8 months ago

The Canadian Parvasi - Issue 31


The International News Weekly CANADA February 09, 2018 | Toronto 04 Toronto cop denies sexually assaulting woman, court hears 'Shot in the air:' Saskatchewan farmer describes shooting The Canadian Parvasi TORONTO : A Toronto police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman nearly a decade ago told his trial Tuesday that he had consensual sex with his accuser. Const. Vincenzo Bonazza took the stand after emotional testimony from the woman who alleged the officer forced her to comply with his demands while they were at her apartment in September 2008. "It was consensual from the time it began to the time it ended," said Bonazza, 47, who has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault. He told court he first met the woman, who cannot be identified, while sitting in his squad car sipping a coffee. The woman asked him about becoming a police officer and also asked for help dealing with her ex-boyfriend who had been charged with harassing her, he said. Bonazza said he asked the woman for her name and number, which she gave to him. "She was an attractive girl and I saw an opportunity," he told the court, adding that he pursued the woman despite the fact that he was married and had met her on the job. Bonazza said he used police databases to "run her file" and "conduct a history" of her. A day or two later, he called her to "chit chat," which is when she invited him to her apartment, he said. At the woman's home, Bonazza said the pair watched part of a movie the woman appeared in before he asked if he could kiss her. "She said 'I don't know what you've been waiting for,'" he testified. That led to consensual sex on her futon, he said. Bonazza said he left the woman's apartment five minutes after the sexual encounter ended, telling her he couldn't commit to seeing her again because he was married. Crown attorney Peter Scrutton scoffed at Bonazza's version of events. "I'm suggesting the fact you got out of there, you left quickly, because you sexually assaulted her and it would have been very awkward to hang around," Scrutton said. "That's entirely incorrect," Bonazza said. Earlier in the day, the woman burst into tears as she rejected a defence suggestion that she fabricated the entire incident. During cross-examination, Bonazza's lawyer, Gary Clewley, accused the woman of lying. "I'm going to suggest to you that you made it all up," said Clewley. "Absolutely not," the woman said through tears. The woman told court on Monday she ran into Bonazza a few times after first meeting him and then he called her — she's not sure how he got her number — saying he had bought sushi for her. Bonazza testified he didn't buy her sushi. A few days later, she testified, Bonazza came over to her house to watch a movie she acted in, and then he had sex and oral sex with her without her consent. Clewley focused his cross-examination on the finer details of the woman's recollection of the events before, during and after the alleged incident and, at times, pointed out statements that he said were inconsistent with what she initially told the Special Investigations Unit, which probes allegations of sexual assault involving Ontario police officers. "It makes no sense, based on your evidence, to buy sushi and go to your house if (Bonazza) he doesn't even know if you like sushi or even if you're home," Clewley said. "I'm going to suggest I am trying to do the right thing and I have nothing to gain by doing any of this," the woman said as she cried. At one point the woman broke down under the barrage of questions — her emotional distress prompting the judge to twice call a break. "Every time I tell my story, it comes out in different ways because that's real life," she said through tears. "This isn't a script I have memorized, so it comes out in different ways. It's a natural reaction, I'm just speaking, I'm just being a human." The woman previously testified she was afraid Bonazza was going to hurt her if she didn't have sex with him, and she only decided to come forward with her allegations after becoming a police officer in another jurisdiction. The Canadian Press BATTLEFORD : A Saskatchewan farmer on trial for the shooting of an Indigenous man says he fired his gun to scare off a group of people who drove onto his farm. Gerald Stanley told the jury in his second-degree murder trial Monday that he and his son heard an SUV with a flat tire drive into the yard near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016. He told court the pair heard an all-terrain vehicle start and thought it was being stolen. He said he grabbed a handgun, normally used to scare off wildlife, when the SUV didn't leave the yard and fired two or three shots into the air before popping the cartridge to make sure it was disarmed. He testified he went up to the SUV because he thought it had run over his wife and tried to reach for the keys in the ignition when the gun went off. Colten Boushie, who was 22, was sitting in the driver's seat of a grey Ford Escape when he was shot in the back of the head. "I was reaching in and across the steering wheel to turn the key off and — boom — this thing just went off," Stanley testified. "Was your finger on the trigger?" his lawyer, Scott Spencer, asked. "No," Stanley answered. Before the shooting, Stanley said he felt "pure terror." In the back of his mind, Stanley said, were two other farmers who had been murdered in the area when he first moved there. Court has heard an SUV carrying five people had a flat tire and drove onto the Stanley farm. The driver testified the group had been drinking during the day and tried to break into a truck on a neighbouring farm, but went to the Stanley property in search of help with the tire. Spencer told the jury in his opening statement earlier Monday that Boushie was the victim of "a freak accident that occurred in the course of an unimaginably scary situation." He told jurors Boushie's death wasn't justified, but they must put themselves in Stanley's shoes. "Is it unreasonable to fire warning shots when the intruders have tried to steal, taken a run at you with their vehicle, crashed into your vehicle — from Gerry's perspective intentionally — almost run over your wife?" Spencer asked. Alberta's new Opposition leader Jason Kenney sworn in at legislature The Canadian Press EDMONTON : Alberta's new Opposition leader has officially been sworn in during a ceremony at the provincial legislature. Jason Kenney, leader of the United Conservative Party, won a byelection last month to become the legislature member for the constituency of Calgary Lougheed. The seat became available when UCP member Dave Rodney stepped down to allow Kenney to run. Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister, won the leadership of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives in early 2017. He successfully arranged a merger with the Wildrose Opposition and then beat its leader, Brian Jean, to become head of the new party. Kenney will take his seat in the legislature when the spring sitting begins on March 8. 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The International News Weekly CANADA February 09, 2018 | Toronto 05 Talks with premiers about Trans Mountain pipeline battle: PM The Canadian Press OTTAWA : Just because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to wade publicly into the emerging pipeline-induced trade war between British Columbia and Alberta, that doesn't mean things aren't happening out of the public eye, his environment minister suggested Wednesday. Speaking in French after the weekly government caucus meeting, Catherine McKenna said things sometimes happen behind closed doors and that solutions are often more easily found without drama. Maybe so — but when it comes to the Trans Mountain pipeline dispute, the no-drama ship has officially sailed. B.C. threw down the gloves last week when it proposed a regulation to restrict expanded flows of oil through the province without a guarantee spills can be cleaned up — a measure that would effectively halt, if not kill outright, the plan approved by Ottawa in 2016 to triple existing pipeline capacity between Alberta and B.C. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley responded by threatening legal action, cancelling talks to buy electricity from B.C. and then, most recently on Tuesday, banning imports of B.C. wine. Politically, Notley needs the pipeline built to have any hope of re-election next year; B.C. Premier John Horgan campaigned on a promise to kill it off. His minority government's tenuous grip on power depends on keeping the Green party happy — which means Horgan can't back down. Pressure is mounting on the Trudeau government to intervene, and to do more to get the pipeline they approved actually built. Deputy federal Conservative leader Lisa Raitt said Trudeau has the constitution on his side when exerting federal power to get construction underway. Trudeau said in Edmonton last week he wasn't going to wade into "disagreements between the provinces in this case" but that his government approved the pipeline and was going to get it built. What remains unclear, however, is how the government plans to make that happen. "We're continuing to discuss and engage with the B.C. government, with the Alberta government," the prime minister said Wednesday before his weekly caucus meeting. "We're making sure we come to the right place that's in the national interest for Canada. "We're going to continue to engage with the premiers on a regular basis." Conservative Natural Resources critic Shannon Stubbs said it's unfair to Kinder Morgan, the company trying to build the pipeline, that it took four years to go through the federal assessment process, then another 15 months since federal approval — and its fate still hangs in the balance. Trudeau says the pipeline is in the national interest, but is doing nothing to make it happen, she said. Kinder Morgan had to ask the National Energy Board to intervene when the city of Burnaby refused to give permits to start construction on the pipeline and the marine terminal where it ends. The board had to override Burnaby's jurisdiction to grant the permits, saying it was withholding them incorrectly. Kinder Morgan is also awaiting approval on its final route for the pipeline expansion before it can begin construction. Initially, Kinder Morgan hoped the $7.4-billion expansion would be up and running by the end of 2019; last month it revised that to December 2020. At the very least, said Stubbs, the government needs to put hard deadlines on B.C. to make a decision. But Trudeau should have anticipated the standoff, since Horgan made clear he'd do whatever it took to stop the pipeline, she added. Stubbs said she suspects B.C. is trying to undermine the project enough to discourage Kinder Morgan from proceeding. The dispute comes just as the federal government prepares to unveil a longpromised overhaul of the environmental assessment process. After two years of consultations, focus groups, expert panels and discussion papers, McKenna and an army of other cabinet ministers will fan out across the country Thursday to promote the legislation, which is expected to create a single assessment system for all projects. The hope is to provide clarity for investors and project proponents to know exactly what they'll have to do to get a project approved and how long it will take. There will be no surprises in the legislation, McKenna said Wednesday. Feds order review of controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines Special prosecutor appointed after alleged threats at Nanaimo city hall The Canadian Press VICTORIA : A special prosecutor has been appointed after threats were allegedly uttered at city hall in Nanaimo, B.C. The provincial prosecution service says Michael Klein was appointed after an individual was arrested as a result of incidents, though no details were provided. Its statement says a special prosecutor's role is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice in light of the allegations and because some complainants are elected municipal officials. Klein is a senior Vancouver lawyer who has been asked to provide legal advice to RCMP investigators, assess any charges and conduct the prosecution if charges are approved. It says Klein, the prosecution service and the RCMP will not comment while the investigation is underway. The Canadian Press OTTAWA : International Trade Minister Francois- Philippe Champagne is ordering a review of the planned sale of 16 helicopters to the Philippine military amid concerns about the country's human rights record. Government officials initially defended the deal, which is being facilitated by the Canadian Commercial Corp., saying the helicopters would be used for search-and-rescue missions and disaster relief. But Champagne says he ordered a review following comments from a senior member of the Philippine military that the Montreal-made aircraft would be used for internal security operations. Human-rights and arms-control groups have accused the Philippine armed forces of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities in their fight against Islamic militants and communist rebels. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also raised concerns about extrajudicial killings while visiting the country in November, specifically those related to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's violent crackdown on illegal drugs. The Liberal government has previously been criticized for approving arms exports to countries with questionable human-rights records, most notably the massive deal for light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

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