The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic opened the newest componentof its permanent Shipwreck Treasures exhibit today, Nov. 13. Thedisplay tells the story of a small tug which sank in the Halifaxharbour in 1943. Launched originally in 1915 from the Halifax Shipyards as Sambro,the 18.3 metre (61 feet) steam tug was one of the first steelvessels built in Halifax. Although a small vessel, the Sambro wasvital in assisting with the movement and repair of larger shipsduring wartime. The tug was a victim of the Halifax Explosion and sunk in theharbour. Ten years later it was raised, refitted, and renamedErg. It served as a diesel work tug for the next 16 years. OnJuly 6, 1943, Erg was hit by a Norwegian freighter andimmediately sank taking the lives of 19 men abroad. The sinkingwas the worst accident to ever befall the shipyard and thegreatest loss of life from a single shipwreck in the Halifaxharbour. Two weeks later, the tug was raised and 10 bodies were recovered. Deemed beyond repair, Erg was deliberately sunk in Bedford Basinon Aug. 24, 1943. In the late 1990s, scientists at the Bedford Institute ofOceanography first detected the wreck in Bedford Basin. Withassistance from historians at the Maritime Museum of the Atlanticand research from the National Archives of Canada, divers withthe Nova Scotia Undersea Exploration Society proved that themysterious hull was Erg. “Telling the story of this vessel and its multiple sinkings fitswell within our larger Shipwreck Treasures exhibit, but thehistory doesn’t end with the tug’s rediscovery,” said MarvenMoore, acting director of the museum. “The science of the ship’srediscovery, the search and survey of the wreck site by thediving community, the commemoration of the wreck by the HalifaxShipyard and the ongoing conservation of the artifacts recoveredfrom the wreck are all important elements that we present in thedisplay.” A unique feature of the display’s opening involved the steamwhistle from Erg which the Navy removed from the ship when it wasraised in 1943. Ivan Munn, nephew of Forrest Beaton who was ashipyard worker aboard Erg and perished in the sinking, soundedthe whistle for the first time in the six decades since thevessel sank. On hand as well were Jim Camano, one of the divers who found thewreck, his daughter Aurora who crafted the model of the vessel inthe display, and Dusty Miller of the Halifax Shipyard. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is located at 1675 LowerWater St., Halifax. Information on museum hours and admissionprices is available by calling 902-424-7490 or by visiting themuseum’s website at http://maritime.museum.gov.ns.ca .
Vaughan Road will be closed for repairs to the Vaughan RoadBridge until Friday, April 29. An alternate route is available on Trunk 14 to Station Road andthen to Route 236. Local Area Office: 902-757-2929 Fax: 902-757-2270 -30-
The province of Nova Scotia is forecasting a modest increase in its budget surplus for 2005-06, as rising energy prices boost royalty revenues from offshore natural gas. Government will increase investment in key priorities, such as new programs to help Nova Scotians manage higher energy costs. The provincial surplus is expected to go up to $78.4 million, $15.1 million higher than budgeted. The budget includes a legislated $57.1-million surplus to be allocated to the debt. “We have made adjustments to our budget to recognize the changing global energy situation,” Finance Minister Peter Christie said today, Dec. 14. “We are including a prudent plan to help Nova Scotians save energy and to offset the higher costs of fuel for low-income Nova Scotians.” Total revenues are up $112.9 million, largely due to an increase to $119 million for natural gas offshore royalties, $89 million more than budgeted. The increases are offset by revenue decreases in a number of categories. Net program spending is expected to go up by $69.9 million, including $28 million for investments in an energy efficiency program and heating rebates for low-income consumers. Nova Scotia’s economy continues to grow, although at a slower pace than projected at budget time. With a drop in exports and a higher volume of imports, the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is forecast to be 1.6 per cent for 2005, about 0.5 per cent below the rate assumed at budget time. However, the year-to-date unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent is slightly below the budget forecast, as employment grows at a faster pace than labour supply. “Our economy is performing well, but not quite at the level we expected at budget time,” said Mr. Christie. “We continue to invest in economic development initiatives and other areas to promote economic growth.” Other than new spending on energy programs, the largest added program expenses compared to the budget are in economic development, spending on emergency rooms and intensive care units, and wage settlements in the health-care sector. Several departments are reporting operating savings that offset the increases. Changes from the budget in major revenue categories include increases in corporate income tax, harmonized sales tax, and offshore forfeitures. These are offset by decreases in revenues from personal income tax, motive fuel taxes, and the large corporation tax. Due to a recent change in the actuarial assumptions for government pension and retirement obligations, the pension valuation adjustment will increase, costing government $27.7 million more than anticipated at budget time. The projected cost of pension interest is also expected to grow by $24.7 million. The forecast includes a total of $21.4 million in savings for debt-servicing costs, due to lower interest rates and applying $830 million to the debt from the Offshore Offset Accord. A copy of the forecast update is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/finance .
Aliant and EastLink have new contracts, announced today, March 5, to provide telecommunications services to the government of Nova Scotia. The current agreement with Aliant for local voice services is being extended until 2011. The agreement is worth about $5 million per year. The extension will allow the province’s IT branch, CITO, to plan how these services will be delivered in the future. EastLink, owned by Bragg Communications Incorporated, was awarded the contract to integrate government’s data network management services. The contract will also expire in 2011, and includes an option to extend it for two years. “We spend millions of dollars a year on our telecommunications needs,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “We’re confident the successful bids on the various contracts will result in the best service, at the best possible price, for taxpayers.” In 2006, government’s IT branch developed a strategy for telecommunications services based on consultation with the industry, lessons learned from the previous procurement process, and a review of procurement in other jurisdictions. Darrin MacKeigan, the branch’s senior project manager, said government decided to tender for each service individually and for individual components of data network services. “The successful bids meet very specific technology and service level standards, and the business needs of government departments and agencies,” said Mr. MacKeigan. Contracts for mobile wireless services, long distance, core data network, regional data circuits, corporate Internet and high-speed Internet services will be announced in April.
A yacht flying Nova Scotia’s flag is nearing its home port in the 2008 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Yachts in the international race are now arriving in New York and are scheduled to depart for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, June 4. “For the past nine months, we’ve had a yacht sponsored by the province and branded with novascotia.com racing around the world and promoting Nova Scotia,” said Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Bill Dooks. “Along with our partners, we are asking Nova Scotians to support the crew and get involved in the 2008 Clipper Yacht Race activities being planned for Halifax and Sydney.” The race is the longest sporting event in the world, with 10 identical state-of-the-art yachts sailing on a 65,000-kilometre (35,000-nautical mile) odyssey to the yachts’ home ports around the world. The race gives home ports exposure to a global audience of more than 200 million people. Each of the 21-metre yachts is backed by a city or region around the world. They are crewed by up to 17 people from all walks of life who are led by professional skippers. The 2007-08 event began in September and is divided into 14 individual races in which the teams earn points. The team with the most points when the fleet arrives in Liverpool, England on July 5 will win the Clipper Trophy. After twice crossing the Atlantic Ocean, rounding the Cape of Good Hope, navigating the Pacific Ocean and traversing the Panama Canal, the yachts will reach Nova Scotia on Sunday, June 8. Visitors and residents will be able to view the extraordinary vessels in Halifax until June 12 and in Sydney from June 13 to 16. Mr. Dooks said a highlight of the activities will be the presentation of the Democracy 250 Cup to the winner of an unofficial leg of the Clipper race from Halifax to Sydney. Democracy 250 is sponsoring the Nova Scotia race in recognition of this year’s 250th anniversary of the birth of parliamentary democracy in Canada. The cup will be presented at a public ceremony at the Sydney Marine Terminal on June 14. The cost of of Nova Scotia’s participation in the international race is $500,000. The federal government is investing $200,000 and the province is investing $100,000. Other funding partners include Destination Halifax, Halifax Regional Municipality, and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Nova Scotia’s participation in the race is being co-ordinated by Events Halifax. “The race is of definite interest to Nova Scotians because of our proud seafaring traditions,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Hosting the yachts in both Halifax and Sydney will attract visitors and generate significant economic spinoffs for the local economy.” Supporters of Nova Scotia’s team can follow its progress by clicking on the race viewer tab at www.clipperroundtheworld.com . The yachts’ positions are updated every six hours. The crew’s blogs, videos and photos are also posted.
