Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Sherbrooke Village SawmillFrolic, originally scheduled for Sunday July 25, will now takeplace on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. The event, which will be held at the MacDonald Brothers’ Sawmillon Sonora Road, will feature woodsmen’s competitions in variouschainsaw classifications, as well as axe throwing and spikedriving. The event is open to competition and hobby classparticipants and prizes will be awarded in each category. The St. Mary’s River punt boat building demonstration, originallyscheduled for Sunday Aug. 1 , will now take place this Sunday,July 25. -30-
La plus importante conférence sur le développement communautaire de la province aura lieu le mois prochain, et son programme inclut de nombreuses personnalités qui partageront leurs idées envers la création d’un avenir durable pour tous les Néo-Écossais. On prévoit la participation de trois cents dirigeants communautaires et représentants d’entreprises et d’organismes gouvernementaux à la conférence de Sydney, dont le programme comprend des conférenciers, des ateliers et des prix mettant l’accent sur le développement communautaire. L’objectif de l’événement est d’explorer des pratiques et projets communautaires fructueux et d’avoir l’occasion d’apprendre les uns des autres. Du 26 au 28 septembre, des délégués des quatre coins de la province se réuniront à la conférence et remise des prix Célébrons les collectivités. Justin Trudeau sera la vedette principale du dîner qui aura lieu lors de la remise des prix et il présentera un discours sur la responsabilisation des jeunes. Les prix célèbrent les accomplissements des bénévoles et organismes communautaires de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Les délégués seront accueillis par certaines des personnalités les plus connues du Cap-Breton. La lieutenante-gouverneure de la Nouvelle-Écosse Mayann Francis, et l’animateur de l’émission Fifth Estate du réseau CBC Linden MacIntyre, retournent sur l’île où ils ont grandi pour partager leurs perspectives diverses et dynamiques sur le développement communautaire. Les artistes Bette MacDonald, Maynard Morrison, Dave MacIssac, Matt Minglewood, Sons of Membertou et Men of the Deeps divertiront les délégués à la façon traditionnelle du Cap-Breton. Michael Stolte et le Irondale Ensemble Project font partie des autres conférenciers invités. M. Stolte, président de la Fondation canadienne pour la revitalisation rurale, partagera son point de vue sur le développement économique communautaire. Irondale a travaillé auprès des jeunes néo-écossais qui présenteront une perspective sur le développement communautaire, préparée spécialement pour la conférence. Pour plus d’information sur l’inscription, le programme et le divertissement, consultez le site Web de la conférence au www.gov.ns.ca/econ/celebratingcommunities/ . La conférence et remise des prix Célébrons les collectivités de la Nouvelle-Écosse est organisée par l’Autorité de développement économique du comté du Cap-Breton et commanditée par Développement économique Nouvelle-Écosse et par la Société d’expansion du Cap-Breton.
Government is committed to making life better for families in every region of Nova Scotia by balancing affordability and environmental sustainability. That is why when Nova Scotia Power told stakeholders that it intended to seek a 12 per cent increase for residential and an 18 per cent increase for commercial users, our government took notice. Rate increases of that size would have had a significant impact on Nova Scotia families, not to mention negatively affect the competitiveness of Nova Scotia businesses. Nova Scotia has been dependent on fossil fuels for far too long. That reality is hitting customers square in the face in the form of steep power bill increases. Those increases come directly from the cost of carbon — both the cost to buy it on the foreign market and the cost to reduce its environmental impact. Those costs hurt Nova Scotians. They impact all of us, and in the worst cases, force people to have to make tough decisions between feeding their families or heating their homes. Let’s not forget that government eliminated the HST from basic home electricity. And we once again acted decisively to protect Nova Scotia families and business from this big proposed rate increase. Since the announcement of the projected rate increases, I have met with representatives from big businesses and small ones, consumer groups, charities, and others that would be affected by a rate increase. They all said the same thing. A rate hike of this magnitude would be devastating and could mean everything from higher prices to job loss. Government understands the need to help businesses stay competitive in these difficult times. Providing affordable and predictable power rates is something we have done to do just that. Governing is about making the right decisions. The decision to amend air-quality regulations is a pragmatic solution that will protect Nova Scotians’ pocketbooks, while holding Nova Scotia Power accountable. The power utility has agreed to look at changing their technology in order to reduce costs, make electricity more affordable and ensure the province not only meets its mercury emission targets, but is better off in the long run. This was a tough decision, but it is the right decision. That is genuine leadership. But we’re not done yet. We will continue to work to reduce Nova Scotia’s reliance on carbon. Already government has introduced some of the most aggressive renewable electricity targets in North America. To achieve those goals, Nova Scotia will have to use cleaner, local sources for power. In fact, new wind farms are being built as we speak. Just last week, Premier Darrell Dexter announced, in partnership with the government of New Brunswick, the possibility of a new transmission line between our two provinces. This line would provide tremendous opportunity for Nova Scotia to grow its renewable energy sector, strengthen the province’s regional electricity distribution network and ultimately provide greater stability and affordability for Nova Scotia families. It was necessary for government to act quickly to address the potential power rate increase in this province. I am pleased to say that this decision will ensure that our targets for removing mercury from our environment will still be met. In fact, they will now go even further than originally planned. This government has struck the balance between affordability and environmental sustainability that Nova Scotians want, and need. -30-
