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NDP says proposed Saskatchewan trespass law changes are divisive

first_imgREGINA — An Opposition member is accusing the Saskatchewan government of playing wedge politics and excluding Indigenous voices with its proposed changes to the province’s trespass laws.Buckley Belanger, the NDP member for the northern constituency of Athabasca, made the remarks in the legislature Wednesday during a debate about the Trespass to Property Amendment Act.Introduced last November, the legislation would require people to get permission before going on private land, reversing the onus from landowners having to indicate if they do not want visitors.Although many rural residents and community leaders support the change, Belanger said the bill is divisive and called it a politically motivated move to “simply appease a small minority.”He accused the government of not consulting or listening to Indigenous leaders and hunters.“If I continue seeing that kind of politics coming out of the Saskatchewan Party, then you begin to question your role as an Indigenous person in this assembly,” said Belanger, who is Metis.“When do we begin to count? When does our opinion matter?”He said the government should be putting forward legislation that is inclusive and addresses the root causes of crime.The proposed changes were introduced more than two years after Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Indigenous man, was killed on a farm in rural Saskatchewan.A jury acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder after he testified his gun went off accidentally when he was trying to scare off some young people who drove onto his property.Belanger called the legislation an affront to democracy and talked about his father, a Metis man from northern Saskatchewan who served in the Second World War.“That’s not what my father envisioned when he served this country,” he said.“That’s not what I envisioned when I became part of the provincial legislative assembly.”Justice Minister Don Morgan said he does not believe the bill is divisive and expressed disappointment at Belanger’s remarks.He said the amendments bring Saskatchewan in line with Alberta and other provinces and balances the rights of property owners and the public.  “Essentially it says you don’t need to post your land anymore to maintain your property rights.”Morgan said First Nation treaty rights would be respected and he has spoken with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in the province.“The goal of this is to prevent people from walking around on other people’s land carrying firearms,” he said.While some Indigenous leaders have expressed concerns that the proposed changes could lead to confrontations with landowners, Morgan said he believes otherwise.“If someone obtains consent before they go on the land we’re far less likely to have an incident.” Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Humboldt One year later

first_imgYou might think you know the story of how Humboldt, Sask. rebuilt its shattered community after a devastating bus crash claimed 16 lives. You don’t, really. There is not one story about this town, there are thousands of them.Aaron Hutchins has covered the community for Maclean’s since the day tragedy struck. He takes us inside a town’s heartbreak and grief, but also inside the lives of people who shouldered the load for those who couldn’t, the young men who inspired a country and the hockey team that got back on the ice, and went on a hell of a run.GUEST: Aaron Hutchins, Maclean’sAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at read more


Montreal protesters form human chain to protest Quebecs secularism bill

first_imgMONTREAL — Several hundred people formed a human chain around the Montreal courthouse today to protest the Quebec government’s secularism bill.The protest brought together a coalition of citizens, religious groups, teachers and lawyers, who held hands outside the Old Montreal building to symbolically highlight the importance of protecting rights and freedoms.Speakers at the event included Charles Taylor, a philosopher who co-authored the 2008 report on religious accommodation that is seen as having partly inspired the Quebec government’s legislation.Taylor has since turned fully against the idea of any restrictions on religious symbols, and promised those gathered at the courthouse that he’d continue to fight the bill in any way he can.Quebec’s Bill 21 would ban the wearing of religious symbols at work for many state employees in positions of authority, including teachers, police officers and Crown prosecutors.Consultations on the proposed legislation will begin Tuesday in Quebec City.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


CMHA calls for national strategy to promote mental health amid rising rates

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we mark the start of its 68th annual Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental Health Association is calling for a national awareness strategy.This comes amid rising rates of mental illness worldwide, and is one of six recommendations outlined by a new national CMHA policy paper titled Cohesive, Collaborative, Collective: Advancing Mental Health Promotion in Canada.The association is calling for more of a collective effort and, of course, more money behind it, saying all-too-often our patchwork efforts to promote mental health fall short.It points to the effectiveness of things like suicide-prevention programs and community-based skills training for managing anger, reducing stress and addressing risky behaviour.“Most efforts to support mental health in Canada focus on treating addiction or illness, or managing symptoms, and not on fostering mental health—and even those treatment services are not adequate to address the growing need,” CMHA national CEO Dr. Patrick Smith said. “All signs point to not being able to treat our way out of this crisis. We have to get ahead of it.”The paper’s authors also point out the majority of mental health problems begin early in life, so new efforts to promote awareness should start ideally in a school setting where they would be most effective.The CMHA believes efforts to promote mental health in these settings, including at work and in communities, has fallen short.“We all understand we have to brush our teeth to avoid cavities. We teach our kids about fire safety to stave off house fires. But our society still doesn’t get that it’s the same with mental health,” Dr. Smith added. “Waiting until the house is on fire is way too late to start teaching kids not to play with matches.”According to the association, about 70 per cent of mental health problems start in childhood or adolescence.It highlights the importance of a properly coordinated, well-funded strategy for it to be successful, and adds the plan must be sustained and monitored. An increase in social spending — by two per cent — is recommended by the association, “to promote social inclusion, freedom from violence and discrimination and access to economic opportunity, with a special focus on older adults facing loneliness, youth facing stressors of the social media age and the un- and underemployed in today’s gig economy.”last_img read more