The province’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) is investigating an injury suffered by a man as he was arrested by Halifax Regional Police in Dartmouth. Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, police stopped a car on Chappell Street, between Richard Street and Wyse Road, in Dartmouth, and arrested a 47-year-old man on an outstanding warrant. There was a physical struggle between the man and police officers. At that time, no significant physical injuries were detected. The man received medical attention later in the day, and three days later it was discovered he had rib fractures. After receipt of this new information, the man contacted the SIRT and an investigation began today, Dec. 21. The Serious Incident Response Team is asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call 902-424-2010. SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald. SIRT can independently launch an investigation or begin one after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia, or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public. The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the results of the investigation within three months after it is finished.
Government is seeking feedback from Nova Scotians on proposed changes to the Environment Act that would allow new monetary penalties for companies that do not comply with environmental approvals. The penalties would apply to people and companies with approvals for programs with industrial activities, asbestos, dangerous goods, municipal sewage, water treatment, solid waste and registered public water suppliers. The penalties would be levied by the department, rather than through the court system. The province is encouraging those with approvals and the public to review a discussion document and submit comments by June 24. The document is available at http://novascotia.ca/nse/resources/public.consultation.asp . Monetary penalties would provide more options when people and companies are not complying with terms and conditions of operating approvals or those for registered drinking water suppliers.
A newly designated bicycle trail in the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness area of Halifax Regional Municipality officially opened today, Oct. 7. The trail is near Tantallon. “This is the first time that a bicycle trail has ever been designated in a wilderness area in the province,” said MLA Iain Rankin, on behalf of Environment Minister Margaret Miller. “This pilot project will help the department understand the needs and impacts of cyclists and the interaction with other users along a multi-use trail.” The Department of Environment recently designated 12 kilometres of an existing all-terrain vehicle trail for bicycle use within the area. Prior to this designation, the trail could only be used with all-terrain vehicles by members of one of the 43 clubs that are part of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia. The department received the request for this bicycle use designation from the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area Stewardship Coalition and the association, which manages the trail. Bicycle use is only permitted in wilderness areas on trails designated for that purpose. “The new designation not only gives the land more recreational value, it can provide another loop to the trail system that promotes Nova Scotia as an ecotourism destination,” said Tom Musial, chair of the coalition. “It has potential to engage the cycling community as another participant in the maintenance of the roads.” The Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust has also been a key stakeholder in the designation. “I am proud of all of what trust has accomplished starting with successfully protecting the land in 2011,” said Mr. Rankin. “Because of its efforts, not only will this land remain undeveloped for future generations to enjoy, but access to this incredible area will be improved because of these types of partnerships. “We are very fortunate to have an opportunity to open access routes for recreational modes of transportation.” Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area protects nearly 8,600 hectares of near-urban Crown lands between Highway 103 and Route 333.
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Sunday said that they have arrested seven persons involved in sending stolen and robbed mobile phones to Nepal.The investigating agency has recovered as many as 311 mobile phones worth more than 60 lakh. “The snatchers/robbers used to steal the mobile phones handed it over to a middle man who further handed it over to the Kingpin of the gang for sending it to Nepal,” police said. The Nepalese receiver had a salaried employee in Delhi used to coordinate the movements of these mobile phones from Delhi to Nepal and would also facilitate the payment for these phones through illegal channels of monetary transactions. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarPolice have also received a complaint that on May 25, a woman came to Connaught Place and one boy riding on a scooty snatched her mobile phones. DCP (Crime) Rajesh Deo said that the accused disclosed that they had worked in the Gaffar market for the last couple of years as a mobile repairman. “However due to the regular raids by police agencies and fall in the rates of mobile phones, the job of repairing and resale of mobile phones had much decreased,” added DCP Deo. In the last couple of years, the demand for used high-end mobile phone had increased in Nepal and other neighbouring countries. As the IMEI search of the stolen snatched mobile phone is restricted within India, this gave them a new channel to dispose of the stolen, robbed, mobile phones. “The regular bus transport services made it possible to send the mobile phone to Nepal,” added DCP Crime Branch.
