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October 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgNew Delhi: Chinese technology company Lenovo is confident of logging 40 per cent growth in the Android tablet market in India this year amid high demand from ed-tech players like BYJU’S and Vedantu, a company official said on Thursday. Lenovo, that launched Tab V7 at a starting price of Rs 12,990 for the 3GB RAM+32GB ROM variant, currently has a market share of 37 per cent in the tablet category. “We are happy with the growth but we are not satisfied. We will look to keep gaining more market share in the country. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “The commercial tab market will catch up fast. The educational players led by BYJU’S, Vedantu, Topper, etc are really changing the world of supplementary education and a lot of start-ups are also interested in tablets,” Rahul Agarwal, CEO and MD Lenovo, India, told IANS. According to the company, high demand comes from the state governments followed by the educational sector. Lenovo is also witnessing more demand from startups like food delivery app Uber Eats and OYO Rooms. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “The Gujarat government is our biggest customer who provides tablest to students at very nominal price. Some other state goverments buy laptops under similar programmes,” noted Agarwal. The company has recently bid for supplying tablets to various state governments. The newly-launched Tab V7’s 4GB RAM+64GB storage variant will cost Rs 14,990. According to Lenovo, this is their first tab to feature Iris recognition technology that can provide cashless and paperless services in applications such as banking and e-Governance services. The tablet comes with IPS Full HD 1080×2160 display and a 81 per cent screen-to-body ratio. It sports two front-facing Dolby Audio speakers and two popular secure ways to login, a fingerprint lock on the rear and a facial recognition lock in the front. The tablet’s portable design is made for pockets and mini-bags with a premium metallic rim and thin-and-light profile at 7.89-mm thick and 195 gram. Other features of the Lenovo Tab V7 include 4G VoLTE voice calling support. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 mobile platform there is an option to add memory via a micro SD slot of 128GB. It sports 13MP rear camera and 5MP selfie camera.last_img read more

October 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgNew Delhi: World Archery, the global governing body of the Olympic sport, on Thursday suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) for breaching its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies, but allowed Indian archers to compete in the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships, slated to be held in Madrid from August 19. The suspension has come into effect from August 5. On behalf of its executive board, World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen said in its official website: “World Archery is implementing the decision taken in June by suspending the Archery Association of India. The last event in which Indian athletes can participate is the youth championships in Madrid. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “We will now work with the Indian Olympic Association and the Indian government to try and establish a transitory committee with representatives from all sides to handle urgent matters. “If no long-term solution is found by the end of August, the executive board will decide what can be done to preserve the chances of Indian athletes participating in the Asian Championships and Asian Para Championships. At the same time, World Archery will also decide whether individual athletes can participate in the Indoor Archery World Series.” India have three men’s places secured for the Tokyo Olympics but are yet to win a women’s spot and the 2019 Asian Archery Championships and Asian Para Championships are critical as they will award quota places for 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.last_img read more

October 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgNew Delhi: Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on Saturday told a Delhi court that he was willing to join the probe into the AgustaWestland chopper scam case, while seeking cancellation of a non-bailable warrant issued against him. Puri told special judge Arvind Kumar that he wrote some e-mails to the Enforcement Directorate expressing his desire to join the investigation but the agency did not respond. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”You issued NBW against him (Puri) because he was not joining the investigation. But now ED is not calling him to join the investigation. We need court’s directions to stay the NBW,” Puri’s advocate Vijay Aggarwal told the court. The court was also informed by Puri that he has got interim protection from arrested in the case by the Delhi High Court. However, the ED opposed the application saying its sole purpose was to create confusion. “We are opposing the stay on NBW. This is just to create confusion by filing multiple applications. Ratul Puri e-mailed on August 15 to join the probe. Now we will take our call… We called him regularly to join the investigation but he did not come,” the agency said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The court has fixed August 19 as the next date for hearing further arguments on the application. The ED said that it will file a detailed reply to the application on the next date of hearing. The court had earlier issued NBW against Puri while noting the ED’s submissions that the businessman might try to tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses “as he already did earlier”. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary, AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by the NDA government in 2014 over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal. According to the ED, the proceeds of the crime have been deposited in the accounts of different companies owned by Puri and he is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by the other accused and to determine last-mile connectivity of the proceeds.last_img read more

October 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgIslamabad/Gurdaspur: Officials from India and Pakistan on Friday discussed in a cordial atmosphere the technical modalities like the level of the roads and the bridge of the proposed Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims, the first such meeting after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status leading to fresh tensions between the two countries. The meeting at the Zero point, where the Indian and Pakistani side of the proposed corridor converge, was attended by 10 to 15 officials from each side, an official of the National Highways Authority of India, who attended the meeting, told PTI. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The meeting lasted for close to two hours during which various technical aspects pertaining to the corridor were discussed, chief engineer with NHAI, T S Chahal, said. Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, BSF, Land Port Authority of India, which is constructing a state-of-the-art passenger terminal building, also attended the meeting. The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday This was the first meeting on the Kartarpur Corridor after India on August 5 revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. Chahal said the technical issues regarding level of roads and bridge of proposed corridor, were also discussed. Medical facilities which would be provided to pilgrims during their visit were also discussed. In the meeting, which was held in makeshift tents at the Zero point, both the sides discussed timing of completion of bridge, alignment of roads and other engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points. “The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere,” said Chahal. He said various works relating to the corridor would be completed well in time before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November. So far, there is no official word from the Pakistani side on Friday’s meeting. The area where the meeting took place was heavily guarded and no media personnel was allowed to go near the venue. However, the devotees and local people were allowed access to a point on the Indian side from where they could see the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. Pakistan and India have been discussing the modalities regarding the opening of the corridor at Narowal, some 125-km from Lahore, on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November. Over the past few months many rounds of meetings have been held on the corridor during which the experts from the two sides have discussed its alignment, coordinates and other engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points. In July, delegations of the two countries held a meeting on the Pakistani side of the Attari-Wagah border to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor. The corridor will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947. Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India. India is constructing a bridge at the zero point and has urged Pakistan to build a similar bridge on its side that will provide safe and secure movement of pilgrims and address concerns regarding flooding. The bridge is over a creek of which the majority part falls in Pakistan. Tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.last_img read more

October 18, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgNew Delhi: Going whole hog to sell Air India this time after the Modi 1.0 government’s failed bid, the group of ministers (GoM) led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to decide the reserve price of the national carrier and dealing with its large debt. Among other issues are golden handshake to staff reaching a certain age and extending medical facilities to those who have already retired or would retire in years to come. Official sources said that the government is nearly decided over a complete exit and making necessary change in eligibility criteria and other terms to align it with the needs of the potential investors. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”Major decisions left are fixing the fair price of Air India and handling the debt. Then contours of the disinvestment and retaining employees are other issues,” said an official. The meeting schedule of the group of ministers is yet to be decided but is expected shortly. Apart from Shah, the ministerial panel has Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri as the members. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe previous Modi government had dropped the disinvestment plan citing adverse operating environment with global crude prices rising and rupee weakening against the dollar. The investor sentiment was also tepid. Above all, an impending general election did not make political sense to go for disinvestment of Air India which is generally associated with the country’s pride and sometimes termed as “jewel of the nation.” While the country’s aviation environment has changed in the last one year with Jet Airways out of the scene now, experts see prevailing conditions better than May, 2018 when not a single bidder showed interest for Air India at EoI (expression of interest) level. Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia) of Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) sees the current operating and investment environment better than last year. He sees investors showing interest for the national carrier provided some of their issues are sorted out. “Post-Jet Airways closure, demand-supply dynamics are more stable. Oil is expected to remain under $60 and rupee around 71-72 which indicates favourable trading conditions compared to last fiscal,” Kaul said. “Globally, funds are available for the right project subject to favourable conditions for investment,” he added. Air India has a total debt of about Rs 60,000 crore. The cumulative loss of the national carrier is to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore. In the financial year ending March 31, 2019 the airline is estimated to have reported a loss of Rs 7,600 crore.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgOTTAWA – The plan to replace the navy’s warship fleet is officially sailing uncharted waters, with an important deadline for the $60-billion project having all but vanished.The government says it continues to work with industry to deliver the warships the navy needs, and that a new deadline will be set soon.But defence experts say the development is unprecedented, and raises fresh concerns about what is the largest planned military purchase in Canadian history.The federal government launched a competition last fall in which a dozen of the world’s largest defence and shipbuilding firms were asked to design potential replacements for the navy’s frigates and destroyers.The companies were initially given until the end of April to submit their designs, after which one would be selected for construction by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.But the competition is now in a state of limbo, with no established deadline for designs to be submitted since the government extended the competition for a second time in May.Both Public Services Minister Judy Foote’s office and Irving Shipbuilding, which is running the competition on the government’s behalf, confirmed that a new submission deadline has not been set.Officials initially said they needed more time to finish answering the approximately 560 questions that participating firms had asked about the bidding process since the competition was launched last fall.The focus now is on what is called a voluntary compliance review, in which companies can provide draft copies of their submissions to the government and Irving to ensure they are on the right track.Foote spokeswoman Mary-Rose Brown declined to say how many companies had decided to participate in the voluntary review, or when it will be complete.“When it comes to shipbuilding, we are committed to getting the women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard the equipment they need to do their jobs,” Brown said in an email.“We are committed to open, fair and transparent procurement processes. To maximize value for Canadians we continue to work in close partnership with industry.”Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said companies will be notified of the final submission deadline once the review is complete.The fact the design competition is currently sailing without an established end-date has sparked fresh concern about the project, which has already been under the microscope for years.“I haven’t heard of it before,” said Alan Williams, who served as National Defence’s top procurement official from 2000 to 2005. “How can you not have a deadline if you have a (competition)? It’s bizarro.”Williams worried that messing with the deadline while the competition is ongoing could open the government up to legal challenges from any company whose design isn’t chosen.“It can significantly damage the Crown in terms of legal action in the sense that someone could claim they would have won if they had simply set a date, but they kept dragging this out,” he said.Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute said his concern is that the uncertainty around this aspect of the competition is reflective of bigger issues within the warship project.There have already been questions about Irving’s role in running the competition, and anger from some companies that British firm BAE could enter its Type 26 vessel despite the ship having never been built.Defence officials and Irving have also previously warned that time is of the essence when it comes to starting construction, and that they are trying to shave 18 to 24 months off the project.And some companies have privately railed against the amount of valuable intellectual property they are being asked to hand over to the government and Irving in order to participate in the competition.“I think it’s unusual to have this level of effort and rework going into the bid documents after they’ve come out,” Perry said. “My sense is (the competition) just wasn’t ready for prime time when they released it.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Tuesday, Aug. 1———TRUDEAU ‘REGRETS’ COMMENTS IN ROLLING STONE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he “regrets” comments he made about Sen. Patrick Brazeau in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Indigenous advocates denounced Trudeau’s comments in the U.S. magazine’s August issue where he referred to Brazeau as “the scrappy tough-guy senator from an Indigenous community.” Trudeau’s comments referred to his victory in a 2012 charity boxing match against Brazeau, who is from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec. In an interview with CBC Radio One in Vancouver, Trudeau now says he regrets his choice of language in describing Brazeau. He says the way he characterized Brazeau “doesn’t contribute to the positive spirit of reconciliation.” Trudeau says he and his government have been working with Indigenous leaders and communities and he recognizes there are “a lot of patterns to change.”———NEW HOSTS OF ‘THE NATIONAL’ UNVEILED: Viewers familiar with some of the most prominent faces at the CBC will feel right at home when four new hosts take the helm of the “The National” this fall. The public broadcaster unveiled its new team on Tuesday, choosing Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing, to shepherd a refreshed version of the nightly program. All four of the journalists have a storied history with the CBC and have contributed to “The National” over the years, which could help the network craft some of the format changes set to debut on Nov. 6. Alongside the new hosts, the CBC also plans to make “The National” feel more timely in an age when news breaks on social media. The broadcaster now plans to air the newscast live across all six time zones from studios in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto. By going live in each time zone, the hosts will be able to track developing stories in real time. Traditionally, “The National” tapes at 9 p.m. ET and repeats the same broadcast for the West Coast, unless a major breaking story is unfolding.———ONTARIO NAMES JUDGE TO LEAD LONG-TERM CARE PROBE: An experienced appeal court judge will head a sweeping public inquiry into systemic issues at Ontario’s long-term care homes that may have contributed to the murders of eight seniors at the hands of a longtime nurse. The province announced Tuesday that Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Eileen Gillese will have a broad mandate to review policies, procedures and oversight of long-term care homes and will file a report to the Attorney General by July 31, 2019. The inquiry was triggered by the case of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who pleaded guilty in early June to eight counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Her crimes, which took place over the course of nearly a decade in three Ontario long term-care facilities and a private home, have made Wettlaufer one of Canada’s most prolific serial killers. The judge who presided over her criminal case said the 50-year-old never would have been caught if she didn’t confess to the killings while at a psychiatric hospital in Toronto last September. Court heard she had access to insulin and covered her tracks when using the medication to harm her patients.———TRUDEAU AND VANCOUVER MAYOR MEET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s looking forward to working with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on expanding transit infrastructure, improving housing affordability and tackling the deadly opioid crisis. But Trudeau declined to say whether the two planned to broach the sensitive topic of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ahead of a meeting Tuesday. Trudeau’s government approved Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion proposal last November despite Robertson’s stalwart opposition to the project, which would result in a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the waters off Vancouver. Robertson and Trudeau have had a friendly rapport, but the mayor has said he was “profoundly disappointed” by the federal government’s decision, calling it a “big step backwards” for Canada’s environment and economy. Trudeau was in the B.C. Interior on Monday to survey the damage caused by wildfires that drove almost 50,000 people from their homes at the peak of the crisis.———NOVA SCOTIA COURT APPROVES OPIOID LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT: A Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice has become the second judge to approve a $20-million legal settlement with OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, amid objections from lawsuit participants who say their lives were permanently damaged by prescription painkillers. Justice John Murphy ruled Tuesday that he would accept the settlement, echoing the decision of an Ontario Superior Court judge that the amount falls within a “zone of reasonableness.” Murphy said two spoken submissions at the hearing describing the devastating impacts of addiction to the painkiller gave him pause. However, he accepted plaintiff lawyer Ray Wagner’s argument that if the case had proceeded to trial in Canada there were formidable legal obstacles to overcome and it could have meant years more of delay in the 10-year-old case. The plaintiffs had argued in their statement of claim that the U.S.-based manufacturer didn’t provide adequate warning about potential addictions. Purdue did not admit liability in the national settlement, which still must be approved by courts in Saskatchewan and Quebec before individual payments that the judge estimated to average between $13,000 and $18,000 begin to flow.———THUNDER BAY, FIRST NATIONS LEADERS PLEDGE TO FIGHT RACISM: The city of Thunder Bay, Ont., and First Nations leaders in the region have signed a pledge to fight racism in the northern Ontario community, which has been plagued by tensions between Indigenous residents and local police. The statement acknowledges systemic racism exists in Thunder Bay and says it must be challenged by all members of the community. The statement signed by the city, Fort William First Nation and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation states the need to improve safety for Indigenous students attending school in Thunder Bay. It calls for leaders to develop an anti-racism campaign for the city and includes a promise to work together on short-terms measures to protect students for the coming school year. First Nations leaders say Thunder Bay has recently seen several acts of violent racism against Indigenous peoples, including the case of an Indigenous woman who died after being struck by a trailer hitch earlier this year. A Statistics Canada report from June states 29 per cent of all anti-Indigenous hate crimes across Canada in 2015 were committed in Thunder Bay.———BELL APPEALS CRTC’S SUPER BOWL AD DECISION: Six months ahead of the next Super Bowl, Bell Media is re-launching a fight over the CRTC’s decision to ban substituting big-budget American ads with Canadian ones during the big game. Bell is part of group, which includes the National Football League and unions representing Canadian creators and advertisers, citing a new research report that estimates the new ad rules cost the Canadian economy $158 million. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s ban on simultaneous substitution of Canadian advertising over American broadcasts during the Super Bowl was announced in 2015 but took effect during this year’s game. The report, which was prepared by a media-consulting company for Bell, claims the CRTC’s decision reduced audiences and advertising revenues, and moved advertising dollars out of the Canadian television system. Bell claims its advertising revenues dropped by $11 million and it lost 40 per cent of its audience for the football game. CRTC spokesman Eric Rancourt said the regulatory agency is assessing the application and has no comments at this time, but will announce next steps in due course.———NO PLATFORM FROM UCP LEADERSHIP HOPEFUL KENNEY: Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney says he won’t have a policy platform as he seeks the leadership of Alberta’s new United Conservative Party. Kenney announced what he called a “grassroots guarantee” in Calgary on Tuesday. He said he will consult members of the new party and others before determining what promises he would campaign on as leader in the next provincial election. Kenney says this is not a U.S. presidential-style campaign and it would be wrong to unveil a platform two years before another election is held in Alberta. He said Albertans voted out the Progressive Conservative party because of its arrogance and it’s important not to make the same mistake again. Kenney says he will continue to express his opinions on a number of issues but will let the party’s base have the final say.———WOMAN WINS MONTREAL COMEDY TITLE FOR FIRST TIME: The first woman to win the Just For Laughs Homegrown Comics title says booking agents and fellow comedians need to do more to encourage women and other marginalized groups to perform stand-up. Twenty-two-year-old D.J. Mausner shared the honour with another female comedian, Courtney Gilmour, at the festival’s recently concluded 35th edition. The Montreal-based Mausner says female artists are increasingly taking their place in the industry. She wants comedians to make an effort to ensure their sets are more accessible to people of colour and other groups who have been historically alienated from traditionally male-centred material. Martha O’Neill, founder of SheDot, a Toronto all-women comedy festival, says she’s elated to see Mausner and Gilmour win the title but sad it took 19 years for a female comic to do so. O’Neill says booking agents are hesitant to include more women in comedy lineups and female comics still have to break the stereotype that women aren’t funny.———EXCESSIVE DRINKING IN MONTREAL DIVIDED BY LANGUAGE: A new poll suggests the binge-drinking habits of Montrealers are firmly divided along linguistic lines. The survey commissioned for Educ’alcool by polling firm CROP indicates English-speaking Montrealers are more likely to drink to excess than their francophone counterparts, with allophones consuming even less alcohol. The results unveiled Tuesday suggest that nearly half of the anglophones surveyed admitted to binge drinking in the past year, while about 15 per cent admitted to driving while drunk. Educ’alcool had commissioned a study in 2015 that demonstrated stark differences between the communities. Director general Hubert Sacy says by tripling the number of those surveyed this year has revealed three very distinct groups when it comes to drinking habits. Sacy said in a statement that what is of deep concern is a lack of police checkpoints for alcohol in the Montreal area.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear weapon testing and is urging the United Nations to take further steps to contain the country’s nuclear proliferation efforts.Trudeau issued a statement Sunday that says North Korea’s nuclear test and aggressive missile testing threatens the safety and security of its neighbours and the international community.He says North Korea is only further isolating itself by the continued testing.The statement calls on the UN Security Council to take further decisive action to effectively constrain North Korea’s proliferation efforts.North Korea announced this weekend that it had detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear test yet, which the country’s government declared a “perfect success.”Trudeau also stated that Canada would continue to work with allies including South Korea, Japan, and the U.S., but did not provide more details on his government’s involvement.He has previously stated that Canada would not get involved in the U.S. ballistic missile defence shield.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgTORONTO – A proposed law targeting distracted pedestrians will open up a broader debate about the risky behaviour, an Ontario politician advocating for a “zombie bill” said Monday.Liberal backbencher Yvan Baker said the bill — called the Phones Down, Heads Up Act — would impose fines for anyone caught using a cellphone or electronic device while crossing the street.Named after the shambling supernatural creatures, the “zombie bill” would encourage pedestrians to put down electronic devices by imposing fines ranging from $50 for a first offence to $125 for a third offence.“If you walk the streets, you see people on their cellphones crossing the road using their phones,” Baker said. “Experts tell us that if you are distracted as a pedestrian that you are more likely to get hurt.”In the first nine months of this year, 25 pedestrians died on Toronto streets. Last year, 43 pedestrians were hit and killed on city streets.According to Ontario’s chief coroner, 11 out of 95 pedestrian deaths in 2010 involved people distracted by a cellphone or electronic device. A 2015 Toronto Public Health report found inattentive pedestrians were 40 per cent more likely to be struck.“It’s about raising awareness about risky behaviour because limiting that behaviour will save lives,” Baker said.The bill would only allow exceptions for pedestrians calling emergency services, or when they’re continuing a phone call started before crossing the road and municipalities would have the ability to opt-out of the law.Rising pedestrian deaths have prompted other jurisdictions to pass laws targeting distracted walking. Earlier this month, for example, Honolulu became the first U.S. city to ban people from texting or using digital devices while crossing roads.In July, Toronto city council passed a resolution asking the Ontario government to amend the Highway Traffic Act to make it illegal to use a cellphone while crossing the street. Last February, the city of Montreal also called on the Quebec government to make it illegal for pedestrians to text while crossing intersections.Private member’s bills seldom become law and Premier Kathleen Wynne would not commit government support for the proposed legislation but called it an “interesting idea.” Crossing the street with divided attention is risky, she said, noting motorists are barred from driving while looking at their phones.“The number of people I see walking in the middle of a big intersection with their face down looking at their phone, I think it’s incredibly dangerous,” Wynne said.New Democrat Cheri Di Novo said the proposed law sends the wrong message and the government should instead beef up distracted-driving penalties.“It sends a signal that victims are to blame and not distracted drivers,”Di Novo said. “That’s an extremely dangerous signal to send.”Brian Patterson, president of the Ontario Safety League, said he’s not concerned the law would be too difficult to enforce.“I don’t see this as an opportunity for the police department…to man every intersection in this province,” Patterson said. “What we need to do is raise the awareness that this is a very high risk.”Dylan Reid, spokesman for pedestrian-safety advocacy group Walk Toronto, called the bill “bad and redundant.” Pedestrians should always pay attention to where they’re walking, but its up to drivers not to interfere with people as they use crosswalks with the proper right-of-way, Reid said.“Being hit by a car is a much bigger disincentive than a $50 fine,” Reid said. “Pedestrian inattention is a bit of a red herring. It distracts people from the things that will actually make a difference — which are better infrastructure and getting drivers to not look at their phones and pay attention.”— With files from Peter Ray in Montreal.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgVANCOUVER – The brother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by gunfire when his family’s vehicle passed a brazen shooting in Vancouver says they are still in shock and the death will leave a void in their hearts.Wilfred Wong spoke about his younger brother, Alfred Wong, at a news conference Monday at the Vancouver police headquarters, telling reporters everything is still “raw” for him and his parents.“We’re all still in shock that something like this could happen to us,” he said. “The 15 years that we had with Alfred were far too short, but we know that Alfred is now in heaven with God.“My parents and I will always love him dearly and his death will leave a void in our hearts. But the years that he had with us will impact our family forever.”Vancouver police have said the boy was heading home to Coquitlam with his parents on Jan. 13 when shots were fired between at least two people. At least one bullet penetrated the vehicle, striking Wong, who died in hospital two days later.Police said the target of the attack was 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside, who was known to police and also died in hospital.Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the department deals with criminal activity every day and there are often tragic consequences, but having to deal with the death of an innocent boy has been difficult for everyone.“Alfred’s senseless murder has rocked our community. It’s had an impact on the citizens of Vancouver, people throughout Metro Vancouver and our police department,” he said.He said at least 50 officers are working on the case and the team has used specialized investigative techniques, including setting up a mobile command at the scene last Thursday to make it easier for people to come forward.Palmer said he was not in a position to discuss any potential suspects or say what gun allegedly fired the bullet that killed Wong.“I’ve stated before publicly that Kevin Whiteside was armed, and I know the answer to that question, as to who fired the bullet, but I’m not prepared to share that with you right now. We’re treating that as holdback evidence,” Palmer said.He said the current cycle of gang violence in Vancouver hasn’t been seen in about 10 years. Several groups are at odds over drugs and killing one another, he said, though he declined to name the groups.Officers have “a very good idea” of what happened the night Wong was killed after speaking to many witnesses and retrieving a significant amount of video, but police are still asking anyone with information to come forward, Palmer said.“Although we’ve made a lot of progress, we still have a long road ahead of us as we work to solve the murders of Alfred Wong and Kevin Whiteside.”Wilfred Wong said he was grateful to the officers who were with the family for the first few nights after the shooting, as well as the doctors and nurses at Vancouver General Hospital.“Everyone gave their best and we’re very thankful for that,” he said.Two scholarships have been set up in Wong’s name, one through Coquitlam School District 43 and the other through the Hyack Swim Club, where he was a member.Wong was a bright young man who excelled at his studies, said Caleb Choi, a pastor at the Coquitlam Christ Church of China, where the family are congregants.“He was enrolled in many of the honours classes at Pinetree Secondary School and was passionate about every course he took,” said Choi.Outside of school, he participated in martial arts, basketball and swimming, and had already completed many of the requirements to become a lifeguard, Choi said.Wong was preparing to join a leadership camp and had planned to pursue a career in electronic engineering, Choi said. In his free time, he loved playing video games with his friends and travelling the world with his family, he added.“He was very close to his parents and brother and was loved dearly by them,” he said. “Although he was taken from us much, much too soon, he lived his 15 years to the fullest extent.”Wong’s funeral will be held at the Coquitlam Alliance Church on Saturday.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Monday, Feb. 5———FATAL FARM SHOOTING A ‘FREAK ACCIDENT,’ DEFENCE SAYS: An Indigenous man who died in a shooting on a Saskatchewan farm was the victim of “a freak accident that occurred in the course of an unimaginably scary situation,” court was told Monday. Gerald Stanley’s lawyer was making his opening arguments before a jury at the man’s second-degree murder trial. Scott Spencer told jurors that 22-year-old Colten Boushie’s death wasn’t justified, but they must put themselves in Stanley’s shoes. He said the Stanley family faced intruders on their farm near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016, which created a panic situation. Court has heard an S-U-V with a flat tire carrying five people drove onto the Stanley farm. Boushie was sitting in the driver’s seat of a grey Ford Escape when he was shot in the back of the head. Spencer suggested it was reasonable for Stanley to fire some warning shots and says his gun misfired. He told court it was a tragedy during the course of what he likened to a home invasion.———ONTARIO PUBLIC BROADCASTER TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HOST: Ontario’s public broadcaster says the host of its flagship current affairs program will remain on the air while being investigated for alleged sexual harassment. TVO said Monday that Steve Paikin is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a woman during a lunch in 2010. The broadcaster said it became aware of the allegation on Saturday, when Paikin notified TVO of an email he received from the woman. TVO’s chief executive officer said in a statement that an independent third party will investigate, during which time Paikin will continue to host “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.” The move comes amid a social justice movement under the #MeToo and Time’s Up banners that have undone the careers of several personalities named in sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. CTV News reporter Paul Bliss was suspended hours after a woman made a sexual misconduct allegation against him, while politician Patrick Brown resigned as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.———B.C. RECREATIONAL POT WON’T BE SOLD WITH LIQUOR: Recreational marijuana will be sold online and through both private and government-operated retail stores in British Columbia once it becomes legal later this year. The provincial government has announced retailers will not be able to sell marijuana at stores where liquor or tobacco is sold. The government says it will launch a registration process for those who are interested in applying for a cannabis retail licence, but licences will not be issued without the support of local governments. The province will also allow pot to be smoked in public places where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted, although it will be banned in vehicles and in areas frequented by children, including beaches, parks and playgrounds. Provincial rules for cultivation will align with the federal government’s proposal, allowing adults to grow up to four pot plants per household, but growing will be banned in daycares, and landlords are allowed to prohibit cultivation.———PMO TEAM TO HANDLE HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS: The Prime Minister’s Office has set up a small team to handle harassment complaints from political staffers working for cabinet ministers. Eleanore Catenaro, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says the two senior aides on the team respond to questions and complaints from ministerial staffers — including those in the PMO — regarding sexual harassment and other inappropriate workplace behaviour. The Harassment Resolution and Investigation Office, which was set up last October, can also arrange for an independent investigation into allegations. “We have been working with various experts and counsellors and lawyers on making sure that we have all the right processes in place,” Trudeau said Monday on his way into question period in the House of Commons. News of the office came to light after HuffPost Canada published allegations by Myriam Denis, who alleges she was contacted by Claude-Eric Gagne — then a senior official in the PMO — with a flirtatious message months after he had interviewed her for a job she did not get. Gagne resigned last week after being the subject of a since-concluded third-party investigation into other allegations, which he denies.———TORIES UPDATE VETTING IN WAKE OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST DYKSTRA: The Conservatives are now ready to ask potential candidates specifically whether they have ever been accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Cory Hann, a spokesman for the party, says the questionnaire that anyone seeking to join a nomination contest must complete was updated Jan. 31. That was the same day Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised an independent, third-party investigation into how party brass handled allegations of sexual misconduct against former Conservative MP Rick Dykstra. Last week, a report in Maclean’s magazine said allegations involving Dykstra and a Parliament Hill staffer were brought to the attention of the 2015 Conservative campaign team, but seemingly resulted in no action being taken against the longtime Ontario MP. Two of the most powerful figures in the party at the time — former prime minister Stephen Harper and his then-chief of staff, Ray Novak — have now acknowledged publicly they were aware of the allegations. Both said last Friday they allowed Dykstra to remain on the ballot because no criminal charges were laid.———NAFTA DEAL POSSIBLE BY END OF MARCH, CANADIAN AMBASSADOR SAYS: Canada’s ambassador to the United States says he believes NAFTA negotiators can reach an agreement in principle by the end of March. David MacNaughton says enough progress has been made on the “wiring and plumbing” of the agreement that all three countries can iron out their differences on the more substantial issues in the next two months. “I would love to see a deal done,” the envoy said Monday in Ottawa after at an event with his U.S. counterpart, Kelly Craft. “We’ve made tremendous progress on some of the less spectacular things.” The time has come to leave political rhetoric behind and find a workable agreement in principle that officials can hammer out later, MacNaughton continued. Two more rounds of negotiations are set to take place before presidential elections in Mexico and the U.S. congressional mid-terms, which observers fear could prove disruptive. MacNaughton said the continued uncertainty is bad for the U.S. economy and business in general.———RAILWAY, EX-WORKERS SETTLE OVER LAC-MEGANTIC CHARGES: The railway at the centre of the Lac-Megantic train explosion, as well as several of its former employees, settled with federal prosecutors Monday and were ordered to pay fines totalling $1.25 million while one ex-railway worker was given a conditional jail term. Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway, the company that owned the train that derailed in the small town killing 47 people, pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act and was ordered to pay $1 million. Six ex-MMA employees pleaded guilty to violating the Railway Safety Act, namely for failing to ensure the convoy was properly secured the night before it moved on its own and derailed into the small town. Five of them — Michael Horan, Jean Demaitre, Kenneth I. Strout, Lynne Labonte et Robert C. Grindrod — were ordered to pay $50,000 each. Ex-train engineer Thomas Harding, who improperly parked the train on July 5, 2013, before leaving for the night, was given conditional sentence of six months in prison, which will be served in the community. Meanwhile, railway controller Richard Labrie was acquitted. Harding, Demaitre and Labrie were charged separately in Quebec Superior Court with one count each of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people but were acquitted in January.———WOMAN TELLS TRIAL TORONTO COP RAPED HER: A woman who accused a Toronto police officer of raping her told his sexual assault trial Monday that she was afraid of being hurt if she didn’t comply with his demands. The woman, who cannot be identified, told Const. Vincenzo Bonazza’s trial the alleged incident took place nearly a decade ago during what was supposed to be a casual encounter at her apartment. “He didn’t take my words, didn’t take my body language,” she said. “I was afraid he was going to hurt me.” Bonazza has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault at the judge-alone trial. Court heard that the woman only reported the incident in 2015, after becoming a police officer herself. The woman told her supervisor about the alleged incident and then contacted Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which examines allegations of sexual assault involving police. Bonazza was charged in 2016. The officer came over on Sept. 11, the woman said, and while the pair watched a movie, Bonazza kissed her, then unbuttoned her jeans. The woman said Bonazza went on to have sex with her without her consent and later forced her to perform oral sex.———XAVIER DOLAN CUTS JESSICA CHASTAIN FROM UPCOMING FILM: Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan says he has cut Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain from his upcoming movie “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.” Dolan said in an Instagram post on Sunday evening that he had to rework the first cut of his film — his English-language debut — which was more than four hours long. “We loved every (one) of the assembled scenes, but knew a more profound reflection on the film’s form and focus awaited us,” Dolan wrote. “All sorts of developments unfold during the shooting of a film, as we know. Often, it isn’t before late into a production that it finds its tone…. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I feel, toward Jessica, a very sincere love, and a great admiration. The decision was editorial and narrative, in that it has nothing to do with a performance, and everything to do with a character, and the compatibility of its storyline.” Dolan, who has been editing the movie since May, said that Chastain’s villainous character simply did not fit with rest of the film’s pared-down story, but added he hoped to work with her again. Chastain also posted a statement on Instagram saying she had heard in advance about her character being cut and the process was “handled with the utmost respect and love.”———PARTI QUEBECOIS LEADER GETS EARFUL OVER JOKE: The head of Quebec’s official Opposition apologized Monday for making fun of a female politician’s conspicuous — and relatively famous — fuzzy upper lip. Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee told reporters he wasn’t trying to ridicule his gender non-conforming colleague in a radio interview broadcast Sunday night. Rather, Lisee said he was comically affirming that Manon Masse wears her salt-and-pepper lip hair as a political statement. Masse, elected in 2014 with the left-wing political party, Quebec solidaire, worked as a feminist and LGBTQ activist before entering politics. She wears her facial hair proudly and has told interviewers on several occasions she refuses to adhere to society’s heteronormative standards about beauty or how women should dress and look. Quebec solidaire is arguably the most progressive and left-leaning party that holds seats in Quebec legislature. And instead of having leaders, the political formation has one female and one male “spokesperson.”last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgMONTREAL – The national office of the Bloc Quebecois threw its support behind its leader on Saturday, days after seven of the party’s 10 members of Parliament quit the caucus over Martine Ouellet’s leadership style.The party’s administration made it clear that Ouellet had their support, despite an open letter published Friday in which more than 20 former Bloc Quebecois MPs called for her resignation.“It is unanimously resolved that the national office renews its full and complete support of Martine Ouellet and relaunches the invitation she made to each of the resigning MPs to participate in a process to allow them to reintegrate the Bloc Quebecois caucus,” Bloc member Benoit Lemieux said on behalf of the group.Ouellet announced that the MPs who resigned will be able to keep their party memberships and are welcome to discuss returning to caucus.“It was never a question of exclusion,” she said at a news conference, flanked by the remaining party members.“The resigning deputies can remain members of the Bloc Quebecois if they wish.”The seven MPs wrote a letter in Saturday’s Journal de Montreal saying that excluding them from the party would contribute to its death.The letter reiterated criticisms of Ouellet’s leadership and said her choice to focus only on independence does not serve Quebec’s interests.“(Ouellet) adds, almost incidentally, that it is also necessary to defend the interests of Quebec, but that this is not the foundation of our presence in Ottawa,” the letter read.“On the contrary, we believe that to serve independence, the interests of Quebecers must be given priority. Without compromise. First and all the time.”But Ouellet remained steadfast in her commitment to independence on Saturday, adding that all the remaining members are on the same page regarding the party’s future.“A Bloc Quebecois that will work towards the promotion and preparation of independence, but also defending the rights of the Quebec nation,” she said.“For us, one doesn’t go without the other.”The seven MPs who resigned stood by their position.“We will meet in the next few days to evaluate all our options and to see how we can continue to serve Quebecers to the best of our capacity,” the statement read.On Friday, more than 20 former Bloc Quebecois MPs published an open letter in Le Devoir calling for Ouellet’s resignation.The letter, co-signed by ex-Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe, says Quebec’s status is feeble within the Canadian federation, with a pro-Canada premier in Quebec City and an “intransigent” and divisive Bloc leader in Ottawa.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau intends next week to tour regions of the country that are heavily reliant on the steel and aluminum industries in a show of solidarity for those who would be hurt the most by the imposition of stiff U.S. tariffs.A spokesman says the prime minister is cutting short planned family time during the March break to undertake the tour, which is to begin Monday in Alma, Que., home to one of Rio Tinto’s seven aluminum smelters in the province.On Tuesday, he is to visit Hamilton, where the head of Steeltown’s chamber of commerce has predicted the tariffs could put 40,000 jobs in jeopardy, and Sault Ste. Marie, where Algoma Steel is the city’s largest employer.He is to head Wednesday to Regina, where Evraz Steel — which bills itself as the largest steel company in western Canada — has operations.Prime ministerial spokesman Cameron Ahmad says Trudeau plans to meet with workers, business leaders, industry leaders and union leaders to demonstrate his support for those who may be affected by the tariffs.Ahmad says Trudeau will be making the point that the Canadian and American industries are deeply integrated and any disruption to that would be costly to business and consumers on both sides of the border.U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports, with details expected to be unveiled Thursday.The Trudeau government has been lobbying aggressively for Canada to be excluded from the tariffs, but there have been conflicting signals from the White House about the possibility of any exemptions. Trump himself has said an exemption for Canada and Mexico is possible if negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement are concluded to his satisfaction.Ahmad would not speculate on whether Trudeau’s tour will proceed if Canada wins an exemption.Canada is the biggest supplier of steel imported by the U.S. each year. But Canada is also the biggest foreign buyer of American steel.The Canadian Steel Producers Association says trade in steel between Canada and the U.S. was worth $12 billion in 2017 and was “evenly balanced” between the two countries.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgCALGARY – Prospects are looking brighter in the Canadian oilpatch as commodity price increases drive higher profits and afford companies room to offer dividend hikes and share buybacks — but slumping stock prices show that the oil and gas sector remains in the penalty box with investors.It’s getting so bad that not even Canadian institutional investors can be convinced to buy Canadian energy company shares, says Grant Fagerheim, CEO of Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc.“We want to get Canada back, to be proud Canadians, to be proud producers of our own products and not be penalized for it,” said Fagerheim in an interview after returning from disappointing meetings with investors in New York last week.“The question we are continually asked, whenever I’m on the road, is, ‘Why would we invest in Canada right now, when there isn’t a consistent policy on energy or the economy?’ … Even the Canadian institutional investors are skeptical about investing in Canada.”Investors have been turned off by the lack of export pipeline space for oil and gas, Canada’s failure to match U.S. reductions in corporate taxes, higher personal taxes north of the border and numerous ongoing reviews and changes to provincial and federal regulatory systems that create uncertainty, he said.The pipeline capacity issue has grown worse since the Energy East pipeline to Eastern Canada was cancelled last year after the National Energy Board said it would use a tougher review process that would include looking at indirect emissions related to the pipeline, from production to end-use of the oil.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the West Coast in 2016, but rejected Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. Since then, the NDP government in B.C. and protesters have been trying to disrupt Trans Mountain construction.Whitecap’s story is typical of a sector that just can’t seem to do anything right these days.In November, it announced it would buy a stake in the Weyburn, Sask., CO2 enhanced recovery light oil project from Cenovus Energy Inc. for $940 million and, based on the predicted increase in revenue, would raise its dividend by five per cent.Its shares, which closed at $9.11 that day, fell as low as $7.48 in early March and closed at $7.99 on Friday — although the majority of financial analysts currently rate it as a “strong buy.”So far this year, the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index has fallen by almost 10 per cent, despite dividend increases and share buybacks by several of its 38 constituents, who represent the cream of the Canadian energy sector.The reward for dividend increases has been hit and miss. Shares in heavy oil giant Husky Energy Inc. and liquids-rich gas producer Tourmaline Oil Corp. have risen since they announced higher payouts to shareholders in early March.But shares in oilsands and refining company Suncor Energy Inc. have been little changed since it raised its dividend by 12.5 per cent on Feb. 7.The companies announcing share buybacks, which return cash to shareholders both directly by providing a buyer for their shares and indirectly by giving each remaining share a bigger equity stake in the company, have included Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Encana Corp., Birchcliff Energy Ltd. and Paramount Resources Ltd., among others.They say their shares are so inexpensive it’s cheaper to buy back their stock to improve performance per share than it is to grow the business by investing in finding and developing new sources of oil and gas.Analysts are left shrugging their shoulders.“It feels like a complete sense of apathy among investors — especially in Canada — and I have no doubt that a large portion of that is due to the pipeline issues,” said analyst Nick Lupick of AltaCorp Capital.“So some are taking the stance of, ‘Forget it, why bother? I’ll go elsewhere until they figure it out.’”He said the cheap stock prices will likely result in more mergers and acquisitions in the next 12-18 months.A report by analysts at CIBC concluded that “Canadian energy looks cheap, both from a historical and relative perspective,” adding Canadian producers are trading at cash flow multiples far below American rivals despite having generally better debt positions.“I think it is a report card on Canada,” said Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which has launched a campaign calling for lower taxes and fewer regulatory hurdles to restore competitiveness with the United States and other global producers.“I certainly hear back anecdotally from a very wide range of companies that are out trying to raise capital and the Canadian brand today is one where investors don’t see certainty, where they see layered-on costs, where they don’t see a clear path to market access and they’re voting with their dollars.“That’s why we see Canadian investments continually being downgraded.”Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies mentioned in this story: (TSX:WCP, TSX:CVE, TSX:HSE, TSX:SU, TSX:TOU)last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgVANCOUVER – A killer whale has been rescued from some fishing gear off Vancouver Island, and one marine mammal specialist says the freed orca delighted his rescuers by putting on a show.Paul Cottrell with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says his team got a call early Thursday morning after a Salt Spring Island resident spotted a buoy being dragged around by a northeast Pacific transient killer whale .Rescuers from Vancouver went out to help and arrived to find the adult male orca caught in some commercial prawn-fishing gear.Cottrell says the team put some tension on the buoy the animal was attached to and the orca rolled out of the entanglement.Once the whale was free, it began to swim off, and Cottrell and his team followed to make sure it was completely free of the gear.He says the orca then began breaching and slapped the water with its tail several times.“It was quite a show he put on. Then he took off further north,” Cottrell said, noting that the reason for the display is unclear, but could have been due to the animal feeling relief.This isn’t the first time this particular whale — known as T077A — has been spotted getting into trouble.The animal has been spotted through the Strait of Georgia for many reasons, and has a “bad habit” of playing with floats and ropes, Cottrell said.Rescuing an orca is a dangerous job because the animals can weigh up to five tonnes and are very active.“The majority of the time, at least when I’ve been involved with entangled large whales, they don’t realize that you’re helping, so it’s very difficult,” Cottrell said.But this whale seemed calm and allowed rescuers to get close enough to assess the situation, he added.The animal didn’t seem to have any injuries as it swam away, but Cottrell said researchers will use drones and photos to keep an eye on his progress.A Fisheries and Oceans Canada hotline set up to help marine wildlife in distress off B.C.’s coast gets about 20 calls a year for entangled cetaceans, including killer whales.Cottrell said anyone who sees a whale in distress should call the number immediately.“If we know right away, we can get there and, hopefully, help the animal and do it in a timely manner,” he said.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgAll full-time female faculty members at the University of Guelph will be getting a raise after a salary review found they were being paid less than their male colleagues.Charlotte Yates, the provost at the Ontario university, said the decision comes after crunching the numbers gathered through the review launched last year.The university will give a $2,050 raise to each faculty member who identifies as female or non-male, she said. That represents more than 300 tenured, tenure-track and contract faculty.“It’s important for me that people who are doing the same job should be compensated equitably,” Yates said. “I’m excited and happy to be able to make the correction.”The raises began on June 1, she said, but faculty were notified of the change on Tuesday.Yates said the school performed a robust statistical analysis taking into account a wide variety of factors including gender, age, experience, hiring date and some performance data. The results showed female faculty were being underpaid compared to their male colleagues.“Even if the dollar amount is not large, it’s a recognition of the importance and commitment we have to equity,” Yates said of the raise, adding that the university also needs to offer competitive salaries to recruit and retain talent, something that’s harder to do if inequities exist.The school’s review, Yates said, is indicative of larger inequity issues between the sexes.“It reminds us that a lot of inequities are deeply systemic,” she said.“It’s not necessarily done intentionally, but it creeps in and is cumulative over time. It’s important we take stock, which is what we were doing with this salary review, so we take stock and then make the correction as suggested.”This isn’t the first university where Yates has had a hand in raising the spectre of pay inequity. In 2015, as a faculty member at McMaster University in Hamilton, she released a report that showed discrepancies between the sexes. The school responded by giving all women faculty a $3,515 raise.In 2016, the University of Waterloo gave a $2,905 salary increase to all female faculty and in 2013 the University of British Columbia gave female faculty a two per cent raise across the board.The University of Guelph will continue to monitor salaries going forward to ensure inequities don’t creep back in, Yates said. The school also plans to promote proportional representation of women in senior leadership roles and to ensure equity and diversity are built into decisions on awarding prestigious awards to faculty.Yates said she also hopes to address inequities based on race and disability, but many surveys sent out to faculty came back blank on those categories, making statistical comparisons difficult. Yates said she’s working to deal with that issue.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgU.S. border officials say they’ve seized nearly 750 kilograms of marijuana at the Canadian border over the past several weeks.U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the pot was found in mail shipments entering the U.S. from Canada, but did not provide further details.They say they found the first shipment of drugs in a mail truck at the Bluewater Bridge in Port Huron, Mich. on Aug. 28.A search of the truck turned up 14 packages weighing more than 136 kilograms.U.S. officials say 63 more packages surfaced over the next 10 days, bringing the total amount of drugs seized to about 748 kilograms.The Canadian Border Services Agency did not immediately respond to request for commentlast_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgOTTAWA – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is opening a new front in his party’s fight against the revamped NAFTA deal, saying he would have done better than Justin Trudeau.Scheer tweeted today that the U.S. is measuring its success in the newly revised North American Free Trade Agreement by what it gained.Conservatives would not have had to sign the new #USMCA, because we would have negotiated a better deal for Canadians. pic.twitter.com/JboIoPHMc4— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) October 14, 2018He says the Liberal government, on the other hand, is defining its success by what it didn’t give up.Scheer contends the Conservatives would not have had to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement because they would have negotiated a better deal for Canadians.He offers no details about those improvements, and his spokesman was not immediately available.However, Scheer has accused the Liberals of gaining no new ground in the deal and making concessions in the auto, dairy and pharmaceutical sectors.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgThe Canadian Press FIELD, B.C. — Three crew members of a Canadian Pacific freight train have died in a derailment near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.A spokesman with the railway confirms the crew members died when the westbound freight jumped the tracks at about 1 a.m. MT near Field, B.C.Salem Woodrow says there will be a full investigation to determine what caused the derailment.British Columbia’s Environment Ministry confirms between 30 and 40 grain cars are off the tracksDavid Karn also says the ministry has been told the locomotive is in the Kicking Horse River.He says the situation is being monitored and there is no immediate word of fuel or other contaminants entering the water.last_img read more

October 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgVANCOUVER — Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are preparing for a long summer of legal challenges and protests aimed at blocking the project from being built.Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation says it will file a legal challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal and he is confident the First Nation will be successful after Ottawa approved the project on Tuesday.Squamish Nation Coun. Khelsilem says his band is also prepared for legal action and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the city will join any lawsuits that are filed.Lawyer Eugene Kung says there are a number of legal arguments opponents could advance, including that it was impossible for the federal government to make an unbiased decision as the owner of the pipeline.But Eric Adams, a law professor at the University of Alberta, says the court may be uncomfortable setting a precedent that governments cannot approve projects they support.A 20-kilometre march is planned for Sunday from Victoria to the Saanich peninsula in solidarity with First Nations that are opposed to the project.The Canadian Presslast_img read more