The International News Weekly REGIONAL February 02, 2018 | Toronto 02 Zero-tolerance on sexual misconduct: Kenney The Canadian Press EDMONTON: The leader of the United Conservatives in Alberta says the party will rigorously vet prospective candidates for conduct related to sexual harassment or aggression. Jason Kenney was sworn in on Monday as a member of the legislature after winning a Calgary byelection in December. The United Conservative Party's caucus has been meeting in Edmonton for the last two days. Kenney says he has re-emphasized to his caucus that the party has a zero-tolerance approach toward sexual misconduct. He says there will be a rigorous pre-screening of potential United Conservative candidates who want to run in the next provincial election. Kenney also says the party will attempt to attract more women candidates, but notes he doesn't believe in quotas. Toxicologist testifies about girl whose body was dumped in Winnipeg river The Canadian Press WINNIPEG: A toxicologist has testified that a 15-yearold girl had drugs and alcohol in her system when she was killed and thrown into the Red River in Winnipeg. Christopher Keddy, who works at the RCMP national forensics lab, told court that tests showed Tina Fontaine had levels of alcohol slightly above the legal limit for driving. Keddy also said there was a relatively high level of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana. He added that the amounts might have registered artificially high because of decomposition and because the tests were done on chest-cavity fluids instead of blood. Fontaine was killed in August 2014 after she ran away from a hotel where she was being housed by Child and Family Services. Raymond Cormier, who is 55, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and his trial is scheduled to run five weeks. Senate votes to approve gender neutral wording for Canada's national anthem The Canadian Press OTTAWA : The Senate has passed a bill to make the national anthem more gender neutral, fulfilling the dying wish of Liberal MP Mauril Belanger. The Senate has given its final approval to the legislation, which would change the second line of the anthem from "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command." The legislation now only requires formal royal assent before it becomes law. Belanger pushed the legislation for years, but it took on far greater urgency after he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, following the 2015 federal election. The Commons passed the bill in June 2016, with the ailing Belanger in the House. The longtime Liberal died just over two months later. The bill had stalled in the Senate as Conservatives fought its passage, but it won Senate approval on a voice vote Wednesday after a pair of procedural votes. Following the vote, the office of Conservative Senator Larry Smith sent out a statement saying "so-called Independent senators" had shut down debate "using tools never before applied by individual senators. "In protest of these illegitimate actions, the Senate Conservative caucus refused to participate in a series of votes this evening," a spokesman for Smith said in the statement. Halifax removes contentious statue of port city's military founder The Canadian Press HALIFAX : Crews have removed a statue of Halifax's controversial military founder from a downtown park, less than a day after Halifax council decided it should be taken down at least temporarily. Scaffolding was set up around the bronze figure of Edward Cornwallis Wednesday morning, and the statue was lifted off its pedestal with a crane by late afternoon. An eagle flew overhead in a cloudless sky, as the removal was met with cheers from a few dozen people gathered to watch what many felt was an historic moment. "I feel like my ancestors can finally rest. It's a great day to be Canadian and First Nation," Isaiah Bernard, from Nova Scotia's Potlotek First Nation, said as crews prepared to remove it. He said he has always avoided driving by the statue on his way to the nearby Saint Mary's University, and was relieved to see it come down. "Every time I look at and think of Cornwallis, I just think of the scalping of my people, the planned genocide he did," he said. Crews wrapped the statue in yellow straps, hoisted it upwards and placed it on its back on a flatbed truck. Council voted 12-4 on Tuesday to temporarily place the bronze figure in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate. Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs had called Friday for the statue to be taken down immediately, because a panel appointed in October to study how the city commemorates Cornwallis had not even met yet. Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi'kmaq inhabitants. "I feel pretty good right now, pretty happy. A lot of us, we've been waiting a long time for this — since longer than I've been alive," Mi'kmaq activist Rebecca Moore said as she watched workers make preparations for removal. "What it means to me is that it's really showing that violence against Indigenous people and Indigenous women is not OK and it's not acceptable and that we won't stand for it. That's what it symbolizes to me." Leo Deveau, director of the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society, said he feels that "Cornwallis has become a lightning rod for a number of things, which we think is unfair." "It's not just about Cornwallis. He came with 2,500- plus people, settlers, and many of whose names exist in the city today. That's what has drawn me into this for a long time — the stories of those settlers," he said over the sound of a saw cutting into the base of the statue. Nova Scotia plans 'modest' start on marijuana sales The Canadian Press Halifax : Cannabis will be sold at only nine Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation stores when the drug is officially legalized in July, the province announced Tuesday. Pot will be sold at four outlets in the Halifax area and at stores in Amherst, Truro, New Glasgow, Sydney River, and Yarmouth, Justice Minister Mark Furey said. The province's plan leaves out two significant regions altogether — the South Shore and Annapolis Valley. Furey said while he realizes there are "gaps in the map," the liquor corporation will offer online sales with home delivery and the public will also be able to grow up to four plants per household. "I think the model of delivery and the numbers of stores is one factor in the availability," said Furey. "We believe the alternate options of purchase are reasonable and will afford those Nova Scotians who choose to consume an opportunity to access product." By contrast, neighbouring New Brunswick plans to open 20 standalone stores in 15 communities, while Ontario has plans for 40 stores in 14 municipalities. Furey was asked by reporters whether people in underserviced areas would simply go to the black market rather than drive long distances to buy their weed. The minister said there are still a lot of "market unknowns" when it comes to who will consume the legalized product. "There's no switch that we are going to flip and transition to the legal recreational market," he said. "This is going to take time. I would be naive to think that we are going to eliminate the black market." He said cost was also a factor in selecting the stores, which will have to renovate their spaces. Furey didn't rule out more retail stores in the future, saying the province would do an analysis after the first year to determine sales and market demand. "From our standpoint we want to be modest and we want to be conservative and at the same time evolve with the industry," said Bret Mitchell, the liquor corporation's president and CEO. Mitchell said the chosen stores would use space formerly taken up by make-your-own wine products, which would be discontinued. Product will be sold in enclosed areas by trained staff who will dispense it from behind the counter — there will be no open displays. One of the Halifax locations will see the reopening of the former Clyde Street store in the city's downtown, which will sell cannabis exclusively. Mitchell said the liquor corporation doesn't expect to make a profit in the first few years of operation. "Having said that, ultimately what's going to matter is the cost of acquisition of the actual product itself, and that will determine if there's going to be any (profit)," he said. Mitchell also said price will also be a factor. He said prices will vary depending upon the strain and characteristics of the cannabis, but in general they will likely have to be less than $10 per gram "for sure." Karla MacFarlane, the Interim leader of the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, questioned why certain areas of the province are being left out.She said it appears the government is opting for cost considerations over health and safety.
The International News Weekly REGIONAL February 02, 2018 | Toronto 03 Trudeau holds town hall meeting in Winnipeg Continued from page 01 Trudeau responded that Canada has obligations under international treaties to give asylum seekers a hearing, but also has the resources to ensure that people who are deemed not to be refugees are dealt with appropriately. "We always make sure that security is the first thing that is checked," Trudeau said. One woman interrupted another questioner by shouting out opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project that would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta through British Columbia. She swore at the prime minister and security before leaving. Another man asked Trudeau to respect the British Columbia government’s plans to ban increased shipments of diluted bitumen off its coast until it can determine that shippers are prepared and able to properly clean up a spill. The move would limit expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline. He then Former BC govt aide to be sentenced over vote-getting scandal shouted that Trudeau wasn't providing a direct answer. A woman criticized Trudeau for the federal government's summer-jobs program that requires groups to respect abortion rights. The crowd applauded loudly and drowned out the woman when Trudeau said groups that specifically hire students to oppose abortion Parents of man charged in Quebec City mosque shooting make first public statement The Canadian Press QUEBEC : The parents of the man accused in the slayings at a Quebec City mosque have made their first public statements since his arrest. In a letter to Radio-Canada published today, Manon Marchand and Raymond Bissonnette describe the killings at the Islamic cultural centre in Quebec City on Jan. 29, 2017 as inexcusable and totally inexplicable. rights should not be federally funded. "There are certain groups that are specifically dedicated to fighting abortion rights for women and inclusion of LGBT communities. And that is wrong," he said. "That is not certainly not something the federal government should be funding summer students to do — to roll back the clock on women's rights. That's not going to happen." The meeting, which lasted more than 90 minutes, also saw Trudeau questioned on the troubled inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. He was asked what he would consider a successful outcome. "Ideally, it will provide closure and healing for the families, a measure of justice for victims, and most importantly, show us how to put an end to this ongoing national tragedy." Trudeau is to hold town halls in Edmonton on Thursday and in Nanaimo, B.C., on Friday. Alexandre Bissonnette is facing 12 charges, including six counts of first-degree murder, and his trial is expected to begin in late March. His parents write they feel like they're living a nightmare, but add the accused is their son, so they love him and he will remain part of the family. They also told the Frenchlanguage broadcaster in a phone interview that they visit their son every week at the detention centre in Quebec City, where Alexandre Bissonnette has been since his arrest, but they don't know if they'll attend the trial. The family says they stayed away from the media in the past year and instead sent a letter of condolence directly to the families of the victims of the attack through the mosque. Since the tragedy, the couple and the suspect's twin brother have been receiving psychological help and they also thanked those who've supported them. The Canadian Press VANCOUVER : A former British Columbia government employee is expected to be sentenced today for his part in a vote-winning scheme by the provincial Liberals. Brian Bonney pleaded guilty last October to breach of trust for the partisan use of taxpayer money in an attempt to convince minority groups to vote for the B.C. Liberals in the 2013 election. Bonney's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, told a sentencing hearing that his client was "an instrument of others" in the scheme, including former premier Christy Clark. Special prosecutor David Butcher said the case goes to the heart of the democratic process as Bonney tried to manipulate election results across the province. Donaldson asked the judge to impose a suspended sentence, while the special prosecutor called for a 12 to 23 month conditional sentence to be served in the community. A review found public officials misused government resources and Bonney was among those who spent a considerable amount of time during his time working for the government on Liberal party activities. Clark apologized after the report was released and the Liberals returned $70,000 of taxpayer money. Politicians scrambling to adapt to new environment on sexual harassment: PM The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concedes he, like all political leaders, is struggling to figure out how best to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against members of his own caucus or cabinet. He says there's been no rule book handed down to him from the time of Wilfrid Laurier, Canada's sixth prime minister. Indeed, he says politicians are just now establishing processes and support systems to deal with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, processes which have not existed until recently. He says politicians are doing the best they can on a case-by-case basis. Trudeau is offering that explanation in response to questions about why Kent Hehr — who resigned from the federal cabinet last week pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct — is still a member of the Liberal caucus. Trudeau says those accused of misconduct are entitled to due process to defend themselves, but it's essential to start from a position of believing and supporting complainants.