Canada Newswatch

The CKA Canada Newswatch is a companion to our in-house Canada News system.
The Newswatch is a collection of various Canadian news feeds in one convenient location.


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Daily Canada Newswatch

Submit News to CKA News Canada's language watchdog probing John Baird's Twitter account over lack of ... - National Post
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:47:38 GMT

CTV News

Canada's language watchdog probing John Baird's Twitter account over lack of ...
National Post
When a minister tweets, is it ever really a personal account, or should he or she be required to abide by federal laws and responsibilities? Those blurred lines around government information have raised questions since social media came on the scene, and ...
John Baird's Twitter activity prompts scrutiny of Canada's language commissioner580 CFRA Radio
Baird's tweets investigated after language complaintOttawa Citizen

all 20 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Father's killing a turning point in life of slain teen Tina Fontaine - The Globe and Mail
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:54:11 GMT

CBC.ca

Father's killing a turning point in life of slain teen Tina Fontaine
The Globe and Mail
When Tina Fontaine is laid to rest in Sagkeeng First Nation, her ashes will be scattered over the grassy grave of her father, whose beating death and related court case is being cited by relatives as a turning point in the girl's short life. Tina's family is peeling ...
Winnipeg police go door-to-door in West End as part of teen murder investigationCTV News
To us, Tina Fontaine just another missing native kid: MallickToronto Star
Manitoba children's advocate investigates whether social services failed slain teenTimes Colonist
CBC.ca -National Post -Canada.com
all 249 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News History of mental illness puts soldiers at greater risk for PTSD: study
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:23:50 Z
Having a history of mental illness puts soldiers at a higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder after a combat mission, new Canadian research suggests.
Submit News to CKA News Father?s killing a turning point in life of slain teen Tina Fontaine
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:22:46 -0400
Girl began running away, crying and expressing loneliness during court proceedings involving Eugene Fontaine?s 2011 beating death
Submit News to CKA News Gang unit, major crimes bear brunt of BC Mounties' budget shortfall - CTV News
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:22:36 GMT

CTV News

Gang unit, major crimes bear brunt of BC Mounties' budget shortfall
CTV News
VANCOUVER - RCMP in British Columbia will make staff cuts in a specialized gang unit and to their major crimes division to make up for a $4.2 million budget shortfall next year. Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the commanding officer of the force in the ...
RCMP budget cuts won't slow fight against gangs, says B.C.'s top MountieThe Province
BC cuts anti-gang budget in austerity driveThe Globe and Mail
NDP slams cuts to BC's gang task forceNews1130
Vancouver Sun -The Daily Courier (subscription) -Castanet.net
all 15 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Province takes samples of blue film that ?stings? on Quesnel Lake
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:20:15 Z
The province is investigating reports of a blue film that stings to the touch on the surface of Quesnel Lake following the collapse of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine tailings dam. Biologist Alexandra Morton, with the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, notified the Interior Health Authority about the blue film. She took photos, video and samples of the film that will be tested in a Lower Mainland lab.
Submit News to CKA News Language watchdog atwitter over Baird's English tweets
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:19:56 Z
The federal language commissioner is investigating Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's Twitter account because of a complaint that Baird's messages aren't equally split between English and French.
Submit News to CKA News Rescued yearling grizzly cub returns to the wild - Vancouver Sun
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:17:23 GMT

Vancouver Sun

Rescued yearling grizzly cub returns to the wild
Vancouver Sun
Littlefoot, a grizzly yearling, has been released back into the wild near Cranbrook, BC. He was found this spring severely underweight after being orphaned prior to hibernation last fall. After being cared for by the Northern Lights Wildlife Society since June, ...
Littlefoot grizzly bear cub released back into wildCBC.ca
Orphaned yearling grizzly, fatter and fitter than when rescued, released into the ...The Province
Littlefoot the orphaned bruin saved from starvation by BC pilot project580 CFRA Radio
CANOE
all 33 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Delegates at Canadian Medical Association meeting vote to oppose smoking of any plant substance
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:15:57 Z
They already opposed tobacco. Now the nation’s doctors say Canadians shouldn’t smoke “any plant material” whatsoever, including marijuana. Delegates at the Canadian Medical Association’s general council meeting voted Wednesday to formally oppose the smoking of any plant substance. Opponents to […]
Submit News to CKA News B.C. cities organize day camps in case of continued teachers strike
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:13:14 -0400
Parents await news as start of school year draws closer
Submit News to CKA News Canada?s Eugenie Bouchard upset at Connecticut Open
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:05:21 EDT

NEW HAVEN, CONN.—Third-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., and four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark both suffered straight-set upsets Wednesday in the second round of the Connecticut Open.

Bouchard, who played with her left thigh wrapped, lost 6-2, 6-2 to Australian Samantha Stosur.

Wozniacki, the fourth seed, was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Giorgi will play Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the quarter-finals. Muguruza, ranked 26th in the world, needed three sets to dispatch qualifier Peng Shuai of China, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Stosur faces Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium on Thursday. Flipkins came from behind to upset Andrea Petkovic of Germany 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) in a match that lasted three hours, 11 minutes.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova, who won Tuesday, is only remaining seeded player in the tournament.

Submit News to CKA News North Vancouver 'sextortion' case eerily similar to Amanda Todd situation: Crown
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:56:52 Z
Crown prosecutors are asking a judge to send a North Vancouver man to jail for his actions in a "sextortion" case eerily similar to what happened to Amanda Todd.
Submit News to CKA News B.C. Conservatives slam Liberal government, unveil 5-point plan to end teachers' dispute
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:56:15 Z
"Teachers are not our enemies," B.C. Conservative leader Dan Brooks said Wednesday morning as he laid out a five-point plan to end the protracted labour dispute, the first plank of which was for the Liberal government to drop its appeal of the latest Supreme Court ruling.
Submit News to CKA News Bride with terminal cancer walks down the aisle after wedding fundraising effort
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:50:00 -0400
A young mother suffering from terminal illness married her fiancÚ in an intimate ceremony in Edmonton Wednesday, following a fundraising campaign that helped make the couple?s wedding dreams a reality.
Submit News to CKA News Death of American journalist James Foley in Iraq part of ?disgusting? terror campaign, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:44:17 Z
CHILLIWACK, B.C. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the murder of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants in Iraq is part of a “disgusting” terror campaign being carried out across the entire region. It’s a campaign that threatens more […]
Submit News to CKA News Molotov cocktail tossed into Longueuil home
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:44:04 Z
MONTREAL — Firefighters in Longueuil battled a blaze early Wednesday morning after what appears to have been a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the basement of a family home.
Submit News to CKA News Wayne Wouters: Retiring clerk sparked controversy and compliments
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:40:38 Z
Wayne Wouters leaves his job as Canada’s most senior public servant amid both criticism and admiration.
Submit News to CKA News City hall no stranger to protests
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:39:18 Z
Sept. 13, 1993. A protest in Montreal turns violent, leading to arrests.
Submit News to CKA News Man arrested in Surrey stabbing case
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:39:15 Z
Dylan Robert Dempsey, 22, has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the stabbing of 63-year-old Donald Williams Deweyn.
Submit News to CKA News MNAs are split on how much to pay into their own pensions
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:39:11 Z
While some refused to take a position, a few Quebec MNAs grudgingly conceded on Wednesday that they should be shouldering a larger part of their gold-plated pension plan.
Submit News to CKA News Education Minister gives Vancouver board nine days to agree to new seismic upgrade office for schools
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:38:53 Z
B.C.’s education ministry has given the Vancouver school board until the end of next week to approve a proposal for a jointly-run office that oversees seismic upgrades for aging schools in that district.
Submit News to CKA News Port Mann, Golden Ears bridge tolls to be rolled into one bill
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:38:39 Z
Drivers using both the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges will see their tolls rolled into one bill starting Sept. 1.
Submit News to CKA News ?King of Pot? Cournoyer gets 27-year sentence in U.S.
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:38:32 Z
Jimmy Cournoyer, a Laval native who came to notoriety in New York for operating as a prolific drug smuggler while leading a lavish lifestyle, was sentenced to a 27-year prison term in the United States on Wednesday.
Submit News to CKA News Man missing 5 days was chased up a tree by bear
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:33:04 Z
A Quebec fruit picker who went missing for five days in Trout Creek Canyon near Summerland is recovering in hospital from a concussion and serious back injuries after falling from a tree he had climbed to escape a bear. Summerland RCMP Const. Jacques Lefebvre said Julien Landry was lucky to have survived his ordeal.
Submit News to CKA News Warren Kinsella apologized on Wednesday, but Tory said the real issue is ... - Toronto Star
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:31:38 GMT