Hong Kong: Tens of thousands of people protested in Hong Kong on Sunday against a controversial bill that could allow “fugitives” to be extradited to China. Victoria Park, where the protesters gathered, was packed for several hours and became a sea of white – the colour chosen for the action – and smatterings of yellow that came from umbrellas, a pro-democracy symbol since the 2014 movement known as the “Umbrella Revolution”, reports Efe news. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ The new law, which was proposed in February and the final vote on which is expected sometime in July, would allow the Hong Kong chief executive and courts to process extradition requests of countries with which the former British colony does not have a formal transfer agreement, including mainland China, Taiwan and Macao, without legislative supervision. In theory, local courts would handle cases individually and could use veto powers to block extraditions, and the Hong Kong executive says the text aims to cover a legal vacuum. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China Roads towards the park as well the nearby subway stations were jam-packed with people. A protester told Efe that should the bill become law, something that could happen next month, Hong Kong would lose its independence to Beijing, and it could affect its local economy negatively. “It’s our last chance to defend our beautiful country,” she said, emphasizing the importance of this protest, the first one she has taken part in since June 4, 1989, which was held in solidarity with the students killed on Tiananmen Square in the Chinese capital. Protesters chanted slogans such as “Scrap the evil law”, “Oppose China extradition” and “Carrie Lam resign”, in reference to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. “Beijing has become increasingly impatient with Hong Kong since our umbrella movement five years ago. It sees us as an unruly teenager who doesn’t learn to be grateful and obedient,” the pro-democracy camp convener, Claudia Mo, told public-owned broadcaster RTHK. Mo added that with new infrastructure projects, added to laws like the one being protested against on Sunday, Beijing is seeking “to assimilate Hong Kong” and “change it into one of the numerous Chinese cities”. The bill has faced opposition from journalists, foreign politicians and companies, who have expressed concerns that residents of Hong Kong – which is part of China but enjoys special autonomy in fields such as the law and currency – who have been accused of crimes could be at risk of being deported to mainland China. There were fears that activists and dissidents who live in Hong Kong could be extradited to mainland China for trial. Demonstrations against the bill have also been held outside of Hong Kong, including in several Australian cities, while more demonstrations were expected to take place in Germany, the US and Canada.
Kolkata: Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday dared the BJP to hold polls using ballot paper instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and reiterated that Trinamool Congress will win more than 250 seats in Bengal in the 2021 Assembly polls.”We have seen that wherever there has been voting in ballot, BJP has ended up on the losing side (jekhane jekhane ballot e vote hoyeche BJP vokatta hoyeche). But in places where voting has been conducted in EVMs, BJP has managed to win,” Banerjee said, addressing the Martyr’s Day rally at Esplanade. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHis statement assumes significance in the wake of the results of elections in Karnataka and Rajasthan. In the Karnataka Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won 26 out of 28 seats. But in the municipal polls, when elections were held in ballot, the saffron party had lost. The results have been similar in Rajasthan as well. Banerjee asserted that Trinamool will sweep the Assembly elections in 2021 with more than 250 seats and Mamata Banerjee will assume the Chief Minister’s chair for the third time with a clear mandate. “The people of Bengal will prove that there is no alternative to Mamata Banerjee,” he added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHe cautioned the saffron party that their divisive politics to create disturbance in the state will yield no fruit. “Your politics is based upon creating rift among people in the name of religion, but our politics is to provide food and clothing to every single person in the state,” he said. Meanwhile, senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari appealed to the party workers to launch movement against BJP which is oblivious of the culture and tradition of Bengal. “The BJP is in the dark about the culture of Bengal and are bent upon portraying its rich cultural heritage in poor light. It is evident from their act of vandalism of the bust of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. So, we have to unite to thwart such acts and for democracy our call will be to press for ballots and shun EVMs,” he said. Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim also came down heavily upon the BJP, holding them responsible for pushing the country towards financial trouble. “The Centre has surrendered to foreign power and the Prime Minister’s call of Acche Din is a far cry from the truth,” he asserted. Trinamool state president Subrata Bakshi reminded the party workers of the significance of Martyrs’ Day. In 1993, 13 workers were killed when Mamata Banerjee, then Youth Congress president, had launched a march to the secretariat, with demand of ‘No Card No Vote.’ “We were able to set precedence through our movement in 1993 and we are hopeful that our demand of ballot in voting and shunning of EVMs will also prove successful,” he maintained.
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will recruit employees in different departments to provide better services, Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Wednesday.Hakim said some junior assistants will join the KMC soon followed by sub-overseers and engineers. The KMC has already sent a requisition to the state government regarding this. “Today a delegation of DYFI members met me and wanted to know about the recruitment of new employees. I told them that they should ask the Left Front Mayors Prasanta Chatterjee and Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya as to why did they not go for major recruitment drive. There was some recruitment during the time of Subrata Mukherjee. To recruit employees, certain norms are to be maintained and it takes some time. We are likely to recruit new employees by October-November,” he added. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHakim attended the fourth edition of “Talk to Mayor” on Wednesday. He received a complaint that trade license had been issued in the name of a dead person. The KMC initiated an inquiry and show-cause notices will be issued against those who are found guilty. The civic authorities have decided to present saplings replacing flower bouquets that are given to the guests who come to attend functions organised by the civic authorities or visit the KMC to see the Mayor and other Mayor-in-Council members. “When we have decided to turn Kolkata into a clean and green city, we should take the initiative to plant saplings to conserve the environment,” he said. “Talk to Mayor” witnessed the fourth edition on Wednesday and has received tremendous response from the people who get to speak to the Mayor and their complaints get addressed within three days.
New Delhi: With the Yamuna flowing near the warning level, Delhi agencies are closely monitoring the situation to deal with any possible flooding, an official said on Saturday.According to the official, at around 4 pm on Saturday, Yamuna’s water level reached 203.27 metres, slightly below the warning level of 204.5 metres. The official said that at 10 am, over 21,000 cusecs water was released from Hathani Kund Barrage in Haryana. Besides, around 17,000 cusecs water was also released from the barrage. “We have been closely monitoring the water level of Yamuna. Preparations are being made to deal with flood-like situation,” the official said. In July last year, traffic movement on Old Yamuna Bridge in Delhi had been closed for a few days after the water level breached the danger mark. Last year, river Yamuna’s water level had reached 205.5 metres.
New Delhi: The Union government has proposed to set up a total of 1,023 special fast-track courts for expeditious trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children across the country.Each of these special courts is expected to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year, said a proposal by the Department of Justice under Union Law Ministry. A total of 1,023 FTSCs will be set up, out of which 389 courts, as per a Supreme Court direction, will exclusively handle cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, it said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe remaining 634 FTSCs will deal with either rape cases or both rape and POCSO Act cases depending upon the pendency and requirement. “Each FTSC is expected to dispose of 41-42 cases each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year,” the proposal added. According to the Department’s proposal note, a total of 1,66,882 cases of rape and those under POCSO Act are pending trial in various courts across the country. There are 389 districts in the country where the number of pending cases under the POCSO Act exceeds 100. Therefore, as per the apex court directives, each of such districts will have one exclusive POCSO court, which will try no other cases, the note said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe process of setting up of these FTSCs is likely to begin on October 2; the Law Ministry had earlier said. The Department of Justice had proposed to set up 1,023 fast-track courts at a total budget of Rs 767.25 crore. The Central support of Rs 474 crore for one year will be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.The Centre created the fund in 2013 after December 16, 2012, gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi. It was created to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working towards the safety of women. In a letter to the Cabinet Secretariat on August 8, the Department of Justice had said after the recommendation of the expenditure finance committee on July 11 and approval of the law minister; the proposal has been forwarded to the Finance Minister for approval. Simultaneously, other connected actions are being taken as setting up of FTSCs is planned to start from October 2 2019,” the Department wrote.
IQALUIT, Nunavut – The life story of Nunavut’s new premier reads like a modern history of the Inuit. But Paul Quassa says he wants to look forward, not back.“We want Nunavut to shine,” says Quassa, who was sworn in last week as the territory’s fourth premier. “We want to see a truly brilliant territory.”Quassa, 65, was born near Igloolik on the Melville Peninsula, where the west coast of Hudson Bay flicks up toward Baffin Island.“I was born in an igloo,” he says. “My generation is the last generation to have experienced the traditional way of living prior to people being moved into communities.“I have that sense of truly traditional Inuit values.”Quassa may have been born on the land, but he didn’t grow up there. At the age of six, he was taken to a residential school in Churchill, Man., where he was to spend his next 13 years.His memories, unlike those of so many others, are fond.“I always feel so fortunate. I received a very strong education at that time. That’s the positive side about residential school — it was a very strong educational process. I retained a very strong sense of my identity.”It wasn’t long after he left school that Inuit identity and politics became Quassa’s main concern. By 1972, he was involved in Inuit organizations and eventually became one of the chief negotiators of the Nunavut Land Claim. Quassa’s signature is on the 1993 agreement.Since then, Quassa has led the group that administers that land claim. He spent the better part of a decade as a CBC journalist. He’s worked for Isuma Productions, an award-winning film and video studio in his home town of Igloolik.A 13-part series on traditional Inuit life he helped produce is still being shown.He was the education minister in the last Nunavut government, where he oversaw an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to modernize territorial legislation to promote fully bilingual students.It’s hard to pin down where Quassa hopes to lead the territory. Under Nunavut’s consensus-style government, legislative priorities aren’t set until all new legislature members sit down and thrash them out together. That meeting won’t happen until the new year.Quassa uses the phrase “social development” a lot when he talks about his own priorities.“Housing. Social services. Training. Health,” he said. “Social development can mean so many things.”The list of Nunavut’s problems is long and it can seem as if they are tangled irretrievably together. Quassa has his own ideas about where to start tugging at the knot.“Education, training,” he says. “Our territory is a very young territory. We have to think in a long-term plan and we have to think about our future generation.”Look for another version of that failed Education Act during the new session, Quassa hints.“Education is always a big issue in the territory. This is one of the areas we’ll be talking about when we talk about our new mandate.”Expect continued funding requests of the federal government for infrastructure, too. Quassa points out Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction in Canada with no outside road links.“We are part of Canada,” he says. “Coast to coast to coast.”One thing he’d like to see more of in Nunavut over the next four years is confidence.“We want a population that’s vibrant, that’s not afraid to get into the workforce, a population that is more educated in both Inuktitut and English. We want a population that’s outgoing and positive.”Quassa says it all goes back to the presence of his signature on the land-claim document that helped create the territory he now leads.“I knew the vision then and the vision hasn’t changed.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow him on Twitter at @row1960.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are going with a family theme on their Christmas — or holiday — cards this year.Trudeau’s card features a dozen small photos of him, his wife and his three children in various combinations and different locations.The main message: “From our family to yours, Happy holidays.”Scheer, his wife, their five kids and the family dog are on the front of his card.The inside features nine family photos going back through the years.His message: “Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays”.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s card is a shot of him greeting people at what appears to be a party function.He has his own message: “Happy Holidays. With Love and Courage.”
BRAMPTON, Ont. – The director of an Ontario company has been sentenced to jail time and fined for improper handling of equipment containing toxic PCBs.Environment and Climate Change Canada says Collingwood Prime Realty Holdings Corp. and its director, Issa El-Hinn, were sentenced Tuesday in a Brampton, Ont. court for offences under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.A ministry investigation found that two transformers and eight capacitors containing higher-than-allowable PCB levels had not been sent to an authorized facility for destruction.The court sentenced El-Hinn to a 45-day jail term, which will be served on weekends, for failing to comply with an environmental protection compliance order.The court also sentenced the corporation and El-Hinn to pay a combined penalty of $420,000, to be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund.The defendants pleaded guilty on Sept. 26, 2017, to 10 counts of contravening the PCB regulations and one count of failing to comply with an environmental protection compliance order.PCBs are toxic industrial chemical substances that are harmful to aquatic ecosystems and species that feed primarily on aquatic organisms.As a result of the conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
FREDERICTON – A Liberal candidate vying for a seat in New Brunswick’s upcoming election is ringing alarm bells about the Progressive Conservative leader’s ties to Jason Kenney — concerns Blaine Higgs is brushing off as overblown.Liberal candidate Brent Mazerolle said he wants to know if Higgs supports some of the views expressed by the leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, who has drawn criticism in the past for some of his socially conservative beliefs.“We’re 29 days out (from the election) and we still, as New Brunswickers, aren’t sure where Mr. Higgs stands on a lot of issues,” said Mazerolle.Kenney was to join Higgs at a fundraiser Sunday evening and a campaign announcement Monday morning.Kenney drew criticism last year for saying he would like to have parents notified if their child joined a gay-straight alliance at school, in cases where joining could put the child in harm’s way.But after party members voted at their founding policy convention in May to essentially out students who join so-called GSAs, Kenney said he wouldn’t implement the policy if his party forms government.Mazerolle, a former schoolteacher, said Kenney’s original stance stuck with him. The Liberal candidate for Riverview said LGBTQ youth need to have a safe place outside their homes if their parents don’t accept them.“Potentially outing schoolchildren in their one safe place in their life, that’s not a gay issue, that’s a safety issue,” he said.“Kids who are struggling with these issues, they’re in serious danger a lot of the time in certain communities.”Mazerolle also said he doesn’t know where Higgs stands on the issue of abortion, which Kenney is against, although he’s said he won’t legislate on the issue.In a phone interview, Higgs chalked his meetings with Kenney up to a matter of business and said the Liberals are “trying to make issues where none exists.”He said he believes it’s important to liaise with other political leaders in the country, especially during an election.“I respect everyone’s views, and their own personal beliefs, and I think that’s what makes our province and our country strong,” said Higgs.“It isn’t for me to get in the middle of those personal discussions, and that isn’t the discussion I’m going to have with Jason Kenney. We’re going to be talking about issues that affect our country.”Higgs accused the Liberal government of playing politics and said there are bigger issues at play in New Brunswick, including the economy and how the province should address carbon pricing.“Regardless of one’s political views, there’s a lot of centric issues here,” said Higgs.Thomas Bateman, a political science professor at Fredericton’s St. Thomas University, said the Liberals’ criticism of the Tory leader’s ties with Kenney could be an attempt to pull centrist voters to their side.Bateman said he believes the New Brunswick Tories could have Kenney on the election trail to support Higgs’s stance on hydraulic fracturing. In the past Higgs has said he would be willing to revisit the province’s moratorium on fracking in some regions.Kenney “undoubtedly would tout the benefits of natural resource exploitation for New Brunswick, because it’s worked so very well in Alberta,” said Bateman.“I can’t say this for sure, but I suspect the conservatives might want to emphasize the need for natural gas development in the province — which would require fracking — and Mr. Kenney might be witness number one to suggest it is environmentally manageable and economically very promising.”Health care and senior care remain as top issues this election season. Liberal leader Brian Gallant announced Sunday that a re-elected party would recruit more staff and increase hours of care in nursing homes, just a day after he pledged to build three new nursing homes and add 86 memory-care beds throughout the province.Higgs, meanwhile, took a less bricks-and-mortar approach to senior care, saying a Progressive Conservative government would consult with seniors about how they want to live and provide supports so they can remain in their own homes longer.The Green party, led by David Coon, will launch its campaign platform Monday morning.— By Alex Cooke in Halifax
FREDERICTON – A Fredericton man accused of killing four people, including two city police officers, is due back in court next month after his case was adjourned today.Matthew Vincent Raymond faces four counts of murder in the deaths of Const. Sara Burns, Const. Robb Costello, Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.The police officers and civilians were gunned down Aug. 10 outside an apartment complex in the New Brunswick capital.Court documents say the incident ended after police shot the alleged gunman in the abdomen.Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham told the court he had just received a large volume of material and needed time to review it.The matter is set to return to court on Oct. 22.Gorham has said earlier that he expects his client will enter a plea of not guilty and request a preliminary hearing.
DRUMHELLER – Today’s Google doodle features a man standing among large dinosaur bones in the Alberta Badlands.It’s in honour of Joseph Burr Tyrrell, who was born 160 years ago in Weston, Ont.Tyrrell, who died in 1957 at the age of 98, was a Canadian geologist, cartographer and mining consultant.He discovered coal deposits and dinosaur bones in southeastern Alberta.The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller is named in his honour.Google says on its site that doodles are changes made to the usual Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists.