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Daily Canada Newswatch

Submit News to CKA News The end of innocence? Only for the innocent
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:00:00 -0400
Random violence? Militant Islam? Whatever the attacker?s motivations were, this country is about to face some unpleasant questions
Submit News to CKA News Students want trustee suspended over Pride parade tweets
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:30:00 EDT

More than 200 Toronto high school students say they want Toronto school trustee Sam Sotiropoulos suspended for his comments about the Gay Pride parade, which they feel are homophobic, and for suggesting transgendered students could be mentally ill.

“If the TDSB really is all about students and being accepting, why do they let this man get away with criticizing everything the board stands for?” asked Malvern Collegiate student Georgia Koumantaros, part of the Malvern Students Against Sexual Stereotyping club.

The 16-year-old addressed a Toronto District School Board committee meeting Wednesday, saying students are offended at a tweet in which Sotiropoulos cited a blog that called the Gay Pride parade a “freak show” and another tweet that suggested transgendered students might be mentally ill.

“He belittled the Gay Pride parade, which is a celebration of people who have not always had equal rights,” said Georgia, one of about 12 students from Malvern and Danforth Collegiate who attended the TDSB’s Administration, Finance and Accountability committee meeting Wednesday.

“If a student tweeted something like that, we’d be suspended, or at the very least we’d have to write an essay about the negative impact it has on school climate,” argued the Grade 11 student.

When told it’s not possible for the public to have a trustee suspended, Georgia responded: “He should at least be made to do community service, or write an essay — or apologize.”

Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said the students are raising concerns many trustees have shared.

“They’re right: what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander,” she said.

Trustees at the committee meeting gave the student a round of applause for her presentation, although it is not clear whether the issue of Sotiropoulos’s tweets will be referred on for future discussion.

One tweet by Sotiropoulos that the students cited was: “Until I see scientific proof that transgenderism exists and is not simply a mental illness, I reserve the right not to believe in it.”

Students who signed the petition argue that this comment violated Ontario’s Accepting Schools Act, the board’s own guidelines on accommodating transgendered students and the board’s own code of conduct.

However, Sotiropoulos, who was connected to the meeting by telephone, argued that board lawyer Tony Brown has told him “I have not violated anything . . . I have the right to express my opinion under the Charter of Rights. You seem to think you know better than the board lawyer.”

Unrattled by his tone, the high school student responded: “Yes, you’re 100 per cent entitled to your own opinion — at home and with friends — but when you use the hashtag #tdsb and your Twitter name is ‘@TrusteeSam’ then you are speaking for the board.”

All trustees should be accountable for their comments on social media, argued Malvern Grade 12 student Scott Phyper, “because in this day and age, what you say on social media is part of what the TDSB is about.”

Sotiropoulos’ tweet about transgendered students has also sparked an Ontario Human Rights complaint from a group of parents who argue it violates the human rights codes of both the province and the TDSB. The Elementary Teachers of Toronto also have complained to the TDSB about the tweet.

Earlier this spring, Sotiropoulos drew criticism from city councillors and fellow trustees for his comments about nudity at the Gay Pride parade. Georgia said students chose not to tweet back at Sotiropoulos “because of the way he tweets at people who complain to him.” However the students said they wanted to raise their concerns before voters go to the ballot Monday.

“We want to bring his behaviour to public attention while the campaign is on,” said Grade 11 student Sarah Lewis. “He’s supposed to be following the school board rules to make schools more accepting.”

Georgia said students know better than to tweet the sort of comments Sotiropoulos has tweeted because “it’s been drilled into us since Grade 4 to be careful what we say online because all your actions have consequences.”

Submit News to CKA News 5 things to know for Thursday Oct. 23, 2014
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:23:05 -0400
Submit News to CKA News Dozens quarantined for Ebola monitoring threaten to break out in Liberia
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:22:52 -0400
Dozens of people quarantined for Ebola monitoring in western Liberia are reportedly threatening to break out of an isolation centre because they have no food.
Submit News to CKA News Politicians, police ask: Is Canada safe enough?
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:09:00 -0400
Federal politicians, police forces and intelligence officials will begin the work of assessing security around Parliament Hill, and the safety of the country itself, in the wake of the shocking attacks in the nation's capital.
Submit News to CKA News Mayor allegedly linked to attack on 43 missing students in Mexico
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:02:08 +0000

Officials say mayor ordered municipal police to detain protesting students, who were then turned over to a drug gang.

The post Mayor allegedly linked to attack on 43 missing students in Mexico appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Hot races in Brampton
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

Angry Brampton voters, fed up with the ongoing expense scandal surrounding Mayor Susan Fennell, are looking for change on Monday when they go to the polls.

Fennell is staring at a likely defeat, but many in Brampton are also looking to change the attitude of entitlement that certain councillors have supported through their refusal to hold Fennell accountable on many issues. The Star takes a look at some of the hot Ward races in the city where voters will decide Brampton's future.

Wards 9 & 10 City Councillor

Vicky Dhillon, who has voted in support of Fennell on many issues, such as the 6-5 decision to go forward with the controversial $500 million downtown redevelopment, is in a tough fight against a man who shares the same last name, Gurpreet Dhillon.

Vicky Dhillon has served two terms on council, but has come under stiff criticism from the largely Punjabi-Canadian community he represents, because of his past support of Fennell. He routinely voted against anti-Fennell councillors, for example, when he supported her continued use of a $49,000-a-year limousine service in December, even though public outrage over her lavish transportation costs was mounting.

He was asked about public concern over his support for Fennell.

“We voted for her car service only,” he told the Star via email. He claims that he did not vote for her driver. “The driver was on her expense account.” In fact, the driver service was included in the cost of the car service he voted in favour of.

“I am not a supporter of Mayor Susan Fennell,” he said.

Gurpreet Dhillon, a business analyst for Rogers who started a local non-profit basketball academy for youth, says it’s time for change for his Wards and the City of Brampton. “I want to change the attitude of entitlement at city hall. We have to put a stop to politicians who have disrespected the taxpayers for too long.”

Gurpreet Dhillon almost won a seat in the last provincial election for the NDP, losing by about 3,400 votes.

“We need to bring more jobs to Brampton to support the influx of residential development the city has seen,” he said. The other candidates are: Allison Brown and Jarnail (Sunny) Singh.

Wards 7 & 8 City Councillor

Manan Gupta hasn’t served on council, but he has had to defend his run for the seat being vacated by retiring councillor Sandra Hames. That’s because Fennell has been strongly endorsing Gupta for the job.

“That’s a really tight situation I’m into,” he said. “She’s supporting my passion for Brampton. If she sees those passionate citizens coming to the council there’s no harm in that.”

Gupta is the publisher of a truck industry trade magazine. He is currently a board member of Brampton Safe City, which is run by the husband of Councillor Gael Miles, another loyal Fennell supporter. His priorities for the city are value for property tax dollars, sustainable jobs and cutting wasteful expenditures.

He’s facing stiff competition from Pat Fortini, who lives in Ward 8 and is a well-known community advocate. He was hailed as a local hero this summer when he kicked down the door of a burning house and helped two boys get out.

“I’m running to clean up the mess in city hall,” Fortini said. “Brampton residents are hurting. They don’t want any more bad news. We need jobs, we need our first university, we need community policing. I want to get in there and get to work.”

Fortini is pledging to only accept about $23,000 of the roughly $80,000 salary that a city councillor is entitled to. “For tax reasons it doesn’t make sense for me to take any more because of extra income I get. I’m not doing this for money. I’ve already inquired about it. I’m going to give the rest to eight or nine charities in my ward every month.”

When asked if his heroism has helped his campaign, he said he didn’t want to talk about it. “I feel bad for my neighbour who died.”

Other candidates include Khalid Alvi, Karla Bailey, James Drozdiak, Damindar Ghumman, Ajay Malhotra, Subbiah Manickam, Gerald McCourt, Archibald McLachlan, Maria Peart, Veenay Sehdev and Sohan Singh.

Wards 2 & 6 Regional Councillor

John Hutton is hoping to move over from his city council seat in the Wards to the regional seat, but he will have to get past the son of the area’s long-serving councillor Paul Palleschi, who is retiring.

Hutton has been on council since 1985 and is one of the resident environmentalists. He’s also been one of the biggest thorns in Fennell’s side. He voted against things such as her limousine service and the controversial downtown re-development. He was found to have broken spending rules himself, about $5,000 over four years mostly for the purchase of tickets to events that used to be allowed under the city’s old expense policy. But he fully supported the forensic audit that was conducted and has pledged to make accountability a key feature of council.

He’s up against Michael Palleschi. When asked about his father’s loyal support of Fennell, Palleschi said, “The votes say that he’s been her supporter. But I think of him more as a service provider to the citizens.”

Palleschi has no experience in public office, has not sat on any committees and said he has no volunteer experience. He moved to Brampton seven months ago with his wife and children, from Wellington county, but was born and raised in the city.

Jobs and community safety are two of the key planks of his platform. Asked about his lack of experience, he said “I’ve been involved in politics through my father for 29 years.”

Other candidates are: Vicky Colbourne, Mandeep Jassal, Baljit Johal, Sean Kean and Jai Naraine.

Submit News to CKA News Toronto backlog causes two-year wait for parking ticket date
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

Evelyn Shver is tired of waiting.

It’s been almost two years since the 59-year-old bookkeeper from Richmond Hill began requesting a court date to fight a parking ticket she received for leaving her Cadillac in a handicap spot on Orde Street.

The spot was located behind Princess Margaret Hospital where her elderly uncle with mobility issues was receiving cancer treatment in December 2012.

Though she says she had a handicap sticker affixed to her vehicle, Shver said she left the hospital one day to find a $60 parking ticket.

Trying not to burden her uncle, she says she quickly stuffed the ticket into her purse and planned to fight it in court. Nearly two years later, however, she still hasn’t had the chance.

Shver said she applied for a court date within two weeks of receiving the ticket, but has yet to be assigned one.

Currently, the city has 21,000 tickets set for trial by the end of November and about 100,000, or four months’ worth, of requests to be scheduled, explained City of Toronto spokesperson Kazia Fraser in an email.

Reasons for delays vary from case to case, but the average wait for a court date is less than a year. Court date scheduling is done on a priority basis, she wrote, with serious offences involving accessible parking or fire routes taking precedence.

When she visited the city’s parking ticket office at Mel Lastman Square, Shver was told by an attendant she could be waiting for her court date for another year.

“It makes no sense at all,” said Shver. “I don’t understand why it is taking so long.”

Fraser said when people who have received tickets wait a lengthy period of time for a court date, prosecution staff conduct reviews to determine if their wait has been “reasonable.” In cases where it is determined that the delay has been too long and there is no reasonable explanation, prosecution staff can “exercise their discretion to withdraw a charge.”

Each year, she noted, the city hands out 2.6 million tickets, 600,000 of which are challenged. Of those, 130,000 are cancelled, while the remainder are the subject of a request for a trial to challenge the ticket further, or “simply pay or not pay.”

“Of those that proceed to trial, approximately 63 per cent are convicted,” she said. “The vast majority of tickets issued result in payments with overall collection at 83 per cent.”

Though a renewal of driver’s licence or vehicle plates can occur while someone is awaiting a trial, drivers cannot obtain a new licence or plates if they have unpaid tickets and no filed intention to fight them in court.

To speed up the process involved with assigning trial dates, Fraser said, eight court rooms have been dedicated to parking disputes, up from five in 2011. Each courtroom can handle about 30,000 trial requests per year and costs around $1 million.

Fraser said the additional capacity is “helpful,” but that “changes to and greater awareness of the cancellation guidelines together with higher fines, towing, etc., may still not be enough to ensure everyone gets a court date.”

To combat this problem, she said, cities like Brampton and Mississauga have moved towards low-cost resolution processes to end disputes early.

In a June 2011 staff report, the City of Toronto was apprised of one of those processes it called the “fixed-fine system.”

As a deterrent, the fixed-fine system affixes an extra $12.75 to tickets received by people who want to dispute a ticket in court, but then fail to show up. Those who do appear and argue successfully would have no fine imposed.

The report said that “making more efficient use of the available court capacity for parking tickets will in turn reduce the time to trial for parking ticket recipients who wish to have a trial.”

MORE

Parking ticket? It may be cancelled if . . .

A man can’t rest if he can’t park: Fiorito

Submit News to CKA News Why our housing ?spending vigour? worries Bank of Canada: Mayers
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

Canadians can expect to enjoy cheap borrowing costs for a while yet and the Bank of Canada doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to change things.

That’s good news for those investing in stocks and for those who want to buy a home. It’s far less so for savers, heading in their sixth lean year as we remain stuck in an awkward low interest rate trap.

On Wednesday in his latest monetary review, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz kept the overnight lending rate, the rate the big banks are charged to borrow money, unchanged at 1 per cent. That’s where it’s been for five years. TD Economics referred to the news as “a do nothing interest rate announcement.” That’s true, but lest anyone think the situation is normal, this stretch of uninterrupted interest-rate calm was last seen in the 1950s. Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House and John Diefenbaker was about to become prime minister. It’s anything but normal.

The central bank also noted the increasing vulnerability of consumers to interest rate increases. In its statement, it said the good news is that “underlying inflationary pressure are muted” in part because of a big drop in oil prices and a weak global outlook. On the other hand, “the housing market and consumer spending are showing renewed vigour … fuelled by very low borrowing rates.”

Poloz wants to keep the economy moving forward and a mix of modest inflation and low rates helps grease the wheels. On the other hand, we’ve had plenty of spending and borrowing, so it’s time to ease up.

The borrowing binge since 2009 has fuelled asset booms in houses and stocks. When it came to stocks, the increases have outpaced profit growth. The hope was that world economies would speed up and profits would follow, justifying rising share prices. They haven’t, leading to the recent month-long correction..

The hope was also that better growth and recovery would lead to wage gains. That would make homes relatively more affordable, especially in the GTA.

But wages haven’t been growing, which means many GTA house-hunters are near their limit. A report by Bank of Montreal predicted this week that an interest rate rise of two percentage points would have a big impact on those looking to buy.

A quarter of house-hunters would be barely able to afford the same homes they’re looking at now, but they’d still make the purchase. Another third would buy a less expensive home, while 13 per cent would be priced out of the market.

Existing homeowners would also feel the pinch. Interest rate comparison site Fiscal Agents shows the best rate for a five-year closed mortgage this week at 2.95 per cent. A $300,000 mortgage amortized over 25 years at this rate costs $1,142 a month. At two percentage points higher, the same mortgage costs $324 more each month.

In a Toronto speech Monday, Evan Siddall, president of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., raised the same theme. He said that about 48 per cent of Canadians’ net worth is now tied up in real estate. Homeowners could find themselves in a real bind if the economy cools off. Home prices would fall, putting many who are already stretched underwater.

All of this makes it hard to raise rates, even if inflation rises. It leaves Poloz trying to make sure things aren’t too hot, or too cold, but hopefully just right. It’s the Goldilocks outcome, but then again Goldilocks is a fairy tale, where a happy ending is guaranteed.

Adam Mayers writes about investing and personal finance. Reach him at amayers@thestar.ca

Submit News to CKA News Canada is no haven from extremism: DiManno
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

The symbolism is powerful, seizing a nation by the throat.

Strike at the soldier, the uniform — for the love of God, the War Memorial — and all that is sacred, all that evokes sacrifice for this country, feels assailed.

It is frightening. But more than that it is enraging.

Soldiers are trained to fight, as Canadian troops have always done when called upon, from Afghanistan to the Balkans to global conflagrations in Europe and Africa and the Pacific.

But this soldier, clad in ceremonial uniform, had no ammunition in his rifle and no chance, no warning, against the fatal bullet that pierced his chest.

An unnamed soldier until late afternoon, guarding a memorial of profound reverence: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

On a shocking day, the unnamed and the unknown represented all Canadians who wear the beret and the regimental badge and the maple leaf shoulder patch.

How wrong-headed it is, if even out of hypercaution, to strip soldiers of that uniform when they venture off-base, lest the fatigues paint a bull’s eye on their backs. Might as well strip them of their identity. Might as well strip us all of defiance against intimidation. But that’s the protocol reasoning, of course; a strange interpretation of “force protection.” Because they’re going after our soldiers now, right here on our soil, presumably heeding the call of terrorism.

The homegrown insurgent ambushing the homegrown warrior — in the shadow of the Peace Tower — to kill and be killed, wreaking havoc and tragedy in a blaze of twisted glory.

Gunfire echoing Wednesday in the stately vaulted corridors of Parliament, an unprecedented attack in the institution most emblematic of democracy in Canada. Tourists fleeing, MPs in lockdown, civil employees barricading themselves behind doors, the prime minister whisked away to safety, SWAT teams patrolling downtown Ottawa.

A lone wolf gunman acting out of his own sense of divine purpose and sociopathy? A self-radicalized acolyte of the Islamic State, which has threatened Canada — soon to join a coalition bombing campaign against Islamic State-held territory in Iraq — urging its adherents to stage attacks on domestic targets, by the gun or whatever weapon comes to hand?

On Monday it was a car, driven by a converted Muslim zealot, deliberately running down two Canadian Forces members, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and injuring the other. On Wednesday it was 24-year-old reservist Nathan Cirillo, from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton, on honour and volunteer duty, who died.

On Sept. 21, an Islamic State website issued the threat against Canada and other countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition. And only on Tuesday we learned that there are 90 individuals on a national security “watchlist” whose movements are being monitored by the RCMP, suspected of being in high-risk thrall to Islamic and possibly looking to join the jihadist cause in Iraq and Syria.

Martin “Ahmed” Rouleau had been one of them, even interviewed by the RCMP before he mounted the attack that killed Warrant Officer Vincent in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., before he was gunned down following a police chase.

Did that plant the seed for Wednesday’s attack?

Panic and screeching sirens and a barrage of gunfire on the Hill, in the central block building of Parliament.

It might not be the Canada we recognize but it is very much the way of the world, rocked by 21st-century terrorism, whether in its exported eruptions — London, Madrid, Bali — or in lands of chronic conflict and Islamic wars, or the bloody handiwork of nationals in Western countries.

Now we know, for those who needed quantifiable proof, who remained unmoved by the colossal suffering of others, in distant places. We know the vulnerability, the victimization, the wrath. We know, perhaps never before felt quite as intensely, what Canadian troops experienced through nearly a decade of combat in Afghanistan.

This is what it looks like when the enemy attacks — in sneaky incursions (asymmetrical tactics forced upon them, the apologists will chorus), heedless of innocent civilians: a soldier bleeding out on the ground, paramedics instead of medics fighting to save a life.

The Liberals and NDP didn’t want to put Canadian troops in harm’s way when Parliament voted a couple of weeks ago on sending fighter jets to participate in the air bombing campaign against ISIS, no matter how urgent and morally defensible the engagement, ignoring Canada’s critical role in crafting Responsibility to Protect doctrine in international law.

So now the harm has come here, to us. But most particularly to those who stand on guard for us.

The questions are pointed and, thus far, unanswered. While the War Memorial is an open target — the gunman shooting Cirillo point-blank — how did the perpetrator get to the main door of the Parliament building, and inside, before apparently being brought down by the sergeant-at-arms? Was the shooter — identified first by American network TV as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — among “high-risk travellers” documented by the RCMP. Had he been on their monitoring radar? Was Canada at a heightened threat level and we weren’t told?

Most important to determine: did the shooter act alone or was he part of a like-minded cell? Which raises the question: what next? Where next?

For hour after hour, CBC anchors were loath to even speculate that the shooter was Muslim, though witnesses had described him as wearing a kaffiyeh, or surmise on motive, as if wilfully blind to the obvious context of the attack.

This was not Canada’s 9/11. To frame it in proportion to that spectacular horror would be in itself an abomination.

But it was a blunt warning that Canada is no haven from the ideology of extremism, the vortex of violence that is raging. And we whistle by the graveyard of terrorism at our own peril.

Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Submit News to CKA News China, Iran defence officials meet in Beijing, pledge closer ties
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:51:44 +0000

The meeting was the latest sign of warming ties following their first joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf last month.

The post China, Iran defence officials meet in Beijing, pledge closer ties appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Denver teens encouraged online to travel to Syria, official says
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:44:03 +0000

School official says three Denver area girls were victims of an online predator who encouraged them to travel to Syria.

The post Denver teens encouraged online to travel to Syria, official says appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Secret Service apprehends another White House fence-jumper
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:21:15 +0000

The 23-year-old man was unarmed when he jumped over the north fence line Wednesday evening.

