Better policing

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgWithout numbers to bandy, is it possible to argue that policing in India is in a bad shape? I think it is. Police are stretched, resourceless and politically kept on oversight. There are many more stresses. One more will do. No value is attached to the time of a policeman by those who have any kind of authority in relation to policing. Sounds staggering but so true. What gives me any right to speak on Police? True that CBI is not uniformed Police. It’s an investigation Police, but in areas of Investigation of terrorism whether Punjab or elsewhere and mafia which was my assignment in CBI I from 1984-1996, I needed help, co-operation and guidance from uniformed Police, its intelligence agencies apart from other sources. Plus after retirement from the CBI, I worked with Lt. Governor of Delhi during 1997-98 and again during 2007-2013 as his Police Advisor holding office as Officer on Special Duty (OSD). So, I rate myself competent. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhy is the police stretched? At the root of it is the assumption that a police man’s job is a round-the-clock job. If you have to be at it from dawn to dawn, the need to compress your work, be considerate in assigning you to work simply disappears. Since the policeman, irrespective of his rank, is on call 24/7, assignments pile on him and then he will stretch himself in an attempt to attend to all of it. The guilt feeling in the authorities after inflicting 24/7 hours of work is assuaged by giving certain sections of Police ranks 13 months salary for 12 months work. Ultimately, the stretched policemen produce shoddy stuff, bound to do so. How does he get away? Because though shoddy, its deleterious and toxic effects remain carpeted and just ticking. When it does explode in the face years later, it leaves the original defaulting policeman some distance away. In short, while a chef’s work or a doctor’s treatment or a lawyer’s argument or a District Collectors decision, if wrong may explode in their face, a policeman’s poor investigation will be exposed after trial and appeal years later. What we need is an eight-hour Police work for an individual policeman in the field with 24/ 7 policing. Once this concept is accepted, the implementation has to be done. It can be done. Also Read – Insider threat managementMoving to resources, the police station is at the heart of policing. The future will be three of them; Investigation & Trial, Traffic and Law & Order Police stations. At present all three functions are performed from one Police Station. Time is of the essence for every policeman. They must be so quartered that getting to the place of work should not be more than 20-30 minutes each day. Working eight hours a day and getting to work in 30 minutes at the most will maximise resources and ensure effective policing. It will also mean that when a cop is off duty, policing is not off. It continues in else’s hands. This will appear absurd to old hands in the police. It goes against the grain of Police work being individual work, especially in areas of investigation and prosecution thereafter. In order to beat the resource crunch and consequent delay, it’s necessary to sell the idea of passing on the responsibilities of investigation and prosecution instead of insisting that the original investigator/prosecutor must work on it all through his working life. Our court trials last long; 10, 15, even 20 years. It means while he/she adds on years of work, the responsibility undertaken in the past just tags along. This concept is so hardened into police minds that doing it any differently seems utterly absurd. Resource-crunch is a reality and therefore the management of resources has to be real. Along with this, the infusion of technology and its help is the way out of resource-crunch. One could go on and on and mention the do’s and the don’t’s to show how it is possible but it is best left to the senior managers in the police. The political oversight over all policing is India’s worst kept secret. India’s CJI bluntly told the CBI that it works badly when it investigates politically sensitive cases. The naked political oversight in all areas of policing is always manifested and in many ways. From recruitment to training; from posting to transfers; from field work to desk work; from investigations to trials and from their uniform to their civil dress. Tejendra Khanna, a former LG of Delhi mentions a discussion on police reforms where the subject of political oversight on police came up and one CM shot it down with a growl ‘take that (political Oversight) away and we will be powerless’ look. He had his peers nodding in approval. So far, only one PM has made an attempt to correct the cesspool which comprises the Indian Police at its worst. A B Vajpayee set up the Justice Malimath Committee in 2000 to study the mess in the police. It came up with studied reforms (158 steps) to overhaul our policing including areas where police and judges work in tandem. It was studied and a bill followed by The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) 2005 as an Act got the Presidential assent but the implementation of these amendments is deferred indefinitely. This would have curtailed political oversight and given the victims of crime a voice. Neither ruling parties nor lawyers for the accused want it to be implemented. Hence, it is in limbo and our policing is in purgatory. (The author is a former Joint Director of CBI. The views are strictly personal)last_img read more


Toronto Police Services Board names working group for missing persons review

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgTORONTO – The Toronto police civilian oversight board has established a working group that will lay out the parameters for an external review of how the force handles missing persons cases.The board announced the independent review in March in the wake of murder charges laid against accused serial killer Bruce McArthur. Many of the 66-year-old landscaper’s alleged victims went missing from Toronto’s gay village, where community members have criticized police for their response to the disappearances.A report unanimously approved by the Toronto Police Services Board at a Wednesday meeting says the working group will identify the form, focus, duration and potential costs of the external review.Toronto Mayor John Tory, who sits on the police services board, called the formation of the working group an “important first step” in the review process.“It’s really important that we do this and do it well and do it properly and inclusively,” Tory said prior to the board vote approving the working group. “I think the people we have here are first rate.”The group will be made up of police board member Ken Jeffers, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention board member Shakir Rahim, sex worker advocate Monica Forrester, and lawyer Sara Mainville, who specializes in cases involving Indigenous peoples.The board also assigned a “facilitator” role to Breese Davies, vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, who has participated in several high profile public inquiries and inquests.Tory said he recognized the value of including people in the working group who belong to the communities most affected by such cases.The review will not probe issues specific to McArthur — who now faces eight counts of first-degree murder — so as not to disrupt the ongoing investigation and court proceedings, Tory said, but it will take a broad look at police handling of missing persons cases.As recently as six weeks before McArthur’s January arrest, members of the force, including Chief Mark Saunders, said there was no indication the disappearances of several men from the city’s gay village were the work of a serial killer.In February, Saunders came under fire after seeming to suggest that police might have cracked the cases earlier if members of the public had been more forthcoming with investigators. He later said it was not his intent to blame the community.Police also come under fire following the death of Tess Richey, a 22-year-old reported missing after a night out in the gay village in November 2017.Her mother, who travelled from the family home in North Bay, Ont., to search for her daughter, found Richey’s body four days after a missing persons report was filed, in a stairwell at the back of an alley, just steps from where she was last seen alive.A 21-year-old Toronto man, Kalen Schlatter, has since been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Richey’s death, which police have said was caused by “neck compression.”last_img read more


Militarys muchdelayed new helicopters return to limited service

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgHALIFAX – The Royal Canadian Air Force has resumed limited flights on its new Cyclone helicopters after a software problem grounded the aircraft for nine weeks and created delays in training air crew.Col. Peter Allan, wing commander of the Shearwater base in Halifax, said Tuesday the fleet of three CH-148 helicopters resumed training flights on May 15 after ceasing flying on March 12.The Sikorsky-built Cyclones are the much-delayed replacements for the Sea King helicopters, which remain in service after more than a half-century but are scheduled to be retired next year.Allan said it will take about six months to fix the software glitch that caused a computerized flight control system to momentarily restart and sent the aircraft into a sudden and brief loss of altitude on March 9.Described originally as a “severe bump,” the problem corrected itself and the pilot safely landed the plane.Allan says while the software redesign is underway there are some limits on operations of the Cyclones, but he adds they won’t affect the ability of air crew to continue most training requirements.He said air crews can still train on operations such as landing on ships, hoisting materials, and simulating rescues.He described the limitations as complex technical issues difficult to put into terms a layperson can understand.“It’s more about modes of the computer they can employ while in particular flight mode … at the end of the day, it doesn’t affect our ability to do training and operational testing and evaluation,” he said.Allan said air crew training for the Cyclones has been set back one month by the grounding of the three helicopters, but this won’t stop the helicopters and crews from meeting a previously announced schedule.The wing commander said he still expects the new navy helicopters to be certified for operation — meaning they can carry out missions — starting the end of April next year. The Sea Kings will start ending their flights in June and be fully retired by the end of 2018.“We’ve kept some flexibility in the schedule, knowing this is a developmental aircraft. We expect some issues to arise as we go through implementation,” said Allan.“There is still enough flex in the schedule to meet our timelines.”The plan is to begin receiving six completed Cyclones by June 2018 and approximately one helicopter per month after that as the Sea Kings wrap up their duties, he added.Delays in delivery of the Cyclone helicopter are a sensitive issue, as it is years behind its original projected delivery date and the Sea Kings have some limits on the kinds of missions they can carry out due to their age.The previous Liberal government signed a contract with U.S. defence giant Sikorsky to deliver 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters by 2008. The program has faced delays and technical challenges, resulting in two contract extensions.Allan also confirmed “there’s been talk,” about delamination of the rotor blades on the new helicopters.However, he said “it’s not an issue that’s been impacting the wing (command) at this point.”“I know Sikorsky is looking at the rotor blades to see if they need to do something differently, but it’s not had an operational issue at this point.”The Sea Kings the Cyclones are scheduled to replace are currently more than 50 years old, and are still the naval helicopter used to support Royal Canadian Navy ships in surveillance and security.Follow (at) mtuttoncporg on Twitterlast_img read more


A bythenumbers look at the main Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgOTTAWA – The Canada Day stage on Parliament Hill (the biggest one ever) is set for 150th birthday celebrations on Saturday in the nation’s capital. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at preparations in Ottawa.600: Volunteers working Canada Day on Parliament Hill.168: Total number of performances at the three Canada Day festivity sites in the capital region.345: Number of performers and artists participating.15,000: Individual fireworks that will be set off from five different launching sites near Parliament Hill for the nighttime show that will last for 20 minutes and 17 seconds.80: Canadian Heritage employees who have planned Canada Day events on Parliament Hill32: Portable washrooms on Parliament Hill, split evenly between the east and west sides of the lawn.35: Portable washrooms on Wellington Street, inside the security zone and across from Parliament Hill in the parking lot of the former U.S. embassy at 100 Wellington St.4: Accessible portable washrooms on Parliament Hill, plus four more on Wellington Street(Source: Canadian Heritage)last_img read more


CREA wants parents to assist children with home purchase with their RRSPs

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgVANCOUVER – The federal government should allow parents who want to help their offspring with the purchase of a home to tap into their retirement savings, says The Canadian Real Estate Association, which also wants the maximum withdrawal limit bumped up by $10,000.Extending the Home Buyers’ Plan to allow for “intergenerational RRSP loans” would ease the financial burden that many young Canadians face when trying to purchase a home for the first time, wrote CREA in its 2018 pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.Under the current plan, first-time buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs to contribute to the purchase of a home. The tax-free loan must generally be repaid within 15 years.Allowing parents access to the plan would help many first-time buyers enter the market and ease their financial obligations, the association said.Recent and rapid home price increases have resulted in many parents already gifting downpayment money to children.The national average price for a home sold in October was $505,937, up five per cent from a year ago, according to figures the association released earlier this month.Two of the countries hottest housing markets have been contributing to those gains.In October, the benchmark price of a property in Greater Vancouver hit $1,042,300, up 12.4 per cent from the previous year, according to figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Meanwhile, in the Greater Toronto Area that month the average property price was $780,104, up 2.3 per cent with the previous October, according to figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board.The Toronto agency said it is also lobbying the federal government to modernize and expand the Home Buyers’ Plan, saying the HBP “effectively amounts to a zero-interest self-loan” because it allows Canadians to borrow from their own savings.“A formalized mechanism which allows for the transfer of RRSP funds from parents to their children would help not only increase the available down payment and reduce the amount borrowed, but also limit risk to the lender,” the TREB said in a statement.Nearly one in five first-time homebuyers received help from a family member with a downpayment, according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. online survey of 3,002 mortgage consumers completed in March.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.A formalized mechanism that allows parents to transfer their RRSP savings — up to the maximum $25,000 — would help increase available downpayment amounts, reduce the amount borrowed and limit risk to the lender, CREA said.The association wants both parents to be eligible to loan funds from their RRSPs to anyone they had previously claimed as dependents on their income tax return.While CREA’s proposal is not unreasonable, there’s no obvious answer to whether people should be able to dip into retirement savings — tax-free — to fund a property downpayment, said Thomas Davidoff, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.He’s concerned the plan could be a risk for people who are undersaving for retirement and would be utilized more by wealthier families, amounting to a transfer from less wealthy families to better off ones.It would also likely push up housing prices, he said.“Part of what you do when you subsidize housing in any way is push up the price,” he said, “which just helps property owners rather than buyers.”The biggest thing the federal government should be considering when it comes to their approach to real estate and taxation is how to add tax burden to real estate, he said — not subtract it. The government could, for example, limit how much of a principal residence’s capital gains are tax exempt when it is sold.In addition to expanding the home buyers’ plan to include parents, CREA also suggested the government extend it to homeowners who relocate for work, decide to accommodate an elderly family member or suffer the loss of a spouse or a marital breakdown.CREA also asked the government to increase the maximum withdrawal amount by $10,000 to help first-time buyers make larger downpayments and take on less debt.— Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.last_img read more


The Tuesday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Tuesday, Jan. 30———NO RULE BOOK ON DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT, TRUDEAU SAYS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concedes he, like all political leaders, is struggling to figure out how best to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against members of his own caucus or cabinet. He says there’s been no rule book handed down to him from the time of Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s sixth prime minister. Indeed, he says politicians are just now establishing processes and support systems to deal with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, processes which have not existed until recently. He says politicians are doing the best they can on a case-by-case basis. Trudeau is offering that explanation in response to questions about why Kent Hehr — who resigned from the federal cabinet last week pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct — is still a member of the Liberal caucus.———ONTARIO TORIES TO ‘ROOT OUT THE ROT,’ FEDELI SAYS: The newly appointed interim leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives vowed Tuesday to clean up the party, “root out the rot” and ensure a fair leadership contest following the resignation of top leaders amid sexual misconduct allegations. Vic Fedeli, who was appointed to his post last week following Patrick Brown’s departure, said he needed to focus on internal issues ahead of a spring election and would not be making a bid to be permanent leader as initially planned. The party has been in turmoil since last week when Brown resigned after vehemently denying sexual misconduct allegations reported by CTV News. The allegations have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.———SHAW OFFERS BUYOUT PROGRAM TO 6,500 STAFF: Shaw Communications Inc. has launched a voluntary buyout program that it expects to be accepted by roughly 650 employees, as part of the cable, internet and wireless company’s efforts to adjust to a new technology landscape. The Calgary-based company said Tuesday it has sent the offer to 6,500 employees and anticipated about 10 per cent of them will agree. Details of the severance offers weren’t announced but the voluntary program for Shaw and Freedom Mobile employees will be open until Feb. 14. Shaw said its job cuts are part of a multi-year initiative that will help it succeed amid technological changes — both internally at the operational level and externally in a rapidly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.———BRIAN MULRONEY DEFENDS NAFTA IN WASHINGTON: Brian Mulroney is delivering a spirited defence of the North American Free Trade Agreement as he testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington. The former Conservative prime minister says the trade deal has benefited both the United States and Canada — not only from an economic perspective, but also in terms of establishing the most peaceful and prosperous bilateral relationship in history. The comments follow the latest round of negotiations for a new agreement, held in Montreal last week against a backdrop of constant threats from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will pull the U.S. out of the current deal. While Trump has blasted NAFTA as a terrible agreement for the U.S., Mulroney — who has resisted mentioning the U.S. president by name — says the deal has created jobs, wealth and prosperity for all three partners: Canada, Mexico and the United States. Mulroney says protectionism can become a handy tool when fear and anger fuel public debate.———JURY TO HEAR HOW COLTEN BOUSHIE DIED, CROWN SAYS: A prosecutor says evidence will show that three shots were fired the night a 22-year-old Indigenous man was killed on a Saskatchewan farm in 2016. Crown prosecutor Bill Burge told the second-degree murder trial of Gerald Stanley that court will hear from the farmer’s son, Sheldon. He came running when he and his father thought someone was trying to steal a vehicle from their yard, and when he ran back inside to get his keys, he heard two gunshots. He heard another shot and came out to see his father standing by the driver’s door of the vehicle with a gun and a clip in his hand and Colten Boushie slumped at the wheel. Burge told the jury an autopsy found Boushie died from a gunshot wound that entered behind his left ear and exited through the side of his head. Stanley, who is 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Supporters and family members of the accused and of the victim packed the courtroom Tuesday. Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, brought an eagle feather with him to the proceedings. “I bring it in and this is for justice,” he said during a break. “This is a symbolic symbol of First Nations people.”———CLASS-ACTION LAWSHUIT FILED OVER INDIAN HOSPITALS: Lawyers have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging abuse at Indian Hospitals run decades ago by the federal government. A statement of claim filed in Toronto says Indigenous patients suffered consistent physical and sexual assaults at the 29 hospitals from 1945 until the last one closed in 1981. The suit further alleges patients were deprived of food and drink, force fed their own vomit and restrained in their beds. The lead plaintiff in the case, Ann Hardy of Edmonton, was 10 when she was admitted to the city’s Charles Camsell hospital for tuberculosis in 1969. The suit says she was repeatedly sexually abused by medical technicians and witnessed other patients being abused. A statement of defence has yet to be filed and a judge must first approve the suit as a class action.———MORE WORK NEEDED TO MEET ONTARIO’S CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS, REPORT SAYS: Ontario’s first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday. In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year. The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote. What’s more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is “incompatible” with the province’s climate change law. But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn’t likely to deliver results faster.———HALIFAX VOTES TO TEMPORARILY REMOVE CORNWALLIS STATUE: Halifax council has voted to immediately remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis from a downtown park, with several councillors calling the bronze figure of the city’s controversial military founder a barrier to reconciliation. After just over an hour of debate, it took less than 10 seconds for council to vote 12-4 to temporarily place the statue in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate. Morley Googoo, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the decision to take down the statue is a “huge opportunity for the city.” Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs had called Friday for the statue to be taken down immediately, because a panel appointed in October to study how the city commemorates Cornwallis had not even met yet. Mayor Michael Savage told council that removing the statue is not about re-writing history, but acknowledging that history is also not “cast in bronze.” Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi’kmaq inhabitants.———CANADA SENDS ‘STRONGEST TEAM EVER’ TO WINTER OLYMPICS: Canada’s ambition “to contend for No. 1” at the Pyeongchang Olympics is a shift from the two previous Winter Games, where the publicly stated goal by the country’s top sport officials was to finish first in the race for the most medals. “As an athlete, I never really appreciated people who weren’t really part of my team telling me how many medals I was going to win,” said Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith, a silver medallist in rowing in 1984. “Contending for No. 1 is what we do as athletes. It makes sense for us as an organization.” Heading into Pyeongchang with a broader target that is easier to hit, Canada’s team certainly has the depth of talent and experience to both battle for the top of the medal table and win more Winter Games medals than ever before. “We head into the games probably with our strongest team ever,” Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger said. Germany is on a mission, however, with its athletes gobbling up world championship and World Cup medals. Canada is tracking to duke it out with the U.S. and Norway for second in the overall count.———ACTIVIST STILL TO PROCEED WITH CLEVELAND INDIANS COMPLAINT: An Indigenous activist says he’d like to go ahead with human rights complaints against the Cleveland Indians despite a recent announcement that the baseball team would be changing its controversial logo. Douglas Cardinal says the decision to remove the image of the fictional Chief Wahoo from a team logo is a step in the right direction, but argues the team’s name is still racist and demeaning to Indigenous people. The Ontario-based architect has filed human rights complaints both at the federal and provincial level in a bid to prevent the team from using either its name or the Wahoo logo while playing baseball games in Canada. Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians team and Rogers Communications, all of which were named in the initial complaints, have been fighting to get the cases quashed. Cardinal says he still hopes to press ahead with his complaints despite the fact that Chief Wahoo will no longer appear on team caps or shirts starting in 2019.———last_img read more


Not a happy day Farmers family relieved no Crown appeal in murder

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgREGINA – The lawyer for a Saskatchewan farmer acquitted in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man says his client is relieved the Crown won’t be appealing the case, but it is not a happy day for anyone.Last month, a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie, 22, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation.The Saskatchewan Crown said Wednesday there is no legal basis to appeal the verdict.“On behalf of the Stanley family, and my team, I offer our unreserved condolences to the Boushie/Baptiste family,” lawyer Scott Spencer said in a statement Thursday.“The Stanley family is relieved that the criminal process is now complete, but this is not a happy day. A young man died, that is a terrible tragedy. There is no going back; there is no making it right.”Spencer said they hope, with time, Boushie’s family “can begin to heal.”The trial heard Boushie was one of five young people who drove onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar in 2016. They testified they were looking for help with a flat tire.Stanley told the trial he thought they were trying to steal an all-terrain vehicle. He testified he fired warning shots to scare them away and the gun accidentally went off again.The Crown’s decision not to appeal the acquittal drew an angry response from Indigenous leaders and Boushie family supporters.The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, says it wants a “forensic accounting” of the jury verdict.“From the beginning, we’ve said this isn’t the farmers against the First Nations people,” vice-chief Kim Jonathan said Thursday. “These are systems in place that have and live and breath racism. To say otherwise, we’d be putting our head in the sand.“We want to be afforded fair treatment. We want our children to have just as much right to respect in the justice system as anybody else’s. We don’t want any more and we don’t want any less.”— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more


Theres way too many Hats fundraiser for paralyzed Broncos player takes off

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgAIRDRIE, Alta. – A couple who offered to help with a promotion to fundraise for a paralyzed hockey player soon found themselves wearing too many hats.Jason and Sue Bissonnette were making baseball caps to make money to help with the costs of Ryan Straschnitzki’s rehabilitation, but they couldn’t keep up when thousands of requests started rolling in.“I thought maybe there will be a couple of hundred hats and we’ll do our part,” said Jason Bissonnette. “We’ll be part of a few grand or something, but of course that didn’t exactly work out that way.“We’re now over 3,600 hats that have been ordered.”The Bissonnettes didn’t know Straschnitzki before the teen from Airdrie, Alta., was paralyzed from the chest down in a crash between a semi-trailer and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan junior hockey team in April.But they felt an immediate bond because they also live in Airdrie, just north of Calgary, and their son played hockey for years when they were living in the United States.“He was a goaltender and was travelling just like these guys. It hits close to home to a lot of people,” Sue Bissonnette said during an interview in the family home.The couple owns a company called The Stitching Bees, which provides promotional items for businesses as well as doing embroidery.Several Airdrie dads had come together the day after the crash and came up with the idea of hats to help raise money for the Straschnitzki family.The first cap — with the green and gold Broncos colours, Ryan’s No. 10 on the front and #strazstrong stitched on the back — was done just hours later.“Those are Ryan’s colours,” said Sue Bissonnette, pointing to large spools of thread on an embroidery machine.The couple eventually received help from Bruce Fogel of Embroidery Systems in Calgary, who offered the use of extra machines he had in stock.Volunteers weren’t able to run the machines, though, so she was responsible for the first 1,900 hats that were made before the job was outsourced to a Montreal company.“I felt like I’m drowning — there’s way too many,” she said. “At that point there was 1,500 hats ordered and I was on my 100th hat and I thought, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to be sick.”The suggested price for the hats is $30, but Jason Bissonnette said many people have been giving $50 or $100 for just a single hat.“We’ve generated over $82,000 and that’s straight to the family.”A fundraiser for the Straschnitzki family is to be held in Airdrie next Saturday. About 150 of the hats, signed by Ryan, will be on sale.His mother, Michelle Straschnitzki, said the Bissonnettes have been tireless in their efforts.“They’re amazing people. They really just started out because they wanted to help and thought it would be a fun idea. It just kind of snowballed,” she said.The Straschnitzki home will need to be totally renovated to include an elevator. Walls need to be moved, doorways widened and the bathroom adapted.“We haven’t got a clue how much it will cost … but we’ve had a lot of people offering to help. Basically we’re just accepting help and are appreciative of it.”The Ryan, who is 19, is undergoing physiotherapy at the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more


Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgCALGARY – A jury has found a Calgary couple guilty in the death of their 14-month-old son.Jeromie and Jennifer Clark pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life for their son John.The Crown argued John was on the verge of death when he arrived in hospital on Nov. 28, 2013, and that his parents played with his life by not seeking treatment sooner.Jurors were shown pictures of John after he died.He had blackened toes and a red rash that covered almost three-quarters of his body.The Clarks’ lawyers say doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were to blame because they raised the boy’s sodium and fluid levels too aggressively.last_img read more


Packaged kale salad recalled due to possible Listeria contamination CFIA says

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says one of Eat Smart’s packaged salads have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.The agency says the 156-gram packages of Salad Shake Ups – Sweet Kale, with best before date of Dec. 3, should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.The CFIA says the recalled product has been distributed nationally, but there have been no reported illnesses associated with consuming it.It adds that it is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products.Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled, but can cause death in severe cases of illness.The CFIA says symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.It says infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, but the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Commemorative loonie marking progress for LGBTQ2 people unveiled in Toronto

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgTORONTO _ The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a commemorative loonie meant to mark what it calls a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people.The agency says the new one-dollar coin pays tribute to Parliament’s passing of legislation that “initiated the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.”The coin, which starts circulating today, combines the words “Equality-Egalite” with the work of Vancouver-based artist Joe Average.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says there is more work to be done to advance equality and the federal government will continue to listen to the voices of protesters who are unhappy with the coin.Historians and advocates attending today’s unveiling raised concerns about the message behind the new loonie, saying it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved and largely as a result of the federal government’s actions.A new $1 coin marks an important milestone for LGBTQ2 rights in Canada. Though the quest for #Equality continues, we are proud to mark the 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians. #RightToLove Visit https://t.co/d76rz8T9Dc pic.twitter.com/FvjZsL6e0V— Royal Canadian Mint (@CanadianMint) April 23, 2019The group also held a news conference near the mint’s event to challenge myths surrounding the 1969 Criminal Code reform.York University historian Tom Hooper, who is part of the group, says LGTBTQ people faced continued criminalization over the decades that followed the legal changes.He said discrimination against LGBTQ people persists today, noting as examples that trans and queer people of colour still face issues with policing and people with HIV remain subject to criminalization.The mint “could have consulted people who have knowledge of this history but they didn’t,” Hooper said, adding he hopes the agency will do so in the future.He acknowledged no campaign can compete with roughly three million coins but said the project is at least fuelling a public conversation about LGBTQ history.“As a historian, I’m hoping to inform as many people as I can about our history. So in some ways the coin is opening up that opportunity,” he said.The mint has said it is largely informed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and its “anniversaries of significance” when it comes to selecting commemorative themes for coins.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Trudeau Liberals gaining ground but Scheers Conservatives still leading poll

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgTORONTO – The race for Parliament Hill remains an uphill battle for the Trudeau Liberals according to a new national poll, but it’s not all good news for Andrew Scheer‘s Conservatives.A DART/MARU “Voice of Canada Poll” conducted last week still puts the PCs in first place with 37 per cent support, up three points from a similar poll earlier in June, but Trudeau has jumped eight points with 32 per cent.Big federal election news – The Trudeau Liberals now have the lead in Ontario, 40% to 34% over the Conservatives according to new polling from DART/MARU, The jump is largely due to ads that link Premier ford and Andrew Scheer. The Conservatives still have the 37% national lead. pic.twitter.com/vpSV8TazCl— Richard Southern (@richard680news) July 2, 2019Most of Trudeau‘s bounce comes from the vote-rich Ontario, with many pollsters agreeing that a Liberal ad blitz linking Scheer with Premier Doug Ford, appears to be working.As for the prime minister’s own popularity nationwide, just 24 per cent of respondents say the Trudeau Liberals deserve another term.Jagmeet Singh‘s NDP is up four points nationally, leaving them in a distant third place, with 17 per cent support.The survey was conducted among 1,512 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of MARU/Blue’s Online panel on June 26, 2019. The poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.9 percentagepoints, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.Read the poll results below:last_img read more


Kanesatake chief meets with federal and provincial officials over Oka land dispute

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgMONTREAL — Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon is meeting with representatives from the federal and provincial governments in an attempt to defuse tensions over a land dispute near the Quebec town of Oka.Simon and Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Quebec and Labrador, arrived for a 9 a.m. meeting today at a downtown office tower in Montreal.A spokesperson for Simon said Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, and Quebec Indigenous Affairs Minister Sylvie D’Amours are attending the meeting.The tone has mounted since news broke of local developer Gregoire Gollin’s intention to donate the 60 hectares known as The Pines to the Kanesatake Mohawk Council. The mayor of the neighbouring town of Oka offended many on the territory when he raised concerns about becoming encircled by Kanesatake.Mayor Pascal Quevillon said property values would decline and raised fears of illegal dumping and an expansion of cannabis and cigarette merchants.Simon said a meeting is planned with Quevillon immediately after today’s talks with federal and provincial officials. But the chief said he will not participate unless the Oka mayor apologizes for his comments.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Shakira Thanks Fans For World Baby Shower Support

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgUNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira and FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué today thanked hundreds of thousands of fans for taking part in their interactive World Baby Shower and buying life-saving items for vulnerable children in support of UNICEF’s work around the world.“We are thrilled by the generosity that has been shown by the visitors to our World Baby Shower site,” said Shakira, who in January gave birth to the couple’s first child, Milan. “Thanks to you, over 80,000 children will be protected from polio, almost 200,000 oral rehydration salts sachets will be distributed in times of need, the 3.8 tons of therapeutic food collected will save many children from severe acute malnutrition, among other life-saving tools that were purchased to protect babies and children.”Polio is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that often leaves children crippled, while the oral rehydration salts are a simple cost-effective way to treat diarrhoea, the second leading cause of death in children aged under five.When Shakira and Gerard became new parents last month they shared the moment by using innovative social media tools to host an online baby shower with UNICEF from 16 January to 15 February. This unique event engaged fans by welcoming them into the virtual living room of Shakira and Gerard. There, guests learned about the many challenges around child survival and were able to purchase ‘Inspired Gifts’ to help give babies around the world a healthy start to life.“This virtual baby shower has been truly innovative and was only possible in a digital world where fans could not just follow but become a real part of the couple’s philanthropic initiative,” said Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Spokesperson for the Executive Director. “We are indeed grateful for the generosity – in spirit and in kind – of Shakira and Gerard and their fans.”
The many fans who visited the site also bought over 1,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect children from malaria. Every 60 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria. The bed nets work by creating a protective barrier against deadly malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night and can greatly reduce malaria transmissions.
In addition, the generous donations included the purchase of over 150 portable scales to weigh babies and toddlers to help early detection of malnutrition and illness. One of the best ways to make sure malnutrition and illness are diagnosed early in very young children is to monitor their weight. The earlier the diagnosis the better chance the child has of survival.UNICEF will now begin to distribute these real, life-saving and life-changing items to children and communities in some of the poorest corners of the globe.last_img read more


The Band Perry And Dierks Bentley To Perform At ACM Party For

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgThe Academy of Country Music announces the addition of ACM Party for a Cause Festival, a 2-day outdoor music festival during The Week Vegas Goes Country leading up to the 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS on April 7, 2013.The ACM Party for a Cause Festival features a line-up of performances by country’s top hit makers and some of this year’s ACM Award nominees, all in the name of raising awareness and funds for a variety of charities. Donations on behalf of Big Machine Label Group, General Mills and ACM Lifting Lives will be made to the charities represented during this celebratory weekend for fans.Friday’s line-up will be sponsored by Outnumber Hunger, an initiative from General Mills, Big Machine Label Group and Feeding America. In its second year, Outnumber Hunger is a program that helps fight hunger in local communities by helping Feeding America secure meals for its network of local food banks. Concert attendees will have the opportunity to help secure meals for Feeding America through special on-site activities. Saturday will be hosted by Kix Brooks and will include a presentation of charitable donations to the military-inspired non-profit organizations Wounded Warrior Project, Folds of Honor and Nellis Air Force Base Youth Education Programs.Scheduled to appear on Friday, April 5th is headliner The Band Perry, along with performers Greg Bates, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Cassadee Pope and Florida Georgia Line. Scheduled for Saturday, April 6th is headliner Dierks Bentley, along with performers Lee Brice, Kix Brooks, Hunter Hayes, Dustin Lynch, Eli Young Band and Love and Theft. The full schedule for THE ACM EXPERIENCE and tickets for Party for a Cause, as well as room and ticket packages, are available here through The Orleans Hotel and Casino or by calling 800-675-3267.“Party for a Cause Festival is adding another layer to THE ACM EXPERIENCE for fans to celebrate country music, as well as learn more about these very deserving organizations. The Academy has a long history of supporting charitable causes, and we’re honored to be partnering with Big Machine Label Group and these talented artists for such a worthy endeavor,” said Bob Romeo, CEO of The Academy of Country Music.The festival is part of THE ACM EXPERIENCE, a family-friendly country music lifestyle event including the free-to-the-public ACM EXPO, the ACM Party for a Cause Festival and much more, to be held April 5-April 7, 2013 at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The events will culminate in the already-announced ACM Fan Jam, a ticketed event headlined by Brad Paisley, on Sunday, April 7, 2013.THE ACM EXPERIENCE will take place in conjunction with The Week Vegas Goes Country, that includes the main event, the 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, honoring country music’s top talent and the industry’s hottest emerging talent, to be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.For updates on The ACM Experience, the ACM Awards and all Academy events, please log onto www.ACMcountry.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AcademyOfCountryMusic or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ACMawards.last_img read more


Celebrity PSAs Address Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgThe Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse have launched — in partnership with the NO MORE movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault – a new print series of the groundbreaking NO MORE PSA campaign.The new campaign speaks to the excuses and myths that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with. The print ads use bold, provocative messaging to engage bystanders and challenge preconceived notions about abuse, like NO MORE “That can’t happen to guys” and NO MORE “He just needs to get over it.” The campaign features 8 celebrities including Mariska Hargitay, co-stars of Law & Order: SVU Danny Pino and Ice-T, Blythe Danner, Katie Couric, Christopher Meloni, Maria Bello and Peter Hermann.“Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege,” said Joyful Heart Founder & President Mariska Hargitay. “Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors — both women and men. That has to end. By confronting the myths and excuses we rely on to avoid ending domestic violence and sexual assault, NO MORE fills me with confidence and renewed determination that we will put an end to the violence.”Steve LePore, Executive Director of 1in6 noted that, ‘’From the outset, everyone involved with NO MORE has shown a desire and commitment to be inclusive of men’s experience of violence. We’re grateful for that vision, which at every turn has proven beneficial to men, and we’re proud to partner with NO MORE and Joyful Heart on this campaign.”Over the years, Joyful Heart has helped to bring improvements in our society’s response to survivors by meeting them with compassion, greater access to justice and by having the necessary conversations to prevent violence and abuse from happening in the first place. But turning the tide of public awareness to lift the isolation and shame placed on survivors is still a work in progress.Our community response is a reflection of the myths and excuses surrounding these issues that blame and stigmatize victims. Frequently, we hear or read that because a woman dressed a certain way, she was “asking for it.” Or that if survivors don’t fight, run away or tell anyone, it is somehow their fault. Or that abuse doesn’t happen to guys.The “NO MORE Excuses,” campaign launched in September 2013 and was designed to help dispel many of the most common and pervasive myths about sexual assault and domestic violence, and to engage the public in an open dialogue about these important issues.The campaign, which includes over 40 celebrities and public figures urging bystanders to get involved, was developed in partnership with Y&R and world-renowned photographer Timothy White. The three-year PSA campaign has been rolling out across the country in local and national markets via print, broadcast, online and outdoor advertising, in movie theaters nationwide, and in major airports and medical facilities. Endorsed by the Ad Council’s Endorsed Campaign program and with the support of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, NO MORE has also secured major partnerships with Viacom, Lifetime Television, USA Networks, ConnectiVISION Digital Networks/ClearVISION and OK TV!. The video and print ads are available at no cost to non-profit organizations, universities and corporations to co-brand and increase support in their local communities for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and services.To date, 446,303,169 people have seen the campaign across TV, print, outdoor, digital and media placements, with millions more reached through social media. The PSAs have aired on television over 7,445 times, reaching over 98 million people in markets across the country and over 6 million people on AMC, Cinemark and Regal Theater’s movie screens nationwide.Over 10 million readers of the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, More, Allure, Glamour, People, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Seventeen, Forbes and the New York Observer have seen the PSAs, as well as over 2 million attendees at the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend. Additionally, the PSAs have appeared on billboards across the country, including on Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles, and 20 locations throughout the Midwest.The NO MORE PSAs can be viewed at www.nomore.org/psas.last_img read more


Foreigner And REO Speedwagon To Rock TJ Martell Foundation Gala

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgThe TJ Martell Foundation, “Music’s Promise for A Cure,” has announced a night of Top 40 performances for this year’s 40th Anniversary T.J. Martell Foundation New York Honors Gala to be held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at Cipriani Wall Street.The theme of the highly anticipated star-studded event is “Top 40” and will be hosted by original MTV VJ’s Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and Alan Hunter. Legendary rock band Foreigner has been added to all rock-star performance line-up along with REO Speedwagon and Train’s Pat Monahan.With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock n’ roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and the worldwide hit “I Want to Know What Love Is” Foreigner continues to rock the charts.At Foreigner’s core is founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones along with lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bass guitarist Jeff Pilson and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel. The band was founded in 1976 and hasn’t stopped recording or touring ever since. Their debut album and every album to follow gave Foreigner hits and impressive Billboard chart runs including record-breaking song sales and a legion of loyal fans worldwide.Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Pat Monahan, recently named the National Spokesperson of the Foundation’s 40th Anniversary will also perform. Monahan is best known as the lead vocalist for the band Train.The 40th Anniversary Honors Gala will honor John Amato, Co-President of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, Bruce Bozzi Sr., Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Wally Ganzi, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Janice Min, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN International and John Varvatos, Chairman of John Varvatos and President and CEO of John Varvatos Records. In recognition of further research and medical treatments the Foundation will also announce the newly created Clive Davis Research Fellow Award, an annual grant bestowed upon a young investigator whose dedication has made innovative strides and extensive research in cancer and AIDS.Find out more about the event here.last_img read more


Patti LaBelle And Denise Rich Light Up Empire State Building For Angel

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgPatti LaBelle and Denise Rich, Co-Founder of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, “flipped the switch” to light the world-famous Empire State Building tower lights in red and purple this week in honor of Angel Ball 2015.Patti LaBelle and Denise Rich light the Empire State Building in honor of Angel Ball 2015Credit/Copyright: Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesAngel Ball – which took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City – is Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research’s annual fundraiser to support their work to fund the nation’s best and brightest scientific investigators whose research focuses on finding less toxic treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and related cancers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants.LaBelle performed at the gala along with pop rock sensation OneRepublic and Tony Award winner Billy Porter. The evening honored the work of Heidi Klum; Amy and Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, Founders, The Luke and Meadow Foundation; Mary Kitchen and Jon Orszag, Co-Founder of Compass Lexecon, Co-Directors of The Orszag Foundation; for their significant humanitarian and philanthropic contributions in support of cancer research.last_img read more


Prince Charles Attends StarStudded Garden Party For Princes Trust

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgThe Prince of Wales hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace today to mark 40 years of His Royal Highness’s charity The Prince’s Trust.Dame Joan Collins and Gemma Arterton with Prince CharlesCredit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/The Prince was joined by Prince’s Trust Ambassadors, including Sir Ben Kingsley, Fearne Cotton and Pixie Lott, alongside more than 5,000 of the charity’s supporters and beneficiaries. In the last 40 years, the charity has supported 825,000 young people.During the garden party Dame Joan Collins and Gemma Arterton presented His Royal Highness with a portrait of himself created from hundreds of images of people whose lives have been touched by the work of The Prince’s Trust.A digital book of memories containing messages recorded by young people and supporters of The Prince’s Trust was also presented to The Prince by Sir Ben Kingsley.Sir Ben Kingsley presents HRH with a Digital Book of MemoriesCredit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/The Prince’s Trust was founded by The Prince of Wales in 1976, and supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school or at risk of exclusion.Many of the young people helped by The Prince’s Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or they have been in trouble with the law. The Trust’s programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping to develop self-esteem and skills for work.Singer Pixie Lott, who became a Trust Ambassador aged 18, said: “I just think that the work it does is amazing, giving young people a chance is so good. I’ve met some amazing people today, it’s lovely to hear their stories and how much more confidence they have from working with the Trust, and the way they’ve turned their lives around.”Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uklast_img read more


⚓ Luminato Festival comes home for 2017

Posted On Oct 15 2019 by