Toronto Star

Warren Kinsella apologized on Wednesday, but Tory said the real issue is ...
Toronto Star
One of Olivia Chow's senior operatives alleged Tuesday that John Tory's transit proposal is ?segregationist.? He apologized on Wednesday ? but Tory said the real problem is Chow's own tepid reaction. Warren Kinsella, who runs the so-called ?war room? for ...
Tory accuses Chow of 'dirty politics'Toronto Sun
Tory slams Chow for failing to distance herself from outspoken strategistThe Globe and Mail
Chow says Tory transit plan promises 'fewer lines, later'CBC.ca
CityNews -Torontoist
all 18 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News U.S. rescue mission in Syria failed earlier this summer
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:20:34 EDT

WASHINGTON—Amid global revulsion over the beheading of an American captive in Syria, the White House revealed Wednesday an audacious rescue attempt deep inside enemy territory earlier this summer ended in failure.

“Dozens” of U.S. soldiers shot their way into an undisclosed Syrian location in a Special Forces mission reminiscent of the raid that captured Osama Bin Laden, Pentagon sources confirmed.

But after killing several Islamic State fighters and sustaining one minor injury of their own, the American raiders came away empty-handed because no hostages were present.

White House officials confirmed the rescue attempt but declined to provide additional details, citing “the need to protect our military’s operational capabilities.”

The rescue attempt “should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people and will spare no effort to secure the safety our citizens and to hold their captors accountable,” the White House said in a statement attributed to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

The disclosure came as U.K. and U.S. investigators scoured digital clues in an effort to identify the British-accented executioner of American photojournalist James Foley, whose videotaped beheading continued to send shock waves.

The Guardian, citing unnamed sources, reported the killer was known as “John,” the de facto leader of three British jihadists known to Foley and other hostages as “The Beatles” because of their British accents.

British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday, saying he was “deeply shocked” and urged “patience” as Scotland Yard works to unravel the role of possible British passport-holders in the grisly killing in Syria.

Obama interrupted a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to condemn Foley’s murder, saying, “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents.

“ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings,” said Obama. “They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbours and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to an empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behaviour.”

With U.S. air strikes intensifying near the Iraqi city of Mosul — at least 14 more aimed at halting the march of the rampaging Islamic State fighters since the gruesome Foley video emerged online Tuesday — concern deepened for a second U.S. hostage, Time magazine freelancer Steven Sotloff.

Obama made no mention of Sotloff, who was shown in the same video as Foley as next in line for execution if the U.S. does not halt air strikes.

Foley’s bereaved parents, meanwhile, braved a media throng outside their home in Rochester, N.H., to praise their son as “the best of America” and to plead for mercy on behalf of Sotloff and other hostages.

John Foley said his son was “courageous to the end.” But in speaking earlier Wednesday with Obama, the elder Foley said he urged the president to “do whatever he could possibly do” to save the lives of Sotloff and others.

The family had held out hope for a breakthrough in the latter part of their son’s 444 days in captivity and was considering a fundraising drive to buy his freedom. But a week before his murder, hope faded with the arrival of an email from Islamic State intermediaries announcing the intention to kill their son.

Foley’s execution also is shining rare light on the murky world of kidnap negotiations and the mismatched ransom policies that see American hostages perish while others, including four French and two Spanish journalists released by Islamic State extremists in April, go free in exchange for large sums of cash.

David Rohde, a former New York Times journalist who managed to escape his Taliban captors without any exchange of money, called Wednesday for an end to secrecy over ransom payments.

“The payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows,” wrote Rodhe. “It must be publicly debated. American and European policymakers should be forced to answer for their actions.”

Submit News to CKA News RCMP in B.C. faces funding cuts to organized crime, homicide units
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:16:38 Z
The RCMP in B.C. is facing millions of dollars in provincial funding cuts for the coming year, creating a budget squeeze that the Mounties say will lead to staffing reductions in its organized crime and homicide units.
Submit News to CKA News UBC reorients frosh events in wake of ?rape chant? scandal
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:15:00 Z
Fourth-year UBC student Jen Challinor is confident there will be no “rape chants” or “Pocahontas chants” at this year’s student orientation at the university’s Sauder School of Business. The 21-year-old marketing student’s optimism is based on a complete re-design of the orientation program, in which last year’s new students were encouraged to sing a chant promoting sex with underage girls.
Submit News to CKA News Possible tornado spotted in southwestern Ont.
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:14:24 -0400

A weather expert is reporting that a tornado may have been spotted just west of Stratford early Wednesday evening.
Submit News to CKA News RCMP look into Calgary link with possible Islamic militants - CBC.ca
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:13:02 GMT

National Post

RCMP look into Calgary link with possible Islamic militants
CBC.ca
RCMP investigators have travelled to Calgary to look into a possible link between two Ontario men ? one of whom has been fighting in Syria with Islamic militants. Calgary police aware of jihad recruiting for 8 years, chief says · Warnings about potential ...
Two Windsor men allegedly involved in war in SyriaCTV News
Probe into alleged Syrian combatants brings RCMP investigators to CalgaryCalgary Herald
RCMP look into two more Calgarians that may be connected to Syrian War660 News

all 7 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Hundreds of minks set free overnight at farm accused of animal cruelty
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:09:59 Z
Several hundred minks were set free overnight at a farm in Montérégie accused of animal cruelty.
Submit News to CKA News Barbara Yaffe: Townhomes an affordable alternative in Vancouver
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:02:19 Z
Can’t afford a single-family home in Vancouver, and not enamoured with condo living? There is another option, albeit a frustratingly elusive one: townhomes. It’s a great option for people who want to be able to walk out their front door and be outside — as opposed to exiting via a corridor full of neighbouring units, an occasionally slow elevator and a lobby.
Submit News to CKA News Canadian Medical Association leader slams Ottawa's inaction on medicare - The Globe and Mail
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:02:14 GMT

National Post

Canadian Medical Association leader slams Ottawa's inaction on medicare
The Globe and Mail
The new leader of the Canadian Medical Association is calling out the government of Stephen Harper for its inaction on health care, saying the medicare system is floundering and Canadians are ?tired of excuses as to why the federal government can't take ...
CMA at odds with Mulcair over marijuanaMacleans.ca
Delegates at Canadian Medical Association meeting vote to oppose smoking of ...Canada.com
Quebec NDP MP Sana Hassainia defects over Mideast positionCBC.ca
Toronto Star -CANOE
all 120 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Teacher guilty of sodomizing 12-year-old 50 times has conviction thrown out
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:58:54 -0400
Appeal court says because of three-year wait between charge and trial, ?inferred prejudice is significant?
Submit News to CKA News B.C. deputy minister sues NDP MLA
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:54:43 Z
A deputy minister in the B.C. government is suing an NDP MLA for defamation for allegedly false claims made about a pay raise. Athana Mentzelopoulos filed the civil lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on Aug. 15, accusing Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming of making false and malicious statements about her salary, an alleged pay raise, and friendship with Premier Christy Clark.
Submit News to CKA News City hall no stranger to protests - Montreal Gazette
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:50:53 GMT

Montreal Gazette

City hall no stranger to protests
Montreal Gazette
Sept. 13, 1993. A protest in Montreal turns violent, leading to arrests. Later, a judge sentencing two of the protest leaders to six-month prison terms declares the demonstrators ?participated in a violent assault on a public building that was protected by police ...
Quebec municipal unions ready to fight for battered pension fundsMetroNews Canada
Hearings over municipal pension reform underway amid Quebec protestsCTV News
Quebec pension status quo 'no longer option' says Montreal mayor CoderreThe Globe and Mail
CBC.ca -CJAD
all 115 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Cyclists clash with walkers on eco trail in Stanley Park
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:43:54 Z
Stanley Park needs to protect environmentally-sensitive areas from cyclists, says a West End resident who witnessed a group cycling in a prohibited area. Alison Martin said she and her husband Leif Oddson were walking on Ravine Trail, which runs under Pipeline Road between Beaver Lake and the seawall, on Sunday around 3 p.m. when the incident occurred.
Submit News to CKA News Video: 2014 Stanley Cup and Champion Martin Jones returns to North Shore Winter Club
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:37:04 Z
The North Shore Winter Club welcomes back NSWC Winterhawks Alumni and 2104 Stanley Cup Champion Martin Jones, LA Kings goalie, for a celebration with the minor hockey club.
Submit News to CKA News So far, a success story for orphaned B.C. grizzly cub
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:35:00 Z
When a 14-month-old orphaned grizzly cub was handed over to Angelika Langden to be restored to good health, she had no trouble finding a name for him. With a touch of ironic humour, she called him Littlefoot, affectionately whispering to him, “You are going to outgrow your name before you leave.”
Submit News to CKA News As Bill 3 hearings begin, Moreau and mayors defend imposed pension negotiations
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:21:51 Z
Battle lines were quickly drawn as the Liberal government began five days of hearings on its master plan to solve Quebec's burgeoning municipal pension plan deficit Wednesday.
Submit News to CKA News ?They are, in fact, bears': Toronto Zoo investigating incident where visitors got too close to giant panda
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:21:31 +0000
Toronto Zoo is investigating 'an isolated incident' in which visitors bypassed a bamboo barrier and got too close to a five-year-old giant panda
Submit News to CKA News Blue Jays mathematically in, but realistically out of playoff race: Griffin
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:19:27 EDT

It may be tough to stomach for Blue Jays fans, but this 2014 championship season is effectively over in terms of the team’s playoff hopes.

The Jays’ collapse is historic.

This season will mark the first time a Jays team that climbed so many games above .500 and rose so many games ahead in their division has failed to make the AL playoffs. The playoff drought will stretch to 21 years.

The collapse will continue to be a hot topic of discussion for the next eight months, at least until next spring. When Jays fans feel the urge to drown their sorrows, to get together and discuss the devastating collapse of the past 65 games — a 27-38 swoon that’s taken them from first place in the AL East to third — there will be disagreement. Why can’t they duplicate the success of the 25-7 streak from May 4 to June 6? Who deserves the blame? What could have been done differently?

During the Jays’ early-season win streak that propelled them to 14 games above .500 on June 6, their high-water mark, the club was not only pitching well, but everything else was clicking too. They made all the plays, hit everything hard, found holes on batted balls and manager John Gibbons was even winning challenges. Similarity? Alex Anthopoulos was making waiver claims.

The hot streak? From May 4 to June 6 the Jays went 25-7, and the pitching staff posted an overall 3.33 ERA. The two top starters, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, were a combined 9-1 in 12 starts, averaging seven innings per outing. That is huge, but in the final 35 games, they need to replicate that.

There have been no overt signs to indicate that a surge is about to happen. That’s been one of the huge differences for the Jays since the moment they started to head south. Buehrle and Dickey, who had been so hot during the winning streak, are a combined 5-15 in 27 starts since June 7. Whether or not they deserve to be a legitimate 1-2 in any contending rotation, the fact is they are. But no true contender can have a top starting duo with a combined 21 victories on Aug. 20.

Still, you can’t pin the Jays’ slide on the starting pitching alone. In the 32 games during which they won 25 and lost seven, the Jays batted .278, with 53 homers and an OPS of .834. In the 27-38 slide since that point, the Jays have batted .259 with 54 home runs and an OPS of .702. Injuries to Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion during the slump have obviously hurt and had a ripple effect on No. 1 threat Jose Bautista in terms of protection in the batting order.

Then there’s the question of centre field. I respect baseball analytics, but am not a big stats guy in terms of overanalyzing numbers. But there’s the Colby Rasmus vs. Anthony Gose situation, in terms of who should be out there in 2015 and whether to even make an offer to Rasmus, the incumbent.

The answer should be no. During the Jays’ hot streak back in May and early June, an injured Rasmus played eight games, with the Jays going 6-2. Subsequently, Gose, after being recalled in Rasmus’s absence, played 21 games in that 25-7 streak, with the Jays going 18-3 during that stretch. Now consider that in the current doldrums, with Gose being sent back to Triple-A Buffalo, the Jays, through Wednesday’s win over the Brewers, have been 11 games under .500 at 27-38. Within that stretch Rasmus is 22-30, while Gose, when he was here, was 22-23. It’s clear that Gose, despite his frustrating ego, needs to play.

What’s odd, offensively, is that catcher Dioner Navarro and left fielder Melky Cabrera have better averages and OPS, plus other offensive numbers, during the recent skid than when the Jays were winning. The biggest offensive dropoff from winning streak to losing belongs to Bautista. The biggest factors for that would be lack of protection in the lineup due to injuries, plus the likelihood that Bautista was trying to carry the team on his shoulders while others around him struggled.

On the pitching side of the study, consider that Casey Janssen was just coming back to good health early in the Jays’ hot streak. During that 25-7 streak, Janssen appeared in 13 games with a 0.00 ERA. Twelve of those games were wins. Since then, the aggressive Jays closer with average stuff has a 4.85 ERA in 23 games, with a loss and two blown saves. The swoon has been a total team effort.

As has been mentioned in this space, the Jays are entering a stretch during which they’ll play 28 of their remaining 35 games against AL East rivals, including six vs. the O’s and Yankees and nine against the Rays. So, mathematically, optimists can always find hope. The question is, do you believe in miracles?

Submit News to CKA News American journalist?s death in Iraq part of ?disgusting? terror campaign: Harper
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:15:42 -0400
Harper says the conflict in Iraq and Syria threatens more and more countries and represents a long-term threat to the security of Canada itself
Submit News to CKA News U.S. rescue mission to Syria this summer failed to find hostages
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:15:06 +0000

The president sent troops on a failed secret mission to rescue journalist James Foley and others held by IS militants

The post U.S. rescue mission to Syria this summer failed to find hostages appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Quebec pension status quo ?no longer option? says Montreal mayor Coderre
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:09:37 -0400
Hearings into the Liberal government?s pension legislation opened in Quebec City against a backdrop of heightened security and noisy street protests by municipal workers furious about the bill
Submit News to CKA News Canada?s electronic spy agency gets passing grade from watchdog
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:07:26 EDT

OTTAWA—The federal watchdog of Canada’s top-secret electronic spy agency has given the Communications Security Establishment a clean report card with a few recommendations for improvement.

In his first report, Jean-Pierre Plouffe, the retired military judge who currently serves as Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment, sets out to allay Canadian fears following the Edward Snowden leaks about the global activities of the National Security Agency, CSEC’s partner in the U.S.

Plouffe says he was “concerned” media coverage raised unfounded fears that Canada’s foreign signals-gathering agency was illegally intercepting the communications of Canadian citizens, either directly or through the NSA.

CSEC is legally mandated to tap into all kinds of electronic communications world-wide to protect Canadian interests against terrorism, espionage, cyber attacks, kidnappings of Canadians abroad, or attacks on Canadian embassies — but barred from directly targeting Canadians here or abroad.

“In collecting this intelligence, it is unavoidable that CSEC will obtain some information about Canadians,” Plouffe says

But he rebutted the agency’s critics, saying he and a staff of 11 had concluded that “all of the activities of CSEC reviewed in 2013-14 complied with the law.”

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, the minister responsible for CSEC, used the report to signal that the Conservative government has rejected any notion of giving Parliament more oversight powers over CSEC.

He said the report “confirms the benefits of having an independent watchdog provide comprehensive and impartial oversight of CSEC, as is currently the case, as opposed to giving politicians greater involvement in matters of national security operations.”

Nicholson said the government agrees with “each of his recommendations and CSEC is currently working to implement them.”

Since 2001 the office of the watchdog has repeatedly asked for legislative clarifications of CSEC’s powers. The government agreed in 2007 to make the legislative changes but has yet to do so.

Nevertheless, he made 10 more recommendations “to promote compliance, strengthen privacy protection & support” government in decision-making and control of CSEC.

He called for a new ministerial directive to boost the protection of information about Canadians that is shared with Canada’s “Five Eyes” partners — the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, Plouffe wants CSEC to report regularly to the government on information it acquires about Canadians from its partners, though in theory none is supposed to be spying on each other’s respective citizens or on each other’s respective territories.

Better reporting would better safeguard Canadians’ privacy and “support the minister of national defence in his decision-making and control of CSEC,” said Plouffe.

Plouffe says CSEC’s use of the “metadata” — currently authorized by ministerial directive — “remains fundamental to CSEC’s mandated activities.” Metadata includes such information as a telephone number, an email or an IP (Internet protocol) address, network and location information, but excludes the actual content of a phone call or email.

As early as 2008, metadata was an issue. Plouffe says CSEC had to suspend “certain activities involving information about Canadians and made significant changes to policies and practices before restarting those activities,” and the watchdog office was reviewing its use of metadata even before the Snowden leaks in June 2013.

He said he will report the findings next year.

Submit News to CKA News AFN executives feared Regional Chief running as a Liberal would invite funding cut from Tories: letter
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:04:22 +0000
'The AFN should not be seen to be financing any political party, directly or indirectly,' wrote Kenneth Young
Submit News to CKA News Halifax MLA mistakenly gives non-halal hotdogs to Muslim group
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:03:59 -0400
A Halifax member of the legislative assembly is apologizing over a hotdog debacle that has many in the Muslim community shaking their heads.
Submit News to CKA News Ontario university students unions vote to join boycott against Israel
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:02:48 -0400
Executive member Anna Goldfinch says the motion to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or BDS) Movement in support of Palestine received no opposition at its annual general meeting last weekend
Submit News to CKA News Woman accused of plotting parents? murder says she was planning her own death
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:51:01 -0400
Jennifer Pan, 27, testified she fell out with her family in the summer of 2010 after they discovered she?d been lying to them for years about her studies, her work and her relationship with a man they disapproved of

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 Canada?s Eugenie Bouchard upset at Connecticut Open
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:05:21 EDT

NEW HAVEN, CONN.—Third-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., and four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark both suffered straight-set upsets Wednesday in the second round of the Connecticut Open.

Bouchard, who played with her left thigh wrapped, lost 6-2, 6-2 to Australian Samantha Stosur.

Wozniacki, the fourth seed, was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Giorgi will play Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the quarter-finals. Muguruza, ranked 26th in the world, needed three sets to dispatch qualifier Peng Shuai of China, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Stosur faces Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium on Thursday. Flipkins came from behind to upset Andrea Petkovic of Germany 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) in a match that lasted three hours, 11 minutes.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova, who won Tuesday, is only remaining seeded player in the tournament.

Submit News to CKA News U.S. rescue mission in Syria failed earlier this summer
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:20:34 EDT

WASHINGTON—Amid global revulsion over the beheading of an American captive in Syria, the White House revealed Wednesday an audacious rescue attempt deep inside enemy territory earlier this summer ended in failure.

“Dozens” of U.S. soldiers shot their way into an undisclosed Syrian location in a Special Forces mission reminiscent of the raid that captured Osama Bin Laden, Pentagon sources confirmed.

But after killing several Islamic State fighters and sustaining one minor injury of their own, the American raiders came away empty-handed because no hostages were present.

White House officials confirmed the rescue attempt but declined to provide additional details, citing “the need to protect our military’s operational capabilities.”

The rescue attempt “should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people and will spare no effort to secure the safety our citizens and to hold their captors accountable,” the White House said in a statement attributed to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

The disclosure came as U.K. and U.S. investigators scoured digital clues in an effort to identify the British-accented executioner of American photojournalist James Foley, whose videotaped beheading continued to send shock waves.

The Guardian, citing unnamed sources, reported the killer was known as “John,” the de facto leader of three British jihadists known to Foley and other hostages as “The Beatles” because of their British accents.

British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday, saying he was “deeply shocked” and urged “patience” as Scotland Yard works to unravel the role of possible British passport-holders in the grisly killing in Syria.

Obama interrupted a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to condemn Foley’s murder, saying, “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents.

“ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings,” said Obama. “They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbours and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to an empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behaviour.”

With U.S. air strikes intensifying near the Iraqi city of Mosul — at least 14 more aimed at halting the march of the rampaging Islamic State fighters since the gruesome Foley video emerged online Tuesday — concern deepened for a second U.S. hostage, Time magazine freelancer Steven Sotloff.

Obama made no mention of Sotloff, who was shown in the same video as Foley as next in line for execution if the U.S. does not halt air strikes.

Foley’s bereaved parents, meanwhile, braved a media throng outside their home in Rochester, N.H., to praise their son as “the best of America” and to plead for mercy on behalf of Sotloff and other hostages.

John Foley said his son was “courageous to the end.” But in speaking earlier Wednesday with Obama, the elder Foley said he urged the president to “do whatever he could possibly do” to save the lives of Sotloff and others.

The family had held out hope for a breakthrough in the latter part of their son’s 444 days in captivity and was considering a fundraising drive to buy his freedom. But a week before his murder, hope faded with the arrival of an email from Islamic State intermediaries announcing the intention to kill their son.

Foley’s execution also is shining rare light on the murky world of kidnap negotiations and the mismatched ransom policies that see American hostages perish while others, including four French and two Spanish journalists released by Islamic State extremists in April, go free in exchange for large sums of cash.

David Rohde, a former New York Times journalist who managed to escape his Taliban captors without any exchange of money, called Wednesday for an end to secrecy over ransom payments.

“The payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows,” wrote Rodhe. “It must be publicly debated. American and European policymakers should be forced to answer for their actions.”

Submit News to CKA News Blue Jays mathematically in, but realistically out of playoff race: Griffin
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:19:27 EDT

It may be tough to stomach for Blue Jays fans, but this 2014 championship season is effectively over in terms of the team’s playoff hopes.

The Jays’ collapse is historic.

This season will mark the first time a Jays team that climbed so many games above .500 and rose so many games ahead in their division has failed to make the AL playoffs. The playoff drought will stretch to 21 years.

The collapse will continue to be a hot topic of discussion for the next eight months, at least until next spring. When Jays fans feel the urge to drown their sorrows, to get together and discuss the devastating collapse of the past 65 games — a 27-38 swoon that’s taken them from first place in the AL East to third — there will be disagreement. Why can’t they duplicate the success of the 25-7 streak from May 4 to June 6? Who deserves the blame? What could have been done differently?

During the Jays’ early-season win streak that propelled them to 14 games above .500 on June 6, their high-water mark, the club was not only pitching well, but everything else was clicking too. They made all the plays, hit everything hard, found holes on batted balls and manager John Gibbons was even winning challenges. Similarity? Alex Anthopoulos was making waiver claims.

The hot streak? From May 4 to June 6 the Jays went 25-7, and the pitching staff posted an overall 3.33 ERA. The two top starters, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, were a combined 9-1 in 12 starts, averaging seven innings per outing. That is huge, but in the final 35 games, they need to replicate that.

There have been no overt signs to indicate that a surge is about to happen. That’s been one of the huge differences for the Jays since the moment they started to head south. Buehrle and Dickey, who had been so hot during the winning streak, are a combined 5-15 in 27 starts since June 7. Whether or not they deserve to be a legitimate 1-2 in any contending rotation, the fact is they are. But no true contender can have a top starting duo with a combined 21 victories on Aug. 20.

Still, you can’t pin the Jays’ slide on the starting pitching alone. In the 32 games during which they won 25 and lost seven, the Jays batted .278, with 53 homers and an OPS of .834. In the 27-38 slide since that point, the Jays have batted .259 with 54 home runs and an OPS of .702. Injuries to Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion during the slump have obviously hurt and had a ripple effect on No. 1 threat Jose Bautista in terms of protection in the batting order.

Then there’s the question of centre field. I respect baseball analytics, but am not a big stats guy in terms of overanalyzing numbers. But there’s the Colby Rasmus vs. Anthony Gose situation, in terms of who should be out there in 2015 and whether to even make an offer to Rasmus, the incumbent.

The answer should be no. During the Jays’ hot streak back in May and early June, an injured Rasmus played eight games, with the Jays going 6-2. Subsequently, Gose, after being recalled in Rasmus’s absence, played 21 games in that 25-7 streak, with the Jays going 18-3 during that stretch. Now consider that in the current doldrums, with Gose being sent back to Triple-A Buffalo, the Jays, through Wednesday’s win over the Brewers, have been 11 games under .500 at 27-38. Within that stretch Rasmus is 22-30, while Gose, when he was here, was 22-23. It’s clear that Gose, despite his frustrating ego, needs to play.

What’s odd, offensively, is that catcher Dioner Navarro and left fielder Melky Cabrera have better averages and OPS, plus other offensive numbers, during the recent skid than when the Jays were winning. The biggest offensive dropoff from winning streak to losing belongs to Bautista. The biggest factors for that would be lack of protection in the lineup due to injuries, plus the likelihood that Bautista was trying to carry the team on his shoulders while others around him struggled.

On the pitching side of the study, consider that Casey Janssen was just coming back to good health early in the Jays’ hot streak. During that 25-7 streak, Janssen appeared in 13 games with a 0.00 ERA. Twelve of those games were wins. Since then, the aggressive Jays closer with average stuff has a 4.85 ERA in 23 games, with a loss and two blown saves. The swoon has been a total team effort.

As has been mentioned in this space, the Jays are entering a stretch during which they’ll play 28 of their remaining 35 games against AL East rivals, including six vs. the O’s and Yankees and nine against the Rays. So, mathematically, optimists can always find hope. The question is, do you believe in miracles?

Submit News to CKA News Canada?s electronic spy agency gets passing grade from watchdog
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:07:26 EDT

OTTAWA—The federal watchdog of Canada’s top-secret electronic spy agency has given the Communications Security Establishment a clean report card with a few recommendations for improvement.

In his first report, Jean-Pierre Plouffe, the retired military judge who currently serves as Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment, sets out to allay Canadian fears following the Edward Snowden leaks about the global activities of the National Security Agency, CSEC’s partner in the U.S.

Plouffe says he was “concerned” media coverage raised unfounded fears that Canada’s foreign signals-gathering agency was illegally intercepting the communications of Canadian citizens, either directly or through the NSA.

CSEC is legally mandated to tap into all kinds of electronic communications world-wide to protect Canadian interests against terrorism, espionage, cyber attacks, kidnappings of Canadians abroad, or attacks on Canadian embassies — but barred from directly targeting Canadians here or abroad.

“In collecting this intelligence, it is unavoidable that CSEC will obtain some information about Canadians,” Plouffe says

But he rebutted the agency’s critics, saying he and a staff of 11 had concluded that “all of the activities of CSEC reviewed in 2013-14 complied with the law.”

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, the minister responsible for CSEC, used the report to signal that the Conservative government has rejected any notion of giving Parliament more oversight powers over CSEC.

He said the report “confirms the benefits of having an independent watchdog provide comprehensive and impartial oversight of CSEC, as is currently the case, as opposed to giving politicians greater involvement in matters of national security operations.”

Nicholson said the government agrees with “each of his recommendations and CSEC is currently working to implement them.”

Since 2001 the office of the watchdog has repeatedly asked for legislative clarifications of CSEC’s powers. The government agreed in 2007 to make the legislative changes but has yet to do so.

Nevertheless, he made 10 more recommendations “to promote compliance, strengthen privacy protection & support” government in decision-making and control of CSEC.

He called for a new ministerial directive to boost the protection of information about Canadians that is shared with Canada’s “Five Eyes” partners — the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, Plouffe wants CSEC to report regularly to the government on information it acquires about Canadians from its partners, though in theory none is supposed to be spying on each other’s respective citizens or on each other’s respective territories.

Better reporting would better safeguard Canadians’ privacy and “support the minister of national defence in his decision-making and control of CSEC,” said Plouffe.

Plouffe says CSEC’s use of the “metadata” — currently authorized by ministerial directive — “remains fundamental to CSEC’s mandated activities.” Metadata includes such information as a telephone number, an email or an IP (Internet protocol) address, network and location information, but excludes the actual content of a phone call or email.

As early as 2008, metadata was an issue. Plouffe says CSEC had to suspend “certain activities involving information about Canadians and made significant changes to policies and practices before restarting those activities,” and the watchdog office was reviewing its use of metadata even before the Snowden leaks in June 2013.

He said he will report the findings next year.

Submit News to CKA News Woman, 74, dead, man, 76, critically injured after being struck by van
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:20:13 EDT

A woman is dead and a man is in critical condition after being struck by a van in the city’s east-end Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

Toronto EMS said they responded to the call around 4:40 p.m. at the intersection of Victoria Park and O’Connor Dr.

Paramedics rushed the 74-year-old woman to hospital in life-threatening condition, where she was pronounced dead a short time later. The 76-year-old man was stabilized at the scene before being taken to hospital in critical condition.

“He was cognitive, he was talking to the on-scene supervisor at the time,” said Const. Hugh Smith of Toronto police traffic services. He also said the two lived in the area.

“It might be a married couple, there is some relationship there – we just have to confirm,” said Smith.

“There’s no words to describe [it]…It’s a sad day,” said Hussain Mirshahi who was at the intersection and saw the woman on the ground. He said she had been thrown.

Officers from traffic services said a white van was making a left-hand turn from Eglinton Square (just south of Eglinton Ave.) onto Victoria Park when the two victims were struck.

Smith said that according to witnesses the pair were on the southwest corner of the intersection and appeared to be crossing heading eastbound.

Investigators appeared to be testing the van’s brakes before the van was removed from the scene shortly after 7 p.m. The 58-year-old driver of the GMC van has been questioned by police.

Mirshahi said the driver appeared to be in shock.

The intersection was reopened around 7:30 p.m. and regular TTC service in the area resumed.

Submit News to CKA News Halifax man says he felt ?humiliated? by extra questioning by Air Canada agents
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:33:00 EDT

Mohamed Yaffa said he found it annoying when he was asked to show more ID and go through extra questioning in March 2010 at an Air Canada counter because of his name.

By June of that year, when he said he was facing the process for the sixth time, he found it not just annoying, but incredibly humiliating.

“They said it’s about my name, but I don’t know what is wrong with my name. They haven’t told me that,” said Yaffa, a diversity and inclusion co-ordinator at Capital Health, which provides health services in the Halifax region. “I thought you should be treated based on your actions, but not based on your name.”

Yaffa, who describes himself as a “Muslim Canadian of African descent,” has brought Air Canada before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, alleging that he faced “enhanced security screening” because of his race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion.

Air Canada told the tribunal that it did not discriminate against Yaffa, but was simply following American and Canadian requirements with regards to each country’s no-fly list. The airline declined to comment further as the matter is still before the tribunal.

In an interview Wednesday, Yaffa told the Star that Air Canada agents have never told him if his name is actually on a no-fly list. Public Safety Canada said it does not publicly release names on the list due to security concerns. He said the extra questioning and security screenings have usually led him to be the last passenger to board the plane.

“And then everybody on the plane is looking at you, knowing you were there standing at the counter while the agent was on the phone. It’s very distressful,” he said. “But it also makes you apprehensive for the next time. Will you face delays again? Are you going to be prohibited from flying at all? Because nobody is telling you exactly what your issue is.”

Having worked in the field of diversity and inclusion training for the last 14 years, Yaffa said he knows what a “culturally sensitive” staff looks like, and wants to see proof that Air Canada is properly training its agents.

Tribunal member David Thomas ordered Air Canada on Aug. 8 to confirm whether it trains its front-line employees on human rights and cultural sensitivity. He also ordered that it turn over complaints dating back to 2007 related to alleged discrimination having to do with the airline’s application of the no-fly list.

Officially known as the Passenger Protect Program, the no-fly list was instituted in 2007 as part of a bilateral treaty with the United States. Since then, it has been criticized for making travel difficult for passengers with names similar to those people on the list

Thomas ordered Yaffa, who alleges the Air Canada incidents caused him anxiety and depression, to submit medical records and his human resources file. Yaffa alleges he has been met with hostility and racist remarks when Air Canada agents have stopped him due to his name. One agent at the Ottawa airport, he alleges, told him that if he did not like the way he was being treated, he could “go back home.”

Yaffa said the incidents at the Air Canada counter have led him to have some important discussions with his children about diversity and human rights.

“I just tell them that (Air Canada) is making some mistakes, but they are aware that something is not very right,” he said. “I don’t want my children to be alarmed by it. They are Canadians, they were born here. They have to love their society and their country, but they also have to feel loved by their country.”

Submit News to CKA News Emergency response to Ebola outbreak lacks leadership, Canadian aid official says
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:34:33 EDT

Five months have passed since the Ebola virus was first confirmed in West Africa — but according to a top aid official, the emergency response is still leaderless and suffering from a kind of “Ebola psychosis” that has made the global community reluctant to join the front-line fight.

The unprecedented Ebola epidemic has now caused 2,473 reported cases and 1,350 deaths across four West African countries, but medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières is still one of the few international organizations with boots on the ground, said president Dr. Joanne Liu.

The Canadian physician, who recently returned from a 10-day tour of the worst-hit countries, said there is a “vacuum” of leadership in the outbreak response, which still lacks a co-ordinated plan at the top.

“This is the biggest Ebola epidemic of modern times … (but) no one has somehow gained control,” said Liu in a phone interview from Montreal. “The ministries of health and governments of each country have a responsibility, but the other thing is that somehow the WHO needs to step up.

“They keep telling me, ‘We’re not an emergency response organization.’ I’m sorry but you’re the World Health Organization; you need to step up to that role because you have the legitimacy and the authority to do that.”

Liu’s comments echo a recent New York Times editorial, which criticized the WHO for being “shamefully slow” in supporting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that have been hardest hit by the outbreak and which are “among the poorest and most war-racked in the world.”

A spokesperson for the WHO declined to respond to specific allegations but said the UN health agency currently has 150 people on the ground. He noted it also recently deployed a team of top experts — including Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director general for health security — to West Africa, where they will soon meet with government officials in Liberia and Sierra Leone to “adapt and operationalize a response plan.”

But for Liu, the most urgent need is for “people who will roll up their sleeves and do some legwork in the field” — everyone from doctors and nurses to “social mobilization” teams who can help spread education and awareness.

“People need to go and walk around and talk to the elders, talk to the villagers, and explain to them what’s going on,” she said. “If we don’t act rapidly … fear will be changed into panic and then irrational behaviour. We need to stop that vicious cycle.”

MSF, which is also responding to crises in Syria, South Sudan, Gaza and Iraq, is now reaching a breaking point in West Africa, with many staffers serving on their third or even fourth Ebola mission. The organization just opened its largest-ever isolation ward in Liberia with 120 beds, which have already been filled, Liu said.

The health crisis also extends beyond Ebola and the affected countries are now experiencing “emergencies within an emergency,” Liu said. With health workers either dead from Ebola or too scared to work, no one is receiving health care for anything, she said. In Liberia, for example, six babies recently died after their pregnant mothers walked for hours looking for a place to deliver.

“Right now, a child with malaria has nowhere to go for treatment,” she said. “At the end of this, we may have more secondary deaths from lack of access to health care than from Ebola.”

Liu said many aid agencies that typically work alongside MSF during humanitarian crises simply aren’t present in West Africa. “We are calling them, having meetings with them, but they are not there.”

One reason for this is how Ebola has been portrayed, she said. “People think the only way to make a difference in an Ebola crisis is to come with a cosmonaut outfit and work in an isolation centre.”

Another factor has been the pervasive fear, which Liu herself has experienced. She said her family was terrified when they heard she was going to West Africa — a reaction she didn’t even encounter when she went to Syria. And now that she’s home, her friends won’t invite her to dinner, she said.

“I think right now there is an Ebola psychosis,” she said. “The reality is people are scared.”

Even within MSF, recruiting for Ebola has been difficult. It doesn’t help that MSF has been unable to secure guarantees from governments that they will fly their own citizens home for treatment if they get infected while responding to the outbreak. Airlifting an Ebola patient requires permission not only from the receiving government, but from every single country the airplane flies over, Liu added.

“We’re all facing some dramatic administrative blockages right now,” she said. “It’s really hard to ask someone, ‘Go and put your life in danger — but if you ever get sick, we can’t guarantee we can bring you home for help.’”

No MSF worker has ever died while responding to an Ebola outbreak and Liu credits the organization’s rigorous procedures for keeping her people safe. But she admits to being worried, given how hard her staffers are working and the exhaustion permeating the organization’s ranks.

Liu says rich countries around the world have to help — not by closing borders but by strengthening capacity on the ground. “If people don’t understand that, then we’re going to be facing something much bigger than what we’re facing right now.”

Submit News to CKA News Jennifer Pan trial: Text message announced ?game time? hours before shooting
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:57:18 EDT

Just hours before Jennifer Pan’s mother was shot dead and her father severely wounded, Pan got a text saying that night would be “game time.”

The Crown has alleged this text confirmed that on the night of Nov. 8, 2010, men hired by Pan for $10,000 would fake a home invasion and murder her parents.

However, in her second day of testimony, Pan says the text, which came from a man she only knew as “Homeboy” meant that he would be coming to collect the money she owed him for arranging her own shooting and then cancelling the plan.

She called him after he sent that text to tell him she didn’t have the money, she testified.

Pan, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her mother, Bich Ha Pan, and attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting of her father, Hann Pan. Pan’s on-and-off boyfriend since high school, Daniel Wong, faces the same charges as does Lenford Crawford (who allegedly goes by the nickname “Homeboy”), Eric Carty and David Mylvaganam.

She has admitted to paying a friend’s roommate $1,500 to shoot her father dead outside his workplace in June, but the man took off with her money and stopped returning her calls.

She testified that in August, she created a second plan — for her own death.

Her relationship with her father deteriorated as more of her many lies were revealed and Pan became increasingly depressed and suicidal, she said. After two failed suicide attempts and her ex-boyfriend Wong moving on with another woman, she testified that she decided to hire someone to kill her.

She met Homeboy through a phone number given to her by Wong and for the “friend’s” discount of $10,000 he agreed to have her killed, she testified. She told him to tell Wong that the intended target was her father, not herself, she said.

But in the fall, her relationship with her father and her family improved after she was accepted to Centennial College, after years of faking attendance at Ryerson and the University of Toronto.

“My dad was quite ecstatic,” she said. “There was a glimmer of hope we could reconnect.”

Pan testified that she no longer wanted to die and she wanted to call the plan off.

On Oct. 31, she got a message from Wong telling her to call Homeboy, she said. When she did, he said he was in the area and they were going to “do it tonight.”

In panicked phone calls around 9 p.m., Pan told Homeboy she didn’t have the money and that it was not a good time because there were kids around trick-or-treating, she said.

Pan said that two days later Wong helped her negotiate a cancellation fee of $8,500 with Homeboy.

That same day, Nov. 2, Wong texted Pan about his new girlfriend: “I feel the way u feel about me but about her. I’m sorry.”

After several frantic texts asking for clarification, Pan replied: “So you feel for her what I feel for you, then call it off with Homeboy.”

Wong: “What do u mean, I thought u wanted this for you.”

Pan: “I do but I have nowhere to go.”

Wong: “U said u wanted this with or without me.”

Pan: “I want this for me.”

Pan denied that she wanted to revive a romantic relationship with Wong despite several texts asking Wong if he still loved her and that she was heartbroken.

She maintained that at this point she and Wong were simply close friends and that while she was trying to be supportive of his new relationship, she would often make him feel guilty out of habit.

The next day, Nov. 3, the court heard Homeboy texted Pan, asking her to set a “time of completion. Think about it?”

Pan says this refers to a time for her to pay him the full cancellation fee, while the Crown alleges this refers to a time for the murder of her parents to take place.

Pan denied that a reference to “taking care” of Wong in their text conversations referred to the Crown allegation that she planned to use the payout from her parents’ life insurance to look after Wong.

Instead, she said it meant she would be there for him if he needed her.

The trial continues.

Submit News to CKA News Body of missing journalist found near Brockville
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:44:20 EDT

BROCKVILLE, ONT.—The body of a journalist who had disappeared Monday was found in a rural area outside Brockville, police said Wednesday.

Steve Pettibone’s remains were found in a rural area outside Brockville, near where his car was found abandoned in a field Tuesday night

The discovery of the car prompted an extensive search that involved officers on ATVs, a canine unit and a police helicopter.

“We’ve located the body of an adult male,” said Const. Joel Doiron. “It was in the area where the vehicle was, the general search area.”

Pettibone was last seen at 7:30 a.m. Monday when he left his Belleville home to go to work at the Brockville Recorder and Times, where he is the sports editor.

The newspaper’s managing editor, Derek Gordanier, wrote a column appealing for assistance in locating the 39-year-old journalist, saying the disappearance was “out of character.”

With files from Laurent Bastien Corbeil

Submit News to CKA News Language watchdog investigates John Baird?s tweets
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:07:44 EDT

OTTAWA—A probe by Canada’s language watchdog into Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s Twitter account is prompting questions about the lines between personal and government business on the Internet.

Baird, a Conservative MP who represents an Ottawa riding in Parliament, uses his Twitter account regularly to inform Canadians with a mix of messages about government business and personal observations, most often in English, with occasional messages in French.

But a new investigation by official languages commissioner Graham Fraser, prompted by a formal complaint that the minister doesn’t communicate in Canada’s two official languages on Twitter, has puzzled officials in Baird’s office and department.

“We are surprised that the official languages commissioner has chosen to investigate the minister’s personal Twitter account that falls outside of the scope of the act,” said Baird’s spokesman, Rick Roth. “The minister’s personal Twitter account is just that, his personal account.”

In the past week, Baird tweeted in both English and French about the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Previously, some of his tweets have included English-only messages about the death of actor Robin Williams, Baird’s return home from a trip, and a cup of Tim Hortons coffee.

Most of Baird’s tweets in July were in English, often related to his role as minister.

Fraser, a former reporter at the Star, told Baird’s department in a July 31 letter that it was looking into the Twitter account to determine whether the government was respecting the “spirit” of federal language legislation.

The Official Languages Act, adopted in 1969, requires the federal government to protect services in both English and French and promote the vitality of minority communities in both languages across the country.

This latest investigation follows another controversy over Baird using some English-only business cards, which were later disposed after a separate investigation by Fraser.

“It’s almost as if (Baird) is ashamed of the two official languages,” said NDP official languages critic Yvon Godin.

The federal legislation also requires the government to promote the use of both languages. As Canada’s top diplomat who represents the country on the international stage, Baird should respect this, said Godin, a New Brunswick MP.

“If it’s just his personal account, he should just say that it’s John Baird, that he just gets his coffee from Tim Hortons and if he wants to say he’s taking his dog for a walk, I have no problem,” said Godin. “But if his Twitter account represents the department and the minister and uses the name, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, he should respect the law.”

Fraser’s letter from July said the investigation would consider sections of the law that cover government services and communication with the public as well as the participation of French- and English-speaking Canadians in federal institutions.

Baird’s deputy minister, Daniel Jean, responded to Fraser a few days later, writing that the Twitter account wasn’t covered by the act. Jean noted that the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s official communications respect the law.

“It is very important to this department that all DFATD social media and other Web 2.0 tools are available simultaneously in both English and French,” Jean wrote in the letter, obtained by the Star. “In addition, we also ensure that all communications, when providing services to the public, are compliant with the act.”

Fraser’s office said the investigation, uncovered by Montreal daily newspaper La Presse, wasn’t targeting Baird personally. Instead, it said the probe was trying to establish whether federal ministers have responsibilities, under the federal language law, when they tweet information on behalf of their departments.

“We’ve never done this type of investigation before,” Fraser’s spokesman, Nelson Kalil, told the Star. “We’re investigating the government mechanism and the department, and not the individual.”

Submit News to CKA News John Tory slams Olivia Chow?s response to operative?s ?segregationist? tweet
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:07:00 EDT

One of Olivia Chow’s senior operatives alleged Tuesday that John Tory’s transit proposal is “segregationist.” He apologized on Wednesday — but Tory said the real problem is Chow’s own tepid reaction.

Warren Kinsella, who runs the so-called “war room” for Chow’s mayoral campaign, made the contested comment on Twitter. He also posted a map that put the following satirical words in Tory’s mouth: “You will note we were careful to exclude Jane/Finch and Rexdale from SmartTrack.”

“Is John Tory’s Smart Track, you know, Segregationist Track?” Kinsella wrote. In a post immediately prior, he wrote: “John Tory: if you don’t come from his demographic, he doesn’t give a s--- if you lose transit service.”

The word segregationist is usually used to describe racists, including those of the Jim Crow-era U.S. South. Jane-Finch and Rexdale both have large populations of black residents.

Kinsella deleted the tweets and offered a qualified apology to Tory when a reporter contacted him and the campaign more than 12 hours later.

“I don’t think he’s racist, at all, and I’d apologize to him if he’s genuinely offended,” he said in a Twitter message. “It’s fair to ask if his plan treats all parts of the city equally, however.” He later apologized to Tory directly and unreservedly.

Chow, though, attempted to play down Kinsella’s role in her campaign at a transit-related Wednesday news conference, claiming he is merely one of her “thousands” of volunteers. She said she had no plans to speak to him about the tweets, and she did not respond directly when asked if he would continue to be part of her team.

"Mr. Kinsella is a volunteer. I can't be more clear than that,” she said.

Tory then held his own news conference with Spider Jones, the black former radio personality and boxer. Jones, a former Ford supporter, endorsed Tory and attested to his concern for disadvantaged people of colour.

“Honestly speaking, if John Tory’s a racist, then I’m the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,” Jones said.

Tory called on Chow to “accept real responsibility” for Kinsella’s words. He said it is “ridiculous” for her to suggest that Kinsella is not an important campaign official.

“I noted with interest this morning, and profound dismay and regret, that when given the chance to take accountability for this, to accept responsibility for this, Olivia Chow said, ‘Well, this is just one of my thousands of volunteers,’ as if the man in question is somebody who kind of wandered into her office to put a few stamps on envelopes,” he said.

Tory later invoked the strife related to a police shooting of a young black man in Ferguson, Missouri, saying Kinsella’s words were especially ill-considered “if you look at what’s going on in North America right now, especially in Missouri and so on.”

Kinsella got in one last jab in his initial semi-apology, saying he awaits Tory’s apology for approving an infamous 1993 Progressive Conservative attack ad that mocked the partial facial paralysis of Liberal leader Jean Chretien.

“Twenty-one years ago, I was the co-chair of the campaign that put that out on television, and I took responsibility then, and I have taken responsibility since,” Tory said. “And I am just suggesting today that Olivia Chow should similarly take responsibility for what has been done by a key operative of her campaign.”

Kinsella appeared to be responding to an attack-map Tory’s campaign posted on Twitter last week. That map, purporting to show Chow’s transit plan, was titled “Oliva (sic) Chow’s Transit Plan Avoids Toronto” — but showed part of the downtown relief line subway, in Toronto.

Chow spokesman Jamey Heath argued this officially sanctioned misleading tweet is worse than Kinsella’s. He also argued that it is Tory who is being divisive.

“His campaign slogan is bringing people ‘together,’ and what he is doing is overt: it is pitting people and modes (of transit) against each other,” Heath said.

Submit News to CKA News Rob Ford faces new conflict of interest allegations over vote on wastewater program
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:00:00 EDT

Mayor Rob Ford faces new conflict of interest allegations for voting on a wastewater treatment program in which his family’s company was enrolled.

Ford cast his vote on the program in November 2012 — at the council meeting that started the day after a judge found he had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act with an earlier vote related to his football foundation.

At the three-day meeting that week, the mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, voted against a policy change that would have raised fees on many of the companies that have agreed to pay the municipal government to treat their wastewater.

One of the companies in that wastewater program is the Ford-owned Deco Adhesive Products. Both Rob Ford and Doug Ford are Deco directors.

The general manager of Toronto Water, Lou Di Gironimo, told the Star on Tuesday that Deco has been part of the program since July 20, 2012. Di Gironimo said the other Ford brother, fellow director Randy Ford, signed Deco up.

Deco’s participation in the program was not publicly known until it appeared on a 305-company list issued by Toronto Water last week. The disclosure has offered another example of the overlap between the Fords’ public roles and private business — and prompted more questions about their judgment.

Doug Ford, the company’s president, called the criticism “comical,” “ridiculous,” and evidence of a “witch hunt.” He said neither he nor the mayor had any idea Deco was part of the program at the time of the vote.

The vote was on a proposal put forward by Di Gironimo and promoted by Councillor Mike Layton.

Companies in the program paid the government only for the one “parameter” for which their discharges most exceeded the limits — for example, phosphorus — even if they also exceeded limits on other parameters. Di Gironimo and Layton wanted the companies to pay for each and every one.

But the Fords won the vote: Layton’s motion was rejected 22-18. Council’s decision saved some companies thousands of dollars.

Deco was not one of the immediate beneficiaries. Because Deco’s watervolumes are low, Di Gironimo said, it pays the minimum fee, $500. Its fee, in other words, would not have changed right away if council had adopted the new fee structure.

But the vote to keep the old fee structure could conceivably help Deco in the future if the volume of its water use increases. And simply enrolling in the program, the city says, often saves companies money: they would otherwise have to treat the water themselves.

Layton said the Fords should have declared conflicts and abstained from voting on both this program and the general water budget. “They benefit from a program the city offers, and every year the city renews that program, they should be declaring it. It’s pretty simple,” Layton said.

“And they’ve been through it before. It’s not like the mayor hasn’t had to take a look at the Conflict of Interest Act in the recent past.”

Under the act, members of council must declare a conflict on matters in which they have a “direct or indirect” financial interest. The Fords appear to have had an interest in the Layton motion, said Ron Kanter, municipal lawyer at the firm Macdonald Sager Manis.

“The question which one should ask is, ‘Does the matter that they are voting on have the potential to affect the pecuniary interest of the councillor in terms of enrichment or cost?’ And from the sound of the situation, as I understand it, it sounds like it likely would. There was a potential effect on their pecuniary interest,’” said Kanter, a former councillor and Liberal MPP.

The law says members of council who vote on an issue despite a pecuniary interest must be removed from office. Violations committed out of “inadvertence,” however, are not subject to removal. Doug Ford said he and the mayor were entirely unaware that Deco was enrolled in the program.

He said he has been barely involved in Deco operations while serving in office — “it’s 99 per cent politics, 1 per cent business” — and the mayor not involved at all.

“I’m being blunt: the mayor doesn’t have a clue what goes on at Deco. That’s the bottom line. And he hasn’t for 14 years,” he said in an interview.

Doug Ford said they shouldn’t have had to recuse themselves even if they had known about the program: everybody, he said, has an interest in water.

“To say ‘a conflict’ — that’s like saying every councillor should get out of their seat because they pay water bills at their house,” he said.

John Mascarin, municipal lawyer at Aird and Berlis,said the matter might indeed be covered by an exemption in the law that allows councillors to vote on issues where they have “an interest in common with electors generally.” That provision, he said, could possibly be interpreted to mean interests in common with a particular “community,” like a large group of companies.

“Someone may say ‘nuh-uh, no way, that doesn’t get you within this definition,’ ” Mascarin said, but he would still advise clients against pursuing a case.

The mayor won the conflict case connected to his football foundation on appeal in early 2013.

Submit News to CKA News Canada?s wild digital frontier needs policing
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 03:08:26 Z
John Ivison: The copyright bill has a number of provisions that are far less favourable to Canada’s performers and creators, who are about to see take a big hit to their pocket-books
Submit News to CKA News Election buzz, stale rhetoric ? Parliament has deja vu all over again
Tue, 01 Feb 2011 11:42:28 Z
John Ivison: If you missed Question Period Monday, don’t worry — you have a golden opportunity to miss it again Tuesday
Submit News to CKA News Death of Personal Responsibility: Think outside the lunchbox
Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:50:39 Z
Neil Seeman: So what should the role of the state be in combating obesity? It’s time to think outside of the lunchbox, and try a whole new idea: healthy living vouchers, or HLVs
Submit News to CKA News Don?t give Quebec a nickel
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:57:55 Z
Jonathan Kay: If Harper says no to the Bloc's demands, he will be going to the voters as a man of principle who stood his ground on a subject far more important to this country than corporate tax rates
Submit News to CKA News Stelmach more than a victim of changing attitudes
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:38:13 Z
Kevin Libin: Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach bet the fortune of his party’s unparalleled political dynasty on a leadership strategy that failed to pan out
Submit News to CKA News Dave Taylor a mixed blessing for fledgling Alberta Party
Tue, 25 Jan 2011 02:34:30 Z
Kevin Libin: The addition of former Liberal MLA Dave Taylor to the Alberta party gives it a legitimacy boost, but does the outspoken former radio personality fit with the party's post-partisan dreams?
Submit News to CKA News Playing by China's rules
Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:21:17 Z
Rex Murphy: China has reached an agreement with the Newfoundland government to begin the importation of seal and seal products into its potentially vast market. This is both very good and rare news for Newfoundland sealers
Submit News to CKA News Canada: Nanny AND wimpy state?
Thu, 20 Jan 2011 20:08:14 Z
Before, there actually had to be a violent protest before public institutions caved in and cancelled controversial events. Now, a group of unhinged zealots make a couple of angry phone calls and – poof! – they silence free speech and free assembly
Submit News to CKA News Executives probably not swayed by Liberal tax plan
Tue, 18 Jan 2011 23:54:00 Z
Scott Stinson: It’s a safe bet that Mr. Ignatieff did not win many converts with his tax-increase sales pitch to Canadian executives on Tuesday. This is not a great surprise
Submit News to CKA News Conservatives missed the call for more civilized debate
Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:58:11 Z
Kelly McParland: The federal Conservatives’ brain trust must have been somewhere else when President Barack Obama delivered his speech in Arizona last week, calling for greater civility in political debate.
Submit News to CKA News Harper's five years: Canadians better off, even if they don't feel it
Sat, 15 Jan 2011 13:21:36 Z
John Ivison: Jan. 23 marks the fifth anniversary of Stephen Harper’s 2006 election victory and in early February, he will pass Lester B. Pearson’s time in office to become Canada’s 11th longest-serving Prime Minister

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