Quebec government passes contentious immigration bill in earlymorning vote

first_imgQUEBEC — The Quebec government has passed a contentious immigration bill in an early-morning vote of 62 to 42.The legislation gives the province’s immigration minister more authority over who receives permanent residency in the province.It also allows the government to cancel roughly 18,000 immigration applications — some from people who have waited in limbo for years as their files languished under the old system — meaning those applicants will have to start the process over again.Including the applicants’ families, the fates of some 50,000 people wishing to emigrate to Quebec were at stake.Critics say the Coalition Avenir Quebec government has provided “no credible explanation” to eliminate the applications, but Premier Francois Legault said yesterday that Bill 9 is needed to better meet the needs of Quebec’s labour market.Before breaking for the summer, the legislature is slated to continue sitting today to debate Bill 21, controversial secularism legislation that would ban public servants including teachers, police officers, Crown prosecutors and prison guards from wearing religious symbols on the job. The Canadian Presslast_img read more


As Parliament rises which bills made it through — and which ones

first_imgOTTAWA — The House of Commons and Senate have risen for the summer, following several weeks of frenzied legislating as MPs hurried key pieces of legislation out the door ahead of an election this fall.The House’s efforts translated into a late night for senators, who stayed in the upper chamber Thursday until 11 p.m. to pass numerous pieces of legislation.The end of the parliamentary session means other potential laws that are stuck in earlier stages of the process may end up dying with this fall’s election call — unless they are taken up in a possible special summer session centred on ratification of the new North American free trade deal.Here are some of the high-profile bills that reached final votes after the beginning of last week and will be some of the 20 pieces of legislation receiving royal assent Friday afternoon:Bill C-48, a much-debated bill that would ban oil tankers from a portion of the British Columbia coast. Its journey through parliament has been marked by a committee report that recommended it not pass, the defeat of that report and the House’s rejection of some Senate amendments. Following the adjournment of the House and much debate, the Senate chose not to pursue further changes and passed it Thursday evening by a margin of just three votes.Bill C-69, also fiercely criticized by the Conservatives, is the second of the government’s two major environmental bills, and would create a new environmental-impact assessment process for major projects in Canada. The House rejected a majority of the Senate’s amendments. It passed through the Senate Thursday with a margin significantly wider than C-48.Bill C-93, which will allow expedited pardons for Canadians who were convicted of simple possession of cannabis before legalization came into effect. The bill passed in the Senate Wednesday, without amendment.Bill C-83, which changes the rules on solitary confinement in Canadian prisons. The House rejected several key amendments proposed by the Senate, which some have said are needed to make the bill constitutional. The bill passed the Senate Thursday night with significant support from Conservative senators.Bill C-59, a bill to establish a national-security review agency, create an “intelligence commissioner” to oversee the conduct of Canada’s spy agencies, and clarify the mandate and powers of the Communications Security Establishment (the government cybersecurity agency). The bill was amended by the Senate but several of those changes were rejected by the House, and the Senate voted Tuesday not to insist on its recommendations.Bills C-91, a bill that will create a commissioner for Indigenous languages and take other steps to save and revitalize those languages. The Senate voted Thursday, after the House had adjourned, to decline to insist on its amendments, finalizing the bill. Bill C-92, clarifying the jurisdiction of Indigenous people over family and child services in their communities, also passed through the Senate Thursday.Bill C-75, which will “hybridize” a series of offences so that they can now be prosecuted as either indictable or less-serious summary charges, and establish peremptory challenges of jurors. The bill was passed through the Senate with amendments, the House chose not to accept several of those, and the Senate Thursday decided not to insist on the remaining changes.Bill C-84, a long-awaited bill that expands the definition of bestiality to any sexual contact with an animal. Those convicted of bestiality will now be registered as sex offenders and banned from owning animals. It also widens the definition of animal fighting so that it applies to the construction of any arena for that purpose. It passed without amendment Tuesday.Bill C-97, a sprawling budget-implementation bill which includes changes to Canada’s refugee system, support for news journalism, and introduces the Canada Training Credit. The bill was the last to be shuffled through the Senate Thursday night, passing without amendment.Some significant bills had not made it through by the time the two chambers rose for the summer. They include:Bill C-98, which gives a review commission powers to review the Canada Border Services Agency, was accelerated through the House Wednesday, when it was read a third time and passed in one swift motion. It remains at first reading in the Senate.Bill C-262, a private member’s bill from NDP MP Romeo Saganash that would ensure federal laws are brought in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government’s representative in the Senate, Peter Harder, announced Wednesday he did not see a path forward for the bill in the Senate and that the Trudeau government would campaign on fulfilling the intent of the bill.Bill C-337, a private member’s bill from former Conservative MP Rona Ambrose — which continued through the legislative process after Ambrose resigned her seat — that would require judges to take extra training in sexual-assault law. It stalled before third reading in the Senate. All the major parties have promised to reintroduce it as government legislation if they win the fall election.Bill S-228, which originated with now-retired senator Nancy Greene Raine, would restrict the marketing of food and drinks to children in an effort to combat childhood obesity. It’s within inches of the finish line, just needing the Senate to agree to amendments made in the House of Commons.And then there’s the one bill that could affect all the others:Bill C-100, the government’s bill to ratify the new NAFTA agreement among Canada, the United States and Mexico. It has been referred to committee in the House, but might move quickly through Parliament before the election should the United States complete its own ratification of the deal in Congress. If Parliament returns for that bill, the Commons and the Senate could also take up others at the same time.Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Ottawa said ready to pass law forcing CN to restore rusting Quebec

