Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday commuted the death penalty of two convicts in the 2007 Pune BPO gang-rape and murder case to “life term for a period of 35 years” on the grounds that there had been an inordinate delay in executing them. Purushottam Borate (38) and Pradeep Kokade (32) were to be executed on June 24, but the high court had said on June 21 that the execution should not take place until further orders. A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi on Monday allowed the petitions filed by the convicts seeking a stay on the execution of their death warrant. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “We find that the delay in executing the death penalty in the present case was undue, inordinate and unreasonable,” the court said in its judgment. It added that the delay could have been avoided if the mercy petitions and the final execution were dealt with some sense of urgency. “We find that there has been undue and unexplained delay by both the state and Central government in processing the mercy petitions,” the court said. “Here we have to consider a case of two convicts who have to be hanged. When the protection of Article 21 of the Constitution of India (Right to life and personal liberty) is at stake then the Executive, Court of Law or the Governor and President of India stand at the same pedestal,” the court said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Thus, delay by any arm of the state or the Central government would be against the fundamental rights of the convicts, it added. “It is clear that the actual execution of the death penalty is at the hands of the state government. The state government has to fix a date and obtain death warrant,” the judgment said. Thus, merely writing letters to the sessions court seeking for a date to be fixed for execution of the death penalty cannot be seen as compliance, it added. “In such a situation, we commute the death penalty to life term for a period of 35 years considering the time already spent by the petitioners in jail,” the court said in its judgement. The bench also berated the government for using old age methods like telegram and express letters for communication. “We are in the 21st century and in this digital era, not resorting to devices such as email and telephones would be to deliberately delay the exercise or derail it,” the court said. The bench also noted that the convicts were kept in solitary confinement from 2012. The convicts’ lawyer, Yug Chaudhary, told reporters the court had said in the judgement that the duo should be in prison for a period of 35 years after taking into account the time already spent in jail and remission. On November 1, 2007, a Wipro BPO employee, who was then 22-year-old, got into the regular cab contracted by the company to report for her night duty in a Pune suburb. Cab driver Borate, accompanied by his friend Kokade, changed the route and took her to a remote place, where they raped and strangled her with her dupatta. They also disfigured her face. The duo was convicted and awarded death penalty by a sessions court in March 2012 for kidnapping, raping and murdering the woman. In September 2012, the high court confirmed the punishment and the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2015. The Maharashtra governor and the President had rejected their mercy petitions in 2016 and 2017, respectively. On April 10, a sessions court in Pune issued warrants setting June 24 as the date of execution. In the petitions filed in May, the duo sought a stay on the ground that there had been inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions by the Maharashtra governor and the President, and also in issuance of the warrants for execution of the death penalty. “Excessive and unexplained delay of over four years (1,509 days) in execution of the sentence of death causes unnecessary and unavoidable pain, suffering and mental torment that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment violative of Article 21 (right to life),” they said in the petitions. The state government, seeking dismissal of the petitions, had said that while considering the rights of the convicts, the rights of the victim’s family and the collective conscience of the society would also have to be kept in mind.
PETIT-DE-GRAT, N.S. – A 90-year-old Nova Scotia man has been charged with multiple historical sexual offences against children spanning two decades.Delmore Boudreau of Petit-de-Grat has been charged with 12 sexual offences that occurred on the southeastern island of Isle Madame between 1966 and 1986.Police say nine victims, aged four to 12 at the time of the abuse, have been identified and they expect more victims could come forward.Richmond District RCMP in Arichat launched an extensive eight-month investigation into allegations of historical sexual assaults after a victim came forward to police.It’s unclear what Boudreau’s role was in the small coastal community.Police would not say what his position may have been in order to protect the identity of the victims.“What we’re trying to do here is protect the identity of the victims,” Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said Wednesday. “It’s a very small community and a huge issue for that community and those are serious offences.”Boudreau is expected to be in court in Port Hawkesbury on May 28.“It’s a very courageous thing for a victim to come forward,” Clarke said. “The purpose of the release for us is that there may be more victims out there.”
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – A man has been charged after a pickup truck went into an automatic car wash in Labrador with a dog exposed in the back.RCMP in Happy Valley-Goose Bay say they were called shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday about the dog, and identified a 41-year-old man from Glovertown, N.L.They say the dog was examined but no injuries were found.The man is facing a charge of causing an animal to be in distress, and one of transporting an animal outside of a passenger compartment without being secured.
