Nuvoco launches Duraguard Waterseal Cement

first_imgNuvoco Vistas Corp Ltd, a leading manufacturer of building materials, launched Duraguard Waterseal – a Portland Pozzolona Cement with unique water-repelling and damp-lock properties, across West Bengal.Duraguard Waterseal protects the construction from water ingress, dampness, and efflorescence; resulting in higher resistance to and better protection from the harmful waterborne environmental pollutants; thereby increasing the structure’s life and durability. With quality and innovation at the core of the organisation’s philosophy, Duraguard Waterseal is produced using state-of-the-art technology where an insoluble coating forms over steel bars and enhances the overall life of the structure. The special mix of Duraguard Waterseal ensures an improved damp-lock process and a faster pace of construction without compromising on strength. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressiveDuraguard Waterseal is best suited for, both, exterior and interior plaster jobs. When used in kitchens, toilets, bathrooms, and cellars; it would keep it free from dampness, and hence, result in improved hygiene. Apart from its unique water repellent properties, it also reduces exterior primer paint consumption by 20-25%, if applied directly upon the plastered surface. It will later be rolled out in other parts of the country as well. Speaking on the occasion, Madhumita Basu, Chief of Marketing, Innovation, Strategy and IT, said, “We have always striven to launch top-quality and innovative products to cater to the ever changing and growing needs of the consumers. The launch of Duraguard Waterseal is aimed at addressing the current market demand and consumers need for a versatile product with excellent waterproofing property for beautiful interiors and exteriors. Product’s workability will help us create a point of differentiation and highlight the advantages that our customers receive with our cement.”last_img read more

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Model Police Station in Bihar turns pond boat is only hope

first_imgMuzaffarpur: Flood has severely affected at least 12 districts of Bihar and despite every possible help from the government, people’s woes are standing afirm. In this horrifying situation, a Model Police Station has also been turned into a ‘pond’ where boats remained the only hope to commute. The officials of Ahiyapur police station are compelled to use boats for commuting as well as patrolling. Narendra Kumar, police station in-charge, told IANS: “Police officials and people are using boats to visit the police station, the situation has turned quite miserable”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ He said: “We can not halt work only because of flood. The police station premises has been filled with flood water. People are facing problems in visiting here. However, a boat was provided by the district administration that policemen are using”. Though, maximum people in the affected areas have been shifted to the safe places but at some place that are affected and people are still living there, police are using boat for patrolling and other works, he said. Ahiyapur police station and nearby areas have been drowned in the flood. Around four-feet water is standing in the area. The flood water is spreading in around 75 gram panchayats in nine divisions of Muzaffarpur district that has affected the lives of nearly 3.5 lakh people.last_img read more

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Oppn parties stage stir demand release of leaders detained in JK

first_imgNew Delhi: Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the DMK, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Thursday, demanding release of the political leaders under detention in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of normalcy there.Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son Karti also joined the protest. Chidambaram, a former Union finance minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday night in connection with a money-laundering case related to INX Media. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, RJD’s Manoj Jha and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi were among those who took part in the protest. In a resolution passed during the protest, the opposition parties said as a consequence of abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution without holding consultations with the people of Jammu and Kashmir or their representatives, an undeclared state of Emergency had come to force in the Valley. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”We stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their difficult hour. The decisions taken by the Union government to impose a complete communication blackout and the continued detention of former chief ministers and political leaders…members of civil society and even innocent citizens running into thousands are matters of serious concern. “There has been a chilling crackdown on free speech and the right of assembly. Such actions go against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and need to be immediately reversed. We demand immediate release of all public representatives of mainstream political parties and innocent citizens,” the resolution said. Addressing the protest, Azad said, “There is something grave happening in the state and the government is hiding it from us. It is being reported by foreign media but not our media.” Praising Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Azad said the former prime minister was a thorough gentleman, a great parliamentarian and a democrat. If Vajpayee was at the helm of affairs, “this would not have happened”, he added. On the political leaders under detention in Kashmir, the Congress leader said, “For so many years, we have been serving as a bridge between the people of Kashmir and the rest of the country. Instead of taking them into confidence, these leaders have been put behind bars.” Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Ramgopal Yadav asked if the situation in Kashmir was normal, why political leaders continued to be in detention? “The way they (Centre) have bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir, tomorrow they will say Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are large states and hence, unmanageable. They will divide these states into multiple Union territories, appoint lieutenant governors and run proxy governments,” he said. Congress’s Manish Tewari claimed that Kashmir was facing an unprecedented situation. “This fight is not limited to Jammu and Kashmir. This is a fight for our democratic rights and to save our constitution,” he said. Yechury alleged that the Centre had manipulated the Constitution and the process had started months ago, when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew from the coalition government, headed by Mehbooba Mufti, in Jammu and Kashmir. “All this is a part of a larger conspiracy. They want to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu nation) by abrogating the Constitution itself,” he said. The leaders raised slogans demanding restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, resumption of telecommunication services in the Valley and immediate release of all political leaders who have been detained. The National Conference, whose leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah are among those detained in the Valley after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, also took part in the protest.last_img read more

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Pradhan seeks Japanese investment in steel sector

first_imgNew Delhi: Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought enhanced technology and investment support from Japan for the domestic steel sector. “Had a fruitful interaction with Japanese Ambassador HE Kenji Hiramatsu,” Pradhan said in a tweet. He discussed bolstering energy ties between the two oldest democracies in Asia and sought increasing role of Japanese technology and investments into the Indian steel sector, the minister said in another tweet. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe meeting assumes significance as steel companies in Japan have already shown interest to invest in India on manufacturing activities. Last year in November, the Ambassador of Japan had met Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar regarding setting up of joint ventures or steel plant of high grade in India. “We discussed leveraging Japanese technology and innovation for a stable, efficient and secure energy future for both nations. We also explored opening new avenues of cooperation in the areas of conventional, non-conventional and renewable energy sources to further meet our mutual energy objectives and ensure holistic and sustainable development of our economies,” Pradhan said.last_img read more

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Grilled Cilantro Salmon

first_imgIngredients Cilantro leaves (chopped) 1 bunch Garlic (chopped)2 cloves Honey2 cups Lime Juice30 ml Salmon Steaks4 Saltto taste Pepperto taste Preparation In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together cilantro, garlic, honey and lime juice. Heat until the honey is easily stirred, for about five minutes. Remove from heat, and let it cool slightly. Place salmon steaks in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour marinade over salmon, cover and refrigerate 10 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon steaks on grill, cook for five minutes on each side, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork. (Courtesy: www.allrecipes.com)last_img

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Messi continues team training ahead of Dortmund clash

first_imgBarcelona: Barcelona Argentine star Lionel Messi on Monday continued to train ahead of his team’s trip to Dortmund, where the Catalan team will kick off its 2019-20 UEFA Champions League campaign against Borussia Dortmund. This is Messi’s second consecutive training session with the team, although he has yet to get the medical green light, Efe news reported. Although the soleus injury, a muscle in the back part of the lower leg, he sustained on August 5 seems a thing of the past, it is not clear whether he will be in the squad for Tuesday’s game. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhBrazilian goalkeeper Neto also took part in the training session, while Ousmane Dembele trained on the sideline as he recovers from an injury he suffered a month ago. Barcelona-B players — goalkeeper Iñaki Peña and forward Carles Perez, who became a regular starter from the beginning of the season — took part in the session, as did Ansu Fati, who started and scored in Barca’s 5-2 win over Valencia. The team will travel later to Germany and it will not train at the Signal Iduna Park stadium.last_img read more

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Trudeau recuses himself from appointing new federal ethics watchdog

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau has recused himself from all matters related to the appointment of a new federal ethics watchdog since his own conduct is under investigation.The prime minister — who is under investigation for his vacation last Christmas on the private Bahamian island owned by the Aga Khan — has designated government House leader Bardish Chagger to take charge of the appointment.But opposition ethics critics are scoffing at the pretence of impartiality in the choice of the next ethics commissioner, noting that Trudeau is Chagger’s boss and could fire her if she chooses someone not to the prime minister’s liking.Moreover, Chagger has been one of Trudeau’s primary defenders in the House of Commons on the vacation controversy.Current commissioner Mary Dawson has launched two investigations into Trudeau’s vacation, in which he and his family used the Aga Khan’s private helicopter to fly to and from Nassau.Under the Conflict of Interest Act, the prime minister, cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries are prohibited from accepting free travel on charter or private aircraft without getting advance approval from the ethics commissioner.Public office holders are also prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone who has business dealings with the government, although there are exceptions if the person is a friend.Trudeau has said the Aga Khan, the billionaire spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims, is a family friend he has known since childhood.Dawson’s term as ethics commissioner has been extended twice by the Liberal government and is due to expire on July 8. She has said she won’t seek reappointment.NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen said putting Chagger in charge of finding Dawson’s successor is akin to asking an employee to appoint someone to investigate his or her boss.“The conflict of interest remains,” he said in an interview Monday.“You just can’t pretend that Ms. Chagger has independence from the Prime Minister’s Office. Her key role is defending the prime minister, every single day on this issue, by the way.”Cullen also questioned whether Trudeau’s top aides will still be involved in the choice of the next ethics commissioner — a question put to the PMO by The Canadian Press but which was not answered.“They like to keep control while pretending to be hands off.”last_img read more

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Feds want segregation fight put on ice say planned law will deal

first_imgTORONTO – A constitutional challenge to Canada’s segregation laws scheduled to be heard in September should be put on ice in light of proposed legislation and policy changes that will address the issues raised, the federal government argued on Thursday.In seeking the adjournment in Ontario Superior Court, a government lawyer insisted the courts should defer to Parliament and allow the legislative process to proceed.“Parliament is now considering improvements to the statutory framework,” lawyer Peter Southey told Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco. “The attorney general asks you to adjourn this application, while parliament carries out its legislative responsibilities.”At issue is the practice known as administrative segregation that civil liberties groups, who opposed the adjournment request, argue can amount to indefinite solitary confinement. The isolation is frequently used to manage difficult inmates, especially those whose safety may be at risk in the general population.Two years ago, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies launched the constitutional challenge. They argue the practice is harmful, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, and means offenders are effectively punished more than once for the same crime. The associations want any administrative segregation stay beyond 15 days outlawed.In response to the challenge, and a similar one pending in British Columbia, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-56 earlier this month. Among other things, the bill would limit administrative segregation to 21 days — a limit that would fall to 15 days 18 months after the legislation took effect. The bill also seeks to set up a quick, independent review process.In addition, court heard that policy changes set for Aug. 1 would divert some vulnerable inmates — those with significant mental-health disorders, the self-harming or suicidal — from segregation to medical observation and care.But CCLA lawyers argued the government’s “late-breaking initiatives,” even if they came to fruition, would still allow a prison warden to ignore recommendations to the contrary and keep someone in segregation beyond the presumptive limits. The proposed legislation also doesn’t specifically address keeping adults aged 18 to 21 in segregation, court heard.“There is no end to indefinite administrative segregation in this bill, even if it becomes law,” CCLA lawyer Michael Rosenberg told Marrocco. “When the rubber hits the road, there’s no difference.”Rosenberg called it an affront to the Constitution to punish people with 23-hour-a-day isolation just because other inmates may do them harm. But Southey maintained that administrative segregation is a last resort used in an “extremely complicated” prison environment. Hard caps on how much time someone could be kept in solitary could end up costing prisoners’ their lives, he said.“You can’t put a fixed amount of time on the removal of a threat,” Southey said, noting that prison authorities need flexibility.While the government lawyer suggested 18 months would be an appropriate hiatus for the proceeding, Rosenberg pointed out the case was already far advanced in terms of evidence gathering, and that pre-hearing witness examinations were almost wrapped up. Judicial guidance on an issue that currently affects hundreds of prisoners is vital, he said.“Nothing in these proposed changes speaks to the kind of reorganization that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says is so vitally necessary,” Rosenberg said. “We can’t wait.”Earlier this week, British Columbia’s top court rejected Ottawa’s request for an expedited appeal of a decision refusing an adjournment of a similar but unrelated segregation challenge launched by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and John Howard Society of Canada. That case is scheduled for an eight-week hearing starting July 4.Marrocco said he would issue a brief written decision in the “next little while.”last_img read more

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BC conservation officers free deer of hammock tangled in antlers

first_imgPRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – Hammy the deer is no longer wearing the latest in antler adornments after conservation officers in Prince Rupert, B.C., caught up with the animal on Thursday.The adult buck earned his name after he was cut free from a backyard hammock in August, but a tangle of purple fabric was left behind.He gained a following after being spotted numerous times in the northwestern B.C. town with part of the purple hammock wrapped around his antler.The wad of string gave the buck a dash of elegance and resembled a woman’s cocktail hat, but Zane Testawich with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says they were concerned it could be dangerous if the deer butted heads with other males during mating season.Officers tried to track Hammy to perform the rescue last week without success, but were able to tranquilize the animal on Thursday and use a knife to cut the string free.Testawich says the officers also painted one of the deer’s antlers purple to help keep track of him for the rest of the season.He says the service usually likes to watch animals that it injects with drugs using a large yellow ear tag so that people can report on the its well-being, Testawich says.“We kind of thought in this instance, (painting an antler purple) would allow us to keep track of Hammy and let the people still have a connection to that animal,” he says.Repeated Hammy sightings in the community prompted a dedicated Facebook page that has gained him international attention.Testawich says after freeing the buck, conservation officers watched him eat, drink and visit with other deer before the officers left the area.last_img read more

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Too many coincidences to be anything other than murder prosecution says in

first_imgTORONTO – Two men planned for months to kill a young Toronto woman who disappeared five years ago and then tried to cover up their crime by burning the evidence, court heard Wednesday.The prosecution in the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich gave its closing argument by going over a “mountain” of circumstantial evidence in the presumed death of 23-year-old Laura Babcock. Both men have pleaded not guilty.“Her last footprint was in their company. Think about the improbability of coincidence. It’s almost too many to count,” said Crown attorney Jill Cameron.“That is no coincidence, that is murder.”Millard and Smich killed Babcock at Millard’s home some time after 8 p.m. on July 3, 2012 — the pair stopped texting each other and everyone else for about four hours, Cameron said.“It doesn’t matter how they killed her. We will never know. They killed her and then they tried to cover it up by burning her body and they sure seemed pleased about doing it,” Cameron said as Babcock’s mother wiped away tears.“They took pictures and didn’t destroy them. They kept her possessions as if they were collecting trophies. Fortunately for us they didn’t do a very good job of covering up their crime.”Cameron said Babcock’s footprint, both real and digital, vanished on July 4 when her phone went dark.After the two killed Babcock, Millard wrapped her body in a tarp, dumped it in his father’s minivan and drove to his hangar for some work and then on to his farm to hide the body, Cameron said.Millard sent Smich a text with a picture of a large, wrapped blue tarp next his dog, Pedo, on the afternoon of July 4.“This was Laura’s body,” Cameron said.The planning began in April 2012 when the feud between Millard’s girlfriend, Christina Noudga, and Babcock reached its zenith, she said. Court has heard the pair were fighting over Millard.Millard and Smich spoke extensively by text about a homemade incinerator that they were never able to get working, she said.After that failure, Millard ordered a commercial incinerator called The Eliminator and the two spoke about testing it with “bones.”The machine arrived on July 5, but wasn’t operational until July 23 with both men working on it to get it installed on a trailer, she said.The Crown pointed to the photo of a smiling Smich in front of The Eliminator taken with Millard’s phone that night, then the image of what two experts say are bones inside the machine.“Given the mountain of evidence you have heard, those aren’t deer bones,” Cameron said.“That is a picture of Laura Babcock after these two got through with her.”Earlier, Smich’s lawyer told the jury his client had no motive to kill Babcock because he was never part of a love triangle the Crown has said was behind her death.Thomas Dungey said there’s not one iota of evidence that his 30-year-old client killed Babcock.“Mark Smich had no involvement with the disappearance of Laura Babcock,” Dungey said in his closing arguments. “There is no evidence to where she is or what happened to her.”Dungey argued that Smich had no reason for what he’s accused of doing.“Who’s involved in this love triangle? Allegedly Christina Noudga, Dellen Millard and Laura Babcock,” Dungey said. “Not Mark Smich. He’s not even part of the triangle, not part of the whole motive.”Court has not heard evidence of any texts or communication between Smich and Babcock, Dungey said. And Smich didn’t buy the incinerator the Crown alleges the accused used, Millard did, he said.Dungey focused on two pieces of evidence the Crown has used to highlight Smich’s connection to Babcock: her iPad was found in his possession and named “Mark’s iPad,” and a red bag with her name on it was found in Smich’s bedroom. Dungey said text messages in evidence show that Millard gave both items to Smich.The Crown’s case is based on circumstantial evidence with no concrete proof about Babcock’s presumed death, Dungey argued.“Is this a novel? Because it sure is fiction,” he said.“It comes down to a rap, that’s all they got,” Dungey said, referring to a rap Smich gave in his garage after Babcock disappeared.The jury has heard about Smich performing a rap in front of two teenage boys about killing a girl and burning her body. The witnesses told court Smich said after that the rap was, in fact, true.Dungey said both witnesses were adolescents, admitted drug addicts and smoking marijuana at the time and because of all that, their memories are not reliable.Millard, who represented himself, told the jury in his closing address Tuesday that several witnesses have seen or heard from Babcock after July 4, 2012.The 32-year-old told the jury Babcock is not dead, noting to one witness testified he saw her at a nut store in Toronto in October 2012.He also pointed to Babcock’s best friend, Megan Orr, who told court she talked to Babcock on the phone on July 4. Phone records, however, showed Babcock’s last phone call was to voice mail at 7:03 p.m. the day before.“Laura must have changed her phone, must have had another phone,” Millard said.The judge is to begin the charge to the jury on Thursday.last_img read more

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New energy projects get twoyear approval window under new assessment regime

first_imgOTTAWA – Major new energy projects will have to be assessed and either approved or denied within two years under a massive new national assessment bill being introduced in the House of Commons.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who introduced the 341-page Impact Assessment Act Thursday morning, said it will provide clarity and certainty about how the process works, what companies need to do, and why and how decisions are made.“Canada just upped its game today,” McKenna said.She said the new system will help improve certainty to attract investments and prevent the polarization of sides and legal battles such as those currently affecting the Trans Mountain pipeline project. That project, to triple the capacity of an existing line between Alberta and British Columbia, was approved under interim principles put in place by the Liberals in early 2016, but is still mired in controversy.McKenna said the new system sets legislated time lines for making a decision, lifts the restrictions on who can participate in an assessment process to allow more people to weigh in and requires the reasons behind a decision to be made public, including access to the science used in each case. She believes all those things will help return confidence to a system she says is broken.Under the new act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will be renamed the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and reviews will look at far more than just the impact on environment. Health, social, and economic effects will also be considered, as will the effect on Indigenous rights. A gender-based analysis will also take place on every project.Decisions will be made based on the pros and cons of a project, including its contribution to sustainability, the extent of any adverse effects and how they will be mitigated, the impacts on Indigenous lands and rights and how it will affect Canada’s ability to meet its environmental and climate change commitments.The assessment agency is to become a one-stop shop for all assessments, including trying to co-ordinate with provincial governments so any project proponent only has to go through one review before a decision. The biggest or most involved projects will be assessed by a review panel appointed by the minister, while smaller projects will be looked at by the assessment agency.Review panels will have 600 days, rather than 720, to complete their work and cabinet will make the decision whether a project goes ahead, within 90 days. The agency assessments will take a maximum of 300 days — down from 365 — and decisions made by the minister of environment in no more than 30 days.Before a proponent even submits an application for review, they will be required to undergo an early planning phase, of a maximum of six months, to try and work with various stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, ahead of time to see what issues and concerns might arise.McKenna said “smart proponents already do this.”“If you don’t do the work on the front end you’re just not going to get to a conclusion quickly and you may end up in court or having protests,” she said.The National Energy Board is being remade into the Canadian Energy Regulator, with some changes including requiring at least one board member be Indigenous and that expert panels used by the regulator include expertise in Indigenous knowledge, municipal issues, engineering and environmental issues. The CER, as it will be known, will remain based in Calgary, an official rejection of a recommendation last year to move at least some of the board’s functions to Ottawa.The federal government will spend $1 billion over the next five years to implement the new process, including hiring more scientists to review impact statements from project proponents.Both the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said they were pleased with the legislated timelines and the “one project, one assessment” philosophy behind the new act.Tim McMillan, president of the petroleum producers, said the early-engagement requirement could be great, but he wants more information.“There may be some work that needs to be done before the clock is started,” he said. “If that is more cumbersome or onerous than what we had before, it may actually be a net negative. If this is done really well, maybe that does mean there’s a benefit.”The CEPA is concerned issues such as climate change will be taken into consideration, saying it is subjective and could make decisions political.University of Ottawa law professor Stewart Elgie, who specializes in environmental and natural resource law, says the bill will make Canada the only country in the world with national assessment legislation that requires the government to consider sustainability and climate change commitments when deciding whether to approve a project or not.“That is real environmental teeth,” he said.However other environmental groups say it’s not clear how Canada will determine if a project meets those climate change commitments or not.Megan Leslie, a former NDP MP and now president of World Wildlife Fund Canada, said climate is only a consideration, not a requirement. Leslie said the increased transparency requirements are a net gain however.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

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I love space Belgian king tells former astronaut and Gov Gen Payette

first_imgOTTAWA – Self-described space buff King Philippe of Belgium began a weeklong visit to Canada on Monday with his wife, Queen Mathilde, saying he wanted to view the country through the eyes of an astronaut.He was, of course, referring to his host, former space explorer-turned Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, who greeted the royal couple at Rideau Hall at the start of their whirlwind state visit.“I love space,” King Philippe said to the delight of Belgian flag-waving onlookers as he was formally welcomed to the nation’s capital.“So I’m very happy to see the country and the world through your eyes, the eyes of an astronaut,” he said to Payette.The king and his wife were scheduled to take part in more down-to-earth pursuits over the rest of the five full days of their tour — the first Belgian state visit to Canada in over 40 years.Monday’s events included the planting of a sugar maple tree in the frozen ground of Rideau Hall, a visit to a sugar bush, the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial and meetings on Parliament Hill bringing together delegations from Canada and Belgium.A meeting planned with Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, to discuss cultural ties between the two countries, was cancelled, however, after Joly’s flight to Ottawa was abruptly grounded by computer system disruptions at Air Canada.And officials narrowly avoided a hitch in the tree-planting ceremony.“While we were preparing for the tree planting ceremony on the grounds of Rideau Hall, it was brought to our attention that there was a mix up with a small flag that was used to help identify the tree planted by Her Majesty Queen Fabiola in 1977,” Marie-Eve Letourneau wrote in an email, adding that the situation was rectified before the current royals arrived.One of the main thrusts of the state visit is a “thank you” of sorts for Canada’s involvement in the liberation of Belgium during the First World War, the king said.“We owe our freedom to the military men who came to our country 100 years ago to end the First World War,” he said as he was greeted by Payette.“We in Belgium, we don’t forget that.”To mark the closing of the centennial commemorations of the First World War in both countries, the royal couple was scheduled to attend a ceremony Tuesday where a cannon from the war was to be loaned to the Canadian War Museum.With Europe facing down a protectionist administration in Washington — the latest measure being steel and aluminum tariffs announced last week that Canada has seemingly, temporarily avoided — the royal visit also provided an opportunity for both Brussels and Ottawa to tout the positive impacts of free and open trade.“The globalization of (trade) is increasing,” Payette noted as she welcomed the couple.“And with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that has been made with Europe, we will increase and progress for the benefit of all countries.”Belgium was a holdout in signing CETA, when one of its regions threatened to effectively veto the agreement, and has given indications recently that it could take a year or more to ratify the pact between Canada and the European Union.Later Monday, Payette gave the royals a glimpse of the planet through her eyes at a state dinner, where she spoke of the intricate connections that tie Canada, Belgium and the rest of the world together. And she encouraged everyone in the room to think of how people should live in harmony on the only planet they know, telling the gathering that “the world is not small.”The Belgian monarchs are also to visit Toronto and Montreal during their tour, accompanied by a delegation that includes political and business leaders and the rectors of the main Belgian universities.last_img read more

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Plan to triage asylum seekers stalled by Ontario provincial election

first_imgOTTAWA – A plan to “triage” asylum seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border illegally, in an effort to move some migrants out of Quebec and into Ontario, has stalled because Ontario is in the midst of a provincial election.Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Ontario civil servants have been working on details of the plan with the federal government and Quebec, but nothing can be finalized until a new provincial government is in place.“There’s a lot of very hard work being done by civil servants who work for Immigration Ontario to look at the whole issue of the triage, which is more than just a reception centre. It’s the whole process of absorbing people who want to go to Ontario. And that entails resources — financial resources, and other kinds of resources, manpower resources,” Garneau told reporters Wednesday.“There is an election going on and, when it’s all in place, there will be a requirement to get the new government of Ontario, whatever that government is, to sign onto that.”The ad hoc intergovernmental task force on irregular migration met Wednesday evening to discuss the ongoing issue of illegal border crossers and how to address pressures facing Quebec, where the vast majority of irregular migrants are arriving.The group of federal and provincial officials also met last month, when they reached agreements on measures including the creation of a so-called triage system to identify asylum seekers interested in going to areas outside Montreal or Toronto to await the outcome of their refugee claims.So far, the system has not materialized.Quebec Immigration Minister David Heurtel says his province’s resources are becoming strained. More than 9,000 refugee claimants have crossed into Canada through unofficial paths along the border so far this year, with 90 per cent of them landing in Quebec.A majority of the primarily Nigerian asylum seekers who have arrived this year have indicated they want to live in Ontario. That’s why Heurtel says he wants to see the triage system up and running, to help facilitate travel and other arrangements for those who want to go to Ontario.“For us it is important to see that people who do not want to be in Quebec do not have to stay in Quebec,” he said in French.Heurtel noted that all federal resources and claims processing centres for these migrants are in Montreal, which is why many of them are remaining there despite wanting to leave.Garneau said all they can do is continue to work on the details, which he says are complex.“Very significant progress has been made on what is a fairly complex operation,” he said.“It includes accommodations and other service that are provided. And of course, like Quebec, which is getting near full capacity, Toronto is getting near full capacity. So there’s also a conscious effort to see whether, while people are going to Ontario, whether they would go to smaller centres in Ontario.”Concerns have also been raised by both Quebec and Ontario about costs they say the provinces have borne as a result of the surge of irregular migrants.They’re looking to Ottawa for reimbursement, with Quebec seeking $146 million and the city of Toronto recently stating it needs $64 million to recover its costs.Garneau said Wednesday those financial negotiations are ongoing.Meanwhile, federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the month of May has seen a drop in the number of irregular migrants, which he attributes to getting the message out that crossing the border illegally is no free ticket to Canada.In April, an average of 83 asylum seekers were crossing per day. So far in May the average has been 51 per day.But Heurtel says the federal government must also do more to reduce the amount of time it takes to process the refugee claims.Many of these border-crossers are well aware there are significant delays, and this is an incentive for them to come to Canada illegally, he said.“For us this is the heart of the problem.”-Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

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Parti Quebecois Leader JeanFrancois Lisee relishing underdog role

first_imgMONTREAL – Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee is looking to some sovereigntist heavyweights for inspiration with his party struggling in third place in the polls.Lisee says he is relishing his underdog status about a week before the Quebec election campaign officially gets underway.He told reporters Wednesday he was in a similar position at the outset of the PQ leadership race he went on to win two years ago.“I feel like an underdog and I like it,” he said. “Because that’s where I was at the beginning of the leadership race in 2016 — and here I am.“Rene Levesque was an underdog in the 1976 election. We (the Yes side) were underdogs coming into the (1995) referendum debate and we came very close to 50 per cent.”Besides the reference to Levesque’s stunning victory 42 years ago, Lisee also mentioned the 1998 election campaign in which Lucien Bouchard led the PQ to victory after it appeared Jean Charest’s Liberals would win.And last month, Lisee brought up that win from 20 years as he congratulated France for winning the World Cup.“The last time the French won the Cup, in 1998, the Parti Quebecois won the election a few months later,” he tweeted. “We’ll repeat that in October.”The election campaign kicks off Aug. 23 and Quebecers go to the polls Oct. 1.Lisee appeared unfazed by recent opinion polls that have consistently suggested the PQ is trailing the front-running Coalition Avenir Quebec and the governing Liberals.“I’m feeling great because our team is extremely confident all across Quebec,” he said. “Our proposals are credible.”He dismissed the Coalition’s proposals as unsound and said, “that helps a lot.’’last_img read more

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711M going to better access to substanceabuse treatment in BC

first_imgTORONTO – One of the provinces hardest hit by what health officials consider a national opioid crisis is receiving tens of millions of dollars to increase access to treatment for substance abuse.The federal government signed a bilateral agreement Thursday with British Columbia that will see $71.7 million go towards addressing the opioids issue, with $33.98 million coming from Ottawa and the balance from the province.Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the money was part of an emergency treatment fund included in the 2018 federal budget. In total, the provinces and territories will receive $150 million for opioid-related initiatives, she said.“This funding will enhance treatment and recovery options for individuals in British Columbia,” said Petitpas Taylor, who made the announcement alongside B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy at an opioid symposium in Toronto. “The funding provides concrete help for people who need it.”Darcy welcomed the federal funding.“British Columbia is in the midst of the worst public health emergency in decades,” she said. “Before the end of this of this day, three to four people…will die, each of them leaving behind family, friends, loved ones and communities that are devastated by their loss.”The federal funding will help increase supports for youth and Indigenous people living with addiction, expand and enhance treatment options for opioids abuse and fill in the gaps between treating people for overdoses in emergency rooms and connecting them with addictions treatment and recovery services, she said.“It’s critically important to understand how and why people seek treatment but also how and why they may leave treatment so that we can do everything in our power to prevent people from falling through the cracks and going back to a poisoned drug supply on the street,” Darcy said.The money will also help create 25 supportive residential treatment beds, which offer 90 days of opioid substitution treatment, psychosocial care, life skills training and aftercare support, she said.Petitpas Taylor said it is the fourth such agreement regarding the opioids issue and Ottawa will be negotiating with the remaining provinces and territories, including Ontario, in the coming months.Thursday’s announcement came as Ontario grapples with the future of its overdose prevention facilities, after the provincial government announced last month it would halt the opening of new sites while it conducts a review of their effectiveness.The moratorium was condemned by more than 100 health groups, who said the move was putting lives at risk.Advocates said a string of overdose deaths in Toronto last month shows there is urgent need for more facilities, and urged the province to reverse its decision.Petitpas Taylor said on Wednesday that her ministry intends to share with Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government its data showing that overdose prevention sites and supervised consumption sites work.British Columbia offered to share its experience with the sites as well on Thursday, saying nearly 2,000 overdoses had been reversed — and no lives lost — at the province’s facilities in the last year.“So the evidence is there, we certainly look forward to sharing that with the province of Ontario,” the minister said.Premier Doug Ford has said Ontario is reaching out to experts to get their input on overdose prevention sites. He has also said the government’s goal is to save lives and get people off drugs and into rehab.More than 3,800 people died from opioids in Canada in 2017, compared to 2,978 in 2016, according to the latest figures published by Health Canada.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly said all the funding was coming from the federal government.last_img read more

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CFL taking part in Call It Out campaign to end violence against

first_imgEDMONTON — The Canadian Football League is joining a new campaign aimed at ending violence against women.The “Call It Out” campaign urges people to be more than a bystander when they see gender-based violence taking place.Other participants include the Ending Violence Association Canada, Status of Women Canada and the United Steelworkers.The Ending Violence Association has been working with CFL players, coaches and staff as part of a league-wide initiative begun in 2015 to respond proactively to any allegation of gender-based violence.This year’s Grey Cup game will feature broadcast-visible LED sideline signage, an in-stadium video and an accompanying social media campaign with the message that everyone has a role to play.CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says nearly 70 per cent of Canadians report that they know a woman who has experienced sexual or physical violence.“At this time of year, when we Canadians join together to celebrate the Grey Cup, we want to remind everyone that we need to work together to end violence against women and the attitudes that can contribute to it,” Ambrosie said at a news conference in Edmonton on Friday.“The CFL remains committed to ending violence and to calling out disrespect and violence where we see it. As individuals and as organizations, we all have the ability to be leaders on this issue and put a stop to violence against women.”The Calgary Stampeders and the Ottawa Redblacks will play for the national championship Sunday at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals divisive Tories

first_imgOTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he’s confident he’ll win re-election next fall by sticking to a positive, thoughtful approach to difficult issues, in contrast to the Conservatives whom he accuses of resorting to bumper sticker slogans that prey on voters’ fears and prejudices.Although recent provincial elections suggest Canada is not immune to the anti-immigrant sentiment or nationalist populist sloganeering that has swept through the U.S. and other countries around the globe, the prime minister argues that Canadians are getting wise to political leaders who promise easy, simplistic solutions to complex issues.“I think one of the big distinctions that we see around the world right now is folks who want to exacerbate, amplify and exaggerate those fears for short-term political gain versus those who are trying to thoughtfully allay those fears,” Trudeau said in a year-end roundtable with the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press.“Obviously, it’s easier to spook someone than it is to explain a complex answer,” he said. “But I fundamentally believe in trusting citizens’ capacity to be thoughtful about where we’re going … and that is what I am going to be putting forward as a vision for our politics, for our country and, by extension, I think for the whole world.”In that sense, Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015.In that campaign, he points out that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives adopted a strategy with “Islamaphobic undertones,” including vowing to ban Muslim women from wearing the face-covering niqab during citizenship ceremonies and proposing creation of a “snitch line” to tip police to culturally barbaric practices. By contrast, he said Liberals won by campaigning “on a thoughtful approach that was in total contrast with the versions of populism that were already beginning to creep into global discourse at that point.”Since then, Trudeau acknowledged populism has swept through some European countries and the United States, with the election of President Donald Trump, and right-wing, nationalist forces have become more effective at disseminating messages designed to inflame anxieties and tensions through social media.Here in Canada, Quebecers elected Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec on a platform of reducing immigration and banning certain public servants, including teachers, police and judges, from wearing religious symbols.While those ideas might be “popular at first blush in a populist speech,” Trudeau predicted that Quebecers will change their minds once they “actually dig into the real world consequences of allowing and encouraging discrimination based on someone’s religion within a free society.”He argued that Canadian have become “more aware of the dangers of populism, the consequences of populism.”As proof, Trudeau pointed to the growing disenchantment of Ontarians with Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford, whose popularity has plunged in just six short months as his fledgling government reels from one controversy to another.Ford “did certainly promise easy answers to complex questions and seems to be having a certain amount of difficulty in actually moving forward in a way that is actually saving people money,” said Trudeau.The same criticism, he argued, can be levelled at Andrew Scheer’s federal Conservatives, whom he described as exploiting “wedge issues” — such as spreading deliberate “disingenuous misinformation” about the recent United Nations compact on migration — while “doubling down” on the same policies advanced by Harper on everything from the economy, to international affairs to Indigenous reconciliation.He dismissed suggestions that he’s indulging in fear tactics or smears of his own when he equates Scheer with Harper.“We had this discussion quite a bit during the 2015 election where my emphasis on sunny ways had people going, ‘Aha!’ any time I’d say something critical of Stephen Harper,” he said.“I’m always going to be very, very sharp any time there are clear distinctions in policy, in approach, in the way someone indicates their tendency to perhaps divide Canadians or exploit faultlines rather than pulling together.“I will make no apologies for being very passionate, sometimes overly enthusiastic, in the way I engage in a robust debate. But I am, as much as possible, going to keep it on a substantive level.”He argued that it’s perfectly fair and factual, for instance, to point out that Scheer has no plan to tackle climate change, other than opposing the Liberals’ carbon tax, which goes into effect next year.“There’s lots of important debates to be had on … how the best way to fight climate change is. But they still seem stuck on whether to fight climate change  and I don’t think Canadians are there, but certainly that’s where Harper was and that seems to be where they still are.”Joan Bryden, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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12dayold goat stolen during snuggle event at Vancouver Island farm owners say

first_imgLADYSMITH, B.C. — The owners of a Vancouver Island farm say one of their baby goats was stolen during an event where people can visit and snuggle with the cuddly animals.Rebecca and Justin Dault own Yellow Point Farms in Ladysmith, B.C., and say they noticed a 12-day-old male kid was missing after the event on Saturday.Justin Dault says it’s unlikely the cream-coloured, black-spotted baby ran away because it was inside a locked paddock and he searched “high and low” for the animal after realizing it was gone.He says they didn’t record the identification details of the 50 people who attended the event but they’ve called the police and officers visited the property Monday.Dault says the mother of the missing goat is distressed and has been wandering around searching for the young male while neglecting another baby.The farm owner adds he’s worried the little kid might not survive without its mother because it doesn’t know how to drink milk from a bottle yet.The couple has a large registered breeding herd of goats and this animal had already been pre-sold, Dault adds.“Unfortunately, people joke about stealing a goat, but someone actually did steal one,” he says.“Hopefully, the person knows about animals. All we want is for them to just drive by and drop it off, really. Put it over the fence. Have a happy ending.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Man accused of killing Manitoba woman testifies she came at him with

first_imgWINNIPEG — A man accused of killing an Indigenous woman in Manitoba says he blacked out before realizing she was dead on his basement floor.Brett Overby, who is 32, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Christine Wood.Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from Oxford House First Nation in northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016.She was staying with her parents in a hotel when she met Overby through a dating website.Her body was found nearly a year later in a ditch outside the city.Overby has testified that Wood was pressuring him to have sex without a condom and came at him with a knife.He told a jury that she somehow ended up in a pool of blood on the floor and he never intended to hurt or kill her.The Canadian Presslast_img

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Acts of kindness emerge at chaotic Raptors rally derailed by shooting

first_imgTORONTO — When gunshots sparked panic and chaos at a massive outdoor celebration for Toronto’s NBA champions this week, some fans caught in the stampede worked to keep others out of danger, at times putting their own safety at risk.As authorities now look to learn lessons from the event marred by overcrowding and violence on Monday, accounts of acts of kindness by complete strangers have emerged.The shooting — which took place shortly after the Raptors went on stage during a victory rally at Nathan Phillips Square — injured four people, police said. Three people were arrested and two firearms were recovered, with investigators still looking for another suspect and firearm.As hordes of fans scattered in fear, Mo Hussein said a group of young adults he had just met helped shield his three-year-old daughter from the crowd.Hussein had gone to the rally with family members, including his niece and nephew, and ran into some of his niece’s friends, who he did not previously know. His daughter had just fallen asleep in her stroller when shots set off a wave of panic in the packed square, he said.“All of a sudden the crowd started running towards us,” he said. “Fortunately I didn’t panic, my first thoughts were to protect my daughter who was asleep in the stroller. I just told people around me to come help me protect the stroller.”Hussein said his niece’s friends formed a semi-circle around the stroller, protecting his daughter, who remained blissfully unaware of the commotion around her. When the crowd dispersed, “there were strollers around, there were shoes strewn all over the place, peoples’ hats and personal possessions all over the place,” he said.That selfless act from the group prevented what could have been a terrible outcome, said Hussein, noting many children were put at risk at a purportedly family-friendly event.“It basically means that even at the most evil point, humanity prevails,” he said. “(My niece’s friends) were afraid themselves and they were shivering after the fact, a lot of them had tears in their eyes and the fact that they were brave enough to actually help protect my daughter is something I really appreciate.”Some who received a helping hand also witnessed other acts of kindness.Kimi Marfa, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, said they were separated from friends moments after the shooting, which occurred steps away from their group.“It was so scary not knowing if my friends were hurt or if they were safe,” Marfa said.The 16-year-old said they ran into the nearby Old City Hall courthouse and saw children who had lost track of their parents. The kids were crying and looked scared, particularly when security announced the building was under lockdown, Marfa said.Other parents who were still with their children stepped in to console those who were alone, Marfa said. “There were mothers acting as mothers to these others kids, hugging them and singing to them,” Marfa said.Marfa was also helped through a panic attack by a woman in the courthouse, they said.Suzanne Bernier said she ran into a nearby Canadian Tire where employees told distraught Raptors fans to come inside and stay calm. Store employees acted professionally and with compassion despite not being prepared to deal with dozens of terrified people seeking shelter, she said.“It was so nice to see people stepping up to help each other,” she said. “It was just everyday citizens coming together to help each other out.”Alanna Rizza and Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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