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Issue No : 149

Email: editor@canadianparvasi.com Contact Number : 905-673-0600 July 21, 2020 | Toronto | Pages 12

Three dead, 14 seriously injured after

bus rollover in Alberta's Jasper Park

The Canadian Press

Angela Bye couldn’t believe

her eyes when she used her

camera’s telephoto lens to get

a closer look at what appeared

to be one of the massive glacier

sightseeing buses overturned

on the approach to the Columbia

Icefield, one of the prime

tourist spots in the Canadian

Rockies.

Three people were killed

and 14 others suffered critical

injuries when the off-roach bus

rolled Saturday afternoon and

came to rest on a rocky slope,

its six huge monster-truck tires

pointed up to the sky.

Bye, who’s from Calgary,

and her husband had taken the

icefield tour earlier in the day.

Her husband pointed out the

crash.

“I took my camera and

zoomed as far as it could go and

I’m like ’yeah, it is wheels up.’

I could see even more stuff and

realized they were still getting

people out and I was shocked

at that point to realize this has

just happened,” Bye said.

“You could definitely see

people were crouched over the

windows, helping people out.

There were a couple of people in

helmets. I was able to see there

were a couple of people laying

on the ground but as I said, not

everybody must have been out.

“It’s still surreal for all of

us. We’re probably all still in

shock as to what happened and

that’s why it hasn’t hit that it

could have been us.”

Work was underway Sunday

to remove the bus from

the rollover site so it could be

further inspected. Trucks with

flatbeds were brought in, but

RCMP Sgt. Rick Bidaisee said

more equipment would likely

be needed.

At least one witness has said

he saw a rock slide cause the

crash, but Bidaisee said it’s too

early to know what happened.

“We’re at the infancy stage

of the investigation and all

steps are being taken to determine

the cause of the rollover,”

he said.

The iconic red and white

big-wheeled buses regularly

take tourists up a rough rocky

road onto the Athabasca Glacier

in Jasper National Park.

In all, 27 people were aboard

when this one crashed.

Alberta Heath Services

said, of the 24 survivors, 14 had

life-threatening head or pelvis

injuries. Five others were in

serious condition with broken

bones and the remaining five

suffered minor injuries.

None of the passengers has

been publicly identified. Police

have only said that the three

dead were adults.

Officials released more information

Sunday about the

mammoth rescue effort that

happened after the crash.

The Columbia Icefield is

picturesque but remote, situated

about an hour from Jasper

on the Icefields Parkway,

which runs between Banff and

Jasper national parks. Cell service

is spotty in the area. The

bus rolled as it approached the

Athabasca Glacier, far from the

main highway.

Continued on page 11

Mosquitoes cannot

spread Covid: Study

WASHINGTON : Scientists

have confirmed for

the first time that the novel

coronavirus behind the

Covid-19 pandemic cannot

be transmitted to people by

mosquitoes, a finding that

adds evidence to WHO's

claim that the disease is

not mosquito-borne. The

research, published in the

journal Scientific Reports,

provided the first experimental

evidence on the capacity

of SARS-CoV-2, the

virus that causes Covid-19

disease, to infect and be

transmitted by mosquitoes.

"Here we provide the

first experimental data to

investigate the capacity of

SARS-CoV-2 to infect and

be transmitted by mosquitoes,"

the study noted.

"While the World

Health Organization

(WHO) has definitively

stated that mosquitoes

cannot transmit the virus,

our study is the first to provide

conclusive data supporting

the theory," said

Stephen Higgs, a co-author

of the research from Kansas

State University in the

US.

Samples collected by

the scientists within two

hours of inoculation in

mosquitoes confirmed efficient

delivery of infectious

viruses to these insects.

Anxiety high as Canadian schools prepare

for students from COVID-ravaged U.S.

The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON: Postsecondary

students from

the pandemic-riven

United States are getting

ready to go back

to school in Canada —

a rite of passage that’s

causing more anxiety

than usual for parents

and front-line university

workers alike in the age

of COVID-19.

At Montreal’s McGill

University, some employees

are growing worried

the school prepares to

welcome foreign students

into on-campus residences,

even those whose

courses are entirely online.

Continued on page 02

For advertimesment in


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 02

Anxiety high as Canadian schools prepare

for students from COVID-ravaged U.S.

Parents, too, are wrestling

with new and unfamiliar

concerns: the risk

of on-campus infection,

the fact border restrictions

make in-person

visits impossible and the

prospect of their kids facing

anti-American backlash.

One McGill employee,

who spoke to The Canadian

Press on condition of

anonymity for fear of repercussions

at work, said

there is concern among

the rank and file of another

“fiasco” like the outbreak

at Quebec’s longterm

care homes, which

accounted for 80 per cent

of the highest provincial

total of COVID-19 deaths

in Canada.

“I am in the office

with, like, four colleagues

and we’re all, ‘What’s going

to happen?’ In America,

it’s blowing up there

like crazy, and people are

supposed to be coming

back in seven weeks,”

said the employee, who

described the group as

front-line workers —

many in their 50s or 60s,

with elderly parents at

home — who are typically

in close contact with students.

“There are a lot of

family concerns related

to health that are connected

with this. And, you

know, maybe I wouldn’t

be thinking about these

things if I hadn’t seen

America erupt into such

a mess.”

Others, however,

have faith the institution

can keep students and

staff safe.

“Part of our mandate

is to not only educate but

nurture and protect these

young adults,” said Franco

Taddeo, who’s worked

in McGill’s library system

since the 1990s. “Honestly,

as a father and

Canadian, I would much

rather have these students

here for their safety

and well-being than being

in present-day America.”

The novel coronavirus

has infected more than 3.6

million people and killed

140,000 in the U.S., compared

with 109,000 cases

and 8,800 deaths in Canada.

And it’s not the only

thing giving U.S. parents

sleepless nights.

They’re well aware of

reports of Americans —

accused of flouting travel

restrictions — facing verbal

abuse in Canada.

One mother, a dual

citizen who heard tell of

U.S. vehicles being vandalized,

bought a looseleaf-sized

magnet to attach

to her car door that

reads, “We are Canadian

citizens and have completed

our 14-day quarantine.”

Since students can

complete course work online,

one might wonder:

why send them at all?

“We need to trust that

she’ll make decisions to

keep herself safe, either

there or here,” said one

mother, whose daughter

is going into her second

year at McGill, and who

fears for her if her name

is made public. The parents

wrestled with whether

to let her go.

“I kept saying to her,

‘I would prefer you stay

home and wait.’ And she

was like, ‘But my life is

waiting for me there.’ So

we’re letting her make

the choice.”

In a statement, Mc-

Gill would say only that

fall courses will be

offered “primarily

through remote delivery

platforms,” but

that they are developing

on-campus student

life and learning

activities “which will

respect careful safety

protocols.”

“We will continue

to place the health

and safety of our

community first by

working closely with

public health authorities.”

At the University

of Calgary, some international

students

have spent the summer

in residence to

avoid going back to

countries where the

virus is rampant or

travel restrictions

made going home impossible,

said Susan

Barker, the vice-provost

in charge of student

experience.

New arrivals will

quarantine in residence,

while some who lack living

arrangements will

be sequestered at local

hotels, Barker said. Students

from the U.S. are

not being treated any differently

from those from

elsewhere, she added.

“Our values as an institution

are about fairness

and equity,” Barker

said. “We haven’t had to

make decisions that give

students from somewhere

preferential treatment

over another.”

Some U.S. parents are

taking comfort in knowing

their children are escaping

the U.S., where the

newly resurgent virus is

shattering daily records

for new cases and deaths,

fuelled by partisan divisions

over face masks,

reopening businesses and

easing physical distancing

requirements.

“It is completely bittersweet,”

said the father

of a second-year McGill

student from a hardhit

southern state, also

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worried his child might

be targeted. The good

news, he said, is that his

daughter “has made a

connection, made a life

and found a place in a culture

and country that has

some sense of the common

good.”

At the University of

Toronto, where 23,000 international

students comprised

nearly a quarter of

the school’s 93,000-strong

student body last year, a

detailed and comprehensive

plan is in motion to

ensure the safety of all

students, said Joe Wong,

the school’s vice-provost

and associate vice-president,

international student

experience.

Last year, U of T had

722 undergraduates and

514 graduate students

from the U.S., and so far

268 new American students

have accepted offers

of admission, he said.

“All three levels of

government are co-ordinating

right now — they

really are setting the bar

high in terms of what is a

safe and secure corridor for

students and universities

across the country,” Wong

said.

“I can’t speak for others,

but I know that they’re all

working very hard to it, and

the plan that we put together

at U of T … goes above and

beyond what most people expected.”

Students from outside

Canada will be quarantined

on campus for 14 days, regardless

of whether they are

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The International News Weekly CANADA

July 21, 2020 | Toronto

03

Liberals review rollout of social finance

fund to combat pandemic fallout

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : The federal

government is taking a

second look at how quickly

it will dole out hundreds

of millions in help to social

services looking to tap

into new sources of capital,

particularly as COVID-19

dries up traditional donations.

