Washington: Facing growing accusations of racism for his incendiary tweets, President Donald Trump lashed out at his critics Monday and sought to deflect the criticism by labelling a leading black congressman as himself racist. In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, Trump said his weekend comments referring to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Instead, Trump argued, “if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess.” “His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” Trump tweeted Sunday. After a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the son of former sharecroppers who rose to become the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump expanded his attacks Monday to include a prominent Cummings defender, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who held a press conference in Baltimore to condemn the president. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score,” Trump tweeted ahead of the press conference, adding that the civil rights activist and MSNBC host “Hates Whites & Cops!” Sharpton fired back at the president in a tweet of his own, saying, “I do make trouble for bigots.” Trump later shifted focus back to Baltimore, claiming that “Billions of dollars have been pumped in” to the city. “The money was stolen or wasted,” Trump tweeted. “Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!” Earlier Monday, Trump convened a group of “wonderful Inner City Pastors” for an unannounced closed-door meeting to discuss the issues facing the black community Monday. “This country needs healing. There’s so much division in America along racial lines,” said Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, who said he was among about 20 pastors who had met with the president. “He wanted to know from us: What should he do in America? What best can he do?” Owens said of Trump, insisting the gathering “was not damage control.” Asked by a reporter whether he thought Trump was racist, Owens said he found that “hard to believe,” but said the president could do more to address racism in the country, “absolutely.” Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and a longtime Trump supporter, also noted Trump’s longtime relationships with Sharpton and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. “These are his brothers,” King said. Trump appeared to dig a deeper hole even as a top White House aide sought to dismiss the controversy by describing Trump’s comments as hyperbole. Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of colour as he looked to stoke racial divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election. Trump noted that Democratic presidential contender and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had “recently equated” parts of Baltimore to a “third world country” in 2015 comments. “I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard,” Trump tweeted Monday. Sanders tweeted back that “Trump’s lies and racism never end. While I have been fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care, he has been attacking workers and the poor.” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, on Monday called the president’s comments “just outrageous and inappropriate.” Hogan, the new chairman of the National Governors Association, said he recently gave an address at the NGA about the angry and divisive politics that “are literally tearing America apart.” “I think enough is enough,” Hogan said on the C4 Radio Show in Baltimore. “I mean, people are just completely fed up with this kind of nonsense, and why are we not focused on solving the problems and getting to work instead of who’s tweeting what, and who’s calling who what kind of names. I mean, it’s just absurd.” Michael Steele, the state’s former lieutenant governor who went on to serve as the national chairman of the Republican National Committee, said it was “reprehensible to talk about the city the way” Trump did, but he hoped the attention would elevate the conversation about how to help urban areas, and he invited the president to be a part of the conversation. “Put down the cellphone and the tweeting and come walk the streets in this community so that you can see firsthand the good and the difficult that needs to be addressed, and let’s do it together,” Steele told the radio show. Speaking in television interviews on Sunday, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was reacting in frustration to the Democrats’ unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment. He said Trump swung hard at Cummings and his Baltimore district because he believes such Capitol Hill critics are neglecting serious problems back home in their zeal to unfairly undermine his presidency. “I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” Mulvaney said. But he added, “The president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It’s how he’s done it in the past, and he’ll continue to do it in the future.” The president has tried to put racial polarization at the center of his appeal to his base of voters, tapping into anxieties about demographic and cultural changes
OTTAWA – When is an “architect” not an architect?That question, which spurred many a conversation this week on Parliament Hill, was far from funny to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who sought forgiveness from veterans and MPs for falsely claiming to have filled such a role in a major military operation.Sajjan admitted he overstepped — the opposition says he “lied” — when he boasted recently that he was the mastermind of Operation Medusa, a controversial and bloody Canadian-led military mission in Afghanistan in 2006.Justin Trudeau strenuously defended his defence minister in the House of Commons, then left it to Sajjan to weather the storm.If Trudeau was upset by the controversy, he didn’t show it on May 4, also known as Star Wars Day (‘May the 4th,’ get it?), when the notoriously nerdy PM showed up to meet his Irish counterpart wearing colourful chaussettes featuring C3PO and R2D2.But the week wasn’t all military bickering and mismatched sock banter — substantive discussions took place on defence spending, controlling greenhouse gas emissions and the destabilizing effects of the Toronto housing market.Here are three ways federal politics touched us this week:DEFENCE SPENDINGWhen pressure to resign has a cabinet minister squirming in his seat every day during question period, it’s time for a government to “change the channel” and distract the media and the public by making big, unrelated news.Sajjan did so Wednesday by offering a sneak peek at a forthcoming blueprint for overhauling the country’s defence policy. Months of analysis found previous governments had starved many core defence programs of basic funding, leaving the Forces unable to carry out their daily jobs with confidence, he told a defence-industry gathering.Sajjan has not said yet how the government plans to fill this funding “hole.” The needs, in some cases, appear to be immediate. But his funding rhetoric suggests the government is looking at long-term funding that won’t put a dent in the fiscal framework.The policy review, expected later this month, will likely provide some answers — and also discuss how the government plans to deal with the perennial problems of crumbling ships and fighter jets, and the election promise to bolster peacekeeping efforts.CARS ON THE ROAD TO PARISNumber crunching this week shows that even if Canadians took