first_imgQUEBEC — The federal government says it is ready to pass a law forcing the Canadian National Railway to restore the historic Quebec Bridge.Three federal ministers announced today they have appointed a special negotiator to seek a deal with CN, the bridge’s owner.Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a press release Ottawa has named former iA Financial Group CEO Yves Charest to negotiate.Charest will have a mandate to recommend options to restore the Quebec Bridge, which was completed in 1917.The ministers say Charest could recommend a transfer of the bridge from CN to the federal government with adequate compensation. They say another option is legislation forcing CN to restore the bridge in the near term.Quebec City leaders have been attempting to have the rusting bridge painted and restored for years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2015 he would get the job done.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Percentage of women immigrants postsecondary grads earning minimum wage on the rise

first_imgOTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The overall percentage of workers in Canada who earn minimum wage has doubled in the last 20 years, according to Statistics Canada.The study looks at who minimum wage earners are, and how that has changed over time.In addition to finding an overall jump in the percentage of minimum wage workers, it found that 6 out of 10 are women. The proportion of women and immigrants earning minimum wage has increased over time.In 2018, one in three workers had a post-secondary education. In 1998, it was one in four.As the minimum wage increased, the age of workers increased as well. Between 2008 and 2018, the proportion of minimum wage earners who are over 25 has grown.The study notes that people who earn the minimum wage are more likely to have unstable work.“Low-wage work [is] one of the key elements associated with precarious work in Canada. In addition to lower wages, minimum wage workers are also less likely to receive non-wage benefits such as a pension plan, supplementary health benefits or paid sick leave,” it says.The agency released the study because of high profile-campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and a debate over the impact this change might have.“In recent years, minimum wage increases and their potential impact on the labour market have been at the forefront of Canadian current affairs,” the study says. “Some academics argue that increasing the minimum wage can reduce income inequalities and combat poverty. Others have argued that these increases might reduce employment and work hours for low-skilled workers, as well as employment in automatable jobs.It points out that several provinces, including British Columbia, have made “notable” increases to the minimum wage in recent years.Failed to fetchlast_img read more


Tortuga Music Festival Set To Rock The Ocean

first_imgRock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival is proud to announce the addition of more top performers to its already star-studded second year lineup.Joining headliners Luke Bryan and Eric Church will be Hank Williams Jr., Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, 38 Special, Parmalee and Eric Paslay. The festival returns to the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in Florida on April 12th and 13th. Tickets are on sale now at“We said when we announced our initial lineup that we were looking to build on the talent of our amazing first year and raise the bar even higher,” says HUKA Entertainment co-founder and CEO A.J. Niland. “With the addition of these six incredible artists to the bill, we have undoubtedly assembled one of the most singular and exciting musical events of 2014.”Tens of thousands of fans are expected to enjoy the sun, songs, sand and surf at this unique oceanfront festival.Already announced to share the festival’s stages with Bryan and Church are: Train, Sheryl Crow, Billy Currington, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett Eldredge, Brett Dennen, Delta Rae, Swindell, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, White Denim, Frankie Ballard, Brothers Osborne, Chase Rice, Blackjack Billy, Sons of Fathers, and Quaker City Night Hawks.Festival tickets are currently on sale, with two-day general admission festival ticket prices starting at just $165.Tortuga Music Festival partner CMT, which is already providing content and contests across its television, internet, social and radio network platforms, has confirmed it will host its popular “Hot 20 Countdown” program from the festival site this year, capturing performances and artist interviews with exclusive coverage of the two-day festival with country’s biggest superstars.Produced and promoted by HUKA Entertainment and created with the Rock the Ocean Foundation, Tortuga Music Festival serves to celebrate its oceanfront setting while raising awareness of issues impacting the world’s oceans and generating support for marine research and conservation. This year’s festival will once again include a one-of-a-kind Conservation Village on site, with nearly two dozen organizations and exhibitions providing attendees with information and tools to help protect the world’s oceans and marine resources.“Most people have no idea how bad the condition of our oceans are,” says Rock The Ocean founder Chris Stacey. “We’re excited to be part of a live entertainment event that everyone can enjoy, but we do so in observance of the important message we are committed to. Reefs, sharks, turtles and many more are all in danger, and it’s only in respecting and conserving our natural resources that we can continue events like these for years to come.”last_img read more


Hard Rock Partners With Rihanna On LimitedEdition Artist Spotlight Merchandise

first_imgHard Rock International has partnered with international superstar Rihanna on limited-edition merchandise.Rihanna unveils Hard Rock’s new Artist Spotlight Rihanna T-shirtCredit/Copyright: Hard Rock International/ Thomas Padilla AP Images for InvisionAs part of the partnership, the singer revealed a shirt featuring an original design and artwork as part of Hard Rock’s Artist Spotlight Series. Hard Rock also announced that it was adding several of Rihanna’s personal items to Hard Rock’s expansive memorabilia collection. True to the brand’s “Love All – Serve All” motto, Hard Rock is celebrating the partnership with a donation to Rihanna’s charity, The Clara Lionel Foundation.Rihanna Accepts Hard Rock’s Donation of $200,000 to The Clara Lionel FoundationCredit/Copyright: Hard Rock International/ Thomas Padilla AP Images for Invision“This charity is very near and dear to my heart and I’m proud to announce Hard Rock’s donation of $200,000 to The Clara Lionel Foundation, as well as showcase my shirt and spotlight merchandise,” said Rihanna. “I’m honored to join some of the biggest names in music who have been celebrated with shirt designs as part of Hard Rock’s Spotlight Series.”Rihanna delivered items from her personal closet to Hard Rock during an exclusive appearance at Hard Rock Cafe Paris where she announced the latest news about The Clara Lionel Foundation. To commemorate the partnership for Hard Rock’s Artist Spotlight program and to honor Rihanna’s generous and ongoing commitment to her country and those in need, Hard Rock’s donation to The Clara Lionel Foundation will support the organization’s efforts to improve healthcare in Barbados and support non-profit organizations that address the needs of youth globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture.Among the new items added to Hard Rock’s permanent collection are a pink Swarovski crystal bodysuit, a custom floral dress and vinyl bodysuit worn during Rihanna’s 2010-2011 “Last Girl on Earth Tour”; the denim shirt and black shorts Rihanna wore for her 2011 V Festival performance; the chain print jumpsuit worn at the 2012 Kollen Festival and the red gown Rihanna wore during the “Diamonds World Tour” in 2013.Hard Rock’s Rihanna Artist Spotlight shirts are now available online at and at select Hard Rock Cafe locations. The limited-edition black, unisex shirt features a striking black and white photo of Rihanna and her signature inside of a skull with an American flag pattern as the background. The back of the shirt will bear her signature and the Rihanna “R” along with the Hard Rock Cafe logo and city drop. The short-sleeve, black shirt was designed exclusively for Rihanna and Hard Rock, by Kiyondra Talley and is available in sizes S-XL ($26 USD).“We are honored to partner with Rihanna for Hard Rock’s acclaimed Artist Spotlight initiative,” said Keely Wade, Head of Philanthropy, Hard Rock International. “As a dynamic singer and an international icon, Rihanna is a star in the truest sense. She will forever be a part of music history and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Rihanna and support of The Clara Lionel Foundation. We are also extremely excited to showcase items from Rihanna’s coveted wardrobe in various Hard Rock locations and we thank her for agreeing to add them to our memorabilia collection.”last_img read more