SC extends Assam NRC deadline to August 31

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday extended the deadline for publication of final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by a month to August 31 while rejecting the pleas seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification.The Centre and the Assam government sought permission for sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions and exclusions of persons in the NRC. The order was passed by a bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman, which perused the reports filed by the Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela. The Centre and the Assam government stands were advanced by Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, respectively. Both the governments had on July 19 told the top court that “India cannot be the refugee capital of the world” and sought an extension of its deadline of July 31 to complete the Assam NRC.last_img read more

Shastri complements Kohli dangerous to change coach Official

first_imgNew Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) invited applications for the position of head coach and support staff of the Indian team, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials believe that it is important that Ravi Shastri continues as the head coach as that will help Virat Kohli evolve further as captain. A senior BCCI official said that it was important to continue with Shastri and Kohli as the two heads in the process of transition as the team looks to back youngsters with an eye on the 2020 World T20 as well as the 2023 50-over World Cup. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Nothing permanent with a long term effect should happen at this stage of transition. Shastri and Kohli complement each other well and it would be unfair to change half of a team that has been successful,” the official said. The official added that it was important to maintain continuity as a change in coach could mean that the players would have to adapt to his ways from the beginning and the equation that already exists in the Indian dressing room would go for a toss. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”A change in coach may prove to disturb the equation that exists which allows the players to have the mental space to excel. If a change is made at this stage, then it would be a change of strategy and planning for the next 5 years. It would be unfair to take such a decision at a stage when the stakeholders are not the ones deciding,” the official explained. The BCCI invited applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physio, strength and conditioning coach and administrative manager for the Indian team on July 16. Shastri and his team will get an automatic entry into the recruitment process.last_img read more

UN urges India Pak to exercise restraint as it follows Kashmir issue

first_imgUnited Nations:- UN chief Antonio Guterres has said he was following “with concern” the tense situation in the India-Pakistan region after the Indian government scrapped Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and urged the two neighbours to exercise restraint. The Indian government on Monday revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Rajya Sabha approved the resolution abrogating Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir and a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the controversial provisions were responsible for poverty and lack of development in the state. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US “We are following with concern the tense situation in the region… We urge all parties to exercise restraint,” Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing here on Monday. He was responding to a question on whether the UN Secretary General has any comment on India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status and the Pakistani’s response that this is a violation of UNSC resolutions calling for a UN-organised plebiscite. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Dujarric said the UN is also aware of reports of restrictions in Kashmir in India. Answering another question on whether the UN chief intends to play a role in resolving the issue, Dujarric said, “We are very concerned about the rise in tensions. As for the Secretary General’s role, he has often expressed his position on that and his position remains the same,” a reference to the UN chief’s position that his good offices are always available should “both sides” ask for it. Dujarric also referred to a brief statement he issued Sunday that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observed and reported an increase in military activity at the Line of Control (LoC) in recent days. “The United Nations appeals to both sides to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that the situation does not further deteriorate,” he had said in the statement Sunday. The UNMOGIP, established in January 1949, observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the LoC and the Working Boundary between the two neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations. India, however, maintains that UNMOGIP has “outlived its relevance” after the Simla Agreement signed between the two countries in 1972.last_img read more

Pak PM Imran vows to raise Kashmir issue at every forum

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday vowed to become the voice of Kashmir and raise the issue at every global forum, including the United Nations, as he questioned the silence of the international community on the tense situation in the region. Addressing a special session of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad, Khan said that if a war breaks out between Pakistan and India, the world community will be responsible. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKhan, who was in Muzaffarabad to observe Pakistan’s Independence Day in solidarity with the Kashmiris after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, termed the Indian move as a “strategic blunder.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “committed a strategic blunder, he has played his last card. It will cost a lot to Modi and the BJP. Because they have internationalised the issue of Kashmir,” Khan said. “The world’s eye is on Kashmir and on Pakistan…I will be the ambassador who raises Kashmir’s voice at every international forum,” he said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsPrime Minister Modi has defended the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status as a historic step to usher in a “new era”. He said Article 370 has yielded nothing but separatism, corruption, family rule and was used by Pakistan as a tool to spread terror in the border state. Modi promised all round development, early and transparent elections and an end to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. “Whatever was done during the curfew by India, we will tell the international community that you are responsible. Whichever forum we get, I will be the ambassador and bring up Kashmir at every forum,” Khan said. Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan had solid information that India was planning some actions in Kashmir and warned that his battle-hardened army was ready to give a befitting response to any aggression. “Our information is that a plan more dangerous than post-Pulwama…has been prepared by India to take focus (away) from Kashmir situation. My message to Modi is that you take action and we will give a matching response,” he said. “Every brick will be countered with a stone,” Khan said. “We will respond to whatever you do, we will go till the end…If you are thinking to teach us lesson, then listen carefully time has come that we will teach you a lesson,” he added. “Our message to international organisations that were formed to prevent wars is that if this war takes place, you will be responsible,” Khan said. It is not the first time that Khan has spoken about the possibility of war with India.last_img read more

Mamata calls for peaceful movements to preserve freedom

first_imgKolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday called for organising peaceful movements to preserve freedom and democratic rights, adding that secularism is what identifies and unites India as a nation. In a midnight tweet on the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day, Banerjee urged one and all to take an oath “not to divide India”, but to unite it. Saluting the nation “and all our countrymen and women”, the Chief Minister said: “We must always strive for political freedom, economic freedom, freedom of expression, and preserve democratic rights. When these are not given, we should organise peaceful movements to preserve these rights.” In another tweet, she said democracy was India’s most priceless asset. “Let us take an oath today, not to divide India. We must unite India. Irrespective of caste or creed, we are all one India. Secularism is what identifies and unites us as a nation.”last_img read more

NRC authority mulls action against official for irregularities in checking documents Sources

first_imgGuwahati: The NRC authority is considering recommending strong action against a senior Assam government official for alleged irregularities in checking documents of people from Chamaria and some nearby areas in Kamrup district after which re-verification had to be done, sources close the development said. Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kumar Baishya has sent a report to the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela about two months back on the alleged irregularities by a former Circle Officer of Chamaria under his district which came to light in 2018. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The report noted how the then Circle Officer allegedly made all the affected people Original Inhabitants (OI) only to reduce his workload, the sources claimed. He had allegedly ticked the OI column for all the people, including Hindus and Muslims, in the verification list, which lessened his burden for cross-checking the documents as well as the tedious process of finding out the family tree of the applicants, they said. “It is not a corruption-related case. The DC’s enquiry has found out that the official’s quality of verification was very poor and he was not sincere about his duties,” a source said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe sources told PTI that the irregularities were initially detected around September 2018, after which the Kamrup district administration swung into action and found that it was affecting the entire Chamaria revenue circle. The NRC (National Register of Citizens) authority was then informed about the development and after much deliberations, it was decided to hold reverification in these areas. “It was a good pro-active decision by the NRC authority to hold the reverification process. “This shows that they are serious about bringing out an error-free NRC within the deadline,” a source close to the development said. The NRC authority has taken the report very seriously and is likely to recommend strong action against the erring bureaucrat, who is an Assam Civil Services official, the sources confirmed. No official comment could be obtained from the NRC Office as the Supreme Court had barred them from talking to the media. The deadline to publish the final NRC is August 31. The errant official was transferred from Chamaria early last year. A new Circle Officer was appointed in Chamaria, but he left the place within months seeking a voluntary transfer. In the second half of 2018, the current Circle Officer was appointed. She along with the deputy commissioner informed the NRC authority about the irregularities and started the process of reverification. Calls made to the Kamrup Deputy Commissioner remained unanswered. From August 3 afternoon, notices for reverification were served across the south of Kamrup district to about 33,000 people, asking them to appear within 48 hours in NRC Seva Kendras (NSKs), almost 400-500 km away from their place of residence, in several upper Assam districts. The sources said that as NRC process is time-bound and the final document has to be published by August 31, all the reverification work has to be completed as soon as possible.”The NSKs in entire lower Assam were already loaded with their scheduled reverification process. As there were fewer claims and objections in upper Assam, so the NSKs there were relatively less occupied. “That is why the authorities decided to hold the reverification of these unscheduled cases in upper Assam districts. “The only thing is that the notices should have been served to the people by giving them some more time,” they added.last_img read more

Chavan says he had demanded extension of GST returns deadline

first_imgMumbai: A day after the Centre extended the deadline for filing annual GST returns by three months, Congress leader Ashok Chavan claimed that the decision came after he wrote to the Union Finance Minister on the issue. He had asked finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to extend the date in view of the widespread damage caused by floods in parts of Maharashtra, the former chief minister said. The government on Monday extended the last date for filing Goods and Services Tax returns to November 30 from August 31 as tax payers were facing technical issues in filing returns. “I had demanded the Union Finance Minister @nsitharaman to extend the deadline to file #GST returns in the backdrop of the great floods. The efforts have been successful and the deadline to file #GST_Return and #Audit_Report has been extended. I am happy that the traders have got relief in the crisis time,” Chavan tweeted. He had written to Sitharaman on August 19, he said.last_img read more

US Supreme court allows Trump to enforce its new asylum rules

first_imgWashington DC: The US Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the administration to enforce new asylum rules, which would cut down the number of asylum seekers, in a major political victory for President Donald Trump. The decision allows the Trump administration to implement its policy while the litigation process in lower courts is on. Two of the justices of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, dissented on the order. The White House was quick to welcome the decision. “BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” Trump tweeted. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We are pleased the Supreme Court has ruled our Administration can implement important, needed fixes to the broken asylum system,” White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said. “This greatly helps build on the progress we’ve made addressing the crisis at our southern border and will ultimately make American communities safer.” According to Refugee International, the ruling by the Supreme Court was a blow to the desperate needs of asylum seekers at the southern border. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”We are gravely disappointed the nation’s highest court has lifted an injunction on a policy that-by barring asylum to anyone, including families and unaccompanied children who passes through a third country, is contrary to long-established US practice,” it said. The White House spokesperson, meanwhile, said the district court’s nationwide injunction was another in a series of “overreaching” orders that allowed a single, non-elected district court judge to “override” policy decisions for the entire nation. “While there is much more work still to be done, thankfully the Supreme Court took a decisive step here and rejected the lower court’s egregious ruling,” Gidley said. Refugee International alleged that it was another attempt by the administration to brazenly circumvent existing laws and bar people, especially from Central America, from seeking protection in the US from violence and persecution.last_img read more

Dozens of Labrador mining staffers show signs of lung disease report finds

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A new medical report has found that 35 people who worked at mining properties in Labrador have signs of silicosis, a lung disease that can develop from breathing in silica dust.The report by Horizon Occupational Health Solutions monitored the effects of exposure to silica dust at mining properties in Labrador West.The audit reviewed chest x-rays from retired and active employees, with 35 suspected to have the work-related lung disorder.The review says they have been notified of their results and encouraged to follow up with their family physicians.The Horizon report includes 11 recommendations to improve silica monitoring and protection for workers, which the province has accepted.They include identifying requirements for regular audits of medical surveillance files and reviewing the Silica Code of Practice from 2006 to make sure they meet national standards.last_img read more

NB Mountie replaces girls stolen tricycles Just absolute genuine kindness

first_imgBLACKS HARBOUR, N.B. – A New Brunswick Mountie is being praised for an act of kindness towards two young girls heartbroken by the theft of their tricycles.The Curtis family of Blacks Harbour, a small seaside village west of Saint John, noticed their daughters’ two tricycles missing from their driveway last week.The tricycles belonged to Sawyer, 2, and her sister Ramsey, 4, who immediately became concerned about her missing trike.“I thought, ‘Gee, that’s really heartless,” said Kristi Curtis, mother of the two girls. “It’s kind of mind-blowing.”Curtis put a sign on the family’s window informing neighbours of the theft and then decided to file a police report.RCMP Const. Anthony Leighton arrived at the family home on Friday to take their statements and ended up befriending the young family.“I went out and I met this beautiful family,” he said. “It broke my heart to know these two little girls had to go through this situation.”After speaking with his wife, Leighton decided to purchase two new trikes for the girls.“This is not something I needed to do, this is something I wanted to do,” he said. “I joined the RCMP (because) I love people, I love our communities. I like to see good in this world. I believe that one good contribution to our community will lead to another.”Leighton made the surprise delivery to the young girls on Saturday, prompting shrieks of joy and high fives.“My daughter Ramsey, she just started spinning around the yard. My other daughter, she’s so shy and she just kind of stood there and said, ‘Mine? Is it mine?’” she said.“Him coming with two new bikes to surprise them, it just blew us away. It was just absolute genuine kindness. We’ve never had anything like that done for us.”Leighton said his “heart was warm” after giving the children their new trikes and he’s even thinking of the thieves who took the original ones.“I may never know the situation or understand why someone would have stolen those two little girls’ bikes,” he said. “Maybe they have children. Maybe someone needed bikes.”The officer’s chivalrous gesture was shared on social media, and he began receiving messages of praise from across the province. He said he hopes the story will inspire others to pay it forward.“We have such a great country. We have such great communities and we have such a great police force and members in it,” he said. “We are fortunate in this country to have such good people. This is the Canadian way.”The girls rode their new tricycles at the playground all weekend and have been bringing them in at night for safekeeping — and also so they can ride them in the living room, Curtis said.(Global News)last_img read more

Singh changes position on court language requirement after caucus blowback

first_imgOTTAWA – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was forced Wednesday to claw back a suggestion bilingualism requirements for Supreme Court justices be waived to encourage Indigenous candidates.Singh had made the suggestion earlier in the day after judge and educator Sheilah Martin was nominated to fill an upcoming vacancy on the top court, disappointing some who had hoped an Indigenous candidate would be chosen.But after his idea generated friction within his own caucus, Singh issued a statement to clarify he “strongly” believes that Supreme Court justices be bilingual with a functional understanding of both French and English, adding it is the only way to ensure Canadians access justice in an official language.Indigenous rights must also be recognized and defended, Singh said, noting Indigenous languages have historically been “grossly overlooked” in Canadian institutions.“I am open to hearing suggestions of how to remain fully committed to bilingual judges while supporting the advancement of judges from Indigenous communities,” he said.“It’s my sincere hope that we will see, in near future, a Supreme Court Justice from a First Nation, Metis or Inuit background.”Earlier on Wednesday, Singh said there needs to be an understanding of the unique situation Indigenous communities have faced and a recognition of Indigenous languages.“I would say in general our position as a party is that we support bilingualism,” Singh said.“It’s important as a nation that has two official languages that we support bilingualism with respect to judges but there is a specific case to be made for the Indigenous community.”The remarks touched off pushback from NDP MPs.“That is not a position of the NDP,” Quebec lieutenant Alexandre Boulerice said. “He knows it … but we are ready to work with anybody from the Aboriginal community to … see how we can integrate more efficiently Aboriginal languages.”NDP justice critic Murray Rankin said Singh’s original comments were not in keeping with the NDP’s position stipulating judges must be bilingual to sit on Canada’s top court. The party’s official languages critic had put forward a private members’ bill to enshrine the bilingual requirement into law but it was defeated.“We are trying essentially deal with two streams of rights,” Rankin said.“The need to be more representative, particularly for the Indigenous … legal traditions on the court and at the same time, an ironclad commitment to bilingualism which the NDP has long had as its policy.”Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is Aboriginal, said Wednesday she suspects many current Indigenous judges will apply for positions on the top court in the future.Sen. Murray Sinclair, the former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde have both said in the past that an Indigenous appointment to the top court is long overdue.They have also said the functional bilingual requirement creates barriers for Indigenous jurists.But Sinclair applauded Martin’s appointment, noting her involvement in the Indian Residential Schools settlement.“She has been a strong advocate for education and equality, as well as a formidable voice for under-represented groups including Indigenous peoples in the legal profession,” Sinclair said.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

Inuk woman with liver disease improves but family hopes for wider policy

first_imgTORONTO – The family of an Inuk woman struggling with acute liver failure is expressing optimism about her improving condition, while urging the rapid end of policies that deny transplants to alcoholics who haven’t abstained from drinking for half a year.Garrett Saunders said in an interview from the transplant centre at the University Health Network in Toronto that his older sister, Delilah Saunders, showed further signs of improvement over the weekend and on Monday.The 22-year-old said the family from Labrador is pleased with the 26-year-old woman’s progress and is increasingly hopeful she won’t require a liver transplant, though that is not yet definitely the case.Meanwhile, Saunders also read a statement from the family which says the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the organization that oversees organ donations in Ontario, needs to change the six-month abstinence rule.He said in the statement that the policy tends to be particularly harmful to marginal and poor groups and may be “preventing them from accessing life-saving care.”The family has said that Saunders, who is a prominent activist for Aboriginal women, was initially told that she didn’t meet criteria for a transplant because she drank within the last six months before she fell ill.A spokesperson for Trillium has confirmed the agency plans to launch a pilot project in August to suspend the six-month requirement and provide transplants to almost 100 patients with alcohol-related liver disease.Transplant physicians have said there is a critical organ shortage and research has shown both that some alcoholics resume drinking after a transplant, leading to liver failure.However, a lawyer who represents patients who have been denied liver transplants cited a University of Pittsburgh study that evaluated the prospects of alcoholics who received transplants. It found in the first five years their chances of survival were as good as patients suffering from non-alcoholic liver diseases, though lower in the longer term.— By Michael Tutton in Halifaxlast_img read more

Wannabe rabbit and cat cuddlers inundate City of Toronto with applications

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto Animal Services says it has been overwhelmed by responses to its call for rabbit and cat cuddlers and is no longer looking for volunteers — for now.The city has ongoing volunteer opportunities for cat and rabbit snugglers at three of its shelters, but was inundated with hundreds of people submitting applications for the position in the past week.Mayor John Tory tweeted earlier this week that due to more than 900 responses, Toronto Animal Services has more than enough volunteers.Mary Lou Leiher, program manager for animals services, says that doesn’t mean they won’t need more people in the future, but they are not currently accepting new applications.She says the recent flood of applications appear to have spread after a volunteer reposted one of their calls for more animal snugglers on social media.Leiher says the program helps socialize sheltered animals and also helps them get adopted.“When animals are stressed, they get sick, so the volunteers help keep the animals less stressed,” she said. “And it’s good for the people, too — spending time with a cat, rabbit or a pocket pet can be relaxing.”last_img read more

Involve business in ocean plastics pollution issue talks McKenna

first_imgHALIFAX – The federal environment minister says she wants business leaders involved when she and her counterparts from other G7 nations gather in Halifax this fall to discuss how to reduce the flow of plastic waste into the oceans.Catherine McKenna, speaking at a news conference Tuesday in Halifax, said Canadians are throwing out up to $150 billion worth of plastic each year, much of which ends up in the water.The minister said she wants to work with provinces, territories and municipalities to draft a national strategy aimed at combatting the plastics problem.McKenna said plastics producers should also be part of the discussions in late September when she meets in Halifax with her counterparts from Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Germany.The United States and Japan didn’t sign the so-called Oceans Plastics Charter tabled at the recent G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que.“When we come to Halifax, my focus is making sure that business is at the table and business is very engaged,” she said.“If you are producing the plastic, you’re part of the conversation about how do we keep the plastics in the value chain.”The G7 document called on signatory nations to discuss ways to reduce plastics going into the ocean, with the Canadian government estimating more than 150 million tonnes of the discarded material is clogging the oceans worldwide.There are estimates in some scholarly journals that the volume of plastic in the ocean could outweigh fish by 2050.Louie Porta, vice-president of operations for Oceans North, said he’d like to see Canada commit to enhancing its scientific monitoring of the plastics waste.He also said industry must take responsibility for the plastics they produce — referred to as extended producer responsibility.“I hope we’re going to see real progress on extended producer responsibility … (with) producers standing behind the products from the beginning to the end, so there is no waste to clean up at the end of the day,” said the executive with the marine conservation organization.Porta said this could mean a system where bottle producers remove one bottle out of the market for everyone that goes in, or find alternatives to plastic containers.last_img read more

Fouryear deal between NB Tories smaller party ideal for stability Higgs

first_imgFREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s Tory leader says a four-year agreement with one of the smaller political parties would help create stability in a province stuck with a deadlocked result from last week’s election.The Tories, led by Blaine Higgs, won 22 seats in the legislature — one more than the Liberals. Neither party has enough seats for a majority. However, Liberal Premier Brian Gallant has said he intends to continue governing as both leaders try to gain support from the third parties holding the balance of power.On Monday, Higgs met with the Green Leader David Coon and emerged to say the parties share some common policy areas, such as improving the openness of government.He also said the Greens are interested in a four-year agreement like the one in British Columbia between the NDP and the Green party, which states the agreement is in effect “until the next fixed-date election.”Though the B.C. agreement doesn’t guarantee the support of the Greens, it sets out a series of guidelines on how the two parties will work together, and it requires the minority government to hold a referendum on proportional representation.Higgs said the document is “maybe more thorough” than something his party would sign, but added he’ll see where talks go with the Green leader.Coon issued a brief statement Monday, saying the “ongoing discussions” with Higgs and Gallant will continue this week.“Both agreed with me that we need to find a way to bring a stable government for the people of New Brunswick in this minority government situation,” Coon’s statement said. “I and my caucus will continue to work to achieve this.”The right-of-centre People’s Alliance and the Green party scooped up three seats apiece on Sept. 24.The People’s Alliance has already said it would help prop up a minority Tory government for up to 18 months, even though a formal deal or coalition has not been struck.As for the Greens, they have yet to make any commitments, official or otherwise.Higgs told reporters that he likes the idea of the longer-term agreement being floated by the Greens, and he said it was something People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin might consider as well.“We’re using the template that was struck out West … maybe it’s more thorough than something we need to have,” Higgs said after his meeting with Coon.“Ideally, that agreement is a four-year document. And I think if we can find a four-year commitment, and I think Mr. Austin would also be open to that, because we want stability here in the province, and that’s what we’re striving for.”Higgs also said it’s important for the province’s financial stability to work out a longer-term arrangement that will ensure bond raters don’t downgrade the province’s credit rating due to political uncertainty.“If they think we’re going into an election, that’s just one more item bond raters look at … and then we’re deeper in the hole,” he said.Austin said in a telephone interview that while his party also wishes to create stability in government, “at the same time we want to have our autonomy as a party to continue to fight for things we’ve been fighting for all along.”He said he is hesitant to say he’d favour a four-year agreement without looking into the possibility in greater detail.Higgs was recently downplaying his party’s relationship with the People’s Alliance, describing it as an informal, verbal agreement.However, Austin said that he will expect talks with a Progressive Conservative government prior to offering support on the throne speech and financial bills.“I would expect to have some kind of discussions or negotiations leading into it,” he said.On Friday, Gallant said he would try to form a minority government with the Green Party and will recall the legislature for a throne speech by Oct. 23.Gallant said the Liberals will not form a coalition with the People’s Alliance, saying there are “fundamental values” the Liberals don’t share with the smaller party, particularly their language policies.— By Michael Tutton in Halifax.last_img read more

Boeing sending technical team to site of deadly Ethiopian plane crash

first_imgCHICAGO – Boeing says it is sending a technical team to the site of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians.The Boeing 737-8 MAX plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Bole Airport in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya.Both @AirCanada and @WestJet use the 737-MAX, the same type involved in the #EthiopianAirlineCrash Both airlines send condolences to the families of the victims.@NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/NCdpjtF2gv— Peter Wagner (@peterjontheair) March 10, 2019In Canada, both WestJet and Air Canada use the aircraft — Air Canada says they have performed safely and reliably, and WestJet says it will not speculate on the cause of the incident.Ethiopian authorities say the pilot sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return.Records show the plane was new and had been delivered to the airline in November.The aircraft was also involved in a Lion Air crash in October when a two-month-old plane plunged into the Java Sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, killing 189 people.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Feds offer 158B in new ships to Vancouver Halifax while opening door

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are shaking up the government’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan, promising $15.7 billion in new work to the two shipyards in Vancouver and Halifax while opening the door to their bitter rival in Quebec City.During a news conference in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will buy two more Arctic patrol ships from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding and 16 so-called multi-purpose vessels from Seaspan Shipbuilding in Vancouver.The ships will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard and aim to do two things: provide the coast guard with desperately needed new ships and prevent layoffs at Irving and Seaspan, which together have won billions of dollars in federal work since 2011.Yet Irving and Seaspan are unlikely to be popping champagne bottles: Trudeau also revealed the government plans to hold a competition to add a third shipyard to the shipbuilding plan.That opens the door to Davie Shipbuilding becoming an official partner in the strategy after years of intense lobbying, which Irving and Seaspan have long opposed for fear their Quebec City rival will steal work away from them.Today’s announcement in Vancouver, which was to be followed by similar announcements by ministers in the Halifax and Quebec City areas, comes only a few months ahead of the federal election, during which the Liberals will be looking to win or hold onto seats in all three cities.last_img read more

Canada may need higher carbon taxes to meet its Paris targets PBO

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s parliamentary budget watchdog says a higher price on carbon will be needed if Canada is to meet its Paris Agreement targets for greenhouse-gas emissions.A Parliamentary Budget Office report today says an extra price on carbon will be needed past 2023 to meet Canada’s targets, starting at $6 a tonne and rising to $52 by 2030.Combined with the current federal fuel charge, that would add up to $102 per tonne.Under current projections, Canada will reduce its emissions to 592 megatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, but the target is 513 megatonnes — a gap of 79 megatonnes.The PBO estimated an additional price on carbon after 2023 would cut emissions more and at a lower cost to the economy than the current fuel charge.The office notes that the estimates were made based on existing policies, and Environment and Climate Change Canada has said the effects of some new clean technologies have not yet been modelled.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Harry Styles Helps Celebrate 25th Anniversary Of Lesbian Gay Equality Charity

first_imgStonewall – the largest lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity in Europe – and SNOG Frozen Yoghurt have launched a joint campaign to celebrate 25 years of the lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity and look forward to the next 25 years.The #FirstSNOG campaign, an online interactive photo exhibition, has been launched to celebrate Stonewall’s 25 years of campaigning so that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are free to love and be loved.The exhibition – which already features famous supporters of Stonewall including Harry Styles (One Direction), Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Nick Grimshaw, Calvin Klein, Florence Welsh, Boy George, Katy B – can be viewed here.An exclusive SNOG app, designed by Carri Munden of Cassette Playa, will be available to download from tomorrow for the general public to voice their support as well as upload their own #FirstSNOG picture. The app will be available to download from the SNOG website.Speaking on the collaboration and the brands support of Stonewall, SNOG founders Rob Baines and Pablo Uribe commented: ‘This year has been an exciting year for SNOG, we launched our first range that you can enjoy at home and we wanted to mark this by supporting a cause personal to our hearts – people’s freedom to SNOG who they want. You never forget your first SNOG and it should not matter who that is with. We admire and respect the work of Stonewall and are proud to be part of the 25th year celebration. We commissioned Cassette Playa as we loved the freedom and vibrancy of Carri Munden’s graphic sensibility and we are thrilled so many of the SNOG fans have got involved in the campaign.’Ruth Hunt, Acting Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: ‘In our 25th year we know that there’s still so much work to do. Around the world in countries like Russia, Nigeria and Uganda, LGBT people are being oppressed and persecuted simply because of who they are. We’re excited to collaborate with SNOG to help us continue to campaign for LGBT equality across the world.’As well as raising awareness, SNOG is helping Stonewall to raise funds via their London based shops where a special Stonewall serving, featuring a selection of rainbow coloured fruits, will be available for the duration of the Stonewall 25 celebration. A donation of £3 can be made to Stonewall by texting ‘SNOG’ to 70300, with proceeds going towards the charity’s continued international work.Stonewall has also launched a special website to celebrate everything that has been achieved over the last 25 years.last_img read more