every car they own off the road, the country would still not be anywhere close to reaching the emissions targets the Trudeau government agreed to in Paris last year.The feds committed to cutting emissions to 523 million tonnes a year by 2030. In 2015, however, the level was 722 million tonnes — down just 0.7 per cent from a year earlier.Getting to 523 would require dramatic change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna points to Ottawa’s climate change accord with the provinces as a catalyst for meaningful reductions. Boosts for public transit, clean technology and carbon sinks, along with getting rid of coal-fired electricity, could provide the rest.Others say meeting Canada’s targets will be next to impossible as long as new pipelines are encouraging oil production, some provinces cling to coal, and the cross-country effort remains too feeble to reach 200 million extra tonnes a year.HOMES AND INSTABILITYThe Bank of Canada and successive finance ministers have warned for years about overheated housing markets in Canada’s largest cities. A bursting bubble, they warned, would destroy wealth in Canada’s key urban economies, spook investors and destabilize financial institutions.Now, Home Capital, a Toronto-based alternative mortgage lender, has run into substantial trouble and has had to arrange for a high-priced $2-billion lifeline from a pension fund in order to maintain liquidity.The jitters around that institution and the housing market in general are taking a toll on the Canadian dollar. Many questions are swirling about whether Home Capital’s problems could spread. Bank shares are down, and Equitable Group Inc., a Home Capital competitor, is bracing for trouble.Finance Minister Bill Morneau, for his part, doesn’t seem worried.Morneau, who oversees regulators of the financial services sector. told the Commons that the system is working as it should, and that he sees no link between Home Capital’s problems and overheating in the housing market.
CALGARY – A popular Calgary playground has been forced to close for improvements because the sun is making metal slides too hot for kids to handle.Slides on the south-facing side of the playground are getting so heated that they reportedly singed a child.The play structure was opened just two years ago on St. Patrick’s Island, but now it’s closed for the $100,000 renovation.Shades had been installed to keep the metal cool, but they ended up being used as hammocks.The facelift will focus on adding more shade, more seating and additional bike racks.The metal slides are to be replaced with concrete ones in a new location.“The reality is sometimes you get these things wrong, and that’s OK. The issue is to address it and tell the public what it is you are doing,” said Susan Veres with the Calgary Municipal Land Corp.“Because of the volume of people that use that park, concrete is more durable and we won’t have to worry about hot slides.”The cost of renovating the playground is to be covered by taxpayers in the neighbourhood.The revamped park is set to open June 3.(CTV Calgary)
CALGARY – Alberta’s Oil Sands Advisory Group is recommending a series of escalating measures including financial penalties and potentially halting projects to ensure greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands remain within a mandated 100-megatonne limit.As a first step, the report recommends steps that will reduce future emissions including using better technology, setting out emissions plans, and improved regulations.The oilsands currently emit about 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gases. The group of 18 advisers suggests that when they hit 80 and 90 megatonnes there should be reviews of the system and how facilities might be affected as emissions approach the cap.It also recommends establishing annual and 10-year forecasts, with more reviews triggered when the cap is expected to be hit in five years.When the cap is expected to be hit within a year, the report says high-intensity emitters could be forced to reduce emissions or face penalties and the government could suspend projects that haven’t started construction.The Alberta government says it will now review the consensus advice from the group and begin stakeholder consultations.
Six stories in the news for Friday, June 30———NDP TO FORM MINORITY GOVERNMENT IN B.C.The NDP will form a minority government in British Columbia after the Liberals were defeated Thursday in a non-confidence vote, sending them to the Opposition benches for the first time in 16 years. Premier-designate John Horgan emerged from a meeting with Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon to say he was asked to form a government after reaching a deal with the Green party on a legislative agenda.———PROTEST TEEPEE ON PARLIAMENT HILL MOVED AGAINAn indigenous demonstration teepee was moved onto Parliament Hill Thursday evening close to the main Canada Day stage through a compromise worked out with authorities. The teepee had been erected on a slope near the eastern entrance to the Hill the previous night after attempts to place it close to the Parliament buildings were thwarted by police. The teepee is a centrepiece of a four-day Canada Day protest.———CANADIANS ABROAD CELEBRATING CANADA 150Many Canadians expats or those who can’t be at home for Canada 150 Saturday will have a chance to celebrate Saturday. Canada’s High Commission in London is throwing a Canada Day party in Trafalgar Square, including a performance by Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq. Similar parties are also being held in cities across the world, many of them organized by expats. Hundreds are expected to pack Hollywood’s Hard Rock Cafe for what organizers are billing as the largest Canada Day celebration in Los Angeles history.———ROYAL TOUR ROLLS INTO EASTERN ONTARIOPrince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will visit eastern Ontario today as they continue a royal tour. Their day will include meeting members of the military at CFB Trenton and honouring soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan. The royal couple arrived in Iqaliut on Thursday and will be in Ottawa on Saturday for Canada Day festivities.———SENTENCING ARGUMENTS TODAY IN POLYGAMY TRIALSentencing arguments will be held today for two people convicted of taking a girl into the U.S. to marry the leader of their polygamous sect. A B.C. judge earlier found Brandon Blackmore and Gail Blackmore guilty of taking a 13-year-old girl across the border for a sexual purpose. Records show she was married to Warren Jeffs, 61, who is now serving life in a U.S. prison.———STAMPEDE BAROMETER OF ALBERTA’S ECONOMYThe Calgary Stampede will be watched again next week for more than its parade, rodeo and chuckwagon races. The event is considered a barometer of the health of the energy industry. Stampede spokesman Larry Lalonde said about 3,500 temporary employees have been added to 1,500 permanent staff, about the same as last year. Corporations that kept their events going last year say they will party again this year while keeping a close eye on costs.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Statistics Canada will release the latest data on gross domestic product by industry and industrial product and raw materials price indexes.— The Bank of Canada will release the summer issues of the Business Outlook Survey and the Senior Loan Officer Survey.— The Ontario Human Rights Commission will release its 2016-2017 Annual Report.
