nepinak said. "We have a very rich and very strong history, and Tommy Prince is part of that history. We need to let people know that to dispel some of those myths around racism."A representative with the Bank of Canada says even though the nomination period is over, Tommy Prince is on their radar.Submissions were supposed to be in by March 11, but Kmiec hopes the government will make an exception given the pandemic circumstances. Prince, originally from Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, roughly 65 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, earned 11 medals for his heroism during the Second World War and Korean War, including one presented to him by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.But when he returned to Canada, he and thousands of other Indigenous veterans were denied many of the benefits given to other veterans. When he died in 1977, the decorated war hero was homeless.A humble manJim Bear, Prince's nephew, said the nomination is an honour, and one his uncle would never have sought out in life."To me, he was a humble man. He was a quiet man," said Bear, a former chief of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, on Tuesday. "He just had a great sense of humour."It's bittersweet to see his uncle get recognition now, decades after his death and the racism he experienced after returning from service, Bear said."He was accepted when he was in the uniform, but when he got home and took off the uniform, he was just treated with racism and systemic racism," Bear said. "I think that's really, really disgusting."Prince rarely spoke of the wars, Bear said. In fact, Bear had no idea his uncle was a military hero until just a couple of years before his death.Instead, Bear remembers his uncle's unstoppable sense of humour, which persisted despite the horrors of war and his time in a residential school, and how hard he fought to to see Indigenous rights recognized during his lifetime.The idea to put his uncle on the $5 bill is nice, Bear said. But the best way to honour his uncle's memory would be to make the meaningful changes sergeant Tommy Prince fought for all his life."I describe him as a visionary," Bear said. "He was advocating abolishing the Indian Act, even back then — and those are the kind of things we're still trying to change."

  • Man charged with negligence after Quebec tractor accident kills 3 children
    News
    CBC

    Man charged with negligence after Quebec tractor accident kills 3 children

    Three children under five years old are dead after a tractor accident in the small Quebec town of Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge. A 30-year-old man has been charged after allegedly operating a tractor while 10 people were in the front loader.

  • Indigenous land claim 'censored' from his Canada Day performance: Patrick Watson
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Indigenous land claim 'censored' from his Canada Day performance: Patrick Watson

    MONTREAL — Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson says Heritage Canada edited out a land acknowledgment he made to Indigenous peoples before his Montreal Canada Day performance.Watson posted on Facebook Thursday he was "deeply upset" to discover his statement did not make it into the hour-long broadcast, which was pre-recorded and filmed in Montreal's Olympic Stadium.The virtual show was funded by the federal government as a replacement for the annual festivities held in Montreal to celebrate the national holiday.Montreal-based communications agency, Tandem Communication, put the show together.The musician said he made the acknowledgment during his performance but it was not included in the program broadcast to Canadians. A version of the performance, available online, does not contain Watson's homage to First Nations peoples.A land acknowledgment is a statement that recognizes Indigenous peoples occupied the territory that became Canada following colonization.Watson posted what he called the "censored" words he uttered during his performance."We would like to acknowledge that we are playing at this event from the unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation," he wrote. "Tiohtià:ke/Montreal is known as gathering place for many First Nations, we hope to honour that tradition."The musician said he wanted to celebrate "where I was standing, to point out the connection between the Indigenous struggles with the Black Lives Matter movement, and to include everyone who lives in Canada and their sensibilities."A Heritage Canada spokesperson said it has no involvement in the programming choices of the communities and organizations it funds."Each year, Canadian Heritage provides funding to support activities through the Celebrate Canada program. This funding allows communities and organizations across Canada to celebrate the diversity of our country through four days of celebration, including Canada Day," Martine Courage said in an email."Funded communities and organizations are responsible for programming their respective activities."Deputy NDP Leader Alexandre Boulerice, an MP from Quebec, said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault needs to explain why Watson's statement was not included in the official program.If Guilbeault doesn't explain the decision, Boulerice said in an interview, "it would be very, very hypocritical for the Liberals to wrap themselves in reconciliation with First Nations and Indigenous peoples and then, censor artists who just want to express their solidarity with certain aboriginal peoples."Guilbeault, however, did mention the country's Indigenous peoples, in a recorded statement edited into the virtual Canada Day performance. In fact, Guilbeault's message opens the show.The minister said "Indigenous peoples have taken care of this land over the centuries. Their cultures and traditions are a great source of wealth for this country."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Doubt cast over Trudeau's assertion that only WE Charity can run $900M student grant program
    News
    CBC

    Doubt cast over Trudeau's assertion that only WE Charity can run $900M student grant program

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's assertion that only the WE Charity could administer a $900 million student grant program is being disputed by some experts in the sector who say other organizations would be up to the task or have more experience."There are many strong, reputable charities with offices in multiple locations across Canada who could do this youth volunteer program well," Ann Rosenfield, editor of the Hilborn Charity eNews, which covers fundraising and non-profit management, said in an email to CBC News.Volunteer Canada, the United Way and Community Foundations of Canada are all logical partners, she said.Broad and deep expertiseEach of those organizations have existing infrastructure, including local offices across the country, Rosenfield said. As well, they have broad and deep expertise, with extensive direct ties to local communities and organizations that ensure volunteers are properly matched to local needs, she said. "Each also have deep expertise in partnering with local charities, including a strong infrastructure in partnering, monitoring for collaborative programs."WE Charity, which was started by human rights advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger in 1995, will administer the Canada Student Service Grant. The federal grant, announced by Trudeau on June 25, will provide eligible students with up to $5,000 each to help cover the cost of post-secondary education in the fall.The amount of each grant will depend on how much time the recipient devotes to volunteer work.WATCH | Prime minister defends awarding contract to WE Charity:But the Liberal government has been criticized for allocating such a large sum of money to a third party that has ties to Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.Trudeau has defended the decision to give the contract to WE, saying its networks across the country made it the right choice, and the organization itself won't make any profit from the contract."Quite frankly, when our public servants looked at the potential partners, only the WE organization had the capacity to deliver the ambitious program that young people need for this summer that is so deeply impacted by COVID," he told reporters on Monday."WE organization is the largest national youth service organization in the country. They have networks in every corner of the country and organizations that they work with."Largest youth organization on paperGail Picco, editor-in-chief of The Charity Report, said she can certainly understand why the federal government would look at WE Charity, because on paper at least — with its involvement in 18,000 schools in Canada, the U.S. and the UK— it is the largest youth organization in the country.However, success in executing the government program requires connections with other non-profit organizations, she said."It's one thing to recruit young people," Picco said. "But WE has to figure out where those volunteer placements are going to be."That, she said, requires extensive networking within the not-for-profit sector."They have to know a lot of not-for-profits and have relationships with a lot of not-for-profits," Picco said. "And for many reasons, WE does not have those kinds of relationships with other non-profit organizations and charities."Instead, WE is focused on promoting social action among students and parents and bringing a broader understanding of equity in the world to an external audience, she said.  "They're not talking to other charities or not-for-profits. They don't work in coalition with other organizations," Picco said. "They are really, really quite externalized in their focus."Kate Bahen,  managing director of the charity watchdog Charity Intelligence Canada, said she hasn't seen the government's due diligence on its decision and questioned what specific expertise WE Charity has in implementing a grant program."I'm not sure how you would assess the charity's track record or capability to do this if it had not previously done such work in the past," she said."To the best of my knowledge, having analyzed WE Charity, I have seen no program activity in this area." 'Incredible' domestic network neededFor any organization to deliver a $900 million program in four months, it will also need to have an "incredible" domestic network of individuals and organizations that can work together, Maryann Kerr, CEO of the Medalist Group, a boutique firm that provides philanthropic and organizational health services to the social-profit sector, said in an email to CBC News."A multi-level national organization that has people on the ground across the country, in both official languages, makes far more sense," she said."It is absolutely incorrect to believe that WE is the only organization in Canada that can implement this program, and there is no doubt that in order to deliver what they've committed to, they will have to collaborate with other organizations."Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Experiences Canada, which offers youth exchanges for participants who are 12 to 17 years old, said many organizations are equally equipped and have a proven track record for mentoring and overseeing community service programs for youth, including the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, 4-H Canada, Volunteer Canada and Community Foundations of Canada. Morrison, as well as others, questioned why the government didn't rely on Canada Service Corps, launched by Trudeau in 2018. The national youth service initiative already offers young Canadians micro-grants to participate in volunteer service projects."Canada Service Corps, which has already established multiple non-profit partnerships, might also have been a fairly quick ramp-up delivery vehicle for this program in much the same way [the Canada Revenue Agency] became for CERB," Morrison said, referring to the government's COVID-19 financial aid program for Canadians.She also said the mandate to mobilize and deliver on almost $1 billion in grants is a huge undertaking for any one organization.Morrison said while she has high regard for the reputation and networks that WE Charity has developed, there are many strong youth service organizations with their own networks and volunteer management expertise that can help ensure greater success."Hopefully, WE Charity will reach out and engage them in this important and worthwhile project."

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    UK grants asylum to ex-staffer at its Hong Kong consulate

    A former employee at the British consulate in Hong Kong has been granted political asylum in what he believes is the first successful U.K. asylum case from the former British colony. Simon Cheng, who alleges that he was detained and tortured in China last year, told The Associated Press that he hopes his successful application encourages other democracy activists from the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to seek protection in the U.K. as Beijing clamps down on the city’s protest movement. Cheng, 29, also said that while he is relieved asylum was granted, he remains worried "they will take my family members as hostage and send more agents to crush down the pro-democracy cause and activities outside of Hong Kong.”

  • A 'Walk against Winston' stirs debate over another Halifax statue
    Lifestyle
    CBC

    A 'Walk against Winston' stirs debate over another Halifax statue

    On a fine summer evening, a group of people recently marched up to Halifax's Winston Churchill statue and surrounded it. Slowly, they applied stickers to it until the former First Lord of the Admiralty had been figuratively tarred and feathered.None of the stickers bore the British prime minister's better-known quotes, such as: "We shall never surrender;" or, "If the British empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: This was their finest hour."Instead, Churchill was quoted as saying: "I'm strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. It would spread a lively terror;" and "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits."The debate over Churchill's legacy — and his statues — has now come to Halifax. Alex Khasnabish is an anthropology professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. He spoke at the Walk Against Winston, but had a more nuanced take than might be expected.'An enthusiastic imperialist'"Churchill is an interesting figure," he said. "I think it's absolutely vital that we honour the memory of people who engaged in the struggle against Nazi Germany and that period of fascism."Khasnabish's father is from India and he grew up hearing about the 1943 famine in Bengal, where millions died. It was then a British possession and Churchill wouldn't allow food relief to be sent, directing it onward instead to Europe. The "beastly people" quote came from that period.  Despite Churchill's reputation as a freedom fighter, Khasnabish said it was often freedom for a certain type of person. He had no problems crushing anti-British rebellions."Churchill in his early life was an enthusiastic imperialist. He participated in many of Britain's wars abroad in putting down popular rebellions against British rule," Khasnabish said. "Churchill has some really awful things to say, frankly, against people who weren't white."The "poison gas" quote comes from squashing those rebellions, although scholars say he was writing about using something non-lethal, more like tear gas. It's not the only statue in the city to come under scrutiny. Two years ago, a statue of Edward Cornwallis, Halifax's controversial founder who issued a so-called scalping proclamation that offered a cash bounty to anyone who killed a Mi'kmaw person, was removed from a local park and placed in storage.While some who were on the recent walk want the Churchill statue to come down, Khasnabish said he's not certain that's the best outcome. "I'm willing to continue to celebrate what I think his myth is meant to celebrate, which is a grass-roots anti-fascist resistance."Khasnabish said the statue debate points to a deeper societal idea that "great men" define history, rather than the millions of people who actually make movements move. "Those are the stories we need to know about."He said similar drives turned Martin Luther King and Malcolm X into icons of the Black rights movement, and Gandhi into the hero of Indian independence.Yet all were humans, and had personal and private failings they wouldn't want stuck to their statues. Khasnabish said turning humans into icons doesn't eradicate their shortcomings. "If we really want a clear view of where we are now and what we need to change in our society, we have to have an honest accounting of these 'great men' and their role in history."'A unique accomplishment'Lee Pollock, a writer and historian, is the former executive director of the International Churchill Society. Yet his perspective on Churchill isn't that different from that of Khasnabish. "Quite clearly, Churchill had a view of the world that isn't one that comports with how we think about the world today," he said.Churchill believed that "white, Anglo-Saxon, English-speaking countries and civilizations" had most improved the world, Pollock said, a view many white, Anglo-Saxon Brits and Canadians at the time shared. "Churchill was wrong about a lot of things," Pollock said. "But against that you have to set a unique accomplishment of being one person at a unique time and place in history who literally changed the world."Without Churchill in 1940, Pollock said, the Nazi swastika could well have flown across Europe. Without Churchill, the U.K. may have settled with Hitler, and the U.S. might have stayed out of the war or entered too late to change the outcome, he said.Pollock said controversies over Churchill statues are strongest in Canada and the U.K. The U.S. focuses on American figures. "It's a legitimate question to raise, and I think there are ways to answer it without tearing Winston Churchill off his literal pedestal, if not his figurative one."Apart from the man it represents, Halifax's Churchill statue raises other questions. Was it an original work of art commissioned for the city? Or was it a surplus statue bought on the cheap? Both theories have their adherents. The truth is Halifax's Churchill statue started with a man named Leonard Kitz, who in 1955 had become Halifax's first Jewish mayor. In the 1970s, Kitz, a veteran of the Second World War, collected private donations to pay for a Churchill statue.  Newspapers reported on the statue's progress from England, where it was delayed by striking workers, to its grand unveiling in front of the old Halifax library on Jan. 20, 1980. Sculptor lost family to the HolocaustThe three-metre tall, 1.5-tonne bronze statue shows Churchill wearing a three-piece suit and bow tie, left foot stepping ahead, hands clasped behind his back.Oscar Nemon created it. Nemon was Jewish, and most of his family died in the Holocaust. Admirers of Nemon's work saw his deep personal grief and hope for a better future etched into his busts and sculptures of Churchill. Nemon described Churchill as a "bellicose, challenging, and deliberately provocative" person and said he wanted his sculptures to be biographies set in bronze. Churchill found Nemon compelling, too, and once created a sculpture of the sculptor. Nemon created many busts and sculptures of Churchill, but no others look quite like Halifax's. So was the striding statue based on a photograph from a Halifax visit? Churchill stopped in Halifax in August 1943. It was part of a trip to meet with allies, but he also visited Citadel Hill and took in the view. Halifax Daily Star reporter R.D. Palk reported that only railway workers, clerks and "women cleaners in slacks" saw Churchill during that clandestine visit."He turned to the small gathering and gave the V salute, bringing a spontaneous burst of applause from the group," Palk wrote in September 1943. The accompanying photo shows him smoking a cigar and talking to premier A.S. MacMillan. Another photo shows Churchill striding along the Halifax dockyard, left foot forward, but he's holding a cane. Churchill visited Halifax again in February 1944. Some 1,500 Haligonians lined up to see Churchill and cheered as he stood on the rear platform of his train, rolling a cigar in one hand. He urged them to come closer and soon they were serenading him with the war-time classic, It's a Long Way to Tipperary. He asked to hear O Canada, and they obliged. A photo shows him smiling and pointing something out to his wife. The evidence suggests that Halifax's Churchill statue is a unique creation, unmatched elsewhere, and while it may have been inspired by photos of his wartime visit, it largely came out of its creator, inspired by his own memories of Churchill.Churchill died in 1965.MORE TOP STORIES

  • How safe is flying during the pandemic?
    Health
    CBC

    How safe is flying during the pandemic?

    Passengers flying into YVR were alerted to six possible exposures aboard airplanes in June while Canadian airlines have now dropped in-flight physical distancing measures.So how concerned should people be about flying?Dr. Srinivas Murthy is an infection disease expert and associate professor at the University of British Columbia. He said he would weigh the risks and benefits of taking a flight before he set out."The thing we know about how the virus is transmitted is that in enclosed spaces, without ventilation, with many individuals indoors seems to be a high-risk zone for transmission," said Murthy.'In theory it's a reasonably high risk area'"Whether that translates to airplanes, it's difficult to say," he said. "We haven't seen a lot of airplane-based transmission — that's mostly because the airlines haven't flown as much with as many people — but in theory it's a reasonably high-risk area to be in."Earlier this week, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix called on his federal counterparts and the airlines to reveal the evidence that it was safe to drop physical distancing on flights.On Thursday he seemed to soften his tone, but still stressed that of the various measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, physical distancing is at the top of the hierarchy."Physical distancing is something we preach here every day. Physical distancing saves lives and it's important wherever you are," Dix told reporters.He said without that distance, people need to have discipline about wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding touching surfaces and faces.'You cannot travel if you are sick'Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, highlighted the need to keep sick people off planes — a responsibility shared by passengers and airlines, she said."You should not, you cannot travel if you are sick or if you've been in contact with people who have COVID-19," said Henry.She also said that it's still a challenge for health officials to efficiently and effectively get in touch with everyone who was on flights when a COVID-19 case has surfaced.On Thursday the B.C. Centre for Disease Control warned passengers on four flights that arrived at YVR in June they had potentially been exposed to COVID-19 — in addition to two other flights that month.The agency asked people aboard the affected flights to self-isolate and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.In the case of two of the flights, 14 days had already passed. For two others, the intended self-isolation period has nearly elapsed.The BCCDC did not answer a question from CBC News on Thursday asking why the warning came long after the potential contact, saying only that people can find out about possible exposure on flights and other public places on the agency's website.Both WestJet and Air Canada defend the safety measures they're taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus."We are left to use a combination of approaches to mitigate risk as far as practical," said a statement sent by Air Canada.Both airlines highlighted their use of HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, filters, with WestJet claiming they remove "99.999 per cent of all airborne particles," and Air Canada claiming they ensure complete changes of air every two to three minutes.They have both been doing aircraft interior disinfecting between flights, with WestJet describing "fogging using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution."WestJet also highlighted mandatory pre-boarding temperature checks."It is noteworthy there have been no reports of outbreak clusters onboard individual flights during the COVID pandemic," said the Air Canada statement.Do you have more to add to this story? Email rafferty.baker@cbc.caFollow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

  • Atlantic bubble lineups of more than 90 minutes exasperate truck drivers
    Science
    CBC

    Atlantic bubble lineups of more than 90 minutes exasperate truck drivers

    There were many smiling faces excited to be travelling to New Brunswick through the Aulac checkpoint on Friday, but with hundreds of vehicles waiting to cross the provincial boundary with Nova Scotia, the delays were frustrating for some.Cars were being kept to one lane to allow commercial traffic to be waved through more quickly, but according to truck driver Trevor Wilson the system wasn't working well.Wilson was stuck in traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway when he talked to CBC News on Friday afternoon, after moving only bout 300 feet (about 91 metres) in more than hour. "I did hear truckers say that a little further up that there are signs telling cars to stay in one lane, but apparently a lot of people ignored them," Wilson said from his truck near Aulac.The Atlantic bubble opened early Friday morning, allowing people to travel within all four Atlantic provinces for any reason and without having to self-isolate for 14 days.For Wilson, the first-day delays could keep him from getting across the U.S-Canada border later Friday as planned. In Canada, he is able to drive 13 hours a day, but that changes once he goes into the U.S."Once I get to the states I can only be driving 11 hour days, and it was already going to be around an eight- hour drive when I got there. If I'm stuck here for two or three hours I will not actually be able to cross into the United States."It's frustrating, it's very frustrating."Wilson said this is the worst traffic delay he's seen since COVID-19 started. He said he wishes it had been worked out so bubble travellers would pull off the highway for their screening. People travelling for leisure were surprised by the wait times but didn't seem to mind.Ann Dunlap said she was content waiting on her way to her new home in Moncton, but she worried about delays for essential workers."I wish they would have something a little bit better for essential workers and the truck drivers for them to get through."Anyone travelling between provinces on Friday should expect some delays. Despite the wide open travel now allowed among the four Atlantic provinces, each has its own rules and questions for people coming in. What isn't required now is automatic self-isolation for 14 days.Todd Kent was travelling with his family from Halifax to to Belleisle Bay in New Brunswick. They were on the road by 6:30 a.m. and expected to wait about about half an hour. They'd waite in traffic for almost two hours and still hadn't crossed, but they were still in good spirits. "It's a relief for us. We travel there every weekend throughout the summer months, and being shut down because of COVID it takes a toll on us. It's a good place to go relax and unwind."Anyone travelling between provinces on Friday should expect some delays. Despite the wide open travel now allowed among the four Atlantic provinces, each has its own rules and questions for people coming in. What isn't required now is automatic self-isolation for 14 days.Carl Urquhart, New Brunswick's public safety minister, said he was expecting to see quite a rush of travellers Friday and Saturday."I know at 1 a.m. as soon as they opened up the Confederation Bridge they had an hour wait, same with Aulac," Urquhart told Information Morning Fredericton. "They wanted to get in and get their summer started."But no numbers were available about the traffic coming into New Brunswick through any entry or by any particular point in the day. Public Safety spokesperson Coreen Enos said figures would be available Saturday on the government website."Officers are working hard to welcome travellers efficiently, making adjustments as they go," Enos wrote in an email.In New Brunswick, it has been taking a few minutes to get people in each vehicle through the process.Peace officers are asking all non-commercial travellers to show proof of residency within Atlantic Canada.They also have to answer questions and be screened for COVID-19. Traveller's contact information is being collected in case of an outbreak.  While not required, people traveling into New Brunswick can print and fill out a questionnaire from the government of New Brunswick's website to save a few minutes during screening. Urquhart said there was talk of having all the provinces follow the same guidelines, but each province's residents brought different concerns to the attention of their governments."There are certain conditions that each province wants to put in and we respect that and they respect ours." The other three provinces also require proof of Atlantic residency. 'Welcome to P.E.I.'Among those thrilled to get out of New Brunswick Friday morning was Cindy Grant, a CBC Saint John producer, who hadn't been in her native province of Prince Edward Island for months. "It's a big deal to be able to come home and you kind of take it for granted that you can go back and forth between New Brunswick and P.E.I.," she told Information Morning Moncton from the Island. "I never would have dreamt that I would not have access to Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick."Grant said the P.E.I. line moved quickly. Once off the bridge, travellers were directed to a screening lane. The lane Grant got had no other cars in it. "It's a very strange time we're in, so just to be able to come back and be on the island for a few days — it means a lot, it's exciting."Some people arriving on the Island were being given care packages as a welcome. The packages have chips, cheese and other P.E.I.-related items.2 active cases in N.B.New Brunswick is hoping for much greater numbers crossing the border than were possible during the closed months.This week on Canada Day, for instance, when people were only allowed in for an essential purpose or if they fell under certain exceptions, 2,645 personal vehicles and 2,679 commercial vehicles came into the province through seven entry points .  Aulac saw 965 personal vehicles and 1,100 commercial cross from Nova Scotia. Restrictions still apply to travel from Quebec and the border with the U.S. is closed to most personal travel.New Brunswick has gone nine days without seeing a new case of COVID-19, and has only two active cases, including one person in the ICU in Campbellton.

  • Federal government, WE Charity agree to part ways on summer student grant program
    News
    CBC

    Federal government, WE Charity agree to part ways on summer student grant program

    The federal Liberal government and the WE Charity are ending a partnership that would have seen the charity distribute around $900 million in federal student grants this summer.The decision to outsource this work to a third party with ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family was criticized by some in the charitable sector and by the opposition Conservatives.Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, has asked both the auditor general and the federal procurement watchdog to review the sole-sourced contract that would have given WE the authority to administer the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).Volunteer Canada, a group that promotes volunteerism, refused to work with WE because it objected to how the program was being administered — and they opposed paying students for volunteer work.Trudeau and his mother, Margaret, have appeared at a number of WE Day events, while his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast for the group called "WE Well-being."WE has said no member of the Trudeau family receives an honorarium for their appearances with the charity, though Grégoire Trudeau has had her travel expenses covered. A spokesperson from the Prime Minister's Office said Grégoire Trudeau's involvement with WE was cleared by the federal ethics commissioner.WE also has gone through an organizational upheaval in recent months, with a series of resignations and layoffs.Trudeau had defended the partnership, saying WE was the only group with a nationwide network capable of operating a program of this sort for young people. Other charitable organizations have questioned that assertion.Trudeau said Friday the move to cut ties was "WE's decision, which we support."He said the federal government will simply distribute the grants itself, even though it doesn't have the same "connections" to smaller charities that WE said it had."Certainly there are certain things that we will not be able to do as government delivers this program directly," Trudeau said."Obviously this situation unfolded in a way that is truly unfortunate because one of the things that ends up happening with this is that young people won't maybe have the same kind of access to programs that they would have."Watch: Trudeau says it's 'unfortunate' how things unfolded with WE CharityAsked Friday if he and his family would continue their work with WE, Trudeau said he remains committed to youth-related issues."As for WE, I think the organization is going to take some time to reflect on its next steps and how exactly it responds to this situation," he said.Trudeau said both the government and WE have "things to reflect on, there are ways to do it better.""But that core principle of being a government that is there to support young people and to work with partners across the country, to make sure that young people are able to get the opportunities, the experience, and the service to their country at this time, is continuing to be extremely important," he said.A statement from the federal government said today's move was "a mutually agreed upon decision.""The Government of Canada and WE Charity will work together to ensure that the volunteers who have applied and been placed won't be adversely affected. WE Charity has also decided to return any funds that had already been received," Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger said in the statement."Our government's objective remains to connect the skills and abilities of young people with service opportunities to help heal their communities."Trudeau has said WE Charity, which was started by youth advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger in 1995, was picked by bureaucrats to administer the grant.The grant provides eligible students with up to $5,000 each to help cover the cost of post-secondary education this fall. The size of each grant depends on the amount of time the recipient devotes to volunteer work.Chagger said Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) recommended that a third party administer the grant "given the scope and scale of the program" and the "urgent need to deliver this new program."But, with WE out, it's not clear how the program, which received around 35,000 applicants within the first week, will now be administered.In a statement, WE Charity said while take-up has been strong, the criticism of WE's involvement "has not abated.""The program has also been enmeshed in controversy from the moment of its announcement," the statement reads."Our concern is that to continue in this way, the program itself will begin to suffer – and as a consequence, opportunities for students might be negatively affected. Not only would that be unwelcome, it is unnecessary."WE said any federal funds earmarked for WE to administer the grant "will be returned in full to the government."Chagger said Ottawa is working on an "expedited transition" and "examining all options to ensure students, not-for-profits, and communities continue to be supported throughout the pandemic."

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    Inmate helped by basketball star freed from prison

    A Missouri district attorney says he won't retry a man freed from prison, saying he didn't have enough evidence to prove the original charges. WNBA star Maya Moore spent years helping Jonathan Irons fight burglary and assault convictions. (July 2)