长沙桑拿,长沙夜网,长沙桑拿按摩

Powered by Banzhen!

23 November
Comments Off on Lisa Raitt joins Conservative leadership race

Lisa Raitt joins Conservative leadership race

OTTAWA – Conservative MP Lisa Raitt has joined the race to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper as party leader.

“I know where that Liberal path leads us, ’cause I grew up at the end of it,” Raitt said in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday afternoon to mark the beginning of her leadership campaign.

The video has Raitt, who represents the Toronto-area riding of Milton, narrating over archival photographs from Cape Breton, N.S., where she grew up, as well as family photographs from her childhood, which she said included financial struggles.

Plane Talk with Lisa Raitt

05:50

Plane Talk with Lisa Raitt

01:42

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt says she hasn’t decided if she will run for leader of Conservative party

06:49

Politicians compete in a game of West Block Trivia



ChangSha Night Net

“They tell us it’s the era of ‘sunny ways,’ yet so many can’t see the sun,” said Raitt, playing off an oft-used Liberal phrase.

“Canada needs a leader who is going to fight for the striving many, not just the privileged few.”

“We need a leader who will beat (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau in the next election, who knows what Canada looks like from the bottom, who will work to create opportunity for every striver at every age,” said Raitt, before going on to tell her viewers that she is that leader.

Raitt did not respond to a request for an interview Wednesday, but is planning to make a full announcement Thursday morning in Toronto.

The party has confirmed that she has filed the necessary paperwork to run.

READ MORE:
Longtime MP Lisa Raitt urged to run for Tory leadership

First elected as a Conservative MP in 2008, Raitt served as minister for natural resources, labour and then transport under Harper.

She dropped hints about joining the leadership race all summer and last month stepped down from her role as Conservative finance critic so she could continue to explore the possibility of a bid.

Raitt also recently revealed that her husband, Bruce Wood, received a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s earlier this year.

The couple married in Cape Breton in September.

Raitt has two sons from a previous marriage, John Colin and Billy, who are also featured in her campaign video.

The Conservative party gave those hoping to take part in the first official leadership debate in Saskatoon next week until the end of Wednesday to register as candidates.

READ MORE: Canadians prefer MacKay or O’Leary as next Conservative leader: Ipsos poll

The others who have officially joined so far are former immigration minister Chris Alexander and Conservative MPs Maxime Bernier, Steven Blaney, Michael Chong, Kellie Leitch, Deepak Obhrai, Erin O’Toole, Andrew Scheer and Brad Trost.

One topic that will likely come up is the question of Canadian identity and values.

Blaney announced Wednesday that he would set up a royal commission to explore the issue.

“As prime minister, Steven Blaney will establish a royal rommission on Canadian identity to fully and impartially investigate past and current challenges to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms which determines our country’s commitment to tolerance, fairness and equality,” said a news release issued Wednesday by his campaign.

That follows a controversial proposal from Leitch, who in September said would-be immigrants and refugees should be screened for “anti-Canadian values.”

The Conservatives will elect their new leader next May 27.

23 November
Comments Off on Matt Nichols named Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Most Outstanding Player

Matt Nichols named Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Most Outstanding Player

WINNIPEG —; For helping turn around the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ fortunes, quarterback Matt Nichols was voted the club’s Most Outstanding Player.

With the Bombers seemingly headed to another season without a playoff berth, Nichols replaced Drew Willy as the starter with the club holding a 1-4 record. Nichols sparked a streak of seven straight victories, helping the team clinch their first playoff berth since 2011.

ChangSha Night Net

“It’s a pretty awesome honour to get.” said Nichols. “It’s been a long road for me, and it’s a pretty cool thing to hear.”

Nichols started 12 games so far in the 2016 season, posting a 9-3 record while passing for 3,367 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for six TD’s.

“The way he took care of the football, the way he’s led.” said head coach Mike O’Shea. “It’s been a fun ride.”

Linebacker Maurice Leggett was an easy choice for the Bombers’ Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Leggett was a unanimous selection after leading the league with seven interceptions, returning three of them for touchdowns. He also has 48 defensive tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. He was also the Bombers’ top defensive player nominee in 2014.

“I just found out stretching, so it feels good.” said Leggett. “Put a smile on my face.”

Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris is the team’s Most Outstanding Canadian. It’s the third time he’s earned the nod as a team’s top Canadian after winning the award twice previously with the B.C. Lions. Harris is second in the league in rushing with 914 yards. He also has 549 yards receiving and scored five touchdowns.

RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers go back to work needing help for home playoff game

Travis Bond is the club’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. The six-foot-seven, 355 pound rookie guard didn’t even get in the lineup until week six but kept his starters job by helping the Bombers allowing just 33 sacks this season.

Kicker Justin Medlock was a unanimous choice for the special teams award. The CFL’s most accurate kicker of all-time set several team records in his first season in the blue and gold. He’s made 56 of his 64 field goal attempts and with one game remaining is just three field goals away from Dave Ridgway’s single season CFL record of 59. His 212 points in the 2016 campaign is also just one point shy of Troy Westwood’s club record of 213 points in a season. And he has to be considered the front runner to get the West Division nomination.

“We’ll see. You never know how it goes.” said Medlock. “Sometimes they like the returners. It’s been a good year for kickers.”

Safety Taylor Loffler was named their Most Outstanding Rookie. He recorded 52 defensive tackles, four interceptions and one sack. He took over the starting duties in week six and never relinquished the job.

“If some injuries didn’t happen I might not have been on the field.” Loffler said. “Just to get the experience and be able to run with it, it’s great.”

B.C. Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings, Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly, Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Naaman Roosevelt, Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Andy Fantuz, Toronto Argonauts running back Brandon Whitaker, Ottawa RedBlacks receiver Ernest Jackson and Montreal Alouettes linebacker Bear Woods all received the most valuable player awards for their respective teams.

Former Bombers kicker Lirim Hajrullahu was chosen as the Toronto Argonauts top Canadian as well as their Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. Former Bombers centre Justin Sorensen was the Eskimos top lineman.

The voting was conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and CFL head coaches. The East and West Division winners will be announced on November 12.

23 November
Comments Off on It will take a lifetime to fix First Nations housing: AFN regional chief

It will take a lifetime to fix First Nations housing: AFN regional chief

WINNIPEG —; New federal money for First Nations housing is welcome but will not solve a monumental shortage for at least a generation, an indigenous leader said Wednesday.

“I don’t see it happening in my lifetime or in my children’s lifetime, to be honest,” Kevin Hart, a regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations, said during a break in the assembly’s housing and infrastructure conference held in Winnipeg.

ChangSha Night Net

“We have 16, 18 people in a two-bedroom house (in Norway House, Man.). Now if that was to occur here in Winnipeg with a non-native family, would that be acceptable? The black mould that’s in our houses — would that be acceptable here in Winnipeg? Would that be acceptable in Toronto?”

The federal government has promised $8.4 billion over five years for infrastructure, education and other issues in First Nations communities. The housing portion over the next two years is forecast to be more than double previous levels at $450 million.

The money is a fraction of what reports have indicated is needed. Internal government documents dated January 2015 and obtained by early this year pegged the cost of fixing First Nations housing in Manitoba alone at $2 billion.

RELATED: Billions needed to fix crumbling First Nations homes in Manitoba: government report

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said the government realizes it has a long way to go.

“We know that we’ve only begun, and what we’re hearing from coast to coast to coast is people are very happy with the beginning…but no, there is real need out there and we’re going to get going,” she said.

In a 20-minute speech at the conference, Bennett said the government is developing ways to ensure funding flows faster to communities in need, and is looking for ways to ensure better, longer-lasting building materials can be used.

Hart said cash for housing is needed quickly. He pointed to several communities that have seen a spike in suicides in recent years. Pimicikamak Cree Nation, known as Cross Lake, in northern Manitoba declared a state of emergency last March after six suicides in the community of 8,300.

READ MORE: Northern Manitoba community declares state of emergency over suicide epidemic

Overcrowded housing, often combined with inadequate recreational facilities and schools, is tied to the despair felt by many residents, he said.

“It all relates and it interconnects with proper housing and infrastructure in our communities.”

24 July
Comments Off on Chinese trade of deadly opioid carfentanil thrives at the cost of North American lives

Chinese trade of deadly opioid carfentanil thrives at the cost of North American lives

SHANGHAI – Seizures of the deadly chemical carfentanil have exploded across the United States, with more than 400 cases documented in eight states since July alone, The Associated Press has found.

This fall, the drug also began to appear in Canada. It’s been seized in several provinces and last month health officials said the illicit opioid was linked to two deaths in Alberta.

What is carfentanil and why is it easy to obtain?

Fuelled by a thriving trade out of China, the weapons-grade chemical is suspected in hundreds of drug overdoses in the U.S. and Canada. An AP investigation last month showed how easily carfentanil can be purchased online from China.

READ MORE: What is carfentanil? Deadly street drug is causing mass overdoses in the US

Of the 12 companies that initially offered to export carfentanil around the world, just three have stopped since the report was released. Nine continue to offer carfentanil for sale, no questions asked, and the AP identified four additional companies willing to sell the drug, some of which claimed to have U.S. addresses.

Asked for comment, most denied they’d ever made the offers.

Jilin Tely Import and Export Co. initially boasted in an email that carfentanil was one of its “hot sales product.” After being named in AP’s story, the company’s website vanished and it denied ever producing carfentanil.

All these vendors profit from a loophole in the global regulation of a substance whose toxicity has been compared with that of a nerve agent. Carfentanil is a controlled substance in the U.S., where it can be used legally to immobilize large animals like elephants. But it is not controlled in China, the top source of fentanyl-related compounds that end up in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

READ MORE: Chinese companies willing to export deadly opioid carfentanil to Canada and U.S.

“It’s a loophole that needs to be closed because even small quantities can have a terrible lethal effect,” said Andrew Weber, who served as U.S. assistant secretary of defence for nuclear, chemical and biological defence programs from 2009 to 2014.

“Terrorists could acquire it commercially as we have seen drug dealers doing.”

Some 5,000 times stronger than heroin — and 100 times stronger than fentanyl itself — carfentanil is so toxic that an amount smaller than a poppy seed can kill a person.

It was researched for years as a chemical weapon and used by Russian forces to incapacitate Chechen separatists in 2002. That move killed 120 hostages.

FILE – In this early Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002 file photo, unconscious liberated hostages are taken away in a bus from the scene near the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow. Russian special forces turned to carfentanil to end a standoff with Chechen separatists using an aerosol version of the opioid, along with the less potent remifentanil, sending it through air vents, according to a paper by British scientists who tested clothing and urine samples from three survivors. The strategy worked, but more than 120 hostages died from the effects of the chemicals.

AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File

“Carfentanil is an analogue of fentanyl with an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used in veterinary practice to immobilize certain large animals,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says on its website.

The AP did not buy carfentanil from the vendors and did not test whether the products on offer were genuine.

China refuses to take action

READ MORE: Carfentanil, a drug 100X more powerful than fentanyl, confirmed in deaths of 2 Albertans

DEA and State Department officials have discussed carfentanil’s dangers with Chinese authorities, who have already controlled 19 fentanyl-related compounds, and urged them to blacklist it. But China has yet to act.

The DEA says the carfentanil spreading through illicit drug markets in the U.S. is not being diverted from legal domestic supplies. “The carfentanil that has been seized in multiple U.S. states is believed to be arriving from foreign sources via illicit networks,” Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington, said by email.

China’s Ministry of Public Security did not respond to requests for comment.

Since July, when carfentanil was first identified in the U.S. drug supply, the DEA has confirmed at least 407 carfentanil seizures in eight states, according to data obtained by the AP that did not include details on quantities seized.

READ MORE: Fentanyl laced cocaine confirmed in Ottawa, amid growing ‘crisis’ in Ontario

Huge spike in overdoses and deaths

Dealers cut carfentanil and other synthetic opioids into illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine and fake prescription pills to boost profit margins.

The main geographic cluster centres on Ohio, which has been hardest hit, with 343 confirmed carfentanil seizures. The drug has also spread through the surrounding states of Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Carfentanil has been seized at least 34 times in Florida, the second-hardest hit state, and has been identified in Georgia and Rhode Island. DEA is waiting on confirmation from cases in West Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The resulting wave of human misery has been overwhelming.

In just 21 days in July, paramedics in Akron, Ohio, logged 236 overdoses, including 14 fatalities, with suspected links to carfentanil, according to the DEA. In the first six months of this year, in contrast, they dealt with a total of 320 overdoses of all kinds. In September, the Ohio coroner’s office confirmed eight carfentanil overdose deaths in Cincinnati, the DEA said.

READ MORE: Cincinnati sees nearly 80 heroin overdoses in 48 hours

The true scope of the problem is likely bigger. The seizure data from the DEA only reflects samples confirmed as carfentanil by federal, state and local forensic laboratories. Some local authorities may not have tested specifically for the drug — not all labs even have the capacity to do so — and toxicology tests can lag for months as coroners struggle with a backlog of autopsies, according to the DEA.

In this June 27, 2016 photo provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of the RCMP go through a decontamination procedure in Vancouver after intercepting a package containing approximately 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the powerful opioid carfentanil imported from China. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP

Health Canada reaction + difficulty in detecting the drug

Health Canada, for its part, is ramping up efforts to tame the “crisis” it’s seeing within our borders.

“Health Canada is deeply concerned about the growing number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths associated with street drugs, such as illicitly produced fentanyl, as well as pharmaceutical opioids, in British Columbia, as well in other parts of Canada,” the department said in a statement to Global News back in September.

Since such a small amount of the drug can be deadly, it can be difficult for toxicology tests to confirming its existence in human blood.

“To my knowledge, there are very few laboratories in North America that are able to measure carfentanil in human blood,” Alberta Acting Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim said in October.

“Alberta’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is believed to be the first toxicology laboratory in Canada to positively identify carfentanil in human blood.”

Watch Below: A drug even more deadly than fentanyl is now being sold to unsuspecting victims in our province. As Tom Vernon reports, it’s raising the stakes in the fight against opioid drugs.

With the click of a button: how carfentanil gets to North America

Direct exports of fentanyl-related chemicals from China arrive in the United States as air cargo or postal shipments, but are difficult to identify, according to congressional testimony obtained by the AP.

“Standard field kits do not accurately detect fentanyl,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said in answers to committee questions. He added that information from Chinese authorities on shipments destined for the U.S. could help customs more effectively intercept illicit packages.

For now, vendors appear brazenly confident about their ability to evade customs. Some even guaranteed delivery.

Shanxi Jinwei Technology Co. offered carfentanil and other drugs for export to the U.S. and Europe. “Please don’t worry,” the company said in an email. They added that they’d hide everything in aluminum bags and reship packages that failed to arrive. The company didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Carfentanil vendors also take advantage of loose oversight on major trading platforms like South Korea’s EC21长沙桑拿 and China’s LookChem长沙桑拿 marketplaces.

EC21 claims to host 3 million products. Among them are carfentanil, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and ketamine, the AP found. A spokesperson for EC21 who refused to give a name said the site screened more than 700 keywords. “Every day we spend lots of time and effort to block” illegal products, EC21 said by Skype chat.

READ MORE: Fentanyl in Canada will get worse before it gets better: RCMP report 

But companies evade those keyword controls with the lightest touch of subterfuge. Like misspelling.

A search for “fentanyl” yielded zero results. But “fentanyll” yielded 806 products from 422 suppliers on EC21. A search for “cocainee” tapped 35 suppliers and “heroinn” produced 21 suppliers.

In this Oct. 26, 2016, photo, a man drinks tea near a computer screen displaying websites of companies selling carfentanil online on a train leaving Beijing on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Use of the deadly chemical carfentanil by drug dealers has exploded across the U.S., with more than 400 seizures in eight states since July, fueled by a thriving trade from China, the AP has found.

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

One company, Apex Special Chemical Medicine Trade Co., whose listed address was in Guangzhou, China, pulled its listings for carfentanil and other products from EC21 after being contacted by the AP. But at least six companies linked by email address or phone number to Apex appeared on the site this year, most of them in October. These new companies posted U.S. addresses — except one — and offered a cornucopia of illicit drugs. Emails requesting comment received no reply. Listed phone numbers did not work.

LookChem, a chemicals trading platform headquartered in Hangzhou, China, screens its product listings once or twice a year, based on Chinese regulations, according to company spokesman James Li. “We audit every product from vendors, a human audit,” he said. “It is not like people can sell anything they want.”

Yet the AP found four audit-approved vendors offering illicit sales of substances on LookChem. One is Shiyan Furuiyang Biological Technology Co., which offered by email to export carfentanil and fentanyl to the U.S. Fentanyl is a controlled substance in China. Search for it on LookChem’s site and nothing comes up, but Shiyan Furuiyang simply printed “fentanyl” in red letters across multiple photographs of baggies plump with crystalline powder.

READ MORE: Deadly drug fentanyl has been tested as chemical weapon by military for decades

“Fentanyl has a big market in USA,” a Shiyan Furuiyang sales manager who called herself Susie said in a Skype chat. “We sent there before.” Contacted later on Skype, another saleswoman, who advertised fentanyl on her profile, told the AP, “No comment, no explanation.”

All this just describes sales on the open internet. The darknet, a collection of shadowy websites invisible to most internet users, is also a vibrant marketplace for drugs. One darknet search engine yielded 118 listings of carfentanil for sale.

Chinese government could make a difference if it cracked down

China’s actions can have a profound impact on global narcotics markets. After Beijing controlled 116 new synthetic drugs last October, U.S. seizures of key narcotics plunged, DEA data show.

The reverberations of that law can still be felt. A sales manager named Eric from Shanghai Golden Time Biological Technology Co. refused to produce fentanyl and acetylfentanyl, both of which are controlled substances in China. “I can’t make it,” he said.

But he was happy to export the far more potent, unregulated carfentanil for $8,000 a kilogram.

___

Satter reported from Paris. Associated Press reporter Desmond Butler contributed from Washington and researcher Fu Ting contributed from Shanghai.

— With files from Carmen Chai and Emily Mertz, Global News

Related

  • Police intercept deadly opioid carfentanil: ‘50M doses could’ve hit our streets’

    ChangSha Night Net

24 July
Comments Off on School bus strike averted in GTA after company, union reach tentative deal

School bus strike averted in GTA after company, union reach tentative deal

A tentative agreement was reached between the union representing Greater Toronto Area school bus drivers and the bus operator Thursday morning following negotiations which stretched past the midnight strike deadline.

The deal, a first for drivers from First Student Markham, is now slated for ratification.

ChangSha Night Net

“We have a three-year agreement and I think our members will be pleased,” Debbie Montgomery, president of Unifor Local 4268, told reporters on Thursday. “This would be the drivers first collective agreement with Unifor. So we were pretty much starting from scratch. So that’s a lot of work.”

Both the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) said buses will operate as normal until the labour deal is ratified.

“First Student is happy that we were able to reach an agreement, and the community will have continuous school bus transportation. We look forward to the results of the ratification,” First Student spokesperson Jay Brock said in a statement.

School officials were advised the union only needed to give 72 hours notice before beginning any job action, but gave 10 days instead.

A possible strike could have affected nearly 2,500 TDSB and 6,000 TCDSB students. A York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) spokeswoman said around 3,500 YCDSB students and 6,500 York Region District School Board (YRDSB) students would be affected.

The union said that although a tentative deal has been reached, there are still some outstanding issues which the provincial government should now take notice.

“We’ve asked for a standard minimum wage to be applied to this industry and recognition of this job and the responsibility and that’s pretty important to us,” Montgomery said.

“We’ve asked for even more inspections. We’re concerned about the safety of the vehicles, the age of the vehicles being allowed on the roads.”

The union is also calling on the province to amend the Request For Proposals (RFP) process for handing out school bus contracts, which it maintains has directly led to many of the systemic problems in the industry.

-Cindy Pom contributed to this report

24 July
Comments Off on Tentative agreement reached between GTA school bus company, union

Tentative agreement reached between GTA school bus company, union

A tentative agreement was reached between the union representing Greater Toronto Area school bus drivers and the bus operator Thursday morning following negotiations which stretched past the midnight strike deadline.

The deal, a first for drivers from First Student Markham, is now slated for ratification.

“We have a three-year agreement and I think our members will be pleased,” Debbie Montgomery, president of Unifor Local 4268, told reporters on Thursday. “This would be the drivers first collective agreement with Unifor. So we were pretty much starting from scratch. So that’s a lot of work.”

Both the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) said buses will operate as normal until the labour deal is ratified.

ChangSha Night Net

School officials were advised the union only needed to give 72 hours notice before beginning any job action, but gave 10 days instead.

A possible strike could have affected nearly 2,500 TDSB and 6,000 TCDSB students. A York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) spokeswoman said around 3,500 YCDSB students and 6,500 York Region District School Board (YRDSB) students would be affected.

The union said that although a tentative deal has been reached, there are still some outstanding issues which the provincial government should now take notice.

“We’ve asked for a standard minimum wage to be applied to this industry and recognition of this job and the responsibility and that’s pretty important to us,” Montgomery said.

“We’ve asked for even more inspections. We’re concerned about the safety of the vehicles, the age of the vehicles being allowed on the roads.”

The union is also calling on the province to amend the Request For Proposals (RFP) process for handing out school bus contracts, which it maintains has directly led to many of the systemic problems in the industry.

24 July
Comments Off on Conservative motion aims to force Liberal hand on policing ethics

Conservative motion aims to force Liberal hand on policing ethics

OTTAWA – The Conservatives are hoping to hoist Justin Trudeau on his own ethical petard.

The Liberals defeated the Tories in last year’s federal election thanks in part to the prime minister’s promise to run a more ethical government.

But now he’s being accused of breaking his own directive that cabinet ministers must avoid even the appearance of giving preferential access to individuals who donate to the Liberal cause.

ChangSha Night Net

The Conservatives intend to use an opposition day Thursday to debate a motion calling on the House of Commons to give the ethics commissioner power to enforce the prime minister’s directive.

The motion, which will be put to a vote later this month, is clearly aimed at putting Trudeau on the spot: either vote against his own ethics directive or support the motion and risk having ethics commissioner Mary Dawson rule against the practice of allowing cabinet ministers to be the feature attraction at fundraisers.

READ MORE: Liberal fundraisers being investigated by lobbying watchdog

Dawson has called these so-called “cash-for-access” fundraisers “not very savoury” but says she has no legal authority to enforce Trudeau’s directive on avoiding the perception of preferential access.

In a preview of the debate on the motion, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose called Wednesday on Trudeau to follow his own ethics rules.

“He came into office saying that he was going to raise the ethical standard,” Ambrose told the Commons.

“He brought in his own ethical guidelines for himself and for his ministers and they’re all violating them. So the question again is, will he follow his own rules?”

Trudeau insisted that he and his ministers “are absolutely following our own rules, we’re following all the rules in place.”

READ MORE: Tories push for justice minister to return money from fundraiser with lawyers

That argument could make it harder for Liberals to vote against the Conservative motion: If they feel they are following Trudeau’s directive, they have no reason to fear letting Dawson enforce it.

As he’s done repeatedly over the past couple of weeks, Trudeau maintained that the law governing donations to federal political parties is “stringent,” capping individual contributions at $1,500 and outlawing corporate and union donations altogether. In effect, he’s contending that the limits on donations are too strict to enable anyone to buy preferential access.

24 July
Comments Off on SickKids hospital dials up emotions in new video for fundraising campaign

SickKids hospital dials up emotions in new video for fundraising campaign

TORONTO – Grace Bowen was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a few days shy of her ninth birthday. After going through major surgery and aggressive chemotherapy, she died just 11 months later.

Her story is told in the latest chapter of the SickKids Foundation’s contentious fundraising campaign titled VS. A new video released on Thursday features emotional music and candid shots of Grace and her family during her treatment at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

ChangSha Night Net

The first video ad in the hospital’s campaign, which portrayed children donning warpaint in a rousing call to battle, made headlines across the country – and outside Canada – and sparked a debate about the use of military metaphors in treating disease.

University of Ottawa Prof. Michael Orsini was among the critics who spoke out against the campaign that depicted patients and former patients literally fighting back – as soldiers, wrestlers and superheroes – against illnesses.

READ MORE: 12-year-old gives back to SickKids, Angel Hair for Kids after near-fatal fall

“I think (the campaign) leaves out the folks who are so-called ‘brave soldiers’ who cannot win the war, win the fight. And that is really kind of unfortunate,” Orsini told the CBC last month.

But Andrea Bowen, Grace’s mother, says the public shouldn’t be so quick to judge the campaign.

“Grace did not lose her battle. I can’t stand those words. I hate the thought of people thinking that or saying those words,” says Bowen.

“But this is not the message I got from viewing the (first ad). I think Grace would have loved … the ‘feel’ of it.”

The SickKids Foundation consulted with more than 50 patients and families and 100 staff members while developing its campaign, including grieving families like the Bowens. The goal was to ensure the ads resonated even with those facing tragedy.

READ MORE: Petition launched to rename SickKids to something more positive

According to Bowen, the brainstorming process paid off.

“I don’t believe (this campaign) is just about kids fighting issues they are dealing with. It’s about SickKids being there fighting for these children and families, working together, doing their best to save and improve the lives of children.”

Jay Chaney, chief strategy officer for the ad agency behind the campaign, Cossette, says the project should not be judged solely on the first ad.

“The tone evolves. We’ve tapped into this real, emotional experience of the hospital … and speak to the range of experiences, breakthroughs and losses that happen everyday at SickKids.”

Chaney also says that the marketing campaign has received mostly positive response on social media, a rare occurrence in the age of Internet trolls and skeptics.

The hospital foundation actually expected more criticism, says Lori Davison, SickKids vice president of brand strategy and communications.

READ MORE: SickKids hospital using new tool to reduce medical errors

“I actually thought it would be a lot more polarizing. That’s part of the power of it. People react and it makes them feel something. But I was surprised how overwhelmingly positive the response has been,” says Davison.

“We wanted to stretch people’s emotions. We wanted to be the most different with the first ad, but people will see us dialling up different emotions as we tell different stories.”

The foundation is hoping the campaign, which has another two ads to be released, will help in a larger effort to raise $1.3 billion for research and hospital infrastructure.

The first ad was part of a concerted effort to expand the foundation’s donor base to include both younger and male donors. And to date, it’s working. Preliminary campaign data shows an eight per cent increase in male donors and a seven per cent increase in donations from those aged 22 to 44.

For Bowen, the SickKids VS campaign is not about winners and losers. It’s about bravery, courage and helping others.

“We fight every day to continue Grace’s legacy and tell her story. We fight to help other children by raising much needed childhood cancer research funds. We continue to fight everyday to take another step without Grace. And we will continue the fight with SickKids who did all they could with amazing teams of doctors, surgeons, nurses and the people behind the scenes supporting children and families like us.”

24 June
Comments Off on Protesters rally for intervention in alleged dogfighting euthanasia case in Ontario

Protesters rally for intervention in alleged dogfighting euthanasia case in Ontario

Dozens of protesters rallied outside of a Chatham-Kent, Ont. courthouse Thursday in support of 21 alleged fighting dogs seized last year by the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals.

The OSPCA applied to euthanize the dogs, but other animal welfare organizations are fighting to save them.

“They do deserve the opportunity to be rehabilitated and to experience love,” said Clare Forndran, a spokesperson for Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: 3 pit bulls seized in Ontario to be adopted out by Nova Scotia SPCA

The OSPCA used two specialists from the United States they described as “world experts” to assess the dogs.

Those experts concluded the canines were dangerous and could not be rehabilitated.

Their conclusions are part of the OSPCA’s application to euthanize the dogs, filed in court. Dog Tales and Animal Justice are arguing to get intervenor status to fight the OSPCA’s application.

The groups want to bring in their own outside experts for an assessment.

READ MORE: Ongoing dogfighting investigation in southwestern Ontario leads to new charges

“We are extremely critical of the assessments done to date by the SPCA,” said Camille Labchuk, Executive Director of Animal Justice Both groups said all requests to access the dogs and do an independent assessment have been refused.

Global News sought comment from Crown attorney James Boonstra. He is currently refusing to allow an outside, independent assessment of the dogs by either the Crown or the OSPCA. Boonstra declined to speak to Global News.

The OSPCA said it is not up to them to determine how the case proceeds.

READ MORE: OSPCA sounds alarm over Ontario dogfighting operations

“The decision to have evaluations or assessment, independent or otherwise, would be at the Crown or the court’s direction,” said Jennifer Bluhm, Senior Inspector for the OSPCA.

Dog Tales has said it would cover all costs to take custody of the dogs, which are being kennelled by the OSPCA in a secret location.

Even the dogs’ owners, who are accused of abuse, said they would voluntarily sign the canines over to Dog Tales.

“If it means that they will be saved, absolutely,” said their lawyer, Ken Marley.

The dogs have been locked up for over a year now and the animal rights groups alleged they are getting minimal care.

“It’s like a human being on death row. These dogs are on death row with the OSPCA,” said John Nunziata, lawyer for Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.

“No effort is being made to rehabilitate them.”

The OSPCA said that is not true.

“They have specialized care plans which include stimulation, exercise,” said Bluhm.

The justice of the peace reserved his decision. He expects to release it before the next court date on Dec. 22.

Meanwhile, the dogs remain caged where they have been for the last year.

24 June
Comments Off on Liberal convention to build B.C. election team

Liberal convention to build B.C. election team

It’s still six months before British Columbians go to the polls, but the unofficial start of the election campaign is expected to get underway Friday as the Liberal party gathers in Vancouver.

Up to 1,300 people are registered to attend a three-day convention, which is being billed as the party’s largest team-building exercise before it seeks a fifth consecutive victory in May.

ChangSha Night Net

Campaign strategy adviser Jim Messina, who helped both U.S. President Barack Obama and former British prime minister David Cameron win second terms, has been hired as the keynote speaker to rally the grassroots.

“With six months to go, we are better prepared than ever before,” party spokeswoman Jillian Stead said. “We know that campaigns matter and as the clock ticks to May 9, 2017, we know this is going to be a really tough one.”

Part of the election readiness plan includes getting candidates nominated early and out into their ridings, Stead said. So far, the Liberals have named 60 of 87 candidates, she added.

British Columbia’s top-performing economy compared to the rest of Canada and the current budget surplus forecast of almost $2 billion will be widely discussed at the convention among candidates and delegates, Stead said.

“We do really need to stick to our free enterprise plan of controlling spending and creating growth and opportunity,” Stead said.

Michael Prince, a public-policy expert at the University of Victoria, said B.C.’s growing economy gives the party and its candidates confidence, he said.

“This is a government now that is in a pretty solid and admirable financial position,” he said. “I think they are going into this feeling very good about what they’ve been doing.”

Prince said he expects the government to start spending its surplus dollars in the coming months and for Finance Minister Mike de Jong to deliver a “classic-pre-election budget” in February.

“He’ll say, ‘We’ve made the sacrifices,’” Prince said. “‘We all deserve a group hug. And the purse strings will be loosened, in a responsible way of course.’”

But the Liberals should be cautious about their promises of a secure tomorrow because many British Columbians are insecure about their current financial status, let alone what the future holds, Prince said.

“If we mean by that financial security or a sense of confidence in one’s own personal security, socially, economically, financially, that’s where I would think the New Democrats might want to focus their attentions,” Prince said.

NDP Leader John Horgan said he’s not overly concerned about the Liberals racing to nominate candidates before the election.

“It’s insignificant,” he said.

“I’ve been laying out campaign planks over the past number of weeks and we’ll have a comprehensive, costed platform going into the next campaign.”

24 June
Comments Off on Nova Scotia daycare operators call government regulations ‘death notice’ to industry

Nova Scotia daycare operators call government regulations ‘death notice’ to industry

A group called “The Nova Scotia Early Childhood Education Action Group” says Nova Scotia’s plan to make child care more affordable is affecting their bottom line.

Spokeswoman Donna Buckland says current daycare regulations, if left unaltered, will result in providers no longer being able to offer high-quality programming and healthy work environments.

“Stop tying our hands because they’re going to put us all under,” said Buckland in a press conference on Wednesday.

Action Plan

ChangSha Night Net

In June 2016, the Nova Scotia government launched an action plan for daycare owners and operators across the province; providing more funding and wage increase for early childhood educators.

But the group says the fan-fare of that announcement didn’t last long when they were informed of the government’s plan to set minimum wages for ECE’s based on education levels and not include experience. They were also disappointed the government would impose a cap on fees.

“This excitement was short lived when we were informed the government of Nova Scotia was implementing a 1 per cent cap on any fee increases. Do they understand that this could potentially shut down our businesses?” said Buckland.

The group also says they aren’t being given enough information about how the new action plan will be implemented and that daycares across the province are being told to sign on to the province’s action plan or risk losing all funding from the province.

Buckland says because of the lack of a long-term plan from government, for the first time she was unable to do this year’s budget for her business.

Expenses

Buckland, also the owner of Giant Steps Children’s Centre in Upper Tantallon, says operators cannot afford what is being forced upon them.

“With our overall expenses going up by 3-4 per cent each year and our fee increase capped at 1 per cent, how long will it take before we must close our doors.”

“It is important for you to know child care centres have many other expenses such as mortgage, property tax, groceries, advertising, supplies, equipment, snow removal, playground upkeep, landscaping, garbage collection,” Buckland said.

Governments Response

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey responded to those concerns on Wednesday. She wouldn’t say whether the one percent cap on fee increases would stand.

But she did say the government is working on a funding formula – and they’ll be reaching out to directors and operators in the next few weeks for input.

“We have to look at the best way to provide the grants to the daycare centres that are using taxpayers dollars through that grant. And the result of that funding formula review I think could have an impact on how we provide that service,” said Casey.

24 June
Comments Off on COMMENTARY: Condemn political violence, but don’t suppress legitimate debate

COMMENTARY: Condemn political violence, but don’t suppress legitimate debate

The apparently politically-motivated shooting of a high-ranking U.S. Republican congressman has prompted a debate as to the extent to which a toxic political climate may have contributed to the horrific crime.

ChangSha Night Net

James Hodgkinson, identified by police as the gunman, was strongly anti-Republican and a big supporter of Bernie Sanders. Some Republicans have suggested that animosity toward U.S. President Donald Trump and Republicans in general may have contributed to the shooting.

Certainly those who would promote, defend, or excuse political violence have no place whatsoever in mainstream political discourse. That would also apply those who find it appropriate to joke about their political opponents being killed or otherwise harmed. Rhetoric that dehumanizes one’s political opponents, or that casts them as having an evil or sinister intent, is not helpful either. Those engaged in such tactics deserve not just condemnation but ostracization, too.

READ MORE: Wife of gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise says she saw no signs he was planning attack

However, tragedies like this should never be exploited to justify the suppression of legitimate political debate. In a free society we are free to not just oppose the policies of governments but to vocally and vigorously oppose those policies. Any calls to “tone it down a notch” fail to explain where those notches lie or who gets to decide what counts as acceptable discourse. We should be wary of any call to police speech.

It’s surprising, though, to see conservatives engaged in this sort of tactic. Usually they’re the ones on the receiving end of it. Two decades ago, conservative media pundits and politicians were accused of fuelling the sort of violent anti-government sentiment that led to the Oklahoma City bombing. In 2011, the conservative Tea Party movement — and Republican politician Sarah Palin in particular — were blamed for contributing to the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Such accusations were unfair then and they’re unfair now.

There’s also a fair amount of hypocrisy at play here. Trump himself, for example, is no stranger to provocative and inflammatory political rhetoric, as witnessed on the campaign trail last year.

Donald Trump himself is no stranger to provocative and inflammatory political rhetoric, as witnessed on the campaign trail last year.

File photo/wire services

Earlier this week, Republican commentator Newt Gingrich told Fox News that “you’ve had a series of things which send signals that tell people that it’s okay to hate the President.” This is the same Newt Gingrich who once felt it was acceptable to accuse president Obama of having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. Republican congressman Steve King suggested that Obama shares blame for the divided political culture that led to this week’s shooting. This is the same Steve King who once warned that electing Obama would lead to a “totalitarian dictatorship.”

READ MORE: Norway marks sombre 5th anniversary of Oslo terror attack

If these folks want to defend rough-and-tumble rhetoric, then fine. But the babe-in-the-woods routine is pretty pathetic and transparent.

Conservatives in Canada would do well to avoid falling into the same trap, lest they wind up rendering their own criticisms of Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne, and Rachel Notley as beyond the pale.

For example, RCMP last month arrested and charged a Lethbridge woman with making threats toward the federal government, and the Prime Minister’s wife in particular. Does that mean Conservatives should bite their tongues or pull their punches in criticizing the Liberal agenda?

In Alberta, government statistics show a sharp increase in the number of threats directed at Premier Notley. Additionally, Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen was given a security detail after she received threats following her defection from the Progressive Conservatives to the ruling New Democrats.

Many Albertans understandably have strong opinions about the policies of the Notley government and the ethics of political floor-crossing. Hopefully those opinions will be expressed in a respectful way, but when it comes to even uncouth and impolite language we should err on the side of protecting speech. Unless a link can be demonstrated between a threat or act of violence and a specific instance of political speech, it’s wrong and unfair to use that threat or act as a pretext for censorship.

Our political differences need not be overcome, but hopefully we can unite in swiftly and loudly condemning those who carry out, incite, encourage, or justify acts of political violence.

Rob Breakenridge is host of “Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” on Calgary’s NewsTalk 770 and a commentator for Global News.

24 June
Comments Off on Kelowna girl completes English Channel swim, raises funds for Canuck Place

Kelowna girl completes English Channel swim, raises funds for Canuck Place

UPDATE JULY 14, 2017 – An Okanagan teen has become the youngest Canadian to swim the English Channel.

Emily Epp took 11 hours, 57 minutes to complete the 40 km journey between England and France, ending her swim in the middle of the night, July 15, local time.

Emily Epp just before beginning her swim of the English Channel July 14, 2017.

Kelowna AquaJets/ Global News

Emily Epp swims the English Channel.

Kelowna AquaJets/ Global News

The now 17-year-old Kelowna swimmer has raised nearly $40,000 for Vancouver’s Canuck Place, a charity that has helped her family when her sister has needed medical treatment in Vancouver.

Canuck Place has created a fundraising page for Epp’s efforts, which can be found here.

ORIGINAL STORY – NOV. 3, 2016: KELOWNA, B.C. – Emily Epp is preparing to swim the English Channel next July, and will become one of the youngest if she completes the 40-kilometre distance as planned.

“I’m excited. I’m really excited,” Epp said Wednesday as she took to Okanagan Lake for the cameras. “There’s less people that do this swim than even climb Mount Everest.”

The 16-year-old member of the Kelowna AquaJets was inspired by her coach Brent Hobbs.

Hobbs swam the channel in 2008 when he turned 40, a challenge he had dreamed of as a child.

“It just captured my imagination,” Hobbs said.

Epp is hoping to raise money for Vancouver’s Canuck Place children’s hospice ahead of the swim.

Canuck Place has created a fundraising page for Epp’s efforts, which can be found here.

“We spend a lot of time there,” Epp said.

Epp’s younger sister Elan became ill when she was 18 months old and has required numerous visits to Vancouver for treatment of a mysterious illness that caused her muscles to deteriorate.

“They’ve made her life so much better. She used to scream from the pain and she used to cry.”

Elan Epp and her mother Cheryl.

Contributed/ Global Okanagan

Epp admits swimming the English Channel makes her nervous.

“I get nervous if I think too hard, if I think of all the things that could go wrong. But if I just focus on what I’m in control of, which is not the weather or any of that, then it’s exciting because I know personally I can do it mentally and physically. So it’s all up to the weather,” she said.

Hobbs said the shortest distance across the channel is 35 kilometres but dealing with currents makes the swim about 40 to 45 kilometres.

He believes it could take Epp between 10 and 14 hours in the 15 C water, “on a good day.”

“You have the Atlantic Ocean swells and you have the North Sea winds and it all converges over a shallow shelf,” Hobbs said. “That’s what makes it such a challenge. And then it’s the busiest shipping lane in the world.”

“Big ships. Lots of them. Eight hundred a day plying those waters.”

A 30-year-old Toronto man completed the swim this summer, becoming only the 28th Canadian to make the solo swim.

Hobbs said the swim is 90 per cent mental preparation.

“It gets very lonely and your mind plays tricks on you,” he said.

After swimming around Okanagan Lake Wednesday, Epp said the cold begins to comfort you after a short time.

“It hurts for a little bit,” she said. “Then after a while when your body is fully numb, it feels like a nice sauna. So warm.”

Her training has already begun in anticipation of next year’s swim.

“All through the summer, I’ve been doing long swims, my six-hour qualifier and four-hour swims. Throughout the winter, I’ll swim with my team in the pool every day.”

Her coach is impressed with her determination at such a young age.

“She’s very inspiring,” Hobbs said. “I hope she will inspire other young swimmers and older swimmers to take up similar challenges.”

Epp will make the attempt between July 21 and 24, 2017.

According to the city of Dover, 1,619 swimmers have made the solo journey across the English Channel.

The average time they’ve taken to swim the distance is 13 hours, 30 minutes, 29 seconds.

Just over a third have been women and the average age is 34.

Related

  • Toronto man becomes 28th Canadian to complete solo swim across English Channel

    B.C. open water swimmers set record crossing English Channel

    ChangSha Night Net