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Submit News to CKA News 80 arrested in province-wide child porn investigation
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:39:01 EDT

Police have charged 80 Ontario residents with a total of 274 offences after a sweeping, multi-force investigation into child sexual abuse and child pornography.

“Child pornography is the sexual abuse of our children,” Ontario Provincial Police Chief Supt. Don Bell told a news conference Thursday. “Every image of child pornography represents a child victim. Every trading or transmission of that image represents a re-victimization of that child.”

The OPP worked with the RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency, Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and 26 local police departments to make the arrests.

“This isn’t a crime specific to Canada,” said Homeland Security Special Agent Aaron Chapman. “We have a shared responsibility in the United States to combine all our efforts to combat this horrendous crime.”

Moments before the news conference, the OPP released the names, ages and charges of most of the people captured during the investigation. At least one person’s identity was withheld because they are underage.

The charges include sexual assault, possessing child pornography, making child pornography, distributing child pornography, accessing child pornography, luring a child, and drug and weapons offences.

The OPP said more charges are pending.

ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE:List of people charged

Over the past 90 days, investigators collected 2,038 unique IP addresses of people suspected of downloading child pornography or visiting child porn sites.

“The internet provides the perfect tool for people to be able to go out and find this material,” said OPP Det. Staff Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt.

Investigators were also able to identify 20 victims of child exploitation and refer them to community-based assistance programs. Police say there was also some overlap with human trafficking investigations, and they were able to ensure the safety of nine people who had been working in the sex trade as minors.

“The sweep that was carried out over the past few days serves as another wakeup call to those who commit these monstrous crimes against our children,” Bell said.

The investigation was part of Ontario’s Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet, launched in 2006.

Submit News to CKA News I helped move incinerator, Millard's girlfriend tells Tim Bosma murder trial
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:37:01 EDT

The former girlfriend of a man facing a murder charge in the death of Tim Bosma will be back on the witness stand today.

The Hamilton Spectator’s Molly Hayes and Susan Clairmont are covering the trial.

On Wednesday, Christina Noudga told the Hamilton court she helped Dellen Millard move his animal incinerator, dubbed “The Eliminator,” from the barn on his property near Waterloo, Ont., to the middle of the bush on the sprawling property.

She said she put on gloves, as did Millard, to help him move the huge piece of machinery.

Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Bosma's death.

The Crown alleges Bosma was shot at point-blank range in his truck and his body later burned in that incinerator. Investigators later found two human bones and numerous bone fragments in the incinerator and blood, likely Bosma's according to a DNA analysis, was found on the outside of the machine.

Bosma vanished on May 6, 2013 after taking two strangers for a test drive in the truck he was trying to sell.

Noudga, expected to be one of the prosecution’s star witnesses, often had trouble recalling details under questioning by Crown attorney Tony Leitch.

Court heard that Noudga has been charged as an accessory after the fact to the murder of Bosma and will have her own trial in November.

When asked by Leitch why they moved the incinerator, she said Millard “said he wanted to move it because the floor boards (in the barn) were getting creaky, so we should move it.”

She testified earlier Wednesday about wanting to see Millard that week, but he was tied up on a lengthy “mission” that began the night of May 6, 2013.

On May 9, court heard, Millard picked her up at her home in Toronto and gave her a digital video recorder. She said she hid it in her closet, where it remained for nearly a year until she was arrested in connection with the murder.

She said she thought nothing of it even after her boyfriend was charged with the murder of Bosma in 2013.

“Ever consider taking it to police?” Leitch asked.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was related,” Noudga said, adding she thought it was a stereo.

Court has already seen video extracted from the device that showed a truck hauling what appears to be “The Eliminator” outside Millard’s hangar in Waterloo, Ont.

The video also shows two men walking through the hangar early on May 7, hours after Bosma disappeared. Flares are seen coming from the incinerator.

After she put the device in her closet, Noudga said she drove with Millard in his truck — hauling a large trailer — to his mother’s house in Kleinburg, Ont.

She said she helped him park the trailer against the garage, so close the back doors couldn’t be opened.

She said Millard’s mother came out and asked why he was leaving the trailer there, which he didn't answer.

“At this point, we are both extremely stoned,” Noudga said, laughing.

Then the pair drove to Millard’s hangar — he inherited his father’s aviation business — and she said she never discussed the “mission” Millard said he had been conducting the previous days. Those were the days after Bosma disappeared.

Court saw numerous text messages between Noudga and Millard, many of them discussing the “mission” Millard was conducting. She said she didn't have much time to discuss why he had been so aloof the previous days because of a “sexual act” on that ride to the hangar.

She said she never asked him details about the mission and was not aware of Millard’s plans to steal a truck, which others have testified about.

Earlier, a Hamilton police officer testified about seizing letters in Noudga’s bedroom that appeared to come from Millard while he was in jail.

Submit News to CKA News Inside the Ontario NDP?s union-funded holding company
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:00:00 EDT

Ontario’s NDP set up a secretive union-financed holding company to help bankroll election campaigns and serve as its landlord at party headquarters, the Star has learned.

The Ontario Cornerstone Leadership Corporation, a privately held firm that owns the downtown Toronto office building housing the provincial NDP, has an elaborate corporate structure straight out of Bay Street.

It is unclear what impact the looming reforms to Ontario’s lax political fundraising laws — including a proposed ban on union and corporate donations — will have on Cornerstone.

But it is possible a ban on contributions to political parties from unions and corporations would lead to an unravelling of the arrangement. That would put extra pressure on the NDP, which still has a $5-million debt from the 2014 election campaign, to dig itself out of a deep financial hole.

Related:NDP’s righteous rhetoric rings hollow: Cohn

The New Democrats support some revamp of the fundraising system though they have never specified exactly what they want. They oppose the governing Liberals’ legislative approach, instead preferring a non-partisan public consultation.

While Cornerstone’s existence has been known for years, the NDP always maintained the corporation was separate from and had no direct financial connections to the political party or its campaigns.

The Star has obtained the previously secret shareholders’ agreement from Sept. 9, 2009 that shows Cornerstone, which owns 101 Richmond St. E., is a complex corporate entity where the NDP controls all of the Class A common shares.

All of the Class B common shares are owned by eight public-sector and private-sector unions or their locals. These shareholders have fewer powers than the NDP with its Class A shares.

Any dividends from the shares are reinvested into the company unless the unpaid board of directors decides otherwise. Each union has a seat on the board, the NDP has one seat.

That corporate structure is not illegal. But it appears to challenge past assertions by the NDP that the party had an arm’s-length relationship with Cornerstone.

Requests for an interview with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to discuss Cornerstone were declined by her office.

New Democrat House leader Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay) insisted the party’s current concerns over Premier Kathleen Wynne’s reforms to political fundraising have nothing to do with Cornerstone.

Bisson implied Cornerstone is a bit of a mystery even to New Democrats at Queen’s Park.

“I don’t really understand how Cornerstone is set up. I thought it was to buy a building,” said Bisson, co-chair of the 2014 NDP campaign.

In a 2011 interview with journalist Jonathan Jenkins, then of the Toronto Sun, Horwath said Cornerstone “has no role whatsoever in our campaign.”

“None whatsoever. It’s a separate corporation, separate board of directors. There’s no financial connection whatsoever. It’s completely separate. Not a dime,” she said at the time.

“We have some unions that guarantee our loans, we have this separate, completely separate organization, a completely separate entity called Cornerstone that guarantees some of our loans.”

However, the shareholders’ agreement shows Cornerstone and the party are deeply entwined.

“The corporation shall, upon request from time to time by the ONDP and in compliance with applicable law, provide such guarantees, liens, and other financial assistance and such further assurances and instruments in respect thereof, as the ONDP may request from time to time to assist in financing its activities,” it states.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation president Paul Elliott, whose union helped create the Cornerstone, said the company was launched to bolster the New Democrats.

“We wanted to ensure there was a progressive voice in the political landscape in Ontario. This was created when Howard Hampton was the leader of the NDP and at the time we (were) concerned about the ability of the NDP to compete against the Liberals and Conservatives,” said Elliott.

Elections Ontario data shows that during the 2014 provincial election, Cornerstone guaranteed a $6-million loan to the NDP to pay for the campaign.

The party in turn paid Cornerstone $273,904.56 for “office and equipment rent” that year. The corporation, which purchased 101 Richmond St. E. for $3.1 million nine years ago, does not have a listed phone number or a website.

Derek Johnstone, the Ontario regional director of the United Food and Commercial Workers, another Cornerstone shareholder, said “this was an investment that we made over a decade ago.”

“It’s an investment that we are active in — in terms of doing our due diligence for the members’ resources. We have one member on the board and in terms of any changes to the legislation here in Ontario we’re, of course, monitoring it,” he said, referring to the upcoming bill on political fundraising.

“UFCW, of course, will comply with any legislation that’s passed as we’ve done in every other province.”

Cornerstone board chair Anne Healy — who is also executive assistant to the national secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), another shareholder in the corporation — said “we won’t know how any new legislation will affect us until it is tabled.”

“The Cornerstone board will look at any new legislation when details are available to see how it will affect our operations, but until then we don’t think speculation is a useful exercise,” said Healy.

Bob Gallagher, communications and political action department head of the United Steelworkers, Cornerstone’s largest shareholder, said the union is “proud of our support of the Ontario New Democratic Party.’

“We also strongly support reforms to the election financing legislation that would eliminate political contributions from corporations and unions,” said Gallager.

“We support an open dialogue between all parties to determine the scope of any new legislation regarding election financing. Once consensus by all parties is achieved we will then be able to understand the future implications,” he said.

Political fundraising reforms have been on the front-burner since the Star’s March 29 story about Liberal cabinet ministers having party fundraising targets of up to $500,000 apiece.

Wynne scrambled to announce legislative changes in the wake of the exposé.

The Liberal bill expected to be tabled next month will ban corporate and union donations, reduce annual contributions to a maximum of $1,525 from $9,975, and close a slew of loopholes.

But the New Democrats — as well as the Progressive Conservatives and the Greens — oppose the way Wynne is revamping fundraising.

Horwath, backed by Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and Green Leader Mike Schreiner, tried unsuccessfully last week to strike a new non-partisan committee to design the changes.

Bisson emphasized there was no self-interest in the party’s bid to have a say in the fundraising reforms.

“If you want to ban union (and) corporate donations, we can live with that. But there’s got to be a process by which . . . everybody gets it, it’s transparent . . . ,” he said, arguing that Wynne is trying to rush through changes without adequately consulting opposition parties, stakeholders, or the public.

Submit News to CKA News Refusal to revoke doctor?s licence leaves CPSO ?disappointed? by its own panel
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 05:00:00 EDT

Dr. Javad Peirovy sexually abused four female patients in the span of one year at a walk-in clinic, leaving them “traumatized” — the word used by a discipline panel of Ontario’s medical watchdog.

On Wednesday, that same panel decided that Peirovy was fit to keep his licence. Instead of revoking it, they suspended him. In six months, the Toronto doctor will be back at work.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons’ lawyer had requested that the panel, which is independent of the college, revoke his licence.

The college proposed last year that provincial legislation be amended so that “all physical sexual contact between a physician and patient” would lead to mandatory revocation.

A provincial task force, created 16 months ago following a Star investigation into doctors still at work after sexually abusing their patients, is on the cusp of delivering a much-anticipated report to the government on the issue.

The college took the rare step of issuing a statement to the Star on Wednesday.

“The College is disappointed in the discipline panel’s decision not to revoke Dr. Peirovy’s licence,” said college registrar Dr. Rocco Gerace.

“Council supports revisions to the legislation that would require mandatory revocation in any case where physical sexual contact with a patient is proven to have occurred.”

Current legislation makes revocation mandatory for nearly every other form of sexual abuse, including penetration, oral sex and masturbation. But sexual touching remains a grey area, and revocation is entirely at the discretion of the discipline committee panel hearing the case.

“This has been my concern all along, and I see the college (discipline committee) refuses to act unless pushed specifically and directly by the government,” said medical malpractice lawyer Amani Oakley. “This (decision) is not a logical way to proceed when they themselves have recognized that this is sexual abuse.”

Peirovy was found guilty by the panel last July of “acts of professional misconduct in that he engaged in the sexual abuse” of four patients.

In the case of two patients, Ms U and Ms V, he placed his stethoscope on their nipples and cupped their breasts. Regarding Ms W and Ms X, he touched their nipples when “there was no clinical reason” to examine the women in that way, the panel found.

He denied the allegations before the committee, and his lawyer, David Porter, declined to comment on Tuesday.

Peirovy was also found to have demonstrated conduct that was “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional” in telling a fifth patient that they could see each other socially.

He pleaded guilty in criminal court in 2013 to two counts of simple assault, after being initially charged with sexually assaulting six female patients. He had earlier pleaded not guilty to sexual assault in those two cases, and the charges relating to the other four women were withdrawn by the Crown.

Peirovy was given a conditional discharge and 18 months’ probation and was ordered by the court to take counselling.

He is at low risk to reoffend and can practise on female patients safely in the presence of a female chaperone who must also be a health professional, found the four-member discipline panel, chaired by former CPSO president Dr. Marc Gabel, along with Drs. John Watts and Robert Sheppard and community member Diane Doherty.

“To me, any physician who has deliberately sexually abused his patients should be subject to revocation. Full stop,” said medical malpractice lawyer Paul Harte.

Gabel declined to comment through CPSO spokeswoman Kathryn Clarke.

“Decisions of the discipline committee stand on their own and reasons for the decision are provided in detail,” she said.

Evidence presented at Peirovy’s penalty hearing showed that “he is sincerely embarrassed at and ashamed of his actions, and that he never wants this to happen again,” the panel wrote in its 16-page decision.

The members placed “substantive weight” on the expert evidence of a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Rootenberg, who is identified only as “Dr. M” in the decision.

He found Peirovy is at a low risk to reoffend and he’s “worked hard to understand his inappropriate behaviour” by also working with a medical professional who specializes in boundary issues.

The committee accepted Dr. M’s evidence that Peirovy can improve through professional training and counselling.

“The rehabilitative needs of Dr. Peirovy have been addressed. Specific and general deterrence have also been served,” the panel wrote, also ordering Peirovy to pay $35,000 in costs.

“The penalty, in the view of the committee, is consistent with similar penalties previously imposed by the discipline committee in similar cases.”

The College has taken some action since the Star’s 2013 investigation. It now posts more disciplinary information about doctors on its website, including whether physicians are facing criminal charges, and has said it will consider sharing more information with police.

OTHER CASES

Sammy Sliwin

The prominent Toronto plastic surgeon lost his licence last year after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of professional misconduct for having sex with a patient who was also his lover. He is appealing his revocation to Divisional Court, arguing that it violates his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He is still practising pending that appeal.

Bruce Minnes

The former Hospital for Sick Children emergency room pediatrician lost his licence last year after he was found to have engaged in “very instrusive and coercive sexual activities” with a 17-year-old girl who was not his patient. His behaviour was “manipulative” and “predatory,” concluded a disciplinary panel. The incident took place at a summer camp when the girl was a camp counsellor and he was the camp physician. Minnes lost his appeal in Divisional Court.

Sharif Tadros

The Burlington doctor was found to have sexually abused three of his patients and pressured them to drop complaints against him. He groomed the three over a 20-year period for sex, and two ended up with depression and anxiety, according to an agreed statement of fact filed at his discipline hearing.

Eleazar Noriega

The Toronto pediatrician lost his licence last year after the discipline committee found he engaged in “sexual impropriety” with a patient in January 1979. The panel found he subjected the teenaged patient to “protracted sexual stimulation with him” at a health clinic. She only came forward in 2008 after seeing his name on television in relation to other professional misconduct allegations.

Submit News to CKA News Airstrikes kill at least 60 in Syria?s Aleppo city, MSF-backed Al-Quds hospital hit
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:01:58 EDT

BEIRUT—A wave of airstrikes and shelling killed more than 60 people in less than 24 hours in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, monitors and activists said Thursday. The contested city is now one of the main battlegrounds of Syria’s devastating civil war, with a ceasefire that has collapsed and peace talks in Geneva stalled.

At least 27 people died as a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and nearby buildings were hit overnight in the rebel-held part of Aleppo.

The UN envoy for Syria appealed early Thursday on the U.S. and Russia to help revive the peace talks and a ceasefire, which he said “hangs by a thread.”

However, the violence only escalated. New airstrikes Thursday in residential areas in the rebel-held part of the city killed at least 20 while state media reported that at least 1,000 mortars and rockets were fired at government-held areas of Aleppo, killing at least 14 civilians.

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush blamed the government of President Bashar Assad for the violence. He told The Associated Press that it shows “the environment is not conducive to any political action.”

About 200 civilians have been killed in the past week, nearly half of them around Aleppo. There has also been shelling in Damascus, along with a car bombing — both rarities for the capital. The ICRC said the fighting, including the destruction in airstrikes overnight of a key hospital in Aleppo, is putting millions at grave risk.

With peace talks in Geneva completely deadlocked, Syrians are regarding the escalating bloodshed with dread, fearing that Aleppo is likely to be the focus of the next phase of the war.

Rebel commanders said government forces have been mobilizing soldiers, equipment and ammunition in preparation for a military action in Aleppo.

The well-known Al-Quds field hospital supported by MSF and ICRC and located in the rebel-held district of Sukkari was hit shortly before midnight Wednesday, according to opposition activists and rescue workers. Six hospital staff and three children were among the 27 who died there.

The Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer first-responders agency whose members went to the scene of the attack, put the death toll at 30 and said the dead included six hospital staff. Among those slain was one of the last pediatricians remaining in opposition-held areas of the contested city and a dentist.

The defence agency, also known as the White Helmets, said the hospital and adjacent buildings were struck in four consecutive airstrikes. It said there were still victims buried under the rubble and that the rescue work continued. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three children were among the 27 victims but it was not immediately clear if they were patients at the hospital.

MSF said in a statement that at least 14 patients and staff were among those killed, with the toll expected to rise. “Destroyed MSF-supported hospital in Aleppo was well known locally and hit by direct airstrike,” it said.

“This devastating attack has destroyed a vital hospital in Aleppo, and the main referral centre for pediatric care in the area,” said Muskilda Zancada, MSF head of Syria mission. “Where is the outrage among those with the power and obligation to stop this carnage?”

The 34-bed, multi-storey hospital had an emergency room and offered services such as obstetric care, outpatient and inpatient treatment. It had an intensive care unit and an operating theatre. Eight doctors and 28 nurses worked full time in the hospital, the MSF said. It has supported the hospital since 2012, the aid group said.

An unnamed Syrian military official quoted on state TV denied reports that the hospital was targeting, saying they were false.

A video posted online by the White Helmets showed a number of lifeless bodies, including those of children, being pulled out from a building and loaded into ambulances amid screaming and wailing. It also showed distraught rescue workers trying to keep onlookers away from the scene, apparently fearing more airstrikes.

Shortly after midday, new airstrikes in rebel-held areas killed at least 20 people in two neighbourhoods, the Syrian Civil Defence and the Observatory said.

Videos provided by activists show scenes of dust rising up from buildings on fire as men and women run away from collapsing houses and children cry, looking for their parents. In one clip, a man is seen lifting his daughter out of the rubble.

State media said at least 1,300 rockets and missiles fell in residential areas in government controlled parts of the city, killing 14 people on Thursday.

Alloush, who was one of the leading negotiators of the opposition in the Geneva talks, described the airstrikes as one of the latest “war crimes” of Assad’s government.

“Whoever carries out these massacres needs a war tribunal and a court of justice to be tried for his crimes. He does not need a negotiating table,” Alloush told the AP in a telephone interview. “Now, the environment is not conducive for any political action.”

Submit News to CKA News Ex-deputy police chief Peter Sloly joins Deloitte
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:46:10 EDT

Peter Sloly, Toronto’s former deputy police chief, has joined consulting giant Deloitte Canada.

The firm released a statement Thursday morning announcing Sloly’s hiring.

“(Sloly)’s a proven leader and out-of-the-box thinker, so we’re excited to bring him on board,” said Deloitte’s Regional Managing Partner Ryan Brain.

“His impressive experience will serve our clients well, particularly as they face business challenges relating to cyber security, crisis response and digital media.”

In the same release, Sloly said he was proud to join the firm, calling it a “strong match” for him.

“I’ve said I wouldn’t pursue a job that didn’t allow me to stay true to my values and community, be a thought leader asking the tough questions, or mentor younger generations,” he said.

Deloitte said Sloly will serve as an advisor on “risk and forensic practices” projects, and advise on the issues of diversity and inclusion.

Sloly spent over 25 years with the Toronto police. He was passed over last April for the top job in favour of Mark Saunders.

He resigned his post as deputy chief in February, after publicly saying the Toronto Police Service needed to be overhauled.

“We run around all over the city in the most unfocused way, reacting to what you call us for, as opposed to trying to understand what’s going on and . . . putting our most important resources in the best place,” he said.

Submit News to CKA News Delta places $5.6B order for Bombardier CSeries passenger jets
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:13:04 EDT

Delta Air Lines Inc., the second biggest U.S. carrier, has placed an order of up to 125 CSeries jets, giving Bombardier Inc. a much needed stamp of approval for its struggling new program.

The agreement includes 75 firm orders of the CS100 aircraft, the smaller version, but with options for another 50 planes that can be converted to the larger CS300 plane.

Based on list prices, the firm order is worth $5.6 billion (U.S.), although analysts have speculated that Bombardier is offering Delta a steep discount, probably more than half off.

But for Bombardier, the key was winning a big firm order from a well-known U.S. carrier, in the hopes the order will spur others to look at the all-new, fuel-efficient jet that seats 100 to 150 passengers.

The CSeries program is two years behind schedule and has incurred about $2 billion (U.S.) in cost overruns, with few orders from big-name airlines.

As airlines refurbish aging fleets, Bombardier has repeatedly lost out to Boeing and Airbus for orders.

“This is an extremely important win for Bombardier and comes despite what was likely aggressive price discounting by its competitors,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin in a note to investors.

He noted that the order is large, given other firm orders have averaged only 16 planes.

“The status of Delta as one of the world’s preeminent airlines will provide a much needed boost to the long-term viability of the CSeries aircraft and will likely help pave the way to follow-on orders from both small and larger airlines alike,” Spracklin said.

The order news came as Bombardier reported mixed first quarter results. Revenues were $3.9 billion (U.S.), down from $4.4 billion a year earlier. It reported an adjusted EPS or loss of 3 cents per share, which met consensus estimates.

With the Delta order, which will be formally unveiled at a joint news conference in Montreal Thursday morning, Bombardier has 325 firm CSeries orders, meeting its internal target of 300 firm orders by entry into service.

Swiss Air Lines, a division of Lufthansa Airlines, will begin operating the first CS100 plane in mid-July in Europe.

The Delta order will also raise questions about whether struggling Bombardier still needs financial assistance from the federal government, which has been weighing for months a request for $1 billion (U.S.).

That’s the same amount that the Quebec government offered up in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the CSeries program. At the same time, the Caisse de dépôt et placements put up $1.5 billion (U.S.) in exchange for a 30 per cent stake in the train division.

During a conference call with analysts, Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said the CSeries program does not depend on Ottawa coming up with cash.

“We have done the plan using a conservative approach. It does not include any support or investment from the federal government,” Bellemare said. “What it would do is it would add additional financial flexibility and also preserve the ability to keep investing in aviation in the future.”

That prompted more questions on whether Bombardier would consider building an even bigger variant – a CS500 – that would make it more competitive as airlines want to squeeze more passengers onto planes.

“Clearly, that’s not in the cards today,” Bellemare said, adding the company is zooming in on existing programs, the CS100 and CS300 jets. “For the time being that’s where the focus is.”

Air Canada has signed a letter of intent for 45 CSeries jets, with an option to buy 30 more planes, with the deal expected to be firmed up shortly.

Bombardier’s train division has also been struggling, with big delays in delivering streetcars to the Toronto Transit Commission. The transit system ordered 204 new streetcars, but Bombardier is way behind schedule, announcing this week that it won’t meet promised deliveries again.

Its revised schedule had called for four streetcars a month, starting this month, but it now says it will only deliver 13 additional units this year.

So far, there are only 17 new, low-floor accessible streetcars in operation, three delivered since January.

The original schedule called for 73 streetcars by the end of last year.

Bombardier says it will use a second manufacturing plant in La Pocatière, Que., along with an additional assembly line in an unspecified location to help with production that is currently being completed in Thunder Bay.

Bombardier has also faced complaints from other customers including for Germany’s Deutsche Bahn intercity service and a train-signalling contract for the London Underground.

“We are not pleased with the performance that we have on some of these projects, and we are addressing that,” Bellemare said, noting that Laurent Troger was appointed president of Bombardier Transportation in December.

“He has already made some significant leadership changes on his team,” he said. “We are increasing focus on operational excellence and better project management. We recognize the issues. We are committed to fixing it.”

Submit News to CKA News How Shia LaBeouf became a walking punchline: Menon
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:00:00 EDT

Are you a dead ringer for Shia LaBeouf?

Be careful out there. You might want to buy a goalie mask. Or hire a bodyguard. Maybe expand your social group to include a police sketch artist. You know, just in case a stranger punches you in the face.

Just ask Mario Licato. While exiting a New York subway station this week, the LaBeouf doppelganger was cold-cocked by an unknown assailant. His glasses were shattered. His face was bloodied. Paramedics were called.

“I didn’t even see the guy,” Licato told Gothamist. “I just see his fist coming towards me. It knocked me, and while I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, ‘This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!’”

For the sin of hangdog eyes and a hipster beard, he could’ve been murdered.

I suppose there’s a reason “fan” is derived from “fanatic.” Consider the mass outpouring of cray cray exhibited by Beyoncé loyalists who, fueled by a cryptic lyric about a mysterious side chick in Lemonade, launched a global jihad this week against “Becky with the good hair.”

(If you have no idea what any of that means, can we please be friends?)

The Beyhive — no, really, come over and we can read Albert Camus together — was at least acting in solidarity with their idol Beyoncé. I get that. Over the years, I’ve run afoul of various fan bases — Justin Bieber’s “Beliebers,” Britney Spears’ “Army,” Chris Brown’s “Team Breezy,” Donald Trump’s “Moonbat Nation” — but always understood the outrage was coming from a place of love.

These fans believed I had disrespected their idols and, as such, felt compelled to let me know I was an ugly moron with stupid-ass opinions who deserved to be trampled by bison. Fine. Nothing I haven’t heard before from my wife.

But what we have here, with this bizarre assault, is the opposite of unhinged love. It is pure hatred for a celebrity. The man who attacked Licato, who remains at large, loathes LaBeouf with such intensity, he’s injuring lookalikes.

This raises a question: what is Shia LaBeouf doing to incite acts of violence?

Coincidentally, an interview with LaBeouf was published this week in Complex. The magazine is calling it “one of the most unique interviews ever.” Why? LaBeouf, the executive producer of the new film LoveTrue, answers every question in verse.

Q: How, if at all, did this film relate to other projects you take on in film and other mediums?

A: “LoveTrue is quite metamodern

In that you are watching broken ironic people

Trying to find (and make) meaning.”

Good lord. Now I feel like punching someone in the face.

This is the problem, isn’t it? LaBeouf has become something of a curiosity in Hollywood, largely because he sees himself as an artist more than a celebrity. Nowadays, under the rules of fame, this is like a librarian who sees herself as a DJ.

It’s confusing. And confusion can lead to rage.

LaBeouf was on a leading man trajectory but ejected from the starship and parachuted into the jungles of direction, production and performance art. While he still acts, he also seems to be acting out against acting.

You could argue his entire life is now one big anti-celebrity piece.

LaBeouf turned heads at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 when his red carpet attire included a paper bag over his head that read, “I am not famous anymore.” Soon after, the paper bag was back when he performed #IAMSORRY, a Los Angeles exhibit in which visitors were encouraged to do something to him with supplied implements.

This perhaps was not terribly wise; LaBeouf later claimed a woman raped him.

Did the man who punched Licato this week know that woman? Probably not. But a team of psychiatrists and criminologists needs to conduct an urgent study to see if LaBeouf’s subsequent metamodern works are turning citizens into monsters.

When someone loves a celebrity, the biggest danger he poses is to himself. When someone hates a celebrity, we are all at risk. That guy who sucker-punched Licato could have missed and hit a bystander who doesn’t look like anyone famous.

And what happens if this inspires copycats? If someone who detests Kim Kardashian crosses paths with someone who resembles Kim Kardashian, will 911 light up with reports of slapping, scratching and screaming? Should a person who looks like Michael Strahan live in fear when passing someone in a Kelly Ripa T-shirt?

Maybe it’s not fair to blame LaBeouf for this disturbing trend. But after watching Transformers: Dark of The Moon, I’m blaming him for this and everything that’s wrong in the world. It’s all his fault, all of it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to tidy up and find my copy of The Stranger.

Seven reasons a person might really hate Shia LaBeouf

1. This person tuned into #Elevate and thought, “Why am I watching a celebrity gab in an elevator for 24 hours?”

2. This person streamed #AllMyMovies and suddenly realized he was watching a celebrity watch all of his movies.

3. This person has chronic nightmares about ironic facial hair.

4. This person is allergic to pretense.

5. This person suffered a teenage trauma during the TV run of Even Stevens.

6. This person is secretly in love with Isabel Lucas.

7. This person knows Shia LaBeouf

Submit News to CKA News Prescription drugs found with Prince?s body and in his house, reports say
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:24:24 EDT

Several news organizations are reporting that prescription drugs were discovered with Prince when he was found dead in his Paisley Park home.

ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, have reported that prescription painkillers were found on the 57-year-old Prince and in his home. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, also citing unnamed sources, reported that prescription pills were found but that it wasn’t clear whether they were prescribed to Prince.

Prince died April 21. Autopsy results aren’t expected for three to four weeks.

Several outlets also reported Minnesota investigators have asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for help.

Carver County Deputy Sheriff Jason Kamerud discounted those reports late Wednesday, saying the DEA “is not part of the investigation at this time.” A DEA spokesman in Chicago hasn’t responded to messages.

Submit News to CKA News Mississauga asks province to ban predatory door-to-door sales
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:47:38 EDT

After chasing away two men posing as provincial energy sector employees, a Mississauga councillor wants the Ontario government to step in and ban door-to-door sales of things such as furnaces, air conditioners and water filtration systems.

“This is about the people who come to the door who misrepresent themselves,” said Councillor Karen Ras, whose motion to ask the province for a sweeping ban of certain types of door-to-door sales passed unanimously at council Wednesday.

“I was home last fall with my two girls. Two big guys come into my vestibule area, so they're already kind of into my house.”

After they entered and said they were from the Ontario Energy Board, Ras said she had to “physically push them out” of her home.

They had told her they were there to inspect her equipment to make sure she was getting all the government energy credits that she was entitled to. Ras said it was all a ruse to sell her products at “exorbitant” rates, often locking unwitting consumers into misleading contracts for as much as $259 a month for the rental of packages such as hot water heaters, air conditioners and water filtration systems.

Ras said she used to work in the electricity sector, and when the door-to-door sales of gas and electricity contracts — which often weren't what they appeared to be — became a significant problem to consumers, the province banned such practices by the private sector.

Now, she said that ban needs to be expanded.

“That's not an issue any more, but what has become an issue is those folks or business people who sell H-Vac systems, water filtration systems, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and they pretend they're from the government.”

Ras has had to deal with her own constituents who have been duped.

“I've been dealing with a 90-year-old lady who's a resident of mine. Her son contacted me — she's a dementia sufferer.”

Two men came to the woman's door, acting as provincial energy sector employees and signed her up to an $80-a-month water filtration system contract for 10 years, Ras said. The elderly woman didn't even realize she could say no to the salespeople, whom she thought were with the government, Ras added.

“If you live in Mississauga, we have excellent water quality here — there's no real need for that.”

She said another resident in her ward who does not speak English as a first language was signed up for an air conditioner, a water heater and a water softener.

“Her monthly rental is $259 . . . a 10-year contract or the life of the equipment.”

Ras said the contracts are very difficult to get out of with steep buyout charges.

She said even if the province doesn't act on an outright ban she wants the issue to be addressed, perhaps with tougher legislation to prevent companies from behaving fraudulently.

Markham council also recently passed a motion similar to the one Ras successfully moved.

A campaign called StopTheKnocks was launched with the support of Ras, Markham councillors and residents in both municipalities who want to spread awareness across the province.

The initiative was launched as more than 100 charges under the Consumer Protection Act were laid this month against a company called the Ontario Energy Group and its director, Eugene Farber.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services said it has received a large number of consumer complaints and inquiries about the practices of the company.

The charges, which are before the court and haven't been proven, include using false, misleading or deceptive practices, failure to deliver a valid contract and failure to refund as required by the act.

Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti publicly stated earlier this month that he will consider the requested ban. The Star has asked the ministry for an update.

In the meantime the ministry warns consumers to check with it before entering into any type of contract for the delivery of energy or equipment.

“It's heartbreaking, it really is,” said Ras, describing what it's like to hear how helpless many of her most vulnerable constituents feel because their finances have been ruined by door-to-door energy businesses with predatory practices.

“If just a few people now know they can say no to these people at the door and not let them in, then you know, mission accomplished.”

Submit News to CKA News Moose Knuckles CEO confirms not all parkas made in Canada
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:46:00 EDT

The CEO of the Canadian Moose Knuckles apparel company said Wednesday that not all of its parkas are made in Canada, after the Competition Bureau filed an application to have them brought before a tribunal for falsely marketing the brand.

“We make some of our parkas in Canada and some in other countries,” said Ayal Twik, in an e-mail.

“The coats are clearly marked. One coat would say ‘made-in-Canada’ on the content label if it was made in Canada and another would say ‘made in Vietnam’ if it was made in Vietnam.

“I believe we are very clear on where our goods are made by putting in a country of origin tags on our coats, and listing them on our website. Many Canadian companies are proud to be Canadian and advertise that fact even if they do not make their goods in Canada,” wrote Twik.

Moose Knuckles winter coats retail on-line and in specialty stores for $600 and up.

The brand was in the news in November, when Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, wore one of its red-and-black plaid jackets in London.

“The Bureau is seeking an end to what it believes to be false or misleading ‘Made in Canada’ representations,” according to a release from the Competition Bureau.

The Moose Knuckles parkas are mostly manufactured in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia, according to the Bureau, which filed an application with the tribunal on Wednesday.

Only the finishing touches, such as adding the trim, zippers and snaps are done in Canada, according to the Bureau. The bureau is seeking a penalty of $4-million against the company and unspecified restitution for consumers.

The bureau launched an investigation following a complaint, spokesperson Phil Norris confirmed.

He would not say whether it was a consumer or a competitor.

The application will be considered by the Competition Tribunal, which is essentially a court for competition matters. Each side will present its case and evidence will be reviewed, said Norris. He could not say how long that might take.

“I just wish that the Competition Bureau would wait until after a trial before sending inflammatory and incorrect press releases. They should be proving their allegations before attempting to make a judgment in the court of public approval,” Twik said.

“Made in Canada” products typically command a premium domestically and internationally, said David Zeitsma, vice-president, management consulting at Jackman Reinvents.

“I think, domestically, saying ‘Made in Canada’ is trying to play to people’s desire to stay local, to support our own and take pride in Canada,” he said.

“Internationally Canada has a reputation. Canada stands for trustworthy, friendly, rugged – the good-standing neighbour that knows-the-outdoors kind of attitude.’”

When a “Made in Canada” claim turns out to be false, it undermines consumer confidence, said Zeitsma.

According to the bureau, a “Made in Canada” claim is unlikely to raise concerns if the last substantial transformation of the good occurred in Canada. As well, at least 51 per cent of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the good have been incurred in Canada. A third factor is that the “Made in Canada” representation is accompanied by a qualifying statement, such as “Made in Canada with imported parts” or “Made in Canada with domestic and imported parts.”

Submit News to CKA News Canadians put $40 billion in tax havens last year
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 20:51:07 EDT

Canadian corporations and individuals quadrupled the amount of money they transferred into tax havens last year, pouring almost $40 billion into the tropical islands and European duchies that shield funds from Canadian taxes, newly released statistics show.

It was one of the biggest years ever for “investment” in tax havens — more than four times greater than the $9 billion sent offshore in 2014. The total amount of wealth held in the 10 most popular tax havens now sits at $270 billion.

“The problem is bigger than it has ever been,” said Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness, which took foreign direct investment numbers from Statistics Canada to calculate the use of tax havens.

In 2015, $13 billion went to the Cayman Islands, $9 billion to Barbados, and nearly $8 billion to the Bahamas, according to the statistics. Money sent to Switzerland shot up by 58 per cent over the previous year.

“And you have to remember, this is just the money that’s been declared,” said Howlett.

The recent Panama Papers investigations carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Star have laid bare the shady world of offshore tax havens. Dozens of reports have detailed how illicit money mingles with cash kept out of the reach of tax collectors in a network of shell companies that hide their owners’ true identities.

Using international estimates, Howlett says there could be an additional $100 billion in Canadian money stashed in undeclared — and thus illegal — offshore bank accounts.

That money has been targeted by the Canada Revenue Agency, which has received a $444-million increase in federal funding over the next five years. The CRA has been instructed to beef up audits of “high risk” tax payers and conduct targeted crackdowns on known tax havens, starting with the Isle of Man.

But Howlett says these efforts will take years to bear fruit and they fail to tackle the money declared in official statistics. Unlike money stashed by individuals in tax havens to illegally evade paying Canadian taxes, declared money is put offshore by corporations seeking to legally reduce their tax bills.

“The upside is that there’s lots of money sitting there offshore that the government could get back and invest in public services,” Howlett said. “But this would require tightening corporate taxes, something the government hasn’t shown that it’s willing to do.”

Canada’s top two destinations for foreign direct investment are the United States and the United Kingdom. But rounding out the top five are three tax havens: Barbados, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.

“There might be a few resorts and golf courses (in those countries) but most of this money is not actually invested there,” said Howlett. “It goes through the tax haven and gets reinvested elsewhere. The returns on those investments are reported in places like Barbados, where there are hardly any taxes.”

Howlett says tax treaties exacerbate the problem. Canada has signed tax treaties with 92 countries, nine of which are considered tax havens.

“Tax treaties with tax havens do more harm than good,” said Howlett. “They actually facilitate use of tax havens because they allow the repatriation of profits tax free.”

Submit News to CKA News Parents were reckless, even in their love for son: DiManno
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:34:31 EDT

“Isn’t losing their child punishment enough?”

Many versions of that question have been posed on social media sympathetic to the parents of Ezekiel Stephan, a toddler who suffered a painful and avoidable death due to bacterial meningitis and lung infection.

Answer: No.

“There’s nothing in the world that will bring him back,” David Stephan told the Calgary Herald before the trial in which he and his wife — by all accounts devoted and loving parents— were convicted of failing to provide the necessaries of life. “What good could possibly come out of this? What could possibly be worse than the suffering we’ve endured for the past year?”

Answer: The needless death of a 19-month-old utterly dependant on his mother and father for proper care and urgent medical attention.

The “suffering” of David and Collet Stephan, while doubtless deep and genuine, was not remotely the core issue when jurors — some of them weeping — delivered their guilty verdict in a Lethbridge courtroom Tuesday.

We’ve seen misplaced compassion overwhelm juries before. I recall a distraught mother acquitted in Toronto years ago, even after leading police to the rock where her baby had been buried, a location she testified had come to her in a dream.

Nobody believed the accused. But she was so palpably suffering.

Too often, except in rare cases of stranger abduction and murder, implicated parents are given a soft comeuppance because they didn’t mean to cause death. This is a terrible indictment of societies that place such a low value on the lives of helpless children who’ve been poorly parented in the ways that count most — not because their kids lacked loving but because they were treated as possessions and had disastrously wrong decisions made on their behalf.

So we don’t charge them with murder. We don’t charge them with manslaughter. We charge them with failure to provide the necessities of life — a niche offence.

You can’t just get past it by expressing anguished regret. Courts are duty-bound to hold perpetrators accountable, to convey collective denunciation and to render decisions that serve to deter.

Yet on his Facebook page, after the trial opened seven weeks ago, David Stephan continued to portray himself as a persecuted victim of Big Pharma and the prosecution’s “vaccine agenda.”

“Since this court case has begun,” he wrote on March 8, “there has been a great deal of opposition and outright malicious attacks from various organizations” — some with pharmaceutical interests and others just having a strong opposing agenda.

Authorities, he charged, were “looking to create a legal precedent through the court system that when a child falls ill, parents who choose not to vaccinate have a greater onus to seek mainstream medical attention sooner than parents that do not vaccinate, and if any harm befalls the non-vaccinated child from an illness that there was a vaccine for, the parents can be held criminally liable.”

I should damn well hope so.

David and Collet Stephan did not seek conventional medical help until it was far too late, cleaving to their stubborn faith in homeopathic remedies, calling for an ambulance only when their gravely ailing boy stopped breathing.

Though he was revived at a local hospital, then airlifted to Calgary, Ezekiel by that point had experienced “devastating” swelling of the brain, a pediatrician testified, and had less than a one per cent chance of surviving. Five days later he was taken off life support.

Had the youngster been treated with antibiotics when symptoms first appeared, it’s likely he would have recovered. That is the gift of modern medicine — efficacy of treatment that has largely eradicated the possibility of a fatal outcome from childhood diseases such as measles, whooping cough, polio and meningitis.

What’s alarming is the rise of a global grassroots movement against vaccinations, which has put all children at risk from contracted illness — unscientific faith in herbal remedies, “holistic” treatment, naturopathy, traditional faith-healing and flat-out quackery.

Adults can obviously make that decision for themselves; submit to all the colon-cleansing, natural substances, transfusion-averse therapies preferred. But withholding from children conventional treatment known to be life-saving is abhorrent, criminal and must be condemned. Standard of care is set by criminal law.

When Ezekiel became ill in March 2012, his parents believed the boy had either croup or flu. Fair enough. Kids come down with all manner of ailments that don’t merit a trip to the doctor’s office, though most parents would err on the side of caution.

The Stephans treated Ezekiel for more than two weeks with homemade concoctions including hot pepper, horseradish and garlic remedies. The boy was also put on something called EMPowerplus, which his father described on Facebook as “the most powerful daily supplement in the world.”

Sounds very much, distastefully so, like an advertising testimonial. A supplement produced and sold through Stephan’s faith-inspired family-run company, TrueHope.

The company’s website provides its history. The Reader’s Digest version: Anthony Stephan, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Alberta, was out of town on a business trip when his wife, who had been diagnosed with bipolar-affective disorder, committed suicide. After two of their 10 children were diagnosed with the same condition, Anthony, David’s father, and a friend devised a nutritional supplement, TrueHope, that they claimed proved so effective his sons were able to quit their prescribed medications.

In 2004, Health Canada pressed charges against TrueHope, asserting the company did not have scientific evidence to backs its claims. The company ultimately won its case.

Hence the “persecution.” Hence David Stephan’s TrueHope religion.

Over several weeks, Ezekiel’s condition waxed and waned. A family friend who is a nurse suggested he might have meningitis. The family consulted a local naturopathic clinic for direction and were prescribed an echinacea tincture, commonly used to treat cold, flu and infections. A clinic employee testified the parents were also urged to seek medical attention.

When the parents picked up the echinacea, their son’s body was so stiff he couldn’t be strapped into his car seat, according to an interview they gave to the RCMP that was played in court. They resorted to putting a mattress in the back of the vehicle to travel to the clinic.

A few days later, Ezekiel “crashed,” Collet Stephan told the RCMP: “All of a sudden his breathing wasn’t normal.”

They called 9-1-1 and performed CPR as they drove to meet the ambulance. “He was blue by the time we met up with the ambulance,” Collet says on the recording.

Doctors testified the child had already suffered catastrophic cardiac arrest.

Dead of bacterial meningitis and empyema (pus in the lungs) —two conditions routinely cured with antibiotics.

It took less than two days for the jury to return its guilty verdict against David and Collet Stephan, parents to three more sons.

Outside court afterwards, Crown prosecutor Lisa Welch said: “They definitely, definitely loved their son, but as stated in our closing arguments, unfortunately sometimes love just isn’t enough.”

They loved him imprudently, dogmatically. And so they loved Ezekiel to preventable death.

Maximum sentence, which they won’t get, is five years. A sentencing date has yet to be set.

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


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