Social Development

Minister Ahmed Hussen’s

office says the government

is reviewing the launch of

what’s known as the “social

finance fund” given

the pandemic.

The pandemic has had

a deep financial effect on

households, with much

discretionary spending

like charity being paused

while economic uncertainty

prevails.

The Liberals had already

embarked on a path

to provide new sources of

revenue to charitable and

non-profit social services

by connecting them with

private investors to test

new — potentially cheaper

and more effective — ways

of delivering their services.

The idea is that investors

will front the money

for projects to address social

problems, and the government

will reward those

investments if the projects

work.

Hussen heard a pitch

earlier this month to speed

up delivery of hundreds of

millions in federal dollars

to build out this socially

conscious investment system,

and up the amount

offered to social-service

groups unaccustomed to

pitching investors, to help

them land the cash.

A spokeswoman for

Hussen says the Liberals

are re-examining the timelines

and approach for the

launch of the social finance

fund to help cash-strapped

groups whose services are

in high demand.

“The need to innovate

for communities is all the

more urgent in light of the

COVID-19 pandemic,” Jessica

Eritou said in a statement.

“We acknowledge that

the COVID-19 pandemic

has created financial and

operational challenges

that make it difficult for

many organizations to innovate

at a time when they

are most needed.”

The goal of social financing

is to bring private

money into social services

governments are used to either

providing themselves

or paying for directly, and

sometimes ineffectively.

Instead of directly

funding positions for specific

groups at a company,

for instance, a group would

use private funding to test

a way to train up marginalized

workers with specific

skills. Government funds

would flow if a project,

such as finding housing for

people for whom current

programs haven’t worked,

proves successful through

detailed data.

The Liberals have set

aside $755 million in a

social-finance fund, and a

further $50 million spread

over last year and this fiscal

year to help about 500

groups build capacity to

take part in the growing

field. The government had

banked on $85 million annually

from the fund going

out over a four-year period

starting this fiscal year, for

a total of $340 million

The pitch Hussen

heard at the start of July

was for $400 million over

the next two years — more

than double what the government

planned — to

capitalize existing and

emerging funding groups,

as well as Indigenous-led

organizations.

Groups are also asking

the government to provide

a further $150 million to

expand capacity-building

programs.

“If there are allocations

made to increase

that amount going to these

capacity-building organizations,

then they can

roll out a variety of support

programs to support

dozens if not hundreds of

enterprises beginning the

fall,” said Adam Spence,

chief executive of Social

Venture Connexion, which

works with and connects

investors, social finance

funds, and service groups.

Some of these socialfinance

groups have seen

their revenues drop by 70

per cent due to COVID-19,

Spence said, mirroring

similar drops in traditional

giving seen by charities

since the pandemic struck

Canada in March.

The project money

would come next, with a

target to pull in $800 million

in private capital, so

that funding groups could

put cash into projects and

local organizations beginning

in late fall, Spence

said.

Speeding up and adding

spending could help 10,000

social-purpose organizations

adapt to the crunch

COVID-19 has created for

them, and maintain or

create jobs targeting newcomers,

youth, Black and

Indigenous people.

“Each of these is going

to contribute to the tax

base, but also and perhaps

more importantly, tackle

a whole host of social, economic

and environmental

challenges that we’re all

facing,” Spence said.

Almost three dozen

three dozen people, from

places from Fogo Island

to Vancouver Island, took

part in a virtual meeting

with Hussen earlier this

month.

Spence said the group

remains hopeful but also

plans to redouble efforts

by lobbying local MPs

through the summer.

Quebec police suspend ground search for

father whose daughters were found dead

The Canadian Press

ST-APOLLINAIRE, Que.

: Quebec provincial police

suspended an intensive

ground search Saturday

for a missing father whose

daughters were found

dead one week ago in a

wooded area southwest of

Quebec City.

Provincial police said

in a statement that after

10 days of looking for Martin

Carpentier, they are

changing their approach

to the investigation but

remain determined to find

him.

“Since July 8, the date

on which we found Martin

Carpentier’s damaged

vehicle, we have received,

processed, validated and

analyzed more than 1,000

reports,” police said.

“We have searched

over 700 addresses, outbuildings,

cottages and

other places to locate or

find clues.”

But there’s been no

signs of Carpentier, 44, the

suspect investigators have

identified as key to understanding

what happened

to the young sisters.

Police have said Carpentier

and his daughters

Norah and Romy were

seen in their hometown

of Levis, Que., and about

an hour later, they were

believed to be involved

in a serious car crash on

Highway 20 in St-Apollinaire.

But when police arrived,

no one was inside

the wrecked vehicle and

an Amber Alert was triggered

the following day

for the missing girls.

Norah and Romy Carpentier,

aged 11 and 6,

were found dead last Saturday,

triggering a manhunt

for the 44-year-old.

Police said they

checked up on tips St-Apollinaire,

and the nearby

communities of St-Agapit

and Laurier-Station.

But the search had

mainly focused on a vast,

densely forested area with

numerous cabins, shacks

and chalets in an area that

borders the two towns

about 35 kilometres southwest

of Quebec City.

Police had intensified

their search late this

week after police alleged

on Thursday that Carpentier

had stolen items from

a trailer inside the search

zone, believing Carpentier

may be desperate to find

materials he needed to

survive in the woods.

On Saturday, investigators

accompanied property

owners to inspect

their buildings, marking

off homes with police tape.

But after a painstaking,

difficult search using

foot patrols, canine teams,

ATVs and Wildlife Department

officers, police

completed a tenth day of

searching Saturday without

any signs of Carpentier.

“We are on the lookout

for new information

allowing us to redeploy

our staff in other sectors,”

police said, adding other

investigative techniques

are also be used, without

elaborating further.

The funeral for the

sisters is scheduled for

Monday afternoon in their

hometown of Levis, south

of Quebec City.

Autopsies have been

performed on the girls

but police have said they

won’t reveal the cause of

death until Carpentier is

found.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 04

Quebec becomes first province to make

masks mandatory in indoor public spaces

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL : Quebec’s

move to make mask-wearing

obligatory in all indoor

public places as of Saturday

was met with a protest

march and with small

business owners calling on

the government to shift enforcement

off their shoulders.

The new COVID-19-related

directive, the first

provincewide order of the

sort in Canada, applies to

people aged 12 and older

and coincided with tens

of thousands of Quebecers

spanning out across the

province on vacation for

the traditional two-week

construction holiday.

As it came into effect,

associations representing

the businesses that are expected

to enforce the rules

called on the Quebec government

in a joint statement

to shift the onus to

those delinquent clients

unwilling to wear a mask.

Public health is a collective

responsibility, they

wrote, and the absence of

deterrents to consumers

puts the entire risk and

stress on businesses. The

groups called on measures

similar to those in Toronto

or countries like England

and Belgium, where fines

directly target individuals.

“We do think that asking

people to wear masks

in indoor, closed public

spaces is fine. We prefer

that rather than having to

go into a second confinement

and having to close

our businesses again,” said

Gopinath Jeyabalaratnam,

a senior policy analyst at

the Canadian Federation

of Independent Business.

“Where we are having

some trouble is that

we have to play police, we

have to be the enforcer of

this measure.”

Businesses will be expected

to enforce the new

rules and are subject to

fines of between $400 and

$6,000 if their customers

are caught violating the

directive.

Jeyabalaratnam said

some businesses have opted

simply to give disposable

masks to clients who

don’t have one — an added

cost. But short of putting

up signs or asking citizens

to put one on, there isn’t

much else they can do.

“It’s very difficult for

a store owner to enforce

it in some other way, so

we don’t see why business

owners should pay fines,”

Jeyabalaratnam said.

“It should be up to the

person who is refusing

to wear masks who is responsible

in some way to

pay for his or her own mistake.”

In Ontario, the province

has decided not to issue

a provincewide order,

but has left it up to municipalities

to enact their own

local bylaws like Ottawa

and Toronto.

In Toronto, where

mandatory masking has

been in place for almost

two weeks, many people

outdoors are donning

some sort of facial covering

as it’s the only way to

get into most businesses or

to hop on the city’s transit

system. In Quebec, anyone

riding public transit will

be required to wear a mask

after a two-week grace period

is up on July 27.

But those opposed to

mandatory masking took

to the streets against the

new edict, arguing the government

shouldn’t have a

blanket policy when most

regions outside Montreal

weren’t deeply affected by

COVID-19.

Dr. Horacio Arruda,

Quebec’s director of public

health, has repeatedly

warned Quebecers to get in

the habit of wearing masks

to prepare for a possible

second wave of the virus in

the fall.

In St-Georges, in the

Beauce region south of

Quebec City, several hundred

people took part in a

march organized by business

owners to voice their

opposition to the order.

“We have a lot of small

businesses here and people

are completely against the

obligation of wearing a

mask, and we’re worried

for them because we don’t

want them to see their

business hurt,” said Chantal

Giguere, one of the organizers.

She said many

residents in the rural region

are vehemently opposed

to wearing a mask.

“It shouldn’t be an obligation

but a personal

choice,” she said. “Distancing

is one thing, but

the mask is something

that should be optional

for those who don’t want

to wear it.” At an east-end

Montreal shopping centre,

customers were taking the

new rules in stride.

“I have no problem

with it, I’ve been wearing

it for more than two weeks

whenever I was going indoors,

voluntarily, out of

respect for others,” said

Simon Landry. “I imagine

it’ll have a bigger impact

if everyone wears one

instead of just a few and

everything we can do to

avoid a second wave, we

should.” Fernando Fregoso

said he hadn’t worn one

regularly other than to do

groceries, and while it can

be a bit annoying wearing

one, he’s resigned to it.

“It’s not the greatest

thing, but it’s the reality,

I know, we have to wear it

to protect everybody else,”

Fregoso said.

Quebec has seen a

slight resurgence in COV-

ID-19 cases in recent days,

which Premier Francois

Legault has said is due, in

part, to house parties.

On Saturday, the province

added 158 new cases,

bringing the total provincial

tally to 57,300. The

province also added seven

further deaths for a total

of 5,654. Provincial health

authorities say that 50,027

people have recovered.

Liberals seek to recall House of Commons

for new COVID-19 legislation

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Liberal

government is seeking

to recall the House of

Commons to pass another

round of measures to deal

with COVID-19.

Opposition parties

were notified Thursday of

the new legislation and the

potential for the Commons

to deal with it early next

week.

Among the items hanging

on the government’s

agenda is a promise to provide

one-time payments

to some Canadians with

disabilities to help cover

additional costs incurred

during the pandemic.

The Liberals tried to

pass a bill last month that

would set up the payment

but the opposition refused

to support the legislation

as it contained other measures

they found objectionable.

A spokesman for Liberal

House Leader Pablo Rodriguez

would not divulge

the contents of the latest

bill; it has not been officially

tabled in the House

of Commons.

But Simon Ross says

legislation has been drafted

and shared with the opposition

so that Canadians

can get more help.

“We will continue to

collaborate with the opposition,

because that’s what

Canadians expect from all

of us,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin

Trudeau has also promised

to provide details this

week of how the government

intends to extend

the federal wage subsidy

program to the end of the

year.

When it was first announced,

the program was

to expire the first week

of June, and was then extended

into early fall.

The program pays up

to 75 per cent of salaries

for certain companies

whose revenues have declined

a specific amount.

There have been calls

for it to be restructured to

take into account the slow

recovery of the economy.

The government’s fiscal

and economic “snapshot”

last week boosted

the expected cost of the

program from $45 billion

to $82.3 billion, taken as a

sign of impending changes

to the thresholds.

The House of Commons

is adjourned until

fall, though a special committee

continues to meet

in its stead over the summer

months to debate CO-

VID-19 issues.

While that committee

is scheduled to sit next

week, to pass legislation

the government must formally

recall Parliament.

The Liberals have

done so several times in

the past, with MPs gathered

in person in the minimum

number required to

allow for votes to be cast

on bills.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto

05

Three charged with mischief after statues

are covered in paint during protest

The Canadian Press

TORONTO : Three protesters

were charged with

mischief on Saturday after

supporters of Black Lives

Matter threw paint on several

statues, including one

of Canada’s first prime

minister, Sir John A. Macdonald,

and called for the

defunding of police.

The protesters, who had

marched on the Ontario

legislature from Ryerson

University, where a statue

of public education activist

Egerton Ryerson had been

similarly defaced, then

moved to a police detachment

to denounce racism

and demand those arrested

be freed.

A handful of officers

outside downtown 52 Division

kept an eye on the demonstrators

as they milled

quietly about, munched on

pizza, or chanted “Black

Lives Matter here!” in the

fierce sunshine.

Toronto police alleged

a man and two women

vandalized the statue on

the Ryerson campus before

moving on to one at Queen’s

Park. They said officers

found two of the accused in

a van, covered in paint.

They said officers seized

tubs of paint, spray paint,

sidewalk chalk, stencils and

rope from the van.

A 35-year-old man, a

47-year-old woman and a

35-year-old woman have all

been charged with three

counts of mischief under

$5,000 and conspiracy to

commit a summary offence.

Sporting a bright pink

megaphone, Rodney Diverlus,

co-founder of the group

in Toronto, said people had

come out for an “art-based

demonstration.” The aim,

he said, was to make a point

about racism and police violence.

Anyone angered by the

defacing of public monuments

was misguided, he

said.

“Symbols remain in our

city that remind us of white

supremacy and anti-Black

racism,” Diverlus said in an

interview. “If people care

more about statues than

they care about lives, then I

would ask them to question

their priorities.”

Instead of listening to

calls for change, Diverlus

said, police had arrested

what he said were three

peaceful protesters. The

demonstrators would remain

outside the police station

as long as the trio were

in custody, he said.

Police did not immediately

say what, if any,

charges those arrested

would face.

The defunding cause

erupted across North America

after a police officer

in Minneapolis on May 25

killed a Black man, George

Floyd, by kneeling on his

neck while colleagues

watched. Since then, scores

of cities around the globe

have seen protesters denounce

racism and police

brutality against various

minorities.

“Nine Black, Indigenous

and racialized people

have died in interactions

with the police in Canada

in the last month alone,”

Diverlus said. “We’re out

here having a conversation

about lives. We’re here talking

about police violence

against Black and Indigenous

communities, we’re

here to talk about how disproportionately

we’re impacted

by violence.”

Diverlus said none of

the protesters posed any

danger to anyone and there

was no need to arrest or

charge them. At the same

time, he said the protesters

were not anti-police.

“I’d rather not be out

here screaming, defending

my life,” he said. “Lives

are always inherently more

valuable than property.”

Saturday’s protest followed

dozens of submissions

over the past week

to the Toronto Police Services

Board in which people

called for the defunding of

police.

There have also been

renewed efforts to remove

or rename monuments to

historical figures involved

in the oppression of Black

and Indigenous people, both

at home and abroad.

Last month, protesters

in Bristol, England,

toppled the statue of 17th

century slave trader Edward

Colston, rolled it to the

harbour and plunged it into

the sea. But protests against

such monuments in Canada

are not new.

Both Macdonald and

Ryerson have been on the

receiving end of such movements

before, with activists

arguing that the historical

figures were architects of

the residential school system

that separated Indigenous

children from their

families and are undeserving

of reverence.

Saturday’s protest

saw both statues splashed

with bright pink paint and

draped with a sign that

reads “Tear down monuments

that represent slavery,

colonialism and violence.”

Ethics committee punts decision on seeking

Trudeau family’s speaking contracts

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : The House of

Commons ethics committee

has put off to next week

a decision on whether to

demand records of the

Trudeau family’s speaking

engagements as part of a

probe of how WE Charity

was given responsibility

for a vast federal volunteer

program.

Conservatives on the

committee want the documents;

Liberals said the

committee has no business

inserting itself into an

investigation the federal

ethics commissioner is already

conducting.

WE gave up running

the $912-million volunteer

program amid controversy

over hundreds of thousands

of dollars in fees the

WE organization paid to

members of Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau’s family

for appearances at WE

events.

Trudeau has said he

should have recused himself

from the decision but

didn’t.

Finance Minister Bill

Morneau, one of whose

daughters works for an

arm of the WE organization,

has said the same.

The Tories say the committee

needs to understand

how well the government’s

conflict-of-interest regime

works and the WE Charity

deal presents a case study.

“Let’s put some sunlight

on this,” said Ontario

Conservative MP Michael

Barrett, his party’s ethics

critic, as the meeting began.

According to WE,

most of the fees went to

Trudeau’s mother Margaret,

a mental-health advocate,

for events between

2016 and 2020, and Justin

Trudeau has never been

paid anything.

Quebec Liberal MP

Brenda Shanahan argued

the ethics committee is

not an investigative body.

It broadly oversees the

work of people such as federal

ethics commissioner

Mario Dion, she said, but

doesn’t do probes itself.

Dion is investigating

Trudeau and Morneau in

the affair, to determine

whether they violated the

Conflict of Interest Act.

Shanahan said that’s

the way the probe should

be carried out, rather than

have a Commons committee

nosing through the

finances of Trudeau’s relatives.

“Is that really the way

we want to go? Investigate

everyone publicly? When

there are other tools available?”

she asked.

Other Liberals on the

committee such as Greg

Fergus and Elisabeth Briere

echoed her, insisting

the committee only has

a role to play if the ethics

commissioner somehow

can’t act.

Both padded their ideas

out with long disquisitions

on the history of democracy,

back to Greek citystates,

and how members

of the executive branch are

properly held to account.

New Democrat MP

Charlie Angus accused

them of filibustering, running

out the clock on the

meeting, and not even doing

it particularly well under

the rules.

“I mean, I love the stuff

about ancient Athens, he

can talk about ancient

Sparta … but he needs to

be introducing new material,”

Angus said of Fergus.

In the end, Angus proposed

a compromise that

would see the committee

seek the speaking records

only so they can be handed

over to Dion, and also directly

call the prime minister

to testify before the

group.

He voted with the Liberals

to break until next

week to consider the idea,

a move Fergus promised is

not just a delaying tactic to

defend Trudeau.

The Conservatives accused

the Liberals of seeking

to shut the committee

down in a coverup.

Thursday, the Commons

finance committee

heard from Youth Minister

Bardish Chagger and senior

public servants about

how the arrangement with

WE came together after

Trudeau announced plans

in April for a volunteering

program for students who

couldn’t find work this

summer because of CO-

VID-19.

That committee heard

WE pitched the government

on a different but

related project days before

the announcement, and

officials saw the group’s

connections with young

people as vital to making

the government’s program

work.

The Conservatives

wrote to the lobbying commissioner

Friday, seeking

an investigation of whether

WE’s contacts with the

government should have

been recorded on the federal

lobbying registry.

The Conservatives

have also called on the

RCMP to investigate

whether anything in the

affair was criminal. The

Mounties said Friday that

they’re “examining the

matter carefully with all

available information and

will take appropriate actions

as required.”


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 06

The

w w w . canadianparv asi. c o m

Publisher & CEO

Associate Editor

Editor (India)

Online

Graphic Designer

Official Photographer

Contact

Editorial

Sales

Rajinder Saini

Meenakshi Saini

Gursheesh

Kshitiz Dalal

Naveen

Bashir Nasir

editor@canadianparvasi.com

sales@canadianparvasi.com

Cross-border

narco-terror

Pakistan must be held accountable

The seizure on Sunday of almost 65 kg of

heroin floating in the Ravi is yet another reminder

of how drugs are pushed from Pakistan

into India. In June last year, 500 kg of

heroin was seized at the Attari border checkpost.

Such large consignments cannot move

without the involvement of various official

agencies in Pakistan, and it has been an open

secret that Punjabis in particular, and Indians

in general, have been targeted by the military-intelligence

complex across the border.

Pakistan is already on the grey list of the

terror financing watchdog, Financial Action

Task Force (FATF). It is just a step away from

being publicly censured like North Korea

and Iran. FATF has left itself open to criticism

by focusing on a narrow interpretation

of terrorism, and its rather bureaucratic interpretation

of the steps needed for a nation to

comply with its requirements that primarily

centre on plugging the holes in terror financing,

along with activities of UN-designated

terrorists. The narco-terror nexus is an old

one. There have been enough instances when

it has been proved that the activities of active

terrorist groups in Kashmir, and the rest of

the country, received money from the proceeds

of the sale of narcotics brought across

the border. In fact, aiding, abetting and pushing

drugs into India serve not only to weaken

the border states, where their availability

feeds addiction, but also in opening conduits

that are used for smuggling weapons and

even sending terrorists across the border.

There is a need to resist the tendency

to treat such seizures as merely a law

and order issue. Each such attempt is a

breach of national security. The non-state

and state actors across the border must be

identified, and such seizures must be used

to demonstrate the nefarious terrorist activities

of our western neighbour. Our diplomats

must fully brief FATF and other

international fora, and international pressure

must be brought to bear on the regime

that allows, rather facilitates, narco-terror

on this horrific scale..The Tribune

CHINA’S HIERARCHY

OF NATIONS

The ‘new model’ is about getting the US to accept

China as an equal

Manoj Joshi

The talks on restoring

status quo ante in eastern

Ladakh have yet to yield

significant results. There

has reportedly been disengagement

in the Galwan

area, but the more

serious Pangong Tso and

Depsang incursions have

yet to be terminated.

Meanwhile, India

must grapple with the

consequences of the collapse

of the regime that

largely maintained peace

and tranquility along the

Line of Actual Control

(LAC) and possibly its

larger relationship with

its huge northern neighbour,

China.

Given the asymmetry

of the terrain and logistics,

we need to ensure

that there are no repetitions

of the Chinese moves

that have taken place in

the recent months. Stopping

them from intruding

into Indian territory

is infinitely more preferable,

and doable, than trying

to uproot them from

the positions they have

occupied. This has been

the long lesson the country

has learnt since 1951.

Meanwhile, the bigger

challenge is to figure out

the new trajectory of our

relations with China.

First, we should try

to figure out why the Chinese

have done what they

did. It could simply be a

bit of Covid-19 opportunism

— after all, China,

the first country to be infected,

has also successfully

pulled out of it and

has got its economy going

again. As in the case

of the Global Financial

Crisis (GFC) of 2008, its

power relative to that of

the others could grow in

the coming period.

It could also be a consequence

of the astounding

abandonment of

global leadership by the

US generally, and more

specifically during the

Covid crisis. The chaos

and confusion in the US

is a perfect opportunity

to be exploited. More so

because the country is up

for elections this year and

the incumbent President

is hitting out blindly as he

senses he may lose to his

Democratic challenger.

This could explain

their simultaneous moves

across their periphery —

in the South China Sea,

with Japan in the East

Sea, raising the eastern

Bhutan claim, the crackdown

in Hong Kong and

the actions in eastern

Ladakh. This is a perfect

moment for staking out

their primacy in Asia.

Kurt Campbell and Mira

Rapp-Hooper argue that

the foreign policy of restraint

introduced by

Deng Xiaoping is at an

end. ‘China is done biding

its time’ is the suggestive

title to their recent article

in Foreign Affairs.

The Chinese are driven

by a sense of history,

and they see their dominance

as the natural order

of things. Their view

of the world is that harmony

is a consequence

of every country accepting

its place in a system,

which is hierarchical.

This was perhaps best put

in their White Paper on

Asia Pacific Security Cooperation

in 2017, which

observed that ‘Major

countries should treat

the strategic intentions

of others in an objective

and rational manner…

(while) small and medium-sized

countries need

not, and should not, take

sides among big countries.’

In the document,

China listed four ‘major’

countries in a hierarchical

manner — the US,

Russia, India and Japan.

Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan,

or Australia did not

figure on the list.

The first thing that

Xi Jinping did when he

came to power was to talk

of a ‘New Model of Great

Power Relations’, a kind

of code to get the US to accept

a sort of a condominium

or a ‘group of two’

(G2) arrangement. This

proposal began to do the

rounds in the US following

the GFC, with people

like Zbigniew Brzezinski

and C Fred Bergsten advocating

it.

But the Chinese misread

the American mood

and Obama was cold to

the proposal when Xi

brought it up at the Sunnylands

summit in 2013.

The New Model was all

about getting the US to

accept China as an equal

which, in turn, would

signal an acceptance of

Chinese dominance in the

western Pacific. Instead

the US began to talk about

the ‘pivot’, which later

became the Indo-Pacific

policy.

Though it spoke of a

new model of major power

relations, the Chinese

were only thinking of the

US, and most certainly

not India. As a large and

populous country, we are

a bit of a conundrum for

China.

Where could we figure

in the hierarchy? Besides,

we have the economic

and military potential to

match up to, or even beat

China.

So, Chinese policy

has been concentrated

on containing India’s

rise however it can. Formally,

Beijing professes

friendship and cooperation

with India, but in

practical terms, all it has

needed is a Pakistan to

keep us off balance. Our

own policy of relentless

hostility towards Islamabad,

of course, aids this

mission. And our incompetence

with neighbours

like Nepal and Sri Lanka

compounds our problem.

As of now, we are only

a potential equal. China’s

economy is nearly five

times the size of India’s,

and its military much

more powerful. They

could yet overreach and

crash, but let’s not depend

on that and work at some

self-help.

The challenge for Indian

policy is to be able

to reduce these asymmetries.

This is not something

a friendly Uncle

will help us do — we need

to relentlessly grow our

economy, enhance our

diplomatic performance

and be far more focused.

This cannot happen

overnight, or even in one

prime ministerial term. It

requires systematic short

to medium-term planning

and effort, beginning now.

As our trendlines start

arching upwards, we will

get the payoffs in the form

of better Chinese behaviour

on our borders..

Source Credit: This article

was first published in The

Tribune. The writer is Distinguished

fellow, observer research

foundation, New Delhi

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The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto

07

Advocates create Canada-wide support

list for sexual assault survivors

The Canadian Press

Two Somali-Canadian

advocates have created an

online resource specifically

for racialized survivors

of sexual assault, saying a

centralized guide is necessary

to fill gaps in both the

health-care and justice systems

that leave marginalized

women behind.

Habon Ali of Toronto

and Edmonton’s Asmaa Ali

said existing resources are

either scarce in nature or

scattered across the internet,

making it difficult for

victims to track down the

help they need. The women

contend the issues persist

both in the immediate aftermath

of sexual violence

and further down the road

when victims need medical

rather than legal support.

Spurred on by both the

patchwork of systems at

home and the death of a

Black Lives Matter activist

abroad, the women compiled

a 28-page document

listing resources including

help lines, legal services

and places to obtain sexual

assault kits across the

country.

“It was important for

us to put together these resources

because there’s a

barrier in finding them and

we did our best to remove

them,” said Asmaa Ali, a

registered nurse and recent

graduate of the University

of Alberta.

She said sexual violence

resources in Canada

are seldom geared towards

intersectional communities

and often leave Black,

Indigenous and other people

from racialized communities

out of the conversation.

She and Habon Ali

sought out resources that

included those communities,

adding their focus

was on providing support

to vulnerable women with

intersectional experience.

The guide is also intended

to provide additional

help for students and

immigrants, groups Habon

Ali cited as particularly

likely to fall through the

cracks of Canada’s current

systems.

She said language barriers

often make it difficult

for ethnic minority groups

to find and secure the help

they need.

“Sexual violence is pervasive

across all social and

cultural boundaries globally

and its important we

acknowledge the systemic

inequalities that result in

racial health disparities,”

she said.

Asmaa Ali said both

women felt moved to take

action in Canada after reading

about the suspicious

death of a young activist in

the United States.

Oluwatoyin Salau was

a 19-year-old advocate

who went missing in early

Canadians now in Paris to

view black boxes of Ukraine

plane shot down by Iran

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Canadian

investigators are in Paris

today to take part in the longawaited

downloading of data

from the flight recorders of

the Ukrainian passenger jet

shot down by Iran in January.

Canada’s Transportation

Safety Board confirmed

today that after Tehran’s

nearly four-month delay, the

so-called black boxes have arrived

in Paris.

The TSB sent a team to

Paris to witness the download

of the data, after an

Iranian news agency report

that they had been shipped

on Saturday. Today marks

a crucial step for grieving

families seeking answers to

why Iran’s military fired two

missiles at the passenger jet

on Jan. 8 shortly after take-off

from the Tehran airport.

All 176 people aboard

were killed, including 55 Canadian

citizens and 30 permanent

residents and dozens

of others with connections

to Canada. Iran initially denied

responsibility but was

forced to acknowledge the

shootdown after video footage

on social media appeared

to show at least one missile

striking the Boeing passenger

jet.

“We are pleased to finally

move forward with this next

step, an important milestone

in what must be a thorough

and transparent safety investigation,”

Kathy Fox,

the chair of the TSB, said in

a statement “It is our hope

that data from these recorders

can provide additional

valuable information to inform

the investigation which

in the end will help bring

answers and closure to the

families.”

Iran’s delegate to the International

Civil Aviation

Organization told the organization

on March 11 that

the flight data and cockpit

voice recorders would be

sent to Ukraine’s aviation investigators

by March 25, but

later blamed the COVID-19

pandemic for a months-long

delay. Britain, Ukraine Afghanistan

and Sweden also

lost citizens when the plane

was destroyed, and the countries

formed an alliance with

Canada to deal with Iran.

Foreign Affairs Minister

Francois-Philippe Champagne

and his counterparts

from those countries have

been pushing Iran to release

the flight recorders.

The tragedy unfolded

after Iran launched missiles

into Iraq at two American

military bases in retaliation

for the U.S. having killed a

top Iranian general.

Families of those who

died on the plane have questioned

why the plane was allowed

to take off in such circumstances.

June after tweeting about

being sexually assaulted

by a man. She was found

dead in Florida days later.

Aaron Glee Jr. 49, is now

charged with second-degree

murder,kidnapping

and sexual assault in connection

with her death.

Both Canadian advocates

said Salau’s death

highlights a stigma Black

women face when they

speak up against their assailants.

The fact that some

pay a heavy price for selfadvocacy,

bolstered by a

growing number of online

anecdotes detailing similar

treatment, is what prompted

them to make sexual assault

supports more readily

available at home.

“It’s sad to see the way

survivors are treated when

they speak up about their

sexual violence,” Asmaa

Ali said. “When BIPOC

women online began to

speak up about their experience

it made it all the

more real.”

The decision to include

students in the guide’s

scope was welcome news

for Sara Reza, who attends

York University’s Schulich

School of Business and

founded the social media

account SilencedatSchulich,

where racialized sexual

assault survivors can

share their experiences of

violence and racism.

She said the number of

students of color who don’t

know where to turn after

an alleged assault is “overwhelming

and heartbreaking.”

“Oftentimes, women

of colour who are victims

of sexual violence in this

country come from marginalized

communities

that are underfunded and

do not have the adequate

resources to help them,”

Reza said.

That holds true long

after the trauma of an assault,

according to Siham

Rayale at the University of

Toronto.

The women and gender

studies lecturer said

systemic racism exists

throughout the health-care

system, citing questionable

assumptions about

women of colour that

shape the way medical

professionals have historically

responded to their

concerns.

“We know there have

been countless studies that

show what medical professionals

are taught about

the tolerance that women

of colour have for pain,”

Rayale said, adding such

attitudes give women in

need of care short-shrift

when they need help the

most.

She described the new

online resource guide as

“necessary and lifesaving”

for those who may not

know how to navigate Canada’s

complex systems.

'There is no victim':

Blanchet says he has no idea

where sexual misconduct

allegations came from

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois

Blanchet says he’s incapable of the kind of sexual misconduct

alleged against him in an anonymous Facebook

post.

In a Sunday news conference on Parliament Hill,

Blanchet said the claim that he tried to force himself

on a woman in the washroom of a Montreal bar in

1999, when he was a manager in the music business,

does a disservice to real victims of sexual assault.

He called facing such allegations a form of hell and

demanded the page where the allegation was posted

retract it. “There is no victim,” he said in French. “I

have no idea where this comes from. I have no idea

what the intention was behind these allegations.”

He said the general circumstances described in the

allegation, that Blanchet was out at particular bars

with Quebec artists, are plausible but the details are

false. Blanchet had already denied the allegations categorically

in a written statement, in which he urged

anyone with a real complaint to take it to the police.

He said Sunday he wanted to speak directly to his

friends and constituents, as do other Bloc MPs.

Those MPs are standing behind their leader. All

31 members of the BQ caucus have their names on a

statement issued Sunday.

“We are convinced that the anonymous allegations

made against him are false and we support him without

hesitation,” the statement says in French.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 08

StatCan plans ‘contactless’ census

for 2021 in response to COVID-19

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : Statistics Canada

is working on plans to

deliver a “contactless census”

next May if COVID-19

remains a threat.

Officials from the agency

said Friday the census

day will be May 11, 2021

as planned But efforts are

being made to protect the

health and safety of both

census staff and Canadians,

and any in-person census-taking

will respect any

applicable health advice

such as physical distancing

and protective gear.

In a technical briefing

given on condition they

not be named, the officials

said in 2016, almost 90 per

cent of Canadians responded

to the census without an

in-person contact, including

online or by mail.

Some of the data collected

may also show if

there are longer-term

changes to Canada as a result

of the pandemic such

as more telecommuting

and other impacts on the

labour force.

Statistics Canada Friday

published the full

questionnaires that will be

used for the census, including

for the first time questions

to count transgender

Canadians, veterans and

active military personnel

and members of Metis

groups.

The changes to the 2021

questionnaire come out of

consultations with various

communities who felt

they didn’t see themselves

reflected in the questions

in 2016.

The questions now ask

a respondent’s sex at birth

and current gender, which

the questionnaire notes

may be different from

what is on current legal

documents.

There is a new question

looking for the numbers of

Inuit enrolled in Inuit land

claims agreements, and

another asking about Metis

government representation.

The census will also ask

about all the ways people

commute to work, rather

than just the most common

way, as the agency tries to

suss out how many people

ever use forms of active or

public transportation versus

private vehicles.

Statistics Canada is

also no longer providing a

list of suggestions of ethnicity

on the census form,

as it has in years past. Canada’s

Jewish community

was flummoxed after the

2016 census cut its population

in half, from 309,000

in 2011 to about 143,000 in

2016.

The change happened

after “Jewish” was

dropped as one of the 20

suggested answers on the

questionnaire, because it

had not been one of the top

20 answers in 2011.

The 2021 question asking

about the ethnic or

cultural origins of respondents’

ancestors does not

provide any suggested responses,

though the agency

says it will provide a

web page with a long and

diverse list of potential responses.

Additionally, Statistics

Canada is trying to get information

about why people

work part time or seasonally

for the first time.

Thousands of lives on hold as immigration

system remains largely shut down

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : John McCall’s

great-grandfather was born

in southern Ontario some 200

years ago, and ever since the

descendents of his seven children,

some living in Canada,

some in the U.S, have crisscrossed

the border with ease.

Until COVID-19.

John is American, his

wife Donna is Canadian.

They live now in Madoc,

Ont., and Donna’s health is

fading. Their American-born

children are stuck in the U.S.,

unable to visit or help care for

her due to bans on travel into

Canada to slow the spread of

the novel coronavirus.

So it hurts, John says,

to watch the federal government

swiftly decide whether

professional athletes can

come to Canada while the

only answer to his pleas for

compassion are an auto-response

from bureaucrats and

form letters from ministers.

“I don’t have a particular

problem with the NHL or

Major League Baseball, other

than the fact that it does hurt

to see those kinds of things

take precedence over a lifeand-death

issue,” he said. The

McCall family is one of thousands

separated, some by the

Canada-U.S. border, others by

oceans, due to the wide-ranging

impact the COVID-19 pandemic

has had on Canada’s

immigration system.

The border closure is the

dominant element keeping

so many apart, and Prime

Minister Justin Trudeau suggested

Thursday restrictions

won’t lift soon.

“I understand how difficult

it is to see these travel restrictions

in place but Canadians

understand that keeping

our cities, our municipalities,

our elders, our frontline

workers safe by preventing

international travel is a continued

thing we need to do,”

he said.Another question is

how fast new immigrants will

be able to get here once the

borders do open.

Visa and biometrics collection

offices around the

world are closed, meaning

would-be newcomers can’t

be interviewed or submit the

materials they need for their

applications.

Even applications already

in the queue are on

hold. Where the Immigration

Department used to post

processing times, there is

now just a message saying

that due to COVID-19, it can’t.

Noor Ul Ain Mahmood has

been waiting over a year for

her application to sponsor

her spouse to be approved.

He is in Saudi Arabia, she in

Oshawa, Ont., their plans for

a future together on pause.

It’s not just that they are

missing the chance to mark

milestones together like

birthdays or Eid, she said.

“The worst thing is we

are under a global crisis right

now, there is a pandemic, and

we’re in isolation and we’ve

been in isolation for so long,”

she said.

“You always need your

family to be able to go through

something like that.” The Liberals

had planned to admit

341,000 new permanent residents

this year.

As of the end of May,

84,275 had arrived, down from

125,870 by the same time last

year.The numbers this year

compared to last are likely to

drop further, as Canada typically

welcomes more immigrants

later in the year, said

Howard Ramos, a sociology

professor at Western University

who researches immigration.

There are two plausible

scenarios, he said.

The first is the government

rolls over the number of

people it was willing to admit

this year into next year, creating

a double cohort.

The other is that the flow

of people slows down as potential

newcomers, particularly

economic immigrants,

choose other countries where

the novel coronavirus is less

prevalent. Given that so much

of Canada’s economic growth

is fuelled by migration, that is

a worrying scenario, he said.

“The time to have been

working on this was immediately

back in March, and it

cannot be postponed,” Ramos

said.

“It’s going to require bold

decisionmaking.”

Immigration Minister

Marco Mendicino declined

an interview request. In a

statement, his office said the

government is doing its best

to keep applications moving

but the focus must remain on

public health.

“The pandemic has resulted

in unprecedented

challenges at the border, and

we know this has been a difficult

time for families and

others who are making their

way through the immigration

system,” the statement said.

Whether Canada will make

more room for immigrants

next year is a pressing question

for refugee resettlement.

More than 10,000 refugees

were caught in limbo

when the world’s borders

suddenly slammed shut in

March, said Sabine Lehr, the

program manager for private

sponsorship of refugees at the

Inter-Cultural Association of

Greater Victoria in British

Columbia.

All were already approved

to come to Canada,

but the flights organized by

the International Organization

for Migration were

cancelled. Some were even

turned back practically midair,

she said. Though urgent

cases have been let in since,

it’s completely unclear when

the rest will be able to arrive,

she said. “Our concern is that

the processing times will get

longer if people cannot land,”

she said.

“Obviously they will

eventually land, but what it

means is if the numbers don’t

get increased for next year

to account for this situation,

we’ll be seeing longer processing

times and that’s what nobody

wants.”

The federal government

has made some exceptions to

existing travel restrictions.

In June, close family

members of citizens or permanent

residents were added

to the list of those allowed into

Canada, a move that came

after very public pressure on

the Liberals.

But the definition of close

family didn’t include adult

children. Mendicino’s office

did not explain why.

That’s how McCall finds

himself caring for his wife

alone, his daughter in Wisconsin,

his son in Illinois, unable

to be with them.

Donna McCall has been

in and out of hospital since

February with a cascading

series of problems that now

have her on a liver-transplant

list.

John’s voice breaks as he

shares how his kids are ready

to put their lives on hold to

come to Canada at moment’s

notice. Among the arrangements:

his daughter is married

to a police officer and

other officers’ wives have set

up a system to help look after

their three kids.

That so many pro sports

players are being let in

doesn’t bother him as much

as the belief the government

just doesn’t care about life-ordeath

situations, he said.

“It’s un-Canadian-like,”

he said.

To let in NHL players, as

well as the Toronto Blue Jays

for spring training, the government

had to grant them a

waiver in the “national interest,”

and if they can do that,

they can figure out a better

system for families, said David

Poon.

The Regina doctor’s

long-time partner is stuck in

Ireland as they don’t qualify

as common-law under the

Immigration Department’s

definition. Poon has joined

forces with families like Mc-

Call’s to try to convince the

government to adopt a special

COVID-19 immigration

approach that would impose

specific conditions on family

members not currently covered

by exemptions.

“We’re not asking for

open borders,” Poon said.

“We’re just asking to be

together.”


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto

09

‘Grim work:’ Climate-change clock

ticking on world’s polar bears

The climate-change

clock is ticking on the

world’s polar bears and

a group of Canadian and

U.S. scientists say they’ve

determined when that

time will run out.

The researchers used

data on shrinking sea ice

and detailed information

on what the bears need to

stay healthy and rear cubs

to project the survival odds

for 13 of the world’s 19 bear

populations through to the

end of the century.

“It’s very grim work,”

said Peter Molnar, a University

of Toronto biologist

who is the lead author

on the study, published

Monday in Nature Climate

Change. “The sad part is

that we have known for

a very long time what is

going to happen.” What

hasn’t been studied — until

now — is when dramatic

declines are likely to

begin.

To determine those

timelines, the researchers

weighed what the bears

need to live, reproduce

and rear cubs against what

their environment offers

them.

“How long can a bear

last on its energy stores?”

Molnar asked. “What are

some thresholds for a

population beyond which

reproduction and survival

would decline?

“By using these new

tools we can put numbers

on when to expect these effects.”

Polar bears depend on

rich, fatty seals to get them

through long periods of

fasting, and they can only

hunt that prey from sea

ice — a platform rapidly

shrinking due to climate

change.

Foods on land, such as

bird eggs, just don’t have

enough calories to keep

the bears going over the

long term. “There’s simply

not enough energy on land

in the places where bears

live,” Molnar said.

The researchers had

enough information on

projected ice conditions

to forecast for eight of the

14 Canadian bear populations.

They found cubs will

be the first to go. Even if

the world were to manage

to reduce greenhouse gas

emissions, bears in northern

Ontario on the south

coast of Hudson Bay will

be likely to have trouble

raising new bears by the

end of this decade.

Their cousins along

the west coast of Hudson

Bay would likely follow a

year later and those in the

southern Beaufort Sea a

few years after that. By the

early 2040s, bears in Davis

Strait would join them.

Those four groups represent

nearly a third of

Canada’s total bear population.

Cub-rearing problems

for almost all the rest

of them are considered

likely to occur within similar

timelines.

And that’s the optimistic

take.

Under a business-asusual

scenario, reproductive

failure would become

inevitable for Hudson Bay

and Davis Strait bears beginning

in the 2060s. By the

2080s, it’s likely that adult

bears in those regions

would be starving to death.

“We all have physiological

limits,” said Molnar.

A few populations

— those in the northern

Beaufort or Queen Elizabeth

Islands — will probably

be fine.

“With business-asusual

greenhouse gas

emissions, polar bears are

going to be gone from probably

everywhere except

the very High Arctic,” Molnar

said.

He acknowledged the

conclusions are based on

assumptions — though

well-researched — and

mathematical models. But

the group used the same

approach to look backward

and compared the results

to data from the field.

In every case, the model

results agreed. Field

studies in western Hudson

Bay found bears healthy

and fat through the 1980s,

then with declining reproductive

success and

body condition into the

late 1990s. “That is exactly

what our model ‘predicts,’

” said Molnar. “The model

captures the dynamics of

the past.”

The information in the

paper should be useful to

polar bear managers in the

years ahead. But Molnar

hopes it will have a wider

impact than that.

“My hope is that showing

how grim and dire the

situation really is will emphasize

one more time how

urgent the problem of dealing

with climate change is.

“We know what needs

to be done.”

Trump trails Biden in approval rating: Survey

Washington: US President

Donald Trump faces

an uphill task in his reelection

bid in November

with his approval rating

hitting a record low and

Democratic nominee Joe

Biden taking a double-digit

lead in key indicators, according

to a survey conducted

by the Washington

Post and ABC News.

The opinion poll, conducted

July 12 to 15, shows

how the coronavirus outbreak

has adversely affected

Trump’s prospects.

Now, the president’s

hopes of winning are

pinned on his enthusiastic

core base of supporters

and showing the electorate

that the pandemic is being

dealt with effectively,

The Washington Post said

in its report on the ABC

News-Post poll.

Among registered

voters, Biden, 77, leads

Trump, 74, 55 per cent to 40

per cent. In the same category,

Biden led Trump by

just two points in March

and by 10 points in May.

The survey found that traditional

Republican and

Democratic voters are

treating the November

polls as a referendum on

Trump and not on whether

Biden is a more suitable

candidate, the report said.

Seventy-two per cent of

Trump voters say reelecting

the president is important,

while 62 per cent of

Biden voters say defeating

Trump is the goal.

The Washington Post-

ABC News poll was conducted

by phone among a

random American citizens

sample of 1,006 adults. Results

may have error margin

of plus/minus 3.5 percentage

points.

The survey said 54 per

cent of Americans believe

Biden would handle COV-

ID-19 outbreak better than

Trump. Only 34 per cent

felt Trump was doing well

tackling the pandemic.

In handling of the

economy, Biden has made

giant strides and is nearly

on par with Trump in

the opinion poll, the ABC

News reported.Biden edges

out Trump by 9 points

in crime and safety, which

has been a major topic in

the US after hundreds of

anti-racism protests in the

last two months.

On race relations,

Biden has a lead of 25

points over his Republican

rival (58-33 per cent).

Trump’s job approval rating

has plummeted in the

last two months, standing

at 39 per cent positive and

57 per cent negative.

Notably, 48 per cent

of the surveyed ‘strongly

disapprove’ Trump’s way

of doing his job, according

to the Washington Post’s

article.

However, the president

has managed to hold a positive

view on his handling

of the economy with 50 per

cent of the surveyed saying

they are happy with the US

economy’s performance

and 47 per cent disapproving.

Biden is perceived to

have a better personality

and temperament to serve

as president, holding 26

points advantage over

Trump, the Washington

Post reported.

Biden out scores

Trump handsomely in

‘uniting the country’ (24

points), understanding

problems of the people (17

points), honesty and trust

(14 points), representation

of ‘personal values’ (12

points).

In the survey, 61 per

cent said Trump has done

more to divide the country

than unite it. Both

presidential candidates

are seen as strong leaders,

sharing the category at 45

per cent each.

The ABC News-Post

survey was conducted as

coronavirus cases have

gone through the roof in

the US. So far, the virus

has claimed over 140,000

lives with 3.7 million confirmed

cases in the US.

Other surveys in recent

days have seen Trump

trailing Biden. The president

last week rejigged his

campaign team, elevating

Bill Stepien to lead the reelection

effort and demoting

campaign manager

Brad Parscale.

The Republicans have

struggled on a consistent

and effective line of attack

against Biden, and the

coronavirus is weighing

heavily on the minds of

the American voters, the

Washington Post article

said.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 10

Army jawan among 4 more nabbed in drugs

and weapons smuggling case busted last week

Punjab Police actively engaged in following the money trail to eradicate the drug menace from the state: DGP

CHANDIGARH : The Punjab

Police have arrested

an Army jawan and three

more accused in connection

with the illegal arms

and drug smuggling racket

busted last week with the

arrest of a BSF personnel

and three others.

The total number of

persons arrested in the

case so far now stands at

eight, said DGP Punjab

Dinkar Gupta, adding that

the Punjab Police was actively

engaged in following

the money trail to eradicate

the drug menace from

the state.

Giving details of the

latest arrests, the DGP said

that Ramandeep Singh, an

Indian Army soldier, was

apprehended from Bareilly

(Uttar Pradesh), where

he was currently posted,

on the basis of disclosures

made by BSF Constable

Sumit Kumar, who was

arrested along with three

accomplices by Jalandhar

(Rural) police a week ago.

Ramandeep’s three accomplices,

Taranjot Singh

alias Tanna, Jagjit Singh

alias Laddi, and Satinder

Singh alias Kala, have also

been arrested and are being

brought on production

warrants.

Another Rs 10 lakh has

been recovered from Kala

as drug money, taking the

total amount of such money

seized in the case to Rs

42.30 lakh.

Sumit, who belonged to

the same village—Magar

Mudian, PS Dorangla,

district Gurdaspur, as Ramandeep,

had disclosed

during questioning that

he was lured by his village

classmate—the Army

jawan—into the cross-border

narco-weapons smuggling

racket.

The duo was also

lodged together in Gurdaspur

jail after committing a

murder in their village.

Sumit Kumar was

bailed out on January

4, 2018, and Ramandeep

Singh was bailed out on

September 14, 2019.

According to the DGP,

Ramandeep was running

the drugs and weapons

smuggling racket in conspiracy

with Taranjot

Singh and Satinder Singh.

Kala was, for some

time, lodged in Amritsar

jail, where he came in

contact with Maulvi alias

Mulla, a Pakistani national,

who introduced him to

Pakistani smugglers.

Gupta said that from

Amritsar jail, Satinder

was shifted to Kapurthala

jail where he befriended

Taranjot Singh and made

him an accomplice.

After Kala underlined

the need for involvement

of a BSF man in the racket,

Ramandeep Singh persuaded

Sumit to join the

drug smuggling module.

Throwing light on the

modus operandi of the

gang, the DGP said that

Sumit used to send photographs

of the fencing,

drug-delivery locations

and others to Tanna and

Kala. After the delivery

of the consignment on the

Indian side at a pre-determined

time and place,

three other accomplices

of Tanna used to collect it

from Sumit Kumar.

Gupta said that Jagjit

Singh used to provide his

Swift car to them for transport

of the drug consignments.

The Director General

of Police said that based on

investigations carried out

so far, these accused are

suspected to have smuggled

in 42 packets of heroin,

a 9mm foreign-made

pistol (with 80 live rounds

and 2 live rounds of 12

bore gun) so far, adding

that they had received Rs

39 lakh as drug proceeds

from Pakistan based smugglers

so far.

He said that out of Rs

39 lakh, Rs 32.30 lakh was

received by Sumit Kumar

to be distributed equally

between him and Ramandeep

Singh.

In line with its strategy

of ‘following the money

trail’ to hit out hard at the

various pillars of the drug

smuggling and supply

trade, based in Pakistan,

UAE and various parts

of India, such as Punjab,

J&K, Delhi etc, the Punjab

Police have successfully

busted many modules in

the narco-terrorism supply

chain, which is operated

under the direct watch

of the ISI as well as the rest

of the Pak establishment

to finance its terror operations,

said the DGP.

Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch holds

protest, seeks release of Dr Varavara Rao

JALANDHAR : A protest was held at the Desh

Bhagat Yadgaar Hall (DBYH) here against the

arrest of scholars, intellectuals and writers.

Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak (PLS) Manch president

Amolak Singh said the BJP government

was putting intellectuals in jail under the garb

of Covid and peoples basic human rights were

being snatched away. He said during Covid-19

pandemic elderly intellectuals were forced

to spend time in jails amidst virus fear under

huge risk. He said to aware the populace of

the threats being posed to them in the present

scenario and to protest against these attempts,

the PLS will hold a campaign until July 31, the

martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Uddham

Singh, to call for the freedom of art and pen.

Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee trustee

and library committee convener Surinder

Kumari Kocchar said women presence during

protests was need of the hour for the freedom

of activists like Varavara Rao. Amolak Singh

also sought the unconditional release of intellectual,

writers, poets, doctors including Prof

Varvara Rao, Dr Anand Teltumbde, Dr Sudha

Bhardwaj, Dr Gautam Navlakha, Dr Arun Fareira

and Prof Saibaba.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto

11

Vaccine results shot in the arm for Covid fight

London : A vaccine for Covid-19

developed by Oxford University

and AstraZeneca was

safe and produced an immune response

in early-stage clinical trials,

data showed on Monday, raising

hopes that the world could

soon find a way to stop the virus

that has taken an unprecedented

human and economic toll across

the planet.

Published in The Lancet, the

peer-reviewed report showed that

the 1,077 healthy adults who were

given the AZD1222 vaccine did

not develop any serious side effects,

and their bodies developed

an immune response that could

protect people for a significant

amount of time.

The results came separately

as two other vaccine candidates –

one being developed in China and

the other in Germany – reported

positive results from their studies.

The Oxford vaccine candidate

is largely considered the frontrunner

since it has carried out

trials on the widest set of people

among all.

Adrian Hill, the head of the

Oxford University’s Jenner Institute

that invented the vaccine

candidate, said that it was

possible that the vaccine would

become available by the end of

the year, news agency Reuters

reported. “There might be a million

doses manufactured by September:

that now seems like a

remarkable underestimate, given

the scale of what’s going on,”

said Hill, referring to the manufacturing

capability of partner

Three dead, 14 seriously

injured after bus

rollover in Alberta's

Jasper Park

AstraZeneca. “Certainly there’ll

be a million doses around in September.

What’s less predictable

than the manufacturing scaleup

is the incidence of disease, so

when there’ll be an endpoint,” he

added.

The widely followed Oxford

vaccine trial is currently at an advanced

stage, with studies being

carried out in the UK, Brazil and

South Africa. A collaboration has

already been reached between

Oxford, UK government and biopharma

major AstraZeneca to

produce the vaccine on a mass

scale if the final results are also

positive.

The Serum Institute of India

is one of the global partners for

its production, a deal that would

involve the Pune-based facility

producing 400 million doses that

will be distributed across dozens

of lower and middle-income countries

such as India.

The head of emergencies at

the World Health Organization

(WHO) hailed the findings about

the vaccine as “good news”. “We

now need to move into largerscale

real-world trials,” Dr Michael

Ryan told reporters at a

news conference in Geneva,

while warning: “there’s a long

way to go”. “But it is good to see

more data and more products

moving into this very important

phase of vaccine discovery.”

“There is still much work to

be done before we can confirm

if our vaccine will help manage

the Covid-19 pandemic,” vaccine

developer Sarah Gilbert said, according

to Reuters. “We still do

not know how strong an immune

response we need to provoke to

effectively protect against Sars-

CoV-2 infection,” she said, adding

researchers needed to learn more

about Covid-19 and continue late

stage trials which have already

commenced. More than 165 possible

vaccines are in various stages

of development.

Continued from page 01

The response to the accident involved 28 ground ambulances,

fixed-wing air ambulances, and helicopters. They

came from all over the province. Ground ambulances responded

from Calgary, Jasper, Nordegg, Banff, Rocky Mountain

House, Canmore, Hinton, Edmonton, and Sundre. Air

ambulances responded from Lac La Biche, Slave Lake and

Edmonton. With no road access for conventional vehicles to

the crash site, health officials say patients were triaged and

treated near the bus before being airlifted from the scene to

waiting ambulances at a nearby staging area.

Nineteen of the 24 patients were then either helicoptered

or driven to the Jasper-Hinton airport, where they where

transferred to medical planes for flights to big-city trauma

centres. Hospitals in both Edmonton and Calgary were put

on “Code Orange” alert so that they were prepared for the

high number of patients. The first ground ambulance arrived

from Jasper at 3:17 p.m. local time, and the last patient

was transported from the scene at 8:43 p.m.

In a tweet Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed

his condolences to those affected by the wreck.

“To those who lost a loved one in yesterday’s bus crash

at the Columbia Icefields, know that we are here for you and

are keeping you in our thoughts,” Trudeau said. “We also

wish a full recovery to those who were injured. And to the

first responders, thank you for your quick action and hard

work.” In a statement on Sunday, the company that runs the

tours expressed sympathy. Dave McKenna, president of Pursuit,

also thanked first responders. “An update will be provided

following the investigation,” McKenna said.

The company reopened the icefield tours about a month

ago with 50 per cent capacity after being closed due to COV-

ID-19. The crash put further tours on hold for the time being.

Parth Bala drove 27 hours from Toronto to the Canadian

Rockies and had planned to take the tour Sunday. He said

the cancellation was a disappointment, but he’d happily ride

it in the future.


The International News Weekly July 21, 2020 | Toronto 12

Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala

booked for promoting violence,

gun culture in new song 'Sanju'

CHANDIGARH : Punjab

Police is set to move

the Punjab and Haryana

High Court for cancellation

of the anticipatory

bail granted in an Arms

Act case to singer Sidhu

Moosewala, against whom

the Crime Branch booked

another case on charges

of promoting violence and

gun culture with his latest

song 'Sanju'—which was released

on social media a few

days ago. Sharing details,

Punjab ADGP and Director

Punjab Bureau of Investigations,

Arpit Shukla, said

the singer had been booked

at Mohali, on the basis of

information received that

his song 'Sanju', which is

trending on various social

media platforms, blatantly

glorifies the use of weapons

and boasts about the various

FIRs, including the one

under the Arms Act, registered

against him.

The ADGP said the police

would file a petition

for the cancellation of the

anticipatory bail granted

to Moosewala by the High

Court.

Shukla said it had been

verified that the latest

video song, 'Sanju', was uploaded

from Moosewala’s

official YouTube channel.

In the song, Moosewala

makes explicit references

to the case registered

against him under the

Arms Act, and the video

starts with a news clip of

him being booked in the

said case by Punjab Police

for unauthorised use of an

AK-47 rifle.

In the video, Moosewala’s

news clip is later

merged with news reports

of film actor Sanjay Dutt

having been convicted

and sentenced for similar

offences. Shukla said the

lyrics of the song, as well

as the video, promoted and

glorified possession and

use of illegal firearms, and

boasted about registration

of FIR as sign of a ‘real

man’. Shukla said Moosewala

had earlier been

booked for a similar offence

on February 1 this year by

the Mansa police.

On May 4, he was

booked by the Barnala police

for various offences under

the Disaster Management

and Arms Act after

his photographs of firing an

AK-47 rifle at a firing range

during the curfew went viral

on social media.

His latest act is clearly

intended not only to ridicule,

mock and undermine

the police but also showed

that the singer is incorrigible

and had repeatedly

committed such offences,

said Shukla.

The ADGP said the

Punjab and Haryana High

Court had already directed

the Director General of Police

of Punjab, Haryana and

Chandigarh to ensure that

no songs glorifying liquor,

drugs and violence were

played even at live shows.

Even Chief Minister

Capt Amarinder Singh has

expressed deep concern

over the propagation of

violence and gun culture

in Punjabi songs and has

given clear directions to

the state police not to show

any relaxation or concession

towards such singers,

who allure innocent youth

into following the path of

violence and hooliganism.

Shukla said it seemed

that with his latest song,

which he seemed to

wear as some sort of a

badge of honour, Moosewala

deliberately wanted

to incite and mislead the

youth of this border state,

which had borne the brunt

of terrorism in the '80s and

'90s, by glorifying the use

of AK-47 rifles and other

weapons.

He said Moosewala had

been booked under Sections

188, 294, 504 and 120-B

of the IPC.

25 cops test positive in

Sangrur’s Lehra sub-division;

Coronavirus cases in

Patiala double in 10

days; tally reaches 981

set off panic in the area

SANGRUR: Twenty-five

policemen tested positive

for coronavirus in Sangrur’s

Lehra sub division,

officials said---a development

that set off panic

among residents, who accuse

health authorities of

keeping them in the dark

about the cases.

Among those who tested

positive was an officer of

the DSP rank. All of those

whose results came back

positive on Monday were

contacts of four policemen

who tested positive four

days ago.

Barnala Civil surgeon

Dr G B Singh, who is also

in charge of Sangrur, confirmed

the development on

Monday evening----hours

after news of cops testing

positive had spread panic

in the area.

“I have ordered all policemen

to get tested to prevent

further spread,” Sangrur

Deputy Commissioner

Ramvir said.

Locals meanwhile have

accused health authorities

of not sharing details of the

development. They also accuse

health authorities of

neither conducting enough

COVID-19 tests nor holding

enough awareness drives.

“It’s the failure of health

department that they made

tall claims of conducting

testing. Such large numbers

of policemen testing

positive show that before

the start of infection,

health department authorities

have neither made the

cops aware nor have they

conducted timely tests on

policemen to prevent the

spread of infection. The

chief minister and health

minister must look into

this issue,” said a local on

the condition of anonymity.

“Despite the directions

of Punjab CM and health

minister to share the maximum

details of positive

patients with residents to

prevent the spread of infection,

the Sangrur authorities

are working at their

best to hide information to

hide their failure, which

has cost dearly to Lehra

residents and cause widespread

infection here,” said

another resident.

Sangrur’s death toll

now stands at 22, with the

virus killing another resident

of Longowal block at

GMC Patiala on Sunday.

The latest victim was a 54-

year-old woman admitted

to the hospital last week.

Fifteen of the 22 deaths so

far are from Malerkotla,

two from Amgarh and

two from Sherpur and one

each from Fatehgarh Panjgrayan,

Ahemdgarh and

Longowal. The district currently

has 96 active cases.

PATIALA : Coronavirus cases in Patiala have doubled in

10 days, taking the total number of cases in the district to

981. The district had just 480 cases till July 9.

Patiala on Sunday reported 80 new cases of coronavirus.

Of the 80 cases, 51 are from Patiala city, three from

Nabha, 11 from Rajpura, nine from Samana, and six from

different villages in the district.

Sources said that it was the result of people’s indifferent

attitude towards social distancing.

It has been learned that people are still holding kitty

parties, small gatherings, and marriage functions at their

residences. Sources in the health department said that a

surge in cases of coronavirus was the result of the small

gatherings wherein social distancing norms had gone

for a toss. The health department informed that in many

cases, one person had spread the virus to over 30 people.

A boutique owner in Partap Nagar has tested positive

and had become the source of the entire staff and their

families testing positive. Similarly, a local leader in Top

Khana Mor, an area in the city, has already infected over

20 people, including 16 of his family members.

Another factor that has contributed to the surge in Patiala

was interstate movement and then hiding of travel

history. A health officer said: “Nobody wants to get quarantined

as it affects one’s daily routine. But, pandemic

can’t be controlled with this attitude of the people.”

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