- Amnesty International calls for release of Canadian jailed for research on women in Iran
- ‘We fought like lions,’ Trudeau says of soldiers as newest war monument unveiled
- Number of accidental drug overdoses rises significantly in 2016: Coroner
- Crown drops Alberta assault charges against daredevil wrestler Teddy Hart
- Pay your taxes with iTunes gift cards? Edmonton police warn it’s a scam
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Nearly 50 Syrian refugee families have resettled in the Crescent Valley community in the north end of Saint John since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, about seven of those families have been dealing with an infestation of bed bugs.
READ MORE: Syrian refugee resettlement program $136M under budget in 1st year
“We know that they’re quite upset, but that they know that everybody is caring and that everybody is trying to do what they can,” said Ann Barrett, president of the Crescent Valley Resource Centre.
“I think they went away with a knowing that there was going to be teams going in to help them.”
Much has been done, despite the language barrier, to educate the families on the situation and how to deal with it going forward. The YMCA of Greater Saint John has been central in the Syrian resettlement and says it will be up to the affected families how they proceed.
READ MORE: Saint John Syrian refugees learn English to better job prospects
“We will be more than willing to temporarily move them into hotel accommodations while the exterminators are in their homes,” said CEO Shilo Boucher. “If they choose to move to another area of the city, we will also help them do that.”
That’s not something residents want to see. Janet McLaughlin heads the Crescent Valley Community Tenants Association. She has seen the community, one of the city’s priority neighbourhoods, make great improvements over the years and feels the publicity over the issue has unfairly painted them in a negative light.
“We may have a bed bug situation down here but so does the whole province,” she said.
“It’s not just Crescent Valley, it’s everywhere. So to target us —; and the new families, plus our own families that are living here —; to me was unjust.”
Community leaders say the Syrian families have been very active participants in their new neighbourhoods.
“The children are out playing, the families are out in the evening after supper sitting around having tea,” said Crescent Valley Resource Centre executive director Anne Driscoll.
READ MORE: Immigration Minister regrets remark on Syrian refugees use of food banks
“We found they were very active when we had our community clean up.”
McLaughlin said there’s a feeling everyone can benefit by their presence.
“Its a win win situation for both sides,” she said. “We’re going to learn from them just as much as they’re going to learn from us and that’s what we want down here.”
The University of New Brunswick released its Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document Thursday after more than a year of consultation, revision and recommendations.
“After reviewing other campus policies and consulting with many of you … we now have a policy that will help us provide a safer and more welcoming environment for all members of our university community and our visitors,” UNB President Dr. Eddy Campbell said in a statement.
The document details actions the university will take in the event a sexual assault is reported, and also discusses how it plans to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance for such incidents.
READ MORE: ‘No one knew how to respond’: N.B. universities to improve sexual assault policies
In addition, training programs and increasing awareness by way of a consent and education campaign beginning this fall are mentioned as key initiatives.
“We are also working to have campus sexual support advocates in place on our campuses,” announced Dr. Shirley Cleave, UNB academic learning environment associate vice president.
“These individuals will help foster an environment and provide direct support services so that anyone who experiences a sexual assault feels safe and supported and is more likely to come forward.”
Knowing that many sexual assault cases can go unreported, the university has come up with a way to provide students and staff with the ability to educate themselves in private through the use of an all-encompassing online tool.
“The website will provide information on how the university would deal with a situation, provide awareness pieces, educational pieces, resources,” said Cleave.
“It’ll be a place where students who are concerned about the issue of sexual assault can get information and resources”
READ MORE: N.B. universities explore how social media fits in sexual assault policies
The announcement was met with praise from the school’s student union, an organization that had long called for the document.
“It’s excellent to have this in place now,” said Travis Daley, UNB student union president.
“It was a long time coming but you can see that the time and effort they’ve put into it has paid off,” said Daley.
“It’s well rounded and we’re very happy that our students now have this in place when issues arise.”
The UNB Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document will be reviewed after an initial four-year term, or sooner if requested.
Comedian Roseanne Barr has become something of a 桑拿会所 aficionado over the last few years, moving further away from TV acting and spending more time making online political commentary.
She’s no stranger to strong opinion, that’s for sure, especially when it comes to anti-Semitism, feminism and the current American presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
READ MORE: Roseanne Barr reveals she’s losing her eyesight
The normally centre-and-left-leaning Barr shocked many of her followers when she stated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the American people would “be lucky if Trump won.”
“I think we would be so lucky if Trump won,” she said. “Because then it wouldn’t be Hillary.”
“I think Hillary probably got the receipt, because she paid for the Oval Office,” she continued. “And both Trump and Bernie are playing the heel for Hillary.”
She slammed Clinton and the entire election itself (saying it was “fixed”), accusing the ex-Secretary of State of being friends with “everybody that gives her any goddamned money.”
“The fact is, you don’t get to be the nominee without taking a lot of dirty money,” she said. “You might be the best f***in’ person on earth, but if you’re hanging out with criminals who do bad things, that matters a lot.”
READ MORE: Meryl Streep impersonates Donald Trump in fat suit and “orangeface”
She then went on to speak well of Trump, mainly because he largely financed his own campaign without help from donations and “dirty money.”
“That’s the only way he could’ve gotten that nomination,” she said. “Because nobody wants a president who isn’t from Yale and Harvard and in the club. It’s all about distribution. When you’re in the club, you’ve got people that you sell to. That’s how money changes hands, that’s how business works. If you’ve got friends there, they scratch your back and blah, blah.”
Barr said she admires Trump’s respect for the order of law, and agrees with him on the prospect of vetting all potential immigrants to the U.S.
“I mean, illegal immigration…,” she said. “…When people come here and they get a lot of benefits that our own veterans don’t get. What’s up with that?”
After 桑拿会所 users began attacking her for her perceived Trump support, Barr called her followers “idiots” for thinking she supports or would vote for Trump.
i didn’t ‘endorse’ trump, idiots. i endorsed a better election system.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) June 9, 2016
She then insists that she’s voting for herself, anyway.
I’m voting for myself, not Trump, idiots
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) June 9, 2016
Roseanne Barr Timeline | PrettyFamous
An elderly woman spent more than a week in a Halifax emergency room because her family refused to take her home, according to the chief of Nova Scotia’s largest ER.
Dr. Samuel Campbell said the woman was not ill, but her grandchildren were looking after her and felt they could no longer cope with her mild dementia.
Campbell said Halifax Infirmary emergency room staff contacted her next of kin — the woman’s children, who were in Florida at the time — but they became angry that she couldn’t stay in emergency and refused to take her home.
The staff were threatened with legal action or with bringing the issue to the media.
“The family was just saying, ‘We refuse to take her home. She’s your problem. Do something’,” said Campbell in an interview on Thursday. “Nurses are crying and social workers are desperate.”
The woman stayed at the hospital for 215 hours, or almost nine days, before being discharged Thursday, said Campbell.
“That’s 60 patients, 60 sick patients that basically did not get care while she was here because she was using up the space that they paid their tax dollars to provide for their emergency care,” said Campbell, adding that another elderly person was in the emergency room for more than four days.
Such situations are becoming all too common in the region’s emergency rooms, said Campbell: Elderly people who are not acutely ill are clogging the system and preventing others from receiving emergency care.
Campbell said some families are not planning for the long-term care of their loved ones and instead drop them off at emergency when they can no longer cope with their needs.
“They throw their hands up and say they can’t manage any longer… In some ways it’s almost abandonment,” said Campbell.
“The problem for us is that we can’t do our job… The emergency department is for managing emergencies. An emergency is an unexpected health crisis. This is not an unexpected health crisis. It’s a social crisis that should have been anticipated. They didn’t suddenly become demented and old.”
Campbell said in most cases, the elderly person has cognitive issues.
“They languish in the emergency department. It’s lit 24 hours a day. It’s noisy 24 hours a day. It’s not a calm environment, which is exactly what these people need,” said Campbell.
Health Minister Leo Glavine reiterated Thursday that wait times for long-term care beds are coming down. He said Emergency Health Services are also now able to go to homes and address health needs without going to the emergency room.
“Part of that… is educating our senior population so that they know that there could be another avenue for them to get the care that they need,” said Glavine after a cabinet meeting.
Premier Rachel Notley said the government of Alberta is paying South African firefighters roughly $170 per day plus expenses and she expects the money to go to the workers.
“That’s what we anticipated would essentially form the basis of what they were earning and so now we’re going to look into it to ensure they are paid,” Notley said Thursday afternoon.
South African firefighters start fighting Fort McMurray wildfire
Beacon Hill School in Fort McMurray to remain closed for at least a year
‘I didn’t know what to expect’: Fort McMurray residents get first look at homes in restricted areas
“It’s not acceptable to me and to my government that we would have people working for wages in our province that do not align with our labour laws.”
The comments come as the agency that employs 300 South African firefighters who have been helping battle the Fort McMurray wildfire said it is bringing the workers home early after a pay dispute.
In a statement released Thursday, Working on Fire said it has dispatched a management team to address the firefighters’ concerns and assist with their “smooth demobilization.”
The firefighters have not been working for the past couple of days, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which coordinates international firefighting response.
“Alberta has been able to move on with resources without them so their deployment will be finished,” said Kim Connors, the CIFFC executive director.
READ MORE: Some South Africans leave Fort McMurray fire fight, questions linger over pay
Working on Fire said all the firefighters signed an agreement that they would earn their normal stipend, plus any overtime, as members of South Africa’s public works department. They will also receive $50 Canadian a day in two separate payments: $15 while in Canada and $35 after returning home.
However, some of the South African firefighters were concerned they may never receive the second payment.
“There is no guarantee,” said Ditiro Moseki, who has been a firefighter in South African for four years. “We feel very bad and we don’t know what to do with the situation. What I’m hoping to happen is for them to pay us, that’s what I’m hoping for.”
Watch below: South African firefighters break into song and dance upon arrival in Edmonton
Moseki said he and some of his co-workers saw a news story from South Africa that said their employer is paying them $21 an hour.
“So, comparing the $21 per hour to that $50 that they are going to give us a day – there is a serious difference there.”
READ MORE: ‘We are ready for it’: South African firefighters land in Edmonton, eager to help battle Fort McMurray wildfire
In its statement, Working on Fire said the $21-per-hour rate was never part of the agreement.
Connors said it appears the situation is the result of a “series of misunderstandings” between the firefighters and Working on Fire. He said Canadian officials have encouraged Working on Fire to clarify the situation with its staff.
Notley said while it’s a dispute between the firefighters and their employer, she maintained every firefighter will be compensated in accordance with Alberta’s laws.
“I will be directing officials to ensure that any further contracts with these kinds of agencies outside of our jurisdiction ensure that the minimum standards of Alberta law are honoured.”
A spokesperson with Alberta Foresty said Wednesday the province is aware of the wage dispute.
“We have a contract with the South African government based on a rate per day per firefighter,” Renato Gandia, press secretary for Alberta Forestry, said in a statement.
“We’re paying that rate. It’s our understanding these firefighters are being paid what they agreed to before they arrived but if there is a disagreement here, it’s between the firefighters and their employer and not with the Government of Alberta.”
The firefighters arrived in Edmonton on May 29. At the time, a spokesperson for Alberta Wildfire said the crew would do a 14-day rotation and then their involvement in fighting the blaze would be reassessed.
With files from Julia Wong, Global News and .
Mauril Belanger’s attempt to change the lyrics to Canada’s national anthem have hit another snag in the House of Commons, as the Ottawa MP’s health continues to deteriorate.
The Liberal government attempted to move a motion Thursday that would have permitted to bill to be shepherded by Chief Government whip Andrew Leslie, covering all the bases in case Belanger isn’t able to be physically present in the House to initiate the final steps.
The motion required unanimous consent from MPs on all sides, which it did not receive.
There were cries of “shame” from the Liberal side of the House, directed at the Conservative benches.
Tom Kmiec, MP of Calgary Shepard says his constituents are opposed to changing National Anthem
MP Niki Ashton says the NDP are proud to support change to National Anthem
How would gender-neutral lyrics in ‘O Canada’ debated at the House look like?
Green Party leader Elizabeth May also took to 桑拿会所 to express her displeasure at what had happened. She later explained that she had clearly heard Conservatives saying “no” to the motion but wasn’t sure exactly which MPs did so.
What a shame! CPC blocks consent to allow Mauril Belanger’s PMB on inclusive O Canada to proceed, even if he is too sick to be here.#cdnpoli
— Elizabeth May (@ElizabethMay) June 9, 2016
Liberals weren’t much happier.
[email protected]_Belanger’s bill deserves to move forward. Denying consent because he isn’t in the chamber just so the bill dies is just sad.
— Sonia Sidhu MP (@SoniaLiberal) June 9, 2016
Belanger’s bill, if it doesn’t die in his absence, would change the lyrics to O Canada to be more gender neutral. Specifically, the line “in all thy sons command” would be changed to “in all of us command.”
Belanger recently served as honorary Speaker of the House of Commons for a single day and is dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — an incurable neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
READ MORE: Tories block bid to ensure dying MP sees gender neutral ‘O Canada’ bill passed
His caucus colleagues are trying to get Belanger into the chamber on Friday so he can, as required, move the motion for the adoption of his bill at report stage if no amendments are sought. Liberal MPs have told reporters that it might be the last time the ailing MP will be able to come in to work.
It’s not the first time the Conservatives have apparently attempted to use procedure to halt the bill’s progress. In early May, they put up enough speakers to fill the first hour of allotted debate on the bill, rather than let the debate run out and thereby force a second reading vote the following week.
WATCH: House of Commons offers touching tribute to Mauril Belanger
Liberal MP Greg Fergus then sought unanimous consent to continue the debate for another hour — which would have had the same effect of forcing a vote — but Conservative MPs refused to give it.
At the time, Tory MP Andrew Scheer denied the Conservatives tried to hold up the bill, saying they treated it the same way as they would any other private member’s bill. On Thursday, he repeated those lines.
“We all love and support Mauril and we understand he’s going through a difficult time,” said Scheer “But it’s not about Mauril, it’s about the bill itself.”
Scheer explained that the vast majority of the Conservative caucus is opposed to the bill.
“They’ve heard from their constituents. I think the vast majority of Canadians feel they haven’t even been consulted or even informed that this change to their national anthem is even happening.”
Scheer said the government was informed “long ago” that the Conservatives would not facilitate the bill’s passage.
With files from the Canadian Press.
QUEBEC CITY – Damning testimony about the “illegal awarding of government contracts” has outraged politicians at Quebec’s National Assembly.
It left many pointing fingers, as opposition parties try to get to the bottom of the scandal.
“I really was scared,” said Louise Boily, internal auditor director at Transports Quebec, Wednesday night in front of the Public Administration Committee at the National Assembly.
UPDATED: Whistleblower in Transport Quebec corruption allegations testifies Wednesday
Transport Quebec corruption documents not yet public
UPAC, Auditor General investigate falsified documents in Quebec’s transport ministry
Boily testified alongside Annie Trudel, the investigator hired by former Transport Minister Robert Poëti to look into “irregularities” in the transport ministry.
READ MORE: UPDATED: Whistleblower in Transports Quebec corruption allegations testifies Wednesday
Both women said they were afraid to reveal their suspicions that Transports Quebec was awarding contracts without tender.
The whistleblowers also said numerous reports they prepared were later doctored and falsified.
Thursday morning, there was fallout from the meeting as opposition parties demanded an emergency debate.
“I spoke, of course, this morning with the minister, but also the deputy minister, Mr. [Denis] Marsolais, who is going to introduce significant changes,” said Premier Philippe Couillard.
WATCH BELOW: Whistleblower testifies at National Assembly hearing
It’s not enough for opposition parties, who are calling for the Premier to fire Marsolais and Transport Minister Jacques Daoust.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen a government table false documents in the National Assembly,” said interim Parti Québécois leader Sylvain Gaudreault.
“It should be seen as contempt.”
Yet, the second opposition argued responsibility also lies with former ministers, like Gaudreault himself who ran the transport file under former PQ Premier Pauline Marois.
READ MORE: Transports Quebec corruption documents not yet public
“I think those problems were very bad and Mr. [Sam] Hamad, Mr. Gaudreault, they must have seen that,” said Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) leader François Legault.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m going to stop you right there,” Gauldreault said in response.
He argued he didn’t know the scope of the problem, but said he tried to overhaul Transports Quebec and appointed an external auditor.
The scandal also roped in an embattled former Couillard cabinet minister: Sam Hamad was also transport minister under Premier Jean Charest.
Thursday, Quebec’s ethics commissioner harshly criticized Hamad’s lack of prudence and judgement in an unrelated allegation of influence peddling, but didn’t find enough proof to lay blame.
Now, Hamad has been thrown back in the hot seat for hiring a controversial deputy transport minister: Dominique Savoie.
READ MORE: UPAC, Auditor General investigate falsified documents in Quebec’s transport ministry
Savoie lost her job when the issues at Transports Quebec became public; opposition MNAs have accused her of lying about what she knew.
Savoie has now found a job in the premier’s office, and Couillard defended both her and Hamad, arguing the problem is institutional.
“There’s also been a culture of information not circulating as freely as it should and obviously not reaching previous ministers, not only the current one, but previous ones as well, of all parties, by the way,” the Premier said.
He said the culture will change, but he’s not firing anyone.
Lower prices and increasing competition from the United States are expected to add to the woes of Canadian natural gas producers over the summer, but the picture then brightens, according to a report from the National Energy Board.
The federal agency said Thursday it expects natural gas prices to fall from an average of about US$2.70 per million British thermal units in 2015 to an average of US$2.50 this year, and then gradually rise to average US$3 in 2018. Prices were almost US$5 in early 2014.
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READ MORE: Ontario will spend up to $8.3 billion to fight climate change, offer incentives
Paul Mortensen, the NEB’s director of energy supply, said short-term pain for Canadian producers will pay off in higher prices next winter.
“We’ve been on this declining trend on price since 2014 so we think with this summer it’s going to get more negative before it gets better in terms of storage being pre-filled,” he said.
“But then that potentially sets us up for a gradual increase in prices through the winter.”
He said a warm winter reduced demand for natural gas in North America. Canadian storage has already been refilled to about 82 per cent, higher than normal for this time of year and that means demand will be lower this summer.
“What that means to me is that there’s likely going to be a need for producers to pull gas production offline before we get to October or at least ratchet it down before we hit full storage,” he said.
READ MORE: Alberta’s oil and gas industry stays competitive with carbon tax, says energy minister
Analyst Kris Zack of Desjardins Capital Markets said in a report to investors that stronger prices Thursday were likely a short-term overreaction to a smaller-than-expected weekly natural gas storage build in the United States. The near month contract price rose to a nine-month high of about US$2.60 per mmBtu.
“Bottom line, the next few months will be critical for working off the massive storage overhang ahead of winter, and higher prices could ultimately prove self-defeating through reduced summer power burn,” he wrote. He pointed out that higher gas prices will discourage U.S. power producers from switching from coal to gas to generate electricity.
The NEB forecasts Canadian natural gas production, which peaked in 2005 at 17 billion cubic feet per day, will fall from 15 bcf/d in 2015 to 14.5 bcf/d in 2018, based on its report’s mid-price-range scenario.
READ MORE: NEB recommends approval for expansion of TransCanada’s Alberta natural gas system
On Tuesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report forecasting that the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018. It would be the first time since the 1950s because its production is expected to outgrow domestic consumption.
It said natural gas production from shale gas and tight oil plays now make up about half of the U.S. production. That proportion is expected to grow to 69 per cent by 2040 as output from the new plays doubles to 29 trillion cubic feet per year.
The NEB said natural gas exports to the U.S. Midwest continued to decline in 2015 as pipeline reversals and expansions brought more U.S. gas into Central Canada. It said Canadian gas exports to the Western U.S. rose as higher temperatures increased demand for gas-fired power generation to meet air conditioning demand.
It pointed out that development of a Canadian liquefied natural gas export industry would help gas producers, but it’s unclear if any of the nearly 20 proposed projects will be sanctioned by proponents in the near future.
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