CALGARY – Mike Gould’s love of family and hockey was behind the Alberta man’s decision to make a multimillion-dollar donation to a hockey club in southeastern B.C.Giving $7.5 million to the Junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League will help the team in a number of ways, Gould said in an interview Monday.“They’re going to get a new bus, I do know that for a fact,” Gould said from Calgary. “It is going to help out with some ice time, too.”Gould, 38, also wants the cash to benefit the region’s fledgling triple-A team, as well as Kimberley’s local minor hockey association.He has two sons playing hockey in Kimberley, but both are too young to play for the Dynamiters.The gift was formally announced at the Dynamiters’ home game on Oct. 13.Gould was born in Kimberley and played hockey there growing up. He said his mother, who died in December, would have been proud of him as he waved to a crowd of 700 when the donation was announced.“It was a little emotional, not having mom there. She would be down on the ice going ‘That’s my boy.’ “Gould said he won a 2008 jackpot in a EuroMillions lottery. He declined to say how much he won but investing the windfall is now his full-time job.“Basically, I just sit back and invest the money now,” Gould said.He said he loves the National Hockey League but realized many years ago that playing in the big leagues wasn’t going to happen so he’d have to stay involved at the local level.While many wealthy people have their money tied up in corporations, Gould said he has more freedom to do what he wants to do with his cash.“So basically, why not challenge the other people to actually step up a little bit and help out their communities with extra hockey rinks and extra sports.”He said it’s exciting to imagine that a local child might become a professional hockey player because they had a chance to play as a result of his donation.Dynamiters president James Leroux says he thinks channelling some funds to the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association could boost registration and increase the amount of local talent available to the junior B team.Curtis McLaren, president of Kimberley Minor Hockey, said the association had heard about the gift but had not yet received any money or been officially informed of the donation.— By Beth Leighton in Vancouver, with files from CHBZ
TORONTO – Can four new hosts take the place of an anchor who led CBC’s “The National” for nearly 30 years?It will take more than one newscast to properly judge, but CBC demonstrated Monday that its new team-approach to the nightly news at the very least looks different — and younger — than what rival broadcasters have to offer.There’s no blaring theme song to open this new “National,” no showy, brightly coloured graphics off the top. Instead, three or four simple stills set the table for the day’s headlines. Viewers are then whisked to Toronto-based Ian Hanomansing and Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton in Ottawa and Andrew Chang in Vancouver. On opening night, they often appeared together onscreen in separate, hockey card-shaped rectangles, leaving barely enough room for all their poppies.The four anchors smiled but never got too chummy, like on “The View.” They also didn’t shout over each other, like on the old “At Issue” panel.There never seemed to be any need for all of them. Barton, on this night, did not grill an Ottawa party leader in studio. And Chang was the Ringo of the group, the one with little to do who could have been paid less.The fact that they were “coming to you from three cities,” as was declared off the top, was not exactly a selling point.It was Hanomansing, the senior member of the quartet, who got the news started on Monday.A rock-steady veteran and spry improviser, he brought gravitas to the proceedings as viewers were told a police officer had been slain in Abbotsford, B.C.A map locating the city would have been helpful. So would more information about exactly what happened. A suspect was hurt and taken to hospital. We eventually learned that he is in his sixties and from Alberta. Questions remained, however: did this story just happen? Is that why it seemed as if it was quickly thrust to the top of the news?Things quickly pivoted to what was likely the original lead item: the aftermath of the mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Here, real resources were activated, with veteran news contributor Paul Hunter gathering some very raw, emotional testimonies.In one shot, a grieving neighbour stood outside her house in her robe and said, “I don’t know why anybody would pick a small town like this and destroy the town.”Keith Boag was brought in for a little editorializing. He pointed out that 14.5 million Americans now carry concealed weapons permits.“The debate over gun control here is essentially over,” he told Hanomansing, “and the NRA won.”A long commercial break then derailed the momentum. If the CBC really wants to distinguish itself from its rivals — and attract millennials who don’t watch network fare — it will eventually have to deliver commercial-free news hours.After the break, Barton walked viewers through reports that a senior advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in tax-haven trouble. Details were summarized under a heading titled “The Brief.” Be even briefer, CBC, and cut the unnecessary headings.Contributor Gillian Findlay was brought in to further discuss the report. By the time this segment ended, it was a little too obvious that Barton and Findlay taped it earlier.In the last half hour, Arsenault moved front and centre with “The Ruins of Raqqa,” a daring, first-hand report from what was once described as the capital of ISIS.“The wind still carries the stench of the dead,” reported Arsenault, who, guided by an armed escort, bravely walked into war-torn streets. She even got a little Barbara Walters with her Turkish protector, asking him at one point if he is married and lonely.A segment on a musical tribute to Leonard Cohen followed before the four hosts saluted the sparse, blue-and-black Toronto set. In one corner is a stack of old cameras, microphones and other artifacts from “National” newscasts past, a towering tribute to CBC’s broadcasting heritage.How far “The National” will extend into the future will depend on whether millennials will sit for an hour crammed with commercials — and whether their parents and grandparents will stick with this experiment long enough for four people to collectively find their feet.— Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont.
WINNIPEG – A handwriting expert says he can’t say for sure if writing on letter bombs sent to various places in Winnipeg may have come from the same source.Guido Amsel has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and to explosives-related charges.He is accused of sending letter bombs to his former wife and two Winnipeg law offices where, in one case, lawyer Maria Mitousis was seriously injured and lost a hand in July 2015.Peter Belcastro from the FBI testified Wednesday that he found common characteristics in the documents seized by police which indicate they may have been prepared by the same writer or writers.But Belcastro says when he compared those documents to known writing from Amsel, he could not reach a conclusion because he didn’t have enough repeatable, known samples from Amsel for the comparison.The trial continues Friday.(CTV Winnipeg)
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – An autopsy report says retired star pitcher Roy Halladay had evidence of amphetamine, morphine and an insomnia drug in his system when he died in a small plane crash in Florida last year.The Tampa Bay Times reports that an autopsy released Friday shows the former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies All-Star died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey on Nov. 7.The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t identified a cause for the crash. A witness told investigators that Halladay’s ICON A5 climbed to between 300 and 500 feet (90 and 150 metres) before it went into a 45-degree dive and slammed into the water.The body of the two-time Cy Young Award winner was found in the wreckage.___Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.
HAMILTON – Hamilton police have charged three more people and issued three arrest warrants in connection with a vandalism incident in early March.Investigators with the Hamilton Police Service say that on March 3, a group of about 30 people damaged vehicles and threw rocks at store windows while carrying a large banner that read “we are the ungovernables.”Police had previously charged a 31-year-old Hamilton resident with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and on Friday, investigators announced that three others had been arrested.Jack Duckworth, 23, of Hamilton was charged with unlawful assembly while masked and mischief over $5,000.Tammy Kovich, 32, of Hamilton faces the same charges, as well as conspiracy to commit mischief, conspiracy to commit unlawful assembly while masked, counsel unlawful assembly while masked and counsel mischief.Tyler Nadeau, 26, of Montreal is charged with unlawful assembly while masked, counsel unlawful assembly while masked, counsel mischief and three counts each over mischief under $5,000 and mischief over $5,000.Police say they’ve issued warrants for three more people: Alexander Balch, 34, Matthew Lowell-Pelletier, 31, and David Prychitka, 34, all of Hamilton.Investigators are asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
TORONTO – Even the iconic Eaton Centre mall wasn’t a refuge from the rain as a storm rolled through downtown Toronto on Wednesday afternoon.Numerous people posted videos on Twitter as water poured from the ceiling of the shopping centre.One person tweeted “It’s raining inside Eaton Centre,” and video showed pools of water on the floors and a woman continuing to shop as water poured from the ceiling of a store.Security guards were putting down barriers to keep the water from flowing into other shops.A spokeswoman for mall operator Cadillac Fairview says a water leak, believed to have been caused by the rain, started on the third level of the shopping centre at about 4:30 p.m. and flowed down to the lower levels.Michele Enhaynes says the source of the leak has been found and part of the mall is closed off, affecting some stores.“The shopping mall is operational but there a few retail clients closed for the evening including Ted Baker, Guess, Marciano and Massimo Dutti,” Enhaynes said in an email.The areas affected by the flood were closed “in order to ensure the safety of our tenants, guests and staff,” she said.Much of southern Ontario was under severe thunderstorm watches and warnings on Wednesday afternoon. Electrical utility Hydro One said about 26,000 customers were without power Wednesday night, many due to storm-related outages. That was down from 47,000 earlier in the day.Toronto Hydro reported early Thursday that approximately 3,600 customers were without power, down from 16,500 at the height of the storm.
MONTREAL — Canada may be known for its wide-open spaces and wildlife, but the federal and provincial governments need to dramatically increase their efforts if they’re to save the country’s endangered species, conservationists say.A World Wildlife Fund report last month created alarm with its finding that global wildlife populations dropped 60 per cent over the last 40 years, and recent data shows the situation in Canada is not a lot better.A WWF report last year found that Canadian mammal populations dropped by 43 per cent, amphibian and reptile populations by 34 per cent and fish populations by 20 per cent over a similar time period. Some types of birds have lost between 43 and 69 per cent of their populations.Populations of species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act, or SARA, declined by an average of 28 per cent since the legislation was enacted in 2002.Margot Venton, a lawyer with the environmental law group Ecojustice, says part of the reason for the declines is that the regulatory framework is full of holes and is often ignored by governments.Venton notes that some provinces, such as British Columbia, don’t even have their own endangered species legislation, while others have appeared unwilling to take the steps to list new species or protect habitat.And while the federal government has the right to intervene if necessary, she says it generally hesitates to step into provincial jurisdiction.“That’s a real hole, and we need to fill that hole, and we need to fill it quickly, because of all the recent evidence we have about how rapidly the problem is accelerating,” she said in a phone interview.Last Wednesday, three environmental groups published a petition calling on the federal government to protect boreal caribou in northern Ontario, saying a decade of mismanagement by the province has put the animals increasingly at risk.But the Ontario case is part of a larger pattern of governments failing to protect Canada’s at-risk populations, according to a conservationist with the David Suzuki Foundation who has studied the animals.Rachel Plotkin says caribou herds across Canada are in decline, largely due to habitat loss and economic activities such as logging.She says governments have been reluctant to act, citing as an example the Quebec government’s decision this year to allow the small Val-d’Or herd to die off because it would be too expensive to save them.Instead of protecting habitat, she says, governments tend to favour “mitigation measures” such as building fences or culling predators.“It’s a failure to set limits for industrial resource extraction,” she said.Delay is another problem at both the federal and provincial levels, according to James Snider, the vice-president for science, research and innovation at World Wildlife Fund Canada.He notes that it can take years from the time a species is recommended for protection under SARA to it being added to the list.And even then, measures such as protecting critical habitat or creating recovery plans don’t necessarily follow, he said.Environment Canada counters that it has taken numerous steps to address the backlog of species waiting to be listed and to significantly boost funding for conservation.That includes a commitment to double the amount of nature protected across Canada and a $1.35 billion investment in conservation in its 2018 budget.“The protection and recovery of species at risk is an important responsibility shared by federal, provincial and territorial and Indigenous governments, requiring a collaborative approach across jurisdictions,” Samantha Bayard, a department spokeswoman, wrote in an email.In emails, the governments of Alberta and British Columbia also expressed their commitment to protecting endangered species. Quebec did not respond to an inquiry about its conservation efforts.The B.C. government is currently holding discussions with Indigenous nations and stakeholders and plans to introduce its own species-at-risk legislation at the conclusion of that process, an Environment Department spokesperson said.The three conservationists say the increased investments are welcome, but what’s really needed is a shift away from trying to protect individual species to an ecosystem-based approach that conserves vast expanses of habitat and addresses the needs of several species at once.While this approach will require placing greater limits on industrial activity, Plotkin believes the payoffs will be significant, given the role natural ecosytems play in cleaning the air, filtering groundwater and absorbing carbon dioxide.“Having healthy ecosystems is a lynchpin for all survival,” she said.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Dayton Wilson’s drug-taking routine ended when he overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl, but being able to walk and talk normally are also part of his past as he struggles with brain damage from a drug linked to thousands of deaths.Wilson, 24, used illicit drugs for the last time in August 2016 on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, according to his mother, but he doesn’t remember anything about the day he was taken to hospital.It was the first of two facilities where he would spend three months learning to take a few steps and utter some words.The latest figures available from the Public Health Agency of Canada say over 9,000 people fatally overdosed across the country between January 2016 and June 2018. British Columbia’s coroners service recorded nearly a third of those deaths.But there are no comprehensive statistics for people who have survived the brain-damaging effects of opioids. Doctors say that information is imperative to understand the magnitude of the “forgotten” victims of the opioid crisis and to provide them with care and resources so they can become as functional as possible.More than two years after speech, physical and occupational therapy, Wilson speaks haltingly and is difficult to understand. He paused before responding to a question about what he might recall after he was transported to St. Paul’s Hospital in an ambulance.“I don’t remember this, but I wasn’t breathing for about five minutes,” he said of the length of time his brain is believed to have been deprived of oxygen.While talking can be frustrating, what he laments most is not being able to rap, one of his passions.“Balance is kind of hard for me now,” he said, adding he sometimes falls backwards and has hit his head.Wilson said he started experimenting with drugs at age 15 before becoming addicted to heroin two years later. The brain damage he experienced at age 21 has helped him understand the power and life-changing effects of his addiction.“I really like the person it’s made me,” he said of his ordeal. “I just don’t like what it’s done to me.”His mother, Valerie Wilson, said she and her ex-husband had refused to let their son live with them as he continued overdosing at their homes even after treatment as they worried about the effects of his addiction on their other children.The impact of the final overdose was tough on the family.“He was trying to eat and it was like watching a severe Parkinson’s patient,” Wilson said of seeing her son in hospital. “He was shaking and couldn’t keep food on his fork.”Wilson said there’s little awareness about the consequences of brain injury on those who have survived the opioid crisis.“One thing I hear a lot is, ‘At least you still have him.’ A lot of the times, I’m like, ‘Well, actually, no, I don’t. I have a version of him.’ “She said her son was an ironworker who would walk along steel beams high in the air, and now he doesn’t want to go to the edge of a rock on the oceanfront because he might fall.Wilson’s family has tried to find community programs and support groups for him but the only services available are for people dealing with unrelated issues, including stroke affecting older adults, his mother said.“He wants to be a contributing member of society,” she said, adding her son recently got a part-time job as a cleaner at a Kamloops hotel, where he now lives with his father.“Going to work is important to his self-esteem and now that he has this job, where he’s essentially cleaning toilets, he loves it.”Norma McDonald’s daughter Tracey McDonald, now 44, was addicted to prescription opioids for decades after a diagnosis of endometriosis when she was 14. She suffered brain damage following her first and only overdose in July 2017.“The endometriosis was so painful she would literally drop to the floor,” McDonald said of her daughter, who started “doctor shopping” for methadone, OxyContin and Percocet, eventually going through addiction treatment at the advice of her family physician.She relapsed and overdosed, suffering brain damage that has affected her speech and left her dependent on a wheelchair, her mother said.“When people hear it was caused from a fentanyl overdose then she’s pretty much a write-off and that’s unfortunate,” McDonald said of her daughter, who lives with her parents.Dr. Adam Peets, a physician in the intensive care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital, where Wilson was initially treated, said brain cells can be affected in as little as 30 seconds after someone overdoses and the level of damage can vary from mild to severe.An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of patients are admitted to ICU because of complications from increasingly stronger drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil but there is currently no way to adequately collect that information, Peets said.Electronic health records include a patient’s diagnosis at admission, he said.But some of those people may be diagnosed with shock or something vague in an emergency room and a brain injury would be determined later through later lab tests, which he said are recorded on a separate system.“It’s embarrassing, quite frankly,” Peets said of the lack of data on overdose-induced brain injuries, which he would like to see tracked nationally. “It’s something that the whole health-care system needs to do a better job on.”Without data, it’s impossible to gauge the resources being used in hospitals or how resources in the community could best be utilized, Peets said.“How can we adjust the way we do business without having the best data to help drive those decisions, like staffing or going to the government and saying, ‘Look how many patients are overdosing and having chronic brain injury. We need to do more primary prevention and secondary prevention or fund post-discharge rehab.’ “St. Paul’s will be among hospitals in the Vancouver area to roll out a new electronic health records management system in 2019 to better collect data but it won’t be streamlined across the province, where multiple systems are being used, he said.Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer of Vancouver Coastal Health, called the lack of data on overdose-induced brain injuries “tragic” because neither patients nor their families get the support they need.“We focus on deaths but we forget that there’s another group of people who have been negatively impacted, some of them severely.”Nicholas Gnidziejko, manager of clinical administrative databases operations for the Canadian Institute for Health Information, said national statistics on brain damage related to the overdose crisis would require developing a set of standards to collect the data in a consistent and comprehensive way but there is no such system in any province.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — A verdict is expected today in the high-profile case of a British sailor accused in an alleged gang rape at a Halifax-area military base.Darren Smalley is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people in barracks at 12 Wing Shearwater on April 10, 2015.Justice Patrick Duncan was scheduled to deliver his verdict Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, but he set the matter over until today to accommodate “court scheduling issues.”The complainant testified at Smalley’s trial last fall that she went to sleep next to a sailor, and later awoke face down and naked as at least three men sexually assaulted her.Smalley did not testify at the judge-only trial.He was part of a Royal Navy hockey team that was in Halifax to compete in a tournament.The Canadian Press
———SNC-LAVALIN URGED FEDS TO EASE PENALTIESSNC-Lavalin, facing a 10-year ban from federal business over corruption charges, urged the Liberal government in 2017 to water down the penalty scheme for corporate misconduct to the point a guilty company could completely dodge a ban on receiving public contracts. In essence, the company recommended the Liberals leave wiggle room for a “zero debarment” time period under the government’s integrity regime. The regime’s current rules disqualify offenders from receiving federal contracts for a decade, though in certain cases the period can be trimmed down to five years. The request was part of SNC-Lavalin’s submission to public consultations that explored the merits of changing Ottawa’s tools to deter and punish unethical corporate behaviour. The document was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.———TRUDEAU TO APOLOGIZE FOR MISTREATMENT OF INUITThe prime minister is to deliver an apology today on behalf of the federal government in what is expected to be an emotionally charged event marking decades-old mistreatment of Inuit sickened in tuberculosis outbreaks. Justin Trudeau is to offer the apology in person while visiting Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. Perhaps more importantly, sources familiar with today’s planned event, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an announcement that isn’t yet public, say the prime minister will also announce the opening of a database that Inuit families can soon use to find loved ones who died when they were transported south for treatment.———BUDGET DAY COULD BRING TAX CUT IN MANITOBAIt’s budget day in Manitoba, and many political observers are watching to see whether there will be a long-promised tax cut that would lead to an early election. The Progressive Conservative government vowed in the last election campaign to cut the provincial sales tax to seven per cent from eight per cent before the end of its first term. The next election is slated for Oct. 6, 2020, but Premier Brian Pallister has not ruled out calling an earlier vote. Opposition Leader Wab Kinew says if the sales tax cut comes today, an election will very likely be called early. Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont has said he expects an election could come as early as this spring.———B.C. GROUP WANTS COMMERCIAL SEAL, SEAL LION HUNTA British Columbia group is calling for the revival of the seal and sea lion hunt on the west coast, prompting some scientists to warn of ecosystem consequences for the controversial practice. Thomas Sewid the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society says seal and sea lion populations have risen in recent decades, becoming dangerous pests to commercial fishermen and contributing to the decline of salmon stocks. But Peter Ross of the Vancouver Aquarium says there hasn’t been an explosion in population, only a rebound to historic levels. He says seal and sea lion populations were decimated by over harvesting until their protection by the Fisheries Act in the 1970s.———ONLINE AUCTION REVEALS PIECE OF VANCOUVER HISTORYA glimpse of British Columbia’s sometimes seamy history goes to the highest bidder Saturday in an online auction. A legal document written after the May 1875 death of John Deighton — better known as Gassy Jack— lists the debts of one of the first men to bring liquor to the hardscrabble community of Granville, which eventually became Vancouver. Brian Grant Duff of All Nations Stamp and Coin says the list has the potential to provide a better understanding of the city’s earliest years. Online bidding for the document had passed one-thousand dollars yesterday and Duff expects it will eventually change hands for several thousand dollars.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— The BC Coroners Service will release the latest provincial statistics for illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018.— Gabor Lukacs, founder and co-ordinator of Air Passenger Rights, will ask the Federal Court to order reassessment of the penalty Air Transat was ordered to pay for the violations it committed in July 2017 by keeping passengers on the tarmac for five hours without adequate water, food or ventilation.— Statistics Canada will release its building permits data for January.The Canadian Press Six stories in the news for Thursday, March 7———TRUDEAU TO MAKE STATEMENT ON SNC-LAVALIN TODAYPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will try to put the SNC-Lavalin affair behind him today by acknowledging mistakes were made and promising to do better in future. But while he’ll adopt a more conciliatory tone, well-placed sources say Trudeau will continue to insist there was no unethical or illegal behaviour involved. Rather, he is expected to attribute the controversy to a breakdown in trust and communications between his office and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the statement Trudeau is scheduled to make at an early morning news conference today. Trudeau’s government faces allegations that Wilson-Raybould was improperly pressured to stop a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
HALIFAX — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting with seniors in Halifax this morning as he makes a quick swing through the region to talk about pharmacare and the federal budget.Trudeau also plans to make a stop later in the day in St. Stephen, N.B., where he will again meet with seniors and outline highlights in the fiscal plan.The prime minister was to visit the Northwood retirement home in Halifax at 9:30 a.m. and outline the government’s progress on implementing national pharmacare.Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan, who represents the local riding of South Shore-St. Margarets, was scheduled to accompany Trudeau.He is also scheduled to meet with seniors at the Garcelon Civic Centre in St. Stephen at about 2:30 p.m. local time.Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fourth federal budget contained a variety of pre-election goodies, including many directed at seniors, though advocacy groups say it doesn’t go far enough in protecting members of private-sector pensions.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is spending a portion of the proceeds of the carbon tax to fund green projects at schools in four provinces.The funding totals $60 million and will go to elementary and secondary schools in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says in Ottawa.Those four provinces are subject to the national carbon price because they do not have their own carbon-pricing systems that meet federal standards.The Liberals previously announced 90 per cent of the revenue from the carbon tax is going back to individuals through rebates on their income taxes.Ten per cent will go to schools, hospitals, small businesses and other institutions to help develop green projects.The schools are supposed to use the money for projects that reduce energy-related costs and greenhouse-gas emissions.The Canadian Press
The Women’s Media Center has announced that The 2012 Women’s Media Awards will honor Multiple Emmy & Peabody Award Winner Pat Mitchell, President & CEO of The Paley Center for Media & Founding Co-Chair of The Women’s Media Center, with The Women’s Media Center’s first annual Lifetime Achievement Award.Two-time Academy Award-winning actress/humanitarian/activist & The Women’s Media Center co-founder Jane Fonda will present the Award to Pat Mitchell at The 2012 Women’s Media Awards on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at Guastavino’s in New York City. Going forward, this award will be given annually as the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award.The Women’s Media Awards recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to advancing women’s and girls’ visibility and power in media.“This recognition is especially meaningful to me, given The Women’s Media Center’s advocacy for more equitable and accurate representation of women in media,” says Pat Mitchell, “and I am especially honored to know that future generations of women will also be recognized for their work to advance women and girls through the power of media.”“We are deeply proud to honor Pat Mitchell with the first annual Women’s Media Center Lifetime Achievement Award—and to establish that Award permanently in her name,” says Robin Morgan, Co-Founder of The Women’s Media Center. “A media virtuoso, Pat harmonizes great skills, talent, wit, wisdom, energy, standards of excellence, and principled insistence that women’s voices be heard. Her achievements awe, but she makes the impossible look easy. The newly minted Women’s Media Center Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award thus also expresses our faith in all she will yet accomplish.”“I am beyond honored to be presenting the first annual Women’s Media Center Lifetime Achievement Award to Pat Mitchell. She has been the connector, the spark plug, and the strategist behind more important women’s events and forums than seems possible for one tiny woman,” observes Jane Fonda, Co-Founder of The Women’s Media Center.“Pat is that most rare of leaders, one who is trusted by the decision makers as they now exist, and also by the future decision makers hoping to expand what exists,” said Gloria Steinem, Co-Founder of The Women’s Media Center. “Because she herself has been inside every kind of media, her expertise and ideas are trusted. Because of her own character and kindness, her judgment is trusted. She creates bridges between excellence and new ideas, between what is and what could be. There is no force on earth more powerful than trust — and Pat personifies it.” says Gloria Steinem.The 2012 Women’s Media Awards are co-chaired by Loreen Arbus, Donna Deitch, Jodie Evans, Jane Fonda, Carol Jenkins, Robin Morgan & Gloria Steinem.To buy tickets or for more information about The 2012 Women’s Media Awards and the ongoing work of The Women’s Media Center, click here.Source:PR Newswire
On June 20, 2015 celebrities, community members & LAPD will join together again to help raise funds for the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena.The 43rd Annual event will be hosted by actor Neal McDonough with Special Guests Dennis Quaid and Joe Mantegna who have both hosted the event in previous years. Last year, Dennis Quaid closed out the awards ceremony stating “I want to come back every year!” Over 50 celebrities participating including Jonathan Banks, Danny Masterson, Vanessa Marcil, Dennis Haysbert, C Thomas Howell, Kendall Schmidt, Adrian Pasdar, Manny Mota, Norm Nixon, Richard Burgi, Anson Williams, Galen Gering & more. LAPMF is utilizing both courses for a day of fun & support. Celebrity Tournament will run on course 1 where spectators are welcome to watch their favorite celebrity golf.Proceeds from this event benefit officers who have been killed or critically injured in the line of duty. The Memorial Foundation is the cornerstone of the LAPD employee wellness program & has granted over $15,000,000 without any direct taxpayer money.On Course 2, LAPD Central Traffic Division will host Cops for Tots Car Show & Traffic Safety Fair. Cops for Tots adopted the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Children’s Hospital LA 20 years ago. They have since adopted additional children’s charities to help support. All proceeds from the show benefit a child in need of a transplant, as well as the child’s family.This year will feature vintage & specialty vehicles, live entertainment, gourmet food vendors, LAPD specialized unit displays & a Traffic Safety Fair. The funds raised will enable them to continue financial support of the children’s charities throughout Los Angeles.Celebrity supporters have included Elton John, Jack Nicholson, Jerry West, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Wahlberg, Sugar Ray Leonard, Donald Trump, Vin Scully, Kelsey Grammer, Eddie Van Halen, Samuel L. Jackson, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Chris O’Donnell, Luke Wilson, George Lopez, Tommy Lasorda, Oscar de la Hoya, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Ray Romano, Betty White, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Newhart, Telly Savalas, Johnny Grant and James Gandolfini.Tickets can be purchased at the event. General Info: 213-847-4239 www.LAPMF.org.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. (NAMI-NYC Metro) celebrated their 10th Annual NAMIWalks NYC on May 7th.Jaclyn Stapp Leads NAMIWalks NYCThe event took place at the South Street Seaport Promenade, and featured the Walk and a wellness fair. Mental Health Advocate Jacyln Stapp, kicked off the Walk with special remarks and encouragement about dealing with mental illness within her own family.“With a generous match of $30,000 from the Pershing Square Foundation and our devoted teams and walkers, I’m happy to report that we are on track to raise $550,000 from NAMIWalks NYC this year,” said Wendy Brennan, NAMI-NYC Metro Executive Director. “Celebrating our tenth year and with the encouraging words by our special guests sharing their own personal stories with mental illness, it was a great day in the fight against stigma towards mental illness.”New York’s largest mental health event, which started with just 1,000 walkers in 2006, hosted more than 5,000 people who traveled over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the Seaport Promenade and ended the day with a wellness fair which included activities such as free massages, basic health screenings, give-a-ways, and more. Special stations were set up where attendees could make a pledge to listen to those around them who are effected by mental illness and post #IWILLLISTEN to their social networks. CBS New York served as the community partner for the 10th Annual NAMIWalks.NAMIWalks NYC celebrates recovery from mental illness and helped raise funds to combat stigma and promote awareness. Funds raised from NAMIWalks NYC will allow NAMI-NYC Metro to provide no-cost support and education to thousands of New Yorkers next year including four signature, multi-week education courses, bi-monthly public education events with leading experts, and more than 20 support groups for people living with mental health and for families and friends caring for an impacted loved one.
On Friday, April 20, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) advocate and Center Without Walls founder, Nancy Davis, welcomed guests to the Beverly Hilton for its historic 25th Anniversary Race to Erase MS Gala.Flo Rida Performs At 25th Anniversary Race to Erase MS GalaThe event raised over $1.6 million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together as a team on ground-breaking research with the goal of treating and, ultimately, finding a cure for MS.Guests at this year’s event included Race to Erase MS Founder Nancy Davis, host Scott Rogowsky, Performers Flo Rida, Elle King, and Siedah Garrett, Musical Director Greg Phillinganes, and additional special guests including Ajiona Alexus, Byron Allen, A.R.T., Lance Bass, Talitha Bateman, Allison Baver, Stacey Bendet, Phillip Bloch, Katrina Bowden, Miles Brown, Logan Browning, Cheryl Burke & Matthew Lawrence, Terry Butler, Francesca Capaldi, Crawford Collins, Joan Collins, Karisma Collins, Kirsten Collins, Lisa Daftari, Ava Dash, Christine Devine & Sean McNabb, Cairo Dwek, Peter Facinelli, Frances Fisher, Elizabeth Gillies, Camille Grammer, Mason Grammer, Bryan Greenberg, Anne Heche, Renee Herbert, Jessica Holmes, Randy Jackson, Victoria Justice, Chandler Kinney, Avril Lavigne, Natalie Alyn Lind, Elena Matei, AnnaLynne McCord, Maureen McCormick, Steven McQueen, Aly Michalka, Ruby Modine, Kechi Okwuchi, Jack Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Lauren & Aaron Paul, Nile Rodgers, Olivia Sanabia, Paris Sanders, Gleb Savchenko, Johnathon Schaech, Serayah, Pepi Sonuga, Alyson Stoner, Nala Wayans, Vanna White, Sammy Wilk, Rumer Willis, Dave Winfield, Natalie Zea, Hannah Zeile, and many more.Host Scott Rogowsky (HQ Trivia) welcomed guests to the event and introduced the Fall 2018 runway show from Hollywood-favorite fashion brand alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet. The looks were showcased by a variety of models and actors, including Victoria Justice, Serayah, Francesa Capaldi, and Ajiona Alexus. Race to Erase MS founder Nancy Davis took the stage next, thanking guests for being in the room to celebrate the momentous 25th Anniversary Gala. She shared a special video highlighting the incredible accomplishments of the organization over the past quarter century, including raising over $47 million for the Center Without Walls program.Peter Facinelli introduced the first performer of the evening, Grammy Award-nominated artist Elle King, who had the crowd on their feet with her hit song “Ex’s & Oh’s” and a cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl.”Kelly and Jack Osbourne at 25th Anniversary Race to Erase MS GalaBrother and sister duo Kelly and Jack Osbourne, who himself was diagnosed with MS in 2012, announced the beginning of the evening’s fast-paced auction, which featured one-of-a-kind opportunities and collector’s items including a skip trip at The Little Nell in Aspen Colorado, a trip to New York Fashion Week with the alice + olivia team, an irresistible teacup puppy, dinner with the Osbourne family, and a Bahamas vacation aboard an Illusions yacht. The big item of the night was a Ferrari Portofino, one of the first of its kind to reach Los Angeles, which went for an incredible $250,000.The next performer of the evening, Siedah Garrett, was introduced by actress Anne Heche. Garrett sang her single “Carry On,” which she wrote after meeting Nancy Davis last year and being inspired to do what she could to help Davis’ cause. She also sang the song she co-wrote for Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror,” and had the audience singing and dancing along.Randy Jackson introduced the night’s headliner, music superstar Flo Rida, who brought down the house with a seven-song set that included hits “Right Round,” “In The Ayer,” “My House,” and “Wild Ones.”In what has become a Race to Erase MS tradition over the past 25 years, an uplifting rendition of “Lean On Me,” was performed as the finale of the evening, led by Randy Jackson, who was joined on stage by Nancy Davis, Lance Bass, Siedah Garrett, La Toya Jackson, Kechi Okwuchi, A.R.T., Ajiona Alexus, and more.The Race to Erase MS Gala was generously sponsored by ALEX AND ANI, Ferrari Beverly Hils, alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet, Associated Television International, and The Beverly Hilton, with support from Evine, Mark’s Garden, Carbonadi, Neo Water, and Bodvar House of Rosés.Race to Erase MS was founded in 1993 by Nancy Davis and is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure of Multiple Sclerosis. All funds raised by the organization, through its iconic galas and year-round initiatives, support the “Center Without Walls” program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins.Davis also created the annual “Orange You Happy to Erase MS” campaign, which takes place for the entire month of May (MS Awareness Month) and adds yet another branch of fundraising for MS research. Throughout the month, a variety of orange products, many of which are specially created for this initiative, are sold to benefit the cause and elevate public awareness about MS. Orange T-shirts with symbolic messaging are created annually and in recent years, modeled by longtime supporters Sharon and Kelly Osbourne. For the 2018 campaign, they will be joined by Jack Osbourne, an MS survivor himself, and his two young daughters! Among the partners is ALEX AND ANI, a company that has been a loyal partner to Race to Erase MS since 2012. They created a unique Cupcake Charm Bangle and donated twenty percent of its proceeds to Race to Erase MS. This effort alone has raised over $1 million for multiple sclerosis research. Additional partners of the 2018 Race to Erase MS Gala and “Orange You Happy to Erase MS” campaign include Evine and Right Bank Shoe Co.
Events recently took place across the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS – Britain’s National Health Service.Prince of Wales Celebrates 70th Anniversary of NHSMembers of the Royal Family met NHS staff and patients in England, Scotland and Wales.The Prince of Wales – already in Wales for his annual week of engagements to celebrate Welsh achievement and culture – started the day with a Garden Party at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan hospital. Aneurin Bevan – the Welsh son of a coal miner and founder of the NHS – is a source of much pride in Wales.In the afternoon, The Countess of Wessex attended a service at Westminster Abbey where a number of the NHS’s longest-serving members of staff were amongst the congregation.At the final Royal event of the day, The Duke of Cambridge spoke to NHS staff and patients about their experience within the health service during a reception in Scotland.Source:Royal.uk