TORONTO – Three Toronto police officers have been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague on a night of heavy drinking after an Ontario judge said the woman’s testimony was “fraught with problems.”Justice Anne Molloy told a Toronto court Wednesday she “looked in vain for corroboration” of the woman’s version of events on Jan. 17, 2015, but couldn’t find any evidence to support her account.Leslie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and Sameer Kara had pleaded not guilty to a charge each of sexual assault. All three hugged supporters after the verdict was handed down. The complainant was not in court.Nyznik, the only accused to testify, said during the trial that it was the female colleague’s idea to return to a hotel room rented out by two of the accused where she instigated sex with all three men.The woman — a parking enforcement officer whose identity is protected by a publication ban — had testified she had several drinks during the course of the night and was unable to stop the men from having sex with her.“I was powerless, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t stop what was happening,” she testified.The judge said the case came down to the reliability and credibility of the woman, which she found lacking. There were many problems with the complainant’s evidence, Molloy said, finding some aspects “simply untrue.”“Given frailties of evidence I simply cannot be sure to make a finding of criminal guilt,” she said.Molloy said, however, that she didn’t necessarily believe Nyznik’s testimony, which “appeared to be scripted or rehearsed” and rang false at times. But the judge said she could not reject it as untruthful.Nyznik’s lawyer said outside court that his client looks forward to having his life back and going back to work.“Mr. Nyznik is very happy to finally have this process behind him,” Harry Black said. “He took the stand and he faced the allegations and he has answered them and he is now vindicated.”During trial, court heard Kara had invited the complainant to join in on a “rookie buy night” where rookie officers buy drinks for the veterans. The two, who worked out of the same division, had become friends, court heard.Kara and Nyznik booked a room at the Westin Harbour Castle that day and began drinking there that afternoon, court heard.Around 6 p.m., the three men went to CC Lounge and Whisky Bar with other officers, court heard. Shortly before 9 p.m., the female parking officer arrived at the bar. She wasn’t there long before the group moved to the nearby Pravda Vodka Bar.Court heard Kara was so drunk he had to be helped back to the hotel room around 10 p.m.The woman and Nyznik told court differing accounts of what happened after.The woman testified she walked with one of the accused to the Brass Rail, a strip club. She later conceded under cross examination she took a cab, blaming her memory lapses on intoxication. A police officer, who was with the accused and the woman, later told the court the group hailed a cab to the strip club.Around midnight, the woman ended up in a hotel room with the trio, periodically blacking out, she told the court. She testified she was at the whim of the three officers, all constables in a downtown Toronto division, who took turns having sex with her against her wishes.She testified that she believed she had been drugged, but she said she didn’t know when, where, how or by whom. The judge didn’t buy her version of events, comparing it to security video obtained from several bars and a downtown hotel.“Her evidence as to the symptoms she was experiencing is inconsistent with the objective video footage,” Molloy said. The judge also said the woman’s testimony that she was drugged was not plausible.Nyznik, meanwhile, said on the stand that the woman didn’t appear intoxicated during the night and instigated sex and oral sex with the officers at the hotel room.He said the woman surprised them when she entered the cab that was to take Nyznik and Cabero back to the hotel where Kara was sleeping.
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s Crown-owned utility has reached a settlement with insurers who underwrote an all-risk policy for refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station, which took three years longer than planned and cost a billion dollars more than budgeted.NB Power CEO Gaetan Thomas did not disclose the terms of the settlement Monday, citing a confidentiality agreement.However, he said the proceeds from settlement will allow the utility to seek a lower electricity rate increase “for all New Brunswickers.”In a 2018-19 rate application, the utility had asked the province’s Energy and Utilities Board to raise rates by about two per cent.NB Power wants to temporarily adjourn the rate hearings so it can assess the settlement.In January 2015, the province’s auditor general uncovered problems with the $2.4-billion project, saying the cost was reasonable — but NB Power might have lost opportunities to save money by using sole-source exemptions rather than seeking competitive bids.The utility later agreed with 10 recommendations from the auditor general, which included obtaining competitive bids for all significant engineering services.The refurbishment was aimed at extending the plant’s lifespan by at least another 25 years.The 660-megawatt station produces enough electricity to supply more than 333,000 homes.“NB Power is pleased to have resolved this matter and to be in a position to share the benefits of this settlement with our ratepayers,” Thomas said in a statement.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version put the cost at $2.4 million rather than billion.
OTTAWA – Canadian are becoming less aware of how to safely handle and prepare food to avoid food-borne illness and food poisoning, according to government-backed research.The findings from the report, which cost the government $126,449, point to an overall deterioration over the past eight years in Canadians’ confidence that they can protect themselves and their families from food-borne illness and food poisoning.A majority of seniors and pregnant women in the survey didn’t consider themselves to be at any greater risk from food poisoning, even though they are.The pollsters recommend the government gently target public awareness campaigns at those groups, among others, about how to properly handle food “without undermining the public’s confidence in agriculture or the agri-food industry, or Canada’s food safety system, which is reasonably good.”The results of the survey are based on responses from 1,201 respondents through telephone interviews, and 1,613 people through an online panel. All work was done between Dec. 14, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.A spokesman for Health Canada said the department will update its safe food handling advertising campaign based on the research report, as well as information from other sources.The Liberals introduced new food safety rules last month, just a few weeks after the research report was delivered to Health Canada. The regulations will come into force early next year, and will require companies to keep detailed records about the path food takes from producer to consumer.Federal officials believe that being able to trace food to its source could speed up the pace of recalls.Consultations on the regulations are open until Sept. 7.The survey provided to Health Canada in early May will now become the benchmark by which the government can measure the effects of public awareness efforts in the coming years, but also provide insight into how attitudes have changed since 2010.Each year, about one in eight Canadians — or four million people — are affected by a food-borne illness like norovirus, salmonella or listeria, leading to about 11,500 hospitalizations and some 240 deaths.Many small things can be done to avoid problems, but the survey found a broad lack of knowledge about washing reusable shopping bags, rinsing poultry before cooking, as well as properly storing, defrosting and cooking meat and seafood.More pregnant women and parents of young children in 2018 than in 2010 defrost meat or poultry at room temperature rather than in the fridge.And seniors are more likely to view food as safe to consume past the best-before date, aren’t aware of the proper temperature to leave a fridge — between 2 C and 4 C — and tend to believe frozen, breaded chicken products just need to be reheated rather than cooked through.“The results of this survey also suggest an ‘out of sight … out-of-mind’ tendency among the public with regards to safe food handling in general, food-borne illness and listeria in particular,” the report says.“In the absence of sustained messaging related to food safety, it is likely that consumer vigilance may lapse, especially with respect to specific food safety practices that have not yet become normalized or habitualized.”If the federal government wanted to increase food safety awareness with seniors — defined in the survey as anyone 60 and over — it should focus on consequences, said Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy with CARP, formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. She pointed to campaigns about falls that focus on the likelihood that not preventing them could lead seniors to live in long-term care homes.She suggested food safety authorities should try “tying in an awareness campaign of ‘do you want to save a few pennies and risk long-term care or death’. And the bigger fear is long-term care. In my experience people are more concerned with long-term care than they are about dying.”
CALGARY – The National Energy Board has named the panel that will conduct its reconsideration of the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project.The board has assigned Lyne Mercier, Alison Scott and Murray Lytle to the panel and has started the application-to-participate process.It is also seeking comment on the focus and design of the hearings.The deadline for applying to speak at the hearings is October 3rd.The federal government approved the Trans Mountain expansion project in November 2016, following a recommendation by the NEB. However the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the approval earlier this year, citing insufficient consultation with Indigenous communities and a failure to assess the environmental impact of additional oil-tanker traffic.Last week, the federal government ordered the NEB to go back and conduct a review of tanker traffic and issue its report no later than Feb. 22, 2019.The Trans Mountain pipeline was owned by Kinder Morgan Canada, but it was bought by Ottawa for $4.5 billion, hoping federal ownership would help overcome the obstacles stopping it from being built.
CALGARY — The Canadian Press asked the No Calgary Olympics and Yes Calgary 2026 organizations for five points in their arguments against and for the city bidding for the 2026 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Games.The ‘no’ side provided the following:— Calgary 2026 is not the right project for Calgary now. An Olympics won’t solve the city’s biggest problems, including 27-per-cent downtown office vacancy and rising property taxes.— Every deadline so far has been missed and costs have already increased just for the bid process. It’s not possible to host an Olympics without cost overruns.— Nostalgia is not a vision. 1988 was great, but nothing about 1988 is true today. The plan to update facilities and venues has same risk of cost overruns as new builds.— The International Olympic Committee’s interests are not Calgary’s interests. The IOC has total control, yet all of the risk is Calgary’s.— Calgary 2026’s rationale is ‘the Olympics is all we’ve got’ and ‘short-term jobs are better than nothing’. Voting ‘no’ says we believe in Calgary and its future.The ‘yes’ side provided the following:— Calgary 2026 is an investment in our community.— Calgary 2026 is an opportunity to get the infrastructure our communities needs and wants, for much less money.— Calgary 2026 will provide a legacy of sport and recreation opportunities for all Calgarians.— Calgary can have confidence in the Calgary 2026 budget.— Hosting the Paralympics is a new opportunity for Calgary, one that will help ensure barrier-free access around the city and to community facilities.The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — A McGill University science communication group is taking aim at a commonly available homeopathic flu remedy and questioning why pharmacies continue to sell what it calls “quack remedies.”A survey of 150 Montreal pharmacies conducted last month by the McGill Office for Science and Society found that two-thirds of them stocked Oscillococcinum despite the fact that the product “does not work (and) cannot work according to our scientific knowledge,” reads a publication on the office’s website.The product, which claims to shorten the duration of flu symptoms, was retailing for $37.99 for a box of 30 doses at a Montreal Jean Coutu pharmacy on Wednesday.Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic pill that is made by taking the heart and liver of a duck and diluting it until there is no trace left of the organs, according to Jonathan Jarry, a science communicator who helped conduct the study. Jarry, who has a master’s degree in molecular biology, said he decided to target Oscillococcinum in particular because he considers it the most “egregious” of homeopathic products on the market. “Nothing in homeopathy really makes any sense or is scientific, but this one because of its high dilution factor is particularly ridiculous,” he said.Homeopathy, which dates back to 1796, is based on the principle that “like cures like,” or the idea that a disease can be cured by ingesting a low dose of something that produces similar symptoms in a healthy person.Unlike other herbal or alternative medications, proponents of homeopathy believe that a product becomes more potent the more it is diluted — a principle Jarry says “violates basic laws of physics, biology and chemistry.”Jarry pointed to overseas studies, including a review of the scientific data on homeopathy published in 2015 by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, which concluded that “there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.”But Boiron Canada, the makers of Oscillococcinum, says doctors, pharmacists and patients have been recommending and using the product for decades because it works. The company provided links to two clinical trials, conducted in 1989 and 1998, which found that patients who were given the product recovered more quickly than those who ingested a placebo.“We fully support (pharmacies’) decision to respect every Canadian’s fundamental right to choose which products best suit their individual health needs, and we will continue to provide reliable options for consideration through our homeopathic medicines,” the company said in a statement.Jarry says homeopathic products are expensive and could lead people who purchase them to falsely delay seeking needed medical treatment. He questions why they are being sold by Quebec pharmacists, whose code of ethics requires them to protect the public by steering them towards effective treatment.A spokeswoman for the Quebec Order of Pharmacists acknowledged that homeopathic products have no “proven scientific value” but said it would be difficult to ban them because they’re regulated by Health Canada as a type of natural health product.Julie Villeneuve said some pharmacists choose to stock homeopathic products in order to start a dialogue with their clients, but they could face sanctions for promoting them.“Regardless of the school of thought to which he adheres, the code of ethics is clear: The pharmacist must practice pharmacy according to scientific data,” Villeneuve wrote in a statement.“Thus, considering the lack of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy, a pharmacist who encourages a patient to use such products by predicting benefits would be placed in a situation of disciplinary offence.”Some 8,500 homeopathic products are approved by Health Canada, which reviews them to ensure they are safe and “are supported by either scientific evidence or other references,” according to the department’s website.In 2015, Health Canada changed its labelling requirements for homeopathic cough, cold and flu products aimed at children 12 and under, stating that makers could no longer make specific health claims unless they’re supported by scientific evidence.Loblaws, the parent company of the Pharmaprix chain, said it prefers to allow patients to make their own choices, given that the products are popular and approved for sale.“Given that these products aren’t prescribed and present no danger to health, the pharmacists-owners of our network have no reason to ban them, especially since an important proportion of their clientele appreciates and requests them,” senior communications director Johanne Heroux said in a statement.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
SURREY, B.C. — The BC Prosecution Service says it won’t pursue a charge of uttering threats against the man who sparked a political firestorm when he attended an event during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state visit to India last year.The prosecution service says it has directed a stay of proceedings for Jaspal Atwal on a charge unrelated to Trudeau’s state visit.Atwal’s lawyer Marvin Stern said in May 2018 that a charge of uttering threats was laid against his client following an alleged argument in April.Atwal was convicted of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister during a visit to Vancouver Island in 1986, but has said he has since renounced terrorism.Critics said he should never have received an invitation to the state event in Mumbai, where he was photographed in February 2018 with Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.The prosecution service says the stay was directed in court on June 7 after it receiving new information and determined the charge approval standard could no longer be met.It says in a statement that the standard requires Crown counsel to consider whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and whether the public interest requires a prosecution.“As new information is received, Crown counsel continue to evaluate whether the evidentiary standard is met or the public interest continues to require a prosecution. If, at any stage, this standard is no longer met, the prosecution cannot proceed and a stay of proceedings is entered,” the service says.Reached by phone Monday, Atwal called the charge “bogus.”“I didn’t threaten him,” he said.Stern could not immediately be reached for comment but said last year the complainant in the case was a broadcaster at a Punjabi radio station and that Atwal would “vehemently deny” the alleged events.The Canadian Press
Quebec Premier Francois Legault has apologized to First Nations and Inuit peoples for long-standing discrimination in their dealings with the province.Legault made the formal public apology today at a sitting of the provincial legislature and said the government is ready to act on recommendations contained in a report issued this week.The apology was the first of 142 calls to action laid out by the Viens commission, which concluded that the province’s Indigenous communities suffered systemic discrimination.Legault called the findings in the report devastating and pledged that the Quebec government will work with Indigenous leaders to implement the recommendations.The Quebec government has convened a meeting of First Nations and Inuit leaders on Oct. 17 to discuss further action.The apology came as many Indigenous chiefs and leaders looked on from the visitors’ gallery of the national assembly’s legislative chamber.“I offer Quebec’s First Nations and Inuit members the most sincere apology from all of Quebec,” Legault said. “The state of Quebec has failed in its duty to you, and it asks you today for forgiveness.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2019.The Canadian Press
The 21st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish raised $6 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS.Sir Elton John speaks onstage during Chopard at 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing PartyCredit/Copyright: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ChopardThe gala, which took place on Sunday, February 24, at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, was co-sponsored by Chopard, Neuro Drinks, and Wells Fargo; American Airlines serves as the Foundation’s official sponsoring airline.Bono, actress Eve Hewson, Chairman and Founder of Neuro Diana Jenkins and singers Chris Brown and Asher Monroe attend Neuro at 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing PartyCredit/Copyright: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NeuroAttendees included Sir Elton John & David Furnish, Agnes Bruckner, Aisha Tyler, Andrew Rannells, Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, Ashley Fink, Benji Madden, Bernie Taupin, Billie Jean King, Bono, Britney Spears, Bryan Singer, Carmen Electra, Chace Crawford, Chad Michael Murray, Chelsea Handler, Chris Brown, Chris Colfer, Chris Cornell, Christa B. Allen, Colton Haynes, Dave Grohl, Dustin Lance Black, Emma Roberts, Emmy Rossum, Eric & Janet McCormack, Finola Hughes, George Takei, Heidi Klum, Ian Somerhalder, Jaime King, Jane Lynch, Jane Seymour, Jared Harris, JC Chasez, Academy Award winner Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jenna Elfman, Jennifer Coolidge, Jessica Lowndes, Jim Carrey, Joel Madden, John Ratzenberger, John Waters, Judy Greer, Karina Smirnoff, Katerina Graham, Kelly Osbourne, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kyle Maclachlan, Lucy Lawless, Lydia Hearst, Matthew Morrison, Mehcad Brooks, Melanie Brown, Mena Suvari, Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, Molly Sims, Naomi Campbell, Natalie Imbruglia, Nia Vardalos, Nicki Minaj, Nicole Richie, Nina Dobrev, Nina Garcia, Paul Wesley, Paz Vega, Peter Facinelli, Petra Nemcova, Quincy Jones, Rachel Griffiths, Randy Jackson, Rose McGowan, Russell Simmons, Ryan Kwanten, Sandra Lee, Sharon Stone, Skylar Grey, Steven Tyler, Terry Crews, Tim Allen, Topher Grace, Wilmer Valderrama, among others.David Furnish and Sir Elton John attend Chopard at 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing PartyCredit/Copyright: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ChopardGuests arrived at the Academy Awards Viewing Party for cocktails followed by a gala dinner and viewing of the 84th Academy Awards telecast. This year, Chef Gordon Ramsay, British celebrity chef, television personality, restaurateur, and holder of 14 Michelin stars, prepared an exquisite 5-course meal for guests that included chilled dungeness crab, braised beef short rib and sticky toffee pudding.The dinner was followed by a lively auction. Auction items included an iconic photograph of Faye Dunaway the morning after she won her Best Actress Oscar for “Network” by famed photographer Terry O’Neill that sold for $120,000; two sets of tickets to join Sir Elton John and David Furnish at the legendary Vanity Fair party that sold for $150,000 each; five days at Steven Tyler’s Hawaiian retreat that sold for $250,000. Sir Elton John also auctioned off four private performances by himself that went for $250,000 each, totaling $1 million. Following the auction, soulful Scottish songstress Emeli Sandé took the stage to perform several songs including hit song “Next to Me,” much to the crowd’s delight.In his remarks for the evening, EJAF Founder Sir Elton John celebrated the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, praising the extraordinary work of the early AIDS activists portrayed in the film and calling for a renewed emphasis on AIDS advocacy.“How to Survive a Plague tells the story of AIDS activism in the earliest and most terrifying years of the AIDS epidemic. But you know what? Today, that activism is needed now more than ever if we are to achieve the promise of an AIDS-free generation,” said Sir Elton. “Our Foundation is clear on what is needed, we’re vocal in standing for what we believe, and we invest in the work that needs to be done. And I promise you that we’ll keep on fighting until the politics and bureaucracies yield to reason and justice. I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to win.”
With only two weeks to go before the Sochi Olympic games, Russia’s stance on prohibiting so-called homosexual ‘propaganda’ remains a highly controversial issue. Sir Elton John has issued a statement on his impressions of the impact of this legislation.The Elton John AIDS Foundation has given over £1.3m to programmes in Russia since 2000.“I am deeply grateful for the support of the Russian people who have welcomed and accepted me in their country ever since I first visited in 1979,” said Sir Elton. “On my last visit, in December 2013, I wondered whether the new legislation banning “homosexual propaganda” might have changed that. It hadn’t. I still felt the same warmth and welcome from the audiences that I have felt every time I have been in Russia.“On that trip I met with members of the LGBT community in Moscow. Although I was still welcomed as an openly gay foreigner, I wanted to really understand at first-hand what difference the legislation had made to Russian LGBT in their own country. What I heard reinforced all the media stories that have been circling since the propaganda bill became federal law: that vicious homophobia has been legitimised by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people’s basic human rights.“The people I met in Moscow – gay men and lesbians in their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s – told me stories about receiving threats from vigilante groups who would ‘cure’ them of homosexuality by dousing them with urine or beating them up. One young man was stalked outside a gay club by someone posing as a taxi driver who tried to garrotte him with a guitar string because he was a ‘sodomite’. Everyone shared stories of verbal and physical abuse – at work, in bars and restaurants or in the street – since the legislation came into force last June. And, some of the vital work providing HIV prevention information to the gay community has been labelled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and shut down.“It was very clear to me that although foreigners like myself who are visiting Russia are not affected by this new law (and President Putin has recently confirmed this), it is a very different story for those living inside the country. As Maria Maksakova told her fellow Russian MPs last month: ’We are seeing extremely negative consequences as a result of this law, with the growth of hate crimes.”“President Putin asserts that this was not the intention, but it is undoubtedly the effect that this law has had by promoting misunderstanding and ignorance. In particular, it is very disappointing that the law explicitly links homosexuality with child sex abuse, which countless studies have shown to be conclusively wrong.“The people I met in Moscow were decent, kind, patriotic men and women who had no thought of forcing their sexuality on anyone. Whatever the intention of Russia’s homosexuality and paedophilia propaganda laws, I am absolutely clear from my own personal experience that it is proving deeply dangerous to the LGBT community and deeply divisive to Russian society. I would welcome the opportunity to introduce President Putin to some Russians who deserve to be heard, and who deserve to be treated in their own country with the same respect and warm welcome that I received on my last visit.”
City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, the non-profit Arts organization that has been reaching out to at-risk children for almost 30 years, is pleased to announce that Max Adler (Glee’s Dave Karofsky, Switched at Birth’s Miles Conroy) will kick off Fresh Focus 2014 – setting in motion two very different online auction websites (Bidding for Good and Charity Buzz) October 1st at noon.He will also kick off the in-person event at The Stagecoach Ranch, Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga, CA on Sunday October 19th from 2:30 pm to 5 pm.“As a young man starting out, I joined an amazing talented theater troupe and performed classical plays around Los Angeles,” says Adler. “Several of the troupe knew about Sherry and Bob Jason and City Hearts. I visited the program and saw for myself the amazing talent emerging from their Shakespeare program. I felt that if I could in any way help City Hearts and the hundreds of kids in Los Angeles who otherwise might never be exposed to Art or Shakespeare or Photography or Dancing, I could not help but get involved. As I watch these inner-city students become more confident, opinionated, and talkative – and see the light behind their eyes come back and their zest for life return, I know that they will take this into the world with them. It’s an amazing thing to witness.”Adler has channeled much of his City Hearts energy into his Anti-Bullying campaign. “Through my character on Glee, I have really analyzed bullying under a microscope, and have talked with many experts as well as people who have experienced bullying. City Hearts helps me to bring awareness to kids that it’s totally OK to be who you are and to be original. That if someone is bullying you, it’s because they have their own issues and insecurities. I see a dynamic change as young people go through the various City Hearts programs. Not only are they having an intense artistic learning experience, but they’re also becoming more confident in themselves and in their outlook for the future.”“It is important to me to keep this program alive and growing,” Adler adds. “That’s why I became involved in their yearly Fundraiser – Fresh Focus: The Story Behind the Shot I’ve seen the amazing photography that has been donated. I’m honored to be able to kick off their online auction and will be there to join with both the photographers and photography collectors at the event on October 19th. It promises to be a fun setting and a great afternoon. Most importantly, this is a way to really help and support City Hearts emotionally and financially, so that Sherry and Bob Jason and the wonderful people behind City Hearts can continue to help kids in these incredible Arts programs – and help change their lives for the better and forever.”After over 29 years of working tirelessly to bring the arts to at-risk children, Sherry Jason’s enthusiasm for her work is as fresh as the day, as a new lawyer, she heard a 13-year-old piano prodigy play Mozart by year. A 13-year-old who had just been convicted of murder. It was then that she and her husband Bob formulated the desire to reach at-risk children – before the damage was done. Today, City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts continues to provide free classes in photography, Shakespeare, Dance and Music to Skid Row, Inner City and at-greatest-risk children.For tickets, click here.
Witness a herculean lineup of Rock’s heavy hitters as Lucky Strike Live opens its doors for an All-Star Celebrity Jam benefiting Mending Kids – offering life-changing surgical care to children across the globe.Confirmed to take part are Johnny Depp & Bruce Witkin, Gene Simmons, Gilby Clarke [Guns N Roses], Nuno Bettencourt – [Extreme], Matt Starr – [Mr. Big]Steve Ferlazzo – [Music Director for Avril Lavigne] and more.And if you want to get really close, a charity auction is giving you the opportunity to get up on stage in front of 600 fans and introduce Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, Gene Simmons, one of rock’s all-time greatest legends! Enjoy incredible performances in true VIP fashion with all front of stage access, a private concierge to personally take care of your group, and complimentary food/cocktails for your group. Be sure to bring your favorite KISS memorabilia and camera, to meet Gene Simmons and take home a guitar signed by the legendary rock star himself. The auction can be accessed here.To find out more about this amazing concert event, click here. Mending Kids provides life-changing surgical care to children worldwide.
The TJ Martell Foundation for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research has announced its 2016 Women of Influence Awards which will be held Friday, May 13, 2016 at The Plaza Hotel, Terrace Room located at 768 5th Avenue in New York hosted by popular radio host and actress Robin Quivers.The popular annual awards and luncheon will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a reception and silent auction beginning earlier at 11:30 a.m. The awards celebration honors seven outstanding women who have achieved tremendous goals in business and inspire other women around the globe to live their dreams while balancing work, family, home and health. Grace Sewell, the popular female singer/songwriter hailing from Australia and known as Grace will perform at the event.Honorees include Ariane Duarte, Executive Chef and Owner at Ariane Kitchen and Bar and star of the hit television show Top Chef along with Debra Joester, President and Owner of The Joester Loria Group, the global licensing agency recognized for producing innovative, award-winning brand extension programs for some of the world’s best brands and Kristine Johnson, Co-Anchor of the CBS 5pm and 11pm News and Emmy Awards nominee. Also being honored is Dalia-Lamming Tilly, M.B.A., Comptroller for the Transport Workers Union Local 100, Nancy Lieberman, NBA Assistant Coach for the Sacramento Kings and Hall of Famer as well as a Two-Time Olympian, Ruby Marchand, Vice President of International Repertoire Development at Warner Music Group and Vice Chair of the Recording Academy and Sue Phillips, President and CEO of Scenterprises, the custom fragrance company.Tickets and more info can be found here.The Women of Influence Awards & Luncheon reception and silent auction will begin at 11:30 a.m. and last until 12:30 p.m. when the luncheon begins and the award presentations take place.
Breakfast will be served immediately following the keynote on the 3rd floor of TIFF Bell Lightbox.This session was designed for an industry professional audience. Facebook Politics and media tell us we’re living in a “post-truth” era. Instead of accepting that and pursuing increasingly personal fictions, what if Canadian filmmakers doubled down on true stories? What if our cinema confronted the secrets, betrayals, murder and resistance that happen all across Canada every day? For real. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Keynote address by TIFF Artistic Director, CAMERON BAILEYCameron Bailey is the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. He is responsible for the overall vision and execution of Festival programming, as well as maintaining relationships with the Canadian and international film industries. Toronto Life has named him one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People four years in a row. Born in London, Bailey grew up in England and Barbados before migrating to Canada. Before taking up his current position at TIFF, he was a Festival programmer for 11 years, and a writer and broadcaster on film. He has presented international cinema on Showcase Television’s national programme The Showcase Revue, and has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Village Voice, CineAction!, and Screen. Bailey has curated film series for Cinematheque Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Film Board of Canada, and Australia’s Sydney International Film Festival.FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND/OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS: CLICK HERE Advertisement Twitter
Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment It’s late afternoon in a warehouse near Inglewood and cast and crew of the modern-western sci-fi series Wynonna Earp are busy shooting a particularly dramatic scene.It is part of Season 2, which has been filming in Calgary and area since December and kicks off on the Space network on June 9. It’s surreal and claustrophobic and involves lots of shouted dialogue, sinister whispering and screaming. In fact, compared to the often playful, tongue-in-cheek tone of Wynonna Earp’s first season, this particular scene seems to be straying into horror-movie territory.Unfortunately, given that it will air near the end of the season, cast and crew are understandably cagey when it comes to explaining what is actually happening here. In fact, the preference is that we don’t mention the actor, character, setting or scenario involved. “Hey, I’m Wynonna, I got this,” says actress Melanie Scrofano, after a brief tete-a-tete with a producer about what she can and can’t reveal to a journalist visiting the set.OK, so what can we expect from Season 2?Long pause.“All the relationships that developed in Season 1 just get stronger and more complicated in Season 2 and I think that’s the strongest part of our story, the relationships,” says Scrofano, an Ottawa native who beat out hundreds to play the demon-fighting descendent of Wyatt Earp. “But there’s still tons of actions, there’s still tons of quips. It’s still really funny and we still don’t take ourselves very seriously. But there is a depth to the show that becomes apparent. What else can I say without spoiling?” Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitter