Trump Tweets 'Read The Transcripts' And Gets Mocked By People Who Have

Trump Tweets 'Read The Transcripts' And Gets Mocked By People Who Have

President Donald Trump may be at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to gaslight America.

On Tuesday, the president implored people on Twitter to “read the transcripts.” Presumedly, he was serious because the tweet was in all caps, the universally recognized signifier that the sender is pissed off about something.

The president was referring to a record of his phone calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the one that sparked the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

However, exact, full transcripts of the calls have not been released.

What Trump is referring to as “transcripts” are really partial summaries of his conversations with Zelensky and not verbatim records.

Not surprisingly, the all caps tweet was thoroughly mocked by Twitter wits.

Also on HuffPost

  • New US coronavirus case may be 1st from unknown origin
    News
    The Canadian Press

    New US coronavirus case may be 1st from unknown origin

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State and federal health officials are trying to locate everyone who came in contact with a northern California woman believed to be the first in the U.S. to contract the coronavirus with no known connection to travel abroad or other known causes.The woman lives in Solano County, home to the Travis Air Force Base where dozens of people infected in China or on cruise ships have been treated. But Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health, said there was no evidence the woman had any connection to the base.Gov. Gavin Newsom declined comment when asked by reporters to name the community in Solano County the woman was from but urged people to take precautions while emphasizing that the risks to public health were low. He said there was no need to declare a public health emergency.“Everybody in this country is rightfully anxious about this moment,” Newsom said. “I think they should know we are meeting this moment with the kind of urgency that is necessary and I don’t want to over extend the anxiety.”Newsom said the state only has only received about 200 testing kits for the virus, an amount he called “simply inadequate.” But he said federal officials have promised him the state will get many more soon.Meanwhile, California Health and Human Services Agency Director Mark Ghaly said health officials would change the way they test for the virus by “shifting from order and community containment to one where we acknowledge that community spread is possible.”California officials said the infected woman from Solano County is receiving medical care in Sacramento County. Solano County lies between the Bay Area and Sacramento, with a population of more than 445,000.The patient was brought to UC Davis Medical Center from another Northern California hospital on Feb. 19 but it was four days before the CDC heeded a request to test the patient for COVID-19, according to an email sent to employees Wednesday by the hospital’s interim CEO, Brad Simmons, and David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health.The patient arrived on a ventilator and special protection orders were issued “because of an undiagnosed and suspected viral condition,” according to the email sent to employees.The hospital asked the CDC to test for the coronavirus but testing was delayed until Sunday “since the patient did not fit the existing CDC criteria for COVID-19,” the email said.Solano County health officials said in a statement Thursday they are working with local, state and federal officials to identify people who may have been exposed to person infected in the county."While this is considered a serious public health threat, the risk to Solano County residents and the general public is low at this time,” the county health department said.UC Davis, which has treated other coronavirus patients, has been taking infection prevention precautions since the patient arrived. The email said officials believe there was a small chance that others at the facility were exposed to the virus.“Nevertheless, a small number of medical centre employees have been asked to stay home and monitor their temperatures,” the email said.The CDC had not responded Thursday to email messages sent Wednesday night seeking comment.All of the 59 other cases in the U.S. had travelled from abroad or had been in close contact with those who travelled. Health officials have been on high alert for so-called community spread.Earlier U.S. cases included 14 in people who travelled back from outbreak areas in China, or their spouses; three people who were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan; and 42 American passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were evacuated by the federal government to the U.S. from where the ship was docked in Japan.Some of those evacuated were taken to Travis Air Force Base, which is in Solano County. A number of the earlier cases have been in California, including some of the people taken to Travis and one in which a traveller who returned to San Benito County south of San Francisco and spread it to a spouse.California officials have been preparing for the possibility that community spread of the virus might first surface in the state.“We have been anticipating the potential for such a case in the U.S., and given our close familial, social and business relationships with China, it is not unexpected that the first case in the U.S. would be in California,” Angell said.The outbreak, which began in China, has infected tens of thousands of people in more than three dozen countries, with the vast majority in mainland China.The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family that can cause colds or more serious illnesses such as SARS and MERS.The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.Officials are advising people to take steps to avoid infection with coronavirus or other respiratory infections like colds or the flu, including washing hands with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.___Associated Press writer Bob Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Don Thompson And Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press

  • Liberals Want Blockades Down 'Soon' To Avoid 'Copycat' Protests
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Liberals Want Blockades Down 'Soon' To Avoid 'Copycat' Protests

    Demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have stretched into three weeks.

  • World battles virus epidemic as cases multiply outside China
    News
    The Canadian Press

    World battles virus epidemic as cases multiply outside China

    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Crews scrubbed everything from money to buses, military bases were on high alert and quarantines were enforced Wednesday from a beachfront resort in the Atlantic to a remote island in the Pacific, as the world worked to halt the fast-spreading virus that for the first time counted more new cases outside China than inside the country, where the epidemic originated.Worries over the ever-expanding economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis multiplied, with factories idled, trade routes frozen and tourism crippled, while a growing list of nations braced for the illness to breach their borders. Even the Olympics, five months away, wasn't far enough off to keep people from wondering if it would go on as planned.“We don’t expect a miracle in the short term,” said Kianoush Jahanpour of the health ministry in Iran, where an official tally of infections of 139 was doubted by some who thought the problem was far bigger.The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reported that the number of new cases outside China on Tuesday exceeded the number of new infections inside the country for the first time. The number in China was 412, while the tally in the rest of the world was 459.“The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.About 81,000 people around the globe have been sickened by the coronavirus that kept finding new targets. With Brazil confirming the arrival of Latin America's first case, the virus had a toehold on every continent but Antarctica.In Europe, where Germany, France and Spain were among the places with a growing caseload, an expanding cluster of more than 440 cases in northern Italy was eyed as a source for transmissions. In the Middle East, where cases increased in Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq, blame was directed toward Iran. In Asia, where the crisis originated late last year in China, threats continued to emerge around the region, with South Korea battling a mass outbreak centred in the 2.5 million-person city of Daegu.And in the United States, which has 60 cases, President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. was “very, very ready” for whatever threat the coronavirus brings, and he put Vice-President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the country's response. Shortly after Trump spoke, health officials in the U.S. confirmed a new case of coronavirus infection in California that could be the first instance of the virus spreading in a U.S. community. The patient in California was not known to have travelled to a country with an outbreak, or be connected to a known patient.The illness had now spread to at least 39 countries, said world health officials, who simultaneously cautioned against the risks of unnecessary fears or stigma.“We are in a fight that can be won if we do the right things,” WHO chief Ghebreyesus said.Though the virus pushed into countries both rich and poor, its arrival in places with little ability to detect, respond and contain it brought concern it could run rampant there and spread easily elsewhere.“We’re going to be trying to slow down the spread so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed in one big gulp, one big hit,” said Ian Mackay, who studies viruses at the University of Queensland in Australia.Saudi Arabia announced a series of precautionary measures, including temporarily stopping tourists from places with confirmed outbreaks from entering the country, as well as pilgrims coming for the Umrah or to visit the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.In South Korea, workers sanitized public buses, while in China, banks disinfected banknotes using ultraviolet rays. In Germany, authorities stressed “sneezing etiquette,” while in the United States, doctors announced a clinical trial of a possible coronavirus treatment.Around the world, as Christians marked the start of the holy season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, worshipers found churches closed and rituals changed by virus fears. Even in St. Peter’s Square, many of those gathered for Pope Francis’ weekly audience wore face masks and clergy appeared to refrain from embracing the pontiff or kissing his ring.Services in Singapore were broadcast online to keep people from crowded sanctuaries where germs could spread, bishops in South Korea shuttered churches for what they said was the first time in the Catholic Church’s 236-year history there, and in Malaysia and the Philippines, ashes were sprinkled on the heads of those marking the start of Lent instead of using a damp thumb to trace a cross of ashes.“We would like to be cautious so that the coronavirus will not spread,” said the Rev. Victorino Cueto, rector of the National Shrine of our Mother of Perpetual Help in Manila in the Philippines.Major gatherings were eyed warily, with organizers scrambling to respond in the face of the epidemic. Looming largest of all are the Olympic Games, whose opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 24 in Tokyo. A member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Pound, sounded alarms a day earlier, saying the virus could force a cancellation of the games. The Japanese government, in turn, gave mixed signals, insisting they would go forward yet urging that sports events be curtailed for now.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for major sports and cultural events in the coming two weeks to be cancelled or postponed to stem further infections. Meanwhile, the top government spokesman said Olympics preparations would proceed and the games would go on as planned.Among the other crowded places that had officials worried: Military bases.The South Korean military announced additional infections among its troops, with 20 cases on its bases and some 9,570 people in isolation. The U.S. military, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, confirmed the first infection of an American soldier, a 23-year-old man based at Camp Carroll near Daegu, a day after the Americans said a military spouse also had contracted the illness. Bowling alleys, movie theatres and a golf course on four American bases in the country were closed.“This is a setback, it’s true, there’s no getting around that. But it’s not the end of the war,” Col. Edward Ballanco, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Daegu told troops in a video message. “We are very well equipped to fight this thing off.”Italy recorded 78 new infections on Wednesday and Greece, North Macedonia and Romania became the newest countries to see a case of the virus. South Korea announced 284 new cases, largely in Daegu, bringing its total to 1,261. China, still the epicenter of the crisis even as new outposts caught the world’s attention, reported 406 new cases and 52 more deaths. The country has a total of 78,604 cases of the virus and 2,715 fatalities.China said Wednesday that those sickened by the virus included 555 prisoners who officials said likely became infected by guards using the same bus station as a nearby pulmonary hospital. In a twist, China is now heavily regulating arrivals from abroad, with authorities placing South Koreans under monitoring, state broadcaster CCTV reported, after five people on a flight showed signs of fever.Indonesia said it evacuated 188 crew members from the World Dream cruise ship and planned to take them to remote Sebaru Island. The workers were released from quarantine in Hong Kong after finding no infections, but authorities mandated an additional observation period.And on the opposite side of the world, the MSC Meraviglia was denied permission to land in Grand Cayman, where it was due to arrive Wednesday, following a decision by Jamaica to refuse it entry. The cruise line expressed frustration with the moves, which came after it reported one crew member from the Philippines was sick with common seasonal flu.It brought reminders of the MS Westerdam, which was repeatedly denied entry to Asian ports before Cambodia welcomed its passengers.MSC Cruises said the Meraviglia was sailing onward to Mexico.___Sedensky reported from Bangkok. Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Joeal Calupitan in Manila, Philippines; Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Stephen Wade and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo; Nicole Winfield in Vatican City; Aniruddha Ghosal in New Delhi; and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.Kim Tong-Hyung And Matt Sedensky, The Associated Press

  • Battle rages over strategic Syrian town of Saraqeb as humanitarian catastrophe unfolds
    News
    Reuters

    Battle rages over strategic Syrian town of Saraqeb as humanitarian catastrophe unfolds

    AMMAN/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Syrian rebels backed by Turkish forces said on Thursday they had recaptured the crossroads town of Saraqeb, marking a first big push-back of a Syrian government offensive. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said developments were turning in Ankara's favor, three weeks after the armed rebel opposition lost the northwestern town at the crossroads of two main highways to the Russian-backed Syrian government forces. Russian state television said Turkish military specialists were using shoulder-fired missiles to try to shoot down Russian and Syrian military aircraft over Idlib province, a development that, if confirmed, would mark a serious escalation of the conflict.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Court sides with Trump in 'sanctuary cities' grant fight

    NEW YORK — The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants to force states to co-operate with U.S. immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Wednesday in a decision that conflicted with three other federal appeals courts.The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a lower court's decision ordering the administration to release funding to New York City and seven states — New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island.The states and city sued the U.S. government after the Justice Department announced in 2017 that it would withhold grant money from cities and states until they gave federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.Before the change, cities and states seeking grant money were required only to show they were not preventing local law enforcement from communicating with federal authorities about the immigration status of people who were detained.At the time, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”In 2018, the Justice Department imposed additional conditions on the grant money, though challenges to those have not yet reached the appeals court in New York.The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws make clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.And it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.In the past two years, federal appeals courts in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco have ruled against the federal government by upholding lower-court injunctions placed on the enforcement of some or all of the challenged conditions.“While mindful of the respect owed to our sister circuits, we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue,” the 2nd Circuit three-judge panel said in a decision written by Judge Reena Raggi.“These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations. But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight,” the appeals court said.The Justice Department praised the decision, issuing a statement calling it a “major victory for Americans” and saying it recognizes that the attorney general has authority to ensure that grant recipients are not thwarting federal law enforcement priorities.The department added that the ruling's effect will be limited because other courts have ruled the other way, giving the plaintiffs in the New York case the opportunity to point to those as reasons to ignore the new conditions.Cody Wofsy, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, called the decision a “real outlier,” saying he believed the 2nd Circuit was the nation's first court to side with the Trump administration on the issue.“Over and over, courts have said the Department of Justice doesn't have authority under governing statutes to impose these conditions," he said. "These conditions are part of the administration’s attempts to bully, cajole and coerce state and local governments into participating in federal immigration enforcement activities."Under the Constitution's federalism principles and the 10th Amendment, Wofsy said, states and municipalities “are entitled to decline to become part of the administration’s deportation force.”In a statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Trump's “latest retaliation against his hometown takes away security funding from the number one terrorist target in America — all because we refuse to play by his arbitrary rules.”He added: “We'll see President Trump back in court and we will win.”Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the city's Office of Immigrant Affairs, said in a statement that the ruling was deeply troubling."New York City stands with our immigrant brothers and sisters and that will never change,” Mostofi said.The appeals rulings pertain to the issuance of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.Created in 2006, it is the vehicle through which Congress annually dispenses over $250 million in federal funding for state and local criminal justice efforts.The Byrne Program was named for New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne, who at age 22 was shot to death while guarding the home of a Guyanese immigrant co-operating with authorities investigating drug trafficking.___Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

  • What impact will the coronavirus have on Nova Scotia's tourism season?
    News
    CBC

    What impact will the coronavirus have on Nova Scotia's tourism season?

    As more countries report confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, Nova Scotia tourism operators face a challenge: how to attract thousands of international visitors while authorities work to minimize the chance of a traveller spreading the coronavirus.As of Wednesday, more than 81,000 people have been sickened worldwide by the coronavirus, with most of the cases and deaths happening in China."I think Nova Scotia is well-positioned right now because the public health authorities are saying the risk in our area is exceptionally low. We certainly have that in our favour," said Michele Saran, the CEO of Tourism Nova Scotia.The outbreak of the virus in China and the news that some airlines are cancelling flights there has challenged one of the agency's goals for 2019-20, which is to increase visitors from China from fewer than 5,000 in 2018 to 50,000 by 2024.The Chinese government ordered a temporary halt to tour sales in late January, trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus."When we're talking about our Chinese visitors, they tend to book their holidays about six weeks out and they tend to look at late summer, early fall," Saran said. "It's a little bit early to speculate on that. Obviously, we're hoping the situation gets resolved quickly, though."Late last year, the province announced two direct charter flights from mainland China to Halifax scheduled for September and October 2020. Saran is still expecting those flights will sell out.The vast majority of visitors to Nova Scotia continue to come from the United States and elsewhere in Canada."I believe this is a short-term thing," Saran said. "China is such a strong market, I do believe it will bounce back."Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said the coronavirus may become like influenza, which is a worldwide virus that is managed and controlled every year. However, he explained public health officials must have plans in place for worst-case scenarios.He met Tuesday with federal public health officials to discuss those plans, including the need for a federally-led strategy on what would happen if the virus arrived on board a cruise ship."That's a huge task when you look at the size of some of our cruise ships, but we need to start doing the planning and preparing for that," he said.On Tuesday, the Port of Halifax released its schedule for the 2020 cruise ship season, which begins on April 11 and runs into November. The port said it's expecting more than 200 vessels carrying approximately 350,000 people.Port spokesperson Lane Farguson said the port has followed news about the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan."We're working with our partner agencies to understand what all of this means for Halifax," he said. "At this point there haven't been any operational changes here as a result of what's happening globally, but it is something we're paying very close attention to."Any decision to quarantine a vessel or passengers rests with the Public Health Agency of Canada.A spokesperson for Halifax Stanfield International Airport said in an email that plans are in place if a flight landed with ill passengers, but the airport is not prepared to release details yet.Canadian international airports continue to ask screening questions about whether visitors have travelled to areas with outbreaks, and can send sick passengers to a quarantine officer.Provinces and territories are also telling health-care workers to watch for patients who report symptoms of respiratory illness. Those patients could be asked about their travel history and might be tested for coronavirus.Countries such as Brazil, Italy, Iran and South Korea are now reporting cases of COVID-19. Strang said the province is adding them to the list of affected countries."And we have to recognize that that list is likely to even grow and grow," he said.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Meeting back on with federal, B.C. governments: Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Meeting back on with federal, B.C. governments: Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief

    A meeting between the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, the federal government and the British Columbia government is set to take place Thursday after it was abruptly cancelled Wednesday, one of the leaders of the First Nation said.Chief Na'Moks, who also goes by John Ridsdale, said the meeting is scheduled in the afternoon and will continue Friday."It was abundantly clear to us that both levels of government had cancelled the discussions we had planned," he said.By Wednesday evening, he said he and the other hereditary chiefs were told the cancellation was due to a "miscommunication."He said talks broke down after they refused to ask other First Nations and their supporters to remove rail blockades throughout the country."In our law, we can't do that," he said. "We can't tell another sovereign nation what to do and we would not expect them to do that to us."A spokesman for the office of the B.C. premier said Wednesday that the report of a rescheduled meeting was "promising," but the provincial government was not in a position to confirm it until Thursday morning.Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks as a show of support for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, who oppose a natural gas pipeline project cutting across their traditional territory in northwestern British Columbia.Also Wednesday, protesters behind rail blockades in Quebec and Ontario ramped up their actions as government officials accused them of compromising public safety.In a video posted on the Real People's Media website, demonstrators in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ont., were shown standing on rail tracks as a CN Rail train approached, then jumping out of the way at the last second.Ontario Provincial Police said a handful of protesters also lit fires near and on railway tracks at a secondary camp that remained in place after a raid on another, larger blockade earlier this week.The latest disruptions were denounced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who called the protesters' actions unsafe."It is extremely concerning to see people endangering their own lives and the lives of others by trying to interfere with the trains," Trudeau said.Meanwhile, Quebec Premier Francois Legault suggested provincial police had not moved in to dismantle a blockade on the Kahnawake Mohawk territory south of Montreal because those on the reserve are armed, potentially with assault rifles. His comments, which came as protesters on the Mohawk territory south of Montreal reinforced a blockade that has been in place since Feb. 8, were rejected by the First Nation, which stressed the demonstration is a peaceful one.Kenneth Deer, the secretary of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, said the protesters are not armed and the suggestion that there are AK-47s at the site is "highly irresponsible and ludicrous."Earlier in the day, Deer spoke out against a possible intervention by outside police, saying any efforts to forcibly remove the site would be seen as an "act of provocation and aggression that will exacerbate an already volatile situation.""Ultimately, coercive state-sponsored force is the wrong way to make peace," Deer said in a statement.The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador also took issue with Legault's statements, urging him to be more careful in discussing the issue."Premier Legault is making very dangerous and offensive comments by suggesting the presence of weapons in Kahnawake," AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard said in a statement."He certainly did not consider the consequences of his words for community members who live with the memories of 30 years ago on a daily basis."The rail company obtained an injunction on Tuesday to end the blockade. Travel disruptions have continued in recent days after several high-profile blockades were dismantled by police in B.C. and Ontario earlier this week.The agency responsible for a major commuter rail service covering much of southern Ontario said Wednesday it was not anticipating any of the delays and cancellations that brought trains to a standstill during the previous day's rush hour.Metrolinx, operator of the GO Transit network, suspended service Tuesday on multiple routes as a series of protests sprang up in and around Toronto.City police said they arrested three people at the demonstrations. They said Wednesday morning that officers provided protesters with an injunction and began moving them from rail tracks.The federal governments could not immediately be reached for comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 26, 2020— With files from Liam Casey in Toronto, Dirk Meissner in Victoria, Amy Smart in Vancouver and Teresa Wright in Ottawa.Daniela Germano, Morgan Lowrie and Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

  • Review: Wayne does good job building suspense in `Apartment'
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Review: Wayne does good job building suspense in `Apartment'

    “Apartment,” Bloomsbury, by Teddy WayneTeddy Wayne has written another campus novel.Coming on the heels of his well-received “Loner” (2016), “Apartment” also serves as something of a parable for red state/blue state America. While the earlier book was set at Harvard, his latest takes place a couple hundred miles down the road in the MFA program of Columbia’s School of the Arts.The time is the mid-1990s — at or near the start of campus identity politics — when not every bodega in New York had given way to a shiny bank and the dominant mode of technology was the floppy disk. The two main characters, both young white men and children of divorce, meet at the beginning of the semester in a writing workshop.Billy, a working-class guy from a small Midwestern town, has to tend bar to afford his elite education, even with a full scholarship. Not only that, but he went to community college. The unnamed narrator, who hails from a wealthy Boston suburb, graduated from private, pricey New York University. Compounding his unearned privilege, he’s been illegally subletting his great-aunt’s rent-stabilized apartment while his emotionally unavailable father pays the bills.One day, after Billy comes to his defence in class, the narrator, ostensibly just wanting to be a nice guy, invites him to move into his second bedroom rent-free. When Billy, who is so broke he has to sleep in the basement of the dive bar where he works, reluctantly accepts, all the necessary plot points are in place for calamity — of the writerly type — to ensue.Wayne does a good job of building suspense and complicating predictable narratives.Will Billy, who seems affable enough at first, lauded by both his teachers and fellow students as a naturally gifted writer, turn out to be a con man or a cad? Is the narrator, who longs for a close friend and “the Hemingway-Fitzgerald complementary pairing I’d always thought necessary to one’s artistic development,” secretly desirous of something more carnal?Neither man fits his stereotype entirely.Billy makes culturally insensitive — many would call them homophobic — remarks, but he’s the one who cooks, cleans and sews. The narrator agonizes over almost everything, yet is less attentive to his mother than Billy over Thanksgiving weekend.While most of the novel unfolds over a single academic year, the last few pages jump ahead in time to the 2016 election. By ending with Donald Trump’s victory speech invoking “the forgotten men and women of this country,” Wayne suggests that the apartment, with its warring roommates, is a stand-in for our country.___Online: https://twitter.com/annlevinnycAnn Levin, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Kamloops gets glowing review from actor Chris Pratt

    Kamloops, B.C., got a little shoutout on Instagram from Hollywood royalty this week. Chris Pratt, star of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, is in B.C.'s Interior right now to film the latest instalment of the Jurassic World franchise: Jurassic World: Dominion.  In a video posted to Instagram stories, he mentions the beauty of the area as he drives to his filming location. "Look at this beautiful drive," he says as he turns the camera out toward the sunrise and scenery. "Kamloops, British Columbia, is so beautiful, good Lord. That sun, wow."Kamloops residents are certainly taking notice — Tourism Kamloops CEO Bev DeSantis said she's been getting links sent to her by email and on social media. "It's nice that someone with that influence in that scope and reach is paying attention to our city and area and giving us a shout out," said Bev deSantis, CEO of Tourism Kamloops. "That's pretty exciting."DeSantis said that putting the name Kamloops in front of Pratt's nearly 28 million followers will create a spike in interest in the area. "It's not about paying for advertising and having people say 'you should come visit us,'" she said. "It's these authentic folks that are hanging out going 'you know this is beautiful,' and if you don't come here and if you don't see it, you're actually missing out.'"Local film commissioner Victoria Weller said that because she has signed a non-disclosure agreement, she cannot comment on the filming or the video posted by Pratt.

  • News
    CBC

    Stalled LRT trains plague rush hour commute

    A loose power component on the Confederation Line caused delays during the Wednesday afternoon commute, forcing LRT passengers to wait outside in bad winter weather for replacement buses.At around 4:40 p.m., OC Transpo said part of the overhead power system east of St. Laurent station had come loose, forcing trains to be halted between St. Laurent and Blair stations.One train was evacuated and passengers were told to board replacement buses, transportation services general manager John Manconi said.About 45 minutes later, OC Transpo said another train had been stopped just east of Tremblay station for reasons "related to the ongoing situation."Passengers had to disembark and wait for the next train to arrive, Manconi said. One passenger required medical assistance, but that was unrelated to the delay itself.Repairs after rush hourRideau Transit Maintenance would begin repairs to the line shortly after rush hour, OC Transpo said.The delays come as Ottawa is under a winter storm warning. While the brunt of the storm is expected to arrive later Wednesday evening, high winds and flurries were already hitting the city by late afternoon.As of 6:30 p.m., replacement buses were in place between Hurdman and Blair stations, while trains were still running between Hurdman and Tunney's Pasture stations.Late Wednesday evening, train service between UOttawa and Hurdman stations was only available on the eastbound platforms due to a stopped train at UOttawa on the westbound side.OC Transpo said in a tweet that red vest staff were available to help riders.

  • How to assemble a safer drug use kit
    CBC

    How to assemble a safer drug use kit

    Samantha Pranteau, head of Tenant Overdose Response Organizers, demonstrates how a safe drug use kit is assembled.

  • News
    CBC

    Province moves forward with concrete barriers on Carnage Alley, but advocates want a timeline

    The province says it's one step closer to improving safety on Highway 401 between London and Tilbury, also known as  "Carnage Alley," which sees about 23,300 vehicles every day.On Wednesday, the province announced it's looking for a contractor to widen and install concrete median barriers in an effort to reduce the number of cross-median collisions along that stretch of the 401, a long-awaited move for highway safety advocates. "It seems to be good news, but, without a timeline attached, we are a bit concerned because that doesn't really compel anyone to get things done in a timely fashion," said Alysson Storey, founder of the advocacy group Build the Barrier."Each day [that passes] is a day longer that people's lives are at risk on the 401 and that's just not acceptable to us," she added. The province says the project would start with the first 11 kilometres of the road between Tilbury and Merlin Road in Chatham-Kent."People's safety on Ontario's roads and highways, especially on Highway 401, is one of our government's top priorities," said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London."Our government continues to take real action on our commitment to widen and install concrete barriers on this dangerous stretch of highway to make our roads safer for drivers and get people where they want to go across southwestern Ontario faster," he added. Storey has been advocating for concrete barriers since 2017 after her friend, Sarah Payne, and Payne's 5-year-old daughter, Freya, were killed when a pickup truck crossed the centre line and struck their minivan on Highway 401 near Dutton, west of London. "Whenever your lose a loved one in such a senseless way, it's extremely upsetting," Storey said. "This is the only way many of us see a way of making any sense to a loss like this." In addition to the concrete barriers, the project also includes a new storm sewer system and other safety improvements.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Strike deadline for Toronto's outside workers extended by 48 hours

    TORONTO — The City of Toronto and the union representing thousands of its workers agreed Wednesday to extend a strike deadline by 48 hours, with both sides expressing optimism that a deal can be reached to avoid a labour disruption.CUPE 416 president Eddie Mariconda said the parties were making positive strides at the bargaining table but needed more time to reach an agreement. The new strike deadline is now Saturday at 12:01 a.m."If you're making some progress there is no need to impose that deadline," Mariconda said. "Both parties felt that an extension was the best thing to do for the citizens of Toronto."About 5,000 city employees — often referred to as "outside workers" — have been without a contract since Dec. 31. The union said provisions around job security for senior employees have been the primary sticking point during contract talks, which included mediated negotiations over the weekend.The city has said garbage collection, recreation centres and city-owned event spaces would all be affected if a strike does take place.Mariconda said the union remains concerned that the city is attempting to weave clauses into the agreement that would open the door to privatization. In spite of those efforts, a deal can be reached if everyone remains reasonable, he said."We are not going anywhere until we hammer out a deal," he said.Toronto Mayor John Tory also expressed optimism about the extension, calling it a "positive development.""My focus is on getting a fair and timely agreement that is good for our workers and good for our residents at the same time," he said.Tory said he is not seeking to privatize any services or eliminate jobs through contracting out."I want to run an efficient government here ... but in the last five years I have been mayor, not one (CUPE 416) job has been lost to any kind of measure like that," he said. Meanwhile, the city said Wednesday that a strike or lockout date has been set with CUPE Local 79 — the union that represents most of its 22,000 indoor workers — for March 14, at 12:01 a.m."The city will continue to meet with the union to try and achieve negotiated collective agreements," the city said in the statement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press

  • Senator Lynn Beyak Must Resign, Residential School Survivor Says
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Senator Lynn Beyak Must Resign, Residential School Survivor Says

    Garnet Angeconeb says the senator's apology was not enough.

  • News
    CBC

    Foul play suspected in N.S. man's death in Belize, sister says

    The sister of a 79-year-old Nova Scotia man who was found dead in Belize on Monday says she was told foul play was suspected.According to local media in Belize, Jim Slemp's body was found in a lagoon near his home in Hopkins Village three days after he went missing. Hopkins Village is located more than 100 kilometres southeast of Belize's capital, Belmopan.His sister, Kathye Lacoursiere, told CBC News in an phone interview from her home in Red Deer, Alta., one of her brother's godsons told her on Friday that Slemp was missing.She heard about her brother's death on Monday through one of Slemp's friends. She said she was also notified by the Canadian consulate."All I had known from down south is that they definitely knew there was foul play ... but they didn't say what," Lacoursiere said.'He loved life'She said her brother, who was a former school teacher, was a kind, gentle person."We were raised on a farm and he just loved life and loved people. He was a people helper. If somebody needed help, he was right there," Lacoursiere said."He was one of the best brothers you could ask for and I know he was a wonderful son to our parents. He was with them both at their end. Just a wonderful man."Slemp is originally from Alberta, but moved to Nova Scotia in the mid-1980s to farm blueberries, his sister said.Lacoursiere said her brother would spend most of his winters in Belize.'He really loved it there'"He was a severe arthritic, so the weather was wonderful for him. So he bought a little plot of land and built a few cabins and he really loved it there," she said.When she learned of her brother's death, she said she couldn't believe it."Shock, disbelief, my gosh — how could that happen to somebody, anybody? Just shock, I'm still in shock," she said.Lacoursiere said her brother had discouraged her from coming to Belize."We wanted to go and he told us not to come because it was too dangerous. So something alerted him that it was just unsafe, so we didn't go and I'm sorry in one way and I'm glad in another way," she said.Lacoursiere said his remains will be laid to rest in Belize because that was his wish.Memorial service in AlbertaA memorial for her brother will be held in Alberta sometime in early summer.Police in Belize did not respond to CBC's request for an interview on Wednesday.Global Affairs Canada told CBC in an email it was aware of a Canadian's death in Belize and offered condolences."Consular officials in Belize are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. Consular officials stand ready to provide assistance to the relatives of the deceased," a spokesperson wrote."Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed."MORE TOP STORIES

  • Canada must expose hidden company owners to end 'snow washing,' inquiry hears
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Canada must expose hidden company owners to end 'snow washing,' inquiry hears

    VANCOUVER — Canada must urgently create public registries that reveal the true owners of corporations in order to shed its international reputation as a destination for laundering the proceeds of crime, an inquiry has heard.A coalition of tax fairness groups told British Columbia's money laundering inquiry Wednesday that hiding ill-gotten cash behind shell companies is so widespread in Canada it's known globally as "snow washing.""It is no wonder criminals set their sights on Canada, which has some of the weakest corporate transparency laws in the world," said James Cohen, representing Transparency International Canada, Canadians For Tax Fairness and Publish What You Pay Canada."There are more rigorous checks to obtain a library card than there are to set up a shell company."B.C. launched the provincial inquiry amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping to fuel its real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is participating and says it is committed to tackling the national problem.Three days of opening arguments concluded Wednesday. The inquiry will reconvene in May to quantify the extent of money laundering in B.C. before main hearings in September through December delve into specific industries.Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada, said it joined forces with the other two groups in 2016 after the Panama Papers shed new light on wealthy individuals' use of offshore companies to evade taxes.The leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca also revealed that Canada was being marketed as a location to bring dirty money and have it cleaned like the "pure white snow," he said.There are a number of gaps in Canada's anti-money laundering law but a key problem is its weak beneficial ownership regime, which allows company owners to remain anonymous, Cohen said.He proposed adding owner information to existing business registries already in place in provinces and territories. This addition would deter money laundering while still respecting privacy rights, he argued.Cohen noted that the United Kingdom gathers information about owners that is available to authorities but limits the details that are posted publicly on its registry. For example, an owner's month and year of birth are posted but not the date.He praised B.C. for creating a land ownership registry that identifies those buying real estate, as well as the federal government for consulting with provinces and territories on a possible national registry, but he urged swifter action."The extent of secrecy granted to companies has come at a high cost to Canadians, particularly in British Columbia," he said. "Bad actors have exploited Canada's stable economy, leading to crime, housing unaffordability and increased corruption."The organization representing real estate agents in British Columbia told the inquiry that it has taken action since several government-commissioned reports found the housing market had become a hotbed for dirty money.A lawyer for the B.C. Real Estate Association said it supported the province's land ownership registry and it also struck a working group with others in the sector to make anti-money laundering recommendations.Chris Weafer asked commissioner Austin Cullen to accept those recommendations, including that the provincial and federal governments create a "comprehensive, efficient enforcement regime" that avoids duplication of reporting practices.He also pushed back on the idea that mortgage brokers or others in the industry regularly accept cash deposits. This practice has never been common except in extenuating circumstances and even then amounts were modest, he said."The regulation of Realtors and the real estate industry is in a state of flux in this province, through taxes, new regulations and legislation," Weafer said."As a participant in these proceedings, BCREA can provide a practical lens to give the inquiry a boots-on-the-ground perspective of the current and past state of the industry, and provide insight as to what the industry may look like following proposed changes."Another key issue is to what extent lawyers should be included in the national anti-money laundering regime, given that they are involved in large purchases of assets and the creation of corporations, partnerships and trusts.Kevin Westell, representing the Canadian Bar Association and Criminal Defence Advocacy Society, said the regime should not apply to the legal profession. Requiring lawyers to report suspicious activity to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, or Fintrac, would violate solicitor-client privilege, he said.It would also add to a "disturbing" trend of the B.C. government undermining the work of lawyers, he said, pointing to policies including proposed changes to its public auto insurer that would ban injured people from suing at-fault drivers.Both the bar association and defence advocacy society recognize the inquiry is important, Westell said."At the same time, both organizations are wary that the zealous search for solutions to the money laundering problem will lead to investigative and regulatory overreach that could endanger the independence of lawyers, the privacy of private citizens and the rights of all Canadians to a free and just society."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2020.Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

  • Officer denied promotion because of performance, not racism, tribunal hears
    News
    CBC

    Officer denied promotion because of performance, not racism, tribunal hears

    Const. Khoa Hoang missed out on promotion not because of systemic racism within the Ottawa Police Service, but because of his poor performance on the job, an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal heard Tuesday.However, Hoang's lawyer painted a very different picture, one of an organization where minorities and women are at an automatic disadvantage, especially if they fall out of favour with their superiors.Hoang, 39, has been a constable since joining the force in 2007.The tribunal heard that after undergoing a qualification process in 2014, Hoang was ranked 34th out of 40 officers eligible for promotion to sergeant. But when it came time to choose a candidate, Hoang said a staff sergeant went to great lengths to justify promoting a white officer who had ranked lower.Hoang claimed Staff Sgt. Lyse Fournier spent two months combing through 1,700 calls he had attended in order to find instances where Hoang had made professional mistakes.Hoang also alleges that then police chief Charles Bordeleau and other executive officers ignored his complaints about harassment by managers and colleagues. He filed his human rights complaint in 2018 after trying for more than four years to resolve the matter internally. 'Complete misunderstanding'But Jock Climie, the lawyer representing the Ottawa Police Service, said Hoang's interpretation of events signified a "complete misunderstanding" on his part, claiming it was his lacklustre performance that had cost him the promotion.Climie told the tribunal that after Hoang was put on the list for possible promotion, other officers approached Fournier with a flood of concerns."Const. Hoang did well in the promotional process, but new facts came to light Ottawa police could not ignore," Climie said.He told the tribunal Fournier focused on 49 "troubling" calls, including incidents where Hoang took more than three minutes to move his patrol car, took circuitous routes to the scene and was the third or fourth officer to arrive.On the day of the Parliament Hill shooting in October 2014, Hoang volunteered to be the scribe at the police command post but failed to show up. Other officers complained they couldn't count on Hoang's support during physical altercations, Climie told the tribunal.'Poisoned work environment'Hoang's lawyer, Elie Labaky, said such serious allegations against his client should have resulted in a charge under the Police Services Act. Instead, Labaky said Hoang faced an "ad hoc" disciplinary procedure that left him vulnerable to bullying and harassment."The Ottawa Police Service has a track record of selectively applying policies to officers they like and dislike, and that generally disfavours minority officers and female officers," Labaky said in an interview.Labaky called the Ottawa Police Service a "poisoned work environment."Bordeleau, the hearing's first witness, acknowledged that "racism exists in society and it exists in the Ottawa Police Service," but the former chief defended Fournier."As a staff sergeant, she was doing her due diligence," he said.The hearing broke off Tuesday afternoon when the two parties decided to enter into mediation. Current Chief Peter Sloly is participating directly in the mediation process.

  • Reality TV series about Saskatoon paramedics launching new season
    News
    CBC

    Reality TV series about Saskatoon paramedics launching new season

    A new season of a Saskatoon-based reality TV show profiling paramedics launches Wednesday night.The episode marks the start of Season 4 of Paramedics: Emergency Response.The cameras follow paramedics with Medavie Health Services West as they do their work.Tony Hrynchuk, the show's director and producer, said he got the idea by accident while talking to a paramedic on a flight from Edmonton to Saskatoon."He told me about his job, and I thought, 'Wow, this is really interesting. This would make an interesting documentary series,'" Hrynchuk said."And he said, 'Well, you don't want to come to my service.' It was in Wakaw. He says, 'It's too small. The people you have to talk to are in Saskatoon.'"Hrynchuk said he didn't realize there was so much poverty in Saskatoon until he did the show."You also realize that a lot of people that are often less fortunate are human beings and they have a story," he said."I think a part of our show is hopefully it will make people watching a little more empathetic toward those who are struggling."Wednesday night's premiere is called Assault in Progress."You definitely have a real appreciation for first responders and the personal danger that they put themselves in and the dedication to the job and all that they go through," Hrynchuk said. "It's certainly not an easy career."Hrynchuk said they use 30 cameras for the show, but they never air someone's emergency without their permission.He also said the episodes include a follow-up with the patients after they've recovered from their condition.Wednesday night's season premiere airs at 10 p.m. on Citytv Saskatchewan.

  • Parents of Brentwood murder victims plan to break ground on memorial garden May 1
    News
    CBC

    Parents of Brentwood murder victims plan to break ground on memorial garden May 1

    A memorial park designed to honour the five students killed at a Brentwood house party in 2014 is now expected to open by the end of this summer in Glenmore Park, featuring spectacular views of the reservoir and the city skyline, a performance stage and life-sized instruments.The families of the victims have worked for just over a year to bring the project to life, fundraising $384,000 to date, and planning for an attractive, interactive outdoor space that will emphasize music and the arts."The park is going to be the first of its kind in Alberta, unique, an interactive musical instrument-lined walkway and performance space," said Gregg Perras, father of Kaitlan Perras, on the Calgary Eyeopener."It's going to be highlighted by 16 large, adult size, percussion instruments along a pathway, with a 30-foot concrete stage in the middle for performance arts, theatre, et cetera. So it's really focused on arts-related opportunities, but also nature, yoga, gratitude circles, drum circles — anything you can think, can happen in that space."The park honours Lawrence Hong, 27, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlan Perras, 23, Jordan Segura, 22 and Zackariah Rathwell, 21, who lost their lives at a party meant to celebrate the end of the school year. All were known for their appreciation of the arts."It's healing, and we want it to be a place of healing as well," said Ronda-Lee Rathwell, mother of victim Zackariah Rathwell, when the park was announced last year. Rathwell was in a local band with victim Josh Hunter, 23. Segura enjoyed community, and Hong had an interest in city planning. Kaitlan Perras was a ballet dancer.All five victims were stabbed to death at the house party on April 15, 2014. Originally charged with five counts of first-degree murder, Matthew de Grood was found not criminally responsible (NCR) after a two-week trial in May 2016. It has been a long road for the families.Patty Segura, mother of Jordan Segura, told CBC News in 2016 that attending the trial was a "waste of time" and had been difficult on her. "I'm not going to carry it with me every day," she said. "I'll always have Jordan in my heart, but I won't always have this legal stuff with me every day. I'll go find some happiness somewhere."A new video released by the Quinterra Legacy Group brings the park to life, giving a drone-style tour of the artist's renderings."It's a spectacular video, it really brings the park to life," Perras said of the video now presented on the group's website, Quinterra Legacy Garden."We have front and centre a YouTube video that was created by some wonderful people that really brings the garden to life with the 3D video of coming in, landing over the reservoir, seeing the various instruments in their positions, the stage, and just the entire location outlined."The group has raised nearly 90 per cent of the money needed for the park's construction, and Perras said they expect to break ground in May. A grand opening event is scheduled for Aug. 29.With construction costs pegged at $425,000, and another $150,000 planned for a sustainability fund, the group plans a fundraising push in the next two months."We're going to be looking at creating a sustainability fund that will help us care for the park over the next 20 years, so in the case of a tree dying or an instrument breaking, we want to replace it. So that's … just to about $575,000," Perras said. "Those are immediate goals, but we also would like to raise some programming funds so that the Quinterra Group could have some programming events at the space as well."Located in south Glenmore Park adjacent to the Nautical Spray Park, and down the road from the sailing club, the memorial garden will offer some of the best views in the city."It's probably the pre-eminent space in Calgary," Perras said. "When you look from the memorial chairs that will be there, you'll be looking straight down the reservoir at the Calgary Tower in downtown. So it's just a spectacular location."The Quinterra Group's mission is to "provide a peaceful, contemplative and vibrant outdoor space for Calgarians to reflect, heal and remember," according to the group's website.Barclay Hunter, Josh's father, told CBC that all five victims were creative and the park is the perfect way to honour them."It's been a big part of our healing," he said. For more information or to donate, visit the Parks Foundation website or the Quinterra Legacy Gardens website.With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

  • News
    CBC

    More days off for students, more headaches for working parents under new school calendar

    Parents who juggle their schedules to find child care during non-instructional days say an Edmonton public school board decision to give students five more days off will add logistical and financial headaches for them and other working parents."I'll have to pay for additional days of out-of-school care. If I don't take the day off work, I'll have to take my child to an out-of-school care and pay for that," said Fraser Porter, whose son attends kindergarten at Oliver School.Trustees voted Tuesday to add five more non-instructional days to next year's school calendar as a cost-saving measure. Board chair Trisha Estabrooks said most parents are well aware the board is in a financial crunch."We need to direct as many dollars as possible to the classroom right now," Estabrooks said in an interview. "We're taking that seriously and the decision we made [Tuesday] helps to support that idea."The school board expects the move to save almost $3 million, with some of that coming from not running yellow buses for those five days.As well, two of the days will be designated as professional development days for teachers."The hope is that staff will use those allotted days to take their professional development, thereby eliminating or significantly reducing the cost we'd spend on substitute teachers," Estabrooks said.'It will cost me more money'The school board's decision Tuesday came two days before the provincial government will table its 2020-21 budget. Porter said that as a parent, she'd prefer to see a cut to the number of school days than a cut to classroom staff — but she would have rather not have seen any cost-cutting measures."'I'll take the less school days, but it will cost me more money," she said. "And I would have liked to have seen no reduction in education dollars."With high unemployment in Edmonton, parents are put in an awkward position to ask their employers for either additional time off or more flexibility in their hours, she said. "Asking your employer for more grace is not always the easiest thing to do. And having to re-arrange those pick-up schedules in a difficult labour environment can be very touchy."She noted child care centres are also dealing with a recent cut to the benefit contribution grant, which the UCP government has said will be discontinued as of April 1. Child-care providers are not in a good position to absorb those extra days, she said.Some parents say the extra days off will undoubtedly cause headaches for parents — but could benefit students."For the kids it's probably a good thing. But for parents, adding more holidays to the list may cause confusion with childcare," said Crystal Tremblay, who has two children at Delton School.

  • Rural N.S. propane dealer eagerly awaits shipment as rail network reopens
    News
    CBC

    Rural N.S. propane dealer eagerly awaits shipment as rail network reopens

    After weeks of rationing propane to its customers, a rural Nova Scotia company says the opening of CN Rail's eastern network should mean it gets a large shipment of product within five days.Rail blockades disrupted supply to Eastern Canada earlier this month, but freight trains are moving again after a rail blockade near Belleville, Ont., was dismantled Monday."I'm keeping my head above water … I've been still getting by," said Susan Wagner, the president of Royal Propane in Digby, N.S."I haven't had to tell somebody I can't give them gas."The company has been rationing propane to its 3,000 customers in southwestern Nova Scotia.Blockades across the country have been set up in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs in northern British Columbia who oppose the construction of the $6-billion Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.Tammy Hirsch, a spokesperson for the Canadian Propane Association, said that as propane shipments by rail resume, "the propane industry is doing everything it can to continue supplying propane to customers through alternative transportation, but this is only a temporary solution," she said in a statement to CBC News.Last week, Wagner feared her business would need to shut its doors, but she's been able to maintain deliveries to her customers by receiving propane by truck."It takes three trucks to do what one rail car can do," she said.Wagner said Royal typically delivers from 33,000 to 66,000 litres of propane a week, but has been making do with a supply of 10,000 litres per week.She said she's been rationing her supply by providing smaller amounts to customers and prioritizing those who need it for cooking and heat.Wagner said she hasn't heard from her supplier, Wilsons, as to when she should expect a rail shipment, but even if she received a shipment Thursday, it would still take more than three months for her business to recuperate.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Calgary company diverts 150K mattresses from landfill
    News
    CBC

    Calgary company diverts 150K mattresses from landfill

    A Calgary-based mattress recycling company has prevented 150,000 mattresses from going to the landfill in the span of six years, but the City of Calgary has yet to hop on board with a mattress recycling program.Shawn Cable, founder of Re-Matt, says the idea for his company was formed after brainstorming ways to save mattresses from ending up in the garbage."An individual mattress takes decades to decompose.  Mattresses are also mostly air — taking up huge amounts of space in landfills because mattresses are difficult to compress," Cable said in a release.Cable and his team will deconstruct a mattress in around eight minutes and then separate its components so the raw materials can find a second life.  "We can sell the foam, the metal, the felt blankets, cardboard and plastic. They're all sort of based on commodity pricing, so we can sell that based on whatever the market value is for that item," he said.The founder says there isn't a lot of revenue available for these back-end materials so they charge individuals a $20 fee to recycle their mattress.As well, Cable says, they also work with different landfill sites outside of Calgary and retailers and hotels in the city. "Airdrie was the first one that got on board as a municipality, so we worked with them and they have a set up a transfer site where people from their city can bring it there," he explained.City of Calgary not involved yetCable says they've been pushing the City of Calgary to develop a process similar to what Airdrie has in order to divert more mattresses from the landfill."They are interested, it's just kind of been a timing thing. But I think we're gonna see something from them pretty soon," he said.He says getting the city on board would double the amount of mattresses they recycle."It'd make a big impact to our business," he said."There's probably 60,000 still going in (Calgary's) landfill, and then we do about 35,000 to 40,000 on our own."Leah Kemppainen, the communications planner for waste and recycling with the city, said in a statement that addressing special materials such as mattresses are the next steps in achieving Calgary's waste diversion goals."Waste & Recycling Services is currently looking into what would be involved with a mattress recycling program and considering a pilot within 2020," she wrote.Kemppainen says that in the meantime, the city encourages citizens to donate or look into local mattress recyclers since sending them to landfill will involve charges.

  • Experts urge caution when interpreting poverty rates
    News
    CBC

    Experts urge caution when interpreting poverty rates

    New figures from Statistics Canada show the number of New Brunswick residents living in poverty is decreasing, but some local experts are taking those numbers with a grain of salt.The Statistics Canada figures also show that the number of children living in poverty has decreased by half — from 20,000 in 2015 to 10,000 in 2018. Karen Foster, an associate professor in the Sociology department at Dalhousie University, said people should be cautious about interpreting the Statistics Canada numbers as a sure sign that poverty is decreasing."If you talk to, you know, to the average New Brunswicker, they might feel like they're not significantly further ahead," Foster said, who's also Canada's Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada.Statistics Canada uses the market basket measure system to determine who falls below the poverty line. The market basket measure system takes into account the cost of groceries, rent and clothing to determine low income.The Statistics Canada survey also determines the average cost of living in each province and territory and how far away someone is from the median income. "Ordinary people look at this data and say, 'Well, you know, how is it that I feel increasingly squeezed?'" Foster said. "I think some of the answer might lie in how we measure cost of living and how we take into account the fact that what counts as a decent living … is socially determined."Randy Hatfield, the executive director with the Saint John Human Development Council. said the definition of what constitutes a decent living changes over time. "The most recent calculation was based in 2008 and we know that back then there was little consideration for technology, to something like cell phones or Internet access," said Hatfield.Even the concept of a poverty line can lead to some people being viewed as getting by financially when they're really not."If you're above the line you're not in poverty, if you're below the line you are," said Hatfield. "That's pretty crude. What if you're $10 just below or $10 just above?"

  • Hockey coach moved from job to job, despite sex allegations
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Hockey coach moved from job to job, despite sex allegations

    MINNEAPOLIS — Tony Kellin remembers an assistant hockey coach at the University of Minnesota approaching him in the locker room during the 1984-85 season and saying he knew a woman who would perform oral sex on Kellin, but only if Kellin would be blindfolded with his hands tied.A junior defenceman at the time, Kellin said he told coach Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas: “That ain’t gonna happen." Kellin came to believe Adrahtas was the one who would be performing the proposed sex act — and that some underclassmen were victims of his scheme. He said he reported his suspicions to the athletic director, and Adrahtas was soon gone.But in 2012, Kellin learned Adrahtas was still coaching. A revered coach who took teams to championships, Adrahtas had bounced around several hockey programs in the Chicago area, landing at Robert Morris University in 2008. Despite a 2010 decision by the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois to suspend Adrahtas from its programs and a 2012 report to police by Kellin, Adrahtas did not leave Robert Morris until November 2018. For Kellin, Adrahtas' ability to move easily from job to job after the accusations were reported raises questions.“In my opinion, they dropped the ball,” Kellin told The Associated Press on Tuesday, a day after the University of Minnesota announced that it is investigating the allegations. “I’m disgusted that he was allowed to keep doing it. He’s a predator. He’s a creep.”The allegations were first reported by The Athletic, which quoted several firsthand accounts by young men who said they were victimized. Adrahtas, 64, did not immediately respond to messages left by the AP at a cellphone number believed to be his. He denied to The Athletic that he had ever sexually abused anyone.It’s likely too late for Adrahtas to face criminal or civil charges in Minnesota for alleged abuse in the 1980s, due to the statute of limitations. So far, no allegations have emerged publicly from Adrahtas' time at Robert Morris.University spokeswoman Nancy Donohoe told the AP that if any complaints had come in, the school would have acted on them. She declined to say whether Robert Morris opened any inquiries into Adrahtas or whether the school would release records related to his tenure, saying she could not speak about personnel issues.During his 10 years at Robert Morris, Adrahtas gained a reputation as a standout coach and recruiter who raised the level of play despite a modest budget. During the 2013-2014 season, Robert Morris made it to the American Collegiate Hockey Association title game, losing to top-ranked Arizona State.According to The Athletic, Adrahtas was scheduled to be inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. When one of his former players, Chris Jensen, heard about that, he reached out to the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois, or AHAI, and told the group that he was one of Adrahtas’ victims.In a statement to the AP, the amateur hockey organization said it suspended Adrahtas indefinitely on March 1, 2010, pending a hearing that did not happen because Adrahtas resigned from all AHAI affiliate positions. His suspension is still in effect.It's unclear whether AHAI and the University of Minnesota reported the allegations to police.Adrahtas is also suspended from coaching any USA Hockey-sanctioned teams, pending the completion of an investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport involving allegations from multiple former players.SafeSport investigates reports of sexual misconduct and abuse within organizations that are affiliated with the U.S. Olympic Committee, including USA Hockey. SafeSport says on its website that Adrahtas was temporarily suspended on Sept. 13, 2018, after allegations of misconduct. The website does not provide details. The centre said in a statement that it “doesn’t discuss individual matters to protect the integrity of the process and the safety and privacy of the people involved, including those who report abuse."The Athletic reported that the SafeSport investigation was launched after one of Adrahtas’ former junior hockey players, Mike Sacks, sent a letter to both the American Collegiate Hockey Association and Robert Morris University describing a 20-month span of sexual abuse and exploitation. Sacks declined to comment Tuesday when reached by the AP.The University of Minnesota said it has hired the Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie to determine what happened. Athletic Director Mark Coyle also wrote to members of the 1984-85 team, inviting them to come forward with information.The investigation comes at a time when several men alleging sexual abuse by a deceased University of Michigan doctor have retained law firms that are representing accusers who sued Michigan State University and Ohio State in similar cases.Kellin said he was approached at least twice by Adrahtas and refused the coach’s offer both times. But he believed that some younger players were being assaulted by Adrahtas without their knowledge. So when one player was presented with the same offer, Kellin and other players organized a “sting operation” of their own and staked out the doors of Adrahtas’ apartment complex to watch for a woman coming or going. No one did.Kellin then approached Athletic Director Paul Giel. Shortly after that, the coach was gone.Kellin said he was hunting with friends in 2012 when the topic came up, and one of his buddies suggested that Kellin find out whether Adrahtas was still coaching. Kellin was dismayed to find that he was.“I kind of figured he was banned from coaching,” Kellin said. “He’s been doing this everywhere he’s been, and he’s probably still doing it.”___Tarm reported from Chicago.Amy Forliti And Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

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    The Canadian Press

    Assisted dying bill gets mixed reviews, raises fears of more restrictions

    OTTAWA — Some experts fear that legislation intended to make it easier for intolerably suffering Canadians to receive medical assistance to end their lives might actually make it harder in some cases and will create confusion among doctors who provide the procedure.Bill C-7, introduced Monday, would remove a provision in the four-year-old assisted dying law that restricted the procedure to those whose natural death is "reasonably foreseeable" — a restriction that was struck down as unconstitutional by a Quebec court last fall.But the revised law would still use the notion of reasonable foreseeability to impose a number of restrictions on those who are not near death that wouldn't apply to those who are.Dr. Stefanie Green, president of the Canadian Association of MAiD (medical assistance in dying) Assessors and Providers, says the bill muddies the already somewhat ambiguous notion of what constitutes reasonably foreseeable death and could mean some people who are currently eligible for an assisted death would not be eligible in future.The bill also explicitly prohibits assisted dying in cases where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition.Jocelyn Downie, a professor of law and medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, says that exclusion is discriminatory and takes away access to the procedure that exists in the current law.For those deemed to be near death, the government is proposing to drop the requirement that a person must wait 10 days after being approved for an assisted death before receiving the procedure. It would also reduce the number of witnesses required to one from two.As well, it is proposing to drop the requirement that a person must be able to give consent a second time immediately prior to receiving the procedure.Both Downie and Green welcomed those changes.But they have concerns about the more restrictive requirements for those whose natural deaths are not deemed to be reasonably foreseeable.Such people would face a minimum 90-day period for assessments of their requests for assisted deaths. One of the two medical practitioners who assesses a request would have to have expertise in the person's particular medical condition. And the person would have to be able to give final consent immediately prior to the assisted death.Both Downie and Green said they're concerned that the bill might narrow the concept of reasonably foreseeable death, which has been interpreted to mean that a person is on a trajectory towards death — be it in one, two, three or more years.Downie and Green said a technical briefing Justice Department officials gave on the bill Monday left the impression that death must be relatively imminent to be considered reasonably foreseeable. Moreover, they noted that the preamble of the bill refers at one point to "dying persons.""If they want to narrow it, they need to own that they're narrowing it and define it," Downie said in an interview.The wording in the preamble "raises a question," said Green. "I'm not sure that's the intention of the government and if it is, boy, we better know that."Green said that overall the members of her organization think the bill is "a step in the right direction" but they have some practical concerns, including "frustration" that they're going to have to continue wrestling with the concept of foreseeable death to determine which of the two proposed eligibility tracks apply in each case.Green said there's also concern that those who are not deemed to be near death will have to be assessed by a medical practitioner with expertise in their medical condition. That expertise could be hard to find for patients in rural or remote areas.Moreover, she said specialists are already consulted by doctors who are assessing a patient's eligibility for an assisted death. The bill would require those specialists to actually be involved in the assessments, a burden she predicted few would be prepared to do.Downie said she's also concerned that the bill stipulates that a person not near death would have to be suffering intolerably to be assessed for an assisted death and then that assessment would have to last a minimum of 90 days."By definition, people in the second track have to experience 90 days of intolerable suffering and that seems cruel."Downie said she was "floored" by the bill's blanket prohibition on assisted deaths for those suffering solely from mental illnesses."It's discriminatory, it's stigmatizing, it undercuts efforts of many people for many years to try to get people to acknowledge that mental illness is as serious as physical illness and that the suffering from it can be as excruciating as the suffering from physical illness," she said."It's taking away access."NDP justice critic Randall Garrison said his party shares some of the same concerns but overall believes the bill "looks good" at first glance.He said the government — which is asking for a four-month extension on the March 11 deadline given by the court to amend the law — wants initial debate, which started Wednesday, to wrap up this week so that the bill can then be sent to committee for more detailed study.However, Conservative justice critic Rob Moore said his party "would object to that timeline.""This is an important matter for all members and needs thoughtful consideration. Any effort to curtail debate is inappropriate," he said in an email.Conservatives believe the bill "goes far beyond" what was ordered by last fall's court ruling and "reduces protections for vulnerable members of our society," Moore added. He said his party also wants the bill to do more to protect the conscience rights of health professionals who don't want to be involved in any way in providing assistance in dying.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2020.Joan Bryden, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version attributed a view to Justice Department officials that is held by Stefanie Green and Jocelyn Downie.