Nova Scotia drivers are being reminded to plan ahead to get home safely this holiday season as law enforcement agencies across the province teamed up today, Nov. 25, to launch Operation Christmas. Operation Christmas is an annual campaign to reduce impaired driving. Checkpoints targeting impaired drivers were set up in Truro to signify the start of the province-wide initiative. “Operation Christmas is one of several initiatives in Nova Scotia meant to help keep our loved ones safe from drunk drivers,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry. “It is a program that makes our roads safer, particularly during the holidays, and reinforces our zero tolerance for impaired drivers in Nova Scotia.” “The days of having a couple of drinks and getting behind the wheel are long gone,” said MLA Vicki Conrad, on behalf of Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The province, in partnership with law enforcement across Nova Scotia are sending a clear message that if you drink and drive, there are serious consequences.” “The Truro Police Service is committed to a safe community and are thrilled to be hosting the 2010 Operation Christmas launch,” said Truro Chief of Police David MacNeil. “Law enforcement agencies across Nova Scotia are working diligently to detect and apprehend impaired drivers in an effort to keep Nova Scotia’s roads safe. It is extremely important that during the holiday season people remember not to drink and drive.” Impaired driving is one of the leading contributing factors in fatal collisions in Nova Scotia. During the first 10 months of 2010, there were 14 fatalities in the province involving drivers who were impaired. “RCMP is resolved to make the apprehension of impaired drivers a top priority,”said Insp. Sput McCarthy, Officer in Charge of RCMP Traffic Services, Nova Scotia. “For those who contemplate this selfish and wreckless act, beware that all law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for you. The RCMP also urge all Nova Scotians to help stop impaired drivers by calling 911 if you suspect an impaired driver.” Last month, legislation came into effect that toughens the consequences for people caught driving with a blood-alcohol level between .05 and .08 in the province. “Operation Christmas has become a traditional reminder to Nova Scotians that impaired driving is never the answer, especially at this time of year,” said Margaret Miller, past-president of MADD Canada. “It is our hope that everyone have a safe and happy holiday free of the death and injury that comes with driving impaired.” For more information on the legislation, visit the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal website at www.gov.ns.ca/tran.
CUMBERLAND, COLCHESTER COUNTIES: Lynn Road Lynn Road, 400 metres south of Trunk 2 near Southampton, will be closed to traffic for repairs to Five Island Bridge on Thursday, Oct. 4. Detour in place. Work takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -30-
INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge Crowdis Bridge will be closed until further notice for repairs. A detour will be available via Crowdis Cross Road, West Big Interval Road and Hatchery Road. HANTS COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102, about four kilometres north of Exit 10, at Shubenacadie Bridge will be reduced to one lane to remove and install guard rail until Thursday, Feb. 28. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CONTINUING WORK NEW WORK PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Highway 104, Exit 23 eastbound off Westville Road and MacGregor Avenue’s ramp and intersection, will have periodic lane closures for the installation of traffic signals until further notice. Traffic control people are on site. Please take alternate route if possible. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook Bridge The Melford Brook Bridge, on Route 344 at Middle Melford, is closed. A two-lane detour bridge is in place until a permanent bridge is built. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h and warning signs are in place. VICTORIA COUNTY: MacLeod Angus Bridge Traffic on the MacLeod Angus Bridge in South Harbour is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic signals are in place. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Riverside Road Sections of Riverside Road are closed for work to improve drainage. The road is closed from two kilometres north of Route 236, Civic No. 3472 to Civic No. 3608. A detour is available on Route 236 to Princeport Road. Riverside Road will re-open March 31. VICTORIA COUNTY: Red Bridge, Big Baddeck The Red Bridge on the Old Margaree Road in Big Baddeck is closed to traffic. A detour is in place. The bridge is scheduled to be replaced by the end of March 2013. -30-
With snow and freezing rain throughout the province, drivers are urged to use caution if they have to travel on the roads today, March 20. “I want to remind drivers to drive with caution, watch out for slippery roads and slow down for the conditions,” said Maurice Smith, Minister Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Taking a few extra minutes to plan ahead is well worth the effort to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destination.” Nova Scotians can stay informed about road conditions by calling 511, visiting http://511.gov.ns.ca, or following @NS_TIR on Twitter for updates. -30-
A Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service internal review has found several significant contributors to the delay in bringing Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh back from India to face 43 sex charges from nine complainants who were young boys at the time. “The effort to bring Mr. MacIntosh home involved a number of government agencies, both federal and provincial, and necessitated the co-operation of the government of India,” said Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. “It was a long and complex process.” In a report to the attorney general released today, July 10, the public prosecution service focuses on the length of time it took to extradite and prosecute the Port Hawkesbury businessman on charges dating back to the 1970s. Mr. Herschorn said in addition to the delay attributed to the Crown attorney, other contributors were international extradition law, renewing Mr. MacIntosh’s passport by Passport Canada, the documentation requirements of the International Assistance Group of the federal Department of Justice, and the time it took India to extradite Mr. MacIntosh to Canada. “Our report explains, not excuses, the delay in getting Mr. MacIntosh back to Canada. The PPS certainly shoulders responsibility for some of the delay,” said Mr. Herschorn. He recognized the victims for their strength and courage and thanked them for being brave enough to come forward, and strong enough to endure the pain of reliving their experience. “We know that the role we played in the delay is unacceptable and we know that letting these courageous men down is unacceptable,” said Mr. Herschorn. The first complaint to the RCMP was made in January 1995, with the first two charges laid in December 1995. Over the next several years, eight more complainants came forward and another 41 charges were laid by late 2001. In 2006, Ottawa formally asked New Delhi to extradite Mr. MacIntosh. Indian authorities arrested him almost a year later and Mr. MacIntosh was back on Canadian soil in June 2007. Mr. MacIntosh appealed after being convicted of 17 sexual offences over the course of two trials. The convictions were thrown out by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal on the basis of undue delay. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Court of Appeal decision in an April 22, 2013 decision. In conducting its internal review of the case, the public prosecution service examined thousands of case documents going back to 1995, and consulted with the Crown attorneys directly involved. The cause of the prosecution service delay was the Port Hawkesbury Crown attorney’s failure to followup promptly as the case moved along. The explanation is the volume of other criminal code charges the Crown attorney had to deal with in court on a daily basis. The Port Hawkesbury office was handling more than 1,000 Criminal Code charges annually during that time. “Still, there is no excuse for not moving things along quickly,” said Mr. Herschorn. “Unreasonable delay is unacceptable, and we have taken action to enhance our processes to reduce the risk of unreasonable delay by the Crown in future cases.” The review found that once Mr. MacIntosh was back in Canada, the Crown was ready to proceed; any delay from then to trial was caused by defence motions. As a result of its internal review, the prosecution service is taking five immediate actions: an electronic alert system is being established to notify chief Crown attorneys of any cases where eight months has elapsed since the first court appearance potential delay cases is now a standing agenda item at executive meetings Crown attorneys will receive training on delay at annual educational conferences A prosecution service policy on extradition cases is being developed Crown attorneys will receive training on the process and principles of extradition. “There were hard lessons learned from the MacIntosh case,” said Mr. Herschorn. “And from that will come a better public prosecution service for Nova Scotians.”
Truro-based Performance Genomics Inc. (PGI) is developing technology to improve the health, longevity and productivity of livestock. With investment from the province, the company plans to further develop and take it to the marketplace. “PGI’s technology has the potential to reduce costs and improve profitably for farmers around the world,” said Lenore Zann, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. “This investment is a perfect fit with the innovation and competitiveness priorities of our jobsHere plan to grow the economy.” PGI secured a $250,000 equity investment from Innovacorp, Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization. The investment is part of financing that includes $50,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Productivity and Business Skills Program, and up to $133,000 from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. “Performance Genomics is working through innovation to create jobs, growth and prosperity in Nova Scotia, and the government of Canada is fully behind these efforts,” said MP Scott Armstrong, on behalf of Minister of State for ACOA Rob Moore. “This investment will help us reach our goal of entering the marketplace in 2015,” said Michael Dennis, CEO of PGI. “Working with our university and industry partners, we plan to complete the development of our first product for cattle, and to explore additional applications for our technology.” PGI identifies genes that control reproductive performance in mammals. It is developing genomics tests to predict how long livestock will stay fertile, which farmers can use for selective breeding. The company is focusing on dairy cows, but the technology can be used for other animals. PGI was spun out of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the late 1990s. The technology is based on more than two decades of research on mice and the company is collaborating with researchers at Dalhousie University and has partnered with a global animal health firm for the livestock market. The three-person PGI team is based at the Perennia Innovation Centre in Truro. “PGI is striving to solve a real problem impacting farmers in Nova Scotia and beyond,” said Stephen Duff, president and CEO of Innovacorp. “The company has clearly established a near-term path to market now, and we’re pleased to be part of their growth story.”
New Delhi: Suspended for flunking a dope test, wrestler Reena will be handed a life ban if she fails to pay half of the Rs 16 lakh penalty, which the Wrestling Federation of India is bound to give to sport’s governing body for the offence. For every doping offence by its wrestlers, the national federation has to pay Rs 16 lakh to the United World Wrestling (UWW). In yet another embarrassing doping episode for Indian wrestling, U-23 Asian Championship silver medallist Reena has been handed a provisional suspension for failing a dope test during the event in March. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunThe WFI is now waiting for outcome of the final hearing, to be conducted by NADA here soon, and it has been learnt that the wrestler will be asked to pay Rs 8 lakh if she fails to come out clean. The WFI last year paid Rs 32 lakh in penalties to UWW for two doping offences committed by Jatin and Manish. They have already been handed life bans for failing to share the penalty with WFI. “Why should the national federation pay the price for wrestler’s mistake all the time. We paid Rs 32 lakh penalty to UWW last year and in all likely-hood we will have to cough up another Rs 16 lakh. Reena will be asked to share the amount and if she fails to do that, she will also be banned for life,” said a WFI official, who did not wish to be named. “Jatin and Manish were banned for two years, as is the norm in junior wrestling, but they were handed life bans by WFI because they did not share half of the penalty,” added the official. Jatin (69kg) had won a gold in the Cadet Asian Championship in 2016 while Manish (50kg) was a bronze medallist at Junior Greco Roman championship in 2017.
Chennai: Indian Coast Guard, which recently joined hands with the Assam Rifles to utilise each other’s assets for operational training, may have such tie-ups with other paramilitary forces, a top CG official said Tuesday.Speaking on the sidelines of a reciprocation ceremony here held onboard “ICGS Shaurya”, which has been affiliated with the 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of Assam Rifles, Coast Guard Additional Director General V S R Murthy said the collaboration was the first of its kind initiative by the marine force. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC”May be in the future. This is the first step which will yield so much of dividends,” he told reporters when asked whether the Coast Guard would have similar associations with other paramilitary forces such as the BSF and the CRPF. In the first affiliation among paramilitary forces, the Assam Rifles and the Indian Coast Guard had on May 22 signed the ‘Charter of Affiliation’ to utilise each other’s assets for operational training, sports and adventure. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsDirector Generals of the Indian Coast Guard and the Assam Rifles Rajendra Singh and Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan respectively had inked the pact at a ceremony in Shillong. Talking about the affiliation, Murthy said one was a land force and the other a marine force and both had their own experience and strong points. “…when they work closely they understand operational philosophies and culture. More importantly, it would develop a bondage between them,” he said.
Chennai/New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out search operations in seven places in Coimbatore, including the residence of a social media friend of the Sri Lanka easter blast mastermind, officials said. The searches were carried out in connection with the NIA probe into the new Islamic State module case. An NIA official in New Delhi told IANS the agency registered a case 10-12 days ago in connection with the new IS module. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Asked if the searches were related to the Sri Lanka easter blast case, in which over 250 people died, the official said: “As of now the raids are being carried out at the residence of one Mohammad Azharuddin, who was a facebook friend of the Sri Lanka blast mastermind. However, the official refused to share if Azharuddin was also associated or connected with other Sri Lanka easter bombing attackers. On April 21, serial bomb attacks rocked Sri Lanka and claimed over 250 people lives. The killings were claimed by the IS. Last month, the NIA carried out searches at 10 places in Tamil Nadu in connection with the investigation into an Islamic State module case, where few people conspired to raise funds and wage armed struggle against the state.
Dubai: Bahrain executed two Shiite citizens on terror charges on Saturday, officials said, despite appeals for clemency from international human rights groups. The pair, identified by rights groups as Ali al-Arab, 25, and Ahmad al-Malali, 24, were put to death by firing squad, the prosecutor said. Both defendants were Shiite, judicial sources said, without confirming their names. The small Gulf state, a key US ally located between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been gripped by bouts of unrest since 2011, when authorities cracked down on Shiite-led protests demanding political reform. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The two men, arrested separately in February 2017, were both sentenced to death in January last year after a mass trial with 58 other defendants that was marred by allegations of torture. The pair were convicted of “forming a terror group” which went on to carry out a series of armed attacks in the kingdom. They included the storming of the kingdom’s Jaw prison in January 2017 that killed a guard and led to the escape of 10 detainees, the prosecutor said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls That attack was followed by two separate fatal attacks on police officers later the same month, the prosecutor added. The convicts were put to death along with a third death row prisoner found guilty of murder. Their families had been called to the prison on Friday for a final visit, Human Rights Watch said. In an 11th hour appeal for clemency, HRW’s acting Middle East director Lama Fakih warned that King Hamad was committing a “grave injustice by ratifying the death sentences of the two men despite the allegations of torture and other serious due process concerns”. Ruled for more than two centuries by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, Bahrain is mostly Shiite Muslim, according to unofficial estimates contested by the government. Hundreds of protesters have been jailed since 2011, with Bahrain claiming Iran trained and backed demonstrators in order to topple the Manama government — an accusation Tehran denies. All opposition groups have been outlawed and disbanded.
Kolkata: Kashmiris living in the city are spending sleepless nights after scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution as they are unable to talk or meet their relatives, who are at present living in the Valley. “It has been four days I couldn’t talk to my sons, who stays in Kashmir. My mind is not working. I don’t know what to do. I urge the government to allow us to talk to our relatives over the phone,” Mushtaq Ahmad Mattoo, who has been running a Kashmiri Shawl shop in Kolkata for the past 25 years, told Millennium Post. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaWhile the mobile data internet services, cellular networks, and SMS services were snapped at 11 pm on Sunday, flight operations in Kashmir will remain cancelled from Wednesday. “On Sunday, I booked my flight ticket to go to Kashmir on August 9. But, today I came to know from my travel agent that it has been cancelled because there will be no flights operating in Kashmir from tomorrow,” Mushtaq said. Another Kahmiri Shawl shop owner, on the promise of anonymity, shared his ordeal and pointed out that he had stopped travelling in train because of rise of mob lynching incidents. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”I am a Muslim and top of that I am also a Kashmiri. I don’t travel in trains because I am afraid that people having fanatic mentality might kill me and no one will come to my rescue,” he said. Meanwhile, tour operators have also claimed cancellation of flights to Kashmir will incur loss to their business. “Kashmir is a popular tourist destination. On an average, we take at least 90 people for Kashmir tour every year. If flight operations are suspended in Kashmir then it will hit 40 % of our profit,” said Ziaul Haque Shaikh of Adventure Education Tours (Mumbai) Pvt Ltd, who takes people on tour across India. Following the revocation order, Article 370 of the Constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir no longer exists.
New Delhi: Overseas investors have pulled out a net amount of Rs 3,014 crore from the Indian capital markets this month so far, but the trend may reverse following the removal of enhanced surcharge on FPIs, experts said. According to depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) withdrew a net amount of Rs 12,105.33 crore from equities, but pumped in Rs 9,090.61 crore into the debt segment during August 1-23. This has translated into a total net outflow of Rs 3,014.72 crore from the capital markets (both equity and debt). Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”Out of 15 trading sessions, foreign investors were net buyers in only two sessions. The sell off in equities continued due to a mix of factors including US Fed rate cut, US-China trade war and the post Budget tax hike on high income investors,” said Harsh Jain, co-founder and COO of Groww. The Centre on Friday announced a slew of measures to revive growth momentum, including rollback of enhanced super-rich tax on foreign and domestic equity investors imposed in the Budget. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostPrior to the announcement of enhanced super-rich tax in the Union Budget for 2019-20 in July, FPIs were net buyers for five consecutive months. FPIs had infused a net Rs 10,384.54 crore in June, Rs 9,031.15 crore in May, Rs 16,093 crore in April, Rs 45,981 crore in March and Rs 11,182 crore in February into the Indian capital markets. However, the position reversed in July, when FPIs turned net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,985.88 crore.
Taipei: A powerful tropical storm swept across southern Taiwan, triggering landslides and flooding and leaving at least one dead before it hit southern China on Sunday morning, officials said. A 17-year-old died and two children were injured in another landslide in the northern Philippines on Saturday, authorities reported. In Taiwan, an 18-year-old motorcycle rider died shortly before midnight in Tainan city after hitting a fallen tree, a disaster response official said. The number of injured across Taiwan has reached nine. Tropical Storm Bailu brought heavy rain and winds up to 118 kilometres per hour as it crossed the southern half of the island. Fourteen tourists were among those trapped after the landslide in Hualien county. About 450 people were evacuated around the island and 12,000 households were without power late Saturday afternoon.
OTTAWA – When Genevieve Boutin and her colleagues at the United Nations Children’s Fund were finished verifying the aftermath of last week’s carnage at the Gaza-Israel fence, they added seven more to their tally of dead children.That included a statistical first — a girl — the first female killed among the 13 children shot since protests erupted at the fence on March 30, a burning fuse that exploded Monday into the bloodiest day between Gaza and Israel in four years.They are among the 59 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces, a total that includes a Canadian doctor trying to help the wounded. A Hamas official has since said that 50 of those were from their militant group.That Hamas number that has been seized on by Israel, and their Canadian supporters, to fire back politically at several world leaders — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — for implying in their calls for an independent investigation of the incident that the Israeli military may have used excessive force.At least one Canadian Jewish group says Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields and that the Trudeau government should be standing in firm solidarity with Israel’s right to self-defence.For Boutin, a Quebec City native who is UNICEF’s special representative in the West Bank and Gaza, the politics and statistics graze the surface of a burning question that she has tried to answer in numerous conversations with injured children and their grieving families: what draws you to that dangerous fence?The answers she’s getting can’t be measured solely by rhetoric or numbers: “They exemplify the human drama that is taking place in Gaza.”In the first few weeks, many kids told her that “life is boring here, nothing ever happens” so they were curious about the growing fuss over their fence.“As the weeks wore on, more and more kids obviously know the risks as they go,” said Boutin. “There’s a number of kids who say, ‘there’s nothing I have to lose, I don’t see a future for myself and I’m showing the world our situation has to change so I am participating in it’.”In addition to the fatalities, more than 1,000 Palestinian children have also been wounded by live fire since March 30, said Boutin, 43.“Many of them are serious injuries that could lead to amputations and certainly handicaps for life. Just that, in and of itself, is horrific in terms of the impact on children.”She recalled consoling the father of a 10-year-old boy who was shot in the early days of the protests several weeks ago. The boy was hit by a bullet after running off. The father still has his son, but is tormented with regret.Two other older teenagers who were killed defied the stereotype of the bored, vulnerable youth who become easy prey for militants — both were about to take the equivalent of their final high school exams.“That means some of these kids were engaged still in the education system,” said Boutin.International law makes a simple point, she said: “a child is a child” and they shouldn’t be targeted by anyone — whether they were coerced into a dangerous situation or not.Still, UNICEF and others are trying to keep them away from the fence.“We’ve been advocating with community leaders and parents to try to say it would be good to discourage children from being there on the front lines. But we also are mindful that the right to peacefully protest is a right that children have.”Smoke from burning tires and the periodic crackle of gunfire returned Friday to the Gaza fence as the rallies resumed for the first time since Monday. Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007, says they will continue until the blockade that Israel and Egypt has imposed is lifted.Israel is accusing Hamas of using the protests to carry out attacks and says it has to protect its border.But the condemnation of the international community against Israel is growing.The UN Human Rights Council said Friday it will set up a commission of inquiry into the Gaza border violence, something Israel rejects as the product of “a built-in anti-Israel majority, guided by hypocrisy and absurdity.”Part of Boutin’s job is to independently verify casualties and to ensure that emergency supplies, especially medical aid, reach those who need it most.The ripple effect of the increased violence has been crushing on a Palestinian medical system that was already under massive strain.Boutin sees hope fading in the faces of the local medical staff.“They were so devastated after the events of Monday. They keep doing their work. They’re very admirable, but it’s very hard for them to understand what’s happening … the international community — in their eyes — is not reacting as they would like it to react.”Boutin said she didn’t personally know Dr. Tarek Loubani, the Canadian citizen who was shot in both legs Monday while treating the wounded at the fence even though he and his team wore high-visibility jackets that identified them as medical staff.Trudeau said he was appalled by that shooting and called for an investigation.An Israeli embassy spokesman in Ottawa said Israel has asked Canada to help with information to assist the Israeli Defence Forces investigation of the incident.B’nai Brith Canada says Trudeau must apologize to Israel for not acknowledging the responsibility of Hamas. On Friday, the organization also released a statement that “suggests that a Gazan paramedic slain after assisting Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani was a member of the Hamas terrorist group and employed by its Interior Ministry.”Another group, Independent Jewish Voices, accused some Canadian Jewish organizations of acting as “little more than PR for the Israeli government.”Boutin had no comment on the political fallout of Monday’s events, including the response by her own government in Ottawa.Her main message is simple: it’s just as wrong to shoot doctors, as children.“Not only is it a last recourse to shoot at peaceful protesters, but there are certain categories that should be specifically protected.”
MONTREAL – Charles de Gaulle may have made history when he shouted “Vive le Quebec libre” from the balcony of Montreal’s city hall in 1967, but 50 years later the city doesn’t seem keen on re-creating the iconic moment, a sovereigntist group said Wednesday.The Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste said it had wanted to re-enact the former French president’s famous speech in its original location on July 24, but its request for access to the balcony was denied.Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry, an honorary president of the group, said de Gaulle’s call for a free Quebec was important not only for the nationalist movement but for the province as a whole.Before the speech, “a large part of humanity had never heard of Quebec, nor of the Quebec question,” Landry told a news conference to announce details of events marking the July 24 anniversary.“(The speech) was good for Quebec, it was good for Montreal, and the city should have taken into account its own interests to be known across the world,” said the ex-premier.A spokeswoman for Mayor Denis Coderre’s office noted the city is organizing its own week-long exhibit to mark the 50-year anniversary of the speech, and plans to open the balcony to the public for 30-minute guided tours on July 24.“Let’s not forget that city hall is neutral and apolitical,” Noemie Briere-Marquez said in an email.“Montrealers would never agree to it being exploited (for political purposes).”De Gaulle made the famous proclamation at the end of a fiery seven-minute speech.“Vive Montreal,” he told the packed crowd below. “Vive le Quebec. Vive le Quebec…libre. Vive le Canada francais.“Et vive la France,” he concluded.The speech provoked an international incident with then-prime minister Lester B. Pearson, who retorted that no Canadian or Quebecer needed liberating.The French president’s visit was cut short and he was on a plane back to France within a few days.Having been denied the balcony, the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste says it intends to hold its event in front of city hall instead.Current president Maxime Laporte says an actor portraying de Gaulle will make his entrance in an electric car — a nod to the former French president’s interest in technology.“The deplorable refusal of Montreal’s mayor to give us acess to the famous balcony on the evening of July 24 won’t stop us from holding… a worthy commemoration for the benefit of all citizens,” Laporte told the news conference.The group is also planning to highlight the date by participating in other activities, including an exhibition, a book launch and a conference.
Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Sept. 13———COURT UPHOLDS DEL MASTRO CONVICTIONS: A former federal politician has lost his bid to have his convictions for electoral offences overturned. The Ontario Court of Appeal said Wednesday it is upholding Dean Del Mastro’s 2014 convictions on three violations of the Canada Elections Act. Del Mastro was convicted of overspending, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 he made to his own campaign, and filing a false report during the 2008 election.———PM TO LEAD DELEGATION TO UN: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will address the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York next week. It’s part of a packed New York schedule for the prime minister. He will lead the Canadian delegation to the start of the assembly’s 72nd session and give his speech on Thursday. Trudeau is also to be honoured with a Global Citizen Award at the Atlantic Council in recognition of his leadership on inclusiveness, diversity and economic growth that works for everyone.———U.S. INVITES CANADA TO CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING: Environment Minister Catherine McKenna tells The Canadian Press there is still time to convince the United States not to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord and an unexpected meeting scheduled for New York next week might be the first step in that direction. McKenna is one of about 12 environment and climate ministers from the world’s largest economies who were invited by the White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to a breakfast meeting in New York during the United Nations General Assembly meeting week to discuss climate.———CALGARY MAYOR SEEKS TO REVIVE ARENA TALKS: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city remains at the negotiating table for a new NHL arena even though the Flames have declared they’ve pulled out of talks. Flames president Ken King says the NHL team is frustrated with “spectacularly unproductive” negotiations. Nenshi said Wednesday the city remains “ready to negotiate in good faith” and that “council understands the importance of the Flames to this city.———PM WRAPS UP CABINET RETREAT ON DEFENSIVE: Justin Trudeau has wrapped up a cabinet retreat on the defensive over a number of issues that are likely to plague his government when Parliament resumes next week. The prime minister was peppered with questions about the cost of his controversial Bahamas vacation last Christmas, which is under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner. He also faced questions about pot legalization, peacekeeping delays and his controversial tax changes.———EQUIFAX HACK LIKELY AFFECTED FEW CANADIANS: Equifax Canada’s customer service agents are telling callers that only Canadians who have had dealings in the United States are likely to be affected by the massive hack announced last week. The credit monitoring company’s call centre staff say that Canadians who have an Equifax account in the U.S. could be at risk of having their data compromised, such as those who have lived, worked or applied for credit south of the border.———ONTARIO PREMIER DEMANDS RETRACTION FROM OPPOSITION LEADER: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has asked the leader of the Opposition to retract comments he made about her or face legal action. The premier’s lawyers wrote a letter to Patrick Brown on Wednesday, saying the Progressive Conservative leader had told reporters on Tuesday that Wynne was standing trial in a Liberal bribery case. The letter said Wynne is not on trial or even under investigation, but is rather offering voluntary testimony and co-operating with the court process, therefore Brown should retract the comments and apologize.