The post Secret Service apprehends another White House fence-jumper appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News A town not accustomed to fear loses its innocence
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:00 -0400
There was anger, fear and terror within the National Capital Region, a place where the country?s first political assassination took place in 1868
Submit News to CKA News Delta District's Energy Saving Plan Quashed by Frosty Feelings (in News)
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:30:00Z
Parents, teachers upset over proposed 'cozy day' temperature drop.
Submit News to CKA News Gov't Still Open to Slots on Ferries Despite Dozens of Obstacles (in News)
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:20:00Z
'I thought it had been ruled out,' says NDP critic of proposal.
Submit News to CKA News Schreyer skates to win over Steen - Winnipeg Free Press
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:14:15 GMT

Winnipeg Free Press

Schreyer skates to win over Steen
Winnipeg Free Press
The 47-year-old son of former NDP premier Ed Schreyer beat former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen last night to become the new councillor for Elmwood-East Kildonan. Jason Schreyer led by a margin of more than 55 per cent of the vote the moment polls ...
Jason Schreyer wins in Elmwood-East KildonanWinnipeg Sun
St. Charles, Elmwood-East Kildonan, Daniel McIntyre throw out incumbentsCBC.ca
Schreyer elected in Elmwood-East Kildonan over incumbent SteenGlobalnews.ca

all 10 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Forensic probe may take months - Winnipeg Free Press
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:14:15 GMT

Winnipeg Free Press

Forensic probe may take months
Winnipeg Free Press
It could take months for police to unravel the disturbing mystery of six dead babies hidden inside a Winnipeg storage locker. Police said Wednesday much remains unknown, including the gender and identities of the infants and when and how they died.
Candlelight vigil for babies outside storage lockerWinnipeg Sun
Winnipeg woman charged with hiding remains of six dead babies in storage lockerNational Post
Woman accused of concealing infants defrauded senior: court recordsInnisfail Province
Canada.com
all 357 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Brandon elects new mayor - Winnipeg Free Press
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:14:15 GMT

Brandon elects new mayor
Winnipeg Free Press
BRANDON -- Shari Decter Hirst battled two record-breaking floods as Brandon's mayor, but the one Chrest she couldn't hold back was her main challenger. Rick Chrest defeated the incumbent Wednesday night with the support of 64.9 per cent of votes.
New faces elected in rural Manitoba racesCTV News
Rick Chrest defeats Shari Decter Hirst to be elected Brandon mayorCBC.ca

all 5 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Scott Walker Gets Soused with Sunn O))) (in Culture)
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:10:00Z
And a beating would apparently does us good.
Submit News to CKA News Attack on parliament, killing of soldier stun Canada's capital - Reuters Canada
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:07:08 GMT

National Post

Attack on parliament, killing of soldier stun Canada's capital
Reuters Canada
By Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren. OTTAWA (Reuters) - A gunman attacked Canada's parliament on Wednesday, with shots fired near where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking, and a soldier was killed at a nearby war memorial, stunning the ...
Lone gunman kills Canadian soldier in Ottawa attackDigitalJournal.com
Soldier confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in OttawaNews1130
Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks of Canada as 'family' after attacksSydney Morning Herald
Winnipeg Free Press -The Independent -Herald.ie
all 4,955 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Don?t let the seat of government become a fortress
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:00:00 -0400
The angry gunman in the legislature is a constant, distressing phenomenon worldwide, and the way we respond tends to be depressingly similar
Submit News to CKA News Video: Asylum haunted house walk through at the PNE
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:36:27 Z
A walkthrough of Asylum, the haunted insane asylum haunted house at Fright Nights PNE.
Submit News to CKA News Parliament will carry on
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:22:43 +0000

And please let there be yoga again on the lawn

The post Parliament will carry on appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Vaughn Palmer: Premier sticks to prosperity fund promises amid Opposition taunts
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:03:08 Z
A day after the B.C. Liberals cut their proposed tax on liquefied natural gas in half, Premier Christy Clark insisted that her vaunted prosperity fund was still alive and well. “On this side of the house, we will create a prosperity fund,” she assured the legislature Wednesday in response to taunts from the Opposition side.
Submit News to CKA News Two Squamish Nation officials disciplined for mishandling $1.5 million
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:01:30 Z
Two Squamish Nation officials who have been stripped of some of their powers over the mishandling of almost $1.5 million should face further consequences, according to a band member. Beverly Brown said Tuesday that she is one of many band members who are extremely unhappy that Krisandra Jacobs, a councillor at large, and band manager Glen Newman remain in their elected positions.
Submit News to CKA News Vancouver entrepreneur honoured with Dalai Lama award
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:01:20 Z
By the time Vancouver entrepreneur John Volken sold his United Furniture business, it was an empire of 150 locations with annual revenue of more than $200 million. The sale, in 2004, allowed him to pour his heart and some $150 million into supporting two areas where he saw need: young people in Vancouver, Phoenix and Seattle who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and also young orphans in Africa who need food, housing and schools.
Submit News to CKA News U.S. tribes opposed to proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:42 Z
U.S. tribes told Canadian regulators on Wednesday they’re opposed to a proposed pipeline expansion project in Canada that could dramatically increase the number of oil tankers plying West Coast waters. Kinder Morgan Canada has proposed a $5.4-billion expansion of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which links oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the B.C. coast. The project could increase by seven-fold the number of oil tankers that transit Washington state waters.
Submit News to CKA News Extension requested in review of B.C. health ministry firings
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:14 Z
A labour lawyer hired by the B.C. government to review the botched firings of government health researchers has asked for more time to complete her work.
Submit News to CKA News B.C. man accused of raping child in 1974 fighting extradition from U.S.
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:59:55 Z
A former Prince George man is fighting deportation back to Canada where he is accused of raping a disabled child four decades ago. Raymond Douglas Charles MacLeod, 72, was arrested in the U.S. nearly a year ago after a deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department identified him as a fugitive.
Submit News to CKA News Blatchford: Nathan Cirillo killed performing most eternal, soldiery duty ? standing guard over one of his own
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:59:30 Z
He was such a modern young guy, Nathan Frank Cirillo, yet he died performing a task that is both so eternal and so soldierly, standing guard over one of his own. Cpl. Cirillo, just 24, was the soldier killed at […]
Submit News to CKA News Coyne: Micro-terrorism emerges as new threat in wake of Ottawa, Quebec attacks
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:58:27 Z
How easy it is. How easy it was. How terribly, ineluctably easy. Since Sept. 11, 2001, authorities across the West have been bracing themselves for the second act, the big kill, the spectacular slaughter of hundreds or even thousands at […]
Submit News to CKA News Maher: Time to reflect on the courage of our ancestors
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:57:33 Z
When I heard about the shooting, and headed to Parliament Hill, the first sign that something bad had happened was across Sussex Drive from the American embassy, where two Ottawa police officers were standing guard. One of them had an […]
Submit News to CKA News Video: The latest in the investigation of the Ottawa shooting
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:42:16 +0000

Man with same name as Ottawa gunman had Quebec, Vancouver criminal record

The post Video: The latest in the investigation of the Ottawa shooting appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Steeves announces retirement from politics - CTV News
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:38:48 GMT

ChrisD.ca

Steeves announces retirement from politics
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Submit News to CKA News UPDATE: Day of chaos in the capital leaves soldier and terrorist dead
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:33:23 Z
A terrorist struck at the heart of the capital Wednesday, gunning down a sentry at the National War Memorial and wreaking havoc on Parliament Hill, where the stone halls echoed with gunfire and ran with blood.
Submit News to CKA News Alleged gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had long list of run-ins with the law
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:33:00 EDT

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Canadian identified as the shooter by Canadian security source, has had run-ins with the law from B.C. to Quebec dating back to 2001, according to court records obtained by the Star.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s Quebec criminal record includes 11 charges.

In a one-month period between Nov. 20 and Dec. 15, 2001, he received an absolute discharge for credit card fraud in Montreal and fines for drunk driving in Mont-Tremblant and assault in Laval.

In March 2003, he was sentenced to three months in prison for theft and another six months for possession of a dangerous weapon in Saint-Jérôme, north of Montreal. In 2004, he received another brief jail term to escaping custody twice and possession of marijuana and PCP. In mid 2005 and again in 2006, he was charged with marijuana possession in Montreal, for which he received first a small fine and, on the second occasion, another absolute discharge.

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Harper says Canada ‘will not be intimidated’

After Zehaf-Bibeau was identified, a picture purportedly of the shooter began to circulate on the Internet after an ISIS Twitter account posted it. In it, a man with long, dark hair and wearing a scarf around the lower half of his face is holding a primitive-looking long rifle. The Star could not verify if this was Zehaf-Bibeau and the Twitter account was later suspended.

NDP press secretary Greta Levy, who was just outside Centre Block when the shooting broke out, emerged from her witness interview with the RCMP Wednesday night and, during a phone interview with the Star, saw the picture of the scarfed man. Levy said the man in the photo looks “just like” the man she saw holding a long gun from the hip with both hands, about to walk in the building.

Construction worker Scott Walsh, who was laying fibre-optic cable on Parliament Hill, told the Star’s Tonda MacCharles that shortly after the first shooting at the war memorial, a man with scarf over his face “ran up by East Block and hijacked a car at gunpoint. He didn’t harm the man inside and then made his way around towards the construction and that’s the last time I saw him.

“I hopped the fence and looked over to my right. And there was a man with a somewhat similar scarf, kind of tucked in and covering a bit of his mouth, and while everyone else was freaking out and running away, he was just leaning up against the fence with his hands in his pocket.”

Radio-Canada reported that the gunman’s parents were Susan Bibeau, a senior official with the Immigration Refugee Board, and Bulgasem Zehaf, a Libyan immigrant who ran a Montreal cafe between 1994 and 2002.

Quebec and federal business registration documents also show that a Bulgasem Zehaf from the Montreal suburb of Laval operated a downtown establishment, Cafe Bistro Tripol Inc. between 1994 and 2004. Residents at the Laval home Zehaf provided as his address in those records said they had lived there for a decade but knew nothing of the suspect in the Ottawa shooting or his family.

LaPresse reported that Zehaf-Bibeau lived at several locations in Montreal and in Outaouais, including Aylmer, Que. His last known address was in Vancouver.

B.C. court documents show Zehaf-Bibeau was arrested in 2011 in Vancouver and in custody after being charged with robbery and uttering threats. It’s not clear what happened to those charges.

Submit News to CKA News Tough questions will come after the Ottawa shooting: Editorial
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:28:00 EDT

The heart of Canada’s democracy has been invaded and violated. Political violence is hardly unknown to Canada, but even in the dark days of the War Measures Act during another October 44 years ago Parliament itself remained untouched. Now the ring of gunfire in its marbled corridors, and the bloodstains on the National War Memorial nearby, have brought the reality of such conflict to the very centre of our political system.

Canadians will mourn Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the young soldier from Hamilton who tragically lost his life standing guard at the war memorial, of all places. They will give thanks that no one else but the gunman who attacked Parliament on Wednesday was killed. And they will quite rightly hail those who stopped him, led by Kevin Vickers, the parliamentary sergeant-at-arms who shot the attacker dead before he could harm anyone else.

The events of Wednesday – “these despicable attacks,” as Prime Minister Stephen Harper described them late in the evening – will echo for a long time in our public life, in ways we cannot entirely foresee in the heat of the moment. But we do know that this is no time for panic. Sadly, the capital of a major democracy is bound to be the scene of violence from time to time, and the surprise is that until Wednesday Ottawa had been remarkably free of such acts.

Harper made it plain that, in the wake of Wednesday’s attack, “Canada will not be intimidated.” That is entirely right; any democracy worth the name must protect above all the place where its representatives come together to debate and decide our collective course.

At the same time, there is no need to overreact and wrap Parliament Hill in new and unnecessary layers of security. There are no fences cutting off our seat of government from the people, nor should there be. Security must be reviewed, but carefully. Canada must remain true to its open, democratic values – especially in the face of such an attack.

Neither is this a time to duck difficult questions. Many essential facts about the attack are still unknown – in particular what exactly motivated the gunman, identified as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, originally from Quebec. But in the wake of that and the earlier fatal attack this week on a soldier in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, by a Canadian convert to radical Islamist ideas, we urgently need answers to a host of questions:

  • Was there any link between Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, the man who murdered the soldier in Quebec? On the face of it, it’s hard to imagine that two attacks on soldiers in three days can be mere coincidence. In his brief speech to the nation, Harper himself linked them together, and indeed linked them to Canada’s involvement in the U.S.-led campaign against the extremist ISIS group in Iraq and Syria.
  • Are we dealing with troubled individuals who have “self-radicalized” with Islamist ideology on their own, so-called lone wolves? Or are they part of a network? And if they are part of a wider organization, what might others be planning?
  • Was Zehaf-Bibeau known to the security services, as some reports on Wednesday suggested? Was he among the 90 or so individuals that the RCMP says it has been keeping under surveillance in connection with radical jihadist groups? According to some reports, he was already on their radar screen and may have had his passport seized. So why wasn’t he stopped before he acted?
  • What went wrong with how the RCMP handled Couture-Rouleau? Certainly they were well aware of him and his activities. In July they prevented him from getting on a plane to Turkey, believing he was on his way to join ISIS in Iraq or Syria. And RCMP officers met with him as recently as Oct. 9 to discuss his radical activities. Yet they concluded there was nothing concrete to indicate he was planning an actual attack. What did they miss?
  • What warnings, if any, did the security services have of an impending attack? Before Wednesday there were conflicting reports that there had been warnings of an attack in Canada. Were there such indications of a jihadist threat? What’s the truth?
  • What went wrong with Parliament’s security screen that allowed a man wielding a long gun (a rifle or shotgun) to first fire the fatal shots at the cenotaph and then run across the wide lawn in front of Parliament, burst through the checkpoint at the entrance, and penetrate deeply into the building?
  • Parliament Hill is patrolled by security officers and the guards at the entrance of the building are armed. Yet it took the sergeant-at-arms himself to put down the intruder with his own weapon. Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms, is a highly respected RCMP veteran who has earned the gratitude of MPs for personally ending the threat to their lives. But the fact remains that he is in charge of security in and around Parliament, and must face pointed questions about why that system broke down.

    It will be difficult in the coming days and months to find the proper balance between a heightened concern for security and the equally important need to cherish our open system and civil liberties. That will become even tougher if it is confirmed that both both Rouleau-Martin and Zehaf-Bibeau were driven by the same twisted jihadist ideology, and even more so if it turns out that the attacks in Quebec and Ottawa were coordinated.

    Canadians will be justifiably worried and angry if that is the case. It will up to the politicians – the very ones who were put under personal threat on Wednesday – to rise above their usual partisan games and strike the right notes of firmness and restraint.

    Submit News to CKA News Municipal Elections: Mississauga's next mayor expected to tackle gridlock - Daily Commercial News
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:25:22 GMT

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    Mississauga will elect a new mayor on Oct. 27, marking the end of the 36-year mayoral reign of Hazel McCallion, who did not seek re-election. Municipal Elections: Mississauga's next mayor expected to tackle gridlock. Members of the city's business ...
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    Submit News to CKA News Bill Blair beefs up police presence at city hall, Queen's Park in response to ... - National Post
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:23:24 GMT

    National Post

    Bill Blair beefs up police presence at city hall, Queen's Park in response to ...
    National Post
    Chief Bill Blair confirmed he is beefing up Toronto Police Service presence at city hall, Queen's Park, courthouses, consulates and the Toronto Transit Commission in the wake of attacks in Ottawa on Wednesday. ?There is no known critical threat, but it is a ...
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    Submit News to CKA News Woman lied about sister's hated fiance being terrorist
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:22:48 -0400

    An city woman accused of a terrorism hoax owned up Wednesday to lying to authorities about her sister's fiance being a terrorist because the family disliked him.
    Submit News to CKA News Toronto 18 informant: ?We need to get our act together?
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:21:48 +0000

    Mubin Shaikh, the informant who foiled the Toronto 18 terrorism plot, on the need to act on Islamic self-radicalization

    The post Toronto 18 informant: ‘We need to get our act together’ appeared first on Macleans.ca.

    Submit News to CKA News Second hospital admits breach of Mayor Rob Ford's privacy - Toronto Star
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:57:12 GMT

    Toronto Star

    Second hospital admits breach of Mayor Rob Ford's privacy
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    A spokesperson for Humber River Hospital has confirmed individuals gained ?inappropriate access? to Mayor Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard)'s medical records. Gerard Power, director of public and corporate communications for the Toronto hospital, ...
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    Submit News to CKA News Second hospital admits breach of Mayor Rob Ford?s privacy
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:55:00 EDT

    A spokesperson for Humber River Hospital has confirmed individuals gained “inappropriate access” to Mayor Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard)’s medical records.

    Gerard Power, director of public and corporate communications for the Toronto hospital, said in an emailed statement to the Star Wednesday night that “an investigation had shown that inappropriate access of his medical record was obtained by certain individuals”.

    It is unclear when this breach of privacy took place.

    Power said the hospital’s president and CEO, Rueben Devlin, let the mayor know earlier in the day Wednesday that his health records had been wrongly accessed.

    “Mr. Devlin extended the hospital’s sincerest apologies for this breach of his privacy, indicating that these actions were not consistent with the hospital’s values,” Power said.

    He said Devlin assured Ford that the individuals who obtained his health records were facing disciplinary action.

    This is the second reported case of inappropriate access to the mayor’s medical information since he was admitted to Humber River Hospital with an abdominal tumour on Sept. 10.

    Ford was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, where doctors discovered he had cancer, and where his records were also inappropriately accessed by hospital staff.

    Submit News to CKA News Man ID'd as gunman had lived in Montreal, Vancouver and Aylmer (with video)
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:46:39 Z
    Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man identified as the gunman killed in Ottawa on Wednesday, appears to have lived at various times in Montreal, Vancouver and Aylmer, Que.
    Submit News to CKA News Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau address nation
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:44:50 Z
    In his first public words since Wednesday morning’s shootings, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the attacks “despicable” and “cold-blooded murder.”
    Submit News to CKA News Analysis: Effects on Ottawa will be lasting and far-reaching (with video)
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:43:12 Z
    Wednesday’s attacks in Ottawa strongly suggest the Islamic State (ISIL) or other foreign jihadist influences have the ability to inspire, recruit or possibly even task Canadian sympathizers to launch domestic assaults, however unsophisticated.
    Submit News to CKA News Sergeant-at-arms Vickers lauded as hero in Hill shooting
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:41:13 Z
    Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers' job is to ensure that Canada's lawmakers are kept safe at work. Unconfirmed reports Wednesday said Vickers did just that – personally, on Wednesday.
    Submit News to CKA News Downtown shooting timeline (with video)
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:23:46 Z
    A minute-to-minute breakdown of events from the first 911 calls to the end of the lockdown on Parliament Hill.
    Submit News to CKA News Ottawa terrorist attack prompts worldwide step-up in security from Australia to England to Iqaluit
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:14:26 +0000
    With terrorism jitters at an all-time high in Canada, Ottawa was far from the only city to spend Wednesday scrambling increased security to government buildings

    Canadian Editorial/Opinion Newswatch

    Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (Undeclared entity error at line 56, column 54) in D:\Hosted Sites\canadaka.net\www\includes\rss_fetch\rss_fetch.inc on line 238 Submit News to CKA News Toronto backlog causes two-year wait for parking ticket date
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

    Evelyn Shver is tired of waiting.

    It’s been almost two years since the 59-year-old bookkeeper from Richmond Hill began requesting a court date to fight a parking ticket she received for leaving her Cadillac in a handicap spot on Orde Street.

    The spot was located behind Princess Margaret Hospital where her elderly uncle with mobility issues was receiving cancer treatment in December 2012.

    Though she says she had a handicap sticker affixed to her vehicle, Shver said she left the hospital one day to find a $60 parking ticket.

    Trying not to burden her uncle, she says she quickly stuffed the ticket into her purse and planned to fight it in court. Nearly two years later, however, she still hasn’t had the chance.

    Shver said she applied for a court date within two weeks of receiving the ticket, but has yet to be assigned one.

    Currently, the city has 21,000 tickets set for trial by the end of November and about 100,000, or four months’ worth, of requests to be scheduled, explained City of Toronto spokesperson Kazia Fraser in an email.

    Reasons for delays vary from case to case, but the average wait for a court date is less than a year. Court date scheduling is done on a priority basis, she wrote, with serious offences involving accessible parking or fire routes taking precedence.

    When she visited the city’s parking ticket office at Mel Lastman Square, Shver was told by an attendant she could be waiting for her court date for another year.

    “It makes no sense at all,” said Shver. “I don’t understand why it is taking so long.”

    Fraser said when people who have received tickets wait a lengthy period of time for a court date, prosecution staff conduct reviews to determine if their wait has been “reasonable.” In cases where it is determined that the delay has been too long and there is no reasonable explanation, prosecution staff can “exercise their discretion to withdraw a charge.”

    Each year, she noted, the city hands out 2.6 million tickets, 600,000 of which are challenged. Of those, 130,000 are cancelled, while the remainder are the subject of a request for a trial to challenge the ticket further, or “simply pay or not pay.”

    “Of those that proceed to trial, approximately 63 per cent are convicted,” she said. “The vast majority of tickets issued result in payments with overall collection at 83 per cent.”

    Though a renewal of driver’s licence or vehicle plates can occur while someone is awaiting a trial, drivers cannot obtain a new licence or plates if they have unpaid tickets and no filed intention to fight them in court.

    To speed up the process involved with assigning trial dates, Fraser said, eight court rooms have been dedicated to parking disputes, up from five in 2011. Each courtroom can handle about 30,000 trial requests per year and costs around $1 million.

    Fraser said the additional capacity is “helpful,” but that “changes to and greater awareness of the cancellation guidelines together with higher fines, towing, etc., may still not be enough to ensure everyone gets a court date.”

    To combat this problem, she said, cities like Brampton and Mississauga have moved towards low-cost resolution processes to end disputes early.

    In a June 2011 staff report, the City of Toronto was apprised of one of those processes it called the “fixed-fine system.”

    As a deterrent, the fixed-fine system affixes an extra $12.75 to tickets received by people who want to dispute a ticket in court, but then fail to show up. Those who do appear and argue successfully would have no fine imposed.

    The report said that “making more efficient use of the available court capacity for parking tickets will in turn reduce the time to trial for parking ticket recipients who wish to have a trial.”

    MORE

    Parking ticket? It may be cancelled if . . .

    A man can’t rest if he can’t park: Fiorito

    Submit News to CKA News Canada is no haven from extremism: DiManno
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EDT

    The symbolism is powerful, seizing a nation by the throat.

    Strike at the soldier, the uniform — for the love of God, the War Memorial — and all that is sacred, all that evokes sacrifice for this country, feels assailed.

    It is frightening. But more than that it is enraging.

    Soldiers are trained to fight, as Canadian troops have always done when called upon, from Afghanistan to the Balkans to global conflagrations in Europe and Africa and the Pacific.

    But this soldier, clad in ceremonial uniform, had no ammunition in his rifle and no chance, no warning, against the fatal bullet that pierced his chest.

    An unnamed soldier until late afternoon, guarding a memorial of profound reverence: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    On a shocking day, the unnamed and the unknown represented all Canadians who wear the beret and the regimental badge and the maple leaf shoulder patch.

    How wrong-headed it is, if even out of hypercaution, to strip soldiers of that uniform when they venture off-base, lest the fatigues paint a bull’s eye on their backs. Might as well strip them of their identity. Might as well strip us all of defiance against intimidation. But that’s the protocol reasoning, of course; a strange interpretation of “force protection.” Because they’re going after our soldiers now, right here on our soil, presumably heeding the call of terrorism.

    The homegrown insurgent ambushing the homegrown warrior — in the shadow of the Peace Tower — to kill and be killed, wreaking havoc and tragedy in a blaze of twisted glory.

    Gunfire echoing Wednesday in the stately vaulted corridors of Parliament, an unprecedented attack in the institution most emblematic of democracy in Canada. Tourists fleeing, MPs in lockdown, civil employees barricading themselves behind doors, the prime minister whisked away to safety, SWAT teams patrolling downtown Ottawa.

    A lone wolf gunman acting out of his own sense of divine purpose and sociopathy? A self-radicalized acolyte of the Islamic State, which has threatened Canada — soon to join a coalition bombing campaign against Islamic State-held territory in Iraq — urging its adherents to stage attacks on domestic targets, by the gun or whatever weapon comes to hand?

    On Monday it was a car, driven by a converted Muslim zealot, deliberately running down two Canadian Forces members, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and injuring the other. On Wednesday it was 24-year-old reservist Nathan Cirillo, from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton, on honour and volunteer duty, who died.

    On Sept. 21, an Islamic State website issued the threat against Canada and other countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition. And only on Tuesday we learned that there are 90 individuals on a national security “watchlist” whose movements are being monitored by the RCMP, suspected of being in high-risk thrall to Islamic and possibly looking to join the jihadist cause in Iraq and Syria.

    Martin “Ahmed” Rouleau had been one of them, even interviewed by the RCMP before he mounted the attack that killed Warrant Officer Vincent in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., before he was gunned down following a police chase.

    Did that plant the seed for Wednesday’s attack?

    Panic and screeching sirens and a barrage of gunfire on the Hill, in the central block building of Parliament.

    It might not be the Canada we recognize but it is very much the way of the world, rocked by 21st-century terrorism, whether in its exported eruptions — London, Madrid, Bali — or in lands of chronic conflict and Islamic wars, or the bloody handiwork of nationals in Western countries.

    Now we know, for those who needed quantifiable proof, who remained unmoved by the colossal suffering of others, in distant places. We know the vulnerability, the victimization, the wrath. We know, perhaps never before felt quite as intensely, what Canadian troops experienced through nearly a decade of combat in Afghanistan.

    This is what it looks like when the enemy attacks — in sneaky incursions (asymmetrical tactics forced upon them, the apologists will chorus), heedless of innocent civilians: a soldier bleeding out on the ground, paramedics instead of medics fighting to save a life.

    The Liberals and NDP didn’t want to put Canadian troops in harm’s way when Parliament voted a couple of weeks ago on sending fighter jets to participate in the air bombing campaign against ISIS, no matter how urgent and morally defensible the engagement, ignoring Canada’s critical role in crafting Responsibility to Protect doctrine in international law.

    So now the harm has come here, to us. But most particularly to those who stand on guard for us.

    The questions are pointed and, thus far, unanswered. While the War Memorial is an open target — the gunman shooting Cirillo point-blank — how did the perpetrator get to the main door of the Parliament building, and inside, before apparently being brought down by the sergeant-at-arms? Was the shooter — identified first by American network TV as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — among “high-risk travellers” documented by the RCMP. Had he been on their monitoring radar? Was Canada at a heightened threat level and we weren’t told?

    Most important to determine: did the shooter act alone or was he part of a like-minded cell? Which raises the question: what next? Where next?

    For hour after hour, CBC anchors were loath to even speculate that the shooter was Muslim, though witnesses had described him as wearing a kaffiyeh, or surmise on motive, as if wilfully blind to the obvious context of the attack.

    This was not Canada’s 9/11. To frame it in proportion to that spectacular horror would be in itself an abomination.

    But it was a blunt warning that Canada is no haven from the ideology of extremism, the vortex of violence that is raging. And we whistle by the graveyard of terrorism at our own peril.

    Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

    Submit News to CKA News Alleged gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had long list of run-ins with the law
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:33:00 EDT

    Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Canadian identified as the shooter by Canadian security source, has had run-ins with the law from B.C. to Quebec dating back to 2001, according to court records obtained by the Star.

    Zehaf-Bibeau?s Quebec criminal record includes 11 charges.

    In a one-month period between Nov. 20 and Dec. 15, 2001, he received an absolute discharge for credit card fraud in Montreal and fines for drunk driving in Mont-Tremblant and assault in Laval.

    In March 2003, he was sentenced to three months in prison for theft and another six months for possession of a dangerous weapon in Saint-Jérôme, north of Montreal. In 2004, he received another brief jail term to escaping custody twice and possession of marijuana and PCP. In mid 2005 and again in 2006, he was charged with marijuana possession in Montreal, for which he received first a small fine and, on the second occasion, another absolute discharge.

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    ? Security officials troubled by Islamic State?s call for domestic attacks

    ? Toronto man holds vigil honouring slain soldiers

    ? Sergeant-at-arms who shot gunman hailed as hero

    ? Killings of two soldiers raise troubling questions: Siddiqui

    Harper says Canada ?will not be intimidated?

    After Zehaf-Bibeau was identified, a picture purportedly of the shooter began to circulate on the Internet after an ISIS Twitter account posted it. In it, a man with long, dark hair and wearing a scarf around the lower half of his face is holding a primitive-looking long rifle. The Star could not verify if this was Zehaf-Bibeau and the Twitter account was later suspended.

    NDP press secretary Greta Levy, who was just outside Centre Block when the shooting broke out, emerged from her witness interview with the RCMP Wednesday night and, during a phone interview with the Star, saw the picture of the scarfed man. Levy said the man in the photo looks ?just like? the man she saw holding a long gun from the hip with both hands, about to walk in the building.

    Construction worker Scott Walsh, who was laying fibre-optic cable on Parliament Hill, told the Star?s Tonda MacCharles that shortly after the first shooting at the war memorial, a man with scarf over his face ?ran up by East Block and hijacked a car at gunpoint. He didn?t harm the man inside and then made his way around towards the construction and that?s the last time I saw him.

    ?I hopped the fence and looked over to my right. And there was a man with a somewhat similar scarf, kind of tucked in and covering a bit of his mouth, and while everyone else was freaking out and running away, he was just leaning up against the fence with his hands in his pocket.?

    Radio-Canada reported that the gunman?s parents were Susan Bibeau, a senior official with the Immigration Refugee Board, and Bulgasem Zehaf, a Libyan immigrant who ran a Montreal cafe between 1994 and 2002.

    Quebec and federal business registration documents also show that a Bulgasem Zehaf from the Montreal suburb of Laval operated a downtown establishment, Cafe Bistro Tripol Inc. between 1994 and 2004. Residents at the Laval home Zehaf provided as his address in those records said they had lived there for a decade but knew nothing of the suspect in the Ottawa shooting or his family.

    LaPresse reported that Zehaf-Bibeau lived at several locations in Montreal and in Outaouais, including Aylmer, Que. His last known address was in Vancouver.

    B.C. court documents show Zehaf-Bibeau was arrested in 2011 in Vancouver and in custody after being charged with robbery and uttering threats. It?s not clear what happened to those charges.

    With files from Michelle Shephard

    Submit News to CKA News Tough questions will come after the Ottawa shooting: Editorial
    Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:28:00 EDT

    The heart of Canada’s democracy has been invaded and violated. Political violence is hardly unknown to Canada, but even in the dark days of the War Measures Act during another October 44 years ago Parliament itself remained untouched. Now the ring of gunfire in its marbled corridors, and the bloodstains on the National War Memorial nearby, have brought the reality of such conflict to the very centre of our political system.

    Canadians will mourn Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the young soldier from Hamilton who tragically lost his life standing guard at the war memorial, of all places. They will give thanks that no one else but the gunman who attacked Parliament on Wednesday was killed. And they will quite rightly hail those who stopped him, led by Kevin Vickers, the parliamentary sergeant-at-arms who shot the attacker dead before he could harm anyone else.

    The events of Wednesday – “these despicable attacks,” as Prime Minister Stephen Harper described them late in the evening – will echo for a long time in our public life, in ways we cannot entirely foresee in the heat of the moment. But we do know that this is no time for panic. Sadly, the capital of a major democracy is bound to be the scene of violence from time to time, and the surprise is that until Wednesday Ottawa had been remarkably free of such acts.

    Harper made it plain that, in the wake of Wednesday’s attack, “Canada will not be intimidated.” That is entirely right; any democracy worth the name must protect above all the place where its representatives come together to debate and decide our collective course.

    At the same time, there is no need to overreact and wrap Parliament Hill in new and unnecessary layers of security. There are no fences cutting off our seat of government from the people, nor should there be. Security must be reviewed, but carefully. Canada must remain true to its open, democratic values – especially in the face of such an attack.

    Neither is this a time to duck difficult questions. Many essential facts about the attack are still unknown – in particular what exactly motivated the gunman, identified as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, originally from Quebec. But in the wake of that and the earlier fatal attack this week on a soldier in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, by a Canadian convert to radical Islamist ideas, we urgently need answers to a host of questions:

  • Was there any link between Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, the man who murdered the soldier in Quebec? On the face of it, it’s hard to imagine that two attacks on soldiers in three days can be mere coincidence. In his brief speech to the nation, Harper himself linked them together, and indeed linked them to Canada’s involvement in the U.S.-led campaign against the extremist ISIS group in Iraq and Syria.
  • Are we dealing with troubled individuals who have “self-radicalized” with Islamist ideology on their own, so-called lone wolves? Or are they part of a network? And if they are part of a wider organization, what might others be planning?
  • Was Zehaf-Bibeau known to the security services, as some reports on Wednesday suggested? Was he among the 90 or so individuals that the RCMP says it has been keeping under surveillance in connection with radical jihadist groups? According to some reports, he was already on their radar screen and may have had his passport seized. So why wasn’t he stopped before he acted?
  • What went wrong with how the RCMP handled Couture-Rouleau? Certainly they were well aware of him and his activities. In July they prevented him from getting on a plane to Turkey, believing he was on his way to join ISIS in Iraq or Syria. And RCMP officers met with him as recently as Oct. 9 to discuss his radical activities. Yet they concluded there was nothing concrete to indicate he was planning an actual attack. What did they miss?
  • What warnings, if any, did the security services have of an impending attack? Before Wednesday there were conflicting reports that there had been warnings of an attack in Canada. Were there such indications of a jihadist threat? What’s the truth?
  • What went wrong with Parliament’s security screen that allowed a man wielding a long gun (a rifle or shotgun) to first fire the fatal shots at the cenotaph and then run across the wide lawn in front of Parliament, burst through the checkpoint at the entrance, and penetrate deeply into the building?
  • Parliament Hill is patrolled by security officers and the guards at the entrance of the building are armed. Yet it took the sergeant-at-arms himself to put down the intruder with his own weapon. Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms, is a highly respected RCMP veteran who has earned the gratitude of MPs for personally ending the threat to their lives. But the fact remains that he is in charge of security in and around Parliament, and must face pointed questions about why that system broke down.

    It will be difficult in the coming days and months to find the proper balance between a heightened concern for security and the equally important need to cherish our open system and civil liberties. That will become even tougher if it is confirmed that both both Rouleau-Martin and Zehaf-Bibeau were driven by the same twisted jihadist ideology, and even more so if it turns out that the attacks in Quebec and Ottawa were coordinated.

    Canadians will be justifiably worried and angry if that is the case. It will up to the politicians – the very ones who were put under personal threat on Wednesday – to rise above their usual partisan games and strike the right notes of firmness and restraint.

    Submit News to CKA News Second hospital admits breach of Mayor Rob Ford?s privacy
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:55:00 EDT

    A spokesperson for Humber River Hospital has confirmed individuals gained “inappropriate access” to Mayor Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard)’s medical records.

    Gerard Power, director of public and corporate communications for the Toronto hospital, said in an emailed statement to the Star Wednesday night that “an investigation had shown that inappropriate access of his medical record was obtained by certain individuals”.

    It is unclear when this breach of privacy took place.

    Power said the hospital’s president and CEO, Rueben Devlin, let the mayor know earlier in the day Wednesday that his health records had been wrongly accessed.

    “Mr. Devlin extended the hospital’s sincerest apologies for this breach of his privacy, indicating that these actions were not consistent with the hospital’s values,” Power said.

    He said Devlin assured Ford that the individuals who obtained his health records were facing disciplinary action.

    This is the second reported case of inappropriate access to the mayor’s medical information since he was admitted to Humber River Hospital with an abdominal tumour on Sept. 10.

    Ford was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, where doctors discovered he had cancer, and where his records were also inappropriately accessed by hospital staff.

    Submit News to CKA News Terrorism rocks Ottawa
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:07:00 EDT

    OTTAWA — The heart of Canada’s democracy came under attack Wednesday in a brazen shooting that left a soldier dead, a parliamentary security guard wounded, and Canadians reeling at images of violence in the national capital.

    In an unprecedented morning assault, a single gunman fired on a ceremonial soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial before storming onto Parliament Hill, where he burst through the main doors of Centre Block, ran past rooms where NDP and Conservative MPs, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, were meeting.

    Behind him in chase was a cluster of security officials and police officers, their guns drawn.

    A volley of shots rang out, with Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a long-time veteran of the RCMP, reportedly shooting the gunman, later identified by a Canadian security source as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

    At the National War Memorial, bystanders tried frantically to save the life of the young soldier who had stood ceremonial guard next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old reservist from Hamilton, would later die of his wounds.

    A scenic fall day turned into chaos, confusion and fear shortly before 10 a.m..

    One Ottawa resident watched as a short-man with shoulder length hair got out of a car parked near the war memorial, pulled out what appeared to a bunch of blankets or rolled-up sleeping bag and ran to the monument.

    A few moments later, she saw the man coming back to the car. “And I see that he’s carrying a shiny object that, from afar, looked like a pipe, like a silvery-coloured pipe, which I now know was a long gun,” she said.

    Other witnesses say Cirillo was shot at point-blank range.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had been evacuated from Parliament Hill, branded the assault a “terrorist” attack. Top security officials were also on the Hill, including the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, along with the deputy ministers of justice and defence.

    In a televised address to the nation Wednesday evening, Harper’s voice shook as he paid tribute to Cirillo, slain at a “sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.”

    He extended condolences as well to the family of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent “who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.”

    “But let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated. Canada will not be intimidated,” Harper said.

    Harper had been whisked off the Hill by his protective detail and later huddled with Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney for a cabinet meeting.

    Three other patients were taken to the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus for “minor, non-life threatening injuries” and were later released, including a Parliament Hill security guard who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

    At an afternoon news conference, police officers did not say whether they were still hunting for other suspects though the city’s downtown core remained on lockdown. Nor would they confirm whether the man shot by police on Parliament Hill was the gunman suspected of shooting the soldier.

    Calls to 911 about the War Memorial shooting began to pour into the Ottawa police at 9:52 a.m.

    Construction worker Scott Walsh was working near East Block when he heard one or two loud bangs and spotted a man running in his direction. He was wearing a white scarf and carrying a double-barrel shotgun though the firearm didn’t register at first until a colleague screamed, “he has a gun, get down.”

    “I saw people running and screaming. There was a man running. He had a scarf over his face. He ran up by East Block and hijacked a car at gunpoint. He didn’t harm the man inside and then made his way up around the loop in front of Centre Block.

    Alain Merizier, a waiter in the Parliamentary Restaurant, was at the main entrance of Centre Block when the shooter arrived.

    “He arrived quickly in a black car, right near the main door. I saw a young man, with a beard, and a hunting rifle, he shouldered it and he rushed quickly into Parliament and I heard a shot.”

    “He had long hair, he looked in his 30s . . . I saw the police arrive and the Commons security advancing.”

    A shaken Marc-Andre Viau, spokesperson for the NDP, saw the suspect run into the main doors of Centre Block, chased by a Mountie. Soon after he heard a volley of shots inside.

    “As soon as the police officer walked in, there were a lot of shots, multiple shots fired. There was a pause then I heard another round of shots,” Viau said.

    Inside the building, it was caucus day. Party leaders met with MPs and senior staff behind closed doors.

    New Democrat MP Charlie Angus said he and his colleagues heard several rounds of heavy gunfire just outside the door of their meeting room.

    Angus said MPs and staffers tried to barricade the door with tables and lay down on the floor as they heard what he said was at least two rounds of gunshots followed by another few shots.

    “People put up furniture. We put tables against the door. We lay down. You’ve never been through this before. You don’t know what the routine is other than what you have seen in the movies, so we didn’t know if someone was going to be able to try and get in,” Angus said.

    Across the hall, Conservative MPs were dong the same, as shown by a picture taken by MP Nina Grewal, showing a stack of chairs stacked against a door.

    Some MPs were evacuated to safety through the tunnels that led to adjacent buildings as well as to the rear of centre block. That’s where Liberal MP John McKay took cover with others behind a monument. He had just arrived for the Liberal caucus in a basement meeting room when he heard gunfire.

    Other MPs, including Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, remained locked in Parliament Hill, into the evening after being warned to barricade their doors and not to open them under any circumstances.

    It was a stunning assault on a day when the Conservative government had planned to introduce expanded anti-terrorism powers for Canada’s national security agencies. It came on the heels of Monday’s shocking attack in Quebec where a self-radicalized man, identified as a high-risk traveller by the RCMP, ran down two Canadian soldiers at a strip mall, killing one and injuring the other. Couture-Rouleau, too, was shot and killed by police after a high-speed chase.

    RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud, the commanding officer of all RCMP forces in and around Parliament Hill, including the prime minister’s protective detail, said it was too early to say if there had been any warning, but admitted: “I think that from our reaction it caught us by surprise.”

    “It’s in our responsibility to protect the public;” Michaud told reporters. “If we would have known this was coming we would have been able to protect the public.”

    Michaud said RCMP had been operating at the “medium threat level for the past number of years, and that is the threat level we are operating at now.”

    A report of a third shooting near the Rideau Centre shopping mall in downtown Ottawa was later discounted by police.

    With files from Tim Harper, Tim Alamenciak and Olivia Carville

    Submit News to CKA News Doug Ford calls Toronto Star reporter a ?little bitch?
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:26:00 EDT

    Doug Ford (open Doug Ford's policard) called a Toronto Star reporter a “little bitch” as he left a mayoral debate on Wednesday night.

    Ford made the remark after expressing irritation with city hall reporter Jennifer Pagliaro during a post-debate media scrum.

    Ford repeated Pagliaro’s name and media affiliation several times during the scrum, using his preferred recent tactic for evading questions he does not like. As he walked out of the CTV debate studio with his wife and daughter, he said, “I can’t stand that little bitch.”

    The comment was heard by Star photojournalist Lucas Oleniuk and a CTV producer.

    “I can confirm that a CTV producer heard this,” said Joanne MacDonald, vice-president at CTV News and general manager of CP24.

    Oleniuk photographed Ford spokesman Amin Massoudi as Massoudi immediately interjected to try to calm Ford. When Pagliaro approached Ford in a hallway to ask for an explanation, Massoudi said, “Questions are over.” Massoudi did not respond to a request for comment later in the night.

    Rival Olivia Chow denounced the remark when she was informed of it by an aide. She said Ford should “immediately” apologize.

    “It’s a sexist statement. It’s directed to females. And it’s just not fair. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. It should be condemned,” Chow said in her own scrum.

    Candidate John Tory also called for an immediate apology from Ford.

    “Doug Ford’s comment tonight to (Pagliaro) is completely unacceptable, particularly from someone seeking to be mayor of this city,” Tory posted on Twitter.

    In a written statement three hours after the remark, Ford did not deny saying “little bitch” but claimed he was talking about someone other than Pagliaro. He did not identify that other person.

    “The fact is, I had a private conversation with two of my staff members as I was walking out of the debate, and that private conversation was completely unrelated to anyone in the room,” he said.

    “I never said anything about the Toronto Star reporter. This reporter heard something second-hand and based on this inferred I was talking about her, when the Toronto Star reporter’s name didn’t even come up once.”

    Pagliaro had asked Ford when he plans to release his list of campaign donors, why he is holding a fundraising dinner only two days before voting day, and, after he mentioned threats he has received, about Mayor Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard)’s decision to violate city protocol by publicizing an August bomb threat.

    Doug Ford, a vocal critic of the local media in general, has singled out at least three other female city hall reporters for personal attacks. He has publicly suggested another Star reporter is mentally unstable, publicly urged a Globe and Mail reporter to get off her “lazy ass,” and publicly said a CP24 reporter is a “vicious” person who wants to “kill” Rob Ford.

    Near the beginning of the election campaign, in February, Doug Ford called Tory “chauvinistic” for advising women to learn to play golf to improve their career prospects.

    The final debate of the campaign is Thursday night on Citytv. Election Day is Monday.

    Submit News to CKA News Islamic State?s call for domestic attacks has troubled security officials
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:46:08 EDT

    OTTAWA—How do you stop someone with a weapon and a mission?

    That has been the fear among security and intelligence officials in recent weeks as the so-called Islamic State called for attacks at home.

    It is the easiest form of terrorism — no need for sophisticated plots, or training, or financing — but as Wednesday’s killing of Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo in the heart of Canada’s capital showed, even simple attacks can elicit the widespread panic and attention these groups crave.

    Many details about Cirillo’s killing and the motives of the shooter, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, are still unknown. Was there any connection to Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25, who killed 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent Monday in a hit-and-run in Quebec? Did Zehaf-Bibeau have any ties abroad?

    But no matter the connections, followers of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) benefited from the worldwide attention as they gloated on social media soon after Cirillo’s death. “Canada getting a taste of their own medicine?” wrote one. Another prolific ISIS supporter wrote: “Canada starting to pay the price of intervention.”

    Along with spreading panic, terrorism is intended to deliver message, and the message seems clear: Canada’s military involvement in the campaign against ISIS will be punished.

    Military institutions and personnel have always also been seen as targets since Canada’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan. CFB Borden, a base north of Toronto, was one of the targets of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorism plot that was thwarted in 2006.

    Following the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich last year, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service issued a threat assessment focusing on vulnerabilities of Canadian forces.

    “Simple, straightforward attacks using readily available weapons and minimal preparations on undefended targets are a better match with the actual capabilities of most extremists,” reads the threat assessment that seemed to foreshadow the events this week. Zehaf-Bibeau killed with a rifle; Couture-Rouleau with a car.

    The threat level only increased with Canada’s high-profile role in fighting ISIS and the contribution of air support and small force of military advisers.

    Amarnath Amarasingam, a post-doctoral fellow at Dalhousie University’s Resilience Research Centre, who has been studying Canadian ISIS recruits, says Wednesday’s attack perfectly suited the group’s narrative. “They’re calling for Muslims to defend the Islamic State but if they can’t travel, then Muslims around the world are to attack at home to support the caliphate.”

    And that call to attack at home was what most troubled security officials, especially when Ottawa began revoking passports of Canadians under terrorism investigations in an attempt to stem the flow of Western recruits.

    If ISIS supporters cannot travel, would attacks at home increase? As one security source said, “taking passports is only half the battle.”

    Couture-Rouleau was one of those 90 Canadian suspects who had his passport seized. Zehaf-Bibeau also had issues surrounding his passport — although it is unclear whether it was “seized” as other reports indicated.

    Before the details of Couture-Rouleau’s crime was known, Jeff Yaworski, deputy operations director at CSIS told a Senate committee Monday that there were concerns about monitoring those who had been “radicalized to the point where they wanted to leave,” but prevented from going overseas.

    “There’s nothing more that was can do with the budget that we have except to prioritize internally as effectively as we can and I think we’re doing that. Our success rate has been quite good . . . I’d be foolhardy to say we’ve got all the bases covered.”

    Follow Michelle Shephard on Twitter @shephardm. Contact her at mshephard@thestar.ca

    Submit News to CKA News GTA police and OPP launch highway awareness campaign
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:40:27 EDT

    GTA and provincial police forces kicked off a four-day long public awareness campaign Wednesday about the leading causes of death and injuries on highways.

    Operation Shield is a joint initiative by Toronto Police, York Regional Police and the OPP to crack down on the “Big 4” dangers to drivers on highways: aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and not wearing seatbelts. About 30 officers will be highly visible during peak commuting times, particularly on Highway 404 from 16th Ave. to Highway 401.

    The campaign will again be active on Friday, and resume Nov. 5 and Nov. 7.

    Submit News to CKA News Olivia Chow's failure to connect with women: Hepburn
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:52:01 EDT

    One of the best days for Olivia Chow during this nine-month civic election marathon occurred two weeks ago when more than 60 prominent women released a joint statement endorsing Chow as Toronto’s next mayor.

    Chow’s entire platform “is based on a profound understanding of issues of concern to women — and that ‘women’s issues’ such as accessible, affordable child care are equality issues, economic issues and should be election issues,” the statement read.

    Electing Chow would be “the best opportunity we have ever had to advance women and girls and move toward true equality in Toronto,” it added.

    Among those signing the statement were early childhood educators, former cabinet ministers, filmmakers, women’s and human rights advocates, business owners and community activists.

    For Chow, the joint statement marked a highlight of what has been a disheartening election, with polls showing she has plunged from being the solid front-runner to now facing the real possibility she will finish a poor third behind John Tory and Doug Ford (open Doug Ford's policard).

    A huge reason for her disappointing standing in the polls is her failure to connect with women in numbers large enough to propel her to victory.

    Despite the public display of support from the leading women, the latest polls show Chow’s support among women is actually falling — not rising — as the election staggers toward the Oct. 27 finish line.

    Early polls had shown Chow with a slight overall lead in women’s support.

    However the Forum Research poll conducted Monday indicates barely 30 per cent of women support Chow, compared to 41 per cent who back Tory and 25 per cent who favour Ford.

    That means 70 per cent of women won’t vote for Chow. Her level of support among women in suburban areas such as Scarborough and North York is even worse.

    That’s a stunning rejection for Chow, who had been expected to be the hands-down choice of female voters given her long history as a champion of causes such as affordable child care, equal pay and women’s shelters.

    Her campaign strategists had hoped the endorsement by the prominent women would act as springboard to increase female support and kick start a rejuvenated campaign. Instead, they are finding more and more women are turning away from Chow as voting day draws near.

    Even Chow supporters are bewildered by her poor showing in the polls, especially among female voters.

    “She's the only one with a progressive vision and a platform that addresses women, family and children's issues, and yet the public seems to not have embraced these issues,” Winnie Ng, a labour rights activist and scholar, told CBC News earlier this month. Ng is one of the 61 women who signed the joint statement endorsing Chow.

    It’s true that tens of thousands of women will vote for Chow over Tory and Ford. They are the diehards, the true believers in Chow.

    Unfortunately for Chow, she actually needs hundreds of thousands of women to vote for her in order to win, given that the overall winner likely will need the backing of some 400,000 voters.

    Obviously, women do not vote as one. They cast ballots based on their own individual political leaning, such as conservative or progressive, or on issues such as opposing tax increases or favouring more services.

    In Chow’s case, many women, especially outside the downtown core, feel they don’t really know her although she’s been in the public eye for decades. To them, Chow doesn’t resonate and she is quickly rejected as just another “downtown lefty elitist.”

    But for many other women, the biggest issue in the race isn’t downtown versus suburbs, or child care, affordable housing or equity. Rather, it is all about defeating Doug Ford and putting a definitive halt to the Ford Nation era at city hall.

    Indeed, for these women, having to decide between voting with their heart or with their head is tough.

    For the first time in their voting lives, some women who consider themselves as a progressive and would normally back a candidate, such as Chow, who actively promote issues like daycare are considering strategic voting. In this race, that means voting for Tory, the current front-runner, in a bid to ensure Ford loses.

    For some, it’s one of the toughest voting decisions they’ve ever faced — a clash of idealism and pragmatism they might in hindsight regret for the rest of their lives.

    Tory may not be their first choice, and Chow may have their hearts. But elections are often more about voting against — not for — someone or some issue. In this election, that’s the Fords.

    Ultimately, Chow’s failure to win a strong level of support of women — seemingly her strongest constituency — has doomed her campaign.

    For feminists who see Chow as a trailblazer for immigrant women, her defeat will be seen as a huge setback.

    For Chow, though, her impending loss should not be seen as a rejection of the issues she holds so dear — child care, affordable housing, school meal programs.

    Instead, her defeat will be directly attributable to voters’ desire to drive the Fords from the mayor’s office — and that’s true for both men and women voters.

    Bob Hepburn's column appears Thursday. bhepburn@thestar.ca

    Submit News to CKA News Killings of two soldiers raise troubling questions: Siddiqui
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:49:00 EDT

    Why didn’t the RCMP and other relevant security authorities see the murderous attacks on Canadian soldiers and on Parliament Hill coming? It’s a fair question, considering the following.

    Authorities have known, for quite some time, that there are 90 suspected Muslim extremists in Canada who are presumed to want to join jihad abroad, perhaps in Syria/Iraq, or who have returned home after already participating in one or having tried to.

    The Mounties and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have been keeping an eye on them.

    Was the person who killed a soldier at the War Memorial and then rushed into Parliament Hill Wednesday from among those being watched?

    Authorities won’t say, as of this writing.

    But if he was, Robert Paulson, RCMP commissioner, and Michel Coulombe, head of CSIS, have a lot to answer, especially given that the tragedy happened just two days after a soldier was killed in Quebec and the chances of a copycat crime were high.

    Terrorist link or not, why is security on Parliament Hill so weak that a lone gunman can so easily crash through it? Last month, when a knife-wielding American war veteran, who had served in Iraq, jumped the White House fence and rushed to the West Wing, the head of the Secret Service quit. Who should take responsibility for the security lapse on the Hill?

    Monday’s murder of a soldier in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was by a man who had been in the crosshairs of the RCMP and CSIS for months.

    Martin Rouleau, a.k.a. Ahmad the Convert, was brought to the attention of authorities by his parents concerned about his extremist views since converting to Islam a year ago after his business had failed and he was depressed.

    In fact, Rouleau was arrested and questioned by the Mounties in July, and stopped from going to Turkey, possibly on his way to Syria/Iraq. His passport was seized.

    Yet he was let go. The RCMP explained that while he was angry and extremist, he had given no sign that he was planning an attack.

    It proved to be a wrong assumption for a man with the zeal of a convert. Rouleau had converted five others to Islam — no crime. But he had also tried to persuade others to become jihadists — a crime. His Twitter handle was Abu Ibrahim AlCanadi (of Canada) — the same moniker but with a k, Al-Kanada or Al-Kindi, assumed by one of the known propagandists of the Islamic State.

    Rouleau was left unwatched long enough to go to a parking lot of a Service Canada building that serves many soldiers in a town with a garrison and a military college, wait in the lot for two hours until two soldiers appeared and attack them.

    The RCMP said it could not arrest someone “for having radical thoughts. It’s not a crime in Canada.” Sure.

    It is also “not a crime to sit in a parking lot.” Sure.

    But why was he not being tailed?

    How difficult can it be to watch 90 people around the clock to ensure the safety of Canadians? That’s not a question of “resources.” It’s one of competence.

    Just two weeks ago, on Oct. 8, Paulson appeared before a House of Commons committee and said the security situation was under control. “It’s nothing that I think that Canadians need to be alarmed about.”

    Coulombe, the head of CSIS, was even more reassuring.

    He said not all the 130 Canadians abroad who were suspected of supporting terror-related activities were warriors. “We have Canadians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, in Yemen, in Lebanon, in the Sahel, in the Maghreb that are involved in terrorist-related activities, but it could be fundraising, it could be propaganda.”

    Of those who had returned home, he said: “I don’t want people to believe we’re talking about 80 returnees who were hard fighters in Iraq and Syria because that is not the picture we have at the moment, although we have some of them.”

    Yet we have two Canadian soldiers killed, on Canadian soil, while Harper has dispatched fighter jets to battle the Islamic State in Iraq/Syria.

    His main rationale for joining the war was that if we don’t go after the Muslim terrorists there, they would come here to your neighbourhood. It turns out that the “they” are here — “they” are part of us, going round the bend after being “self-radicalized” by the Internet or for other reasons.

    Smoking such suspects out and throwing the book at them requires good policing, not wars abroad or the whipping up of fears at home for partisan political purposes.

    hsiddiqui@thestar.ca

    Submit News to CKA News Ontario ombudsman slams ?systematic government ineptitude? for daycare deaths
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:43:46 EDT

    In a scathing 142-page report, Ontario’s ombudsman decried the “systematic government ineptitude” in oversight of unlicensed home daycares in the wake of the deaths of four children in the GTA over seven months in 2013-14.

    Andre Marin issued an unprecedented 113 recommendations Wednesday to improve safety for the estimated 823,000 children cared for in unregulated settings across the province.

    Despite the “legacy of dysfunction” he found at the Ministry of Education, Marin lauded the government for “its genuine and focused efforts,” which have already addressed the majority of his recommendations, including a dedicated enforcement unit to investigate complaints about unlicensed daycares.

    Marin noted that new daycare legislation, which was introduced last December and received second reading Wednesday, will address 35 of his recommendations once it is passed. Although he stopped short of calling for all daycares to be licensed, Marin urged the ministry to consider tougher standards for the unlicensed sector, including a centralized registry.

    “Our investigation revealed just how bad it was — and believe me, our title, Careless about Child Care, is putting it mildly,” Marin said in a written statement. “The momentum spurred by these children’s terrible deaths must not be lost.”

    (Both Marin and Education Minister Liz Sandals cancelled scheduled news conferences about the report following the shootings in Ottawa.)

    The ombudsman’s investigation was prompted by the “shocking” death of 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich in a “brazenly illegal” unlicensed home daycare in July 2013, his report said. Eva was found without vital signs in an operation that cared for 29 children in adjoining houses on Yellowood Circle in Vaughan, which were “fraught with unsanitary and dangerous conditions.”

    Dirty diapers in the kitchen, potentially toxic bacteria in rotting food and 14 dogs, their feces and urine soiling the floors, were found by public health officials after her death.

    Marin called Eva’s case the “canary in the coal mine” because in the year before her death, four complaints about the home were lodged with the ministry, but never followed up. Out of 448 complaints about overcrowding between January 2012 and July 2013, officials failed to do site visits in 25 cases, he noted.

    Marin’s subsequent investigation revealed for the first time that two of the other daycares where children died were also overcrowded.

    Last November, 9-month-old Aspen Moore died in an unregulated Markham home daycare where 12 children were registered. In February, a 4-month-old baby died in unlicensed care in a northwest Toronto apartment where police observed eight children in care.

    Less than a week before Eva died, toddler Allison Tucker, also 2, drowned in her babysitter’s condo. Maria Sosa, 34, was charged with manslaughter in January this year.

    Under current legislation, the only rule governing unlicensed daycares limits operators to no more than five children under age 10. But, as Marin noted, that is not a hard cap. They can also care for their own children and exceed the maximum if children are “of common parentage.”

    The government’s “Childcare Modernization Act” is the first substantive change to child care law since 1983. It aims to eliminate incentives for daycares to remain unlicensed by capping the number of infants allowed at two, and forcing operators to include their own kids toward the government-imposed limit of five kids. The bill would also allow inspectors to immediately close illegal operations and raise fines on violators from the current $2,000 to a maximum of $250,000 if the government takes the operator to court.

    Marin found that a lack of rules was not the only problem with the “so-called system” of unlicensed home daycare.

    “Along with sloppy, slipshod record keeping and the failure to educate daycare operators, parents and even government staff about the law, we uncovered long-standing legal loopholes that allow illegal daycares to operate under the guise of private schools and so-called summer ‘camps,’ ” Marin said.

    In a series of stories last fall, the Star highlighted many gaps Marin addresses in the report, including shoddy government record keeping and co-ordination between public agencies, failures to follow up on complaints, multiple houses being used to exceed the limit on children in care and a loophole that allows private schools to operate daycares exempt from any legal requirements.

    Marin said the government’s long-overdue improvements make him “hopeful that lessons have been learned from the tragedies covered in our report.”

    “The stakes in the child care system are high. Mistakes put the lives and welfare of young children at risk.”

    Submit News to CKA News Winnipeg woman ?in bewilderment? at being charged with hiding dead infants
    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:27:47 EDT

    WINNIPEG—Police have charged a woman who was renting a storage locker where the remains of six babies were found Monday, but they say it could be months before they know who the infants were, how they died and how long they had been inside.

    Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, was arrested outside her home in north Winnipeg. Const. Eric Hofley said she faces six charges of concealing a body and one charge of breaching probation.

    Court records show that Giesbrecht, who has also used the name Andrea Naworynski, is a gambling addict with a low-paying job at a fast-food restaurant and recently admitted to defrauding a senior of several thousand dollars.

    Hofley said it will take an extensive forensic investigation to determine if Giesbrecht is related to the dead infants.

    More news at thestar.com:

    Utah woman arrested after 7 dead babies found in garage

    The state of the remains discovered Monday was such that police were initially unable to determine how many babies were in the locker. Their ages are still unknown, but they are believed to have been newborns, he said.

    “The forensics that are going to be involved in this investigation, they’re numerous,” Hofley said Wednesday. “It will be a long time before we’re able to answer these questions — if at all.”

    There are no homicide charges right now and police aren’t interviewing any other suspects, he said.

    “Nothing is ruled out until all the information has been gathered and processed,” Hofley said. “But, at this point, this is what is known and these are the charges that are appropriate at this time.”

    Greg Brodsky, Giesbrecht’s lawyer, said he had seen a preliminary outline of the charges and met with his client.

    “She’s in bewilderment,” he said. “But I can’t talk to you about what she said to me because that would be a breach of solicitor-client privilege.”

    Giesbrecht was initially arrested on murder charges, but those weren’t the charges that were filed with the court, Brodsky said. That indicates the autopsy and forensic investigation isn’t complete yet, he said.

    “The forensic examination is really important,” Brodsky said. “There has to be an autopsy conducted and more investigation done in order to determine where this case is going.”

    The breach of probation charge relates to two charges of fraud over $5,000 that were laid against Giesbrecht in 2012. She was given a suspended sentence and two years of probation at a court hearing three weeks ago after pleading guilty to borrowing money from a 73-year-old neighbour and repaying her with bounced cheques.

    Her lawyer at that hearing, Alan Libman, told the court that Giesbrecht’s parents were longtime gamblers who had “gambled away all their savings” before they died and left taxes unpaid on the house that Giesbrecht now lives in.

    Gambling “was part of the family milieu,” Libman is heard to say in a recording of the proceedings.

    Records indicate Giesbrecht was also unable to pay taxes and utilities, and borrowed money on more than one occasion from her neighbour. Eventually, she wrote two cheques to repay the woman. But the bank account the cheques were written on had been closed for two years.

    Giesbrecht wanted to repay the woman, but was caught up in addiction, Libman told the hearing.

    “The focus on this was to always pay it back. ‘I was going to get the winnings. I was going to make the slot machine come through for me,’ ” Libman said in reference to Giesbrecht’s thinking.

    “All these things she talked about — her house being in arrears, not being able to pay bills — that all occurred because she gambled away all her money.”

    Giesbrecht spoke briefly at her sentencing hearing and apologized to her neighbour for “bringing her into this chaos.”

    Provincial court Judge Janice leMaistre ordered Giesbrecht to perform 100 hours of community service and to repay her victim $200 a month during her two-year probation. She was also ordered to stay out of casinos and video lottery terminal lounges.

    Giesbrecht will be applying for bail on the new charges and a date for that hearing is expected to be set Thursday, Brodsky said.

    Workers were taking inventory at a delinquent U-Haul storage locker on Monday when they found the remains of what police believed were three or four infants. The U-Haul employees immediately called police.

    Even with an arrest, there are few answers to explain what may have happened.

    Hofley wouldn’t say how long the remains were in the locker or how police believe they came to be there.

    “So many of the questions I expect you have will be answered forensically, hopefully,” Hofley said. “DNA analysis will take place. My understanding is that, in and of itself, is a lengthy investigation and we won’t have results for months.”

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