———RCMP OFFICER KILLED IN N.B. CRASH: A Nova Scotia Mountie who worked to educate the public about the need to slow down when driving past emergency vehicles was killed Tuesday after being struck by a utility van while helping motorists change a flat tire. Const. Frank Deschenes, a 12-year veteran of the force who worked out of the Amherst detachment, died at the scene when the van collided with his police car and an SUV shortly after 6 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, N.B. RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said the preliminary investigation has determined Deschenes stopped to assist two people change a tire.———MONTREAL GIVING BRITISH GENERAL THE BOOT: Calling it a “stain on our history,” Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday a street that honours a British general who supported giving smallpox-laced blankets to Indigenous Peoples will be renamed. “Goodbye Jeffery Amherst,” Coderre said at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Amherst Street, located just east of downtown and in the city’s gay village, is named after the general who wanted to “exterminate” native people during the 1700s, Coderre said.———CANADA SHORT ON PEACEKEEPING PLEDGE: There are growing signs that Canada won’t meet the criteria for attending a November peacekeeping summit in Vancouver, even though it is the host country. The price of admission is clear in leaked UN documents obtained by The Canadian Press: Defence ministers attending must be ready to pledge specific forces to the UN, if they haven’t already done so. Canada has yet to make any definite pledge, despite being the host of this year’s summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t commit Wednesday to a decision before mid-November.———
VANCOUVER – Severely ill Canadians who don’t qualify for medical help in dying will suffer even longer while they wait to find out whether the federal government has violated their right to a medically assisted death after a court ruling in B.C. on Wednesday, a civil liberties group says.Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the British Columbia Supreme Court said the government should be given a second chance to argue the findings of fact that were used by the country’s top court to overturn a ban on assisted dying in 2015.The federal government’s legislation, which came into effect last year, needs to be assessed on “relevant, current evidence,” Hinkson wrote. Barring the courts from considering the most up-to-date information would prevent a judge from being able to decide what evidence is important and how much weight it should be given, he added.The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is spearheading a lawsuit launched in June 2016 that challenges the federal law, which it says is more limited than the assisted-dying regime the Supreme Court of Canada envisioned in its landmark ruling, referred to as the Carter decision.Caily DiPuma, the group’s litigation director, said she is disappointed in Wednesday’s decision but does not believe it undermines the underlying legal challenge.“While today’s outcome is unfortunate, it’s really just a bump in the road,” she said outside the courthouse in Vancouver.“We’re focused on the ultimate outcome. We defeated these arguments in Carter in 2015 and we’re confident we’ll defeat them again.”In the meantime, people will continue to suffer while the case proceeds through the courts, she added.“Every day that this issue remains unresolved is a day that a person in Canada … spends trapped in intolerable suffering … under a law that unjustly restricts medical access to assisted death.”Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould said the government would continue to defend its legislation.“It strikes the appropriate balance between respecting the personal autonomy of those seeking access to medical assistance in dying and protecting the rights of vulnerable Canadians,” she said in a statement.The federal government asserted in earlier submissions that new arguments are required because the latest case involves different plaintiffs, a different legal regime and a different set of issues compared with 2015.Shanaaz Gokool, head of Dying With Dignity Canada, said Wednesday’s ruling comes at the expense of people already experiencing intolerable pain and suffering, who should have found relief under the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.“Obviously, we’re very disappointed in the ruling,” she said. “It means that we can expect a lengthy trial, and a very expensive one.”Gokool said she is aware of at least four people who have gone to Switzerland in the past year to have an assisted death because they were ineligible in Canada.The Supreme Court of Canada ruled medical assistance in dying should be available to capable, consenting Canadian adults suffering intolerably from “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions.Two B.C. women were included as plaintiffs alongside the civil liberties association, though one woman has since died.Robyn Moro, 68, suffered from Parkinson’s disease but was initially denied medical help in dying because her natural death was not considered reasonably foreseeable. She was added to the case in May and ended her life with the help of a doctor in late August following an Ontario Superior Court ruling that clarified how imminent a natural death had to be to qualify for assisted dying.The second plaintiff, Julia Lamb, 26, has spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease she worries will lead to years of unbearable suffering by robbing her of the ability to use her hands and forcing her to use a ventilator to breathe and a feeding tube to eat.A trial date has not been set and it is uncertain whether the civil liberties association will file an appeal to Wednesday’s decision, DiPuma said.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter